NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2021

by | Jan 26, 2021 | Rumors | 46 comments

Are the Flyers in the market for a defenseman? What does the Jets’ acquisition of Pierre-Luc Dubois mean for Paul Stastny? What’s the latest on the Ducks? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor believes the Philadelphia Flyers aren’t going to rush into the trade market to address their recent struggles. Two-way center Sean Couturier is sidelined while the defense is bereft of puck-moving blueliners beyond Ivan Provorv and Travis Sanheim.

O’Connor points out it is only two weeks into the season and the only players on the trade market are those demanding to be moved or those who’ve been available for months because of bad contracts or poor fits with their current teams.

Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That last blurb is probably aimed at recent speculation tying the Flyers to Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle and Detroit Red Wings blueliner Danny DeKeyser. Philadelphia rearguard and South Florida native Shayne Gostisbehere were linked to Yandle but O’Connor indicates the Flyers intend to use him in the lineup once he’s off the COVID-19 protocol list.

SPORTSNET: In the wake of the Winnipeg Jets shipping Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic to Columbus for center Pierre-Luc Dubois last Saturday, Luke Fox is curious about where the Jets and current second-line center Paul Stastny go from here.

The Jets brought back Stastny last fall in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights. He’s beloved by teammates and the coaching staff but the 35-year-old center becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Fox wonders if Stastny will take a pay cut to stay with the Jets as a No. 3 center or try to find a second-line center role elsewhere via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stastny’s had a long and production NHL career but he’s also at the age when skills and speed inevitably erode. If he has a decent performance this season he might be wise to consider sticking with the Jets. I doubt many teams will be in the market for a center turning 36 in December seeking second-line work.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens points out Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray attempted to acquire Justin Faulk, Kasperi Kapanen and Pierre-Luc Dubois over the past 18 months. He was also linked to Patrik Laine before the winger was shipped to Columbus. Fairly or not, it could reflect poorly on Murray’s ability to close a big trade.

Stephens wonders if the asking price for Dubois was top prospect Trevor Zegras. If so, Murray might be proven right not to part with Zegras or promising defenseman Jamie Drysdale. He doubts the Ducks GM could’ve put together a sufficient package to land Laine.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks are at a point right now where they’ll have to gut it out with what they’ve got this season and hope for the best.

Stephens also pointed out the Ducks lack sufficient cap space to part with inexpensive assets to land expensive, established young talent. Trading away Zegras and/or Drysdale would’ve been gutting the pieces necessary for their long-overdue rebuild. They also lack suitable talent to do a dollar-for-dollar swap that could improve their roster.


  1. Re Dubois. You cannot trade your top centre for prospects like Zegras and Drysdale who might not make the grade in the NHL.

    They both look very good but the NHL is loaded with sure fire players who just didn’t pan out.

    You need a bona fide NHLer + a prospect to gamble on at minimum.

    • Funny, you balked at trading Suzuki or Kotkaniemi for PLD. Both are promising young prospects who might not make the grade in the NHL

      • Sparky, Suzuki and Kotkaniemi are both playing in the NHL and have shown that they have made the grade all ready, the only question is where their ceilings are.

        Totally different from draft pick prospects who have yet to play i the league

      • Zegras and Drysdale will definitely play in the NHL. The Habs mentioned are still prospects

  2. Who really cares what Paul Stastny does NEXT year????

    • Evidently, Luke Fox of Sportsnet does, and apparently, so do his Jets’ teammates.

    • If Stastny is well liked make him the Coach next year

      • Coach? If the dude can play, he plays; just not at the same rate (salary or ice time).

    • I would add Jets fans as well. It’s fun here in Winnipeg talking it up with Jets fans. Though the consensus is they got hosed. But for whatever reason Jets fans here in Winnipeg loved Laine. I stand my opinion he is one dimensional and a bit soft on the stick. Dubois is a great pickup for the Jets. It does make what happens with stastny interesting.

