NHL Rumor Mill – January 4, 2021

by | Jan 4, 2021 | Rumors | 44 comments

The latest on Pierre-Luc Dubois, Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger reports Pierre-Luc Dubois’ apparent trade request is dominating the start of Columbus Blue Jackets’ training camp. Despite signing a two-year contract last week, the 22-year-old center reportedly wants a change of scenery.

Trade speculation continues to swirl about Columbus Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen addressed the rumors yesterday, saying GMs talk about trades all the time, rumors start from there and it’s just part of the business. He also said the familiar line that if Wayne Gretzky could be traded, anybody could be traded.

Hedger felt Kekalainen, Dubois, and head coach John Tortorella’s remarks during yesterday’s press availability essentially confirmed the rumors without confirming them. Tortorella said things would be handled internally within the dressing room similar to how they addressed the final seasons with Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky.

What’s in my head’s in my head,” said Dubois. He stressed he’ll be a good teammate as well as the best player and person he can be.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline also reported on the comments made by Kekalainen, Dubois and Tortorella. He felt the Jackets GM doesn’t appear to have any urgency to trade his first-line center.

Portzline also noted the occasional clashes between Dubois and Tortorella, including a well-publicized one on the bench during a game in last summer’s qualifying-round series against Toronto. However, that’s no indication their relationship is untenable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: From a contract standpoint, Kekalainen doesn’t have to hurry to move Dubois. The young center becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2022. As long as he performs well and maintains a good relationship with his teammates, the Jackets GM can take his time and see if the youngster changes his mind regarding his trade request.

Nevertheless, this is an unwelcome distraction for a club trying to build toward Stanley Cup contender status. Things could go downhill quickly if Dubois struggles or his relationship sours with Kekalainen, Tortorella or his teammates.

Kekalainen might not be in a rush to move Dubois but that doesn’t mean he won’t entertain offers. A suitable pitch, such as a one-for-one swap for another center or a package of picks and prospects that could be used to pry away a quality center from another club in a separate deal, could tempt him to move Dubois.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre reports the Jets have told the media Patrik Laine is off-limits until later in camp for undisclosed reasons. The 22-year-old winger has become a hot topic for trade rumors after his agent suggested last fall it would be mutually beneficial to his client and the Jets if a trade could be arranged.

Accusing the Jets of slapping a gag order on Laine, McIntyre wonders if the club is worried about what the winger might say or if he doesn’t want to talk to the press. He feels it puts Laine’s teammates in the awkward position of having to address the questions about his future with the Jets.

McIntyre wonders if Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff might contact Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen to discuss swapping Laine for Pierre-Luc Dubois. “Maybe throw in (Jack) Roslovic, to play for his hometown team, and call it a day.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McIntyre admits he’s merely playing armchair GM with that trade suggestion. However, he’s not wrong in his view that the Jets should put Laine front and center to speak for himself and address the speculation. Like Dubois in Columbus, the questions about Laine’s status in Winnipeg ensures he’ll remain a fixture in the rumor mill during this season.

Speaking of Roslovic, Anthony Scultore of The Daily Goal Horn said he spoke with agent Claude Lemieux regarding his client’s situation. Lemieux seemed confident the 23-year-old center will be traded but where remains to be seen.

Scultore said he was told at least half-a-dozen teams expressed interest in Roslovic, suggesting the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild among the possible destinations.


  1. I like Roslovic. Wish the Canucks make a play for him.

    Av’s could offer up for PLD.

    • Hi Gordie

      Avs already a scary team

      To me there only possible (again “possible”) weak point is in G

      Would PLD fit in and improve them… yep

      But what is the deal to get him?

      Avs won’t tinker with that D and CLB already has a fair D

      Lose a C get a C

      So Avs have to start with at least a C coming back…. so Kadri or Compher… likely Compher….. then what…. Saad ???? for a second go round ???

      Compher/Saad for PLD , then Avs sign Hoffman???

      Longshot at best…. but only way I can see Sackic tinkering with that lineup

      • Kadri/Newhook

        Something along those lines. Byram is another possible piece.

