NHL Rumors – November 17, 2011.

Are the Maple Leafs shopping for a veteran goalie? Could they move defenseman Cody Franson? Which goalies are being discussed in the rumor mill? What’s the latest on Kyle Turris? Read on to find out! Hoo-haa!!

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reported in the past 36 hours Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke said he has no interest in UFA goalie Marty Turco, but suggested Burke might have some interest in Florida’s Scott Clemmensen, San Jose’s Antero Niittymaki and Evgeni Nabokov of the NY Islanders. It’s uncertain when James Reimer will return from concussion-like symptoms.

TSN’s Darren Dreger and SPORTSNET’s Tony Ambrogio reported via Twitter yesterday the Leafs have received calls from rival teams interested in defenseman Cody Franson. Dreger reported one team offered up a player and a second round pick for Franson, and SPORTSNET’s Mark Spector speculated the Edmonton Oilers might’ve been one of the teams interested in Franson, but Ambrogio reported Burke, while acknowledging he’d been “deluged with offers” for Franson, said he had no plans to move the blueliner.

Is Cody Franson available?

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan also reported on the Franson rumor mill, as well as Burke’s unwillingness to move the young defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burke might not be willing to move Franson right now, but one wonders how long he’ll maintain that stance if his club’s recent struggles should worsen and threaten to send them tumbling out of playoff contention. It’s also possible he could hang onto Franson in hopes his trade value could increase as the season progresses. Yes, I understand Burke values defensive depth, and I don’t doubt the sincerity of his comments, but the Leafs lack second line offensive production, and that could become an issue which could need addressing as the season progresses.  As for Burke shopping for a goalie, his options certainly seem limited right now. I never underestimate his ability to pull off deals which seem almost impossible to do, but there’s really not a lot of teams with available goalies they’re willing to move. Nabokov has a “no-trade” clause, and he might only waive it to go to a genuine playoff team, which the Leafs have yet to prove they could be this season. 

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun and Craig Custance reported on the recent speculations to arise from the latest NHL GMs meeting in Toronto. To recap: The Coyotes still have no intent to move Kyle Turris (“For the 15-hundredth time, we have no intention of trading him, regardless of the offer, at all whatsoever,” Coyotes GM Don Maloney told ESPN.com”); the Columbus Blue Jackets have intensified their search for a goaltender; San Jose Sharks currently sidelined netminder Antero Niittymaki has received interest from several teams wondering if he’ll be available when he returns to action sometime in December; the Flames, Islanders and Hurricanes could be shopping for help if they haven’t already begun, while the Winnipeg Jets could be a team to watch as the season progresses, for if they should become sellers, pending UFAs Chris Mason and Johnny Oduya might become available. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff blamed Twitter for the recent unsubstantiated rumors claiming Jets winger Evander Kane is unhappy in Winnipeg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I scoffed when “Eklund” first raised the possibility of teams having interest in Niittymaki over a week ago, because quite frankly, I didn’t believe any team had interest in a goalie who has been recovering from hip surgery since training camp, but these recent reports suggest undeniable interest in the sidelined Sharks goalie, which goes to show how desperate some teams have become, and the slim pickings for goalies in the trade and free agent market. As for the Flames, Islanders, and Hurricanes, their GMs may have to move soon if they’re to do any potential moves to save their respective seasons, but again, there’s not a lot of options available to them right now. As for the Jets, it may be premature to suggest they’ll go into sell mode, but their performance over the next six weeks could become a determining factor in potential moves by Cheveldayoff. And no, Evander Kane won’t be dealt. And for the love of Buddha, how many times does Maloney have to deny Turris is available? My guess is frequently until December 1st, the deadline for the young center to be under NHL contract for this season.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks have placed forward Rostislav Olesz on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t expect there to be any takers.


  1. Feaster can put all the lipstick he can find on that “Pig” but at the end of the day its still a ‘Pig”

  2. While I know Turco is old and didn’t play all that well last year, I still really only see that as a decent patch job for the Leafs that should cost them little cap wise and nothing asset wise. This is if they feel they need a goalie.. Riemer looks like he’ll be out for a while so..

  3. Poor Rusty….. but man what a steal Campbell was.

    I think Burke is trying to cover up his nervousness. At some point he will have to give in and acquire a goalie. He cannot afford to lose out on points because of bad goaltending. Clemmensen wasn’t really tested in Dallas, so it is a wait and see there.

    Nittymakii may be of interest, but I would consider it baseless so far since no one knows how he will recover.

    Blue Jackets will also be in the market for a goalie. If Tampa continues to struggle you can’t expect them to not do anything either with their goaltender.

    I think these GMs are waiting to see who pulls the trigger first to set the market value on a back-up goalie. We’ll see.

