Updates on Briere, Grabovski, Kulikov and Ribeiro – April 12, 2013.

Daniel Briere could face a contract buyout, speculation the Maple Leafs could shop Mikhail Grabovski, Dmitry Kulikov shows promise with the Panthers, and the latest on Mike Ribeiro’s contract status.

Could Daniel Briere become a buyout candidate?

Could Daniel Briere become a buyout candidate?

PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports Daniel Briere acknowledged the possibility he could be the target of an amnesty contract buyout this summer. The Flyers are allowed to buy out two contracts under the league’s amnesty contract buyout plan, which wouldn’t count against their salary cap for next season. Seravalli noted there’s confusion over whether it would be at two-thirds the remaining value over twice the remaining term, or at 100 percent, which is what Scott Gomez and Wade Redden received.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Briere’s cap hit is $6.5 million per season for the next two seasons, though the actual salary is $3 million for next season and $2 million for 2014-15. CapGeek has the breakdown under the usual buyout formula, though it won’t count against the Flyers cap if they go the amnesty route. It was rumored the Flyers wanted to shop Briere before the trade deadline but he was unwilling to waive his no-movement clause. If the Flyers buy him out, Briere (despite his struggles this season) would attract interest in this summer’s UFA market.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons ponders what the Maple Leafs might do with Mikhail Grabovski if they re-sign center Tyler Bozak, suggesting the Leafs could trade him this summer to a club which misses out on Derek Roy and Mike Ribeiro in the UFA market. Simmons also suggests they could absorb part of his salary to facilitate a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmons is merely speculating, but he does raise an interesting point about where Grabovski could fit with the Leafs if they re-sign Bozak.  He’s got four years left on his contract at a cap hit of $5.5 million per season, which won’t attract much interest unless the Leafs agree to pick up part of it. His relationship with coach Randy Carlyle could also be a factor. I expressed my doubts in today’s Canadian Corner of the Leafs moving him, and I doubt they’ll do it if Bozak isn’t re-signed. They could also write off Grabovski’s struggles to the shortened season and gamble he’ll rebound next season. Still, if there’s genuine interest in Grabovski this summer, GM Dave Nonis could entertain offers.

MIAMI HERALD: George Richards recently noted 22-year-old Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov has shown promise and a little more enthusiasm of late. Kulikov remains a work in progress, but GM Dale Tallon said he never considered moving the young blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kulikov was linked to the Red Wings, Flyers and Bruins in the rumor mill prior to the trade deadline, but Tallon sees him as a key part of the club’s future. I don’t believe he’ll be available this summer in the trade market.

RDS.CA: Renaud Lavoie recently reported via Twitter “Mike Ribeiro does not expect to sign a contract extension before the end of the season. He expect talks to resume after the playoffs.”


  1. I have no idea what Nonis is thinking. Bozak will be a very expensive 2nd line center and with Kadri kinda slotted for that 2nd line position (because I doubt he is ready to take over the number one role) why would they pay Bozak big money to play a third line role? So that pretty much leaves Grabo out in the cold.

    Kadri, Bozak, Grabo, McClement can all play a second or third line center role but none are in the elite catagory to play the number one, with Kadri being the only exception. I don’t think management is ready to slot him in that spot next year. Who knows what could happen with all the sophmore slumps that seems to happen to these kids. Kadri may need one more year of grooming.

    Leafs are loaded with 2nd/3rd line centers that will all command $5M+ (except McClement). Nonis has a tough job ahead. Let Bozak walk? Buyout Grabo? Play hardball with Kadri?

    • Nonis seems like a pretty smart cookie to me I beleive he has a plan depending on where the chips fall if he can get Bozak for a couple years at the right number bye bye Grabo (buy out) and cotinue to look for an upgrade for the top line, if Bozak gets to dear in contract talks Nonis lets him walk, and uses Grabo as a bargining chip in another deal and/or hopes playing more on the top 2 lines rekindles some of his past success….either way Id be surprised if both Bozak and Grabo were here to start next season, and depending on what becomes available due to other teams buy outs and deals that will be available through out the summer for teams to get under the cap, I wouldnt be surprised if neither one was here…

  2. Kadri-Lupul will assume the # one line once the playoff starts with their play.

    • Depends on who they are facing…Randy is a match up coach as is Claude Julien if its the Bruins in the first round you may as well throw all numbered lines out the window it will either be offensive line or checking line and constant changes, particularly at center and on D depending on who is on the ice, thats it no other way to break it down…

  3. Been saying it all along thay the Flyers will no doubt buy out Briere just for the simple fact that it will cost less in actual dollars to get back more cap space. Briere’s buyout will be 3.33 million which in turn will give the Flyers 6.5 million in cap relief.

    • Now that the hey know there is basically no way to move him they have no choice…same as Bryz and the circus that surrounds him, but that buy out is going to sting a bit….

      • In the offseason they might be able to convince Briere to be traded if he knows the alternative is buyout embarrassment.

        He fits in with Ribeiro/Roy/Grabovski trio in terms of skill set in theory.

        • Why wouldn’t Briere hang around for the buyout – he is coming to the end of his career and the money would ease any embarassment he might have. Although I don’t think ego is a factor, I think the main reason why Briere didn’t want to be traded is because his boys are in school and at an age where you don’t want to be moving them around. Danny will take the money and then sign with whomever he wants – Montreal, Toronto and maybe even go back to Buffalo – but for sure there will be teams that want him as he still has good value even though he has had an off year.

  4. If the flyers buy out briere it will come back to bite them in the ass. Probably in the playoffs when briere shines the most.

