Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup (Part One) – June 24, 2012.

Latest on Lubomir Visnovsky, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Justin Schultz, and Dustin Penner, plus updates on the Flyers and Stars.


Could Visnovsky stay in Europe next season?

ISLANDERS POINT BLANK: Kevin Schultz cites a Slovakian site suggesting Islanders recently-acquired defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky might play in Europe next season, as he was weighing offers from the KHL as well as a Slovakian club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Visnovsky has one season remaining on his NHL contract, and it’s my understanding there’s a “gentleman’s agreement” between the KHL and NHL not to sign away players currently under contract, so he’d have to honor his NHL contract. It could be Visnovsky is merely keeping his options open in case there’s an NHL lockout. Hopefully, we’ll have more clarification over his intentions in the near future.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Adam L. Jahns reports Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson remains in play and the Edmonton Oilers are among the teams who could have interest. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman apparently talked trade with Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon, and recently chatted with Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. The Blackhawks are also believed shopping defenseman Steve Montador.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not surprising the Oilers could have interest in Hjalmarsson as they need experienced depth to the blueline. Wouldn’t surprise me if Hjalmarsson were moved this week. Not sure how much interest there could be in Montador. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Highly touted Anaheim Ducks defense prospect Justin Schultz is headed to free agency, where there is expected to be considerable interest in his services.

LAKINGSINSIDER.COM: Rich Hammond reports Kings GM Dean Lombardi is waiting for a medical report on pending UFA winger Dustin Penner, who may need surgery for a wrist injury, and intends to meet with Penner this week.

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports the Flyers trading away James van Riemsdyk for Luke Schenn creates a hole at forward which must be addressed. The Flyers will face stiff competition if they get into the Zach Parise sweepstakes. Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan and Columbus’ Rick Nash are available, but Flyers management doesn’t want to part with young forwards Sean Couturier, Matt Read, and Brayden Schenn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could push the Flyers to re-sign ageing winger Jaromir Jagr.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports Stars owner Tom Gaglardi hasn’t set a budget yet for his club for next season, but added there would be “in there on any player” in free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, add the Stars to the list of suitors for Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Alexander Semin in this year’s UFA market.


  1. If Burke signs Schultz which is a possibility because of the Gardiner/Schultz connection Burke will still have an over-abundance of good young defencemen in the stable. I can see Gunnarson (another non-Burke draftee like Schenn) being the next to be traded unless he can convince another GM to take Komi as part of a bigger trade with someone that needs to hit the cap floor. If Burke can shed himself of Lombardi and Komi it opens the door to go after Suter although I’d rather wait to see if Weber comes available next year. The Leafs need another vet on defence to help stablize Gardiner, Franson, Blacker, and (possibly) Schultz. Burke better not sit back now that he made one move that he could have made 6 months ago. JVR is a great start but the Leafs still have many holes to fill.

    • Agreed about waiting till next year. If you look at the roster for next year there are significant dollars coming off and at this point the free agent market is significantly better. Not saying Burke shouldn’t look to improve the club and try to move over paid under achieving players, hello Connolly.

  2. “The Flyers need another forward”…. did I miss something? Sticking just with the top 6, I’ve got: Brierre, Couturier, Schenn, Hartnell, Giroux, Simmonds, and Voraceck. That’s 7 top six forwards.

    Yes, I know Couturier isn’t a top 6 yet, but he looked good in the playoffs and he was a high first round pick, so you have to pencil him in as an eventual top 6.

    • Of the 7 you list, 4 are C, only 3 wings. Couturier needs to be 4th line or at the highest 3rd line center, he is still young and it takes more than one season to get a clear picture of what we got here. Jake still needs to be signed to a new contract. I really think we need a top 6 scoring winger to be comfortable going into next season. Sure they could try to move a Center out on the wing but that remains to be seen (if and how it works out)

      • I’d really like to see P.A.Parenteau playing on the Giroux-Hartnell line. He is an assist machine and he plays with an edge. He belongs in the Orange and Black.

  3. blacker will be the odd man out. great player, watched him in o/s. he may be the one going for bobby ryan. as for schultz he’s an american college player, and thats all brian burke needs to know in order to sign him. cut bozak!

    • I think it would take quite a bit to grab Ryan and I don’t know if the Leafs are will to part with the likes of Blacker. Reilly (yesterdays first), Kadri and or Colborne .I see a problem with Bobby Ryan and Carlyle anyways and I think the bigger need is a center ie Getlaf who may not be available.

