NHL Rumors – May 26, 2011.

The latest on the Sharks and Capitals, plus updates on Jeff Carter and Sheldon Souray.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Jake Leonard doubts the San Jose Sharks will make any major changes after a fluky WCF loss, noting the Sharks out-shot the Vancouver Canucks 144-118 at even strength in the series. Leonard feels the Sharks need “another defenseman, a better season from (Dany) Heatley and fewer dumb penalties at important moments”.

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS (VIA CONTRA COSTA TIMES): Mark Emmons reports the Sharks will have to make decisions regarding their free agents, which includes UFAs Ian White, Ben Eager, Kent Huskins, Jamal Mayers, Scott Nichol, Niclas Wallin and Kyle Wellwood, and RFAs Devin Setoguchi, Jamie McGinn and Benn Ferriero. Emmons also considers improving the blueline a priority.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks have over $51.8 million invested in 14 players next season, so obviously they won’t be able to retain all their free agents. White has said he wants to return and based on his playoff performance I think he stands the best chance of the Sharks UFAs to be re-signed. The Sharks need to add another quality, puck-moving defenseman could possibly impact the inconsistent Setoguchi’s future with the team. McGinn and Ferriero would be affordable re-signings.

CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Ben Raby reports with Matt Bradley hitting the open market and Cody Eakin yet to prove he can handle the rigors of an 82-game schedule the Capitals could consider consider the following UFA centers on July 1st: Scott Nichol (San Jose), Marcel Goc (Nashville), John Madden (Minnesota) and Jeff Halpern (Montreal).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Madden could retire if he’s not re-signed by the Wild as he and his family don’t wish to move again. Nichol is getting up there in age, as is Halpern, although the latter could be a good, short-term fit, plus his returning to the team where he started his NHL career (and was once its captain) would have a “feel-good” angle. Goc however is younger (27) and could prove not only more durable but perhaps even more affordable.

PHILLYDAILYSPORTS.COM: Ryan Bright noted a rumor which would send Flyers forward Jeff Carter to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a package of draft picks and prospects, which they could then flip some or all to another team for a third goalie, like Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff, Vancouver’s Cory Schneider, LA’s Jonathan Quick or to Phoenix for the rights to Ilya Bryzgalov. He doesn’t however fully dismiss the possibility of the Flyers making such a deal, with the Maple Leafs or perhaps another team. Bright also doubts Carter’s 11 year, $58 million contract would be much of a hindrance, suggesting there could be general managers out there willing to take it on.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving Carter and his big contract isn’t impossible, but damn near, especially with this upcoming season being the last under the current CBA and the anticipated uncertainty over the next one. The Flames aren’t trading Kiprusoff, and the Kings probably aren’t in any great rush to move Quick. I’m not convinced the Flyers have serious interest in Bryzgalov, especially given his poor playoff performance this year. Schneider could be available but the Flyers wouldn’t need to dump Carter’s salary to get him.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers will once again consider their options with defenseman Sheldon Souray, who still has one season remaining on his contract at $4.5 million for this season, and a cap hit of $5.4 million. Matheson believes they’ll buy out that final season at two-thirds its remaining value, considering another loan to an AHL team for next season a “long shot”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring a decision to retire by Souray, I agree a buyout is the most likely option, which would count as $2.4 million against their cap for next season, and $1.5 million in 2012-13.


  1. Hmmm…Burke trading for Carter and that contract? Not sure about that..He’ll be 36-37 by the time that contract is done. With the CBA expiring next June, this will be an interesting off season for contracts to be sure

  2. I realize it won’t happen, but I fully believe the Flames should trade Kipper. Hampered by so many big contracts, I think it’s safe to say the Flames aren’t that close to contending unless they can make some serious roster changes. So why keep Kiprusoff around to play on marginal, probably non-playoff teams? Best to trade him now when you could get 2-3 very solid assets for him, and begin the rebuilding process.

    And look at 2 of the goalies in the semis this year – Niemi (a Chicago castoff) and Roloson (a cheap option). While a replacement would never be as good as Kipper, there’s a decent chance the Flames could find an ok option, but no chance of finding a replacement for rolling 3 deep lines. Trading Kipper is their best way of creating a deep team, I think.

  3. I think Carter is a helluva player. That being said, I hope he’s more of a plan C for Burke. Plan A being Richards, plan B being Stastny, and if neither of those pan out, then maybe Carter. Carter would cost a package that includes one or more of Colborne, Kadri or Aulie…no thanks. Unless Homer was willing to take Gunner, D’Amigo and one of our 2011 firsts then I’m ok with that, although I doubt that would be enough. Richards would obviously cost only cap room, but we’re not the only team who wants him so he’s far from a sure bet. I like Stastny because he’s a left handed stick, a smart playmaking center, and coming off a mediocre season which may have lowered his value if only just a bit. Neither of these options are a sure thing, but if the Leafs can’t land any of the players I just mentioned, I would stand pat. I don’t want Weiss, Ribiero or any tier 2 centers I’ve heard mentioned. I honestly think Colborne would be a better option to center Kessel. So I’m a tentitave no on the Carter rumor, depending on the package.

