NHL Rumors IV: Penguins, Blackhawks, Blues, Ducks, Canucks, Senators and Bruins

  • Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The unrestricted free agent pool is not deep, so teams may look towards the trade market. The Penguins and Sharks could be looking to make some big changes. Blues GM Doug Armstrong isn’t afraid to make a big move, and may look to do so again.

    Penguins winger James Neal may become available. Pending UFA Jussi Jokinen will get some interest this summer. Rutherford may be interested in keeping him around. Gordon thinks Jokinen could be a “bad contract waiting to happen.” Marc-Andre Fleury has one-year left on his contract at $5 million. He has limited no-trade clause, but if an inquiring team offered a contract extension, he may be more receptive to waive it. Could the Penguins look at bringing in Martin Brodeur? Kris Letang’s eight year, $58 million contract with a no-trade clause that kicks in on July 1st. Matt Niskanen will get big money, and could lead to the Penguins trading Letang or letting Brooks Orpik hit the open market.

    If Dan Boyle hits the open market, the Red Wings and Lightning will be interested.

    The Blackhawks need to find a second line center to replace Michal Handzus.

    Blackhawks Nick Leddy has one year left at $2.7 million and could become a trade target of some teams as he’ll be looking for nice raise next year and might be available.

    The Ducks would love to get Ryan Kesler, but it’s hard to see new GM Jim Benning wanting to send him to the Ducks or to the Blackhawks. Can expect at least six teams, including the Flyers, to make a serious bid for him.

    The Canucks may be looking for a veteran goalie and to move up in the draft.

    The Senators want a player, prospect and a first round pick for Jason Spezza. The Ducks and Blues could be good fits.

    If the Rangers buy out Brad Richards, the Blues, Ducks and Blackhawks could kick tires on him.

    Teams in the East could be interested in Sabres Chris Stewart. He has one year left at $4.1 million and has said he wouldn’t mind staying in Buffalo.

    Salary cap concerns may lead Bruins to look at moving Brad Marchand and his three year, $13.5 million contract. Added cap space would make the re-signing of Jarome Iginla a little easier.

  • Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Penguins pending UFA Matt Niskanen is paying attention to their coaching search. Niskanen had a close relationship with fired coach Dan Bylsma.

    “Dan being dismissed won’t affect my decision,” Niskanen said. “However, I will pay attention to what the coaching staff is going to look like. It’s not the only factor in the decision. But it is a factor.”

    Retaining Niskanen won’t be easy for the Penguins.


  1. Rick Akin

    06/11/2014 at 12:17 pm

    I have seen numerous times that Ottawa will want a player, a prospect and a first round pick for Jason Spezza , he of the 55 year old back , at age 31 . I like Spezza , and in value, I compare him to Phaneuf, who is 2 years younger, and healthier…and a first or second pairing defenceman , to boot (depending on the team he plays on) . Please, you idiots out there who think he isn’t even a second pairing defenceman , don’t embarrass yourself by writing in . Anyway, I am a Leaf fan, and theres no way that Toronto gets a player, and prospect and a first round pick for Phaneuf. Spezza will want Phaneuf level money as his career winds down . Seriously ….what chance does Ottawa have of getting that bounty when the world knows that both parties have had enough of each other . Ok , Bruce Garriosh might think so , but he is in the minority .

  2. Chris

    06/11/2014 at 12:42 pm

    The problem that people have with Phaneuf, and I’ve had this argument on here numerous times, is that people have no idea how much harder it is to play Phaneuf’s minutes than that of a 2nd pairing D man. Phaneuf plays 28-30 + minutes per night against the other team’s top lines, on the #1PP and on the #1PK. This past season he was in the double digit plus until the collapse at the end. People on here (incorrectly) assume that because Phaneuf struggles to play these minutes on a bad team that he is a bad defenceman. Is he a good captain? No. Is he a #1 d man? no.

    Put him in San Jose’s 2nd pairing playing 22 minutes per night, playing on the PP and maybe a #2PK and he’d dominate.

    Until people understand that the kind of minutes Phaneuf plays are the hardest type of minutes in the NHL, they will never understand his value and you really can’t even have the discussion. Add to that the difficulty in doing so with Gunnarson as a partner instead of somebody like Seabrook or Voynov and the minutes become all that more difficult. He is miscast and he should not be a captain but as you said, if somebody doesn’t think that he’d be a top 2nd pairing d man then they don’t understand roles in the NHL.

