NHL Rumors – March 30, 2012.

Will the Blue Jackets trade their first round pick to avoid selecting Russian prospects? Could the Canadiens new GM look at acquiring Alexander Radulov?  Could the Avs shop Peter Mueller this summer? Will Jonas Gustavsson return with the Leafs? 

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson dismissed the rumor his club might trade their first round pick, which could be first overall in this year’s entry draft “because the top-rated players in this year’s draft — Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko — are Russians, and the Jackets misfired on former high draft picks from Russia in Nikolai Zherdev and Nikita Filatov”.  He call it “hogwash”, saying it would “border on stupidity” not to include any player just because they’re from Russia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A more sensible rumor floating around has them shopping the pick for a number one goaltender. Still, it wouldn’t surprise me if they retained that pick for themselves and used it to select the best available prospect, regardless of nationality.

Could Canadiens target Radulov this summer?

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Eric Duhatschek examined what could be in store for the Montreal Canadiens under a new general manager, advising not to expect a magical turnaround. He did, however, float an “intriguing possibility” of hiring Patrick Roy as GM and possibly targeting one of Roy’s former proteges, Nashville Predators winger Alexander Radulov, as well as perhaps drafting Nail Yakupov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Roy becomes the GM, it’s possible they could try to land Radulov. They would also draft Mikhail Grigorenko, who currently plays for Roy in Quebec. Anyway, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, as we don’t know who the Habs will hired as GM, but the Roy scenario will certainly have Canadiens fans chattering until the club officially announces who their choice will be. And if it is Roy, unleash the Radulov/Grigorenko rumors!

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater, in response to a reader’s question regarding oft-injured Avalanche forward Peter Mueller, suggested the club may look to trade him this summer. Mark Kiszla recently lamented the Avs lack of star talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Avalanche shop Mueller, his injury history could make him tough to move. They shouldn’t expect much of a return. It’s a shame, as Mueller had so much promise, but a series of concussion injuries have taken a toll.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson faces an uncertain future. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be surprising if the Leafs re-sign him.


  1. Gustavsson probably would like to remain out for the rest of the season so he doesn’t have to travel with the circus for the rest of his Leaf days. Mean while did anyone see how brutally poor Rynnas is at going from post to post. Super slow going east/ west there is no way this guy is ready for the NHL, not even close.

  2. Rynnas was far from the Leafs’ principle concern last night. He was basically out there all alone. Phaneuf needs to be stripped of the “C” as well, if that hasn’t been painfully obvious already. Turning down fights to Hartnell and Simmonds then taking liberties with a teammate’s brother in Brayden Schenn? That’s total class right there. If there aren’t dramatic and sweeping changes in the Leafs organization this summer, then the 2012-13 season will look nearly identical to the last couple of months’ performance.

    Regarding the Habs situation, the french language requirement completely limits their hiring opportunities. No longer are they looking for the best candidate, just the best candidate that speaks french. Interesting question, who is the best french-canadian player in the NHL right now? Briere? Lecavalier? Brodeur? Parenteau? One could say Giroux, but he’s technically from Ontario. My point is this; Gone are the days where the Canadiens can hand-pick their Maurice Richard’s, Jean Beliveau’s, etc. To compete in today’s NHL, you need to forget all about language, nationality, colour, etc and acquire the best available talent whenever possible. If Quebec City ever gets an NHL franchise, they will be absolutely DREADFUL because of their unwavering desire to be 100% french from top to bottom.

  3. I’m glad Howson addressed the ludacris notion of moving his first because the top two prospects are Russian. I agree it would “border on stupidity”. The idea sounds more like the musings of media rather then logic.
    So Mark Kiszla says the Avs lack star power? I say his brain lacks brain power. They are the youngest team in the league be patient. I would sever my left testicle to have some of their future studs. Duchene, Statsny, Landi, Varli and Johnson are future stars…a little green now, but watch out (I also really like Hishon). I was trying to tell my friends to watch out for St. Louis at the beginning of the year, I got laughed at. Funny, it doesn’t seem so funny anymore. I see the Avs as being similar to the Blues as of a year or two ago. They’ll be fine.

