NHL Rumor Mill – January 14, 2021

by | Jan 14, 2021 | Rumors | 41 comments

Updates on Pierre-Luc Dubois and Keith Yandle in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NHL.COM: John Lane reports Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella confirmed Pierre-Luc Dubois’ trade request. “Yeah, he wants out,” said Tortorella, commending the 22-year-old center for his honesty but wishing he’d be more transparent about his reasons.

Columbus Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

Tortorella indicated Dubois had a good training camp but he intends to keep the center on a short leash this season. “He needs to continue to do the things to help this team and be the best teammate he can be, or I’m not sure where it goes,” he said. “It’s a situation, and we’ll go to it day by day.”

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline suggests big changes could be coming to the Blue Jackets after this season. In addition to Dubois’ trade request, Tortorella is in the final year of his contract, as is team captain Nick Foligno. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen also has to decide whether Joonas Korpisalo or Elvis Merzlikins is their starting goalie as both are slated for UFA status in 2022.

Portzline believes Kekalainen has shown no urgency to move Dubois but wonders how long this can fester before he’s forced to act. The center is under contract through 2021-22. Dubois could be with the Jackets throughout this season unless they fall out of playoff contention and receive a tempting trade offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reported the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets were among the clubs with interest in Dubois. Kekalainen will set a significant asking price, perhaps seeking a scoring forward (preferably a center) in return. The Jackets GM isn’t known for hasty trades and will wait until the offseason if necessary for the right return.

The fates of Tortorella, Foligno and their goaltenders will be determined by the club’s performance this season. Missing the playoffs or another early postseason exit could bring about a shake-up.

SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin wonders what’s next for Keith Yandle now that the Florida Panthers are trying to ease the 34-year-old defenseman out of their lineup. His no-movement clause prevents them from placing him on their taxi squad unless he agrees to waive it. They could start the season by making him a healthy scratch, ending his 866-game Ironman streak.

Yandle’s declining performance could hurt his trade value. Larkin suggests the Panthers might have to absorb part of his $6.35 million annual average value (through 2022-23) to make him enticing in the trade market, provided he agrees to waive his NMC. Larkin reports a source said Yandle hasn’t been the initiator on any plans to waive his clause.

Larkin suggested the Boston Bruins as a potential fit. The New York Islanders could be another but they lack sufficient cap space to find room for Yandle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see any club having an interest in Yandle at this point in his career. He has too much tenure on his contract even if the Panthers agreed to pick up a healthy chunk of his annual cap hit. Never say never, of course, because we’ve seen instances in the past where seemingly untradeable players get moved. Still, the Panthers could be forced to wait until the offseason to make that happen.


  1. Tortorella is the issue in Columbus, no wonder good players can’t wait to leave …

    and it’s gonna be a long year fellow Penguin fans … the worst defence in hockey with very little cap space and a GM who needs to be put out to pasture.

    • CBJ just needs to get an identity that isn’t a Preds clone.

      GMJR I’ve never thought much of.

    • The consensus among reporters were that the Penguins defence was pretty good after the overhaul this offseason so please explain. Also, no they didn’t look very good.

      • Matheson & Ceci is treading water hardly an overhaul. Sorry bro

      • The predictions wouldn’t be very bold if they were the consensus.

      • Marino should help solidify that D but they do have many hat need to be upgraded and let’s go age and injury issue is a concern.

        Give it a bit more time though before making judgments on teams. It’s still exhibition really. Not this year exhibition counts.

      • Suddenly J.J. doesnt look so bad.


      • Nyr, the same point you made, the obvious one.
        It wasn’t directed at you, or anybody actually.
        Just an observation so need to take as a personal affront.
        Yell at somebody else.

      • See what I mean.

      • What are you talking about?

      • Say it again, I dare ya.

      • There ya go.
        Deep breath.

    • If last night was any indication you could be right..only one game..but we will see

      Pierre oliver Joseph needs to be in the line up on defense

      Malkin usual no show. Crosby kills the flyers jankowski looked good tanev too

    • Ed van impe..Friday is a must win for the Penguins. All teams when you play these mini two game series you need to split them until you can sweep one.

      This shortened season you cant afford any long losing street..

  2. Yandle is worthless … as I pointed out yesterday.

    • Yandle on PP is good. But 5 on 5 he makes high risk plays and coach Q not gonna keep with it

  3. I don’t see a declining Yandle being wanted anywhere. The Staal trade was weird tbh.

    3yrs left is a lot. 1-2 & he’d be easier to move.

    How about them Canucks without JT Miller?

    Leaf had luck on their side. Tough bounce fir the Habs.

    Oilers still same problems.

    Pens D is a problem or are the Flyers that good?

    TB are looking good again.

    Av’s looking a bit off.

