NHL Trade Rumors – February 1, 2012.

The latest on Jeff Carter, Ryan Suter, Shane Doan, Lubomir Visnovsky, Nicklas Grossman and Marek Zidlicky, plus updates on the Senators, Flyers and Red Wings.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports multiple source confirm the Blue Jackets have placed Jeff Carter on the trade block, but Carter shrugs off the trade rumors, saying his focus is on getting healthy and returning to the team as soon as possible.  Carter said he has not asked to be traded. GM Scott Howson declined to comment on the rumors, but did say he recently met with Carter’s agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fact Howson won’t comment on the rumors speaks volumes. We now know for certain Carter’s on the trade block, as TSN’s Darren Dreger first reported over a week ago, but the question is, how difficult will it be for the Blue Jackets to move his big contract? It’s not impossible to trade him, but that contract is almost as good as a “no-trade” clause. I think the odds will be better during the off-season, when there are more teams with more cap space and willingness to spend, though this summer, that might not occur until after a new CBA is hammered out. Even then, his NTC kicks in on July 1st, which will further complicate things, unless they trade him in June.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports Predators GM David Poile said contract negotiations with Ryan Suter’s agent are ongoing and he hopes to re-sign the blueliner at some point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Poile said the only real deadline he has with Suter is July 1st, the date the blueliner becomes eligible for UFA status. I think that says all we need to know about Suter’s trade status.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports it’s believed the Senators have interest in Carolina Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu. There’s also a campaign afoot amongst some Senators fans for the club to bring back Chris Kelly, who’ll be a UFA this summer. Kelly was dealt to the Bruins last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Line forms to the left for Ruutu…It’s believed the Bruins will re-sign Kelly, but of course, if that doesn’t happen, it might be a good idea for the Senators to explore bringing him back.

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports the Flyers could turn their focus to Carolina defenseman Bryan Allen and Montreal blueliner Hal Gill.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Allan Maki reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland will look to bolster his lineup by the trade deadline. He doesn’t want to move any early round draft picks, adding his intent is to enhance, not remodel, his lineup.

Zidlicky unhappy playing for Wild coach Mike Yeo.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky is very unhappy playing for head coach Mike Yeo, and the situation could result in the Wild trading the veteran blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zidlicky’s performance has been in decline at age 35, and with one year remaining on his contract worth $4 million, he might not be easy to move.

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance listed the Lightning, Canadiens, Stars, Coyotes and Ducks among the trade deadline “bubble teams”. Pierre LeBrun suggested keeping an eye on Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky as a possible trade candidate, as well as winger Jason Blake. LeBrun also suggested Stars blueliner Nicklas Grossman might be a trade option for the Flyers, Tampa Bay center Dominic Moore could attract considerable attention if the Lightning decide to move him at the deadline, and Coyotes GM Don Maloney once again denied rumor Shane Doan might be traded.



  1. It would seem that Zidlicky’ plus Harding/Hackett or two of the Wild’s numorous prospects to Columbus for Carter would be a great deal for both teams as the Wild would get that extra, proven goal scorer they need and Columbus would get a servicable puck moving D with a short contract, a solid goalie and a good prospect to add to the rebuild.

  2. would love for Rangers to pursue Hal gill, I believe he is exactly what they need to make a deep playoff run.

  3. Love to see Chris Kelly back on the Sen’s. He’s a very smart player on the ice, good leader and does lot’s of community work. Have my doubts that the Bruins will be keen to let him go though…

  4. It seems as though Yzermans patience with the Lightning is reaping it’s rewards. Still a long way from a playoff spot, but he is showing us fans that a wait and see approach can yield good things.
    Not sure if they’ll move Moore. As long as he doesn’t pull that “I too good for your team”‘like he did with the Leafs, he’ll stay.

  5. EJH: Why would Columbus want anything to do with Zidlicky? Essentially they lost Voracek and Couturier for Carter, They’ll want a package of young players to help for a “Rebuild”.

    what about this? and I’m not a Kings fan

    Toffoli or Voynov, Bernier, 1 first

  6. EJH: The only prospect that would make this work potentially is Granlund and Minnesota wouldn’t part just based on this years success…

  7. If it comes down to Carter’s on ice performance, I think it’s a mistake to trade him. Him and Nash haven’t had enough time to gel because of injuries. Plus the Jackets would be trading him while his stock is low.
    If it’s a matter of chemistry in the dressing room, then I can see him being shopped. I keep hearing he’s kind of grumpy.
    I said it weeks ago and I’ll say it again, Ruutu to the Sens makes a lot of sense. Wouldn’t suprise me at all if it happened.

