NHL Rumors: Senators, Maple Leafs, Canucks, Capitals and Lightning

  • Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun: Senators Clarke MacArthur still has a year left on his contract (2-years, $6.5 million), but is open to discussing a contract extension this summer.

    “If something works out for both sides, then yeah, that would work good,” he said after the morning skate. “If not, I’ve got one more year to play well and do what I can.”

    Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun: Senators Bobby Ryan would consider talking about a long-term contract extension after July 1st. Ryan has one more year left on his deal.

    “I love it here,” said Ryan, one of five key Senators presently holding contracts that expire July 1, 2015. “We love it here, more importantly. It’s been a great change for us. When the time comes, if that’s what Bryan wants to go with, to sit down and have conversations, we’ll certainly do that.”

  • The Forth Period: Multiple sources saying MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke is contemplating several offseason moves. Both coach Randy Carlyle and GM Dave Nonis could be on the hotseat. Nikolai Kulemin is a pending UFA and a source is saying that Nazem Kadri is likely to be moved. Pending RFA defensemen Jake Gardiner and Cody Franson could be on the outs. The Leafs would like to re-sign Dave Bolland, but his $5 million asking price may be too high.
  • The Fourth Period: The Canucks are expect to revisit offseason trade talks involving Ryan Kesler and Alexander Edler. They will still look to upgrade their team.

    “We will try our hardest to spend to the cap providing it’s the right players and the right ages and the right positions,” Gillis said. “There’s not going to be a ton of free agents out there, but we’ve managed to do well in the first week of July in the past four or five years.”

    Contract talks with pending RFAs Zack Kassian and Christopher Tanev are expected to start once the season is over.

  • Jim Matheson of the Emonton Journal: Matheson wonders about the future of Alex Ovechkin in Washington. “Would Leonsis ever give the green light to trading Ovechkin, who turns 29 this fall?” Ovechkin is owed $10 million a year for the next seven years, and carries a $9.538 million salary cap hit. He’ll be 36 at the end of his contract.
  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “It would be a good guess that Bolland will test free agency. There have been no meaningful discussions at this point” … “Bolland is an attractive player. It’s his decision: does he want term and money” … “Nonis will be fair to Bolland. He’ll be prepared to offer 6 or 7 years but won’t talk about a salary that starts with a 5.”
  • Hope Smoke: Ray Ferrero: “I don’t see ownership stomaching paying both Gillis & Torts to not be there and then pay their replacements too” … “I’ve been told by various sources (some pretty good ones) that ownership was heavily involved in the Torts hiring”
  • Igor Eronko: Lightning prospect Andrei Vasilevsky was offered a one-year deal by Salavat Yulayev. His original plan was to join the Lightning.


  1. Jeff

    April 4, 2014 at 9:03 am

    The Leafs stuff is ridiculous. Let the season play out. They dont have plans already…

  2. NB

    April 4, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I don’t agree with Franson and Gardiner rumors

  3. Chris

    April 4, 2014 at 11:19 am

    As a Leaf fan I’m so sick of this fan base being so impatient with young players. Both Kadri and Gardiner are still 23 years old. That’s younger than Steen was when the Leafs gave up on him and look how that worked out.

    I’m okay with Franson being moved. I like him but with Gardiner finally beginning to live up to potential and Rielly improving a thousand percent over the season, the Leafs have enough offensive defencemen. Gunnarson is the most reliable Leafs d man while Phaneuf is playing too many minutes for his ability. Gleason is the only d man with grit.

    In my mind the Leafs should cut Franson and Ranger loose and replace them with a young d man from the farm like Percy or Granberg and then do their best to get a top 4 defensive defenceman.

    I don’t know how or if they can do that but I think that’s what should happen. Maybe Franson becomes the trade bait?

    Up front the Leafs can’t afford to keep Kulemin, Raymond and Bolland at their current rates.

    They are pretty much a one line team as it is but having said that, Kadri should have 50 points by the end of the year (he’s at 49) including 19 goals, and Lupul gets 20 goals a year. Clarkson isn’t a 30 goal scorer but with 2nd line minutes and some pp time he could pot 15-20. That would be the 2nd line next year.

    The 3rd and 4th lines need to be the defenisve anchor of the team. The irony is that they don’t have to be skilled; they just have to buy in. I don’t know if the Leafs are going to fire carlyle or not but the fact that they need to improve defensively goes without question. In my opinion the best guys to buy into a simple defensive system are young players. These guys will chip it out along the wall instead of turning it over. These guys will dump it in instead of trying something stupid at the line. These guys will cost the least.

