Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 27, 2014

Latest on James Reimer and Johnny Boychuk, how the Capitals might fill their remaining roster spot, and my take on the Flyers long-rumored interest in Dustin Byfuglien.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes James Reimer’s struggles last season explains why no team has stepped up this summer to acquire him.  The Leafs recently re-signed Reimer to a two-year deal worth $2.3 million per season. Simmons believes if Reimer returns to form and adjusts to playing a backup role to Jonathan Bernier, the Leafs could have top-10 goaltending this season at bottom-10 prices.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Improved performance by Reimer this season, combined with his affordable new contract, will also improve his trade value.  

Johnny Boychuk stands to earn a significant raise next summer.

Johnny Boychuk stands to earn a significant raise next summer.

BOSTON GLOBE: Looking at what the top UFA defensemen earned this summer, Fluto Shinzawa believes Bruins blueliner Johnny Boychuk could make a killing in next summer’s UFA market. “The early money is on Calgary”, writes Shinzawa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whoever signs Boychuk, be it the Bruins or another club, it could take at least $5.5 million per season to do it. 

CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley speculates on possible moves by the Capitals to fill their remaining roster spot. Among them could be pursuing an unrestricted free agent  like feisty winger Dan Carcillo or ageing center Saku Koivu, or perhaps trying to acquire Phoenix’s Antoine Vermette via trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’ll stand a better chance of signing Carcillo or Koivu than acquiring Vermette, as the Coyotes hope to re-sign him before his UFA eligibility next summer.


Winnnipeg Jets defenseman/winger Dustin Byfuglien’s been linked to the Philadelphia Flyers for some time in the rumor mill. There’s talk around the hockey blogosphere the Flyers would love to acquire “Big Buff” if they can make the dollars fit.

It’s a significant problem this season. The Flyers are currently above the cap ceiling by just over $3.061 million. Byfuglien makes $5.2 million per season. Even if he agreed to accept a trade to the Flyers, who will gain cap relief by placing Chris Pronger ($4.941 million) on long-term injured reserve, they’ll either need to free up additional space by moving another player in the deal to the Jets, or convince the Jets to pick up part of Byfuglien’s contract.

I don’t believe Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and his bosses at True North Sports & Entertainment will accept that last option. The Jets will also want a good, affordable forward as part of the return. Maybe Matt Read, Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier. Of the three, the Flyers might move Schenn. Regardless of which forward they move, they risk weakening some of their depth up front. And no, they wouldn’t use Byfuglien to fill that gap, as their interest in him is supposedly as a defenseman. Perhaps next year, if the Flyers have more cap space, they might consider a trade of Byfuglien, but I think if they do pursue another defenseman they’ll want one who is more responsible in his own zone.


  1. Philly just wants to acquire everyone who is out there. That team is renowned for pushing hard for the wrong players and they ultimately pay a big price for it (Lecavalier and Bryzgalove just being two recent examples). All this dealing hoping to find a winning team will only hurt them in the short and long run.

    • I watch Buff in Atlanta and he was a slug. He’s a big guy who plays small most of the time. You wonder how much better he could have been if he played with heart.

      • While in Chicago,when they wanted him to be a disturptive wall/front guy, the coaching staff had to day in and out encourage him to exert a presence. He was a fun guy who wanted to attempt to be a full time defender, and he just wasn’t good in his own end. To get the playoff Buff to be THAT player took lots of “encouragement.”
        I am sure big buff hasn’t met a Philly cheese steak he doesn’t like.

    • Hextall is bringing a new philosophy of building the team through the draft. it’s a change that Flyer fans want. it will take patience and Flyer fans aren’t known for patience, which is part of the problem, but the Flyers are done with paying past-their-prime free agents.

      • I agree that is what hextall is doing and love that the flyers fans would agree but wouldn’t a mini rebuild make more sense. Remove some of their aging players and et some kids play. Morin and hagg, if given time should be studs but until then are they cool with being a middling team? They should stockpile some talent on the wings, defence and goalie by removing current players and getting younger. However they can. Keeping their centres together and trying to get bigger and faster on the wings-defence.