      • Also Schultz won’t sign with the Leafs if he figures he will be a rotating 7th Dman sitting in the press box most nights like Franson did last year. The Leafs will have Gardiner, Lyles, Komi, Phaneuf, Gunnar, and Franson ahead of him on the depth chart. You know Burke and his loyality to Vet’s, Komi will always seem to have a place in the line up most nights. Burke has to move one of these guys in order for Schultz to sign here and it won’t be Gardiner or Phaneuf and I doubt Lyles will agree to go after just signing. I also don’t believe Burke is ready to give up on Franson given his size and playing time last year which leaves Gunnarson a JFJ draftee or Komi.

    • why cut bozak… hed be a great 3rd line centre… defensively responsible and good at faceoffs

      • Pushed off the puck way to easy, won’t grind, can’t cycle, won’t stand in front of the net not much a 3rd liner. All he has to offer is faceoffs (sort of), pk duty (sort of), and minor goal scoring and passing ability. I don’t think that’s what Burke had in mind when he thought about truculance, and testosterone. I think you will see a much different role for Bozak under carlyle if any at all provided Burke finds a worthy 1st line center..

  4. Pens will get Parise lol

  5. LEAFS

    As things stand now the Leafs have Gunnerson, Phaneuf, Komi, Liles, Franson, Blacker, Holzer, Gardiner, and presumably adding Schultz as all NHL ready defenseman. That would make 9 D which def could cause a problem. I don’t believe Komi is moved this year at all as the cap space isn’t a huge issue and there is no way the Leafs sign Suter, Parise, or Weber. My bet would be

    Phaneuf – Gardiner
    Franson – Schultz/Blacker
    Holzer – Liles

    I think to me the only D that the Leafs shop this year is Gunnerson. I’m not sure how much the 6’2″ Swede nabs in return, but I’d say it likely that the Oilers, Islanders, Predators, Flames, Ducks, and Panthers would be team I think would pursue him. I could see the Islanders parting with a young underachieving player like Josh Bailey in a deal surrounding Gunnerson.


    This one is the most interesting. We know he is moving, I believe it’d be very hard to convince him to stay, but Ryan does not hold a movement clause of any sort and is signed for two more seasons past this coming season. So lots of teams will be in the running for him here. Philly, LA, MIN, OTT, TOR, NYR, DET IMO to be the top contenders for Ryan’s service and I actually believe that Philly’s need for defense and unwillingness to discuss their young players will make them fail in their pursuit.

    If Ryan is dealt before Parise is resolved I would expect him to land in LA, TOR, NYR, or OTT. After than it is a crap shoot.


    I really think Nash won’t be moved until Parise, Ryan, and maybe even Semin are off the board. Then those prices Howson is asking for will more likely be paid with nothing else left on the market.


    Parise ends up with Detroit or Pittsburgh
    Ryan ends up with Philadelphia or Toronto
    Semin ends up with Detroit or Ottawa
    Nash ends up with Ottawa or New York Rangers

    • I agree with your Leaf D comments except I would figure Blacker could be involved in the Gunnarson trade to get the D down to 7 men if it means getting something good back. Leafs still have Fraser to call on too.
      Now that the Leafs moved Schenn (a shut down D man) the Aulie (also a shut down Dman) trade isn’t looking so great. Gardiner, Lyles, are puck movers aand are the furthest thing from shut down guys and I’m starting to believe Phaneuf isn’t good at either, which only leaves a so so Gunnarson. Aulie would be nice to have in the stable right about now.

    This has been Burkes best move in a long time …they drafted two top defenceman as well this year and will probably sign Shultz to play with Gardner ……
    Schenn is in decline has hands of stone terrible with the puck in his own end slow skater and has no offensive upside at all !

    Should sign and add Sheldon Souray to play the powerplay with Franson both have very accurate hard shots and he adds stability infront of the net where Dion Phanuef lacks in play ……This would be a really good option, low cost veteran presence for younger d man on team!!

    Dion Phaneuf
    Phil Kessel
    James Reimer
    2nd Rounder 2013
    Tim Connolly

    TO Winnipeg

    Andre Pavelec
    Evander Kane
    Zac Bogosian

    Colborne & Bozak

    To Dallas for Steve Ott

    Bozak was a Joe Neiuwendyke find when he was with the Leafs.

    To Rangers
    Mike Komisarek and Jesse Blacker

    TO Toronto
    For Brandon Prust and Dan Boyle who the Rangers said they will not sign

    • Wishful dreams bro… No way Bruke moves Kessel or Phaneuf (although I agree with your past comments on these two).