  4. Dumb of Koshan to even mention Nittymaki. Why on earth would the Leafs even consider trading for an injured goalie? By the time Nitty is back, James Reimer could very well be back as well. They need a cheap backup who can play decent for a couple weeks and then be buried in the minors once Reimer is back.

  5. Listen everyone, regarding the Leafs/Burke & Franson, Burke is only saying all of this, to try and create an over-hyped bidding war. Burke knows how to handle these situations. But that supposively one offer from a rival team that includes; Player + Draft Pick…is the start of they over-hyping of the bidding war.

  6. ‘Mike’, why would they go get a goalie good enough to be better than The two they have now only to bury them in the minors shortly after. The problem is these two cant cut it so under any logical theory wouldn’t “they” be the ones buried?

  7. It was not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the Leafs crash landed it has become blatantly obvious how badly Burke has failed. Coming into this year they had so many weaknesses- yes they finally ridded of Kaberle last season but it seems they have 6 Kaberle’s on D now (not enuff defensive D men). It seemed Burke was the only one that had confidence in the Monster (big mistake!). And how many games has china doll Connolly played this year? 4? Not to mention they have 2 2nd lines & 2 fourth lines caliber. Burke & Wilson have to go!

  8. Burke is positioning himself for some moves.
    His claims of not moving Franson to me are believable, that doesn’t mean that Gunnarson and Liles are necessarily safe. (Inluding Komisarek in the mix is a given, but I don’t see anyone really biting at that).

    As for a goalie situation, I have no idea why Burke would ignore Turco, or even Leclaire to act as a cheap stop-gap. Once Reimer is back, either of them can act as a backup. Let’s face it, Gustavson has been a major disappointment, and Scrivens needs more development with the Marlies.
    On the other hand, If Burke somehow lands a fully recovered Nittymaki, then expect him to compete for the top job with Reimer.

  9. It’s amazing that so much can supposedly be wrong for a 10-6-2 team that is 2nd in their division and currently 6th in their conference. Like Carey Price says, “just chill out”. There are still teams that are weaker than Toronto in the east; strategies for beating those teams is the onus of the coaching staff as far as I’m concerned at this point in time. This year is the swan song for Wilson; if he can’t get it done, they need to hand the reigns to somebody else. The signing of Scott Gordon was his wake up call; Gordon is more than capable of finishing the season as an interim replacement should Wilson get the axe.

  10. @Konstantine… Leclaire? You mean Pascal Leclaire? No way you want to go there. He can’t stay healthy — and still has not recovered from hip surgery he had last Feb or Mar, I believe.

    Leafs would be better off with what they have rather than take a gamble on Leclaire. He is a good goalie… but he would be out of the lineup more than he is in…

  11. I believe Burke isn’t shopping Franson, if he was then why isn’t he playing him? Seems to me that you would want to showcase the talent you want to sell.

    As for a backup, what about Emery? I haven’t heard any injury news, what’s the word on him? A quick look at capgeek, and Chicago has already has Crawford, Emery with Huet and Salak in the minors. Maybe they could move a goalie. Any Chi fan care to chime in?

  12. I still think the guy that gets moved is Gunnarsson. Compare how much ice he got last year to this year. He is solid and competent, and does not come with a huge price tag. I believe he is being showcased, as was probably the monster until he floundered. You could swap Gunnarson for Clemmenson and get Franson into the lineup. As for that diluting the depth on defense, does anyone remeber Keith Aulie? Clemmenson and Reimer, when recovered, sharing the load would be a strong tandem, with Scrivens waiting in the wings.

    Then ( fantasy pill just consumed ) Leafs trade Komisarek and Kadri to Nashville for Suter, who is sure to command more than the 4.6 Komisarek gets for the next 4 seasons.

  13. Well the laffs do like to over pay for players…so Huet would be a perfect fit with that sad sack team.Bunch of one hit wonders just going through the motions.

  14. Greg, good going on pointing out a couple of Burkes ‘mistakes’ without mentioning anything he has done right. Just compare the team he inherited to the team he has now. While your at it, look at how badly our prospect pool was rated a few years ago, compare that to now. Now give your head a shake, every GM has made a mistake. Burke’s doing a fantastic job.
    Dano, really pal? First, I asked about Emery. Second, I asked for a Chicago fan to chime in on his availability, not for a no name troll to respond.

  15. Hey specter, have you heard anything about the Hurricanes? Their showing last night was possibly the worst I have ever seen. They need to do something and fast. Plus, all this Toronto goalie talk is giving me a headache..

  16. Durt you are bang on again as usual. I thought Emery would be a good fit seeing as he always wanted to be a leaf and could park his sideshow antics at the door. Burke will not move Franson until the bidding war peaks or someone is willing to take on Komeserek’s salary. Durt keep on taking down those leaf bashers with hockey sense

  17. The Leafs are best served to hold on to all of their assets that are important for the future and finish in the bottom 5 than trade away prospects for a patch-up goalie. Another year of rebuilding is not a bad idea.