        • Matty–

          i don’t disagree with your point. the problem is that they’re stuck with some contracts and Holmgren never saw a player he didn’t want to over-pay. Giroux, Voracek, Coburn, Timonen, Streit, MacDonald all are over-paid. Timonen has no business putting a uniform on. Hextall just re-signed him so Timonen is on him. I’d rather see Manning, Alt or Lauridsen get a shot rather than see Timonen again. they’re not going anywhere this year, Timonen is retiring after this season, so i don’t see the point of keeping him around for another season.

          they have only a few players that other teams would want so they’re stuck with what they have at this point.

          • Jango – Can you explain to me how Voracek and Giroux are overpaid?
            Talking about patience when all last season you were for trading Giroux.
            One thing I will agree with you on is the McDonald contract, so bad.

          • Rickler–

            Voracek is a 20-goal scorer who plays a soft game. make that a 20-goal scorer who plays on the #1 line and gets #1 PP unit time. He gets $4.5M a year. Matt Read, also a 20-goal scorer just signed last summer at $3.6M, doesn’t get PP time, and kills penalties. so to me, Voracek is over-paid.

            Giroux has never scored more than 28. Has never had 100 points. was invisible against the Rangers in the playoffs. only 2 goals in the 7 game series, 1 of those goals was an empty-netter and the other one was the 5th or 6th goal in a blow-out win–in other words, 2 meaningless goals in the series. Last season, Giroux’s salary was $3.75M and he’s not over-paid at that salary. but next season, he starts his new contract–8 years at $8.25M a year. i rank Giroux as the 20th best player. His new contract is in the top 5 salaries per year, so over-paid in my opinion.

          • Jango…your philosophy is wrong, and so is your opinion of the players.

            Giroux and Voracek are not overpaid, nor should they be traded. Girouax has scored more points than anyone in the NHL over the last 3 years. He has 303 points in 287 games in the last 4 years. He finished top 3 for points, and top 3 for the Hart trophy. He is a bona fide star, and IS a top 10 player in the league and he is paid like it.

            Player: Age: Amount:
            1. Weber, Shea 28 $14,000,000
            2. Crosby, Sidney 26 $12,000,000
            3. Parise, Zach 29 $11,000,000
            4. Suter, Ryan 29 $11,000,000
            5. Lundqvist, Henrik 32 $11,000,000
            6. Ovechkin, Alex 28 $10,000,000
            7. Datsyuk, Pavel 36 $10,000,000
            8. Giroux, Claude 26 $10,000,000
            9. Kessel, Phil 26 $10,000,000

            That’s 8 other players that have the same or higher salary than Giroux. I’d honestly take Giroux over any and all of them. Yes…that includes Weber and that also includes Crosby. I am saying in plain English I would take Giroux over any of them.

            Voracek has played in 157 208 games for Philly and has 157 points. He is growing into a top line forward, and quite honestly, deserves to be there with the way he plays and the chemistry he has with Girioux.

            You compare him to Read, but Read got 22 points less than Voracek, and -15 in less than Voracek. You mention pp..but +/- doesn’t count on it….neither does PK. I like Read, and he is a great story and find, but he is playing where he should be. He has great chemistry with Couturier, and you need scoring depth through out the lineup.

            Saying Read should be there and Voracek should be traded is funny, because I would rather have the extra 22 points for the extra million. Voracek is also younger, and just growing into his role. I expect him to be a top line winger for most of his career.

            Voracek is also 6’2″, 215, and Read is 5’10”, 185.

            Your argument holds no ground. I am sure you will respond with pp time, etc, but Read is just not the offensive player Voracek is. You seem stuck on goals. I would rather have 7-8 20 goal scorers, than 2 4 goal scorers, with some 20 goal scorers balancing out the team.

            On defence is our biggest need.

            On a good note, Coburn, and Grossmann have 2 years left and Striet has 3 years left, there will be lots of room for Morin, Hagg, Ghost, and Sanheim to make the team in the coming years. They are not ready right now, but when they are, the room will be there for them.

