NHL Saturday Morning Rumor Mill – June 7, 2014

Latest on Martin Brodeur, Ryan Kesler, Joe Thornton, Jarome Iginla and more. 

Martin Brodeur will test this summer's UFA market.

Martin Brodeur will test this summer’s UFA market.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur intends to test this summer’s UFA market. He said if he goes to a team as a number-two goalie it’ll be with a Stanley Cup contender. Brodeur feels he has one more season left in him.

NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports contract extension talks have begun between the Devils and goalie Cory Schneider, who will be eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. He said a contract extension wouldn’t hinge upon whether Martin Brodeur returned to the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schneider is now the undisputed starter with the Devils. I expect they’ll re-sign him this summer to a long-term deal. Any team signing Brodeur should understand they’re not getting the goalie who carried the Devils to five Stanley Cup Finals and three Cup championships. He’s now well past his prime, but could be an effective mentor and backup to a Cup contender with a promising starter.

TSN.CA: Darren Dreger claims Canucks center Ryan Kesler still wants out of Vancouver. He has six teams he’s willing to accept being dealt to, and Anaheim and Philadelphia could be among them. Pierre LeBrun claims the Canucks want more than “futures” for Kesler, as they also need a player who can help them now. Bob McKenzie claims Kesler being on the market could adversely affect the Senators efforts to move center Jason Spezza. LeBrun adds it could get more interesting if the Sharks put either Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau on the trade block.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Canucks asking price for Kesler could be expensive, it’ll likely be more affordable than the one for Spezza (rumored to be a player, first-round pick and top prospect). 

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports contract extension talks between the Blackhawks and agent Pat Brisson, who represents Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.  Contract talks are ongoing between the Lightning and Ryan Callahan, and the Canadiens and Brian Gionta. Thomas Vanek still intends to test this summer’s UFA market. LeBrun doubts Hurricanes GM Ron Francis will entertain trade offers for Eric Staal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews and Kane aren’t leaving the Blackhawks. Both will be re-signed to long-term deals worth between $8.5 – $9.5 million annually. Callahan’s asking price must be lower than the six-year, $39 million contract he sought from the Rangers if he hopes to remain with the Lightning. I think the Habs hope to re-sign Gionta to a two-year deal. 

TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger reports the Maple Leafs are among six teams who’ve reportedly kicked the tires on San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton, though no offers have been swapped between the two clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton could be a good short-term fit on the Leafs first line. Phil Kessel could hit the 50-goal mark with Thornton as his set-up man. Still, it remains to be seen if Thornton will agree to be dealt (he’s got a full no-movement clause on his current and new contracts), let alone agree to be dealt to the Leafs. 

TVA SPORTS: Renaud Lavoie reports agent Don Meehan confirms he’s negotiating a new contract for his client Jarome Iginla with the Boston Bruins.


  1. Of the three (Thornton, Spezza, Kesler), I think the best player is Spezza, but I would still trade for Thornton. Spezza and Kesler may be really good players, but they have hips like grammas and Spezza also has back problems.

    They play like first line centers, but is it a first line center if you only get them for a third of the season? It’s difficult to pick up players like that. No wonder Ottawa/Vancouver wants to trade these players. You can’t count on winning any championship if your best players are always injured.

    Thornton is rarely injured and he’d befit a second line center role and a power play easily. Thing is, why would Toronto be interested? They have two fairly decent centers in the first two roles… are they going to deal Kadri after all?

  2. I jonestly doubt Thorton (or any other older center) would waive a ntc to come to Toronto to play 2 C behind Bozak, they eillwant yo play with Kessel not Clarkson. With Randy as the coach and the reports that Bozak is 1 of the 4 “untouchable” types in To. I doubt there are sny changes coming to the top line. The long and short of this story is if there is a deal for a center out there and that center has any kind of NTC you might aswell scratch Toronto off the list of possible destinations, they will not waive to come here. Its a buisness to players too when itcomes to negotiating your next deal you are going to want to play with a potential point machine like Kessel not Clarkson.

