Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 29, 2014

The latest on Joe Thornton, Patrick Sharp, Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, Paul Stastny, Dave Bolland and more. 

Despite his agent's denials, trade speculation still dogs Patrick Sharp.

Despite his agent’s denials, trade speculation still dogs Patrick Sharp.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch believes the San Jose Sharks can’t undergo full rebuild until they can convince Joe Thornton to accept a trade. Toronto and Detroit are among the clubs thought to be interested in Thornton…Despite the denials of Patrick Sharp’s agent, speculation persists the Blackhawks’ winger is available….The Penguins have nine players to sign and only $13 million in cap space…The Canadiens hope to re-sign defenseman Mike Weaver, who’s believed seeking something in the ranger of $2 million per season…It’s believed the Panthers could target Toronto’s Dave Bolland via free agency…The Canucks could have interest in Ryan Miller or Jonas Hiller…Reports indicated the Wild are interested in pending UFAs Thomas Vanek and Matt Niskanen…There’s talk the Bruins could trade Chris Kelly to shed some salary…The Blues, Predators, Maple Leafs and Red Wings could make a push for Paul Stastny if he hits the UFA market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Thornton has decided he’s not waiving his movement clause there’s no decision the Sharks can make…The Blackhawks got under the cap by trading Brandon Bollig yesterday to Calgary, but they have little wiggle room and certainly none to take on a second-line center. They’ll have to move out another salaried player this summer…If the Habs are shopping Josh Gorges that could work in Weaver’s favor…I think the Panthers will sign Bolland if he hits the market. He and Panthers GM Dale Tallon know each other from their days with the Blackhawks…I expect the Canucks will pursue Miller or Hiller. Let’s face it, a goalie tandem of Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom doesn’t inspire much confidence…The Wild reportedly want Vanek to agree to a one- to three-year deal in order to pursue Niskanen…Kelly has a no-trade clause, but could waive it for the right team…Stastny stands to be the most-pursued player in this summer’s UFA market.

ESPN.COM: Scott Burnside listed several teams which still have work to do following the NHL Draft weekend. The Senators, of course, still have to move Jason Spezza…The Predators could pursue affordable center options like Brad Richards, Mike Ribeiro and possibly Vincent Lecavalier…He wonders if Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau will agree to be dealt…With the Coyotes buying out Ribeiro and allowing Radim Vrbata to test the UFA market, Burnside wonders if they’ll shop defenseman Keith Yandle for a scoring forward…The Red Wings might pursue defenseman Dan Boyle…The Blues could look at Spezza or Paul Stastny…The Blackhawks need to shed some cap space if they hope to land a second-line center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators will be busy via trade and/or free agency to add a playmaking center to play alongside recently-acquired winger James Neal…The Coyotes are clearing the decks to bolster their scoring via trade and/or free agency. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if they move Keith Yandle for a scoring forward. He has two seasons left on his contract at $5.25 million annually and lacks a no-trade clause.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers could pursue Devils pending UFA defenseman Mark Fayne as a potential replacement for Anton Stralman, who is expected to test the UFA market on July 1. They could also have interest in another Devils free agent, Ryan Carter. He would be seen as a replacement for Brian Boyle. It appears the Rangers won’t be re-signing 2014 Masterton winner and faceoff specialist Dominic Moore.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Jarome Iginla emerges as a free-agent candidate for the Minnesota Wild if he doesn’t re-sign with Boston. The Wild are also believed to have interest in Thomas Vanek and Matt Niskanen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For all the talk linking the Wild to some of this summer’s notable free agent, Russo points out GM Chuck Fletcher isn’t about to blow his budget on them. Fletcher wants to ensure he has sufficient long-term cap space to re-sign his key younger players over the next couple of years. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports the addition of James Neal could help the Nashville Predators become a more attractive destination for free agent scorers this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It certainly won’t hurt. Still, the Predators are known as a budget team, and free agents will want assurances they’re a club committed to building toward Cup contention. 