    Leaf fans seem to think that there is a simple reason and there for a simple solution to the Leafs deficiencies. It’s bigger than that. It’s not one defenceman or one forward, it’s the defensive mindset as a whole. I think having a more balanced d corps (2 offensive guys like Gardiner/Rielly, 2 steady guys like Phaneuf/Gunnarson and 2 gritty stay at home guys like Gleason and player x) would help as well as 2 offensive lines followed by 2 defensive lines.

    This doesn’t mean that the 3rd and 4th lines should be thugs. Quite the contrary. They should be able to skate and shut down. Guys like Holland, D’Amigo, Ashton, McLemant, Bodie etc. have shown that they can play a simple game at the NHL level. These are some internal solutions.

    Rather than trying to band aid every percieved problem with money (like signing Clarkson), it’s time to focus on better cap management and getting the team to play together. They’ve been improving in drafting/developing in the past few seasons. It’s time to use that depth.

  4. hotwings

    April 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    let go of your alex steen analogy in reference to the leafs giving up on young players… the leafs are not anywhere near a worse case example when it comes to shipping young players out of town.

  5. hotwings

    April 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Ovi ages pretty fast… more than cat years…

    “he’ll be 36 at the end of the season.”

  6. Chris

    April 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm


    Want more examples?

    Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft
    Jiri Tlusty for Phillippe Paradis
    John Mitchell for a 7th round pick

    How about total misjudgement of talent at the draft? Part of drafting young talent and developing it is being able to assess it in the first place.

    Jimmy Hayes, a big forward now playing for Florida, for the 2nd round pick in order to draft Brad Ross who plays in the ECHL now.

    a 2011 1st and 2nd round pick to move up and take Tyler Biggs who has 9 points for the Marlies while Rackell got almost a point per game in the AHL this year and is currently playing in Anaheim; the 2nd round pick was used to take John Gibson who is one of the best goalies in the AHL. I don’t know about you but I wish my scouts would know they were selecting a 3rd line AHL player when taking Biggs. The worst part is that they could have had Boone Jenner who was taken in the 2nd round that year.

    More examples of terrible assessment on draft day:

    a 1st, 2nd and 4th round pick for Mark Bell and Vesa Toskala.

    2nd round pick for John Michael Liles

    Sure they made some good moves too especially on the trade front with the likes of Bernier, Gardiner, Kessel and JVR along with good draft picks like Kadri, Rielly, Kulemin, Gunnarson etc. but when you think about what they could have had if they’d assessed players better and allowed for development they could have avoided even having to make some of those deals.

    For example: What if the Leafs DIDN’T trade Rask and let him develop? Then trading a 2nd round pick and two prospects for Bernier wouldn’t be necessary. What if they DIDN’T trade Steen? Then they wouldn’t have had to trade a 2nd and two 4ths for Bolland.

    Imagine if the Leafs didn’t give up on these guys, kept their picks and could actually assess talent the way other teams seem to do with half the resources?

    I’d like Steen and Rask on the team combined with Gibson, Rackell, Lars Eller or Logan Couture (who the Sharks used the Leafs picks to trade up for). I think the team would be much better.

    So who’s to say if Kadri will be the next Steen or if Gardiner will be the next Rask type prospect? I think it’s time to stop frantically trying to patch holes and focus on correctly assessing talent and committing to developing it with the understanding that it will be half a decade before most of these picks become impact players if at all.

    I’ll leave you with this:

    When was the last time the Leafs drafted and developed one of the following

    1. A top 20 NHL scorer
    2. A top 20 NHL defenceman
    3. A bonafide starting goaltender in the regular season who won at least a playoff round (for more than a season or two)
    4. A major award winner (Selke, Hart, Art Ross, Rocket Richard, Norris, Vezina).

    very few of the 29 other NHL teams can make this same claim of futility. Toronto have the most money and the most resources; what they don’t have is patience for development. To be fair this seems to have changed over the past few years and it’s much too early to tell whether or not the Nazem Kadris, Morgan Riellys and Matt Finns will amount to anything. And that’s my point. Instead of trading these guys, why not hang on to them and let them have a few SEASONS to develop? That’s what Detroit do and that’s why Ken Holland is my favourite GM in the NHL.

    Toronto aren’t the worst example of getting rid of young players? If not then they’re in the top 5.

  7. Mark

    April 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I will be the first to say that the Leafs management has made some boneheaded moves in the past, such as trading Rask, but to say that they missed out on so many good draft picks makes no sense; 29 other teams could’ve picked those players that are playing well. It’s a combination of good scouting and luck, because a player can develop so much after the age of 18.

