NHL Trade & Free Agent Rumor News – September 24, 2011.

Jason Spezza to the Leafs?…Should the Rangers consider Chris Campoli?…Will the Ducks search for a veteran d-man?…What’s the latest on Ray Emery? Read on to find out!

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports TSN analyst Dave Hodge created a stir with a recent Twitter post claiming he’d spoken with family members of Senators star Jason Spezza, who believe Spezza could be headed to the Toronto Maple Leafs, though Hodge himself didn’t believe it. Garrioch also doesn’t put stock into it, noting the latest Spezza trade talk occurred last summer and quickly disappeared, as the center has bought fully into the club’s rebuilding process, while also noting the Leafs signed Tim Connolly to be their first line center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted in a recent Twitter post of my own on the subject: “Spezza to Toronto? Sure, when his Senators are playing the Leafs at the ACC. Otherwise, no, he’s not being shopped to the Leafs.”  Some of Spezza’s family might love to see Jason wearing a Leafs jersey, but as Garrioch pointed out, the center will be a Senator for a long time. His contract alone, paying him over $7 million per season, plus his full NTC makes him very difficult to move. Maybe in 2015, Spezza might leave the Senators and perhaps sign with the Maple Leafs. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers inquired about defenseman Chris Campoli soon after the Chicago Blackhawks rejected his arbitration award in July, but to date his agent claims they haven’t contract him recently. With Marc Staal doubtful to start the season due to post-concussion symptoms, Brooks is calling on Rangers management to revisit their interest in Campoli.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The problem could be how much Campoli would seek for a salary. It was rumored he sought $2.75 million per season, and while his agent appeared to suggest they might consider less than the $2.5 million he received as an arbitration award, the Rangers only have a little over $1.365 million of remaining cap space.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER’s Eric Stephens mused via “Twitter” if Ducks GM Bob Murray might look for additional blueline depth with Toni Lydman and Kurtis Foster sidelined, remembering he “signed Andreas Lilja off the scrap heap” last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps he might consider Steve Staios, who is attending the NY Islanders training camp on a tryout basis, or Anders Eriksson, currently trying out with the Vancouver Canucks.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Matt Reitz wonders if Ray Emery will find a new home with the Chicago Blackhawks, with whom he’s currently trying out, or perhaps another club like the San Jose Sharks, who just lost backup Antero Niittymaki for at least 12 weeks to hip surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks brought back Thomas Greiss from Germany over the summer, so they might not have interest in another backup if he plays well in preseason. Still, I don’t doubt Emery could catch on with another NHL team if he fails to stick with the Blackhawks.


  1. As is the case each year injury’s in camp or to start the season come into play. A lot of these unsigned players will get contracts when the injuries start piling up.

  2. Man, it’s a shame the leafs don’t have a 200 million dollar player payroll because it seems like every team wants to trade their superstars and blue chip prospects there. I mean, they had their pick of every available player, UFA/RFA/everyone, but I suppose it made more sense to settle on Connoly, Lombardi, Franson, and Liles. Like who wants to have Stamkos, Doughty, Weber, Spezza, Turris anyways right?
    I’m actually getting tired of reading all these superstars going to TO. It will never happen. Who are they going to get in return besides first round draft picks?

  3. SmielmaN, I agree that every media outlet overkills trade speculation to the Leafs. Spezza is NOT coming here. Although we have no “superstar” center, Burke signed Connolly and he’ll stick with him for atleast a year.
    In regards to what the Leafs have to offer other teams in a trade scenario, although we do have first rounders to dangle, we also have a lot of good players. You sound as though the Leafs are a garbage team devoid of any talent. We have several forwards who have, or are capable of scoring 30 goals with awesome contracts, and a very deep defence core. Our entire 2nd line is very valuable, and we have talented prospects that can fill the void if they get traded. The Habs on the other hand, outside of PK, Price, Plex, and Pach are a bunch of overpaid washed up seniors. And outside of Leblanc and Beaulieu, I doubt any of your prospects could hold a candle to the Leafs top 10 prospects. If I were an outsider looking in on both clubs, I’d be much more excited to see what the Leafs are capable of going forward then the Habs.

  4. Read in the Ottawa Citizen that it is rumoured — in the next CBA – rich teams will be allowed to exceed the salary cap — if they pay a luxury tax.

    So we lost an entire season to get the salary cap in place… only to basically go back to the way it was before the lockout, in the next CBA. Rich teams trying to buy their Cups.. (don’t know how well that worked in the past though).