            On Manning…he just isn’t a true top 6 dman. He is more like a 6b, or the 7th dman. I have followed his career since he was captain of the Chilliwack Chiefs. I like him, and loved how he played in the minors..but he can’t get away with how he manhandled the players in the juniors.

            I’d like to see one of our guys get a chance….I was against getting McDonald when we got him, and didn’t like the contract he got. He might be ok……Orpik did get the same type of money, and I think his will look worse faster.

            Timonen is a great signing for the money. Even if he plays spot duty, and only 50 games, he is better than anything remotely ready in the minors. He will have his minutes cut back, and I believe they’ll have a game plan going into the season for proper rest.

            I just don’t agree with your philosophy.

            Let the team gel. Then add the younger dmen to a great environment… for me.

            Your theatrics are way overblown.

          • Sorry…a couple of typos.

            Voracek has played in 208 games as a Flyer, not 157208.

            Manning was captain of the Chilliwack Bruins, not the Chiefs….I used to watch him play at the arena around the corner from my folks house.

          • Voracek is a beast – He drives possession almost as good or better than any player in the league. He’s not overly physical but I wouldn’t label him as soft by any means. Great hands, good shot – He still has lots of room grow, and at 4.5 million looks pretty good to me for a top line winger.

            Giroux is paid his worth. As of now Giroux accounts for 12.87% of the salary cap’s 2014-15 upper limit, which is comparable to other SPC’s belonging to Phil Kessel, Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Sidney Crosby.

            He’s a top flight center in the league – I have no issues with his contract. He plays in all situations, responsible two way forward. Over the last 3 seasons he’s comes in 4th overall in points per game. Even more so, over the last 3 seasons who has more points than Claude Giroux?

            Answer: Nobody.

          • Gary–

            you can think what you want about Giroux. But what you think doesn’t validate Giroux.

            I’ve heard it all, now that you say i sound like a Penguin fan. I hate the Penguins and i hate Crosby. But to say Crosby is over-rated (a Stanley Cup, 2 MVP, a 50-goal season, how many 100 point seasons, and he’s the same age as Giroux) and Giroux is not over-rated, is looking at these players through orange & black-colored lenses. seriously? run the numbers between the two, since Giroux’s first full season. Giroux averages .9 points per game. Crosby is 1.5. more than 50% higher than Giroux. so when you spout off about Giroux having more points in the last 4 seasons than anyone, you ignore the fact that he played 100 more games than Crosby in that timeframe.

            No one would consider Giroux better than Toews. Toews and Kopitar are the 2 best all-around FW in the game in my opinion.

            every one of the 22 players that i listed are better than Giroux. you don’t want to admit it, but Giroux is a playmaker #2 center. he’s not the player to build a team around like Toews is.

        • Morin is at least 2 years away. same with Hagg. i wouldn’t rush these kids. it can’t help anything and could hurt their development.

          • Exactly. Given time they will be fine. Patience is the key. They need to do the opposite of what the leafs did lol

      • 1. Toews
        2. Kopitar
        3. Bergeron
        4. Weber
        5. Crosby
        6. Malkin
        7. Ovechkin
        8. Parise
        9. Suter
        10. Subban
        11. P. Kane
        12. Getzlaf
        13. Tavares
        14. Doughty
        15. D. Brown
        16. Landeskog
        17. Duchene
        18. MacKinnon
        19. Karlsson
        20. J. Benn
        21. Seguin

        all better than Giroux and most are paid less than Giroux. note i didn’t even mention Chara because he’s too old.

        big mistake for the Flyers to build their team around a 5’10 170 pound center when the NHL is getting bigger and faster by the second.

        your numbers are wrong on salary. Giroux’s contract is 8 years at $8.25 a year. if you think he should get only $500,000 a year less than Crosby ($8.7M a year), you need your head examined.

