NHL Rumor Mill – January 20, 2021

by | Jan 20, 2021 | Rumors | 44 comments

The latest on Keith Yandle, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman reported on what led to the speculation over Keith Yandle’s future with the Florida Panthers. Prior to the start of their season, there was talk the veteran defenseman would be a healthy scratch from their season-opener amid rumors he might be asked to waive his no-movement clause.

Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle (NHL Images).

The club wanted to change its culture, become tougher to play against and hold players to account. New general manager Bill Zito comes from a demanding franchise (Columbus Blue Jackets) and there were rumblings during the offseason that Yandle didn’t fit into the organization’s plans.

The club denied asking Yandle to waive his no-movement clause, which the blueliner confirmed. However, over the past two weeks, the 34-year-old rearguard felt his character was being called into question. Several of his teammates stood up for Yandle and made it clear they wanted him in the lineup.

Friedman doesn’t think this story is over, suggesting perhaps the club wouldn’t mind if the players used this situation as a rallying cry. There’s a rumor suggesting Yandle would waive his NMC for the Boston Bruins but Friedman doesn’t see him as a fit given their avoidance of taking on long-term contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like Zito mishandled this situation. Friedman noted some of the Panthers felt Yandle needed to improve his defensive play but none of them questioned his character. It’s one thing to demand accountability for a player’s performance but this quickly blew up into a bigger issue that still has the potential to become an unnecessary distraction for the Panthers unless the air is cleared.

I agree with Friedman’s take regarding Yandle and the Bruins. Taking on an aging blueliner with a questionable defensive game and a $6.35 million AAV through 2022-23 wouldn’t be a wise decision to improve their blueline.

Friedman believes there are several “very, very good teams in the weeds” on Pierre-Luc Dubois waiting to see how the Columbus Blue Jackets handle the situation. He’s curious to find out what the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning think.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche have a superstar centering their first line in Nathan MacKinnon, while Nazem Kadri’s worked out well as their second-line center. Dubois doesn’t seem to be a fit there unless the plan is to knock Kadri down to the third line or ship him out. Ditto the Lightning, who have Brayden Point, Anthony Cirelli and Yanni Gourde centering their top-three lines, with captain Steven Stamkos who can slide into the center position when necessary.

Assuming either or both clubs wanted Dubois, they’ll have to part with a center or a forward who can have an immediate positive effect on the Jackets’ forward lines. Kadri, Point or Cirelli fit that description but I don’t see their respective clubs parting with them.

Don’t forget that both teams have limited salary-cap space this season. Any deal for Dubois will have to be as close to dollar-for-dollar as possible to take on his $5 million annual average value. Even if the Avs or Bolts were interested it’s probably too complicated to pull off that trade.

Friedman said he’d heard during the offseason that the Edmonton Oilers were close to a contract extension with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. However, things have gone quiet for a while.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s talk the Oilers don’t want to go above $7 million per season for Nugent-Hopkins, which could explain the silence of late. Then again, maybe the two sides have decided to just put things on hold while the season is underway.

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ interest in Jack Roslovic can’t be tied to their opening two losses. They’ve been interested in the 23-year-old Winnipeg Jets forward for some time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s Dan Kingerski recently reported second-hand sources told him during the offseason that Penguins GM Jim Rutherford was interested in Roslovic. Kingerski noted the Jets could use some blue-line help. The Penguins have nine defensemen, including Pierre-Olivier Joseph on their taxi squad.

Oilers general manager Ken Holland contacted Jimmy Howard to see if the 36-year-old goaltender was interested in a reunion in Edmonton. Howard played for Holland when the latter was GM of the Detroit Red Wings. Howard, however, declined the offer and intends to announce his retirement soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No offense to Howard, who had a long and mostly productive career with the Red Wings, but this shows how desperate Holland is to improve his goaltending.


  1. “SPECTOR’S NOTE: No offense to Howard, who had a long and mostly productive career with the Red Wings, but this shows how desperate Holland is to improve his goaltending.”

