Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 15, 2014

Latest on Jason Spezza, Brad Richards, Joe Thornton, Marian Gaborik, Braydon Coburn and more.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports league sources claim the Calgary Flames have made an offer for Senators center Jason Spezza. Their offer (believed to be” Jiri Hudler, Mikael Backlund, possibly Dennis Wideman and one of their several second and third-round picks”) falls short, in Garrioch’s opinion. It’s also unlikely Spezza will accept a trade to Calgary, as sources claim the Flames, along with the Oilers, Canucks and Jets, are believed on Spezza’s ten-team “no-trade” list. It’s unknown what the status is of the Canadiens and Maple Leafs but Garrioch doubts Spezza would agree to go to those teams. It’s believed the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues have interest in Spezza, but the Blues are also believed holding talks with the Canucks regarding Ryan Kesler.

Garrioch also reports there’s a belief if the New York Rangers buy out Brad Richards they’ll make a pitch for a top center. They have held talks with the Senators but GM Bryan Murray prefers to ship Spezza to a western club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That isn’t a bad opening offer from the Flames. Hudler and Backlund could help the Senators right now, though I doubt they would have interest in Wideman. They could wrangle for a first round pick. Still, it’s a moot point if Spezza isn’t willing to accept a trade to Calgary. I think it’s down to the Ducks and Blues for Spezza. 

Has Brad Richards played his final game with the Rangers?

Has Brad Richards played his final game with the Rangers?

NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis also believes Brad Richards has played his final game as a Ranger and could receive a compliance buyout. Cyrgalis also notes the Rangers must re-sign RFAs Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider and Derick Brassard, as well as re-sign or replace UFAs Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle, Dominic Moore and Benoit Pouliot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Rangers GM Glen Sather pulls a complete swerve and buys out Rick Nash, who has struggled to score in the postseason with the Blueshirts, Brad Richards is a goner. With nearly $54 million invested in 13 players, Sather currently lacks sufficient cap space to re-sign his key players. A Richards’ buyout frees up over $6.66 million. 

BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa also believes the Rangers will use their remaining compliance buyout on Brad Richards, citing their need to shed cap space to re-sign several key player. He speculates they might target the Sharks’ Joe Thornton, who loves living and playing in San Jose but might waive his no-trade clause to play alongside good friend and former HC Davos teammate Rick Nash…Shinzawa believed the Los Angeles Kings have sufficient cap space to re-sign Marian Gaborik (expecting he’ll seek $6 million per season) and Willie Mitchell.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For now, Thornton (through his agent and brother John Thornton) appears content to remain in San Jose, unless there’s a massive uprising of Sharks fans demanding he be dealt…I think the Kings will re-sign Gaborik and might get him for $5 million per. He’s already made his big money on his current contract ($7.5 million annually) and can now play on a perennial Cup contender for several years. If he’s smart, he’ll take a three-year deal worth between $15 – $16 million and stay in L.A.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo speculates the bright future of several promising young Minnesota Wild players (Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter, Erik Haula) means their pursuit of Thomas Vanek is not longer a sure thing. Russo believes they don’t want to get too many players north of 30 on long-term deals. He also notes several of those promising players will be restricted free agents next summer and the Wild wish to ensure they’ve got sufficient cap space to re-sign them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The improvement of the Wild’s promising young forwards this season (especially in the playoffs) coupled with Vanek’s poor playoff performance for the Canadiens means he’ll have to accept less money on a shorter term to play in Minnesota. While I still won’t fully dismiss the possibility of Vanek signing with the Wild, I agree with Russo that it’s no longer a certainty.  

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples analyses a recent rumor claiming Oilers GM Craig MacTavish could revisit his interest in Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn, speculating what it might take to land him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Flyers need for a top-two defenseman, I doubt they’ll ship Coburn to Edmonton, unless they can swing a side deal with another club to replace him. That move would merely weaken the Flyers. I also doubt they would have interest in any of the Oilers young blueliners, as they have a couple of promising kids in their system and will want someone more experienced to step in right away. The Flyers are also deep with wingers but could use a first-line left wing. Maybe they’d have interest in David Perron, but Coburn would be a big price to pay and still won’t address their blueline needs. 