    • Leafs out of the game at 3-1. Then the crosschecking call on Chariot (Simmonds should have gotten 2 min as well) and the delay of game call turned the entire game around.

      Amazing the Leafs with all their superstars had to go to ot to beat a team filled with 3rd and 4th liners.

  4. Not sure if it a good idea for the coach to publicly say the player wants out. I like the honesty but when you say he will be on a short leash, well then it best to trade the player sooner rather then later.

    If JLD makes a mental mistake it could be interrupted as disinterested because he doesn’t want to be here, now sit on the bench.

    Sweeney step up anyone not named McAvoy or Pastrnak should be in play.

    If i thought Patrice Bergeron could land JLD i do that trade quickly. Just saying.

    • Ya Caper, what Torts said makes me question that this is actually about wanting to play in a bigger market.
      Perhaps that was just the talking points handed out.
      While the talking heads discussed on Sportsnet, they were showing a clip of Torts screaming at him like Dubois killed puppies for fun. Including his.

      I get that you need your players to play within the structure, block shots, etc, but you can achieve that without acting like a lunatic. Especially on the bench for all to see.
      Holding players accountable doesn’t need to include that. Perhaps save it for the room or reduced ice time would be more effective if you need to use the stick vs carrot.

      • Ray im most interested in watching zboril play tonight.

        I hope with his sleep apnea in the pass, we see what the Bruins brass seen when they drafted him. Holding out hope.

    • Caper, that comment may be Tortorella’s way of putting the focus on the player, not the coach.
      Torts doesn’t mind throwing players under the bus. It couldn’t possibly be him, could it?

  5. Actually Detroit traded for a draft pick and got Staal as part of the deal.

    • I can see LL picking up Yandle if Fla keeps salary.
      Why not?
      The Isles PP is atrocious and Yandle is an excellent PP player with a man up.

      Perhaps Hickey to Fla and Yandle to NYI with 50% of salary retained. LL may have to throw in a pick to balance this off, but I think that it works for both teams.

      Question? Say this trade happens with FLA retaining 3 million. What happens if the isles buy Yandle out after year or two? Who’s on the hook for the Cap hit?

      PS Has anyone heard from George? I’m hoping that he is OK>

    • Detroit got a 2nd rd pick to take on Staal’s cap hit of 5.7 mil. For final year. Actual money owed was 3.2 million. Rangers are supposed to receive “future considerations”. To my knowledge, they havnt got anything back yet.

    • Then you missed some of the outstanding saves that he made.

      The first goal was also screened and one of the others was tipped.

      The Leafs have a really good top 6, trust me.

      But they were lucky to win.
      The breaks did not go to Montreal.
      It happens.

      But Price played well.


    • Price for Vezina?

      Then Ceci for Norris.

  6. I would think if a Canadian team were to trade for Dubois it would be early in the season or during the off season since he would have to quarantine for 2 weeks before he could join the team.

    • Ottawa might be the exception Ed. While they want to make the playoffs, I don’t they actually expect too.

  7. If the bruins can’t beat the devils tonight might as well just mail in the season! What an incredible wonky Lin up why is Richie still playing he couldn’t make the senior house league.

    • Lol Rick, you’re throwing in the towel after one game.

      • Rick isn’t a Bruins fan. He just likes to whine about them.

  8. The Penguins defence and goaltending would have trouble competing at the AHL level based on last nights feeble effort.

    Flyers vs Pens was a much better viewing experience than the Canucks vs Oilers matchup. The play by play announcer was a monotone drone that sounded like it was his first game. Zero enthusiasm rendering the game borderline unwatchable.

    • Agreed the broadcast was weak. It actually was the guys first game in a sense. He normaly does the Punjab broadcasts for the Canucks so I believe it was his first play by play experience in English

  9. Wasn’t Philly trying to trade Ghost? Send him to Florida and get them to retain 1.5 on Yandle….both players have 3 years left on current deals. Yandle played for Vigneult in NY. Ghost is a south Fla kid.

    • another option is Keith to FLA back to play for JQ . Fla would retain some $

  10. How about:
    1) Dubois stays and tortorella is terminated? Or
    2) tortorella practices what he preaches. When talking about Dubois, according to this article, tortorella says Dubois needs ” to do the things to help this team and be the best teammate he can be.” Maybe tortorella should consider doing the things to help this team and being the kind of coach that creates an environment where players actually WANT to stay in Columbus (which happens in a LOT of NHL cities) instead of having the maturity of a 3rd grader (sorry to all 3rd graders!).

    • Dubois has no guts If he can’t deal with the coach. I wouldn’t want that kind of a player to my team. Difficulties ahead for Jarmo…

  11. My Penguins your Rangers not looking good so far..Lol

  12. No worries, you will get another 1st or 2nd overall pick. Bettman won’t leave you with anything.