    Probably not that necessary to say, considering that he approached Howard after he’d already claimed a 31-year-old goalie with two NHL games of experience. 🙂

    • Actually was reported in Edmonton that Holland contacted Howard the day before they claimed Troy Grosenick off waivers.

  2. Just because the Penguins have 9 defencemen it doesnt mean any of them are any good or have any semblance of trade value.
    Pittsburgh also has two goalies, is anyone lining up to trade for Jarry or DeSmith?

    • Brian Dumoulin has trade value for sure but not much else on that Penguin blueline … couldn’t give LeTurnover away, Pettersson is grossly overpaid, Matheson and Ceci have already been scratched and are useless & Rudwhedel & Rikkola are 7th & 8th d-men … Marino is the only one worth keeping, he has potential … Pens are going nowhere …

      • Ed,

        Pretty fair and accurate assessment.

    • Wow debbie downee… LOL

  3. Just tossing this out there.. if the Bruins fall out of a playoff race would they think about trading #63

    • Never say never, but I think there is 0.01 chance they trade #63 today.

      Even if the Bruins don’t make the playoffs (looking rough so far), this off season is going to be the most critical in Sweeny’s career.

      As it sits the Bruins will have about 30 mill in cap space and will have to find some secondary scoring.

      Do they bring Krejci back?
      Does Rask come back?
      Do both of those guys sign for less $$ to allow others to com in via FA?

      And no matter how you shake it the Bruins want Marchand with them next year.

      • Tough to trade him (BM) but anyone can get traded even a 27 year old Wayne Gretzky

      • Joe my short list is 3 teams

        Col Brandon Saad $5m cap ufa
        Vegas Reilly Smith 1yr $5m
        St.L Jadan Schwartz ufa $5.35

        All 3 are consider Cup contendera Marchand is an upgrade over all 3 players Cap hit is close and by trade deadline the dollars work. All 3 would need to add.

    • Joe, the first issue is Marchand NMC, he would have to waive his NMC which would mean Brad would have some control over his destination.

      Marchand is 32yrs Old and after this season still has an additional 4yrs on his contract at $6.125 cap hit. His actual salary drops to 5, 4, 4 in the last 3yrs.

      I would suggest if Boston falls out of playoff contention that this maybe the best time to shop him, i don’t expect the last couple of season to be of good value.

      You would need a Cup contender, with cap space and need a LW and willing to part with some significant assets.

      • I’ll do some homework, will find a team that is Cup ready and would have Cap space but wont name players coming back.. not very good at that

    • Caper….wait one

      Reilly Smith that name sounds familiar

  4. Roslovic for Zucker please and thanks

    I know Chevy will hang up on that call… but I’d love to see that trade happening

    • What happened to Mike Matheson? He was a promising D who got off to a decent start to his career?

      Did coaching ruin him in Fla and will he “come back” in Pitt

    • Pengy..no zucker is good..Malkin for Roslovic ok..

      • LOL

        Zucker better get back to something close to last year

        So far of all Pens forwards to play in the 4 games; Zucker has been by far the worst

        It has to be no exhibition games and/or short training camp.. Zucker should pull out of this type of play (🙏🤞) very soon

        Gino finally woke up mid game last night

        Let’s hope that Gino’s awakening will get him quickly back to last year’s form

        Rust has improved every game … so it’s just a matter of time 👍

        Worried about goaltending and the 3 D injuries

        If either Riikola or Pettersson a no go for next game ; I would think Czuzman comes in… and from what I saw of him playing in WBS and his play in last summers bubble exhibition …. I’m good with that

      • I’m not sure where the bromance for czuc came from. The team and the player himself have acknowledged that he is a good ahl guy whose job is to help mentor young up n coming d men. I’d rather see Joseph.

    • Pengy….This is a move I would like to see the Penguins make although it may be sooner now with the injuries to Matheson, Pettersson and Rikola.

      Duncan Keith rumors are starting to percolate (he wants to play on a contender) since Chicago is now clearly rebuilding and out of it…Toews Dach out long term.

      He is still playing great hockey (At 37) moving the puck, controlling the puck, and making good decisions…..which most of our d-corp doesn’t do….