  4. @ Thewes & Beergoggles
    Have to agree with both of you ……..I was hoping that Rynas would play bigger considering his size but hes almost a carbon copy of Riemer in the goal its uncanny …if he hadnt taken off his mask youd swear by it !
    Gustavson will most likely play in Europe I dont see him in the NHL next season !
    Phaneuf is terrible and that was classless ….he should not have the C I agree….its all just shitty they suck!
    What if the draft pick this year refuseses to sign with the Leafs ..LOL

    The Canadiens will take a run at everybody this summer as they need to start to attract some good players and right the ship ..they arent that far off really they just need to get some size and a grit player and an anchor on defense that is a stay at home d man. They need to buyout Gomez and give way to some better players with the money ..if they dont do that they are stuck again next year.

    Radulov should be resigned by Nashville incase Weber leaves as they will need an asset on the team,
    they cant just let everyone go this year …they have to have a core and pay for it unfortunately!
    It will also give nashville a player they can trade and take assets back on at some point as opposed to letting them go to UFA

  5. I thought it was pretty much decided if the Habs brought in former Cup winning Coach Bob Hartley that hiring Roy as the GM(despite “his alll about Patrick” ego) would have many more positives long term than negatives…

  6. Roy will be a mistake as GM he has zero experience. The Hab’s should see if they can speak to Jim Nill (AGM of the Wings) and give him a shot. 14 years as assistant with the Wings should be enough to qualify to be GM of any team. The guy must be ready for a shot.

    By no means was I saying it was Rynnas’s fault. Just saying his east/west wasn’t good enough for the AHL let alone the NHL.

  7. I am not one to rag on Phaneuf like a lot of you guys.
    Even tho he is the captain i think way too much is expected of him,top minutes against the best players plus PP guy plus try and lead too many heartless players.

    I have said before and again in the minority Dion takes all the flak and Gunnerson is loved but it is gunner that is the way overated one.
    Gunnar gets beat a ton,does not pass well.a wet noodle shot,gets knocked off the puck easy,blows in front coverage often and Dion gets stuck trying to make it up.

    As for the tussle with Schenn i watched it again and after they collided Schenn gave him a couple of shots as well so i think a strong shoe was warranted.
    Even against Schenn he did not want to ight until Schenn shoved him.

    As for backing off against Hartnell again i see Dion hate over anything else.
    Where was Hartnell when Brown wanted to go? yeah,skating away pretty quick.

    There are plenty to blame on the Leafs but i am not one to say it is the better guys like Dion and Kessel.
    For the most part they showed up and did what they are supposed to do along with Grabbo.
    Wilson killed Schenn and Kadri so to me they do not count.
    but Macarthur/Connolly took way too many nights off and Franson/Gunnar are way overated and Komi/Kuli/Armstrong/Goalies all had brutal years.

    Kuli/Reimer i would give another chance but the rest can go and not be missed.
    same for the ufa 4th liners,no need to give raises and sign,easily replaced by much cheaper that can do the job.

    i hate the Habs but they are in the same boat with little heart and needing some fresh blood.
    but they are too much into the french angle and that will hurt them in the front office and on the ice.

    both teams have too many players with little heart,take too many games off,lay the blame on the wrong players and have dumb players that make the same mistakes over and over and either cannot seem to learn
    or are too dumb to learn.

    I think Randy will sit who needs sitting and not pull a Wilson and always blame the same 2 or 3 guys or never sit a player because he is supposed to be one of the good guys.
    That is the ones still here after he tells Burke who will not be on the team next year.
    I can see 6 or 7 new faces next year and a much better work ethic.

  8. @BeerGoggles
    Couldn’t agree with you more. Unfortunately the Habs are more concerned with hiring a french speaking front office than they are about hiring the best GM candidate. Guys like Jim Nill and Paul Fenton in Nashville should be at the tops of everybody’s lists, but Montreal will probably recycle some former Montreal Canadien with zero GM experience like Patrick Roy or Vincent Damphousse or a has been GM like Francois Giguere or some other french speaking person. While this may appease the fan base it, it won’t turn the hopeless franchise around. If the Canadiens are serious about building a winning franchise they need to lose the mentality of having french speaking players, coaches, GM’s, etc.