    Durt, you are right….

    The only Leaf defenseman that should be traded is Komisarek. The rest are keepers.

    On another note… my Ducks stink this year.

  18. RK: Rutherford told the New and Observer today no trades or coaching changes were in the works at this time. I think that could change if this team keeps floundering.

  19. D-POC, 10-6-2 is fine but when you end up at that after starting 7-1 it raises some eyebrows. Don’t get me wrong, for them being above .500 is a fricken miracle, but to get out to the start they had, in order to sustain or not lose a stupid amount of ground they need to panic for goalies. Yeah they lack scoring depth but that’s where young talent has seemed to help out successful teams in the recent past. But they could be at 10-15-2 before you can spell Komisa…. ah sh!t forget it they just lost again.

  20. Murph, why would they trade Gunnarson – who has been one of their best defensemen (not saying much) – and replace him with Franson, who has played terrible, is not even a comparable player, and plays on the left which is one of the reasons Franson is not playing right now (he has shown he cannot play LD). The reason Aulie is not playing with the Leafs is because he did not have a good camp and has played horrible for the Marlies so far. I would be nice if he and Blacker actually challenged for a job with the Leafs but it isn’t happening right now. The Leafs need more people like Gunnarson, not fewer.

  21. Lyle, no worries I scoff at Eklund too; he doesn’t have to suggest a rumour for me to do it either.

    I want to see where some of these teams end up going in the next year… a lot of teams expected to be decent contenders… or better… definitely not fulfilling the expectations; will be some moves coming!

  22. 2nd rounder for Franson. given the history of traded picks…must be Gauthier….with Gomez as a throw in….come one Burkie, pull the trigger!!!! You know you want to!!!!! :)

  23. Here is the reality. I am a leafs fan but a bigger fan of prudent, practical business decisions that will show a return on investment.

    Defence: Burke is saying Franson isn’t available because he wants people to overpay, this is true. Looking deeper he wants GM’s to think he still has alot of faith in Schenn by his name not even being mentioned and his value therfore is higher than Franson. Teams that think they want Franson would salivate over Schenn. Furthermore he has expressed interest in Nitimaki so GM’s think he will settle for him based on experience, thus dropping the amount he may have to pay for a Turco for a signing or Clemmenson/Nabokov for a trade. Don’t rule out Schneider for Franson, Kadri and a 2nd.

    You can see the same “jockey-ing” going on with the other GM’s as they try to project themselves into a position of power in the beginning of the season, as every good business negotiator does. Everyone is trying to stave off panic mode. You see these types of games most frequently and obvious with agents during free agency. The reality is, what the media assesses and what everyone (fans) ends up thinking only feeds this scheme. Fact. Burke being the highly intelligent individual he is (experience, history and education show as fact) knows that his biggest weapon is the media and fans which can fuel and turn popular oppinions of other teams…..as crazy as that sounds. He has learned over the last few years I feel, how to utilize this into his benefit.

    I think we will not see a goalie trade. I think Wilson will use mostly Scrivens, who has done enough, if there were any offence to win against the teams they lost to, to fill in until Reimer returns shortly. Goalie concussions are rare and the likelyhood of reaccurance is highly unlikely. I think he knows this and that Reimer is due back soon. I do believe they will trade either Franson, but more likely Schenn, especially if he picks it up. If you package Schenn, Kadri, Ross (or like a Blacker) and a draft pick you will get a guy like Eric Staal or Zach Parise who are in danger of not resigning at contract end at the deadline. Either would fill the need they have without giving up Colborne, draft pick or too much d depth which is huge.

    Wake up call – Franson is better and cheaper than Schenn. He is just as good defensively not much older, better defensively and Weber’s best friend. No trade fo him. I like Schenn, but the fact is he just isn’t as good.

  24. Habsfan! – your name reveals your bias which explains your ridiculous suggestion. Sadly (I like all Canadian teams) Franson would be second or third defenseman on your team. For him this would be a huge opportunity to prove himself. Montreal would have another guy that wouldn’t fight despit his size however you would have to give up more like a draft pick and……..I actually can’t think of anyone that would be suitable for the trade. Either shit, or too good. By too good I mean Plekanak and Cammalleri…..and I suppose Paciretti even tho most people think he suffers from insomnia due to nightmares of Chara and therefore lolligags around the ice hoping not to be murdered again.

  25. Keith: I thought the smiley face and the exclaimation points covered this, it was a meant to be a ridiculous suggestion and utterly idiotic. The “joke” (for lack of a better word) hung on the fact that an unknown team offered a 2nd which Gauthier has a bad habit of trading away……Jokes are really not funny when you have to explain them….bad jokes get even worse…..

  26. Why not get Rask back?

    Boston is a favoured trading partner,

    Why not send more blue chippers to Burke’s home town.