      I have watched all the Chicago games and he sill is a championship defender and someone that we could use in our top 4 moving to the playoffs…

      It would be like in 2016 when we got Trevor Daley, 36, he fit perfect, and then we added Hainsey and Cole.

      He only has 2 years left (which fits our win now mode) and he will bring skill, 3 rings, and championship pedigree to our team. We can’t beat the top teams without another top 4 defenseman…sorry Pettersson, is young, but soft, and isn’t the answer.

      My original thought was move Petterson to Chicago for Keith and add a pick if needed. Not sure the prognosis of Marcus’s injury

      Keith $5.35
      Pettersson $4.025

      We have cap space $1.3 million and with Matheson on long term IR we can swing it…

      Duncan keith is so good with the puck, makes good decisions, has a shot, a strong skater, wont panic, and controls play with his skating and stickhandling…

      Having Letang/Dumo/Keith/Marino for our top 4 looks much better.

      We have young defenseman coming in joseph, Lee, Maniscalco and Rielly so Petterson can be moved,

  5. I honestly think 63 is untradeable.I think the b s can resign both 46 and 40 to lesser contracts somewhere around 4-5 million.The biggest problem they have is finding a young top 6 centermen.They have noone in the pipeline ready for that role.They have all kinds of 3rd line and bottom 6 forwards.I still would put Studnicka and Beecher in that class.I hope 1 of them emerges ,but why wouldn t the Bs kick the tire on PLD OR RNH

  6. Besides PLD’s move to either Tampa Bay or Colorado being complicated, I doubt it would be necessary and probably not worth it. When a player sulks or otherwise underperforms as he is being in Columbus, why would either of these teams part with the kind of assets necessary to bring him in their mix? If Dubois lands anywhere beyond where he is it will be due to another team’s glaring need and the available cap space to address it

  7. No to Yandle a player past his prime too much money and not enough to deliver.
    The bruins have to make a big splash for forward they had all summer, fall and winter to address the problem of second line forward for Krejci and all Sweeney did was sit on his hands again. The bruins are older more injury prone and can’t score.

  8. Ottawa should trade for RNH and make him our number 1 center

  9. Oilers can sure use a Goalie….

    Bruins can use a LD & a goal scorer with size thats willing to go into the corners

    DeBrusk & a Goalie for


  10. I think a lot of you need a timeout from being able to comment. So many wrong things said it is actually embarrassing.

    You can certainly have a difference of opinion but explain why instead of resorting to ‘monkeys throwing poop at each other.’

    Try talking hockey instead of just trash talking each other.

  11. You are right. Lyle does an amazing job keeping us all up to date on all things hockey but your comments insulting me as a defense for insulting others just shows that yes, I wish the moderating was much more strict than it is.

    I am sure many people like me who have come to this site almost daily for years would like to comment more and wish to do so in a more respectable environment but don’t just because of this type of behaviour.

    That’s why I don’t comment anymore and don’t usually bother to read the comments but it is sometimes frustrating to see the inappropriate things being said to each other on a daily basis and not bring it up on behalf of others who might actually want a more respectful platform to discuss the greatest sport on earth.

    I won’t bother responding further as it doesn’t accomplish anything to argue about what is likely not going to change much.

    Love the site, Lyle. I just wish the comment sections were more respectful.

    • Fair point Flying V.
      Methinks you aren’t the only one that refrains from posting for those reasons.
      I knew a family back in Sask that owned a ranch called the Flying V. Sponsored our Pee Wee team when I was a kid.

    • I missed the verbal diarrhea today. Was anyone instructed to commit suicide?
      More Kris Leturnover trash?
      Folks attacking Pengy for being descriptive and polite to others?
      People being told to go back to their caves?
      What did I miss?

      • Shoreorrpark, you didn’t miss anything worth repeating other than my usual reminder to respect each other’s opinion and to stay on topic.

      • Thank you, Lyle.
        As an aside, Grz practiced today and should play on Thursday.

      • I have to admit. The go kill yourself stuff was getting to me.

