NHL Trade and Free Agent News – May 4, 2012.

Pending UFAs whose playoff performances has improved their value, and updates  on the Sharks and Stars. 

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance recently listed Dustin Penner, Francis Bouillon, Alexander Semin, Bryce Salvador, Matt Carle and Mike Knuble as pending UFAs who’ve been using the playoffs to improve their value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of these, Semin and Carle should generate the most interest if they hit the open market this summer.

Could the Sharks trade Niemi?

CSNBAYAREA.COM: Brodie Brazil recently responded to e-mail questions from Sharks fans, saying he believes the club could be involved in at least one “wow!” trade this summer, pointing out that GM Doug Wilson recently said players with no-trade/movement clauses have windows of opportunity to be moved, similar to Dany Heatley’s last summer.  Brazil also dismissed speculation of Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash coming to San Jose, saying Nash doesn’t want to go there  touched on the rumored interest in Columbus’ Rick Nash and doubted the Sharks would shop Antti Niemi unless they’ve got a plan to suitably replace him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg. Given Wilson’s comment about possibly moving players with trade/movement clauses, I concur with Brazil we could see another “wow” trade from the Sharks, comparable to their shipping out Heatley last summer. Unless Nash has a change of heart, it doesn’t seem like he’ll become a Shark this summer.

Also, I misread Brazil’s comments on Nash, as he was referring to Nash not wishing to be in Columbus any longer. My apologies for the error and any confusion it may have caused, and my thanks to those of you who pointed it out. I do recall a rumor prior to this year’s trade deadline suggesting Nash wouldn’t want to be dealt to a Western Conference team. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika recently addressed a reader’s question regarding the possibility of the Stars signing Brad Boyes or Jiri Hudler, suggesting it would be better if the Stars promoted a player in their system than signing Boyes, and feels the Wings could be the only team capable of getting the best out of Hudler.


  1. It is really tough when you throw money at people who just have major playoff performances.
    Like, Penner has 6 points in these playoffs… While he had a grand total of 17 all season (65 games). That’d be tough seeing a team give him a a similar paycheck like he was earning this year for that poor of a regular season. I mean, there are guys who just come out for the playoffs.

    Semin will get big money this off-season. He’s top tier talent that has a big time scoring touch.

    I don’t know what the Sharks will be doing this summer. Their core outside of Clowe and Couture are getting up there in age… and of course those two players are the ones that most people will want trade wise.
    I could see Marleau moving. He’s still a 60+ point player, just aging. Could see teams looking for a bit of a scoring help taking a gamble on him, as long as the price isn’t too steep.

    Anyways, I’m looking forward to the rest of the playoffs and then the off-season in a big way.

    • Personally, I think that post-playoff contracts can be killers. Bergenheim, Leino & Ward all got overpaid in light of last year’s performances.

      Brad Richards basically got paid for his Conn Smythe with TB and has taken many years of “pretty good” hockey to get close to jusfifying his paycheque this playoffs. JS Giguere also made big cash after his Conn Smythe and, to my mind, never earned a big raise.

      Not to say playoff performances have no value – it’s obviously big. But if someone pays Penner $$$ for his playoffs this year…. yikes.

  2. I can honestly say that I can see Marleau getting traded. He still has alot of good years left in the league but his time in San Jose has run its course.

    Niemi won’t be traded. The Sharks can’t exactly just replace him and do need a starting goalie. If the Sharks do opt for a full on rebuild you could see both Thorton and Marleau moved out of town this summer. That would certainly make an interesting situation and shake things up across the league.

    • The fans were mad when Doug Wilson traded both Heatley and Setoguchi. They’ll ask for his head if he were to trade Thornton and Marleau.

  3. I suspect the Blues will be filling one roster spot with Tarasenko next year.

  4. I’m surprised that Nash does not want to go to SJ.

  5. I thought Nash wanted to go to SJ because of his man-love for Thornton? Maybe that talk was all hogwash in the past… ?

    I agree that Tarasenko will be with the Blues next season- that team needs a scoring upgrade. I wouldn’t be suprised to see them trade Chris Stewart either. They got more than they bargained for out of Shattinkirk, so I think they will use Stewart to bring in a more skilled. less physical player.

    • Nikk, I was thinking the same thing about Chris Stewart. He’s been a healthy scratch for almost half the playoffs. It seems he’s a the very least expendible to fill some holes. I was waiting for a Leaf article to post this but I was toying with the idea of a Leafs/Blues swap. Burke wants to get bigger, and the Blues look a little burnt out on the pp when Pietrangelo was out. Maybe Macarthur, Franson and a prospect (not named Kadri or Colborne) or a pick (not the 5th overall) for Stewart. Leafs get bigger, Blues fill holes.

  6. I see Semin signing with Dallas, Colorado or Florida next year. I want to say for 5 mill, but he’ll probably get 6. These three teams have a lot of grit and could use a slick, albeit rather one dimensional offensive winger.

  7. Brodie Brazil knows as much about hockey as well nobody. Too use him as a source is ridiculous. As for the Sharks I disagree with his take on Nash, and I disagree with his take on a Niemi. Niemi is gone, and the Sharks will go younger their with there 3 minor league prospects.

    • I totally agree with you on Brodie he’s green when it comes to hockey. Think they should shop Niemi also. But don’t know exactly what you could get for him? He really looked shacky in the net at times this year. And I would like to see Stalock,or Sexsmith make the move to the NHL level. With Stalock’s set back a year ago I don’t know that the Sharks want to bring him in yet. But he’s definitly my choice of the two.

    • Niemi should be gone. Or, at least I hope that he is! The Sharks should bring up Alex Stalock! He has far better mechanics than Niemi, with plenty of upside.

