Rumor Roundup: Ducks’ struggles could lead to coaching change, or trades

Lyle Richardson
Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederick Andersen

After coming to within one game of reaching the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, the Anaheim Ducks are off to one of their worst starts in franchise history. With a record of 1-5-2 following a 1-0 loss on Monday to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Ducks managed only six goals in those eight games. During that stretch, usually reliable scoring stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry combined for only two assists.

As the Ducks’ struggles continue, there’s growing speculation head coach Bruce Boudreau is in danger of losing his job. Trade rumors have also sprung up. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, speaking with Edmonton’s 630 CHED radio on Friday, raised the possibility of Ducks GM Bob Murray shopping goaltender Frederik Andersen.

Friedman believes they have to give promising John Gibson playing time at some point. Unlike Gibson, Andersen isn’t under a long-term contract. The 26-year-old netminder becomes a restricted free agent in July with arbitration rights. He’ll undoubtedly seek a substantial raise over his current $1.3 million salary.

Following the loss to the Blackhawks, Andersen was winless in six games. However, he also posted up a .940 save percentage and 1.71 goals-against average. Clearly, he’s not the reason behind the Ducks’ slump.

While there are undoubtedly teams with goaltending issues who’d love to land Andersen (hello there, Calgary Flames), trading him would be an extreme measure by the Ducks this early in the season. A coaching change seems a more likely course of action.

The recent speculation linking Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos to the Calgary Flames serves as a reminder of his uncertain future. While Lightning GM Steve Yzerman claimed last June that re-signing the 25-year-old Stamkos was his top priority, the expense of doing so could have long-term repercussions for their payroll.

One reason behind the delay could be due to Yzerman attempting to clear salary-cap room for Stamkos’ hefty raise. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports the Lightning GM is believed to be shopping defenseman Matt Carle, who carries a $5.5-million annual cap hit through 2017-18.

Carle had no points through his first nine games, but ranked second among Lightning defenders in blocked shots and fourth in average ice time (18:12). His cap hit is difficult to move at this point in the season, while his modified no-trade clause limits potential trade destinations.

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Boston Bruins are reportedly in the market for a top-four defenseman. Given their limited cap space, however, Carle is beyond their price range. The Lightning must either take back a salaried player or absorb part of Carle’s cap hit, which defeats the purpose of moving him in the first place.

Speaking of the Bruins, their 0-3-0 record in the first week of this season stirred up rumors claiming they were gauging the trade value of key players like defenseman Zdeno Chara and pesky winger Brad Marchand. But after going 3-0-1 during their latest road trip, the speculation has subsided.

Management had been silent about the Chara and Marchand rumor chatter. However, team president Cam Neely recently told a Boston radio station there’s no truth to the speculation.

Trading the 39-year-old Chara, who has two more season remaining on his contract at an annual cap hit of $6.917 million, is a pipe dream during the season. Even if the Bruins were trying to move him and found a club willing to take on his cap hit, the big blueliner carries a full no-movement clause.

Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website,, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

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Rumor Roundup: The more the Flames struggle, the more the trade winds blow

Jiri Hudler (Gerry Thomas/Getty Images)

The rebuilding Calgary Flames confounded the experts in 2014-15, reaching the playoffs and advancing to the second round. Expectations were high entering this season, but a 2-6-0 start has GM Brad Treliving reportedly seeking help for his flickering Flames.

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector stirred up the rumor mill last week claiming Treliving sought a major deal, suggesting the Flames GM had interest in Tampa Bay Lightning star (and pending free agent) Steven Stamkos. TSN’s Bob McKenzie doesn’t doubt Treliving contacted Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, but doesn’t believe they spoke about Stamkos.

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Fischler’s One-Timers: Cheers for Tortorella and Tarasenko, jeers for Stamkos

Vladimir Tarasenko (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

* Here’s the best reason for John Tortorella success prospect in Columbus from my pal Alan Greenberg. “He reminds me of my Army drill sergeant. I hated the S.O.B. but he made a better soldier of me!”