        I love the Flyers, always will, but i try to not let it affect my objectivity. Get off the Kool-Aid, buddy, Giroux is over-hyped by the Flyers because they want the fans to forget Richards.

        • i left off from the list by mistake–

          22. Stamkos

          no particular order. i just listed them as i thought of the names

        • Dustin Brown or Patrice Bergeron is better than Giroux??? No thanks Ill take Giroux, in fact Id take Giroux over Landeskog Parise and Oveckin aswell, I agree with Gary who has more points then Giroux over the past few years?

          • I’d take D. Brown and Bergeron over Giroux. Brown is a leader and a winner. Bergeron is one of the best all-around FW in the game.

            Giroux is a liability defensively. and the most points over the last 3 seasons? ignores the fact that Giroux has played 100 more games than Crosby in that timeframe. Since Giroux came into the league, he averages .9 PPG, a good rate no doubt. Crosby averages about 1.5. a lot higher than Giroux.

      • Gary–

        see my list of players i think are better than Giroux. tell me which one of those players you think Giroux is better than.

        it’s my opinion. by definition, opinions can’t be right or wrong. we just see things differently.

      • Rickler–

        you’re the only person who would call Giroux a “responsible 2-way center.” he’s a liability on defense and usually doesn’t get back in time, because he’s not fast and he’s more interested in playing offense. he doesn’t even come close to Kopitar. Kopitar scores more goals, faces other team’s #1 lines, gets almost as many points, is one of the best defensive FW, and is worlds bigger than Giroux. way better player than Giroux.

        • Hmm..imagine that…our top point getter more interested in offense….

          Your list is really stretching things….I would take Giroux over most, if not all of those players.

          He is a leader, and leads by example. He is a point machine…numbers don’t lie.

          Kane and Toews…they are about to make 25% more than Giroux..Crosby is over-rated.

          Stamkos is the best pure goal scorer in the league, Weber would be about the closest in value to his team.

          The rest of the list doesn’t come close.
          Your not going to convince me otherwise.

          • Toews and Kane have 2 rings and are the same age as Giroux. Both are better than Giroux. Both bring their A game in the biggest games. Giroux hasn’t. Note that you say both are “about to make 25% more than Giroux.” not this year. Giroux makes more than both this year. But read that again. 2 rings. Giroux has won 1 playoff round as captain of the Flyers. 1 round. missed the playoffs completely in 2013. and was invisible against the Rangers in 2014. Hard to say Toews and Kane are ever invisible in the playoffs, since both have their names on the Conn Smythe.

            i’m not trying to convince you of anything. we have different opinions. You would take Giroux over most players on my list. ok. i would take every one of those players over Giroux.

          • leader by example?

            the Flyers were in danger of missing the playoffs for a 2nd year in a row. they squeaked in. in the last 5 games of the season, they could still be eliminated.

            every one of those players on my list is better than Giroux.

            I guess Yzerman was wrong when he didn’t pick Giroux for the Olympics :-))))))))

          • yeah the problem is that he’s interested only in offense. Kopitar had more goals, 16 less points, and was nominated for the Selke.

            Bergeron more goals than Giroux, 24 less points, and won the Selke.

            Nobody mentions Selke and Giroux in the same decade let alone the same sentence. :-))))))))

          • MacKinnon is 19 years old and doesn’t come close to Giroux????


          • My numbers are not wrong…check capgeek. It is taken right off their website, under top salaries.

            Second..I don’t think Mckinnon, Kane and Toews are better than Giroux.

            I really think you under estimate him. You are speaking like he is Cliff Ronning.

            Giroux is a top 5 player in the league.

            His numbers prove it.

            Yes…I would take Giroux over Crosby any day of the week.

            Chicago has had the management in place that has properly built a team. If Giroux had another top 10 player, the Flyers would have more success.

            You can’t pin everything on Giroux…..your posts are ridiculous.

            For not trying to convince me otherwise, you sure have a lot to say.

            I do think Yzerman was wrong to leave Giroux off the team… do many experts. However…when you have the talent of Team, Canada….you win regardless of who is in the lineup.