    • Thornton would be the #1. Bozak is the current #1 by default…they had nobody better.

      • Yep thats the way a logical person would think, but a logical person would also probably put the guy with nearly 100 points over the past 2 years playing second line minutes (and with less talented players) and limited pp time (Kadri) as center of a top line instead of Bozak the guy whos never hit 50 points and only has 78 points over the past 2 years playing with Kessel and JVR.

        • Bozak is untouchable because if he gets traded Kessel will sulk and won’t try to mesh with the new number one center. There you go, now you know who is really running this team.

  3. Rutherfords next move….signing Brodeur?

    • Agreed!

    • No trading for Cam Ward –> Fleury.

      Kyle Woodlief called me a few days ago and he thought there were 21 viable prospects worth a first round pick, and not top tier early picks that all the last decade of drafts provided. So after pick 21, every team is gonna go and get the kid that they feel most comfortable with character wise, the kid they think that WILL work hard to remore the “warts” that picks 22-210 are filled with. the guys from 22 on are going to be comporable to the playrs taken in the late second and third in the PAST to drafts…guys that are far away and even after they work hard to get close to pro, they probably end up as lower end pros.
      The curious thing about this draft class being so weak, the teams are going to be willing to try and will NHL rosters by trades and they may be much more inclined to deal picks after 21.
      And whose to say teams selecting in the mid-first will look at the board and feel there is little long term help for team and they deal the picks for pro players that help now.
      I am stating all this simply because NHL teams usually balance draft day between securing the FUTURE and facelifting the present. I think clubs may be more willing to pick one option and hope that the guys they do take after 21-210 break the common thought of theur upside with hard work and do become NHL answers…

      • Highly unlikely Rutherford brings in Ward lol. Fleury’s better then Ward hands down. Maybe trades Fleury and brings in Hiller or Miller.

        • Flower is also better than Hiller and Miller…..moot point – MAF isn´t going anywhere

  4. This rumour or speculation of Thornton being bandied about is something the Maple Leafs should not I repeat not even consider. The Leafs need to stop signing Players that are at the end if their career.. Not to say Thornton is!

    They need to get players that can grow with the team and have longevity …Mats Sundin type of player and age is a great example of a trade that needs to be explored and consummated moving forward! I say hire the best Coaches, scouts, trainers, psychologist,and change their play book … Put blinders on what every team is doing and create an Elite team – habit of excellence and winning culture… Spend $$ on your System and not on prima doña players with attributed habits that cannot be changed!

  5. With (if) centers available this year include Spezza Thorton Kessler, it will be a good year to be a UFA like Stasny, without having to deal the assets his contract demands could be very high that or I could see the price of all these centers may be a little less than normal. Supply and demand.

    • It’s gonna come down to: do the Avs want to give PS another 5-6 yr contract? NM is a terrific right winger and I could see PS signing with the up-and-coming Avs for a hair under $6M. If not, he’ll get closer to $7M from a team like ANA or STL

      • If he was going to sign for under 6 mill for 5 years it would already be done. I’m betting he wants 6 mill at least and long term. 6-7 years 36-42 mill from the Avs with ntc’s and all that jazz. Open market he gets close to 7 easy.

  6. Just remember whos list of 4 untouchables that was; Nick Kypreos.

    • True

  7. Brodeur
    Said it before, say it again – Ducks should go after Brodeur. He would be perfect role model / teacher for Gibson / Anderson. They have plenty of cap space with 48 million committed for 19 players leaving about 22 million open. Offer him a MILLION extra just to make it happen. Who better than Brodeur to tutor the kids on a winning attitude and be there just in case everything falls apart and take over in next years playoffs.