      I already feel sorry for JVR since the TO media is making his physical prowess out to be the second coming of Lucic or something. JVR cannot change the softness in the top three lines by himself. Lupul is tough enough to stay but that’s pretty much where is ends on the top 3 lines. Kessel, Bozak, Connelly, and Lombardi are super soft, MacA and Kulemin are medium softies, Armstrong is always injured, which leaves little Grabovski (with a heart like a Lion), Lupul and JVR. Pretty sad situation right now.
      Kessel seems to be the guy that is forcing the Leafs to look for a big tough center, which is like finding a needle in a haystack right now. I big tough scoring winger on Lupul’s line changes the fact the Leafs need to find a big centerman.

      Just sayin

    • so kessel gets 6th in the league in scoring and you want to trade him… what does the guy ahve to do? we dont pay him to be a 2way forward… we pay him to get points… he does awesome at that and now everyone wants him moved? doesnt make sense

      • In a way it does make sense though…the L.A. Kings won the cup without a Kessel, they won with a commited team concept that run down teams with their toughness, see the Bruins the year before. The teams winning the stanley cup are not leading the league in goals in the regular season, they are winning the cup by not allowing goals in the playoffs and finding ways to score with toughness and cycling.I am a Leafs fan and believe Kessel is exciting to watch, but it seems to me to win in this league you have to have size and team commited defence. Kessel could land you alot this year, wouldn’t hurt to see what you could get for him right now or at the trade deadline. Just my opinion, but how really could you say he is untouchable?

    • No. No and no.

  7. It’s not in ANY way an informal “gentleman’s agreement”, as Lyle puts it. It’s an actual signed, and very legal, transfer agreement.

  8. …and Slap and Shot…I think you have a little too much time on your hands and are a wildly overactive daydreamer. All of us Jets season ticket holders would storm Chevy’s office and give him an atomic wedgie if he made the trade you suggest…gimme a break; “Kessel and Phaneuf”. Keep those bums, nobody wants them, especially at the price of Kane, Bogo and Pavs….Gawd, only in Leaf-land….

    • Farley Go easy on Slap it’s still early in Toronto. He doesn’t like Phaneuf or Kessel so he will endlessly try and persuade you to take them off the Leafs hands for all your future stars. lol I would think the Oilers would have more interest in Phaneuf then the Jets. Burke will never part with his captain or with Kessel (that he sold the farm for), so you will never have to worry about that trade…

      • The oil should have 0 interest in phaneuf. He’s slow and immomible.

    • Yea nobody wants a top 10 scorer in the league. Nobody! you couldn’t give one of those away! Even more he’s young who wants a young top 10 scorer?

      And I hate the leafs.

      • Not saying Kessel isn’t worth a boat load but I don’t think the Jets would mortgage the farm and give away all their future stars for him and Phanuef. That trade only benefits the Leafs big time.
        And I’m a Leaf fan

        • Thank goodness for a voice of reason among Leafs fans. Slap & Shot, that proposed deal with the Jets is so ridiculously one-sided that even Burke would be ashamed to suggest it. And forget about ANYONE taking Connolly, even as a salary dump- looked like a bad signing at the time, and only looks worse now.

  9. I don’t believe that the loss of JVR creates a hole at the forward position, the flyers seemed to score without any problems while JVR was sidelined. JVR for a defenseman makes tons of sense.

  10. Rumors this morning,say that Ryan to Flyers heating up. Ducks want Def.and think Philly could provide it [ along with other pieces ]

  11. Arthur staple of Newsday tweeted that Visnovsky will be coming to Long Island and play for the Islanders this year.

  12. Some of the posts above have been a little harsh on Luke Schenn. I think at minimum Schenn will become an outstanding shutdown defenseman, and at best he could become another Scott Stevens. He’s only 22 years old, so he still have plenty of upside.

    • Both Schenn and JVR are have struggled to meet their potential the last little while. And both teams needed what the other had so its a good deal for both clubs.

    • It’s hard to see what a defenceman like schen brings until the team makes the playoffs and he gets a chance to show his shut down ability. I agree that he has struggled but do think he has a load of potential to be a physical shutdown defenceman

  13. The Rangers will be in play for all of the top Free Agents..mark my words, one will be coming to the Big Apple.

  14. If the ducks need D, look no further than the Sabres. They are stocked! I can easily see Ryan coming to Buffalo – for the right price.

    • Lets give the Ducks Miller, Roy and Sekera and in return get Hiller and Ryan.