  8. Stitter

    April 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm


    Bam! took the words right out of my mouth. I share the exact same sentiments and have exhausted this very view with me brother ( 7 years younger)

  9. I_am_I

    April 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    @hotwings: He ages so fast because he is so enigmatic.

    @Chris: exactly.

    I suspect (hope!) that this is just the media stirring the pot. Leafs = hits = $$.

  10. hotwings

    April 4, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Jiri Tlusty <– who cares
    John Mitchell <— who cares

    again… i think your just taking the media steam and inflating the actual reality… they are not in the top 5 in terms of getting rid of young players… sorry, your perception is skewed on this issue.

    dont have time to read your short story, thx.

  11. I_am_I

    April 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Getting back to the topic…. Just because they aren’t in the top 5 in throwing away young players anymore doesn’t make trading Gardiner or Kadri away for magic beans a good idea. If they are getting back a better player at a similar age by adding in players that don’t fit in the long range plans then fine, but those types of players are not generally available.

  12. Bo

    April 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Ovechkin for Spezza

  13. I_am_I

    April 7, 2014 at 8:29 am

    @Bo. Trolling Washington fans? You’ll be disappointed, I don’t think there are may here.

  14. Chris

    April 7, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Sorry hotwings. I forgot how long it takes you to read a few paragraphs.

    Jiri Tlusty is a 20 goal scorer who is a plus player on a bad team. He missed a bunch of games this year but his 14 goals in 65 games would put him up there with Lupul and Raymond over 78 games. Meanwhile Phillipe Paradis has 13 points for Syracuse this year.

    John Mitchell is a 3/4 line centre who has been a PLUS player for the past three seasons including last year when Colorado were the worst team in the league.

    The fact that you can’t see how much the Leafs need a good defensive centre shows how little you know about hockey.

    Answer this. When was the last time the Leafs drafted and developed a player that won a major trophy with them?

  15. Chris

    April 7, 2014 at 10:20 am

    To everybody BUT Hotwings (who can’t read very fast):

    Tuukka Rask is the best lesson you will ever learn about why you don’t give up on young players.

    The Leafs drafted him in 2005 with the 21st overall pick. After being traded he ended up as an NHL goaltender in 2009-2010. If the Leafs had just waited 4-5 years they’d currently have a 27 year old bonafide #1 at the cost of their draft pick and some development time.

    As it stands they do have an elite bonafide 25 year old starter in Jonathan Bernier. They got him at last year’s draft; 8 years after trading Rask.

    Here was the cost:

    Rask went for Raycroft. Raycroft was a bust.
    To try to fix that bad trade, Leafs made another one at the 2007 NHL draft. They traded a 1st, 2nd and 4th for Vesa Toskala (Sharks used these picks to move up and pick Logan Couture). Toskala ended up being a bust. They trade him for Giguere. Giguere ends up being okay and gets his spot taken by….suprise! A Leaf draft pick who was drafted by them in 2007 and developed for five years until he was a starter (James Reimer). Still, as good as Reimer is, he’s no Rask. To get a Rask calibre goalie they had to again go to the draft and spend more draft picks and prospects (a 2nd and two prospects) for Bernier.

    The lesson: Keeping Rask and commitinig to 5 years of development would have saved the Leafs a 1st, two 2nds, two 4ths and 2 prospects and solidified the Leafs goaltending for more than a decade.

    Comparisons with the current Leafs roster

    Nazem Kadri, the guy ‘on the block’ was drafted in 2009. It’s 2014. That’s 5 years. He’s a 40-50 point centre almost two years in a row and that includes the shortened season. Gardiner is an Anaheim 2008 draft pick. Six years ago. He’s been the Leafs best d man in the past two months. Think he’s going to get worse? Morgan Rielly. drafted 2 years ago. Percy. Drafted 3 years ago. See the trend?

    Leaf fans need to realize how early these kids are in their NHL careers. How much better do you think Kadri and Gardiner are going to be when they’re 25? 26? 27?…they’re not even in their prime yet. Why trade them to get something that they might become and then start chasing your tail again.

    But yeah trade them away and watch when they come into the ACC in 2 or 3 years and light up the Leafs while the guys the Leafs trade them for burn out as usual.

  16. Chris

    April 7, 2014 at 11:02 am

    @ Mark. It’s luck AND strategy.

    I read an interview with Ken Holland that was so logical it boggled the mind.

    He said that they draft for skill before anything else. The idea is that because there is so much luck involved in drafting, they can increase their chances of getting a top six forward or a top 2 d man at the draft, the more skill guys the draft the better the odds that one of them will pan out in a key role for them someday. He also emphasizes that commiting to development is paramount in the straetegy.