    Sorry Leaf fans, I don’t get what is going on there. Thornton as a Leaf – REALLY ?
    1) The only way SJ trades Thornton to Leafs is if they get youth back. You prepared to
    trade Morgan Rielly or your #1 pick this year ?
    2) Why in the world would you break up the chemistry of Kessel / Bozak / JVR – IT WORKS.
    Don’t you really need to leave first line alone and tweak the 2nd line ?
    3) Isn’t the Leafs real problem on “D” and when I say “D” I mean a Defensive minded “D” man not
    a player who concentrates on the offensive side ?
    4) Trading youth for Thornton just takes you back to the days of trading the future to sneak into the playoffs
    Today. Been there – Done That.

    • On Brodeur…

      The guy has really nothing left. He has stated that he wants to be a starter on a Stanley Cup contender. The only place I can see him being a starter on a team that could win a Stanley Cup next season is Minnesota.

      On Thornton & Leafs
      – I doubt they land him. He’s in San Jose for awhile IMO.

      • The only place Brodeur will be a starter is in a beer league.

        As a Wild fan we don’t want Brodeur, we already have 1 old goalie that sucks and is past his prime (Backstrom).

        No way Fletcher signs him, Hiller or Miller are better options.

    • As I said wouldnt matter anyway Thornton would not waive a ntc to come to s nonplayoff team and be a 2 c (not that I think he is a 2 c just cant see Carlyle splitting up Bozak and Kessel only god knows why)

    • I’ve gotta believe if offered Bozak + the Sharks would be willing to listen. If they hold firm on getting a player like Morgan Rielly they will have Joe in their lineup next season because nobody is going to go there. He’s soon to be 36 years old and outside of Garth Snow nobody trades 20 yr old stud d-men for guys who might only have 1 or 2 years left as high end players.

      • Player (maybe a couple players if they were more depth type guys) and a pick, Leafs or otherwise, no one is giving up their best 20 year old prospect for Thornton he is 35 years old. I agree with you Jeff.

      • not flaming the Leafs or lashing out at leaf fans…

        If all you are getting back is a Bozak type player, hwy would you make that move?

        • Im not agreeing it would be Bozak…just if they move Thorton I could not see them getting Rielly and the 8 pick +, if they move Thorton I could see possibly Finn and Kadri something along those lines. Good D prospect, a 23 year old who had nearly 50 point at center and 4 mill in cap space to possibly pick up a UFA. Good young player and a good but not a teams best prospect and cap space. Same as from any other team, a 35 year year old player with a 6.5 mill cap hit isnt bringing in a huge return.

  8. Of the three centers you mentioned, Kesler has by far the best trade value. Contract age and all around game favour Kesler.

    • Id take Thornton over Kesler even for the extra money…1.75 mill more for a proven top line C he is pretty durable way better offensively and if not as good almost as good defensively. No question about it. Kesler is going to be 30 (not exactly young either) age isnt all that big a difference and his style of play leads to injuries. Id take Thornton.

      • Agree with Shticky. I’d take Thornton over Kesler. I’d probably take Spezza over the other two though.

  9. Shticky, Thornton does not play the same game as Kesler does. He may have higher offensive upside but he is no where near the the chops defensively that Kesler does. I still honestly believe Kesler will be injury free for the next few years, he even said he needed to adjust his game and not play with reckless abandon like hes done in the past. IMO Kesler is worth a touch more based on his ability to be a shut down center as well as an offensive threat. I hope he is traded to Anaheim or Philadelphia (Perrault or B. Schenn plus) plus they both have teams that have that are a piece or two away from the SC finals. Mind you i am a bit biased as a Canucks fan, but from what I have seen of jumbo Joe, hes not as good a two way threat like Kesler.

    • Just because he says he’s going to adjust his game doesn’t mean it’ll happen. He’s been playing like this for years and years, hard to change that. Look at guys like Kaleta, Cooke and Torres all have said they will make the necessary adjustments to their game yet they always make a return back to their old style of play.

