Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 28, 2013.

Updates on Cody Franson, Jordin Tootoo and Ales Hemsky.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis noted TSN’s recent report claiming the Toronto Maple Leafs could consider moving restricted free agent defenseman Cody Franson. Willis observed the Oilers need to bolster their blueline depth, but after analyzing Franson’s performance stats, doesn’t believe he’d be a good fit with the Oilers.

TORONTO SUN: The Cody Franson trade rumors don’t make much sense to columnist Steve Simmons, noting the progress the blueliner made last season under Leafs coach Randy Carlyle. Simmons wondered if Leafs management were starting those rumors in hopes of reducing Franson’s salary demands.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It comes down to cap space. The Leafs currently have over $58.4 million invested in 20 players, giving them roughly $6 million in cap space to re-sign Franson, Nazem Kadri and Mark Fraser. We don’t know what Franson’s asking price is (he made $1.2 million last season) but if he’s seeking, say, over $3 million per season, that won’t leave much to re-sign the other two and still give the Leafs some wiggle room under the cap to start the season. The Leafs want to keep him, but if Franson’s asking price remains high, they could have little choice but to move him.

Could the Red Wings ship Jordin Tootoo back to Nashville?

Could the Red Wings ship Jordin Tootoo back to Nashville?

MLIVE.COM/FOXSPORTS DETROIT: cite sources claiming the Detroit Red Wings have held talks with the Nashville Predators about returning Jordin Tootoo to the Predators. Tootoo signed with the Red Wings last summer as an unrestricted free agent, but saw limited playing time last season with the Wings. Tootoo spent his entire NHL career with the Predators prior to last summer.

The Wings currently have a glut of forwards on one-way contracts and want to move one or two, but the Predators also have a logjam at forward and would need to move one to make room for Tootoo and his $1.9 million per season contract.

Both outlets also noted the potential availability of Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson, speculating over whether the Wings might have interest in him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators have over $4 million in cap space and can afford to bring Tootoo back, but they would have to ship out another forward to do so. The Wings are also trying to dump salary so they apparently don’t want much (draft pick or prospect) in return for Tootoo.

As for Franson, the Wings reportedly haven’t spoken to the Leafs about him, and with the Wings moving into the same division as the Leafs, the latter might be unwilling to deal with the former.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson noted the difficulty facing the Oilers in trying to trade winger Ales Hemsky this summer. Matheson wondered if the Ottawa Senators might have interest after losing Daniel Alfredsson to Detroit, though he noted Senators ownership might not wish to take on more salary.  The Nashville Predators feel they need a veteran defenseman now, especially after signing forwards Viktor Stalberg, Matt Cullen, Matt Hendricks and Eric Nystrom. Until the New Jersey Devils signed Jaromir Jagr, Matheson thought they could have been a good fit for Hemsky. He noted the NY Islanders, Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets had cap space but they already have depth on right wing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the wrong summer to shop a player like Hemsky, who is undeniably talented but has a lengthy injury history and carries a $5 million salary heading into a season in which the salary cap is dropping for the first time. Perhaps as the season unfolds, and if the Oilers are willing to absorb part of Hemsky’s salary, the trade market for his services could improve.


  1. Id want no part of Tootoo for Franson our Forward lines look alright the way they sit now we need a vet stay home type D or a number 1 type center (prospect atleast) not saying your going to get one for Franson but just as far as needs go a bottom 6 winger isnt really high up there on the wish list. Again Simmons is lost, they will have to get rid of somebody if Franson wants anywhere near 3 mill. Plus (not worth it anyway in my eyes) and I cant see rival GMs wanting or offering much for Liles at 3.85 when Franson is at 3. There will for sure be a move made and I think the best option is Franson, unfortunate because he is a good second pairing type D potentially but in reality he is the one who will get the best return and would be the most replaceable also a side from Liles.

    • I’m not sure the Detroit rumour was Tootoo for Franson, which I agree would be a bad deal (even with parts) for the Leafs. I think it was: Det wants to trade Tootoo, and Det might want Franson. But those two things were unrelated.

      That said, I think Nonis will try his hardest to sign Franson and trade Liles to clear cap space, even at a loss. E.g. Liles & mid-level prospect for low draft pick.

      • Oh I do agree that Liles is the better option just not so sure we would be able to get rid of him short of putting him on waivers, Fransons value is way over rated, with some acting like our D will fall a part with out a guy that played bottom pairing minutes half the year last year and sat more often then not previous to that. It wasn’t in good shape before he was there and it would be a negligible difference if he was gone besides the offense he provides. If we had a better defensive option it may actually improve our back end, and Ranger Blacker Granberg showed last year that they all play a better game in their own end then Franson does. With 4 (5 if you count Dion who puts up some points aswell) PMD signed you do not need a 5th if you cant get rid of Liles Franson is the next best choice. You are not throwing out 3lines of D that are all puck movers plus Fraser or Gunnarson…lol

  2. Spector – I’m not saying you’re right or wrong about the Leafs maybe not wanting to trade in-division, but I think GMs have to get out of that mindset (if they’re in it).

