Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – September 8, 2013.

Latest on Phil Kessel, Tom Gilbert and Daniel Cleary, plus the latest moves by the Flyers & Capitals could result in trades.

BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports chatter around the league pegs the asking price for Toronto Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel at $8.5 million per season, comparable to the eight-year, $69 million contract recently signed by Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry. Shinzawa considers that “fair value” for Kessel, believing if the winger hits next summer’s UFA market he’ll get a seven-year deal worth over $8 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree. Yes, I’ve read the opinions of some fans (including readers of this site) rejecting that evaluation. Trust me, if he doesn’t get over $8 million per season from the Leafs, he’ll get it elsewhere next summer. If the Leafs can get him to agree to a deal worth $7 million per season (front-loaded, of course, as salary variance still allows for that, albeit at a much reduced rate), consider it a bargain.

Could the Flyers try to move Andrej Meszaros?

Could the Flyers try to move Andrej Meszaros?

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio wonders why the Flyers would offer Hal Gill a training camp tryout, unless they’re planning “on trading at least one player of significant salary and replacing that player with someone with a far lesser cap hit.” Panaccio cited a club source claiming the Flyers hope another team in need of defense so they can shed some salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Braydon Coburn ($4.5 million per season, modified NTC) was reportedly being shopped in June, and there was some talk Andrej Meszaros ($4 million) could be available once he’s medically cleared to play. Failing that, Gill might not earn a roster spot with the Flyers, but if he has a strong camp could be signed by another team.

WASHINGTON POST/CSNWASHINGTON: report the Capitals re-signing of Marcus Johansson leaves the club with a little over $665K in cap space. If prospect winger Tom Wilson makes the club, it could force the Capitals to shed salary to make room for his $1.29 million salary. Possible trade candidates could include  “Mathieu Perreault [one-year, $1.05 million], Jason Chimera [one year, $1.75 million],  Aaron Volpatti [two years at $575,000 each], and defenseman John Erskine [two years at $1.962 million each].”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keep an eye on the Capitals over the course of training camp. If they need to free up salary, they could also demote Volpatti and perhaps Perreault to free up cap space if they can’t find any takers via trade or waivers.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson recently reports former Minnesota Wild defenseman Tom Gilbert could wind up in Switzerland if an NHL team doesn’t sign him. Matheson also believes Daniel Cleary could sign with the Dallas Stars, noting former Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill is now the Stars GM, plus Cleary’s friend Shawn Horcoff now plays for the Stars.


  1. I don’t know if it’s Kessel, Kessel’s agent, or Shinzawa, but somebody is smoking some serious dope.

    Let’s use the Perry comparison. Let me start by saying that I hate the Ducks and of all the Ducks players, I dislike Perry the most. Now, that said let’s compare stats.

    – 465 points in 574 games or a (.81 ppg average).
    – Over 50 hits per season average
    – 736 career PIMs
    – Career Plus/Minus of +47
    – 61 Playoff games; 2 Finals Appearances; 1 Championship

    – 379 points in 504 games or a (.75 ppg).
    – Barely double-digit hits per season
    – 139 Career PIMs
    – Career Plus/Minus of -36
    – 22 Playoff Games

    So statistically, Kessel is not comparable to Perry.

    But the single most important thing is this. PERRY WAS OVERPAID! Perry should not have gotten that much money, but Anaheim’s GM failed to lock both Perry and Getzlaf up before the season. The Ducks were at the top of the Pacific, so he couldn’t trade them at the deadline. I think if you go back a year on this ste, you’ll find several of us saying it was a mistake not to have these guys locked up. Perry and Getzlaf’s contracts obviously played a part in Bobby Ryan leaving town.

    If I were Toronto’s GM, I would absolutely not pay that kind of money to Kessel. Ovechkin, Malkin, and Crosby (guys over a point per game) deserve that kind of cheese. Everybody else is in the B tier or lower. If he will not sign for a reasonable amount, then trade him now (which could be tough), or trade him at the deadline.


    • JDBiGC
      Couldn’t agree more. You hit the nail on the head in so many ways it’s refreshing to know there are people out there smart enough to realize the right approach.

      • Coming from you Beer, it doesn’t mean a thing

    • The guys a top-10 scorer. why would we want to get rid of him?Pay him,keep him.That simple.