  8. 36Crazyfists – The Kings would never pay that much for Carter and his massive contract. Toffoli is a highly touted prospect, Voynov can become a 40 point D, a 1st is still a first and Bernier still has massive potential.

    As a Sabres fan, I would love for them to acquire some much needed scoring power. Perhaps sending Leino and his bad contract with a Sekera or Gragnani for Carter and his bad contract would be an equal swap

  9. Is it possible that Carter could restructure his contract in order to get out of Columbus? I suppose anything is possible, but at some point you have to take a hit to get out of that mess, right?

  10. Concur on Bolts patience, an underappreciated virtue. We are told again and again about the long development times for young D’men, and how long it take young wingers to play both ends, but how many teams actually are patient, and good enough judges of talent to reap the rewards. In the Tortorella era, it took seven years of improvement every year to go from last to a cup run. Yes, there was movement, but there was a key core there for the whole time. The key is to prey on the impatience of other markets, arguably the reason a team like the Leafs have not had the success their long-suffering fans have wished for. Stay the course, Stevie Y – they are back to playing as hard as last year and the kids are all improving. Find a goalie over the off-season and we’ll be back in the tournament next year.

  11. 36crazyfists, I hope your joking with that trade scenerio? That is way too much for the Kings to give up, it is rumoured the Blue Jackets are wanting a roster player and a 1st rounder. So i could see the Kings offering Stoll or Loktionov and a first for Carter. One thing I know forsure LA won’t be offering Bernier, Voynov or Toffoli.

  12. If Carter is as unhappy as he appears to be in Columbus, he’ll happily waive his NTC following the new CBA.

  13. @Sheepdogged – Contracts can’t be re-structured in this iteration of the CBA. A player is signed and the next discussion they are able to have regarding contracts is July 1st of the last year of the deal.
    @36CRAZYFISTS – Richards and Carter’s off-ice behavior together was reportedly their ticket out of Philadelphia, why would Dean Lombardi want to invite that to happen in his team’s locker room? Carter is a skilled hockey player when he’s motivated and healthy. He’s been neither this season. Scott Howson (or whichever GM replaces him in the summer) would be wise to build around Nash and Carter and give them skilled playmakers to play alongside rather than selling the farm on Carter when his value is as low as it can possibly get.
    Bryan Allen or Hal Gill to Philly? If I were Paul Holmgren, I’d be looking at other options. Jaro Spacek, Scott Hannan and Shaone Morrisonn are three expiring contracts that are infinitely more enticing than Allen and Gill.

  14. @ 36CRAZYFISTS

    I’d say you’re on the right track. I’d take Voynov off the list because he’s a regular on the roster now. Toffoli is a good up-and-coming player and I don’t think they’d part with him. That leaves Bernier and a 1st. I definitely think Bernier will be traded soon. Quick is the guy and that made Bernier expendable. The Kings may have to throw in another pick or prospect, but I think that’s the trade.

    Howson needs to get a similar return to what he gave up. Carter’s value has diminished since the trade, but he needs to get something back. Bernier, a 1st, and maybe another pick or prospect and I think you’re there.

  15. i am ok with a habs sell off of ufas by the habs. get healthy a pretty good pick and go at em next yr. plus get leblanc among others some nhl experience. i would rather them near bottom and in lottery than near 9th or 10th.

  16. @THewes – Spacek, Hannan and Morrisonn are all better choices for an 82 game season but Gill trumps them in the playoffs. Especially, when his addition is simply a tweak to put your team over the top. His ability to take away the entire left side of the net on the Penalty Kill simply cannot be matched by the players you mentioned. And a top notch PK is too coveted in the playoffs for teams to pass up adding Gill. Not saying I want the Flyers to have him but I am sure someone is going to take him. He’s also a great team guy and GMs love that stuff too.

  17. @ Everyone

    I forgot to mention about that Penner would likely have to go the other way in the deal or be dealt separately. The Kings can’t afford to bring in Carter without ditching salary.

    Somebody else brought up a good point that Lombardi might now want to take a chance on Carter. That’s a valid point, but he might. If Carter ends up being a perpetual 50-60 point per year guy, his salary wouldn’t be too far out of line. I also think that Carter may have matured, and Lombardi would probably do some research first. It is an absolute gamble though.

  18. I’m a big fan of Chris Kelly, but realistically Zach Smith’s emergence as a very solid 3rd line centre for the Sens probably means it makes little sense to bring Chris back – particularly since he’d probably need a pay raise.