  9. The issue in Quebec regarding french speaking coaches is often misrepresented. it’s so the coach can communicate with the press and fans in their language. it’s not so much an issue of where you’re from. marc crawford learned french when he took over the nords, bob gainey learned french as well, and no one cared they weren’t francophones.

    i think people in montreal want the best gm for the job, but some also feel he should be able to talk to the fans and press in their own language, though geoff molson said in was important but not necessary.

    the difference is every day coaches do interviews, and the french fans would like some of those interviews to be in their language. but gm’s don’t do that many interviews, so it’s not as important.

    as a side note, are there any coaches in the league who don’t speak fluent english? surely there’s got to be some european coaches out there who would be great for the nhl.

  10. Yeah the French thing really kills the Habs players. No one can have success there unless they are French. They just are t accepted by the fans. I mean look at Koivu… Well, wait. No he was a hero. Ok look at Kovalev…. No. That’s not right. Well look at Halak, Price, Subban, Cole, Pacioretty, Gorges, Gionta, Plekanec. Hold on, that’s not making sense either. Well Markov can’t succe… Wait. Souray? No, he didn’t speak French either. Hmmm

    Montreal cares about Talent and winning. If Cunnyworth came in and the Canadiens went on a tear and seemed to be playing a great system then he would be coaching next year and thr little 150 person “protest” outside te Bell Centre would be a joke. He doesn’t win, blown leads still occur, and they have their worst finish in decades. That’s a recipe for any coach to be relieved of his duties. It sucks that he had to face the added scrutiny of the language, but when Ontarios official languages become English and Punjabi there will be a group protesting that the Leafs coach be bilingual as well. There are good coaches that speak both National languages. Check the SCF last year. And the Canadiens are usually the team that gives these guys their first crack at it. So spare me the “language will limit” ignorant statements. They indicated that the GM will be the most qualified person and that speaking French is a bonus, but not the key. The coach will have to be bilingual because he has to face the media and that Provinces first language is French. Deal with it. It’s “Montreal, Quebec”. Not “Edmonton, Alberta”. Ottawa does all their announcements and such in English and French. Is that such a detriment there?

    I used to enjoy reading a lot of posters comments here but it seems that since before the trade deadline there’s been a influx of idiocy that’s kept me from posting a lot, save for the blog beat and Canadian Corner because only a few people post there. You can rip me to shreds after this but I really could care less. If you listened to Molsons conference yesterday you would take away the message that winning at all costs is his goal am only goal. He wants sustained, consistent success. He will appoint guys that he thinks can do it and if they don’t next year then they will be standing with 28 other teams that didn’t either. Grrrrr! Don’t let this turn into TSN.ca message boards Lyle!!! Lol

  11. Re: June Draft

    Subject to Lottery picks looks like to me

    Columbus #1
    Minnesota, Toronto, Montreal, Oilers – fighting ( not sure that is the word) for 2-5 slots
    Ducks, Islanders, Carolina, Jets, Tampa Bay 6-10 slots ( neck and neck) a key LOSS
    could mean a jump of 4 or so slots.

    Just can’t believe how badly Minnesota and Toronto have tanked. For awhile they were riding high

    sooooo it gotten so bad that I hope Ducks tank the last 5 games ?
    Am I the only one who wants my team to lose ?
    Can hardly wait until baseball starts

  12. @ Thewes
    @ Beergoggles

    I think a very interesting scenerio would be Radulov to C B J for Nash ….this way he could become the new Franchise player and he would play along with Yakupov ….I think that would be a great idea for both Nashville and C B J ….

  13. Radulov to Columbus for Nash might be the dumbest thing I have read on here in a long time. Why the hell would Columbus trade Nash for a player that is so skiddish you don’t know he is going to be playing in the NHL on a year to year basis. Even IF you were assured he would stay in north america, he still is NOWHERE near enough for Nash. Right now Radulov has very little value on the trade block as any GM would be stupid to give up an asset for a guy who will bolt if he doesn’t like his new diggs.

  14. All this talk about Columbus trades is pointless. Keep in mind that it is still Howsom making trades and making final decision on draft and until that changes don’t expects any Blue Jacket improvement over the long term. If you do what you’ve done, expect to get what you got.

  15. @ Canadian King

    How is this stupid , if there is a clause in the signing to where as he has to abide by the contract to play here in North America this would be a fantastic deal for both teams …it would be of great interest to Radulov to be THE GUY and to play with a young Russian superstar ..essentially building the team around those two guys, that is almost Crosby Malkin or Ovi Backstrum type combo but both being Russian could be killer and they are both very young to build a team around ….Iam sorry Nash is not worth what Howson is asking ….sorry !

