NHL Rumor Mill – December 4, 2020

by | Dec 4, 2020 | Rumors | 33 comments

Some recent speculation on the Bruins, Wild and Oilers in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien recently pondered moves by the Boston Bruins if they should struggle during the 2020-21 season. He points to their weakness on the left side of their blueline as well as the possibility of star forwards Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak missing the start of the schedule recovering from offseason surgeries.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (NHL Images)

O’Brien feels management won’t need to blow things up but they could consider moving a handful of veterans at the trade deadline. Goalies Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak and center David Krejci are unrestricted free agents next summer. Perhaps the Bruins could get something of value for one of them. He also wondered if they might try to move a supporting cast member like Charlie Coyle or Jake DeBrusk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how the Bruins perform in a shortened season without Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara on the blueline and their two leading scorers possibly sidelined for the opening weeks. General manager Don Sweeney could consider selling a couple of veterans at the trade deadline if his club is struggling to stay in playoff contention by then. For now, of course, it’s all hypothetical.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty was asked if defenseman Zdeno Chara would return for another season. He predicted Chara wouldn’t return, speculating the big blueliner would reject relegation to a third-pairing role. Haggerty has the feeling the Bruins are ready to move on to a younger, more mobile defense corps.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL.com’s Amelie Benjamin, who covered her fair share of Bruins games with the Boston Globe, believes Chara will return for another season, though she acknowledged it’s not a certainty. Chara’s agent said his client was waiting to see what the format for the 2020-21 season would look like before deciding where he’ll play.

NHL.COM: Tom Gulitti wondered if the Minnesota Wild would trade defenseman Matt Dumba before the season is over. He notes the club intends to start the season with Dumba as part of their top-four blueliners.

Gulitti suggested the Wild might not be able to protect the 26-year-old Dumba in next summer’s expansion draft with Jonas Brodin recently signing a seven-year contract extension while Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon each have five years remaining on their deals. The Wild could try to move him before the trade deadline or wait until the offseason and do so before the expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dumba, who has three years left on his contract, is the only one of those four lacking no-movement protection in the 2021 expansion draft. The Wild could protect all four but they’d have to expose an extra forward. General manager Bill Guerin could swing a deal with Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis to ensure Dumba isn’t selected in that draft.

Guerin could see Dumba as a trade chip to bring in a first-line center. He could try to move the blueliner for the right offer before the expansion draft.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins recently reported hearing something needs to give on the Oilers’ roster before the club returns to play. However, he doesn’t expect it to happen until the middle of January when training camp might be underway.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A rather cryptic take by Leavins. Is he referring to their goaltending? Perhaps a short-term replacement for Oscar Klefbom if (when) he’s placed on long-term injury reserve as he recovers from treatment for his injured shoulder? An additional scoring winger? What say you, Oilers fans?


  1. What about a Hanifin for Carlo trade. Calgary has depth on the left side and could use the cap relief; Boston needs some help on the left and bring in a local boy to do it.

    Gives Calgary a defensive minded guy along with Tanev to pair on the right of young guys like Valimaki and Kylington. Gives Boston a smooth skating who can put up a few points and round out the left side.

    • Maybe another player other than Carlo would be best to attain Hanifin. Why would the Bs weaken one side to strengthen another. There are left side candidates like Zboril. Haniin is not the player he was three years ago either. Carlo is a shut down defenseman, rare to find. Calgary will have to look elsewhere for a RD.

    • I don’t see Calgary doing that. Giordano is 37. He has 2 years left on contract, but I can see them buying out last year.

      • @Slick – Calgary isn’t as high on Hanifin as they were and definitely don’t consider him their future #1. And I all but guarantee they don’t buy out Gio’s last year.

        @BlackWalnut – Hanifin is pretty well exactly the player he was 3 years ago actually. The lack of growth as a player is the reason for the change in how people look at him. Agree that Boston would be downgrading the right and mainly pitched Carlo as there were rumours earlier in the summer that he may be being shopped.

      • SCJ. I’d be surprised if they traded Hanafin and if he were shopped I think there’s a few teams that would be interested. As for Giordano, I don’t think anyone can guarantee anything with the cap probably not going up. His cap hit of 6.75m might be an issue if his production keeps heading south. If you’re confident enough in Valimaki and Kylington to trade away Hanafin, then the smarter move would be to keep the 24 year old and buyout the 38 year old.

  2. Although I don’t qualify as an Oiler fan/expert, it sure seems to me that they would want to bring in some help on defense.

    • I’d get Task out of dodge while you still can get something for him.he’ll onl y bail on the team again Chara’s playing days are over!

  3. Hello Lyle, I just wanted to say thanks! Everyday during this slog of a pandemic I get major relief by coming to read this site.
    Be well all!

    • Thanks, I appreciate your support and everyone else’s in normal times, but especially so now. Cheers!

  4. Us Oiler fans say the we often believe Mr Leavins is hearing things…usually it turns out to him speaking to himself in the mirror.

    Nothing more is likely to happen with goaltending. The money is spent whether we like the outcome or not.