    The parity the league fought so hard to get in… and it appears to be working… will be going away.

  5. Sandy, rumors do not equal truth. Relax.

  6. If Spezza is available.He will go to a western conference team with enough cap space and a chance to make the playoffs.

    If like 2005, teams are allowed to buyout contracts without being counted in the following year’s cap count, Spezza could be bought out. This would be a worst case scenario for the Senators, as they would get nothing in return and any team could sign Spezza as UFA.

    The cap count you see on cap geek, is the off season one.Players that where recalled during last season,count for part of the time they played or for all of their NHL salary average. The true cap count will start once all teams submit their 23 man active roster and players on LTIR.

  7. Durt- 1) your getting all sore again and thinking there’s a inference that the Leafs have no talent. They don’t have the talent to trade for any of those players I listed unless they are dropping 2-5 first rounders in the deal too.
    2)Cammy, Gionta, Gorges, Cole, Markov (granted, he needs to stay healthy this year), desharnais are washed up nobody’s??? You need to lay off the glue, it’s making you say crazy things! Lol. The Canadiens also have players that are “capable” of scoring 30 goals and have done so in the past too. *cough*grabo*cough*. Don’t expect 30 from him again. P.S. Connoly and Lombardi are band aids, FYI.

    But seriously, the only players I would consider that have value on the leafs are: Kessel (duh), Liles, Phanuef, kulemin, MacArthur, and Franson. In that order. The rest would have zero trade value for any star talent unless they were packaged in like a Kessel, Franson, Grabo and 1st rounder for Stamkos….. Oh no! I may have stated another silly Leafs rumor!!! Damien Cox and Eklind will be quoting me by the early evening!!!! With no credit to me, I’m sure. ;).

    Seriously Durt, there doesn’t have to be a 23 line hissy fit in which you, not me, said your team has garbage players and then try to run down the Canadiens with it. I am simply growing tired of Hearing that the best player from, what is it? 4 or 5 different teams this off season, will be going to the leafs yet no mention of who goes the other way. It’s laughable, just like every French player going to the Canadiens (except from many sources the Habs did have a deal in place for Lecavalier but one of the two feuding owners at the time nix it. Thank God because it included Pleks, Weber, and some first rounders). Justtired of Leafs acquiring a massive name and contract. They would have to ship so much out to land anyone at this point, unless it’s Calgary or a team going bankrupt. Also, the Leafs payroll is higher than the Canadiens and I believe the Canadiens have a better team. I, personally, think the Leafs defence is largely upgraded this year, but it remains to be seen if Reimer, and secondary scoring, show up. I also think they would move light years ahead if they changed coaches, but it may take another non playoff season to finally ditch Wilson. Anyways, enough massive ranting by me. Just take it easy before throwing a gauntlet of insults at me when the point of my post was how stupid some of these leafs rumors have been getting.

  8. Habs will tank this year. IF price as just a “good year” they will be in a world of trouble. Relying on Gionta Gomez and Cammy (their best player) is recipe for disaster. Their only hope is the patch can step up, hopefully the D will impress, and maybe someone can have a break out year. If they exceed expectations, I can see 8th….but I doubt it.

  9. SmielmaN, a couple of things….
    “Seriously Durt, there doesn’t have to be a 23 line hissy fit” and “Anyways, enough massive ranting by me.”
    really? Nuff said.

    2nd. “Just take it easy before throwing a gauntlet of insults at me” never once did I insult you. I said I think the Leafs have more up and coming talent, and the future looks brighter. And our established players are younger with better contracts….no personal insult there.

    3rd. I agree now, and in my first post, that I loathe media attention stating every elite player will be dealt to the Leafs, Spezza included. Stamkos, Spezza, Doughty won’t happen, media fuels this speculation because in part they’re idiots, and in part they get the attention that keeps them employed (excluding Spector of coarse…he shoots these rumors down like Chaney with a shot gun hunting peoples faces….i mean quail lol!) anyway, I think when media does this, it compramises peoples perception of the intellegence of our fan base. We don’t all think these blockbusters will happen.

    4. “I’m actually getting tired of reading all these superstars going to TO. It will never happen. Who are they going to get in return besides first round draft picks?”
    This was your original post I had a problem with. You made it sound as though we have nothing to offer but draft picks, then after my rant, you list several players that have value. Kessel, Kulemin, Grabs, Mac, Liles, Phaneuf, Franson, Kadri, Colborn all have great value, and are coveted players. Schenn is near the top of that list, but he is also more untouchable then any of them.
    So thank you for backtracking.