    If they do I think he would be a good fit with the islanders

  5. I believe Nonis is waiting to see what this current bunch does in the playoffs as nobody anywhere really knows who, if anybody on this current Leaf team; as coached under Carlisle, will emerge as a playoff performer. Nonis also will have to decide whether or not Carlisle is the right person here as well as it clearly appears his relationship with Grabbo and the team is not working out as well as it once did.

    I believe that as long as these questions remain unanswered, Nonis will entertain the idea of resigning all of his existing UFA’s & RFA’s if possible and seeing what he can acquire via the free agent market if need be.

    That said, I believe that as long as Carlisle is the coach, Grabbo is a good as gone.Bozak, Kessel, Reimer, Scrivens,Dion,Lupul, Kadri, Jay McClement, Colton Orr and Fraser have futures with this organization and I can see this team loading up on scoring centres who can grind, bang, fight and score so expect the Leafs to plug hard for Derek Roy, Robiero and anybody else who fits this mold as this where this team is headed..a re-creation of the Cup winning Ducks who as both Burke and Carlisle once said” You come into our barn and you want to dance, be prepared to find your very own dance partner.”

    I believe Nonis, Carlisle, Rogers and likely Burke( albeit removed) want exactly that kind of “entertainment” for its viewing audience.

    • What do you mean Carlisle relationship with the team isn’t working out aswell as it once did?…he has only been here for maybe 60 games and.they have lost 1 game in regulation time in the past 10, sitting in 5th and a playoff spot for the first time in 10 years when at the beginning of the year most would have said they would be lucky to make it to the playoffs??? He is a hard coach who shows no favorites exactly what this team needs to cure the “blue and white” disease that has been plaguing this team for the past decade. As a fan of this team for the past 40 years or so I can only remember maybe a handful of times they have showed such potential, and for the most part I would say RC deserves the credit as he has the exact same group that has been here for the past 3 or 4 years that have been driving off the cliff come christmas, Are you judging him because of poor little Grabo’s slump? Rest assured the way Mikhail is playing would put him on the third or fourth line on any good coach’s team.

      • Of course Nonis will resign most of his RFAs (who dosent around the league?) regardless of this year’s playoff run you think if they get swept in the first round is really going to have an effect on weather Kadri Fraser McClaren Holzer get signed? Franson and Gunnarson will probably be signed aswell depending on what they ask for, if it’s too much they might get dealt but for the most part every team signs their own RFAS. If you think they are going to load up on centers who can score yet fight and hit your next words should not be they will go hard after Roy and Ribiero…lol if they got both those guys think about the centers they would have Grabo Roy Ribs Mcclement and kadri not exactly striking fear (physically) in any one over about 5 foot 9 190 lbs…..or most males over the age of 17.

    • Carlyle has been nothing but the perfect coach for the leafs. No longer will there be players who feel entitled. You don’t play hard you sit. To say that things may not be working out is ludicrous. Media speculation has Carlyle and Grabovski on the outs but his reduction in playing time may be due somewhat to Grabovski’s health. I have been a fan of this team for several decades and this team is playing better as a group right now than they have in many years.
      I believe Nonis re-signs Bozak. So he isn’t your proto-typical first line centre, so what, he is a good player and improving every year. Grabovski however will not improve to any great degree and so becomes trade fodder because even if he accepts a reduced third or fourth line role he makes way to much to do so. The leafs also have to start moving guys up from the Marlies so expect them not to re-sign MacArthur or Kostka.
      Roy and Ribiero can score, but bang and fight? If you think Kessel is soft(much better this year) then Ribiero is a marshmallow. Roy is enthusiastic but is not a big guy and is injury prone. The leafs will not sign either of those two guys. Clarkson on the other hand fits the mold.

  6. Let’s see 6.5 slary cap hit while only making 2 million, then 1 million per year. Welcome to the NY Islanders Danny boy.
    This is a Wang dream come true. Even better than the Tim Thomas nonsense.

    • LOL sure is never thought of it that way

    • Yeah, but Bill its that way with any team – it will be his choice of where to play because I still think he has leadership, speed and skill and could help out any team. I think he’ll go to an immediate contender – not a rebuilder and Montreal is looking pretty strong as a place he’ll land.

  7. There wont be a big change in the Leaf lineup next season. Bozak stays if he agrees to a reasonable contract and we continue the way we are going, with youth. Grabbo wont be going anywhere imo, he is a good player asked to play defence this year instead of offence, now that the team wants offence we see he is sick. I don’t want to say Grabbo is miscast as he plays well defensively, but i believe he can be a better scoring forward if put in that role.

    • If he is asked to play D he should probably start…minus 8 and lots of giveaways playing with a guy in kuli who has a very good defensive game isn’t exactly stellar D play either, just because you are a good faceoff guy dosent mean your producing results…the ailment you speak of has been an issue for the past couple seasons and using acid reflux suddenly when it wasn’t a factor before as an excuse for poor play when you are making 5.5 mill a year is a real stretch.

      • Again with the scoring forward role…it’s not like the guy is as gifted as everyone thinks in that role 2 50 point seasons in 7 years he was a good 2 way centerman on a team with a limited number of centers, but now that Kadri and McClement have come around we begin to see Grabo for what he truly is, a second line guy on a team with lots of guys who can play that role. This really diminishes the need for him or that type of center and he is the highest paid forward on the team yes they may keep him if Bozak wants a big payday but if they sign Bozak they will get rid of Grabovski there is no room for both.

        • There is no way with the cap at 62 mil you are going to have 14 mil maybe more tied up with Grabo Kadri and Bozak…