    I disagree to an extent about Spezza though. I think he has more value than Phaneuf because he’s a better player on a better contract and I’m a Leaf fan.

  3. D

    06/11/2014 at 1:32 pm

    100% agree with chris, well said

  4. Chris

    06/11/2014 at 1:39 pm

    People forget that Phaneuf spent his first 3 seasons as a 2nd pairing D Man playing with Hamerlik. He had at least 17 goals and 49,50 and 60 points in each year respectively while having a plus rating in all 3. More than enough evidence to point to Phaneuf’s ability in the 2nd pair

  5. matt

    06/11/2014 at 2:23 pm

    Agree with most of what you said Chris, only thing is that Phaneuf averaged well below 28-30mins a night and was actually aroudn 23:30 TOI this year. Phaneuf would be a great 2nd pairing, but he also isn’t protected like he was in Calgary early in his career. He is now the guy that people want saving the other young guys mistakes.
    Dont really agree with putting down Gunnarson as well, he is a decent defender that could be used well on other teams second pairing but he is overused and depended on for a first line pairing in Toronto.

  6. Ross

    06/11/2014 at 2:39 pm

    Bottom line is , you are only worth what someone is willing to pay! The leafs traded a few third and fourth liners to get him and that’s what they could expect back. Spezza has never been traded so it’s hard to gauge what teams might pay

  7. Chris

    06/11/2014 at 3:48 pm

    Gunnarson is also a decent 2nd pairing in my mind.

    You say ‘protected’ in Calgary but I say he was just correctly slotted. If the Leafs could somehow have enough defensive depth to have Phaneuf playing the same role there, they’d be dangerous.

    Morgan Rielly has that potential. Gardiner might as well but Both are a good 100 games of development away from that.

  8. matt

    06/11/2014 at 5:36 pm

    When i say protected i mean he was slotted properly but also when playing the 2nd pairing your not getting the toughest assignments, or when you do its 1 of 10 games so your always well rested and ready. If Phaneuf was given another 2 years at playing the second pairing before being pushed into the first pairing like he was in Toronto perhaps he could have been more suited and ready, instead his play has taken a decline or plateaued at best because he has had too much responsibility and pressure given to him at once leading so he cannot succeed. He would still be a great second pairing guy and put him with a true #1 d man he could be a good top pairing guy, but he needs an anchor beside him on the top pairing.

    Gunnarson could be that one day, but right now he isnt and playing him in the top pairing like how he is doesnt really help him or Phaneuf.

  9. D

    06/11/2014 at 5:59 pm

    I see gunnarsson as more of a 3rd liner on a good team

  10. Rick Akin

    06/11/2014 at 7:31 pm

    I like what Chris said in regards to Phaneuf , and I will agree that Spezza is the better player….but not by much . And when you factor in Jason’s age-he is 2 yrs older than Phaneuf , and he has had major back problems in his career , and he does have one year left on an expensive contract …and no doubt will want at least a 4 yr deal , at , say $6 mil/year ….. I just cant see anybody antiing up two bodies and a first rounder . I wouldn’t, and I too, like Spezza . If Ottawa really wants a top six forward , a high level prospect, and a first round pick (even between #25 and #30) , I doubt they will get it.

  11. Chris

    06/11/2014 at 8:00 pm

    I wish we had a center as good as Spezza. Somebody will pay the price and his name will probably start with Garth and end with Snow.

  12. Matt

    06/11/2014 at 8:19 pm

    With the sens trading spezza I think they can get what there asking but I think they will be more heavily looking at a solid nhl roster player like a top 4 d and a late 1st or early second. When people mention his injury history they are usually the ones who don’t watch the guy. His play this year looked much better then anythig else in the past 3 years. He’s an elite playmaker that will make your wingers score more and make your power play much better.

  13. ChrisB

    06/11/2014 at 9:15 pm

    Am I missing something here? How the hell did Phaneuf and Toronto get involved in this? They have nothing to do with any of this thread.

    But don’t worry, absolutely no chance Spezza goes to Toronto, even if they wanted him. Murray said today that his preference is to “send him somewhere we don’t have to play him every night”.

  14. hotwings

    06/12/2014 at 12:06 pm

    Rule #1: Everything has to do with Phaneuf.