  3. Moving on from the trade. The good news for the Jets is they have two solid C. Where the present pecking order is Scheifele and PLD. I believe PLD has a better all round game but not up to Scheifele production level offensively.

    The other good new with PLD is his Pierre Dad Eric is the defensive coach for the Manitoba Moose who when playing play at the Bell MTS Center. While this may or may not factor into PLD resigning in Winnipeg, it certainly give us a good vibe that it may make for easier negotiations down the road.

    Stastny has played the wing before, he will move to the wing with Ehlers on the other side.

    Hopefully Wheeler and Scheifele learn from their mistakes and realize you welcome talent not bully it.

    • The funny thing about this trade is that Laine biggest issue with the Jets was not being on the same line as their number one centre with Scheifele. The CBJ just traded their number one center to the Jets. So basically Laine is in the same position as before with Columbus as Domi is now their number one centre.

      • Kevjam i dont believe that to be the biggest issue. The toxic in the dressing room was the bigger issue, also Winnipeg not willing to pay the big money.

        Wheeler at $8.25 Laine wasn’t getting more then that from the Jets. Scheifele at a great contract $6.125 wouldn’t be to please to see Laine come in at $9m

        I believe there is more to Laine out of Winnipeg, not once did Laine say he didn’t like it there.

        It will be interesting to see how he does in Columbus under Torts.

      • Agree Caper, there is more to the story, likely in both places. The fact that Wheeler addressed it to the media is a good start.
        Chara talked about this very thing when he became the captain in Boston, that the vets would welcome and help the young guys fit in, vs a pecking order.
        Puljujarvi hinted at the same thing in Edmonton before he left town. Things seem better this time around.
        JP looks happy and is playing good. The kid can really move for a big guy. Looks fast and strong. Good for him, good for the Oil.

    • I would suggest it’s Maurice and Wheeler who are responsible. They have leveraged each other and both been rewarded. The Jets would be better to invest big money into young players who will be productive.

      Stastny should move down to third line center. There seems to be some chemistry between Ehlers and Copp (surprisingly). Move Lowry to fourth line and that gives the team more balance. Also cuts down ice time of Wheeler and Stastny who are showing their age.

  4. I agree with habfan. Trading proven commodities for prospects deemed to have upside long term is risky. Then again, if everyone thought like us, Vegas would still be a desert.

    • It is indeed a risky venture, but sometimes it works out. One example would be trading a guy like say, Phil Kessel for draft picks which turned out pretty well for Boston. Sometimes the risk pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.
      Gambling is tough.

  5. CBJ came out pretty good in deal, they got 2 nhl ready players so there’s really nothing else to discuss. We’ll see what happens with Laine in Columbus. If he has issues there, then what? Maybe it’s a cultural thing as fellow Finn Puljujarvi had issues last year. I’m old enough to remember when Russians and Swedes 1st started coming overseas. Weren’t exactly welcomed with open arms.

    • True that Slick. Borje Salming got abused when he first came here. The guys face looks like a road map now.
      All the while Mr Cherry is calling him a chicken Swede on national TV, while in fact he was the exact opposite.

    • Agreed…Lets just say Laine does his pretty usual 40 goals and Roslovic bumps up from last years 12 goals to 15 thats 60 goals in to your line up…

      PLD his average is probably 30? 35? (regular NHL season)

      Columbus does have to resign Laine but I agree with you slick

      • Laine averages 34.5 goals per season while averaging 76.25 games played. He in my opinion is a 35 goal player who touched 40+ once.
        Again, nothing to balk at, but facts are facts.

      • Laine is just 22 years old and really now entering his prime. I don’t think we can project his ceiling based on his previous output.
        He has the potential to be a perennial 50 goal scorer, in the right system and with the right teammates. I’m not sure CBJ has either element…

      • With a release like his, teamed up with Joe Thornton (circa 2004), he could probably pop 60+

        Curious, how do you project a players ceiling, if not based on past/current linemates and previous numbers?