NJ.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan confirms his club has interest in soon-to-be UFA goalie Martin Brodeur.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t let your heads explode, Leafs fans. Shanahan said they expressed an interest but nothing more than that. If Brodeur sticks to his intent of signing with a contender, he won’t be joining the Leafs.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports sources claim the Flyers “left no stone unturned” trying to trade Vincent Lecavalier (who’s owed a $2 million bonus on July 1) during the draft. If they cannot trade him before July 1, Panaccio speculates the Flyers’ only choice will be to buy out the remainder of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It won’t be a compliance buyout as Lecavalier signed his current contract last summer. As per CapGeek, the buyout calculation is as follows:

  • 2014-15: $1,500,000
  • 2015-16: $3,000,000
  • 2016-17: $3,000,000
  • 2017-18: $2,500,000
  • 2018-19: $1,000,000
  • 2019-20: $1,000,000
  • 2020-21: $1,000,000
  • 2021-22: $1,000,000

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe reports the Jets could have interest in pending UFA Jussi Jokinen.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika examined the Stars free agency options this summer.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James speculates Dan Boyle would be a more affordable free-agent option for the Red Wings than Matt Niskanen. Trade options include Arizona’s Keith Yandle and Buffalo’s Tyler Myers but the asking prices would be expensive.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Boyle is likely to sign with the Red Wings. 

TVA SPORTS: The Montreal Canadiens could have interest in pending UFA defenseman (and former Hab) Stephane Robidas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can understand the need to add a veteran blueliner if they’re shopping Josh Gorges, but Robidas is ageing and has been hampered by serious leg injuries. Not a good option.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Josh Yohe reports the Pittsburgh Penguins could have interest in Toronto’s pending UFA winger Nikolai Kulemin, who’s a friend of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.


  1. Will someone in Philly wake up… buying out Vinny only a year after offering him a 5 year contract!!! On the heels of the Bryz fiasco and Brière, I wish I had that kind of leeway from my boss when I blow budgets…

    • Philly isn’t going to buy out Lecavalier, Tim Pinaccio is speculating hardcore.

  2. so I can’t believe they bought out Erhoff!

    He will be a Red Wing very early Tuesday morning

    • What I don’t get is that (via Capgeek) that puts the Sabres at around $31M for next year right now, with a cap floor of $51M.

      Buffalo isn’t a prime location that players want to go and nobody wants to sign with a 30th place team. So, in my mind, the only way the Sabres get up to $51M is if they big-time overpay someone(s)… which is exactly what they’re getting out from, with Ehrhoff.

      • Montreal might be willing to give them Briere for little back, or as part of a larger package. It would be nostalgic for the fans (good PR), and despite his limited role last season the reports were glowing of his attitude and contributions in the locker room.

      • Then i guess Buffalo could do business with Boston, since Boston has to make some cap room

      • They have 5-6 RFAs to sign, so that should be at least 10 mil. That’ll leave 10 mil to target a couple free agents or trade for someone.

      • SPEZZA should be traded there.

    • Wow! Just read the news on tsn! Cannot believe they buy him out! Maybe he was not tradeable because of the length of the contract.
      I’m sure he has some good years left in the tank and unless he seeks more than 4 years I would rather sign him than Niskanen!
      Now the Sabres have to sign some FA’s or trade for some high salaried players to reach the cap floor. Will be interesting!

      • It was the recapture penalty. If I remember correctly if he had retired with another team a year before his contract was up Sabres would have gotten hit with a $10 million cap hit. Doesn’t look like a great move right now but if he does retire before his contract is up this is a pretty good move.

        • Line up the 2 and 3 year remaining Bad contracts plus good young player and or high draft picks, to Buffalo for 4th and 5th round picks….they need a couple.

          I think they would consider taking a guy like Vinny and the Flyers 1st for a third or 4th round pick.

          • Giving up a 1st to someone in order to take vinny makes no sense. If they keep back a portion of the salary a legit trade can be made.

          • No no it cant.. not really they need cap space if they want to make a bigger move there is no sense holding half his contract 2 million bucks and trading him for another 3 or 4 liner that makes 2 million bucks, its just shuffling deck chairs around.

    • Yup, I didn’t see that coming. This is the guy the Wings need to target. 4 years, 6.5-7 per year, don’t care if it’s an overpay.

      • Too much!

        Erhoff is a possibility, wrong handed shot though. I see Dan Boyle first. Maybe Erhoff also. Will depend if they get a top six forward, like Stastny(not cheap), iginla, Vrbata or someone like them.

  3. I really like what buffalo has going on. I also hate it as a jealous leaf fan who wanted them to do a true rebuild. I think ehrhoff will be good on another team but maybe he wasn’t the type of vet that you have during your rebuild. They will still need some vet dman there with toughness to protect all the kids they will have on their backed but they are not difficult to find.

