NHL Rumor Mill – January 18, 2021

by | Jan 18, 2021 | Rumors | 50 comments

A look at some predicted moves for this season involving Patrik Laine, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Duncan Keith and more in the NHL rumor mill.

TSN: In his 31 bold predictions for the new NHL season, Frank Seravalli envisioned the Winnipeg Jets moving winger Patrik Laine before the Apr. 12 trade deadline. Two potential destinations: the Columbus Blue Jackets (for Pierre-Luc Dubois?) and the Carolina Hurricanes (for Brett Pesce or Vincent Trocheck?).

Could the Winnipeg Jets move Patrik Laine before the April 12 trade deadline? (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve learned never to say never in this business so I don’t rule out Laine hitting the trade block before Apr. 12. However, I don’t see that happening if the Jets are in the thick of the playoff chase.

Seravalli isn’t the only pundit suggesting swapping Laine for Dubois. On paper, it makes sense. The Jets get a reliable second-line center while the Jackets bring in a type of goal scorer they haven’t had since Rick Nash left town almost 11 years ago.

The problem is we don’t know if Jets management wants to swap Laine for a second-line center when blue-line depth is their primary concern. I think they’ll want much more than that for a winger with 50-goal potential. We also don’t know how well Laine will get along with Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella. There’s also the concern over whether Laine or Dubois would commit long-term to their new clubs.

Laine would certainly provide a boost to the Hurricanes’ offense but he could end up on the second line if he doesn’t click with first-line center Sebastian Aho. A return of Trocheck and Pesce could tempt the Jets, but not if it’s just one or the other unless something else of significance is included in the deal. Moving Trocheck for Laine would leave the Hurricanes without a suitable second-line center.

Seravalli predicts Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could become the top target on TSN’s top free-agent list for 2021. The 27-year-old center wants to stay with the Edmonton Oilers but the club has no plans of going beyond $7 million annually on a long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The flattened salary cap for next season could work to the Oilers’ advantage here. Nugent-Hopkins might not find many better offers because a number of teams will have limited cap space to make a competitive bid for his services. We’ll see how things unfold by July.

Speaking of the Oilers, Seravalli believes they’ll trade for another goaltender before the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli made that prediction before Smith landed on long-term injury reserve last week. General manager Ken Holland will keep an eye on the waiver wire in the short term but I wouldn’t rule out Holland testing the trade market this season.

Seravalli thinks Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith will seek a trade after this season. The 37-year-old blueliner has two years left on his contract at $5.5 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Again, never say never. He’s got a full no-movement clause but could waive it if the right opportunity presents itself. Cap Friendly indicates Keith only has $3.6 million in actual salary remaining on his deal ($2.1 million for next season, $1.5 million for 2022-23). However, the cap hit itself could be difficult to move unless the Blackhawks pick up part of it. His age will also be a factor. He turns 38 this summer and his best seasons are now behind him.


  1. Rask for the Nuge and crazy Kassian. Let Halak have the net if we’re gonna blow it up. Kassian is clearly nuts, so he’d fit what the fanbase is so desperately seeking.
    Then trade Debrusk, Bjork and a 2nd for Noah Hanifin. He can play with Carlo and Gryz moves up with Charlie. Take Kase out back and put the poor guy out of his misery. Keep Ritchie around just for fun.

    • Rask for nuge AND ? Haha, that’s a good one , might as well send draisaitl for Frederic too

      • Yeah, really … how about Rask and Kase for McDavid? Typical Bruin fanboy …

      • Im just having
        a lark, but just for chits, what’s your perceived value of ol’ crazy eyes?

        One more……you wouldn’t trade your #3 center for a # 1 goalie? (Both of whom are UFA’s next season)

      • Nuge is a #2 C on most NHL teams, and has been playing 1st or 2nd line wing mostly the last few years. If your saying #3C due to the fact he’s a center how many centers in the NHL would be #1 or 2 in Edmonton? Not too many come to mind when stacking up to McDavid and Draisaitl. You saying he’d be #3 in bean town? doubt it.