  8. I thought Chris Stewart was a fantastic player in his Colorado days. I don’t know what happened to him. A trade would probably be good for him. A team like the Leafs would like his “truculent” style.

  9. Spector, I think you misread Brazil’s comments about Nash’s desires. Brazil didn’t say that Nash doesn’t want to go to San Jose, he said that Nash doesn’t want to be in Columbus:

    “We do know two things about Columbus: Rick Nash doesn’t want to be there, and they have already declared going a different direction in their goaltender position.”

    Big difference!

  10. Heres a trade I could envision: Marleau and Niemi for Luongo Ballard and a pick/prospect.

    • A Luongo trade to SJ would make sense under one condition; if there were a third team involved. Sending Niemi back to Vancouver wouldn’t work because the Canucks are trying to get rid of a goalie. I think that it’s important to note that Luongo hasn’t played poorly at all. He has simply not played his best in the games that matter the most. He is still a very good goalie, he is just turning the corner on his career and falling out of that elite status which he held for many years and which he is being paid to be. Schnider will be an elite goalie in the league and is still much younger than Luongo. To bring back Niemi, a middle to upper middle range starter in the league does not make sense unless another team is involved.

      Marleau to Vancouver does make sense however. and Ballard on his way out of Vancouver does make sense. I think Ballard needs a change of venue and can still be a solid 3-4 d man in the league with the right club/right system. Mason Raymond is in the same situation and I think you will see the Canucks not even qualify his RFA status this off season as well. Malhotra as well will see a new team this year.

      I think the Canucks major problem lies with the coach. He doesn’t play a full on system at all. It’s just the globetrotters: Sedin edition. He will officially lose his job in less than a week.

      The Sharks do need a change and it has to do with their back end and top 6. Their top 6 older core has failed to achieve at the level they should in the playoffs as well. Marleau will pay the price as he has constantly been a disappointment. There was such great hope for him since his draft day. In San Jose their back end has 4 defense above the age of 32. While Boyle has been great for years, he’s falling off the map. Murry has become slow as well with his age. He was never overly fast to begin with. Their back end is really exposed right now in my opinion. St. Louis made quick work of them and we see now how their doing against a solid 6 in LA.


      I like the concept behind Stewart to Toronto and I feel it’s a realistic situation. But I think Stewarts stock has fallen dramatically and he won’t fetch anything close to what the Blues gave up for him. I think you might see Macarthur and a prospect traded for him.

      • You wont get to the promise land as long as you have the Sedin boys. Teams in the NHL these days need to have at least 3 lines that can contribute scoring. A good defense that block shots and a good to great goaltender.Not to mention as much speed as you can muster up in these positions also. This all needs to happen while not over spending on one or two player. Because once that happens it effects the amount of talent on your other lines. If you notice the Coyotes, Blues, could mention more all have lots of young talent they have brought up from within there systems and have become dominate teams in the NHL. These guys keep their payroll at a controllible level. And they dont have one paticular scoring line that you can match up against cause the depth is spred out among all the lines. This make for a much more defensive style game but it is affective. Boring neutral ice battles but that’s the way the game is going again. New Jersey played defensive boring hockey for years and its back.

  11. Gionta and a 2nd for Marleau please. Habs get the better player and Sharks get economy.

  12. Durt, Toronto obviously comes to mind and they have a history of dealing with St.Louis.

    However, that package for Stewart is far too high. I agree with BigBoss that he can be had for macarthur and a middle range prospect.

    • They may even take a 3rd rounder.

  13. Nikk, the man, if it cost less to grab him then great! I usually try to error on the side of the other team when making Leaf trade proposals. If I listed a small package I’d probably get ripped for being a homer. But honestly I think it would take more then Mac and a 3rd. They would be better off keeping Stewart. They would know BB would want him for second line scoring duty and would produce more on the Leafs then the Blues. I also think they would prefer a Dman. Their pp fizzled when Pietrangelo missed action, and Franson has a really hard accurate shot, I see a better fit. Maybe Franson a second rounder and a low prospect or someone like Lashoff. Or maybe my original package for Stewart and a prospect.

    • @ Durt

      I can understand the concern for being jumped on. All I know is there is no way BB sits on his hands this summer. Players better be talking to their families. Things are going to change in TO as well as in Buffalo.

  14. Thornton isn’t going anywhere and actually Doug Wilson got a vote of confidence from Shark ownership while MacLellan didn’t. I didn’t think MacLellan is the answer and perhaps ownership might be thinking the same thing. Marleau will be the scapegoat and he’ll end up getting traded. While most teams are desiring Clouture, the Sharks will need to resign Mitchell, Winchester and Winnek as well as address the needs of an aging D – possibly looking to replace White, Vandermeer and in my opinion Murray. They also need to get Dejardins and Ferriero signed to a deal as they are RFAs. I think the Sharks trade bait is either Pavelski or Clowe. I still like Niemi and there is always a shortage of goalies – so I don’t see them moving him out.

    I’ve been saying – I’d love to see a trade of Vanek, Roy and Weber for Pavelski and Clowe – I think both teams would benefit.

  15. @Steve

    Ok, I see your trade, but why would these be the guys to fix Buffalo. Clowe I can see is a hitter and brings that presence and lower cap hit than Vanek. But isnt this a potential push for both teams. Nobody really gets better??

    What about the rumour Edmonton is interested in Stafford? Is there anything there worth asking for? I only see that trade a step to making a bigger bang with someone else. Ex Stafford for 1st in 2013 and non roster player with potential. Then those two items to say Pitt along with the Preds 1st this year and Roy for Staal?