      • Thornton has been in the league how long 14-15 years I cant recall off hand but has been a minus player once maybe twice and doubtfully more than s -4 or something ridiculious while all his other seasons are plus double digits, I dont think Kesler has even close to the same numbers, I dont care that Kesler “plays a different game” Thornton is the better center good defensively with his reach, far and away superior ofensively, and more durable, because he does not “play a different game” which once you hit 30 and over leads to alot of nagging type injuries. Id take Thornton over Kesler, and for once I agree with Jes Id probably take Spezza over Kesler aswell. Kesler is a decent 2 type center or has been in his career but not even close to Spezza and Thornton as a 1.

        • I would take either player over Spezza. Dont get me wrong, Spezza is a very good player. But if I had to choose between the two of Kesler or Thornton, I would probably go with Thornton. (if the cost of players were the same). I just like the idea of having two big PF typ centers for teams to have to play against in back to back shifts. And his passing ability will make your #1 PP better. Kesler is probably better in the circle than Jumbo Joe, faster, and maybe defensively. But I really think the Ducks will land Kesler when all is said and done. Just seems like a perfect fit for the #2 center role. I like the idea of having Silferberg and etem on a line with Kesler. And keeping Bonino and Maroon together on the third line.

  10. If the Wild can figure out how to handle the Josh Harding situation gracefully they could have interest in Brodeur. Then go with 3 goalies Kuemper, Brodeur and Backstrom since they can’t use a compliance buyout for the latter. Most Wild fans love Harding but feel the battle to stay in the game has gone on long enough and possibly cost the Wild a legit chance at winning it all this past season.

    Oh and I think Vanek will definitely sign with the Wild if they show interest in him. He’s told a number of people in Minnesota he would take a hometown discount to play near his off-season home.

  11. Man I would live to somehow remove phaneuf in any deal. Not just for Thornton. I’d love to have Thornton yo replace bozak. As long as the deal is around that then yes. I suspect San Jose wants d or wingers comming back though. Still should rather see the leafs rebuild right

  12. I think any rebuild with the Leafs would start with acquiring a defenseman like Weber so the new team identity would be centered around elite defensive play. What ever it takes to get that ball rolling is worth it IMO.

    • Again with Weber…if building a winner involves “aquiring a player like Weber” why would any team trade a player like Weber for any price? You dont think the teams that have “a player like Weber” dont want to win? Nonsense, Weber is not going anywhere anytime soon, neither is Doughty Pietroangelo Suter Keith Chara etc.

      • And if they were so inclined to trade such a player it would involve the team trying to aquire a player like Weber striping their roster to the bones, thus having only “a player like Weber” to play for them…remind me again how many Division titles, Confrence championships, President trophies, or Cups the Preds have? They had Weber and Suter a very good defensive team and coach and Goalie and never made it past the second round.

      • Some of these guys very well could be made available. Why? because it is a business first and foremost. You know, Profit… Duh

        • How do you make higher profits?….win and get playoff revenue, and if one player is such a key piece to winning he wont be traded.

  13. Weber is to build around.
    Remind me how many times the Leafs have even made the playoffs since your boy Nonis has been with the organization?

    • Genius like you knows that a player like Weber would maybe help a team get beter but 29 other gms dont know that and Nonis is just too stupid to figire it out?

  14. Fool, Im not saying the Leafs have a great record Im saying that you cant tell me that if they get “a player like Weber” it means everything is going to turn around. They would have to trade anything or everything thst is decent about the team now to make the deal they would need cap room, and then it would tske at least 4-5 years to rebuild and replenish picks and players after that, which there is no saying they are better than the players they have now and by the time its all said snd done Weber down the road 5 or 6 years may not be as dominant as he is today. Quit whining about how the grass would be greener if we only had a guy like Weberits not going to happen. 29 other tesms would like Weber too, try switching it up a little why dont you whine sbout if we only had a guy like Crosby Toews or Kopitar because its just about as likely to happen.