    With Spezza and Turris at 1 & 2 C respectively, the injured Peter Regin, and prospects Stephane Da Costa and Mika Zibanejad (though he was, interestingly, moved to wing for the WJC) vying for centre positions it’s tough to imagine Kelly being brought back into the mix unless there are some substantial changes.

  19. Tuomo Ruutu’s brother (Mikko, not Jaarko) works in the Sens Hockey Ops department as Finnish Scout.

    Hard to believe the Sens would be willing to give up significant assets for him during their rebuild unless they were virtually certain he could be re-signed long term. Sens have traded their second pick, so they would have to get creative to match other team’s offers.

  20. I like Bernier, however I think at this point people are over rating him just a tad. If he was so capable why has he played so little this year? I know Quick has been tremendous but you need to give your number 1 some time off once in a while and if you have alot of confidence in your backup you play him more often than the kings have played Bernier. His numbers when he has played are nothing to write home about either. Also, who would replace Bernier? I’m not really familiar with their prospects.
    Yzerman has been patient, but is that because he hasn’t been able to make a deal? Even though they are playing better they still don’t have a great defense and they still need to upgrade their goaltending. There may be goalies available on July 1 but does Yzerman have the flexability to go after one that will demand big bucks? Personally I think they should move Lacavalier if they can. Montreals GM would take him in a heart beat just to save his job and make the Montreal faithful have fits of glee. Lecavalier for Gorges, Weber, Gallagher and a first. And put Gomez in the minors to save cap room.
    Carter is a good player but not many managers want to handcuff themselves with a contract such as his, otherwise he would have been moved by now. Then their is the question as to whether Carter is more interested in partying than playing hockey at a top level. I know they are only rumours but Holmgren moved him for a reason.
    Is Carolina going to trade Ruutu? Rutherford is not going to do the big sell-off as most people think. He just signed Gleason much to everyones surprise so I wouldn’t put it past him to sign Ruutu as well. If he is such a prize why trade him? He is an all round good player and is not that old and is not a spare part like some of the others he may move.
    I’m afraid Minnesota is stuck with Zidlicky for this year anyways. His play hasan’t been up to snuff and he has been experiencing some injuries. I don’t think anyone wants to take on that contract even if it is only for a year. If he is playing well at this time next year he will get moved as a rental and then move to the KHL. Visnovsky would be a much better option.
    I understand having loyalty to an organization but when is Doan going to wake up and realize that the coyotes are going nowhere, at least in the playoff sense. The coyotes could do themselves a big favour by trading him as well. Some GM will give up a decent return and who knows he may even win a cup.

  21. How is Voynov, Bernier, 1st overpayment? He was traded from Philly for Voracek and a top 10 pick. And also, I never both Toffoli and Voynov in the same deal, I would say one or the other. That’s roughly equivalent to what Columbus gave up to obtain Carter. Carter is a premiere sniper having a down year and it’s as simple as that. I believe you’re greatly undervaluing what Carter brings to the table based on this down year plagued by injuries.

    Also, why wouldn’t Lombardi want Carter and Richards together? They were great together in Philly and are older and more mature now then they were. I think a lot of that stuff was overblown in the media. Holmgren tried a different approach for this year. Instead of having a highly paid group of players he went with having a highly paid goalie. Philly has lacked a top end goalie for years and they finally got him. Now, I do think that there were some on ice issues, but Lombardi needs a scorer and who better fits that bill than Jeff Carter?

  22. Da lil Guy , you are spot on with both your points Kelly and Ruutu

    I still don’t think Regin nor Dacosta will ever figure into the Sens long term plans. They are both smallish, soft, skilled players and won’t bump any of the 3 centers you mentioned. Sens are so locked up down the middle that Zibanejad is being groomed as a winger ( as you noted ) . 4th line centers are usually low cost 1 year UFA type deals nowdays. Unless they can get Ruutu for Regin and or Dacosta I would not go there ( not to mention they would be adding another center )

  23. fergy22, totally agree on Regin and Dacosta. It’ll be interesting to see if Regin, with his history of injuries, even gets re-signed during the off season. Dacosta, only time will tell if he’s able to develop enough play at the NHL level.
    Although I’ll be surprised if Kelly is made available by Boston should it happen then Ottawa would be very wise in giving consideration to brining him back. That is providing the price isn’t ridiculous ( New England native Bobby Butler perhaps?). The players have made it pretty clear that they don’t want the team’s chemistry messed with so the addition of a familiar player like Kelly would likely work. At 31 he’s not young but based on his style of play he’s the kind of player that more than likely be able to contribute for at least 3 or 4 more years. We shouldn’t underestimate his leadership qualities either. (And no he’s not my younger brother! lol)

  24. I am just going to pipe in again and say that Carter is the most overrated player in the league. I woudnt touch him with a 10 foot pole…. esspecially not to give away my top prospects, 1st rd picks, or future stud goalie (as proposed above). Aside from one good season, he hasn’t been a standout player given how much talent he was surrounded with.

