Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 30, 2014.

The latest on the Maple Leafs and Canucks, plus updates on Andrei Markov, Dany Heatley, Dmitry Kulikov, Dan Boyle and more. 

Will Andrei Markov re-sign with the Canadiens?

Will Andrei Markov re-sign with the Canadiens?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Dany Heatley’s stock has significantly declined, to the point there three league executives believe he’ll get a best a one-year, $1 million contract next season. He believes that could come from a “bottom-feeder” and suggests the Florida Panthers as a destination…It’s believed Andrei Markov could re-sign a three-year extension with the Canadiens…Sources say the Panthers did indeed table a four-year, $20 million offer to pending RFA Dmitry Kulikov…Garrioch cites the Jets unwillingness to sign a replacement coach to a long-term deal after firing Claude Noel. He wonders if they’re keeping an eye on embattled Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, who once coached the Manitoba Moose…The Sharks won’t decide what to do with pending UFA blueliner Dan Boyle until the off-season…Hurricanes’ owner Peter Karmanos has to sign off on Ron Francis taking over from Jim Rutherford as GM.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Heatley’s stock has plummeted in recent years. Wouldn’t surprise me if he’s forced to head overseas to continue his playing career…I think Markov re-signs with the Habs…The Panthers will try to re-sign Kulikov, but I wonder if his camp is hoping he gets an expensive offer sheet which forces the Panthers to pay more to retain him…The Jets were unwilling to commit to a long-term replacement for Noel, but they’re very pleased with Paul Maurice since he took over. There’s been various reports in recent weeks claiming the Jets want to re-sign him to a long-term deal. The reason it hasn’t happened yet is Maurice wants to discuss it first with his family…The Sharks could wait to buy out the final season of Martin Havlat’s contract before re-signing Boyle…Ron Francis will be the next GM of the Hurricanes. 

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Shoalts believes Leafs management must analyze the roster top to bottom to figure out its defensive weaknesses and lack of secondary scoring and work on a solution starting with entry draft weekend trades and free agent signings. He notes the struggles of captain Dion Phaneuf, center Nazem Kadri and winger David Clarkson this season.  Shoalts acknowledges there will be no easy answers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Leafs fans believe Phaneuf and Clarkson should be bought out (they won’t) and Kadri should be traded (he might, if the Leafs can get a decent return). I expect James Reimer will be part of a trade near the Entry Draft weekend, as could Cody Franson. But as Shoalts notes, there’s no easy answers. If the Leafs miss the playoffs, expect speculation about the club to dominate the rumor mill come June and July.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher speculates over potential changes after this season for the Canucks. David Booth is considered by some a compliance buyout candidate, but of late he’s been one of the Canucks’ best forwards, suggesting retaining him would only be a one-year gamble. If they don’t trade Alex Edler, it could make Jason Garrison a buyout candidate, though he has more years and money remaining on his contract compared to Booth. If they trade Ryan Kesler he suspects they’ll want a center in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Booth is inconsistent and often injured. He’s not worth the gamble. If the Canucks intend to shake things up, don’t do it by half-measures. This team needs to rebuild around the Sedins and Kevin Bieksa. 


  1. I guess it is easier to fire a coach rather than 23 players. Carlyle is as good as gone. Leafs just don’t want to play for him. Over priced whiners that don’t perform once they get the big bucks or players that just don’t understand that they must play for their next contract. It’s tough to be a fan.

    It’d rather watch bocce ball or paint dry than watch the only Canadian team in the playoffs.

    • Anybody watching the Leafs would find paint drying a much more exciting and rewarding experience.

    • Carlyle is toxic especially with younger players. It become so bad with Ducks that the players didn’t bother to show up most nights at the end of his tenure. Carlyle won’t change, and unless the Leafs change coaches over the summer there will be DIGGING IN WITH THEIR HEELS BY BOTH SIDES.

      • I suspect that Carlyle’s approach works with some players but really doesn’t with others. Clearly didn’t seem to work with Reimer. Not sure what the Leafs can get for Reimer now that he appears to be a shell of what he was at the start of the year or last year.