    • While I acknowledge your point about Perry and Kessel, you’re overlooking the fact the latter has led his team in scoring for four straight seasons, improving in each one, and over the last two seasons was among the league’s top-ten scorers, which Perry over that same period was not.

      Indeed, you could make the case that the 28-year-old Perry is a depreciating asset whom the Ducks overpaid to retain, while the 25-year-old Kessel is an appreciating asset who would be worth a comparable contract.

      • I want a like button for you right now Lyle. Couldn’t agree more, Kessel is a massive player for the Leafs who constantly proves his critics wrong. Before last year everyone kept saying the Kessel would disappear in the playoffs and he was amazing in the last playoffs, the guy gets better every single year, he works on his game, and he is constantly improving.

        The guy scored less then 30 goals once as a Leaf, when he scored 20 last year in a lockout season. He also has 13g 21pts and is a plus 11 in 22 playoff games. Kessel is a competitor, a pure scorer, and the cornerstone of the Leafs having a successful future.

      • Correct, and those guys who enjoy physical play experience a drop in production and health. Kessel scores more goals and goals are worth $. Kessel had four consecutive 30 goal campaigns in the last five seasons and would have easily had another in a full season. Perry has had only three and it’s doubtful he would have had one last season. Kessel is still in his prime, while Perry is coming out of it.

        As for playoffs: Kessel has 21PTS in 22GP, while Perry has 45PTS in 61GP.

        While Perry has a one 50G season and one Stanley Cup advantage, statistically they are very comparable.

      • Note: I’m not saying Kessel isn’t a good player, I’m saying Perry isn’t a good comparable. $8M+ per season should be reserved for the elite forward (Crosby, Malkin, and Ovechkin). Perry and Getzlaf both SHOULD have gotten in the mid $7M range.

        If you look at teams that are winning the cup, they all have guys who are signed for slightly less than market value.

        Look at the Kings. They signed Doughty to a $7M per season contract two years ago. This contract was not outrageous but was too high. If he signed for even $500k less, the Kings would be in a much better cap position today.

    • Agreed. I also recall a Hart trophy win by Perry. You would think being the Mvp of the league would puthis value above Kessel.

      • Sure, if Perry were still playing at the same level as he did when he won the Hart 2 1/2 years ago.

        • I wouldn’t pay Kessel that kind of money. He isn’t a player you build around

          • According to most, your best player is the one you build around and that would be Kessel, if the Leafs didnt build around Kessel (a top 10 goal scorer in the league) who would you suggest? This argument makes no sense Tampa bay shouldnt build around Stamkos? He was a bigger minus then Kessel last year… Past 5 years Phil is close to .9 ppg .44 goals per game (tied with Perry). There are 6 guys in the league who have more goals per game then Phil in the last 5 years. Marleau, Kovalchuck, Malkin, Crosby, Stamkos and Ovi, Phil should be paid the same as any of the other top goal scorers in the League and to say he is not a guy to build your team around is nonsense.

          • And again has been playing with a lot less talent around him as all the others in the top 6…. no number 1 center not on a team that is more then 1 line of depth for the most part compared to Malkin Crosby Ovi Backstrom Perry Getzlaf Marleau Thorton Stamkos St Louis Lecalvier etc.

          • Jason W.
            So in one post you take a cheap shot at me and the next you are agreeing. Makes a lot of sense.

          • I’m not saying Kessel isn’t an elite scorer and all that but for $8M I would rather build around guys like Lupul and JVR who played just as well in the playoffs and also added some sand paper along with scoring. I’d like to have Kessel too at the same rate of pay as JVR and Lupul but we all know that isn’t going to happen so I’d rather find another (Lupul/JVR) type player at $5M to take Kessel’s spot so we don’t have cap issues next year or the year after. This is simply about cap space and as you can see what has transpired this year with Franson possibly being traded it is always a concern and has to be managed correctly. Signing Kessel to $8M will cause furture cap problems regardless of how it looks now with next years space and increased cap. We have guys like Gardiner, Reimer to sign and if Kadri signs a bridge then in two years he could be commanding north of $7M. To many variables to go giving a guy $8M. JDBiGC has it right when he pointed out the fact Getz and Perry’s massive contract caused the departure of Ryan. I would add Bozak and Clarkson’s contract will probably mean the departure of either Kadri or Franson. Kessel’s massive contract could mean the departure of some very good players at reasonable rates to make cap room.