        There’s good discourse
        There is less than polite discourse
        There is funnin on each other
        There is thinking you’re funnin on each other but due to the medium it gets misconstrued
        There is this isn’t funnin but ok you are toasted settle down
        Then there is go kill yourself.


      • SOP, you guessed right.
        Who woulda thunk it.

        Good to see Grz back practicing, kind of a key player these days.
        The young D have been pretty good IMO. Not giving up many chances. I am sure there will be bumps along the way, but goals against hasn’t been the problem so far and I think Cassidy has them playing conservative to start to set the d first tone and help the kids out.

        Tough Philly team next, I’m fine with a 2-1 win if that’s what it takes.

      • 1-1-1 after 3 games? I’m more than ok with that. Afterall, they’re missing 2 of their top 4 defensemen in Z and Krug. Sure, they could use some scoring and puck luck, but It’s not like they aren’t generating shots on net. The goaltending has been up to snuff. Rask got beat on a bad bounce. Jaro let in a unfortunate one with little time left on the clock. That’s just the way it goes. They’ll get some good bounces along the way too. It all evens out in the end.
        The kids on the left side are doing just fine. Miller looks good, and Charlie, Grz and Carlo look like they should.
        I expect a playoff berth in the end. Praying for a cup, to be quite honest.

        For what it’s worth, I wasn’t serious about making a trade with Edmonton the other day. I’m of the same mind as you, Ray.
        Try and sign him in the off-season. I was however somewhat bewildered and amused at the reaction I received from the local kids though. It’s like they never read on of my posts before.

      • Ya SOP, there is a chance he may be available, but rumor has it he wants to stay here in Edmonton. He is a fan fav up here in these parts, don’t mess with the Nuge!

        The Oil have the opposite problem from the B’s, and I am more concerned with their play as a local. Can’t seem to figure out team structure, that includes McDavid. Too talented not to figure it out, but best get on it.

      • I’ve loved The Nuge since first watching him play against my Tigers and the Broncos. He’d make a fine Bruin one day.

        Honestly can’t believe Tippett hasn’t righted the ship yet, but with that said, they sure could use some stability in net. The forwards look good and the D will be among the top half in a few years. Time to draft a goalie, or fetch one of Ottawas many prospects.

      • They seemed to have it going before the covid pause, then lost it in the play in, still don’t have it back. Hardly any practice time isn’t helping the younger teams maybe. I dunno the reason.
        Koskinen hasn’t stole any games, but not the problem IMO. Not yet anyway.
        Too many grade A chances against and brain farts. The guy is getting shelled.

    • TheFlyingV, don’t allow others to influence your decision.

      Most folks are respectable all times.

      A couple like to troll.

      One like to poke and find a key word or phrase that they know will get a reaction from whom he is targeting.

      It’s ok to debate and offer a different opinion, when it comes to trash talk just ignore the individual is trying to get a reaction.

      Don’t allow that person to ruin one minute of your day.

  12. Thanks Lyle for applying the standard to some of these comments and keeping us focused on real hockey talk.

  13. I’ve deleted several posts as they’ve had nothing to do with the topic and have instead focused solely on personal attacks and trolling. If this persists, those responsible will have their posts moderated. I ask that you stick to talking hockey and have some respect for each other’s opinions even if you disagree. You’re supposed to be adults. Act like it.

    • That brings to mind a question Lyle. I get the feeling I’m among the younger commentators, which ain’t saying much. I started reading and commentating in my mid twenties. I wonder if there are any youngsters out there who routinely read and or comment?

      I’m legitimately curious if we are all indeed adults.

      • I’m assuming those who comment here are adults. They will be treated as such. Those who act like treated will also be treated as such.

      • I don’t envy you on that one Lyle. There is a fine line to walk between weeding out childish bologna that disturbs current and potential future readers and as I remember you pointing out to the striker not over policing it every time someone gets hot under the collar.

  14. Halak & Carlo to the Oilers for ?

  15. Halak is interesting, he has been consistent his entire career, putting up Price like numbers yet he gets moved around and isn’t a starter.

    At 35, he’d be an upgrade to many teams, he’s also cheap for some reason.