    And I completely agree with Jake Leonards article. I know losing in the western conference final sucked for fans, and it was only natural to hear some frustration from there fan base yesterday. But all in all, the Sharks have a good team. Some minor tweeking is all I would do. Trust me when I say this SJ fans, you do not want to sit through a rebuild unless you have to. It sucks! Enjoy your awesome team while they still have a few years left. Be patient with the likes of Seto, Pavelski etc. I would rather be in your shoes then Florida.

  4. I really can’t see Holmgren refusing to trade Carter for the last few years .. then signing him to a long term deal .. with a decent cap hit for a player of Carter’s caliber…then following it all up by trading him to a conference rival. Sorry, just doesn’t make sense. He tried to pry Vokoun away from Florida in the past .. Nothing against Bryzgalov, but I expect to see either Vokoun or even Nabokov in a Flyers sweater next year as they’ll want a player to help mentor Bobrovsky for the next 2-3 years. Bryz just doesn’t fit that plan…however…I wouldn’t rule out a possible swap…Bob and another player (such as Carle or Versteeg) going to the Coyotes for Bryzgalov’s rights .. and him signing long term with the Flyers.

  5. Let’s all be realistic here, Carter’s contract is far from expensive. He’s a 30 goal scorer that makes around 5 per year….hardly expensive given the going price around the league. I’m sure there’s a long list of teams looking for a pure scorer on their team and they don’t want to pay too much for….look at Gaborik or Kovalchuk. Carter’s contract isn’t that bad, and isn’t unmovable by any stretch of imagination.

  6. Why buy him out? Burke has offered to take on other people’s overpaid and unwanted before so why not Souray? The price would be the first pick overall. Toronto would have to add a number of sweeteners of course. How about Philly’s first pick, Kulemin (or MacArthur) and Armstrong. Edmonton needs another top prospect like they need a hole in the head. No single prospect in this draft will turn them into an immediate winner. They need young NHL veterans with talent and and players with jam. Kulemin has decent talent, Armstrong provides a physical presence. With the first pick Toronto can then draft a player, either Nugent-Hopkins or Huberdeau who should turn into the #1 centre they need or at the very least, a good number two behind Kadri. Such a deal seems a better option than mortgaging their future to the hilt to get a floater like Jeff Carter. Indeed, the Leafs have enough cap space that such a deal wouldn’t preclude them from signing Richards. The attractiveness of such a deal to the Oilers would depend in large measure on whether Edmonton can realistically do anything the cap space that they would free up. If not, a lot of incentive to do it disappears and they might just as well just buy Souray out.

    An even better deal for the Oilers might be to try entice Brian Murray into the same kind of arrangement with the 6th overall pick going Edmonton along with roster players like Nick Foligno and Chris Neil and a decent prospect in return for the first choice and Souray. The chance to draft Ryan Strome or Dougie Hamilton at #6 plus Foligno, Neil and a prospect like Eric Condra or Eric Gryba seems like pretty good compensation for the first overall pick when you add in $5 million in freed up cap space. Such a deal may be the only way the Senators can get a shot at the #2 centre that they desperately need. But would Murray do it? Burke might, but not Murray, he’s far too conservative.

  7. If the Flyers offer Carter + Bobrovsky to the Flames for Kipper, if I’m Feaster I take it. I believe Bobrovsky will be the real deal after 2 more years of seasoning under his belt. And finding a center for Iggy is more of a challenge than finding a goalie. Tanguay-Carter-Iggy would be nasty. I don’t do that deal without Bobrovsky if I am CGY because they need a body in net and neither Vokoun nor Bryzgalov would come there via FA. The problem is CGY would be taking on about 1.2M in cap (Kipper is 0.55 more than Carter, but Bob is 1.75).

    Philly shouldn’t want to part with Bob, but it’ll be hard for them to trade for a proven goalie without sending one back in return, other than Nabokov.

    Of course, this is totally off the top of my head speculation :)

  8. I concur with Poultsy, Holmgren has resisted calls to trade Carter for the past three years. He wouldn’t have signed him to that long-term deal if he had no intention of keeping him. While I’ll admit anything’s possible, the odds of Carter being dealt are long.

  9. wow.
    Cmon guys. Why don’t you see a player who is lazy at 27, being lazy at 37? Carter will be the Kovalev of the league before he’s halfway through that contract.

  10. I could see tha Caps being interested in Goc from the Preds, but durability hasn’t been one of Goc’s strengths thus far in his career. Nice, versatile player, but very injury prone.