  2. Just to comment on the previous respondent:

    Naturally Kessel’s numbers are lower than Perry’s, he is 3 years younger and has yet to reach his full potential. In addition Perry has played with a much stronger centreman and a formiadable offensive entourage. Kessel manages with a no. 2 centreman and until the last 11/2 sesaons an inferior alternate winger and a generally lousy power play.

    I am not really talking about dollars here, the market dictates that..I realize stats matter but no player in history including Gretzky accomplished their best years without a suppoting cast. Possible exceptions might be Rocket Richard or Bobby Orr but that was another era and even then they played with strong teams.

    Personnaly I think it takes too much energy to hate!!

  3. I thought Nill said Dallas wasn’t interested in Cleary a couple months ago. I’m guessing he will have to lower his asking price to be signed by Dallas…or anyone else. I’d kind of like to see him back in a Red Wings uniform because he has brought a lot to the team. But the Wings will do just fine without him. He passed on his chance to sign with the Wings when an offer was made, and now some of Cleary’s comments make it seem like he is doing Detroit a favor by not signing elsewhere and waiting for Ken Holland to free up some cap space. If he wants to be a Red Wing that bad he needs to swallow his pride, admit he made a mistake not taking the offer that was on the table a couple months ago, and go to the Red Wings training camp as an invite as he has been offered. I’m pretty sure they made him that offer because they plan on signing him, and that will allow him to be “part of the team” while he remains unsigned…not because they expect him to “try out” for the team. But, Cleary says he is not interested in that offer, and as I said makes comments that seem to suggest he thinks he is doing Detroit some kind of favor by not signing elsewhere. If that’s his attitude then let him sign with one of the three mystery teams he says have offered him contracts.

  4. that’s too much money for kessel, not way too much, just a little too much. he’s worth 7 to 8 million a season (and worth 7 to 9 seasons). that being said i don’t doubt he could get close to 8.5 on the open market and if the leafs want to keep him that’s likely what it will cost them.

  5. Kessell reminds me of another former Bruin with tremendous upside and potential,Joe Thornton.He will never win a Cup for his team without quality support around him.Whether or not he is worth 8 million is a moot point.He may be a future Hall of Famer but Cups count more.The Wings need to get less European and tougher period,before they can return to those glory years. Cleary is another moot point.

  6. I’m shocked that the Islanders are not in on some defense. After last years great showing and loss of Streit they could use some decent veteran defensemen like Gilbert, Gill or Hainsey.

    And if I’m Holmgren I’d be doing everything possible to convince Colorado that they need Meszaros to provide that solid D their unit lacks. Then move Read, Courtier and Cobourn to Buffalo for Vanek and Miller.

  7. I was one of those Leafs fans hoping Kessel got traded last year but I’m glad he still a Leaf now. Kessel can score and has talent and is one of the top players in the league for that. He greatest weakness if he was voted most easy to intimidate by NHL players and its true.

    If you watched ever Leafs game the last few years you know Kessel is getting way better. He actually back checks a lot now thanks to Carle. Yes Kessel throughs about 3 hits per season until the play offs came. He hit Charra 3 times in that series and actually scored against Boston.

    He is our best player and maybe he is not a Croby type player or even on the same planet as him but he is still a top player. Leafs should sign him for 5 years at 8.1M per year. The point is if they let him walk who are they going to spend that 8M on? Guys like Crosby don’t get traded so we need to stick with our best player. I think Kessel is going to put up huge numbers this year with Bozak, and Clarkson.

  8. The nay sayers are missing the point.

    Where do you replace a guy like Kessel? If the Leafs goal this year is the playoffs, they won’t finish low enough to draft a replacement for Kessel and that replacement will be a few years away in terms of development even if he does turn out as good as Kessel. That is a HUGE “if”.

    When was the last top-10 scorer at 25 years old available in free agency? You can’t replace him there either.

    Or perhaps you think the Leafs have the assets to trade for a top scorer again? Maybe, if the strip the cupboards bare of everything.

    You pretty much have to sign a guy like Kessel, who is only 25.