      • PLD has 66 goals in 239 games. .276 gpg

        Laine has 140 goals in 306 games. .457 gpg

        It isn’t even close.
        PLD’s best year he had less goals than Laine’s worst year

      • I’m just saying that most players don’t hit their prime at ages 18-21. In all likelihood, he is entering his prime now and therefore will achieve higher goal totals (given the right circumstances).

        I shouldn’t have said “project” that was inaccurate. More like you probably shouldn’t “label” a guy as a “35 goal player” when he’s already achieving that before most players enter their prime.

      • So I looked up Thornton’s wingers SOP.
        Cheechoo pumped in 56 one year. Wow.
        Heatley, Setoguchi, both enjoyed playing with Joe as well. Glen Murray got 44 riding shotgun in BOS.
        Not saying Laine is those guys or that PLD is Thornton. Just saying the chance generators bring value as well.
        We’ll be able to see how they do on the same teams soon enough.

  6. Anaheim has plenty of young assets aside from Drysdale and Zegras. Terry Comtois Steel . Veterans Henrique Silfverberg and Rakell . I think you could make a decent package.

  7. Should have traded Wheeler and kept Laine. We could have thrown in Stastny as well.

    • PLD, will be good for Winnipeg if he grows up a little.
      No one knows why he wanted out of Columbus. He has recently implied it was contract negotiations and that is a flat out lie. He was offered a 2 year, a 3 year, and the biggest contract in Blue Jacket history an 8-year deal. After waiting until the last minute and Comlubus hold off on getting a UFA for scoring help he signs for 2-years and says I don’t want to be here. And he pretty much proved that with his lack luster play

  8. Paul Stastny is a well liked veteran who pulls his weight and has reached the age where he can fill a 3C role.

    Obviously his next contract will be greatly reduced no matter where he plays and there’s no reason for him to leave Winnipeg.

    Domi isn’t a 1,2 or 3 centre on most teams and isn’t responsible defensively, he IS an uptempo fast skating player with grit who dishes the puck really well.

    Laine will score a ton of goals with Domi feeding him but Torts will be tearing his hair out over turnovers and defensive lapses,

    It’ll be exciting, kind of like holding on to a firecracker to the limit before tossing it,

  9. Best center to accomodate Laine. is b s D. KrecjiMuch better playmaker than Domi or any other CBJ center.If Laine doesn t score goals the trade will look awful.Add Debrusk as a sweetner,and expand the trade.

    • So Krejci and Debrusk to CBJ for what return?

  10. I find it interesting that the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th pick of 2016 draft class have all asked to be traded.

  11. To Double Minor,add Carlo and ask for Werenski.He and Mcavoy would be a true #1 d pair for the next 10 years.

    • That’s nearly $14M in salary (Krejci + Debrusk + Carlo) headed to CBJ with only $5M coming back to Boston. There would have to be more than that headed to the Bruins.

      I’d love to see Werenski as a Bruin but this would leave Boston thin at center. Coyle can probably step up and be an OK 2C..not many options left if Bergeron gets injured for any period of time.

      • I think Boston needs to hold steady. If they are in the playoff race, go with what they have, Do not trade any more assets. They have over 30 million in cap space next year. They can add well to that.

        If they are out of the playoffs, move some pieces to get something for them.
        Kase, Ritchie and maybe Krejci for picks, prospects or other players.

        Rask to Col
        Graves and Grubauer to Bos

        Boston could then resign Grubauer or possible pick Rask back up next year.

        Use the cap space to go after Nugent Hopkins, Hall and resign Carlo.

        That would solidify Boston’s need for secondary scoring as well as beef up their defense.

      • Call Sweeney and get it done BosBrn32.
        I might skip on Hall though and more of a Schwartz type.
        Hall will cost too much for what he brings IMO.

      • I think we need to find out about Studnicka ,if he can be a 2-3 line center.This is the year to do it.Krecji blocks this.On the last year of his contract CBJ might take a shot at him.They need results from the Laine trade.