    As per the leafs signing stasney….no. Where do you play him? Not second line, we end kadri to get his minutes there. First line is taken by bozak unfortunately. This team should move some of their core to shake things up. I really like jvr and how well that deal worked out for Toronto, much like the Lupal deal but if you can maximize your return on these guys then do it.

    • I can’t see Stastny signing anywhere in Canada.

      Good possibility he ends up home in St Louis. They have the money and the cap hit to do it.

      • Why wouldn’t Statsny sign in Canada? Because he is American? That’s like saying Ovechkin wouldn’t sign with a team in the NHL because they are Russian and will be heading for the KHL no questions asked.

  4. Wow, lot’s of good rumors floating around.

    I’m unsure about Bolland as a Panther. The Panthers have Barkov, Bjugstad, and Pirri that are growing as very good centers and Bolland would be eating up their ice time, if and when he is healthy which is once in a while, apparently.

    Blackhawks may need to trade someone like Hjalmarsson, or Rozsival.

    I think that Spezza could be Dallas bound as long as management does not think that he would not fit in with Seguin.

    It is curious to see the Rangers not likely to re-sign Dominic Moore. Seems quite odd actually, and the clearance of cap space with Dorsett as well. It could be that a RFA player will be signed to a bigger term than thought, or could potentially seek to get Spezza?

    Also, with the Panthers liking the size and skill of their young d-men with Ekblad joining the team, it wouldn’t surprise me if Tallon would have some interest to continue that trend and seek Tyler Myer while trading Pirri and plus, which would then allow for Tallon to sign a center like Bolland.

    • I really hope the Rangers are done looking for big names instead of quality talent. They just offloaded Old Man Richards, bringing in Old Man Spezza doesn’t really inspire confidence. I fully realize Spezza is not that old. I don’t care. I don’t want him either. Learn from the late 90’s. Learn from the Nash trade.

    • Myers is not going anywhere. Especially with Ehrhoff gone.

  5. I also don’t get the idea that, according to Kypreos on Sportsnet (who is dubious, I know), but the Sabres had set a trade value for Tyler Myers at 3 pieces, including a first rounder. So, the same as most stars (like Spezza, Kesler, etc)

    What I don’t get is that half the reports about Myers is that he has a massive contract that he has not yet lived up to, and so he’s overpaid. Maybe not hugely overpaid, but overpaid nonetheless. If that’s true – I don’t watch Sabres games to know – who would give up 3 pieces and a 1st-rounder for potential?? That’s what the first rounder is, potential… and around $4M cheaper!

    In a salary cap world, an overpriced contract is a huge negative, so why would anyone think they could get massive value for that player?

    • His potential is through the roof. And he turned his game around big time last year.

  6. How funny would that be it Vinny was receiving pay cheques from three organizations (Tampa compliance buyout, Philly buyout, and a new team who signs him if bought out). Talk about making the owners and GM’s of the league look like a bunch of useless idiots. lol

    Just wondering if any Leaf fans would trade Bozak straight up for Vinny? (no salary retention by either team)

    • LOL! No way I would trade Bozak for Vinny!

    • you can’t believe these media people how would they know

  7. Re: Hiller / Miller
    Just a gut feeling but would not be surprised if Ducks sign either Hiller or Miller on July 1 for say one year 5 million plus bonus for performance. First of all ducks have about 20 million in cap space. Second they just sent a signal to the world with the Kessler trade that they are going for it this year. Third there two goalies have less than 40 NHL games between them, so they are telling us that with all that cap space and trading for Kessler they are just going to wing it in goal ? Point #4, I find it strange that teams who need a goalie did not offer up a 7th round pick to Ducks for the rights for Hiller for the next 2 days so that they can have a small shot at getting it done before July 1. Lastly, Vancouver has interest in Hiller ? Hello, you just made a big trade with Ducks and you didn’t bother to ask Ducks to toss in the rights to Hiller ? Why would the Ducks say no if they still didn’t have an interest, why wouldn’t the Canucks ask if they have interest ?

    • Bonuses can only be included only for:
      (i) Entry level contract;
      (ii) Players aged 35 or older who have signed a one-year deal; and
      (iii) Players who are “400-plus game Players” who: (i) spent 100 days or more on the injured reserve list the previous year; and (ii) have signed a one-year deal.

      Hiller and Miller are none of the above.