    Especially with the new conference set up, it barely matters the difference between division and conference (5 games per season vs 3 games per season, playoff teams coming from a mix). So that logic would then basically mean that nobody would be traded to HALF the teams in the league. I like Franson a lot, but it’s not like the Leafs would be trading a superstar, here. The argument would have more validity if the Pens had to trade Malkin, for example.

    Teams are already hamstrung enough by cap issues; they’d be foolish to rule out 25-50% of the teams due to being in same division or conference.

    And if you are a good GM, shouldn’t you be thinking you WON the trade, and have therefore made a division rival weaker?!

    • Yep
      You make the deal that is in the best interest of YOUR team. When you start worrying how it helps the other team, you plant the seeds of making a bad move. Just worry about getting what YOUR team needs. The way the GM’s think now if we were back in the early 60’s with only 6 teams there would NEVER be a trade.

      • Disagree….

        The toronto-boston deal for kessel was the rarity.

        Teams will not trade top6/top4/SG between division opponents—with one exception—the player they are moving is near the end of their career so they want to send him to a team that has a chance for a cup.

        Within division deals are the movement of prospects or 3rd/4th line forwards or bottom pairing Dmen.

        • Bouwmeester, Roy, Handzus, Fistric, JVR, Luke Schenn all say hi, its not as rare as you think anymore trades in general are becoming somewhat more rare, the dealings in the division are almost needed now to have any kind of significant movement. Its hard to move anyone anymore so to limit what you are going to get back for someone by saying you will only trade them across the continent to 15 teams is only providing more hurdles and hoops to jump thru and giving you lesser returns on your investment.

  3. Unless someone is willing to overpay for a 3-4 d-man in Franson, the Leafs need to move Liles to free up cash. We gave up a second to get him when we had holes to fill. Under Carlye’s system he is not a good fit; however, under many other systems he is. Now that we have a log-jam on D, trade him back to Colorado for a 3rd and a forward prospect. Hell TO could actually throw in a third with Liles and try and get Downie out of Col. Imagine Bolland and Downie playing on a line together. It would be fun to watch games against Boston’s Marchand…

    Regardless, Franson fits TO’s system, as does Fraser. Nonis knows this and will get it done. If he remains at a standstill with Frason he will trade to upgrade for the now not for picks and prospects.

    • Besides Fraser and Phaneuf and Gunnarson I dont think a whole lot of these guys “fit” Randys style its more of a matter of he is stuck with them and the lesser of three evils, Gardiner Liles and Franson all did some time on the bench and Franson started as a bottom pairing lol

    • Why would CO want Liles back? They have Barrie and Elliott, which made Liles and even Shattenkirk expendable. Now they have Bigras too. They don’t need another PMD. And they certainly wouldn’t pay for Liles with a 3rd and a forward prospect, or with Downie — who CO actually needs — when all they got for Liles years ago was a 2nd.

      This is why Leafs fans get so much abuse from others in these forums….

      • Please tell us once again how the Leafs have tons of cap room and are totally fine… I laugh everytime I go back and read one of your posts telling me this… A blind squirrel eh?

        • They are totally fine…I’m not seeing the big deal in moving the 4-5 D man if he needs to be move, and he is totally not worth 3 mill plus, You make it seem like the sky is falling and its not. Kadri and Fraser will be resigned and Liles or Franson will be traded, maybe Kuli too but its not like we are losing our top 2 lines and despite what you think Franson is not one of the NHLs best “young” d men ( you look like a joke even saying it) we have other guys who can play his role. Id rather it be Liles too but I wouldn’t be holding salary and giving away picks to save 2 million bucks, for 1 year, If liles cant go then it should be Franson we will at least get some kind of return. Bolland at 3.5 playing 3 c is better then Colborne, Bozak at 4.25 is better the Grabovski at 5.5 Clarkson is a better winger then MacCarthur the tern is long but you are fooling yourself if you don’t think the cap is going to go up considerably in the next year or so considering how many games will be played in football stadiums Olympic year etc. Revenues will be large the cap will go up. His cap hit wont be huge as it seems now, but Franson still wont be worth more then Del Zoto and his comparables (I’m not listing them again) so if he has to go so be it.

          • and last thing…. you seem so worried about the cap but if we had it your way we would still have Grabo so there is an additional 1.25 mill we would over pay Franson by at least a mill so there is 2.5 mill you went on and on saying you wanted Horton who got more money then Clarkson and his bad contract so there is 3 mill so how you figure your ideas wouldn’t put us in a worse spot then we are in now? We would have a number 1 center who couldn’t win draws and 9 goals last year making 5.5 mill a guy who wont play till Dec at least after shoulder surgery and, he is a head shot away from retirement making 5.5 mill paying a 4 or 5 d man who if he plays anything but bottom 2 lines is a giveaway machine making 3.5 mill… stop talking like you know what you are talking about you keep saying we are going to have to walk away from Fraser…duh you cant unless he is awarded 3.5 mill or more in arbitration, another of your other brilliant observations Phil hasn’t gotten better since he has been here… (he has got more goals and assists every year since he has been here) and on and on and on you go. Quit acting like you know what your saying. You don’t, you make JFJ look like a genius cap wiz