    5. I agree with a lot of your points on Wilson, Riemer and the D core. Connolly was a bandaid, but I disagree that Lombardi was. The Tor/Nash deal was a stroke of genius by Burke, and made us incredibly more deep. I also disagree with your view on Grabs…sounds like a case of sour grapes. To me, he’s like a Russian version of Sharp. He’s valuable, and will be a perenial 25-30 goal/60 point second line center. He’s good, thanks for him by the way, have fun with the nobodies we gave you for him lol!

  10. hahhhahahaha.
    SmileMan – you forgot Schenn. He’s blue chip.
    Durt – Cammalieri is one of the best players in the league.

    If you’re team misses the playoffs, you can’t knock a roster that made it.
    The Habs always look terrible on paper and they consistently finish well.
    A lot of people expect TOR to be better, so let them fight them own battles.

  11. Durt- just gotta bring my defense ;). Ya jumped all over me man! Lol. No biggie, I only get worked up over three things: hockey, politics, and religion (or I should say ppl that come to Canada and want us to stop saying the lords prayer in school and tell ppl to stop saying merry Christmas). I’m a policeman for this great country and it’s offensive to me to be told not to say merry Christmas!!! Wow, sidetracked. See? I get easily fired up over specific things lol. Anywho, I know your a passionate fan too. Hopefully our teams meetin the conference final. Then we can slings some quality arrows. :)
    Tuxedo- touché. Schenn could grow into a consistent #2.

  12. I think Emery’s gonna stick in Chicago. Thinking history (Turco) and what makes most sense, a veteran guy like Emery would be prefered.

    I thought about Manny Legace for SJ more than Emery.

  13. I don’t think the Habs’ forwards are the problem. I’d have no trouble saying Plekanec/Cammalleri/Gionta/Cole/Pacioretty/Gomez/Kostitsyn as a top 7 would make the playoffs. Eller’s coming into his own, Darche is a warrior, Desharnais is an exciting player to watch, and Moen has all that experience and grit. Expect Price to play well in the regular season. But what about D? Markov, Gill, and Spacek aren’t getting any younger. Sure, they’re solid when they’re healthy, but putting them through 82 games? Subban is good but still makes mistakes, Gorges is rock solid but coming off a big injury, and Weber and Yemelin are basically third pairing material for now. Habs need to see a defenseman packaged with some of the forward depth for a D with less question marks surrounding him.

  14. SmielmaN….glove tap.

  15. If Price doesnt shine, Habs are out.

  16. Leafs fans are hilarious.

  17. If Jason Spezza were to be traded (extremely unlikely) it will not be to the division/provincial rival Toronto Maple Leafs. Nothing to do with what talent Toronto may have or not have but more to do with the rivalry and not wanting to see your former best player come back to haunt you eight times a season +.
    Question, if he were to be traded who would be Ottawa’s #1 centre? Answer, no-one.

  18. There’s plenty of reason’s why Spezza won’t be going to the Leafs, or any other team, but the argument that Toronto signed Connolly to be their #1 center is almost laughable. I like Connolly, really I do, but to say he’s fragile would be an understatement and even when he’s healthy I wouldn’t really call him a true #1 guy in the NHL. He’s never scored 20 goals or over 65 points in a season. When healthy he’s a solid second liner that can step up in a pinch and a powerplay-specialist.

    If Toronto had the opportunity to get Spezza, they wouldn’t stop because they already had Connolly.

  19. No matter who says what..I believe that the only way Jason Spezza becomes a Maple Leaf, is when and only when, he becomes a free agent and chooses to sign with the Maple Leafs

  20. I whole heartedly agree with everyone above who says Spezza won’t be traded to the Leafs. It’s radiculous.

  21. I feel like Connolly is getting a terrible rapport these days. He’s not Crosby, but he’s not a scrub either. He’s at least as skilled as someone like Gomez, but he comes at a friendlier cap hit.

  22. Durt

    problem is that the Habs WILL always find a way to stay competitive even during rebuild. Leafs not so much

  23. Rye Bear, the Habs weren’t so competitive before the lockout. They where bottom dwellers not too long ago. And they haven’t been a contender since the 90’s.

  24. Smileman and Durt.. Your both respectable guys, with respectable opinions who stand for respectable causes. That’s what hockey is all about.
    Go Leafs Go! Haha good work boys!