NHL Rumors – September 29, 2011.

Lots of speculation over potential roster moves by the Flyers….Latest on the Predators…Update on Drew Doughty and Niklas Kronwall…Leafs shopping blueliners?…Weber the odd man out for the Canadiens?…Staios could be signed by the Islanders.

PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli and Sam Carchidi reported the Flyers roster could include rookies Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn to open the season, leading to their speculating how to fit both under the club’s cap. Seravalli wondered if they could carry Oskars Bartulis should Chris Pronger be ready for opening night, and if so, it could mean moving a forward, perhaps Blair Betts. The team cannot meet the 23-man roster maximum by carrying two extra forwards and an extra defenseman. Carchidi suggested the status of Schenn’s shoulder injury could factor into any decision on his future, and noted GM Paul Holmgren said fitting Couturier’s salary under the cap could be a tight one, as it would leave them roughly $267K in available space.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports a “club source” said the likelihood of a trade seemed “pretty good”, noting the hot rumor has Scott Hartnell on the trade block.. Panaccio believes Hartnell’s salary makes him vulnerable as the Flyers apparently want to free up some cap space. Two sources told Panaccio Matt Read has made the team. Jody Shelley’s salary still counts against the cap when the season starts despite his suspension, unless he’s demoted, which the Flyers apparently aren’t willing to do just to get around the cap for a few days.

PHILLYBURBS.COM: Wayne Fish however reports Holmgren appeared to suggest Schenn might not be on the team when the season opens next week, saying he didn’t know if the injury would have any bearing upon that. The Flyers can also give Couturier a “ten game test drive” before deciding to keep him for the rest of the season or send him back to junior.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving Hartnell would certainly be extreme, and his recent heart scare might make other teams a little leery. Let’s not forget Hartnell’s salary might not be easy to move and he also has a “no-trade” clause, which would at the very least limit potential destinations. While I’ll admit anything is possible, I think the Flyers would prefer to move players like Bartulis or Betts via trade or demotion rather than dumping Hartnell. Should be interesting to see how this shakes out.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile met with Ryan Suter’s agent last weekend and Pekka Rinne’s agent last week. Both are eligible for UFA status next summer and the Preds will be aggressive in trying to re-sign both…Nothing much to report on the Drew Doughty contract negotiations, but LeBrun guesses the Kings management could reach out to Doughty’s agent one more time to try to get a contract done….The Maple Leafs newfound depth has management working the phones to see if there’s interest in trades, with Carl Gunnarsson and Tyler Bozak amongst the names discussed, though LeBrun said there’s nothing close on any deal…Contract talks are well underway between the Detroit Red Wings and defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who’ll be eligible for UFA status next summer and is believed seeking a deal similar to that signed by Christian Ehrhoff with the Buffalo Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t surprise me if Suter and Rinne are re-signed prior to next summer. Management really wants to retain the pair…I could see the Doughty situation stretching into October, and coming to a head by the end of that month, depending on how the Kings are doing without him in the lineup. If the Kings are playing well, that could force Doughty into signing, but if the Kings are playing poorly, that would give Doughty the leverage to get the deal he wants. We’ll see…Leafs fans might not like the notion of Bozak being shopped…Ehrhoff’s deal was a ten year, heavily front loaded deal worth $4 million per season. Not sure if Kronwall would get that, but I do believe he and the Wings will work something out which both keeps him on the club long-term, and give the Wings a cap-friendly deal.

CANADIAN PRESS: Robert Laflamme reports  the Montreal Canadiens signing of Chris Campoli could make Yannick Weber the odd man out Canadiens blueline. They’ve now moved him up to defense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs want more time to evaluate Alexei Yemelin and Raphael Diaz. Still, it’s possible Weber could be used as a forward or a power-play specialist by the Habs heading into this season.He could  become possible trade bait later in the season, especially when Andrei Markov returns to action.

NEW YORK TIMES: Christopher Botta suggested veteran defenseman Steve Staios, who is attending NY Islanders training camp on a tryout, “will likely be signed” by the club.