USA TODAY: Kevin Allen lists his top NHL unrestricted free agents for this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can find my listing of this summer’s top-30 UFA in my latest Bleacher Report slideshow

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile suggested he could add another first-round pick at this year’s upcoming draft by trading both his second-round picks. The Predators currently hold the 11th overall pick.


  1. No trade or movement clauses are fine. However, teams NEED to write in contract that if the player asks or demands to be traded, then the no trade clause is void and the team can trade the player to any team they choose. Spezza is not wanting to honour his contract BUT wants to NOT honour it on his terms? Thats a load of baloney feathers in my book, although I understand why Spez wants out of the cheapest team in the league. But a contract is a contract.

    • Yes and remember that info released to the public is either meant for public consumption or simply hearsay…ie BS. A lot of stuff is said about players like trade requests with conditions as in spezza’s case (as with other players in the past) that are simply not true. And they are not true because the people reporting the ‘news’ are merrily speculating and report it as fact. We read it and because someone said it, bam it’s true.

      • Well, being as it has been confirmed by GM Bryan Murray, I think it’s ok to believe this one. And I agree, if a player requests a trade, then it should void their NTC.

        • all murray wants is a 1st round pick he can not stand it that he does not have one buyer beware when dealing with him

        • So GMs and coaches could scratch players drop them to the fourth line and just make life miserable in general for them until they waive, then they can deal them anywhere they want….seems almost fair. If a gm is willing to write in an ntc, he should deal with it, period end of story.

    • Seems to me he is complying with his contract. He hasn’t threatened not to play, I am certain he would honour his contract and play if not traded. This may have come up in the context of an inquiry from Murray about a contract extension, in which case JS may have said I won’t sign a new deal because I don’t want to play here. That is neither asking for nor demanding a trade.

      As for writing in what you suggest, what constitutes asking or demanding to be traded? It would likley have to be in writing, as a verbal request would be difficult to prove. And whatever definition is given to it, unhappy players and their agents will find ways to send the message while not quite meeting the threshold.

    • D Champ–

      A No Trade Clause gives the player the right to object to a trade. if the player asks for or demands a trade, then the player isn’t going to exercise his right to block a trade. nothing needs to be written in a contract like you suggested

      • He will block if ottawa works out a trade with Calgary or Winnipeg.

  2. The article on Spezza says that Murray may try to convince him to go to Calgary. From what I’ve read the 10 teams he won’t accept a trade to was submitted last year. Can that be changed?

    • Spezza probably won’t go to Calgary. Hudler & Wideman are 30 or over, Murray wants younger players. Backlund is injured more than Spezza is. No thanks.

      Spezza wouldn’t put Tor or Mtl on his list of 10 teams as he knows Murray would never trade him there. So essentially, he has a 12 team no trade list.

      Sens fans have had enough of Melnyk and him cheaping out on the team. Getting close to 40M in new TV revenue this season and he’s not spending any of that new money back into the team.

      I think he was forced to sell his horses as he really needs money. Most Sens fans wish he would have sold his hockey team and kept his horses.

      This guy no longer has sufficient assets to properly run an NHL team.

      Fans are not buying his crap anymore. We’ve had enough.

      Two key players gone in the past 2 seasons, because the Owner won’t spend to make the team more competitive.. I really can’t blame them.

      • Murray wants to get younger assets in return and get a few players who can help them now. Young assets usually never help out right away.

    • Whether a list can be changed likely depends on the specific wording of the NTC. But a player can always choose not to enforce the NTC if they so choose. But that is often done when a pending free agent has a chance to go to a playoff contender than stay somewhere you won’t resign.

  3. Better question, why are the rebuilding Flames looking to obtain a 30 year old center with one year left on his contract and a lower chance of resigning him. S pezza doesn’t provide amazing leadership and won’t get you to the cup without a support cast…

    That said, I wouldn’t mind Hurdler, Backlund, and a 1st… even two 2nds. Probably get better offers though, I expect Nashville or Dallas to be Spezza’s landing point. I think the Blues will land Kesler and the Ducks won’t pony up the price. Dallas has Jamie O which is exactly the type of young d-man Ottawa is looking for. I’d also love to see the Sens to land the rights to Vernon Fiddler, perfect 3rd line center, great on the PK.