    Realistically, I doubt you would even get Grabovsky, or Mike Fisher (as examples) straight-up for Carter, let alone his injury problems this season and terrible contract.

    The only team I see truly making a deal to get Carter is Montreal- and that is becasue they are in dire need of ANY kind of talent on their forward lines. When you have Desharnais leading your attack… you’re in trouble.

  25. Lecavalier isn’t going ANYWHERE. As far as a UFA goalie is concerned I think the Lightnings best option is someone already in our system. Riku Helenius is rockin the finnish league and could very well challenge for a spot on our roster.

  26. @THewes That crap was way over blown in Philly. Tim Pinatchio didn’t like Richards or Carter so he basicly trough stuff at the wall and hope it stuck. Did they go out and have a good time here and there Yes. Just like most of these guys that are in their 20s and millionmares. Tim always just told stories about them when there are people on the team now that still do the same stuff.

  27. Ranzeir , you’re right Butler is another name that could be dangled. The kid has good offensive intuition, but like Regin and Dacosta , smallish & not a banger or great 2 way player. He’ s been given ample opportunity to play on the first line and has not really grabbed the bull by the horns so he could very well be a player on the way out of Ottawa. I still think Ottawa needs another experienced D man over a forward. As much as I like Carkner his main role is muscle and Brian Lee has just never panned out. I likw what Greening and Foligno being as complimentary wingers. Foligno’s offensive game has improved lots this year and plays well with Turris and Alfredsson ( more patience and some slick moves from time to time ) , Greening compliments Spezza and Michalek cause he likes to muck.
    & Condra seems to fit in whatever role he plays ( tied for best +/- on the team )

  28. @ nikk…Grabovski and Fisher are horrible comparables to Carter. In the right situation, Carter would thrive. He just doesn’t fit with Columbus. Howson made the mistake of not targeting a playmaking centre to play with Nash. Now, this could’ve been in anticipation that Johansen would take that spot come next season, but IMO, Howson should’ve targeted a top playmaking centre. Carter and Nash are very similar players and sometimes that makes players not gel well together.

    From Carter’s perspective, how would you feel if you signed a long term contract thinking it would be fulfilled in Philly only to be traded the next year to a shitty team? He simply needs a change of scenery and to get past this stretch of injuries and in the right situation he will be a top forward in this league.

    Carter is an A- to B+ sniper in the league. If you’re saying you’d rather have Grabo than Carter, I’d fire you in a heartbeat if you were my teams gm on that premise alone.

    @ Fran…spot on Fran, spot on! Since when is it abnormal for young twenty something guys to want to go out, drink and pick up chicks? lol

  29. I honestly don’t think Carter’s contract is nearly as bad as people say it is. Sure having any player under contract for 10 years is absurd but the actual cap hit is very fair for a young 30+ goal scorer and will be a bargain if he can ever put up 40+ again. Plus I think it’s safe to say players will be making a lot more money 10 years from now so 5 mil per year shouldn’t be too bad as long as Carter’s game doesn’t go completely downhill.

    Trading for Carter would definitely be a risk but I think it is worth the risk for teams like Toronto or Calgary.

  30. @ Bruins MIke… I think that’s a great point regarding his contract. 5.2 cap hit seems quite reasonable in comparison to the market. In 4 years as a UFA at age 30, he would’ve probly easily demanded a 7 per year contract.

  31. As a wings fan I would give up Hudler, McCollum and a 1st for Carter, only if he will be healthy for playoffs.

    Franzen, Dats, Carter
    Filp, Zetter, Bert


  32. nuts to that Jeff Carter is going to be a maple leaf sorry every other team in the nhl

  33. I think the Kings have plenty of size and moxy in their top 6. Outside of Kopitar, they lack somebody that can make the puck dance. I think Hemsky should be somebody LA targets and maybe even add a veteran goalie with a Stanley Cup ring in Khabibulin while you’re at it, meaning Bernier going the other way. Always handy to have a vet goalie to help steady a young starter.

