NHL Rumor Mill – January 28, 2021

by | Jan 28, 2021 | Rumors | 15 comments

The latest speculation over Vince Dunn’s future with the Blues plus some chatter about Bruins winger Anders Bjork in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford weighed in on recent trade conjecture surrounding Vince Dunn after the St. Louis Blues made the 24-year-old defenseman a healthy scratch against the Vegas Golden Knights earlier this week. He wonders if it was a wake-up call or an indication a trade could be coming soon.

Trade speculation continues to swirl around St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn (NHL Images).

Several factors cloud Dunn’s future with the Blues. They include his poor start to this season, his restricted free agent status (with arbitration rights) next summer, the club’s limited salary cap space, the emergence of blueliner Niko Mikkola, and this summer’s expansion draft.

Rutherford examined the pros and cons of trading Dunn. A good return would be a first-round pick or a player of equal caliber to the defenseman. Given the Blues’ limited cap space, landing a first or even a second-round pick could be worthwhile. The Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks or Winnipeg Jets might be kicking tires on Dunn.

STLTODAY.COM: Jim Thomas believes the Blues will have to make a salary cap move, probably in February before sidelined winger Vladimir Tarasenko returns from shoulder surgery. He also feels they’ll try to get a good a draft pick as they can for Dunn because of their limited cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers, Canucks and Jets need some blueline help. They all have their first-and-second round picks for the next three years, but are they willing to part with one of them for Dunn? If the Blues can’t get a first- or second-rounder, Thomas suggested they might have to look into a more complex deal.

The Blues placed Taransenko on long-term injury reserve to start the season but must ensure they have sufficient cap space when he’s ready to return to action. If Dunn isn’t traded it could be somebody else.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty believes trading Anders Bjork would make a lot of sense for the Bruins. Such a move, however, won’t happen until winger David Pastrnak makes his imminent return from offseason hip surgery and sidelined wingers Jake DeBrusk and Ondrej Kase recover from their recent injuries.

Once everyone is healthier, there might not be room for Bjork in the regular lineup. While the 24-year-old winger hasn’t blossomed into a scorer he has value as a speedy, versatile forward.

Haggerty said there are teams keeping an eye on Bjork. A rumored swap last fall with the Edmonton Oilers for winger Alex Chiasson didn’t materialize.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bjork could be shopped for another struggling forward or a draft pick at this point. While he still has potential his lack of production has really hurt his trade value.


  1. I understand that every transaction is a matter supply and demand bur when you devalue your own player and relegate him to be a 7 D, expecting a 1st round pick is delusional

  2. No way is Dunn worth a 1st. A second maybe. Or a decent but not top tier prospect.

  3. Colin Dunlap
    I am told by multiple sources this morning Jim Rutherford was working on a Kris Letang trade to one of the teams he can be traded to.
    Ownership did not want him doing this.
    It forced an untenable situation.
    So here we are.

    This ruined my day … ugh

    • Ed, you said as well you didn’t want JR to be the GM to “usher in” new blood. I agree totally. imo the last two years, he trades for sake of making a trade, like pasta, hopes it sticks on the wall. He didn’t have a “plan” he stuck to. (except stalking Zucker)

    • Someone on another site pointed out that Rutherford thanked everyone including the “leadership” of the team “Sidney Crosby”. Apparently he did not that Sullivan or the coaching staff. Wonder if this was the problem.

  4. Dunn can’t crack the lineup and the team doesn’t want him but he is worth a 1st round pick?

    Boston is 4-1-1 as some pundits thought they would struggle.

    They have but it’s been 5 vs 5 out of 6 games the bruins have gone 4 games without a 5 on 5 goal.

    The last win against Pitts, they scored shorthanded, on the PP and 3 on 3 for there 3 goals.

    2 game outburst against Philly kind of put the 5 on 5 to rest, but we’ll see. Good news is they are winning with strong D play including Lauzon and Zboril. Adding Trent Federick up front as also help. The kids are OK.

    • B’s have been pretty good Caper. Winning in OT and SO’s so far, and only 1 reg. win. Which is a bit different than last year. Defending well and tenders have been good. Agree more consistent offense 5 on 5 would be good.
      I thought Lauzon would be good because he was last year when he started getting playing time. I had no real idea about Frederic or Zboril other than the talent was there and they played well in the minors.
      They look good and surprisingly poised so far.
      Last year when Frederic came up you saw the skating, but he was all over the place. This year he seems to be in the right place at the right time and has better skill than I expected. He looks like an NHL player who can contribute right away.
      Thumbs up for the kids and a stick tap to Ritchie who took some heat on here. The big fella has some hands and hockey sense on the PP.

  5. Looks like Jimmy Rutherford woke up yesterday and realized how bad of a trainwreck he’d created in Pittsburgh and decided to bail.

    Crosby, whats left of Malkin and nothing else of any real value on the roster.

    Class move to jump ship and leave the mess for someone else. Should have been canned the second he signed Johnson.

    • Concur Ron

      I would like to edit one statement you made…

      “ Should have been canned the second he signed Johnson.”


      “ Should have been canned the second BEFORE he signed Johnson.”….. as no GM replacement would have ever signed Johnston

      Had that happened…. Pens don’t even meet Isles in first round; as they finish 1st in Metro for sure; and very likely 2nd in entire league in points (only 7 more game points)

      • Jeff Gorton ?

  6. A 1rst seems a bit much for Dunn. Which team would choose to give that up? Surely cheaper options are available for teams looking to pick up D. However it only takes 2 who see they have a need on the back end and like Dunn’s potential to start bidding themselves up. Time will tell.

    As far as expansion goes. Dunn seems to be an ideal player to hang on to, to entice Seattle to take and keep them away from other players st louis doensn’t want to lose to expansion but can not protect

  7. Late firsts and early seconds seem to me to be an overrated asset compared to a young NHL proven player. I am talking generally not about Dunn specifically. I have seen him only a few times.

    Those stats on how many seconds play how many minutes in the NHL if at all are intimidating.

    Dunn may be in trouble, may have issues that are dominant. But there are many late firsts and seconds that don’t make it.

    • Too true. In moments of idleness I’ve gone and looked at past drafts and the sheer number of firsts who come to nothing is jarring.

      I went to 2018 to look at how that draft was doing, wondering if the combine and player interviews that all NHL teams are doing now made for better late first round results.

      Not really. Ramsus Sandin from your Leafs hasn’t gotten his career going. Joe Veleno is playing in Sweden. Just two examples, there are a lot of others. Cole Caulfield, having done nothing in the last two world juniors is shaping up to be another bust, having been projected by everyone and his magic beans as a top 5 prospect. Just shows that drafting is as much witch craft as science.

      • Your final statement is why draft picks particularly low ones have more value than people give them credit for. The serve as currency for one. There are small percentage of players who are undrafted playing in the nhl. The more shots you have of drafting talent the better your odds of landing cheap team controlled players. Only looking at the percentages of picks from certain rounds and trying to derive value as compared to active players is dramatically over simplifying the issue.

    • I prefer to go back a little further LJ, especially for D a tenders. They need more pro reps before they get ice time in the NHL. The start of their 2nd contract is when it is put up or go to Europe time.

      2015 was considered a deep draft and we have a pretty solid picture of who will be what. IE – Zboril had some health issues, now in the NHL and looks to be an NHL’er on a one way deal. Some guys take a while.
      This is a good link that you can flip from year to year and scroll down for each round and shows basic career stats.