      • Kassian value is not high with his new deal , I don’t see a trade happening, hit is too much for the role he would be asked to fill imo.
        No I wouldn’t even consider moving our top line lw , who has chemistry with Connor and Leon , plays both special teams and can fill in at C if an injury comes along. For an expiring goalie? No thanks, if the oilers are out of playoff contention completely and ken doesn’t believe he can be resigned , yeah you have to explore the market . If they are in the battle as i expect or feel they can get him signed or both , he stays . I see no path or result that could make that deal relevant at all

    • I don’t see RNH going anywhere. If he’s happy in Edm., they’ll extend him eventually. Task will be ufa after season if Oilers want to pursue. They only have 12 players under contract for next season. They can work it out. Maybe try and work a deal to get Seattle to take Neal. Open up more cap space.
      Laine to Carolina for Hamilton (w/extension) and Bokk

    • sounds good to me but the Bruins would have no shot with Halak in goal

    • Like the idea of Nuge in Boston, but let’s just wait until he is a UFA.
      Krecji’s $ goes to Nuge, can even give him a bump to compete with CLB’s offer.
      Keep Rask on a 1 or 2 yr deal.
      Kassian makes too much IMO.
      Unless he gets it going again, which he hasn’t thus far.
      My guess is Nuge stays in EDM any way.

    • SOP off the top i say if Boston falls out of playoff contention send Rask to the Oilers for Klefbom, who the bruins wouldn’t need and is out for the season and give the Oil a legit number 1 goaltender to take a cup run.

      Klefom is to steep of a price for a ufa goalie but it’s the price to pay for a cup run.

      • ok

  2. NY4, you can get a 4K signal off of that forehead

  3. Seravalli and Friedman like to throw enough names at a wall hoping for something to stick….to get something right, with little regard for if it makes sense.

    At least you, (Lyle) look at potentially realistic possibilities and then opine on them.

    I miss the days when reporters actually spoke to coaches and GM’s and weighed their words when writing it up, i’m dating myself but am thinking of Red Fisher, Ted Blackman, Dink Carroll.

    As fans, we can be excused for our expectations and misguided opinions but I expect more from professionals.

    • habfan30 yesterday you compare 22yr old PLD numbers to 17yr old Danault.

      I wondering where you just stating point totals or trying to say it be a fair deal?

      Phillip Danault who is in his 7th season has never scored more then 13 goals and will be a UFA at season end.

      Pierre-Luc Dubois who is entering his 4th season has scored 20, 27 and 18 goals and a rfa at the end of his two year extension.

      Suzuki had 13g 41pts last season his first season

      Kotkaniemi had 6g 8pts last season and 11g 34pts in his first season.

      to clarify none of the 3 Montreal C had a 20 goals season as of date but Pld has had 2.

      • What’s that saying, you more likely to…. than convince a Habs fans of the facts?

        It would be great if he ended up in Montreal but the price wouldn’t be something I think they would be willing to pay and I’ll bet too that the package the CBJ get will be inferior to what the Habs could of offered.

      • Caper, I compared Danault point totals just show PLD isn’t a 1C, he had one more point.

        Danault gets 3 million a year and is recognised as being underpaid for those 13 goals, while filling a 1C role.

        Danault + 1 is all the Habs might do for PLD, and frankly I don’t think it works for either team

      • He is not filling a 1C role. He is filling a 3C role, barely. They don’t have a 1st or 2nd line.

      • Actually putting up below average 3C stats while getting 1C minutes perhaps makes him a 4C.

  4. Yet again, if the Jackets send Dubois to Winnipeg what do they do about the centre position? Some of you insist this is a good scenario for both but it really isn’t … Laine will regress under Torts and PLD wants a big market … that ain’t Winnipeg folks …

    • we all know that PLD wants to be a Ranger. Rangers are the new Maple Leafs, everybody want to play there.

      • You’re funny Gary

      • Laffs won, is the parade already announced in TO?