    • Hudler & Backlund — one is 30 yrs old the other injury prone. They want him that bad they can send Sean Monahan back to Ottawa. Straight up for Spezza. But that won’t happen.

      • Funny Sandy…

        • I’d love Monahan, but I haven’t started drinking yet to believe that one is possible. As a Sens fan I truly want to see a great return, but even Brian Murray said it isn’t likely top happen. It is why my hope is to see

          Dallas: Jason Spezza
          Ottawa: Jamie Oleksiak, Alex Chiasson, rights to Vernon Fiddler, 2nd or 3rd round pick

          Reports I’ve read (Defending the Big D) state that management is more keen on Patrick Nemeth in Dallas then Oleksiak, so this could provide an opportunity to grab him up. Chiasson is a decent young winger with size, and Fiddler could prove to be a great addition as a 3rd line center. If need be we can throw a guy like Gryba or Greening back the other way as well.

          • @jjb i dont believe that you would be able to pry Chiasson away from the stars as i read reports that Boston tried last year in the Seguin deal but had to settle for Smith.

          • Really? I didn’t know how high the Stars management was on him. From what I’ve seen he was a bit more of a project player, but I liked his size and playmaking ability for the 2nd line. I’m not sure who I’d try and rip from the Stars at that point.

    • Burke doesnt like 5 year rebuilds. I could see him having some interest in Spezza lots of cap room to work with Spezza and if he resigned Cammi is the pretty good top line letting some of the young guys play bigger roles on 2nd and third lines but not throwing them int the fire with heavy minutes. It kinda makes sense that Calgary may have some interest considering whos running the club.

  4. If Garrioch did his homework he’d know that even if the Rangers buyout Richards they still would not be able to afford a #1 center due to cap space. It is vital that the Rangers re-sign their key RFA players, but also Boyle and Moore.

  5. Here is a CRAZY IDEA. Leafs trade Kadri and Gardiner to the Flyers for the Schenn brothers. straight up. Braden is well I fine going to be a better Center then Kadri. Not saying Kadri is not a good center but the age is good for both players and Kadri is a better player now then Braden. As it goes for the second part of this trade. Luke is an ok d man. He might be at his peek or 2 years away from it while Gardiner is still young and has potential to be an elite dman in the league. The flyers take some money off the books and the Leafs get a future #1 big center. Plus who doesn’t love the idea of a brothers playing on the same team. Especially if the Leafs ever win the cup. See the Niedermayer brother’s on this one. just my CRAZY IDEA

    • I don’t understand why the Leafs would do that. They’d be downgrading at each position.

  6. trading Coburn would weaken the Flyers?

    obviously you haven’t seen him play. Coburn sucks. big soft D man. good skater, terrible hockey player.

    trading Coburn would be addition by subtraction

  7. Monahan to Ottawa for Spezza ? Crazy much ? Also, I think giving Hudler, Backlund, and a 2nd ( they can have Wideman) is a more than fair offer- although, would be tough loosing Backs as he is really coming into his own and is also really starting to take a leadership role. Spezza is often injured and isnt much of a leader-

    • Probably have to add a little more. I honestly doubt one of the cheapest owners in the league (Maybe the cheapest) brings in Wideman.

  8. Kessel to Calgary for their 2014, 2015 and 2016 first rounders.
    Come on Burkie you know you know you are smarter then all other GM’s and can single handily speed up your rebuild so apparently a fringe goal scoring winger is the first player you should land on your way to the promise land. lol

    • WTF are you smoking lol?

    • Kessel’s a fringe goal scoring winger? I know the post is satirical, but make it a little more believable. Kessel is a top five winger in the league.

      Even when he was acquired by Burke in Toronto, he scored 36 goals the season previous. Damn those guys who score in 44% of the games they play in, those “fringe” goal scorers!