            Going on that..I guess Kane is a flop, as he needs Toews to Team USA didn’t win. That is your logic here. It doesn’t make sense.

            Yes, Giroux does lead by example. Watch a game for once. He does take over games…it has happened many times. You just aren’t watching.

            Head to head, Giroux has the advantage over Crosby. The number show it. We manhandled the Pens this year……

            I don’t think it is a big deal for Giroux not to be nominated for the Selke.

            Last I checked, the other two Hart finalists weren’t nominated to top 3 either for the Selke.

            The Hart holds more respect than the Selke.

            You can’t compare a first year rookie chosen first overall on a high offense team to a player who gets over a point a game for the last 3 seasons.

            Again…Giroux has gotten more points than anyone on your list in the last 3 years.

            The numbers say he has more points than ANYONE!!!!!!!

            Use your fricken head.

            And in my opinion…your opinion on Giroux is very wrong.

            You sound like a Pens fan for gods sake.

  2. Byfuglien is a horrible d-man and thus would fit in perfectly with the rest of the Flyers d-core …

    • Ha!

    • agree, Buff is not a good D man. i don’t read anything out of Philly that the Flyers are interested in Buff. Their D sucks. Buff won’t help.

      everything i’ve read from Hextall is that they want to get bigger and faster. I’ve read they are interested in Kane and Bogosian. The Buff rumors are just rumors, mostly fueled by the internet and an assumption that because he’s big, the Flyers are interested.

    • As opposed to the Penguins with their “shutdown” defense?

      And how about them Leafs?

      Don’t want Buffy the hamburger slayer in Philly. He’s not needed, to expensive, and not what we need.

      Hextall’s approach is different than Homer’s was…patience is being preached.

      • I’ll take Letang, Martin, Erhoff, Matta, etc. over the Flyers slug d-core any day of the week … and twice on sunday …

  3. I think Koivu could be a nice fit in Washington under Trotz, a vet who can provide some more leadership, decent 2 way game…it could work out pretty well on an affordable deal.

  4. The problem with hockey rumors is that everyone thinks Philly is the main landing ground for everyone. The problem with this is that the philly management has bought into and think if they get the right players via trance/free agency that they will win….how has that turned out for the last 30 years? The problem with Philly, and this opinion is coming from the outside, is that they don’t want to build their team…they want to buy their team. Imagine what philly would have been like if Richards, and Carter had stayed. Imagine what they could have done if they developed young defensemen…or if they groomed a goalie..yes they have mason but since his rookie year he has been hit or miss. Not against going out and getting pieces for your team via trade or free agency, just seems like the flyer do it more that anyone and they miss more than anyone because the players they bring in fail

    • The Yankees of hockey? NY won championships when they kept their kids and complimented their roster with vets. Philly’s defense is horrible, Buf would make it worse.

    • Flyer fan for 42 years.

      Hextall is changing the philosophy. no more quick fixes with trying to get the biggest FA every summer. a welcome change from Flyer fans’ perspective.

      now your comment about Richards and Carter. Richards, i like, but he’s really a checking line center whose best scoring days are behind him. a nice player to complete a championship team, but i doubt he would have the same effect on the current Flyer team that he had with the Kings. The Kings are worlds better than the Flyers.

      Carter? He scored even with the Flyers. but his game is significantly better with the Kings, a more complete, physical, responsible game. he certainly didn’t play that way with the Flyers. remember, he was traded from the Flyers to the Blue Jackets first. and the Blue Jackets traded him to the Kings. so Carter didn’t impress the Blue Jackets in his time there. I think getting traded 2 times in 8 months was a wake-up call for Carter and he turned his act around with the Kings. so it’s hard to say the Flyers traded the Jeff Carter that we see today.

    • I thought Toronto was the main landing ground for every player mentioned in any rumor. In fact I’m sure it is!

      • @robert esquire +1

        • Blah blah blah…lol its what you get for having the largest fanbase in the sport.