  8. Did you give your suggestion much thought before posting. Lacavalier is pretty much washed up but could be useful on the fourth line. Bozak is in his prime and has been improving each year and is better than many give him credit for.

    • Drew
      It’s more about breaking up the bromance between him and kessel. When I hear Bozak is an untouchable it tells me who is really running the team. Besides that 21% shooting percentage is unsustainable by Bozak. His stats will fall back significantly this year. Besides I would think if Bozak sustains one more injury then Shticky will be calling him a gimp for life a wanting him dumped. lol

      • Do you have no friends? Is that why it’s your life goal to make sure no one has a buddy on a team? Bolland has missed over 100 games over the past 4 seasons and thats with a shortened season, its over 1 full season of games, Bozak missed a pretty big chunk last year 25 games or something but besides that the previous 3 seasons he may have missed a dozen or so games, its not even close to how injury prone Bolland is.

      • the whole reason for trading Vinny is cap relief. he has a little left in the tank ,not 4yrs though .
        if philly added b schenn to the deal they could get a decent prospect back .
        maybe holand and fredrik gauthier .
        philly could play couturier at 2c and try cousins or laughton at 3c . holland at 3c or 4c if the kids need more time .
        leafs would have the option of moving kadri and or playing vinny on the wing

  9. I love the way Bryan Murray calls out his players in public. You get rewarded with a big contract, don’t live up to it, ask to be traded, then turn down the trade you deserve to be outed in public. Way to go Bryan!

    • I love the way some fans feel that negotiating a trade with a team that was included on the list that the team agreed Spezza could not be traded and then using their media hacks to trash the player are considered honourable. I have “disliked” Spezza since his junior days, but the Senators have changed drastically since the optimistic days when he signed this deal. They went from “pay to win” to pinching pennies, from adding players needed to win to adding assets to a rebuild that may never end (until Melvyk is gone).

      • Spezza and his agent gave Murray permission to talk to any team on the no-trade list if the return was good for the team. Spezza would then look at it and decide if he wanted to waive his NTC. Spezza is doing his best to help the team out.

        He didn’t and that’s that. It’s his right.

        As a Sens fan, I just want Murray to shut up for a while. Work on a deal and do it without telling everybody everything.

        If it wasn’t for penny pinching Melnyk who no longer has enough finances to properly run an NHL team, the Sens would still have Alfie & Spezza.

        The ‘budget’ for the team is 56M, same as last season, even though he is netting close to 40M from two TV deals and he’s not spending a penny of that back into the team. What an owner.

        • “If it wasn’t for penny pinching Melnyk who no longer has enough finances to properly run an NHL team, the Sens would still have Alfie & Spezza.“

          The Sens still have Spezza.

          If the whole thing is true of Melnyk not having enough finances to run a team is true I am just wonder if the Sens are up for sale

          • tick tock

    • That is factually inaccurate. Murray is just trying to win the PR war, same way they trashed Alfie on the way out. Spezza is a pro so he’s keeping quiet. The team willingly gave him a NTC and he put Nashville on the list. Why even bother negotiating with Nashville unless he’s trying to make Spezza look bad?

      • Most of what he says is slanted one way or another…lol

      • Murray had permission to talk to teams on the no-trade list.

  10. Smart move by Buffalo.
    Lot of teams need to shed salary and can’t afford players Buffalo can grab a bunch of players.
    True if guys don’t want to play there but can get guys like Kelly from Boston for like a 7th rounder.

  11. Jovanoski put on waivers

  12. Ok, let’s rebuild the leafs everyone. Let me know if you think I’m over or under valuing them

    Bozak to van for a forth rounder
    Kessel and kadri and a third to Dallas for faska, oleckiak 2015 first and second.
    Phaneuf and the rights to franson/reimer for NYI first and mid level prospect
    Lupal to Edmonton for a second
    Jvr to San Jose for mueller
    Gardiner to Carolina for a first (more going from Toronto).

    Let me know what you guys think.

    • Not sure what you’re smoking but it must be good. Your trades are ridiculous to say the least.

    • Had a visit from Mary Jane this afternoon

  13. Would it not be funny if Ottawa suddenly opened the purse strings, signed Stastny and looked at St. Louis and company and said “The Price for Spezza just went up, what you going to do now?” Lol if only life was as entertaining as my dreams.

    • That would be funny, but Stastny is not coming to Ottawa and Melnyk would not pony up the money for that contract.