  2. If traded to the Wild Roslovic would become their #1 centre by default … and that isn’t saying too much.

  3. What value does Jack Roslovic have on the trade market?

    Last season was his best 12g 17a 29pts in 71gp, his best season was with the Manitoba Moose when he scored 15g 20a 35pts in 32gp

    At this stage he has not proven to be a second line C.

    If Chevy had of handed him the second line C role and not have acquired Stastny, that would’ve been to much of a gamble and quickly could’ve taken the Jets out of the playoff race.

    If Laine wants out and if Chevy see his demands going forward to high, maybe now is the time to flip him for JLD, you get a highly skilled C, under a decent contract for two years.

    The bonus side of trading Laine for JLD is you could move the disgruntle Roslovic up to second line rw, giving him an opportunity at top 6 minutes.

    I don’t agree with McIntyre that Winnipeg should give both Laine and Roslovic for JLD, if the jets wanted to include both another piece preferably a defenseman coming back to the Jets.

  4. Random thought what classifies as a 1st line player or 2nd line player? Is it strictly points?

    For fun say it is. Based on 31 teams and 3 players per line that is 93 players in the league classified as 1st line player and then the next 93 as second line players, ect.

    Last year stats the top 93 forwards lowest points was 44pts in 106 spot (the other 13 are dman) , Tie Domi, Brady Tkachuck, Tyler Toffoli are some of the players at 44pts

    to get to the next 93 forwards accounting for the second line , you have to go 225th spot at 31pts which includes some notables as Joe Thornton, Joe Palveski, James Neal, Tyler Johnson was well as others.

    Food for thought, i’m not saying if these guys are 1st, 2nd or 3rd liners but just based on their points per game last season, where they numerically fall.

    • It’s fun, but does it tell us anything about the player? Would a player’s points rank by line he plays on (1st, 2nd,3rd line) be more significant than which group of 93 his points place him into (1st, 2nd,3rd group?) Couldn’t we ask if a player’s points total will vary according to the TOI his line gets and whether or not he plays on a checking line? For instance, Roslovic’s 29 points and plus-4 on a checking line aren’t too bad for a 23-year-old, are they? Does his play relegate him to third-line minutes, or is he possibly there because his coach thinks the team benefits by having a righty on the third line to take a draw in certain situations?

  5. Rest assured The bruins won’t land Dubois
    Sweeney couldn’t pull off any deal he’s useless. if someone offered him a priceless Van Gogh for a tony Bennett original he’d somehow muck it up!

    • Sweeney should’ve been fired the day after the 2015 NHL Draft…every year says the same thing … we got to get Bigger,Tougher & Stronger on the Puck and every year the team gets smaller and gets pushed around by the Bigger teams in the league … take Neely with you

      • The 2015 draft was a debacle, but in the years after he has done OK.

        2016 – McAvoy, Frederic (I think will have a ole this year), Lindgren (doing well for the rangers),
        2017 – Vacc, Studnicka, swayman (4th round)
        2018 and up are up for debate

        Where I think he dropped the ball is not trading for josh anderson, and not trading away moore.

        If your going to let Chara walk, then you need to let the young guys play back there and that includes Zboril, Vacc and Lauzon taking reps at the NHL level.

    • Gloom and doom time still?
      Could you please explain what you would have done differently? Which players come to Boston, and which players you would have traded for them?
      I’m genuinely interested in what deals you would have made or would currently make. Which players you would have signed and for how much? Which guys you would have poached via offer sheet and for what price?
      Thanks in advance!

  6. Go Canada!!!

    • Why do people get so nationalistic about the WJC? It makes no sense to me. Only a tiny percentage will ever make NHL and amount to anything so it is not a bragging rights thing as this is a competition between the number 1000th and 2000th best players. It means nothing. No wonder other countries don’t care aside from Canada. I have and will only watch the games of Finland and Russia to follow the Leaf draft picks.


      • Some people are hockey fans, regardless of what level it’s at. Some people (like me) are NHL hockey fans but don’t pay a lot of attention to other leagues/levels.

        Some people think only one hockey team matters…everyone is different.

      • The last group are correct. Good summary!

      • Columbus will need one or two starters in a trade not prospects and draft picks.

        They also need the type of player that Tortarella can nurture, will be interesting to see how Domi deals with him.