  5. So Reimer’s contract is going to make him more attractive and increase his trade value? Problem is he is not a #1 and never will be unless he goes to Winnipeg and challenges Pavs. Even then. The Leafs are getting ready to offer Bernier top goalie money.

    • Does anyone look at stats any more or the just spew nonsense like this?

      Yes Reimer had a bit of an off year but…

      The best number to evaluate a goalie’s performance, especially in a small sample size, is to look at the percentage of shots they stop at even strength. By that measure, Reimer had a .927 save percentage, which is well above the league average of .922 and more than respectable for a starting goalie.
      (Bernier, by comparison, had a .935, third best among goaltenders with 30-plus starts.)

      Towards the end of the season when things really started rolling down hill after the Olympic break Carlyle continued to run the top line in to the ground with over use He also had far weaker goal support, which you obviously can’t blame on the goalie, or the fact that the PK is terrible (29th in the league).

      The four years Reimer has been in the NHL, he has a .915 save percentage, which is tied with Craig Anderson, Jonas Hiller, Jimmy Howard and Cam Ward. It’s ahead of Corey Crawford and way ahead of Steve Mason and Ondrej Pavelec, all of whom have starting jobs elsewhere.

      If you take out the year Reimer had a concussion, which dramatically affected his numbers in coach Ron Wilson’s last season, he’s a .920 goalie the rest of his career (about 100 games).
      Which is, what Bernier is as well.

      Goalies have bad years from time to time, doesn’t make him a career back up. Ask Miller Mason Crawford Howard…lots of guys struggle occasionally, but realistically, if that was his worst year he’s not that bad.

      For his (bad) 2013/2014 season

      League Average
      League Leader

      League Average
      League Leader

      • My final thought on Reimer today is it would not surprise me in the least if Reimer put up better numbers than Bernier next year, who had almost unsustainable numbers prior to being injured. Not a guy I would bet against. It was a bad year but still beter than alot of guys good years.

        • Don’t argue with me, argue with Leaf management – they are the ones that gave up on Reimer when they acquired Bernier. They clearly felt they could do better in the long run with Bernier than they could with Reimer. James will “love” Winterpeg.

          • Lol funny thing is you could be right.

  6. Big buff is an intriguing talent but it makes more sense to go after a top dman like bogasion or a legit winger like Kane.

    • The Thrashers ruined Bogosian by playing him at 18, when he wasn’t ready. Toss in the dysfunction of team management at the time and the kid really has never recovered. Pietrangelo and Tyler Myers had an extra year in juniors and that made a difference for both players. Kane would be a great pickup for the Flyers.

  7. Hope Boston can keep Boychuk with Chara and Siedenberg aging he along with Hamilton will be the top guys soon. If cap space is a issue would move all other dmen with the core being
    Chara,Siedenberg,Boychuk and Hamilton. Also Krug as a pp guy.
    So that’s the top 5.
    Big cap problems in beantown.
    Paid Chara and Rask too much.

    • Paid chara too much… 6.9 mil a year for one of he best defence men over the last 10 years, is over paid? What a joker.

      • I won’t deny he was a great defenseman the past 10 years.
        I’m talking about the next four he’s under contract for.
        He’s 37 and clearly slowing down.
        Not sure if you watch Bruins games lately.

    • I wonder if Chara is thinking of retiring.He is going to be 38 next season and he is still affective and one of the top 3 defenceman.But his speed is decreasing or maybe just tired and they need to cut back his ice time to 20 min or so from 30 min a game.Or even as a Boston fan i hate saying it but trade him if they have another early exit from playoffs.

      • not top 3 anymore. i take all of the following over Chara


        • Im surprised you dont have Letang on that list. Subban and Karlsson may put up more Points than Chara, but they aren’t close to as good as he is. Subban has gotten better over they years on Defense, but Karlsson is still hot garbage in his own zone. He might as well be an extra forward.

          • I’ve seen enough of Letang to know he sucks.

            Karlsson, i haven’t seen enough to know but he’s young enough, scores enough points, and is fast so i would take a chance on him before taking Chara at 38 years old.