      • MJR
        You know what I mean. You don’t start your rebuild with Kessel a smallish winger, yes, that scores 30+ goal consistently. The back end is the toughest to fill and takes the longest to groom so that might be where you might start not to mention the center position. Look where the Leafs are lacking after a five year rebuild, the D and center position. How much success have they had trying to fill those two areas? Zero. Smaller scoring wingers are much easier to find so you don’t start by trading away your future to fill the wing. I still think it was a bad trade given the Leafs bare cupboard at all positions at the time

        • The year after the Hawks took Toews they took Kane a smallish winger. I d say he is a pretty big piece of their core. 2 cups later I wonder if they regret taking him. Its just stupid to say you dont win with smallis type wingers. Its called building a team and you take what you ca when its available to you. Again Leafs 24/7 is a hindsight genius. Look at what they drafted after the Kessel trade 25 of their picks have been centers and D men,. Think they might have an idea that you need other pieces aswell? the problem isnt Kessel its never being bad enough to draft the stud D man or cant miss 1 center (I still think Kadri could be a guy like that it takes time to develop) its years of finnishing 9th and 10th and some bad drafts that have left the Leafs short, on high end pieces not the trade for Kessel. Its an idiot comment, I could say well the Hawks didnt win a cup with Toews until they got a smallish type winger to get them some offense.

          • Hey Idiot
            They drafted Kane AFTER they drafted and developed Seabrook and Keith to solidify their back end. READ MY POST before you make idiotic responses.

          • BTW I said at the time it was a dumb trade so no hind sight here. Any moves the Leafs make that you agree with always end up terrible so no point in commenting on my posts since your way of thinking clearly doesn’t work in building a cup competitor.

  9. Nashville Predators GM David Poile is in La-La land if he thinks two second rounders in a 21 player draft are going to yield him a tue first. This draft is a crop were there are 21 nicely hsaped apples that could be sat out on the table and anyone who sees them, may pick one up. After those 21 the rest have dirty, wormholes, lack color, are less than bite-size and far from the regular standard of “apples” we have seen in the last couple. Early in the second round, you are selecting players comparable to fourth rounders in other drafts. It only gets thinner as you get into the third. Teams will be taking players they are most familiar with and feel have the character work ethic to push on and attempt to get better and develop over the next three or four years without quitting. Also expect many mnay more seond and third year eligibles to get selected, because they have a bit more of the work done, ala lesser versions of Tanner Pearson & Andrew Shaw.
    Poile would have to find some GM who thinks he can get two of his favorite lower quality apples, confident his organization and the players themselves can polish up to the higher abilities that last decade of drafts have yielded.
    I dunno – to trade out of the first, especiallly in the first 21 slottings, for second rounders, seems ridiculous for THIS SPECIFIC Draft Class. Only an organization with the lousiest farm system, no long term depth, and gaping holes at various position needs would be that desperate.
    Check out DraftSite where I have the 400 players of 2014 ranked, locked and loaded. Enjoy! It’s free.

    • They might be able to make the swap into the 1st at the 28-30 slot… but even then I tend to agree with you that I highly doubt that they can. If Poile is going to do anything it should be trying to trade up into the draft from the 11th and into the top ten somewhere (not suggesting the 2nds do it) … but getting at maybe Hurricanes, Leafs, or Jets pick would be a good position for the Predators; they need a Fiala, Ritchie, Virtanen type.

      Though with the 11th they could land a Nylander or Barbashev.

      • Hey, Hey enough of that talk. If Kevin Costner was able to do it in his movie Draft Day then maybe it will can happen for the Preds too. lol

  10. Oilers need a Top D-man….

    Pen’s send Letang and Dupuis and Scuderi for The Third overall pick

    • That is the dumbest trade proposal I have ever heard. Letang is worth way more than the third overall pick. Only a fan that doesn’t understand how rare a talent Letang is, and how hard it is to acquire a puck moving D with some grit and speed, would suggest something so awful. And that isn’t even bringing up that Dupuis has value and would need to be replaced by the Penguins.

  11. And where is the top D man the Oilers need in this deal?