  16. I agree that is a fairly moronic suggestion. If CBJ were to even explore it, Radulov would need to sign a contract and agree to stay, Lindback would need to be in the deal and some of the talented defense out of Nashville be it Suter or Ellis … even then it would be a far shot off in the dark.

  17. Sorry did you just say Radulov + Yakupov is comparable to Crosby/Malkin or Ovi/Backstrom? What even comes CLOSE to giving you that idea.

  18. How good will Radulov be in the NHL? No one knows because he decided to go the the KHL and lay with less good players. Comparing him to a Malkin or Backstrom is just not right.

    Yakupov can be compared to anyone because he will be a #1 but he is still only a prospect.

    Radulov would be an interesting risk (for a lot of teams) but what would it cost to pry him out of Nashville

  19. JJB

    Ok you guys can tell the futuire now I guess …please tell me how you know it wouldnt be !!!!

    Yakupov is a number one draft pick just like Stamkos Ovechkin and so forth Radulov is as well there is all reason to suggest that those two if they were able to play together could surmise to that level indeed …..
    why would they not …they are great young talent and very comparable on every level ……..Yakupov is just as good as Ovechkin when drafted and Radulov if had the ability to play with a young gun superstar could easliy be an Ovechkin type player ……..how the hell do you know it wouldnt be !

  20. No one would have ever suggested that Malkin would ever have turned out to be as good as he his or better than Ovechkin BUT HE IS !!!! or ryan Calahan who was drafted in the 4th round would be the best Captain in the NHL and lead the Rangers into the playoffs the way he is …..a Radulov _ Yakupoov combo could be outstanding …..Yakupov or Radulov on there own are fantastic ..pout that combo together nigh in and night out and both growing up Russiin and in that system not far apart in years could easily be one of the best 1-2 threats !…Easily !

  21. Guys ….if you move out Nash you can not expect Yakupov to be the new leader and sole franchise player on C B J he will need a buffer and an extremly talented player to play along side of him for any success or you will ruin the kid ….hes not big statured as well and only 180 pounds he will need a quality NHL ready player to play along side him right away …and if Radulov is available that would be where I would turn especially both being Russian and young…perfect combo for a rebuild.
    Now…. I was not saying it would be Nash straight up …definitely C B J would need something else such as Lindback possibly in the scenario …but this duo could be leathal over the next few years given a chance !

  22. @Chris

    Agreed with the Malky, but… But best Captain in the NHL?
    Did Doan/Iginla/Chara/Morrow/Toews/Pronger/Ladder/Staal & Crosby all relieve their captaincies and I wasn’t informed?

    Still uncertain if Radulov will stay in the NHL next season. Last I head the deal was to return to the K after the playoffs, but that may have changed (haven’t been paying atn to hockey as much as I should I suppose).

    I called the Leafs not making the playoffs, and finishing with ~80 points; along with Kessel finishing with the same. Of course all the Leaf kids on this site made it clear I was a moron, and that they had a team to win it all. OFC the Leafs were going to finish with +100 points and Kessel doing the same, right?

    They still have a ton of work to do, mind you so do… 5/6 of the other Canadian teams.

  23. I wouldn’t mind Roy as coach but I want someone with more experience for GM. I also wouldn’t be against having radulov and grigorenko…the russian factor does worry me but if you have only a certain amount of them and you surround them with good character guys like Cole, Pacioretty and Gorges I think you’ll be ok.

  24. ” Miokid
    Its been seriously discussed over this past week on TSN and Hockey Central that Callahan is possibly the best leader and captain this year in the NHL and to have only been drafted in the 4th round is fantastic value!
    Rnagers were on the verge of trading him as a piece for Nash …that would have been a mistake and possibly ruined team chemistry as they are on fire this year !

  25. @ Chris

    Stupid me, also forgot Nick Lidstom on that list >.>

    The only reason anyone would be saying that Callahan would even be considered top 10 C’s in the league:
    A) He plays for the one of the leagues darlings in NY
    B) He’s American

    Not much else, he’s not the most valuable player on that team, you could say that defensive play and the King would take that role. So come on, you’ve showed on this forum you’re a scrub already, don’t push it even further.

  26. Mio kid

    NICE!!! Buddy ….NICE !!!!…..you cant even skate so how can you even talk hockey…..anything you post should come with a hash tag of …….OH MIO MY KID not you again !