          • Tell me again how the Leafs are just fine for cap room…

          • Oh yes, and tell me one more time how you think Franson, Fraser and Gunnar are all crap but how the sky will fall if Phaneuf isn’t on the team because he is sooo awesome. Maybe you mean because Phaneuf is a steal of a deal at his salary rate

          • Lol youre right Dion sucks Randy(the former Norris winning D-
            man, coach) plays him 30 mins a night against every teams top lines because he is terrible and Randy likes to lose, more great observation. We should trade him Kessel and Bozak, that will make us much better maybe we could get Horton and Weiss, we only really need them for 40 games anyway because we have one of the “best young D men” in the league in Franson back on the point….moron

          • Phaneuf was MUCH better statistically when playing 25 mins or under… Carlyle over played him frequently (often close to 30 mins) and even admitted this to the press.

      • It sure is. Just don’t expect any of them to listen to you when you try to explain the fallacy in their incessant drinking of the kool-aid. Every off season the Leafs can trade away their garbage for the all stars off of any roster, to have a lot of their fans tell it.

    • !yah colorado really wants liles

  4. This is why so many teams are in financial straight jackets,2 million dollars for a guy who plays 9 minutes a game.Tootoo is a minor leaguer,his “best” years are behind him and obviously no one wants this guy.There are more of his ilk out there as well.All the teams that might have a passing interest in Tootoo will not make money next year,so yeah throw 2 more million in the red column,for a press box refugee! Too much money,too little upside.

  5. Panthers are a $55M budget team. They won’t exceed that and if they do then it won’t be by much.

  6. Buying out Liljes, if they can’t move him, makes more sense than trading Franson. He was a bottom pairing d, who frequently sat in the press box under Carlyle, and eating up $3.85m. Maybe they could retain a bit of Liljes salary in a trade, and package him with a pick as incentive. Franson still needs to show a LOT more however to earn a raise near $4 or higher… e.g. he has to play the way he played last year for a full 82 games this year.

    • lol just noticed Vince said almost the same thing 😉 I second that, minus the COL part 😀

    • No no it dosent look at his buy out numbers…lol Franson is not worth 3 mill plus buying out contract to sign bad contracts is an awful idea….

  7. I think there is value both in Franson and Liles, however it is very different value.
    Liles is a veteran d-man who can move the puck up well, the only reason Toronto didn’t (couldn’t) use him is they have Phaneuf, Franson and Gardiner who play the same role a bit better than Liles.
    I think NYI would be interested in obtaining him as a replacement for Streit. No need to ask to much, a 2nd round pick would be fair I think for both sides.
    Franson’s value is in his potential. Right now I rank him as a #4 d-man with the potential of become a top 2. God help any forward against him if he decides to learn how to hit as well, he’s a big boy and would be an all around package if his game turned into a physical one.
    I believe Nonis is aware of this and wants to retain him. If this means Fraser gets the boot, so be it. Fraser is a good physical player, but a #5 or #6 d-man still. These guys don’t usually make more than $1 Million/season, so his asking price of $2 Million is just plain ridiculous.
    If you must, package both Fraser and Liles and see who’s interested.

  8. hope Pittsburgh make a couple more changes and trade for Jordin Tootoo. WOULD LOVE TO SEE HIM IN A PENGUINS UNIFORM!!!!!! :)

  9. I believe the buyout window ( regular, not amnesty) is August 1st. I think if Leafs cannot move Liles by then, they buy him out. By that time they will know Frasers arbitration award, and will then only have Franson and Kadri to work on, plus a third line left winger. Buying out Liles by August 1st incurs a cap hit of 1,250,000 for six years. So eat it in a trade or buyout, bottom line is cap recovery of 2,625,000 added to the 6.1 million available for a total of 8,725.000 for Fraser Kadri and Franson. I see Fraser coming in at 1.3 maximum, Kadri at a maximum of 3.5, and Franson at a maximum of 2.7. That gives them 1,275,000 for a 14th forward. They can pull up one of their prospects or pick up a UFA. Leafs 7 D are then Phaneuf, Gunnarsson, Franson Fraser, Ranger, Gardiner and Holzer. Not enough money unless Liles is traded for picks to allow Morgan Reilly to play with the big club this year. Another year of seasoning and decisions are easier regarding Phaneufs contract next year.

    • But if you put Liles on waivers someone may pick him up for 1 and 2 if you send him to the Marlies his hit is 1.9 for 3 years instead of 1.25 for 6, I still think they trade Franson first but I really cant see them using a regular buy out on Liles it only saves them 650k for a few years but drags on for 3 more years after the contract would be done, as opposed to burying him in the minors till his deal is up or until you can get rid of him.

      • Sorry 2.9 mill for 3 years but still not going to be a cap hit lingering around for 6 years. Liles will not be a regular buyout…