    So while drafting Datsyuk and Zetterberg etc. in the late rounds is ‘lucky’ in the sense that 29 other teams could have drafted them and didn’t, it is also a product of strategy. This is why they seem to have so many ‘steals’ like Tatar (60th overall) or Helm or Nyquist. It’s because while 90% of the guys they draft don’t work out, the 10% that do end up being key players.

    So rewind to 2011. The Leafs strategy seems to be “draft a guy who is most likely to play in the some capacity”. They wanted to get bigger. So they traded up to draft Tyler Biggs 21st overall. Biggs has 9 points in 54 AHL games this year.

    Meanwhile the Red Wings, with their strategy of drafting skill, picked Thomas Jurco 14 spots behind Biggs. Jurco has 13 points in 32 NHL games for the Red Wings. You couldn’t even trade the Red Wings 2nd round pick for the Leafs 1st straight up now. It’s the job of the scouts to see this and develop a strategy.

    In 2008 the Leafs drafted relatively ok. Out of 8 players 3 have played NHL games (Schenn, Hayes and Pateryn) and none of them are top line players.

    The Red Wings drafted 6 guys. Thomas Maccallom (their 1st round pick) has played 1 NHL game while 4 of the remaining 5 have played zero NHL games. Their 4th round pick that year was Gustav Nyquist.

    So while the Leafs drafted 3 servicable guys the Red Wings drafted a small skilled 4th rounder that is a top line forward. Which would you rather have?

    This is why drafting Fredrick Gauthier last year was so mind boggling. He projects to top out as a #3 centreman and that’s IF he pans out. Why not draft Shinkaruk who will top out as a top 6 forward IF he pans out?

    The math is simple. If you get 9 picks per year (assuming none are traded) and you use all 9 to draft guys with top 2 d man or top 6 forward potential you have more of a chance that one will pan out that way. You won’t get that big tough 3rd or 4th line grinder or bottom 2 physical d men but guess what? Those guys are easy to get via a trade or free agency. It’s the guys that never seem to get moved (top line centres, top 2 d men) that come from the draft.

    Why not maximize the chances that you will get one of these guys instead of drafting 2 or 3 skill guys out of 9 and hoping one of them turns out?

    So while the Red Wings, Blackhawks, Avalanche etc. might seem ‘lucky’ to ‘find’ these guys in the later rounds, it’s also a product of a deliberate strategy.

  17. hotwings

    April 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    you’re posts are long winded… i can read fast… but, why is it taking you 7-12 paragraphs to utter what can be said in a few short sentences? autism?

  18. hotwings

    April 7, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    “The fact that you can’t see how much the Leafs need a good defensive centre shows how little you know about hockey.”

    Yes, I know that and so does everyone in Leaf land… when did i state that their core was good? You seem to be living in imagination land.

    Stop providing insights into the obvious… thanks for coming out.

  19. Chris

    April 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    My posts are long winded.

    I like to support my opinions with facts and relevant information.

    Keep making general statements if it makes you feel better.

    Answer two questions for me

    1. When was the last time the Leafs drafted and developed a player who went on to win a major award?

    2. If the Leafs are not the worst example of discarding youth before they are ready, then who is?

  20. hot@wings.com

    April 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Just looking at your questions, I have to roll my eyes at the notable idiocy in your concerns…

    sorry chris, but who cares about individual awards… the cup is the only thing that really matters… so, why is it important to list random facts concerning individual awards, that tend not to be relevant to winning a cup? do you want me to be long winded and start listing examples of teams that won the cup, but not any notable individual awards? you are comparing apples and oranges. again, you are offering analysis for idiots.

    and #2: I’m sure most people would agree that the Islanders are far worse at disposing of youth than the leafs are… your whole arguement revolves around Tuuka Rask, as John Mitchel and Tlusty are questionable examples at best. With that said, so the leafs lost a really good player in Rask — so what? It happens… one player, even 2 to be generous in the past 20 years does not make a very good argument.

  21. I_am_I

    April 7, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    You two are killing me. Are you going to continue arguing at right angles?

    @Chris can you agree that the Islanders and (probably) some other teams are worse than the Leafs when it comes to giving up on young players and not having the patience to develop them.

    @hotwings can you agree that when you being compared to the Islanders and Garth Snow you are doing something wrong when it comes to developing home grown talent?

    Here let me join your positions together: The lack of Leaf drafted and developed players even being in the discussion for awards is an indicator that the Leafs don’t draft very well for high end talent; that results in the team being not good enough to win the cup because there are no good young players coming in on cheap contracts.