  34. NikK, good point about Montreal. I see a fit there too.

  35. with all due respect guys does Montreal really need another overvalued, injury prone player signed to a long term contract? if they can somehow convince CLB to take Gomez in a package it might make sense . I really think that Carter& Nash need to be given a chance to play together and mesh prior to casting anyone off. The best approach for Columbus might be to let Carter heal up and then come back and play with Nash to see if there is a chemistry. They’re won’t be any pressure of the team making a playoff run from now till end of season. If it does not work out then maybe hold off until the summer to make a deal. Carter has put up some decent numbers with the Flyers 07-11 but he was playing on a pretty good squad that had several good forwards to lean on ( not the case in Columbus )

  36. To give up Bernier for a rental such as Hemsky would be an overpayment IMO. The reason I suggested Carter to LA because if they’re giving up a some of their young guns, it should be for someone who is under team control for a little longer than the regular season + playoffs. I do think Hemsky would be a good fit in LA though, just not for Bernier.

  37. Even if Hemsky had 5 more years and was making only 2 mil, giving up Bernier would be too much for him. Hemsky doesn’t have a whole lot of value nowadays, and the fact hat he’s a UFA this summer only makes his value lower.

  38. Face it- Vinnie4 doesn’t want to play and live in the fishbowl that is Montreal. And I think at season’s end his salary rank and rank among players (scoring) will be pretty close – to my eyes it took two full years to fully recover from the shoulder.

  39. Carter is a first line center but like most people he plays better when he is happy and he ain’t happy in Columbus

  40. I think Doan in a Red Wings uni would be nice to see..especially at playoff time. He is a playoff type guy…just never had a chance to play for a contender. He has single handedly taken the cyotes on any playoff runs they have enjoyed. He is only one man.. lets see what he does with a whole team of Strong willed experianced playoff performers

  41. @ fergy22 I really don’t think Carter is injury prone. Yes he has had two injuries this season (fractured foot and a separated shoulder) but he only missed a total of 10 games in his previous 4 seasons. It’s not like he is having recurring injuries, they are separate fluke injuries that could happen to any player.

  42. I want to see Dustin Tokarski with the big club next year

  43. @Bruinsmike – Carter missed 5 playoff games last year & 11 the year before ( so he has been hurt for ~50% of the games the Flyers needed him most in the previous 2 years ). Coupled with his 20 missed games so far this year I’d say his starting to become injury prone. Hopefully he bounces back.

  44. I like RK’s suggestion, Carter to the Wings. He’s right that would be scary. but i dont think his proposal would do it. Hudler is a little older than what i think Columbus wants to get back for him and Ken Holland isn’t one to give up a 1st. Stranger things have happened. However, what they really should look at is defense to ‘replace’ Lidstrom when he retires, not that it’s possible to replace someone like him.
    As a Sens fan i would love to see them get Ruutu. He’s the type of player that can help a young team, especially if Alfie retires, middle age, hard working guy that has some scoring touch. But don’t want to give away big prospect/picks and mess with the short rebuild that everyone laughed at Murray for saying lol. Granted its not over, there’s obviously some pieces they need, (maybe Ruutu for the right price) but he’s done a damn good job from what he had.

  45. i would like to add a word about the NY Rangers. i do not think the rangers will be looking to add a d-man unless one falls in there lap. i even think they may trade one with 5 top 4 d- men now . i do think that T uomo Ruutu is a perfect fit for the Rangers with there style of play. there is another player who could be a great fit for the Rangers and that is Teemu Selanne if he would give his concent to be traded he would help the Rangers power play which needs alot of help right now . he could make his last run at a stanley cup. the price for Selanne would be alittle high for a 42yr old in his last season but would be worth a 2nd – 3rd round pick. or i or 2 guy from there farm team the Rangers are looking at now not the future for there run this year. these 2 players would go along way to making them a better team

  46. As a bruins fan…this would be a sick trade but would never happen. Tim Thomas and Jordan Caron straight up for Rick Nash. It would make so much sense for the B’s. Tuuka is so much younger and you could argue is playing just as well as timmy. Rick Nash would give us a legitamate superstar who can score for us. Timmy would give columbus a goalie still in his prime for another couple years and help them build. It really would make sense for both sides but i doubt anything of the sort would ever happen.

  47. Wings Fans….It is no secret we are the cream of the crop for talent, and we have all the skill in the world BUT…….We need too address the area where we have been getting beat all season long and the is the Physical aspect of the game yes we have Stuart and Kronwall hitting on the Back-end But everyone other then Pavel up front always seems too shy away from the body teams notice this and like Vancouver they hit us and hit us we need more Physical players up front like a Ruutu…..someone who is not afraid too get dirty and go get the puck for our skill players…..