      • Congrats on the most 2 most ridiculous thoughts of the day Habsfan, and in one sentence no less.

        The coach adapts to his players strengths not the other way around. And Torts and nuture are mutually exclusive.

      • Seriously Wendel how old are you? Can you not respond in a respectful manner even if you’re in disagreement with someone’s opinion like grownups do? And like most people on this site are doing. Just give it a try

      • Now that’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever posted on here.

        Take it back!!!

      • Gee Wendel,

        I legit thought youd be stoked to actually see a team with the Maple Leaf on it win something….

    • With ya Ron, go Canada! Russians are always tough against us.
      Wendel, the reason we get nationalistic is because it is a tournament between different nations. Kind of the whole point.

      Also I did a quick check on the 2015 Canada roster and 15 players are in the NHL, so most actually vs a tiny %.
      Guys like McDavid, Point, Nurse, Morrisisey, Theodore.
      Get it together Wendel, your game is lacking of late.

      • 230 players in the tournament, so far thats 6%. Now I’m sure you’ve convinced your wife that’s a big number lol.

      • No, she tells me it is?

  7. PLD sure sounds like he doesn’t want to be here. Very disappointing. So let me throw a trade out there that will never happen. One for one DLP for Barzal.

    • Columbus would have to add a bit but why not. Could also trade with Chicago for Strome. In that case Chicago would have to add. Don’t think you’re getting a one for one but there are trade possibilities out there.

      • CBUS wouldn’t need to add to this trade and more than likely wouldn’t both have 234games under their belts and PLD is a year younger.

      • That is so lopsided. CLB would have to add a Werenski. Barzal is a 1C difference maker and PLD is a nice 2C and nothing more. Get.a.grip.

      • Wendel, Barzal is a very good player.
        Based on simply points he was the 19th highest scoring C last year, so middle of the pack 1C.
        So not sure what you mean by franchise 1C, but to put it in perspective, he was 1 point behind Tatar, who plays for MTL, who you said yesterday only had 1 top 6 player named Suzuki.
        So, which is it?

    • Add sure, add a Werenski? Thats crazy talk

      • No its not. A 2C and a 2D for a franchise 1C. CLB still wins as they get the best player by a country mile.

      • Wendell. As mentioned both players have same number of games but PLD started at a younger age. Barzal faster and more points. PLD bigger, stronger and more goals.

      • Slick. Think Denis Savard and Doug Wickenheiser. Then perhaps consider a nap. Those 2 are not close.

      • Ray, some people think that insulting is making a point and w17h is one of those people.

        It’s why I don’t bother replying to him.

      • Player A – 119 pts in first 300 games , first 4 in league / -66

        178 pts in next 4 years / +6

        Player B

        169 pts in first 312 games, first 4 in league / +22 , only 4 years in to career .

        Judging from where these two players were entering the league , player B with clear advantage .
        Comparing the last 4 years , very similar numbers , if 1 guy is a top pair guy , so is the other and player B looks to have a much higher ceiling .

        Name the players , Wendell will enjoy it

  8. Can anyone shed light on why Hamonic only got a PTO with the Canucks? I thought he was held in better regard.

    • likely something to do with the Canucks already being over the cap and once the season starts and Ferland goes on LTIR they will have some $ to sign him

    • People often can overlook the obvious. He is just crappy now.

      • If thats the case shouldnt he be in a Leafs jersey?

      • You’re crappy now, Wendel. You are.

        You started strong, but have since wilted like the Maple Leafs in the first round.

      • Hearing the Isles and Barzal have a deal in place and that LL is waiting on another deal before announcing it. Something to do with the Cap.

        From the same source that told me about the Towes trade, which I had on here before the “insiders” did.

      • With that said, the Leafs lineup looks downright loaded on the offensive side. Things will be different this abbreviated season, me thinks.

      • I trust you, nevin. You’re 1 for 1 so far.

      • Shoreorrpark,

        Leafs didnt qualify for the first round… they missed the playoffs, lmfao.

  9. Dubois will have a change of heart … when the CBJ’s terminate the arrogant and condescending coach who has an attitude of a three year old (sorry to all three year olds!).