NHL Rumour Tidbits, July 29: Bernier, Voynov, Scuderi + more

Goalie Jonathan Bernier and the Maple Leafs appear destined for arbitration Friday with the two sides remaining far apart on salary. It shouldn't be a major surprise that the Leafs are ready to go this route given it was team itself that elected for arbitration in the first place. Reports that the Leafs are "lowballing" Bernier only increases the likelihood that this negotiation will go right down to the wire. It's believed the Leafs are refusing to offer anything over $4 million in negotiations, while the Bernier camp is aiming for over $5 million on a short term deal. The Leafs have reportedly submitted an arbitration offer worth even less: the league minimum $2.89 million (85% of his previous salary).

NHL Rumour Tidbits, July 27: Antropov...? Skinner, Johansson, Drouin, Staal, Ward

It's mid-offseason and we're talking about Nik Antropov. Yes, that guy.

Rumours are swirling in Russia after Antropov's agent told media his client is contemplating a return to the NHL. Antropov remains a free agent after his last deal with Barys Astana of the KHL - with whom he continues to negotiate - expired. Of course, this NHL talk might be nothing more than a bargaining tactic against the KHL teams hoping to sign him. The 35 year old center last played in the NHL during the 2012-2013 season.

NHL Rumour Tidbits, July 24: Tlusty, Ehrhoff, Alfie, Lamoriello bringing over Conte?

While the media was zoned in on Lou Lamoriello becoming the new GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday, a few arbitration hearings quietly took place: the Capitals' Braden Holtby and Alex Chiasson of the Senators. The Capitals and Holtby found common ground this afternoon, agreeing to a 5 year, $30.5 million extension. Meanwhile, Chiasson and the Sens continue to negotiate ahead of the arbitrator's ruling tomorrow. There remains cautious optimism that a deal will get done.

NHL Rumour Tidbits, July 22: Johansson, Holtby, JvR, Chiasson

A (strange) rumour which has been swirling around lately has teams across the NHL lining up to make offers for Toronto left winger James van Riemsdyk. I cannot account for the other teams, but I do believe the Capitals at some point had internal discussions about the player and whether or not he was a good target. But this is an old, expired rumour at best: the Capitals already have added two top 6 wingers in TJ Oshie and Justin Williams. It would be a shock for the Capitals to make an offer on JvR now, let alone Toronto entertain one for their relatively young, talented, and inexpensive star. What can I say, it's the summer. We've gotta find something to talk about, right?

NHL Rumour Tidbits, July 20: Leafs cap space auction, Ehrhoff Watch

The Maple Leafs are one of the few teams who are both willing and able to take on a bad contract in return for picks and prospects. So some are wondering: why haven't they done that yet? The Leafs are essentially conducting a bidding war right now - as in, who wants to shed salary the most? How much are you willing to give us in return for that sweet, sweet cap space? The ultimate pressure point, which should smoke out the best offers, is the opening of NHL training camp when teams are once again required to be cap compliant. At that point, I think, you'll see a few moves of this sort. There is no shortage of teams carrying dead weight on their salary cap who would be willing to sacrifice assets to get rid of it.

Rumour Tidbits, July 19: Canucks and Flyers moves coming? Franson Watch update + more

If the Vancouver Canucks made plans to sign any more UFAs or RFAs, they'll probably have to shed some salary first. As of this post the Canucks find themselves with less than 3 million dollars in cap space. They would have interest in defenseman Cody Franson were they able to find the cap room required to sign him. Furthermore, the lack of cap space is preventing them from resigning young RFA forward Sven Baertschi. Names that have been in the rumour mill as trade candidates include Chris Higgins, Luca Sbisa, Dan Hamhuis, and Radim Vrbata. The latter two aren't likely to move until later this season though, if at all. Nonetheless, the Canucks are a team to watch in the coming weeks.

Rumour Tidbits, July 15: Oduya Watch ends, Franson Watch begins + more

The hockey world can collectively exhale now that The Decision Pt. 2: Johnny Oduya Edition is over.

Rumour Tidbits, July 11: Stepan, Hamhuis, Berglund

Restricted free agent center Derek Stepan and the Rangers continue to negotiate a new contract with the hope of avoiding arbitration. A few rumblings out there suggest that the Rangers could be forced to trade him if they can't get him to a sign to a reasonable deal.

Rumour Tidbits, July 8th: Sharp suitors shrinking?

If you've been keeping a close eye on the Rumour Board the last few weeks, you'd have been startled to see Vladimir Tarasenko at 1% going to the KHL.

Rumour Tidbits, July 7: Sharp, Grabner, Oduya

Things sure have gotten quiet after a busy opening to unrestricted free agency, haven't they? Many believe that signings are being held up by the active (or rather, inactive) trade market.

Rumour Tidbits, July 4: Is Shattenkirk available?

The talk today was all about whether St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is available for trade. It seems like a crazy notion given his importance to the Blues this past season.

Rumour Tidbits, July 2

St. Louis seems to be up to something today on the trade front...keeping an eye on that one.

Rumour Board Update, July 1: Frenzy just getting started

The first day of NHL Free Agency began with a bang, perhaps not with quality but with quantity. GMs were relatively cautious on Day 1, with no real Clarkson-esque deals being handed out.

Plenty of guys on the UFA market getting lots of attention...Oduya, Ehrhoff and Franson holding strong and hoping to get long term contracts at 5m or more per season.

Rumour Board Update June 30th: Watch Calgary, Buffalo, Columbus, Vancouver and Colorado tomorrow...

'Twas the night before unrestricted free agency...

Saad, Bieksa and Jones wiped off the rumour board today but lots of teams getting ready to get in on the action tomorrow.