  27. I have no clue why Roy’s name is even coming up. He has ZERO NHL GM experience.

  28. Yeah the top 2 players in the draft are Russian… but there is also a very good defenseman in Ryan Murray ranking 3rd in the draft. Then you have the Swede… Filip Forsberg… who will also be a good one.

    Getting Roy as GM would be a mistake. He has had no experience in NHL administration. Same can be said though of John Davidson & Mike Gillis. This is probably one of the key drafts for the Habs and next season the first of their re-build or re-tool.

    If the Habs put ‘politics re: french speaking’ over the best man for the job… then they are not doing the best for their organization. Hire an interpreter if you have to…

  29. Not sure if others are having the same problem.. but the last several days coming onto this site.. my computer anti-virus program keeps warning me of a trojan virus on this site. Maybe someone should look into this. Luckily my security program blocks it…

  30. @Alforducks

    You aren’t the only one cheering for their team to lose. I’ve been cheering for the Leaf’s to lose about 4 games after Carlyle took over and it was obvious they wern’t going to make it. Problem is now that the Leafs have lost so many games I’m starting to think this loosing will be next to impossible to get out of the current players heads even next year and the Leaf’s may need an entire over haul just to snap out of it. It’s like a disease…

    Anyone that trades a fist over all pick should have their head examined unless they are getting back the same or better in prospects.

  31. I have seen the names listed, and if Molson is deadly serious about finding the best GM available (who hopefully is a Francophone), then one name everyone is forgetting…..Kevin Lowe. Years of experience
    as GM, both for Oilers and Team Canada. Bilingual, and 6 Stanley Cups. Roy has stated quite clearly he would “prefer” a coaching position, and it’s also hinted he already has a handshake deal with Quebecor if they get a franchise.

    As for coach that is secondary, and I truly think Roy is a disaster waiting to happen, these aren’t start struck 16 year olds he will be coaching.


  32. ” beergoggles

    The leafs really need to move out some of there so called high end talent and start over and try and pick up some younger studds and mix them in with there young assets and allow them to play mistake hockey for 2 years and let them grow as a young core …but players such as Kessel… Phaneuf ..Mcarthur ..Armstrong Connolly Lombardi and Komisarek can not play on this team next year ! This is bottoming out and they need quality hardnose players back in a trade for what they call there elite players …like I said Kessel would fade away and he did he dosent even play a game to help his team get an edge on anything !

  33. @ SmielmaN

    Yes, french is required for the new habs GM (see Savard interview here: http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2012/03/29/serge-savard-says-next-habs-gm-will-speak-french/).

    You could be the best GM in the league and not be ‘qualified’ if you are an anglophone.

    Problem is not the fans but the french media and the politicians. Koivu was captain for YEARS before it was an issue that he did not speak french, until a politician brought it up (Marois?). If you ice a good team, the protest goes away, but you need the intestinal fortitude to ice that team with the coach and GM of your chosing, not the Media’s chosing.

    Oh, and all these french media guys complaining about not being able to communicate with the coach? I’m pretty sure they’ve all done interviews in english with players.

  34. @ HABS_FTW

    March 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I have no clue why Roy’s name is even coming up. He has ZERO NHL GM experience.

    The last Canadiens GM to win a cup in Montreal was Serge Savard. He had zero management experience when given the job.Not even in Junior Hockey. He was on Radio today and said he would not exclude candidates on the basis of not having NHL GM experience.

    @ Old Soldier – I agree Lowe is qualified, but if he had been doing such a great job in Edmonton he would not have moved himself upstairs in favour of Steve Tambellini. Unless he is bored stiff I cannot see him giving up his plum position.

  35. @Murph:

    “The last Canadiens GM to win a cup in Montreal was Serge Savard. He had zero management experience when given the job.Not even in Junior Hockey.”

    And in the 19 years since then, have Stanley cup winning GMs had GM experience, or were they just random people?

  36. You guys want Lowe? He’s all yours with a bag of mushrooms. You’ll need the drugs to make sense of his decisions. He’s still beating himself for not offering Gomez more than Sather did, thinks Horcoff is underpaid, Bobby Ryan is a twit, and Penner has potential. That’s how smart he is, you think Gauthier was bad? lol

  37. @ xJayce,

    All I am saying is, it does not appear that management experience matters to Savard, but it would to me!