* I love Steven Stamkos but he should get it over with and sign already. This delay on his part is totally unnecessary and downright annoying.

* Put this in your ‘Guaranteed to Happen’ notebook: By April 9th Vladimir Tarasenko will have out-goaled and out-pointed Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

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Rumor Roundup: Stamkos to Flames talk makes no sense

Lyle Richardson
Steven Stamkos  (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Pre-season speculation over Steven Stamkos‘ future with the Tampa Bay Lightning had largely flickered to embers by mid-October. However, a report linking the Lightning captain to the Calgary Flames set the rumor mill alight.

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector claims Flames GM Brad Treliving is seeking a major trade to bolster his struggling club, which dropped four of its first five games. He suggests Treliving’s conversation with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was about his “obvious issues” in re-signing the 25-year-old Stamkos before he becomes an unrestricted free agent next July.

One of those issues is the belief Stamkos and head coach Jon Cooper don’t see eye-to-eye. Much of that speculation originated from Toronto during last spring’s playoffs, serving to ramp up conjecture that Stamkos might “come home” by joining the Maple Leafs next summer. While belief of a feud between Stamkos and Cooper still lingers among some pundits, no tangible public evidence of discord exists. Read more

Watch Jets’ Trouba blow up Lightning’s J.T. Brown with huge open-ice collision

Jared Clinton
Jacob Trouba and J.T. Brown collide (via NHL)

Tampa Bay’s J.T. Brown has been playing well early in the 2015-16 campaign. In six games, he has one goal, two points and, thus far, is on pace for a career year. But not everything has gone Brown’s way.

Take Friday’s tilt against the Winnipeg Jets, for instance. After Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba went back into the Winnipeg zone to retrieve a loose puck, he turned and cut back towards the neutral zone. Brown, who is known to have a bit of a physical edge, thought he had Trouba lined up. Problem is Brown stands 5-foot-10, 172 pounds to Trouba’s 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame. Suffice to say, Brown is probably regretting his decision: Read more

Get reacquainted with John Tortorella by watching his most memorable outbursts


John Tortorella is officially back behind an NHL bench after inking a deal to coach the Blue Jackets, which means press conferences in Columbus just got a whole lot more interesting.

Though Tortorella has won a Stanley Cup, Calder Cup and made the post-season in all but four of his seasons behind an NHL bench, the 57-year-old coach is best known for his colorful personality which can lead to some pretty memorable moments when dealing with the media. Though his most successful season came in Tampa Bay as the Lightning’s bench boss, it was with the New York Rangers where Tortorella really got his reputation for having a fiery personality.

Here are the five of the most memorable outbursts of Tortorella’s career: Read more

Watch hilarious video of Lightning’s Killorn, Garrison walking through haunted house

Jared Clinton
Alex Killorn and Jason Garrison (via Tampa Bay Lightning/NHL)

Halloween is only 10 days away, but Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison and left winger Alex Killorn might already be done with the spooky season.

To get prepared for Halloween, Garrison and Killorn attended the Howl-O-Scream haunted house at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. To say they enjoyed their experience wouldn’t be the right way to put it, but if it was fright they were after, they got their money’s worth — especially Killorn.

The way Killorn is shuffling back and forth before even entering the haunted house might tell you all you need to know about how he feels about what he’s about to experience: Read more

Columbus needs a butt-kicking, and Tortorella is just the man to do it

John Tortorella (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

With the Columbus Blue Jackets coming out of the gate with an 0-7-0 record, nobody should have been surprised that Todd Richards is now unemployed. Nor should anyone be surprised that John Tortorella jumped out of the unemployment line and replaced Richards behind the Columbus bench.

What, the same Tortorella who left that tire fire behind in Vancouver and with $10 million remaining on his contract with the Canucks? The same Tortorella who stubbornly tried to jam a square piece in a round hole with the Canucks, forcing them to play a defensive style that wasn’t suited to their personnel and resulted in them being unable to either score goals or defend? The same Tortorella, who by his own admission, deserved to be fired after one season with the Canucks?

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