Morning Rumors: Sabres, Panthers, Callahan, Jagr, Orpik, Bolland, Timonen, Yapukov, Stamkos and Flames

  • Craig Custance of ESPN: The current UFA list will shrink from now until July 1st.

    “I have the preliminary list,” said Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray, who is going to have a lot of money to work with this summer. “You can look at that and say, ‘OK, we have 10 guys on that list we like, they can sign between now and then.’ So I don’t get too excited about that list.”

    Panthers GM Dale Tallon.

    “There’s some assets we’re interested in,” he said. “We’ve identified who we like, who fit into our player allotment, where they would fit into our organization and how they would help our young guys develop quicker.”

    There have been no contract talks between Ryan Callahan and the Lightning. The Lightning are interested in re-signing him.

    “He said, ‘Look, let’s not even think about contract now. He’s been through a couple tough weeks. Let’s get him down here and show him what we’re about,’ ” Steve Bartlett, Callahan’s agent, said.

    Devils GM Lou Lamoriello on Jaromir Jagr.

     “There’s no question we would want him back,” he said. “That’s not a question.”

    Penguins GM Ray Shero said there haven’t been any contract talks with Brooks Orpik.

    “We haven’t done much with any of our free agents at all. It’s by design,” Shero said. “Even with Brooks, last time six years ago, he went into free agency and wanted to see what was there. We’ll see what happens. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. We want to see how our team does.”

    Dave Bolland’s agent.

    “No recent talks,” his agent, Anton Thun of MFIVE Sports Management, wrote in an email Wednesday night.

    Flyers GM Paul Holmgren on Kimmo Timonen.

    “My conversations with Kimmo — he doesn’t know right now if he wants to play next year,” Holmgren said. “Obviously, if he wants to play, we’d like to have him back.”

  • David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: Darren Dreger on Nail Yakupov on TSN last night:

    “I would say it’s unlikely that he’s an Edmonton Oiler next season. So it makes sense that they’ll try and move him. They were trying to move him at various points this season. Word is out that Nail Yakupov is available. The problem is, no one really wants him. Certainly not for the value that the Edmonton Oilers are going to need to get back in return. And you can see why. He had opportunities in this game early on. He scored one goal in his last 11 games. He was on the ice late in the game when the Blues scored to tie the hockey game. He’s an NHL worst -30. He lacks commitment. He thinks that skill is enough to be an NHL player. And the unfortunate reality for Nail Yakupov is that, yes, he’s a skilled player, but not an elite level skill player. And until he finds a way to absorb the message, the market on Nail Yakupov isn’t going to be great. They might have to package him with a collection of assets to get something better in return.”

  • Damian Cristodero: Lightning’s Steven Stamkos could be moved to the wing to reduce stress on his leg.
  • Gary Lawless: There were not many centers traded at the deadline, with no legit No. 1’s. David Legwand was the top center moved and he wasn’t going to end up in Winnipeg.
  • Adam Vingan: Capitals GM Georger McPhee on Mikhail Grabovski’s future with the team: “We’ll see.”
  • Hope Smoke: Bob McKenzie: “The faceoff tweek from the GM meetings has the potential to be very controversial”
  • Hope Smoke: Brian Burke on his Flames situation: “Given where I am career-wise and family-wise this current role [being a President] it’s perfect in my mind” … “We will have a new GM by shortly after the draft at the latest”


  1. theoil

    03/14/2014 at 9:59 am

    Dreger knows less about what the Oilers are thinking than my dead grandmother. He has to be the weakest link on the TSN crew by a country mile.

  2. Chris

    03/14/2014 at 11:54 am

    Except that Dreger wasn’t quoted on the Oilers. The quote came from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal and he’s bang on. Right now Nail Yakupov looks more like an Erik Johson or a Patrick Stefan…a guy who is a good but not great 1st overall pick. Add in the “Russian” factor and if things don’t go his way when his contract is up next year he’ll likely head back to Russia.

    There are a ton of Russians who were picked high in the draft, showed immense skill at the NHL level but did not show commitment to defense or physical play. They demanded to be paid more than they were worth and ended up going to the KHL. Nikita Filatov, Alexander Radulov, Nikolai Zheredev, Alexander Frolov, Andrei Kostitsyn….all of these guys are examples of skilled Russian players who packed up and went home for more money rather than sticking around to earn it.

    Who knows if Yakupov will be like them but if I were another GM I wouldn’t risk giving up signfiicant assets for a player who hasn’t shown elite level skill and who could bolt for the KHL. Would you?

    Staples is right. Yakupov would have to be packaged with another asset that a team would actually want like Schultz, Eberle, Peron or prospects like Nurse, Klefbom or Marincin (but NOT Gagner as nobody wants that contract). If the Oilers put a package together of something like Yakupov, Nurse and a high pick they could get a good return.

  3. Mark Easson

    03/14/2014 at 11:58 am

    @Chris – that was Dreger’s quote. Staples posted the article and commented on Dreger’s quote.