Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 25, 2012.

The latest from the Edmonton Journal, Toronto Sun, Boston Globe and New York Post.


Lightning to keep tabs on Bernier?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Alexander Radulov saga has NHL general managers concerned they could be left holding the bag if they were to select Nail Yakupov or Mikhail Grigorenko in this year’s entry draft, should they follow his example and bolt for the KHL…Florida Panthers pending UFA blueliner Jason Garrison could attract considerable interest if he tests this summer’s UFA market. Garrison has apparently barely given the Panthers offer of $2.5 million per season (after earning $600K this season) the time of day, and could perhaps earn $4 million per on the open market.  The downside is he’s only lit it up for one season (16 goals this season), and he’s a shooter, not a passer, and doesn’t play a physical game…The Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets are “assembling their war chests” to go after Vancouver’s Cory Schneider, but sources say the Lightning are also keeping an eye on LA Kings backup Jonathan Bernier, thanks to their current head of amateur scouting, Al Murray, having worked with the Kings and was behind them selecting Bernier…Anaheim Ducks draft pick Justin Schultz could end up a free agent this summer, leading Matheson to believe the Oilers would be interested in him…

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The concern over Yakupov or Grigorenko is they could decide to play in the KHL after they’re selected, for they could earn considerably more in the KHL than they will on entry level deals in the NHL. Of course, if they sign those entry level contract, they won’t be able to play in the KHL as there is now an agreement between the two leagues not to “poach” players under contract. I expect Yakupov and Grigorenko will still go within the first five picks in the first round, but GMs will want assurances from these kids their intention is to play in the NHL…As Matheson noted, the lack of depth in quality defensemen in this summer’s UFA market could make Garrison a hot property, but teams definitely should approach with caution, given the shortcomings in his overall play…I’ll be very surprised if Schneider or Bernier aren’t traded this summer. And hey, here’s a crazy thought: would the Lightning be willing to acquire Roberto Luongo if the Canucks bow out early in this year’s playoffs and he doesn’t play well? Stranger things have happened…I believe there will be considerably more interest in Schultz than in Garrison.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has one season left to turn things around for the club. Burke has two years remaining on his current contract with the team… New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello appears convince he’ll re-sign pending UFA winger Zach Parise but apparently his agents aren’t as convinced.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The natives aren’t just growing restless in Leafs Nation, they’re downright revolting. If the Leafs don’t improve next season, Burke will take the fall…Parise will be the best player available in this summer’s UFA market, but it’s not just money which is important to him, but playing for a Cup contender, and that could prove the deciding factor in where he ultimately ends up.

BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports Nashville Predators backup Anders Lindback will be a restricted free agent this summer, and a possible trade candidate if rival GMs believe he’s capable of handling the workload of a starting goalie.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Pekka Rinne locked up long-term, Lindback won’t get a chance to prove himself an NHL starter in Nashville. If Ryan Suter opts to depart via free agency, Lindback might become a bargaining chip to add more depth to their blueline.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports it appears the only realistic way for Mats Zuccarello to continue his NHL career next season is if the NY Rangers decide not to qualify him on July 1st, allowing him then to become a UFA and seek a one-way contract elsewhere. Brooks writes, “Under terms of Article 10.2 (iii) of the CBA, the Rangers are required to offer the impending Zuccarello a two-way contract in order to retain his rights when his contract expires following the season.”


  1. Vancouver
    No way Vancouver trades Schnieder ..hes the future #1 Goalie …Van will have to see how they can move Luongo , if there are any takers and if he waives to be moved …if they get stuck with Luongo and move Schnieder they have nothing to fall back on after Luong is gone or gets BOOOOOed out of town in another riot …its better to be asfe than sorry ! Luongo has to be on the move its time !!!

    Still feel he signs in New Jersey …hes just upping his millions so the Devils have to go all in to resign him !

    Asking way to much for only having one decent O.K. season …dont mess with Dave Tallon hes building a winning club he does not need guys who dont want to be there ….say goodbye to the sun & beach Garrison

    BURKE … History !!…….he has nothing to offer anymore …the media hates him because hes beligerant and he has way to many people telling him what to do …he needs to go back to the old school days and stop doing Public Relations and get out to some games and watch players play before he makes stupid decisions ….maybe he should hire Don Cherry as an advisor along with Carlyle ,Dudley, Poulin, Fletcher and Nonis ……..go watch some games Burke !!!

    I got a great Idea for how Burke can get Nash …..go be the GM of C B J and ruin that team too!

    C B J has to trade this pick ..can they risk getting burnt again on another Russian draft pick …hes probably worth more to the them by trading him for more seasoned players ….Rumour had it that all Leafs top brass were scouting Yakupov over the weekend……how in the world are they going to get him??????

    Burke will be heavy in on him as this is who Burke initialy asked for from the Ducks in the Beauchemin deal but they did not want to trade him …so they got Gardner!!! He is Burkes draft pcik while in Anahiem and was Jake Gardners room mate in College …lots of motivation ….Shultz is apparemntly one of the best D men not in the NHL and is very ready to play a big roll for any team !