    On D, they still have to get Bear under contract, get under the cap and have some space to move players up and down as injuries hit. When Klefbom goes on IR, that gives the money needed and likely everyone sits and the bottom 6/7 spot is filled with a low cost vet signing or Bouchard or Broberg.

    There’s already 15 forwards signed so I wouldn’t anticipate changes there either.

    Maybe there is a tinker – depth forward moved for another depth forward – beyond that – Leavins is talking to himself in the mirror again!

    • That sums it up Pete. Losing Klefbom hurts and if it is true about the arthritis, it may be for longer than just this season.
      Happy they have drafted D lately.
      Curious to see how Barrie does.

  5. Bruins have 11 players that will be either RFA or UFA after the 2021 season, BIG Changes are coming for this hockey team

    • Ya Joe, there is. They have been on a good run for a decade with their current core. Was going to end sooner or later.
      Curious to see how this season goes and if they can give it a serious run again come playoff time.
      I’m rooting for them, but wouldn’t bet a pay cheque on it.

      • Ray if there’s a season it will depend on how fast their two legit goal scorers get back with really a not a great amount of secondary scoring around the D & goalies will need to step up

      • Joe, I like the Smith signing, will get you an honest 20 goals more often than not.
        But ya, without the 2 big guns they are in tough.
        LD still an issue even with Chara back.
        Zboril gets a real shot I think.

  6. Joe Haggarty is a sensationalist at best. He isn’t a very good source, but I read him just to get my blood pressure up a touch.
    Thanks for assisting with that, Lyle.

    • Haggs flip flops constantly depends on which direction the Cape Cod Bay breeze is blowing

  7. Oilers are probably kicking themselves for letting Rangers beat them to Jack Johnson in FA, so maybe can work out a deal for Brendan Smith(50% retained) ..Will add Buchnevich and Howden for RNH. Smith can fill in for Klefbom and play 4th line wing. You can bury him in minors when Klefbom comes back

    • Nobody is kicking themselves for missing on Jack Johnson. Not a JJ hater on the level of Pengy, but I do believe that even his mediocre years are behind him

      • I was joking about JJ. I’m not a hater either. I actually prefer him at 1.1mil as opposed to Staal at 5.7, but I can’t see having both him and Smith. Hoping 1 or 2 of the kids step into lineup. Very surprised Smith still on team. He’s only owed 2.3m

  8. Does Tavares have a NM clause? What about a Dumba plus a draft pick for Tavares? Relieves a lot of pressure on Toronto for money, gives them the Dman they need. I always thought it was a mistake they signed Tavares.

    • Tavares has a no-move clause

      • Boy, does he ever. It’s called $11 mil per for 5 more years when he’ll be 35 y/o

  9. The Bruins Centers are Bergeron 35yrs old 2 seasons remaining.

    Krejci 34yrs old 1 season reaming

    Coyle 28yrs old 6yrs remaining

    Kuraly 27yrs old 1yr remaining

    Long way of saying Coyle isn’t going anywhere.

    The Bruins are reported the bottom of the league for prospects. Yes if there out of a playoff picture, should try in move some ufa to be, for some picks/prospects.

    Hoping they resign Kuraly, understanding he is a fourth line center but also one of the best 4th line centers in the league.

    • Caper, I like Kuraly too, but he seems like a guy who would be in demand come playoff time if the B’s are out.
      Frederek needs to play somewhere, we have Wagner long term.
      I think they make the playoffs again this year, it is the next off season and some big decisions. Start the inevitable rebuild or resign Krecji and give it another go?
      Or maybe Krecji goes to a younger contender that needs a C for a season like WPG?
      Will be interesting.

    • What!

      How can the Bruins possibly be “bottom of the League”?

      They’ve got Sweeney!

  10. I believe Don Sweeney is the worst GM in hockey.
    Horrible trades and FA signings.

  11. Leafs went way overboard on Tavares . That was the team he wanted to go to. Forgot NM was included . Did they throw in a set of Maple Leaf pyjamas to seal the deal.

    • Why even talk about Bruins. They have jumped the shark and are further away from another cup than all teams except Habs. 2 worst GMs in league have made a mess of their teams with no way out.

      Tavares has been better statistically in 2 years with Leafs then his “prime” years in NY. Worth far more than Dumba, think Dumba Greenway and a first. But the core 4 is not moving as that would be stupid, something habs or bruins GMs might do.

      • He was added to a 105 pt team to be a regular season warrior eh genius ? Playoff wins = 0 . 4 g 4a 8 pts -8 in 12 playoff / play in games . For 11 million per . Just genius.

      • Can you tell us how many playoff/playin series Tavares and the Leafs have won since he signed with Toronto?

        Best Pond Hockey Team ever.

        None of your nonsensical points hold any validity until the Leafs actually beat someone in a series that matters.

        1967….. wow.

  12. I don’t see any reason for Edmonton to make anymore deals before the NHL decides to return to play.
    As noted above, the $$ has been spent. They dotted alot of I’s and crossed alot of T’s with the small amount they had to play with. They’re looking pretty good in my eyes!

    ALOT could change before the NHL resumes. And how many games are they going to play? Is it worth it now to make a deal? Or better down the road….when we get our beloved game back!

  13. 52 games is my loto pick