  5. There are already several goalies moving through waivers. I bet that continues throughout year. Dell in edm?

    • Dell will be claimed if no one before edmonton on priority list claims him, in Canada already I would be beyond shocked if he doesn’t meet the boys Wednesday in Toronto provided he doesn’t get claimed before ken has the chance

  6. maybe the Bruins should trade Ondrej Kase for Miles Wood $$$$ per is the same stats are close …think the Devils will go for it ?

    • I did but dont tell the Devils they might do this trade…….

    • Devils like their Wood, no deal for you!

  7. I guess we debate Dubois and Laine for the next 4 months ? To quote George ‘Jeshus Christ “
    Debrusk stock is not worth much.
    I see Kase almost made it through game 2 . What’s a band-aid

  8. The way Rask talks he will finish out career in Boston May sign one or two year extension. Boston needs a scorer bad find out what you need to give to get Laine even if it’s Charlie make the deal and bring up Urho.Cant win scoring one or two goals every game.

    • I agree Obe, I am sure I have seen that Rask really only wants to stay in Boston. They need to sign him to a 1 or 2 yr extension.

      Next year will really be a telling one for the bruins. Almost 30mill in cap space and guys like Krejci as FA.

      I think the Bruins really missed the boat this year in not getting Josh Anderson. Big physical forward that can net you 20-30 goals.

      And if they want Laine it is going to have to involve Carlo or MaCavoy

      • Anderson check the boxes a 26 year old big physical player who can score … nice job Sweeney /Neely….at least make like you’re trying

      • I thought the checked boxes were:

        1 Overpaid
        2 Fragile
        3 Mediocre

      • That’s the boxes the leafs like to check.

      • Listen to Wendel – he’s a TML guy, and no one in the NHL knows more about overpaying players than they do.

  9. He kind of remind me of Bobby Nystrom

  10. Chicago looks like they’re in for a long season. (Well, a long-shortened season) how long before we’re also seeing Toews and Kane in rumors too?

  11. Kase 5’11” 180 … never played more that 66 games in a season never scored more than 20 goals and never had more than 38 pts ….. Knowing the way Neely and even Sweeney to some extent played the game how do they get a player like this for their #2 line

  12. Don’t worry about the bruins making a pitch for Dubois they’ll most likely end up with someone like Jagr.

    • Or a Kase type … watch out Kase there’s a corner

  13. Lyle,

    ?”Laine would certainly provide a boost to the Hurricanes’ offense but he could end up on the second line if he doesn’t click with first-line center Sebastian Aho.”


    The below is from a 2016 article:

    “We’d be remiss not to talk about the top line of Finland consisting of Sebastian Aho, Jesse Puljujärvi and Patrik Laine. They were by far the best line of the entire tournament and often times carried the rest of the team when they weren’t getting any secondary scoring.“

    I think he’s be more than fine.


    • Fair point, rich. Reuniting the two, however, won’t be easy unless they’re willing to pony up the Jets’ asking price.

  14. While losing Dell as 3rd G is disappointing it signals the debut of the Bobby Orr of the KHL tonight. He will likely see limited minutes to start but will force his way up the depth chart until he is on the top unit with Muzzin by season’s end when we will all be discussing him as the biggest find since Panarin.


  15. The bruins lineup tonight with the exception of the first line looks like a who’s who of east coast league. Ritchie on the second line pathetic! Sweeney better do something quick this team could be out the playoffs before end of next month!

    • Another way to look at it is they have 3 points in 2 games, which would equate to 123 points in a normal 82 game season.

      • Best to look at it from Rick’s perspective Ray to avoid crushing disappointment.

    • We all make choices Wendel.

  16. Nice job Sweeney/Neely….another game (3) no even strength goal or no goal at all ….pathetic

  17. DeBrusk 3 games 0 pts ..5 SOG 2 hits ..the kid is a waste another one that won’t go into corners along with Kase

  18. Nice…he is so young and wow…

  19. Has anyone seen or heard from Pengy???

    Missing in action..hope he is ok?