  1. Leafs shopping Gunnarsson is more of a surprise than Bozak but it’ would be nice if they could find a way to unload Komasarek instead

  2. Blair Betts….please. The Flyers best penalty killer, good faceoff guy and a 700K contract. Tell me how they benefit by trading him…..anybody who has watched several Flyer games would understand exactly what I’m saying. Some Flyer beat writer trying to make a headline….it’s bogus.
    Couturier probably won’t be making the team. Watching him during preseason shows defensive mistakes and he could beneift from gaining a few pounds. I’m also not convinced Schenn makes the team either, outside his faceoff percentage, he hasn’t really impressed, but you never know with him because he’s “best talent in the system that’s not in the NHL” as they say. I wasn’t surprised to see Matt Read as a lock, this guy was very impressive during the games I watched.
    But back to the Blair Betts trade….c’mon, it doesn’t even make sense.

  3. Bozak doesn’t suprise me either. The kids good, it’s not like i’d want to give him away. But we have a glut of second/third line centres. Connolly is on the first line, Grabs on the second, and we still have Lombardi, Kadri, Colborne who could all make a case for third line centre, with pluggers Boyce, Dupius or Ziggomanis filling out the fourth line. Bozak could be a good second line centre on a rebuilding team, or a third liner on a team that likes to roll three lines. I wouldn’t be suprised if he gets traded…my guess to the Avs.

  4. Why would Leafs trade Bozak now? Yes, Leafs have Connolly but if (when?) he gets injured you’ve got Grabo and a bunch of 4th liners left. Lack of depth at centre killed the Leafs last year.

  5. I am suprised to hear that Schenn may not start with the big club… that makes me question that trade’s benefit to the Flyers in the short term. I can’t imagine a situation where he goes to the AHL and Couturier sticks….

    Gunnarson looks like he might b solid 2nd pairing defenceman down the road- i would not be so quick to trade a guy like that. he may take another season or so to get there, but he is big, quick, and can move the puck. He reminds me of an Erhoff type (Remember Erhoff started out very shaky his first few seasons in San Jose).

    Bozak, given some time, can prove to be a very valuable depth centre for a team. He is very fast, has smarts, and quite a lot of skill. i don’t think he translates into a high scoring type of player, but is going to be a good 2nd line centre, or well above average 3d line centre.

    Packaging those two players together and shipping them to a team looking towards the future might land the Leafs a player who can significantly help them now. The question is… who? Needless to say, if anyone can make the deal happen, Burke and Nonis are not afraid to pull the trigger.

  6. Re: Rinne

    Doesn’t managements past history with goaltender management lead to the high possibility of Rinne getting traded at some point this season? Vokun, Ellis, and Mason all put up great numbers with Nashville and were moved (or let go) for the next goalie in line. Lindback is looking like a solid option and given how cost conscious Nashville is, a move between the pipes would not surprise me at all.

  7. Doughty won’t gain too much leverage based on the way the Kings start the season. If they start well , it hurts DD’s position. It they start off slow, is it because of no DD or the Kings starting in Europe? Don’t most teams that start in Europe seem sluggish for a couple of weeks after coming back. I’m CERTAIN the Kings would use that logic if the team struggles rather than giving DD any extra leverage. Just a thought…

  8. I think it would be a mistake to trade Hartnell. He’s stil a really good winger. But consider that Wayne Simmonds has been playing in Hartnell’s place on the pp during pre-season. Just saying, for the right return, like a younger roster player back, I coud see the Flyers moving Hartnell is they could save a couple million in salary.

  9. Puckhead, Betts was awesome on the Rangers. The guy was great in the faceoff circle and outstanding on the PK. Really wish the Rangers had kept him, but I guess spending big money on Gomez and Drury was more important that year.

  10. I would hate to see Gunnarson go, but the reality is, if you listened to BB on radio yesterday, Komisarek is a keeper. . That worries me.

  11. Ya Murph, I was listening to that interview. He stands by his signing of Komisarek, so we’ll just have to live with that. I think there is a chance he could be traded at the end of the season/next offseason when there are only 2 years and $7 million left owed on his contract.

  12. According to Kings.com, the Kings and Doughty have agreed (verbally) to an 8 year contract

  13. Why wouldn’t Leafs fans like the idea of Bozak being shopped? He is a decent 3rd liner, possibly fringe 2nd liner but he is the 4th center on the depth chart at the moment and they also have Boyce, Dupuis, Zigomanis and Colborne who are all capable of filling Bozak’s spot on the 4th line.

    Honestly, I think Leafs fans would love the opportunity to trade Bozak for a pick or a prospect since they would be maximizing the asset instead of wasting Bozak’s talents on the 4th line.