Morning Rumors: Mason, Flames, Coyotes, Philips, Maple Leafs, Islanders and Bouchard

  • Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly: Flyers GM Paul Holmgran wants to get a deal done with goalie Steve Mason, and Mason would like to stay. Mason is making $1.5 million this season, and could get no less than $4 million in a long-term deal. Mason’s agent:

    “He’s under contract and the Flyers have the right to qualify him come end of June,” Thun said. “If they qualify him, he has one year before unrestricted free agency. We could go to arbitration.

    “Assuming he continues to play well an arbitrator could award him a pretty big number compared to where he is right now.”

    “I think Price is a very good comparable,” Thun said.

  • Chris Nichols of SportsNet: Brian Burke on Hockey Central about the rising salary cap and the Flames

    “Well, we’re budgeted to spend to the cap now. I know if you look at where we are now salary-wise, we’ve got cap room. We’re able to make some significant moves here at the trade deadline if they present themselves.

    “That being said, Jay hasn’t seen the value yet. We’re not just going to spend money to spend money. But our ownership group is committed to cap dollars. We are prepared to spend to the cap the moment we see value there.

    “As the cap goes up, that’s something from a revenue standpoint we should be able to keep pace with. Once we see the value, we intend to be a cap team at all times.”

  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Source saying the Coyotes have pitched the NHL on idea of having an outdoor game next season in conjunction with the Cardinals hosting the Super Bowl. Brian Burke’s Christmas freeze has gone into effect for the Flames. NHL Christmas freeze starts Dec. 19th at 11:59 pm.
  • Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen: Senators Chris Philips is entering the final year of his three-year, $9,25 million deal, and preliminary discussions have take place on a contract extension.

    “There have been a couple of talks (with agent J.P. Barry), but it’s quiet right now,” Phillips said before Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. “Put it this way: I’m not planning on retiring, I’m planning on playing. Hopefully, (a contract) gets done. Obviously, sooner rather than later. It has been a thought, for sure. It’s not weighing me down and I’m trying not to think about it too much, but obviously it’s there.”

  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “What I know, is that the Leafs are among the most active in looking to make moves. Nonis is prepared to do anything” … “Nonis isn’t looking for a small little move, big players are available which is why you hear Gardiner’s name thrown out there”
  • Hope Smoke: Bob McKenzie: “Islanders need a goaltender & a defenseman. People that watch the Isles say you can fire the coach but Snow needs to address G/D”
  • John Vogl: Source saying the Sabres have no interest in claiming Islanders Pierre-Marc Bouchard off waivers.
  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: The Senators are looking for a top-six forward to play with Jason Spezza and may consider claiming Pierre-Marc Bouchard off waivers. The would have to clear some salary if they do so.
  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “The Leafs coaching issue is an off-season thing for me.” … “If when all is said and done mgmt decides there is an un-reparable disconnect between Carlyle & the players they’ll make a move.”


  1. Jon

    12/10/2013 at 9:38 am

    Agent Thun is aiming quite high for his client – Mason comparable to Price?? Oh man, good luck Holmgren.

  2. Ben

    12/10/2013 at 10:19 am

    Yeah that’s crazy talk. That’s aiming way high for Mason. He has been wonderful so far. But to compare him to Price after not even a full year yet? That’s jumping the gun. You earn 6+ mil when you consistently play at a high level over a couple years. Though with Holmgren you never know what is going to happen.


    12/10/2013 at 10:41 am

    Nonis may be exploring every avenue, but I think he has painted himself into a corner , cap/dollar wise, and simply is not able to make a meaningful deal happen. Sadly, for the Leafs, it will be more players of the Smithson level. Not good.

  4. hotwings

    12/10/2013 at 10:57 am

    Nonis has not “painted himself into a corner”. But a handful of teams are not in the same salary cap situation as the leafs are. Nonis did his job in the off season and made this a cap team.

    In terms of “meaningful deals” — he has a lot to work with, especially with players such as Kuliman and Gardiner as potential trade bait. The problem is just the nature of the league and the cap issues 80% of the teams have.

  5. Chris

    12/10/2013 at 1:43 pm

    My problem is the rumours that Nonis is trying to get a centre.

    Nonis should be trying to get a veteran, stay at home d man who can play 20-25 minutes per night and guide the young blue line.

    Liles is the oldest player on the team at 33, then Ranger, Orr, and Lupul at 30 while the rest of the core are under 30 and many are under 25.

    Even ‘young’ teams like Montreal have guys like Markov. Remember how good Ottawa were last year? People kept preaching their youth but failed to account for the fact that the majority of the ice time was given to Gonchar, Phillips and Alfredsson…guys in their mid 30s or 40s.

    Young players learn from good older veterans. If Nonis is targeting anyone it should be a guy like Volchenkov in NJ. And no, I’m not saying they can GET him, just that this is the TYPE of guy they should get. An older, reliable d man who can steady the ship in their own end.

    The Leafs have some serious injury issues. WHy spend assets to fill a position that is technically already filled? THey HAVE centres, it’s just that 2 of the centres are injured. They have mobile offensive d men (pretty much everybody except Fraser) but don’t have a tough stay at home d man.

    Trade bait that other teams would pay for would be Gardiner, Franson, and Kulemin to a lesser extent.

  6. hotwings

    12/10/2013 at 7:16 pm

    im sure with the cap going to 71 million approx, there is going to be a “reconfiguring” of everyone’s roster in the offseason — this just cannot be done at this point, due to the current cap… so, i expect their to be heavy activity once this season is over and the cap # is firmed up…

    Nonis did well though in keeping mark fraser’s contract in check… he is that “Stay at home” dman they need atm, but of course, fraser is having a horrible season and they will prob part ways in the summer…

    im hoping that Nonis doesnt make any moves until the summer to see what is out there.

    hopefully we can ship out franson or gardiner like you said and pickup 2 dman in the offseason…