  2. Re: Leafs & secondary scoring
    So if Leafs need secondary scoring why is Holland in AHL and guys like Brodie & others playing ?
    Are Leafs saying that Holland is now going to be a career AHL’er ? Holland is 23, he is a top 6 forward TYPE and has talent. He is not a 3rd line guy who usually is a two way player can score but is mainly a defense type player again the other teams top line. Why not move Kadri to left wing / Holland at Center / Luphl Right wing. Find out if Holland can cut it or not. He had three shots at 2nd line center with Ducks and each year lost to Bonnino. He is running out of chances. Makes no sense making him a 3rd line center as Bollard is the guy you want there and of course Bozak is #1 center position. Trading for a center makes no sense as assets used in a trade should be for a top 4 D-man, which will be expensive.

  3. Is Bozak a number 1 centre ? Maybe on the Leafs but not in comparison around the league. They need a stud centre ice man and a mature 1A defence man. Babcock should be coach of the year. He will not win but should with $25 million in salary in the side lines. How good would Toronto be without Kessell and Van Dam since the Olympics ? I lot of heat in the big smoke these days. The team and staff can’t eat, can’t sleep, and wound tighter than an Nun’s private parts at Easter.

  4. Bozak is a good kid – he attended the same school as my kids in Regina (as did Jon Ryan of the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks). When you look at the #1 centres in the league you realize he is probably a #2 centre but the Leafs are thin at centre so he’s the guy. Don’t expect too much from the Leafs until they acquire or develop a true #1 centre. Reimer will have to be part of a trade (almost a throw in) because his GAA is ranked 44th of the 45 goalies listed by TSN and his save percentage is 34th. Ugh, another few months listening to Leaf fans over valuing Khadri and Gardner.

    Tony Gallagher is a genius. Up to the trade deadline the Canucks said the asking price for Kesler was a #2 centre, a prospect and a #1 pick. The deal with Pittsburgh fell through because the Penguins offered a #3 centre so the Canucks said they would only do that if they got Poulliot. Now Tony is speculating the Canucks will want a centre for Kesler. Where does he get his insight!

    • You’re right, Guys like Nostra freaking damas. Of course Gillis hasn’t impressed a whole lot with his trades so I wouldn’t hold my breath on the Canucks getting back real value for Kesler or Edler. I think the team really does need to rebuild though as he said. Deal away Kesler, Edler, Burrows, and other serviceable pieces to retool. They have a few guys that should get them decent returns.

  5. Could be a very interesting offseason with a few teams (Leafs, Canucks, Canes) talking about shifting direction and moving players. The salary cap will go up some but not enough for a bunch of teams to dump expensive contracts to retool all at the same time. Some of the bottom feeders (Florida, Edmonton, Calgary, and my Isles) could find themselves popular around the draft.

  6. Being a Sens fan I love that the leafs are losing but they are a much better team than they are playing like. I think Phaneuf needs to go as captain but that no trade clause kinda sucks. Not to big on Randy Carlyle either. He’s so aggressive that it just seems that some players check out around him. This collapsing is becoming a habit under the current captain and coach. It may not be completely their fault but 3 years of it would be enough for me to look at new leadership and try and stop this crumbling dressing room. I’ve also heard team fitness is lacking a little which might also explain these collapses. Another reason why Carlyle might need to go. Anyway, it’s easier said than done of course

  7. The lack of secondary scoring is overblown with the lack of D. A team shouldnt need 4 or 5 goals to win a game. The main issue is in their own end. Tough to break a cycle when the system is centered on making the players to sit in the middle of the ice and allows the opposition the point, the half wall and behind the net. This adds pressure to get the puck up the ice when they finally do get it, and that frantic play leads to turn overs and odd man rushes coming back. If you look at adv stats the Leafs were always a better possession team before Carlyle and players like Clarkson Bolland Raymond had better possession number prior to playing for Randy. Now the roster needs alot of work but that whole coaching staff being fired would be a big improvement.