      • Ray, I wish I had his number. I like Schwartz too but I think if Boston get Nugent-Hopkins that is an added bonus to bring in Hall..

        I agree Steve. Studnicka is only 21 and we will need two centermen within the next 2-4 years. Both he and Nugent-Hopkins can play the win well. It would be a very good problem to have.

  12. Over the last couple of days I’ve read all posts here re who won the trade; values; potential, why they may have wanted out, what’s next, etc etc

    Although the viewpoints are diverse and oft diametrically opposed… I see validity in the nuances of almost everybody’s viewpoints. Great posts, thoughts, discussions 👍

    Jets are in Leafs (one of my two fav teams) div this year ; and Jackets will be back as Div rivals against Pens (my other fav team) next year; so I do take an extra interest

    I can’t honestly side one way or the other on value of trade (who won) regarding the long term outlook

    This will come down to this year and next year’s performance from PLD and Roslovic and this years performance for Laine and whether he (PL) re-ups right away; pushes negotiations late; or maybe even signs an OS…. there WILL be offers made if he does get past the RFA/UFA date w/o an extension. Him signing one is another issue. Plus whether any of the three sign eventually long term and live up to the value of what they signed for will validate trade values one way or the other

    Reasons for wanting out … not really important to me right now; I’m interested in how they perform in their new surroundings now…..with new team-mates; more specifically new line mates; and of course new coach

    Would I have wanted either PLD or PL on Leafs or Pens … from the catch phrase of Laughin (sorry youngsters)… “you bet your sweet bippy”

    Both talented young men that I look forward to watching and hopefully see them perform very well in every game that is NOT played against Leafs or Pens


  13. If you look at the all Canadian division in the short term the Jets getting stronger down the middle is huge for this season. With Roso sitting out and not so fast Stasny it was big weakness

    They can ride Schief+PLD and gives Stasny some better matchups

    I do think CBJ made out in the deal by say 20%

  14. Gentleman, let look at the effect of coaching on both PLD and Laine.

    Laine is going from an offense minded team to a shut down defensive style of play.

    PLD is joining an offensive attack type system.

    I expect PLDs numbers to increase. He’s no longer facing top D pairs. He’s playing in an offensive system loaded with talent.

    On the other hand, Laine is going in the opposite direction. Now he will play against the top pair D men. Now he has to be defensively responsible. Now he has to back check. all things that he has never done. And he playing for a coach who will be on his case.

    As an example when Barzal played for Weight he put up big numbers because Weight was an offensive first coach. Once Trotz took over, Barzal’s points dropped due to his taking on more defensive responsibility and the fact that JT left.
    Once JT departed, Barzal had to deal with top pair D. He also has grown quite a bit as a complete player.

    Coaching and systems have a great deal of influenece on a players numbers.

    I see PLD increasing his production, while Laine struggles.
    Your thoughts?

    • I dont disagree with you on the systems but Laine is going to be the #1 option to get the puck now. He was often #4 in Peg .
      His shot chances will go up. He will get even more Powerplay time.

  15. Krech will end up in Columbus next year on two year contract I agree Boston should take a run at Hall and RNH both young but will cost a bunch. Not sure if Rask would sign a two year team friendly deal if not goaltending may be Halak at 3 million and and a kid.

    • I think the time to trade is earlier rather than the deadline.There will be to much competition at that time.I think ths B S are a playoff team,but not a Stanley cup contender.Do you really see them beatindgWashington,Tampa Bay,Colorado,OR Las Vegas to name a few.I don t see that realistically happen,so be proactive ahead of the competition.

      • Couldnot agree with you more. Trade the trouble maker Wheeler

  16. Being a Jets fan…Laine is going to rip it up in Columbus. No way he’s signing in Columbus and either lands in Florida with friend Barzal or Canes with Aho as UFA. DUBOIS…. going to be our 3rd line stud who’s going to rip up the points…. woohoo!! Great trade Chevy.