  2. Spector, I know in the NFL, a team with the #1 pick can negotiate and sign their pick before the draft, can this be done in the NHL?

  3. Garrison is not physical in terms of nastiness, but he hits, plays solid D, and blocks shots. He can pass very well, too, but with Jovo, Kulikov, and Campbell being the main passes of the blueline, he does not need to be a QB.

    The guy should get $3M per, $3.5M per at most. I want Garrison back with the Panthers, but if he wants to cash in big time then the Panthers have enough talent on D to let him walk. His goal scoring will be missed, but who knows how much he will score next season as well.

  4. @ Chris:

    Yes, Vancouver should keep Schneider over Luongo but your assessment that the Canucks’ choices are to trade Luongo or face a riot is idiotic and shows your complete ignorance of all things hockey. Classy, dude.

  5. A pleasant surprise has been Alexander Sulzer for the Sabres – he will be a UFA after this season and hopefully the Sabres will resign. I think a lot of teams didn’t know about him because he was the 8th d-man for Vancouver and perhaps Erhoff gave Darcy some book on him as his pairing with Erhoff has been brilliant. He is physical, passes, shoots, is skilled and has some speed – all for less than $800K

  6. claysbar: No, they must first make their selection, after which they have I believe up to two years to sign the player, or he either re-enters the draft, or becomes a free agent.

  7. HAHAHA a canucks fan calling someone ignorant!

  8. @crazycanuck …….

    listen dude I lived In Whistler for 6 years and Vancouver for 2 and spent the best years of my life in that area during which time I had grown to love the Canucks just as much as my team and wanted them to win.
    But I didnt say anything that was that bad and I did not start any riots ..other people did …it was a play on words …it happened not because of me so dont blame me buddy blame the people who made the mess.

    I respect your thoughtfulness but it bothered me to see a place that Iam extremly fond of and think about everyday …it was in no means to be a direct comment to you or anyone happend…. its over and hopefuly it never happens in…. any city !!!! Was purely a play on words!

    Just Chill !

  9. I am a firm believer that Luongo should go and Schneider should become the number one goalie. Seeing as Luongo has a home in Florida and going to Tampa bay with less travel and lots of sun and little rain could be very appealing to him. That way the Canucks free up money for a scorer.

    Scary thing about the Russians in this years draft and maybe signing in the KHL. If it is all about the business or money then that is the way to go but if proving yourself on the world stage is what they are interested in then they sign in the NHL. Millions of dollars right away and retire rich or sign for chump change (compared to the KHL) and if you get hurt you are out of luck.
    Which way would you go?

  10. Schneider will remain a canuck. If the next cba has a buyout clause then luongo is out. Which is why we should keep schneider for another year

  11. As a Bruin fan I hope Vancouver keeps luongo and trades Schnieder. I do know they won’t have both as both want to play.

  12. I see a lot of the Matt Niskanen situation in Zuccarello. If the Rangers have lost confidence in him they should cut him a break and let him go. Another quality team could scoop him up and turn around his career, ala Niskanen.

    In fact after the success the Pens have had grooming supposedly floundered defensemen Niskanen and Engelland into legit full time NHLers, I’d expect they’d give Zuccarello a shot if he goes for a reasonable price.

  13. oh ya, on the Russians the biggest factor in that issue has to be the pending CBA holdup. That could help aide those guys getting drawn to play in the KHL.

    They’ll as of yet to have developed strong ties with their NHL club, so they’d be prime for the picking with the KHL decides to try and lure players away during a work stoppage.

  14. On a separate note, can anybody confirm if Brian Elliott’s .940 sv% will break Tim Thomas’ 0.938 set last season? How many games does a goalie have to play in order to be eligible for the record books?


  15. “BURKE … History !!…….he has nothing to offer anymore …the media hates him because hes beligerant and he has way to many people telling him what to do …he needs to go back to the old school days and stop doing Public Relations and get out to some games and watch players play before he makes stupid decisions ….maybe he should hire Don Cherry as an advisor along with Carlyle ,Dudley, Poulin, Fletcher and Nonis ……..go watch some games Burke !!!”

    If you had emoticons, then my only response to this would be a facepalm emoticon. I love listening to Cherry rant about various things in hockey (and he’s usually right), but I’d take his team building advice with a grain of salt considering what happened when they let him run a team his way…

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear most Leaf fans decided to tune in during the last month, ignoring the 4 months before that when they weren’t free falling.

  16. I find it hard to believe that any team is desperate enough to take on Luongo’s contract…Don’t get me wrong..I’m a Canucks fan..and sure he has trouble in the playoffs but there were other contributing factors to last years loss to the Bruins, such as injuries to Hamuis, Rome suspended, Kesler injured, I can see how other fans want him out..but us TRUE Canuck fans know…it wasn’t Fans that started that riot..cuz I was at game 7 and it had already started by the time we had was the idiots from the suburbs lookin for trouble…not fans..I say Scheid’s will be traded. The Canucks are a great orginization and recognize he is a #1 anywhere will be sad to see him go but we will wish him all the best where ever he lands and promise to play him hard when they meet again..