Rumor Roundup: Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green and the Washington Capitals

Lyle Richardson
Chicago Blackhawks v Washington Capitals

Possible off-season moves by the Washington Capitals continue to raise speculation in the NHL rumor mill. Much of the focus is on superstar Alex Ovechkin and center Mikhail Grabovski.

The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera reports Ovechkin’s limited no-trade clause (in which he provides a list of ten teams to which he would accept a trade) begins this summer, but the Capitals captain has no intention of requesting a move. Carrera also reports there’s no indication team owner Ted Leonsis could entertain parting with his franchise player.

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Rumor Roundup: John Tavares, the Ottawa Senators and Ondrej Pavelec

Lyle Richardson
Colorado Avalanche v New York Islanders

New York Islanders superstar John Tavares recently denied rumors he’s unhappy with the club’s direction and wants out. Tavares told Newsday’s Arthur Staple he remains committed to improving the Islanders, adding there’s no part of him that wants to leave.

Tavares, 23, just completed the second season of his six-year, $33-million contract. It’s far too early to begin speculating over his future with the Islanders, but it will begin in earnest if they haven’t significantly improved by the final season of Tavares’ contract (2017-18).

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Rumor Roundup: Martin Broduer, Brad Richards and Mikhail Grabovski buzz

(Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

Long-time New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur is leaning toward returning next season, but it remains to be seen if it’ll be with the Devils. Brodeur wouldn’t rule out another season with the Devils, but acknowledged their priority is re-signing Cory Schneider, who supplanted him as Devils starter. Schneider is eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2015.

If the Devils cannot re-sign Schneider to a contract extension this summer, NJ.com’s Randy Miller believes they should trade him and re-sign Brodeur. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch suggests the Pittsburgh Penguins as a destination for Brodeur, in order to mentor Marc-Andre Fleury. Garrioch also notes the New York Islanders need a goalie.

If Fleury suffers another playoff meltdown, the Penguins could be in the market for a new starting goalie, not a mentor. As for the Islanders, Newsday’s Arthur Staple reports they’ll be in talks with current starter Evgeni Nabokov. He could return in a backup role if they land a younger, experienced starting goalie via trade or free agency this summer.

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Rumor Roundup: How will the Toronto Maple Leafs change?

#34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs stands by the net during a break in action in a game against the Edmonton Oilers on October 29, 2013 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs hiring Brendan Shanahan as their new president isn’t the only off-season change expected for the club in the coming weeks. Amid rumors coach Randy Carlyle could be fired, speculation persists over potential off-season roster moves.

James Mirtle of The Globe & Mail believes goaltender James Reimer along with defensemen Cody Franson and Tim Gleason could become trade candidates. Reimer and Franson are restricted free agents while Gleason has two years (at an annual cap hit of $4 million) left on his contract. Mirtle also thinks forwards Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul could be dealt for the right price.

The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons also believes Reimer and Franson could be moved, but feels their trade value is lower than it was a year ago. Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star adds his voice to the growing speculation over Reimer’s trade status, and thinks defenseman Jake Gardiner could be dealt for a top forward. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Could Ovechkin be traded or “retire” to KHL?

Lyle Richardson
Washington Capitals v Carolina Hurricanes

For Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, this season is one he won’t fondly remember. The Capitals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007, his father underwent heart surgery and Russia’s men’s hockey team failed to medal at the Sochi Olympics. The only bright spot was reaching the 50-goal plateau for the fifth time in his NHL career and leading the league in goals for the fourth time.

This disappointing season prompted some speculation over Ovechkin’s future with the Capitals and the NHL. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson mused about the possibility of Washington shopping their captain. THN columnist Adam Proteau dismissed the idea, pointing out the difficulty of moving or buying out the remaining seven years and $70 million of his contract.

It’s been suggested Ovechkin might follow the lead of countryman Ilya Kovalchuk by retiring from the NHL to return to Russia and the Kontinental League. ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reported of rumors a KHL team could try to lure Ovechkin away from the Capitals. KHL president Alexander Medvedev told LeBrun the only way that could happen is if the 28-year-old negotiated his way out of his current NHL contract. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Semin buyout, Vanek remaining a Canadien, and the Devils’ off-season plans

Alex Semin

Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford will reportedly step down at season’s end, handing the management reins to Ron Francis, the club’s current vice-president of hockey operations.

The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch believes the biggest decision facing Francis is deciding whether to buy out the remaining four years and $28 million of winger Alexander Semin’s contract. The 30-year-old has had a poor showing this season, with 22 goals and 42 points in 65 games. Garrioch claims if the Hurricanes fail to buy out Semin this summer they won’t get another chance.

Garrioch appears to be referring to a compliance buyout, as this June will be the last time NHL teams can make use of that option. Such buyouts, however, only apply to players under contract on or before September 15, 2012. Semin signed his current deal last March and is therefore ineligible. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Evander Kane, Eric Staal and the struggling Canucks

Winnipeg Jets v Phoenix Coyotes

Trade rumors dogged Winnipeg Jets’ winger Evander Kane throughout this season. Speculation over his future resurfaced after he was a healthy scratch during last Saturday’s match between the Jets-Maple Leafs in Toronto for arriving late for a team function.

Kane subsequently declined to discuss the incident with the media and was evasive when asked if he wants to be traded.The Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe mused over the 22-year-old’s future in Winnipeg. While noting “to our knowledge” Kane hasn’t sought a trade, Wiebe believes that doesn’t mean Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff isn’t entertaining offers.

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Rumor Roundup: With the season all but lost, which Maple Leafs get axed?

David Bolland (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs playoff hopes are hanging by a thread. That prompted Toronto Sun columnists to speculate about the club’s off-season roster moves.

Terry Koshan notes center Dave Bolland reportedly sought a seven-or eight-year deal worth upward of $40 million before contract talks broke off in February. Given that the Leafs inked David Clarkson to a seven-year deal worth an annual cap hit of $5.25 million last summer, Bolland could seek a similar deal.

If Bolland becomes a free agent in July, Koshan claims there’s talk the Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers will pursue the 30-year-old center. Koshan’s colleague Steve Simmons believes the Leafs should re-sign Bolland even at the risk of overpaying him.

Koshan also reports defenseman Cody Franson could be shopped this summer. Simmons, meanwhile, thinks there will be a lot of interest in former Leafs winger Leo Komarov, who signed with the Kontinental League’s Moscow Dynamo last summer. The Leafs could try to bring him back, but Simmons claims the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning could be among those pursuing the 27-year-old in this summer’s free agent market.
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