      Spezza isn’t going to St Louis as long as they are offering up a 3rd line centre with a major shoulder injury.

  14. interesting that Buffalo chose to buyout Ehrhoff’s also interesting that both Florida and Buffalo will have over $50 million in Cap room next year, perhaps they have plans of making an offer on an RFA? i don’t see them doing that this year as a significant offer would likely cost them a first round pick and they won’t risk their shot at Connor McDavid but after that who knows, they both have lots of draft picks and young talent and could go a few years after that without a first rounder should they choose to make a huge offer to someone. it’s also worth noting that Toews and Kane will be UFAs and with Kane being from Buffalo and Tallon having drafted Toews they could make Chicago choose between them by making offers where Chicago would have to make a choice between them.

    • Or make somevalls and get a couple more shots at McDavid by picking up firsts for a couple bad contracts to get to the Floor, Vinny and the Flyers first, Gleason and the Leafs first those kinda deals most teams have a contract or 2 to dump, if Im Murray Im making calls to them saying all pick up short term bad deals but it will cost you.

  15. Did i miss something? Are de red wings gona have 2 teams next year? All i hear is the red wings are gona pick up every UFA available. There gona need 2 teams

  16. Alforducks: I do not see Hiller or Miller signing a one year deal anywhere. If they would sign anyone for one year, their best bet is Brodeur, if he would consider it. What the Ducks have going for them is they are contenders, and he has a few cups under his belt, as opposed to Hiller with one and Miller with none.Marty would be an awesome mentor to the young goalies and an experienced leader in the room with Koivu and Selanne retirning. Hiller and Miller lead the goalie class of UFA’s and someone will pay the money and offer the term. I could see Miller going to either Vancouver or Washington (Braden Holtby is not the answer) and Hiller to Vancouver, Calgary or Washington. If I were Hiller and the Ducks offered me a one year deal after the carousel ride last year I woud tell them to go quack themselves.

    • For the most part I agree with you and felt this way up to yesterday. I do not understand why a team like Minnesota or even Vancouver who have expressed interest ( at least reported in the press) in Hiller didn’t toss a 7th round pick yesterday at the Ducks so that they could get EXCLUSIVE rights for Hiller, sure it’s only for a complete of days, but hell they have him all alone and can sign him before anyone else can, In Vancouver case if they had interest, just tell the Ducks we want his rights tossed into the Kessler deal. Miller I understand, St Louis cannot trade his rights or they have to give up their #1 pick in 2015, so they will just wait until Tuesday and let him walk. The real point about Miller is what he is ACTUALLY trying to do ? If all he wanted was a big contract, he had that offered to him in St Louis. If he wants to be on a cup contender, once again he had that in St Louis. If what he really wants is to be near his family in Southern California well then he just may have to give and give a lot. Forget LA, Quick is there. San Jose, maybe but that’s an hour plane ride, Phoenix hour plane ride. Vancouver, forget it custom delays, Minnesota, plane ride as long as St Louis, so why didn’t he stay there ? It really comes down to Anaheim if what he really wants is to play close to the family. I think we will see Tuesday what’s important to him and how much he is willing to give up to get it. It could also be that Anaheim has no intent of going with Anderson / Gibson, it just might be a smoke screen and Miller will be signed and either Anderson / Gibson traded. Ducks do need to upgrade the defense.

  17. Wouldn’t it be nice if Philly stopped handing out such horrid contracts tat even they get sick of them a year later? Maybe with the new management there will be some sanity… The old management was a bunch of morons.

  18. Do you think some rival clubs make life difficult for the bruins ? by sending an offer sheet to either reilly smith or tory krug. at a cap hit of 3 to 3.5 mill the compensation is a 2nd rd pick.
    if this happened before they were able to make a move it would make it that much more difficult.
    and do you think either one is worth that much?(cap hit and the compensation)
    i know they are trying to unload kelly but i think loui eriksson is the guy they must get rid of

  19. Martin Brodeur to any team other than a goalie coach would be a mistake. Well past his due date but a sure Hall of Famer complete with a wealth of knowledge that can only help any organization. Why keep playing Marty? You have nothing left to prove and can only hurt the reverence we all have for you. Hang em up

  20. If Bolland thinks he’s worth $5 million per year for 7-8 years and Florida; or anyone else; is dumb enough to pay him that much, then let him walk. He’s a mentor yes, and still effective as a centre to a point; but he’s not worth that much for that long of a period of time.