NHL Rumor Mill – January 9, 2021

by | Jan 9, 2021 | Rumors | 46 comments

Suggested trade destinations for Pierre-Luc Dubois and what could be holding up the Islanders’ attempt to sign Mathew Barzal in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun listed the Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks among seven teams he believes would make sense as trade destinations for Pierre-Luc Dubois. The 22-year-old center has reportedly sought a trade despite re-signing with the Columbus Blue Jackets last week.

LeBrun feels the Flames could be an attractive trade partner for the Jackets if they seek a return that can help them right away. He spitballs a deal involving Dubois for Sean Monahan. LeBrun suggests Dubois would be the kind of young core piece that would fit into the Blackhawks’ current direction. However, he believes the Jackets would want promising center Kirby Dach as part of the return.

Should the Calgary Flames consider acquiring Pierre-Luc Dubois? (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun also pitched the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets. He discussed them during a recent TSN “Insider Trading” segment. You can get the details and my thoughts on those clubs as Dubois trade destinations by following this link.

As for the Flames and Blackhawks, I can’t disagree with LeBrun’s assessment of Dubois’ impact upon those clubs and the Jackets’ asking price. The Flames could consider shaking things up if this season ends in disappointment so I wouldn’t dismiss a Dubois-for-Monahan swap. I don’t see the Blackhawks moving Dach so Dubois probably isn’t landing in Chicago.

LeBrun’s colleague Lisa Dillman examined the pros and cons if the Kings tried to acquire Dubois. Pros include Dubois filling a need for a No. 1 center as Anze Kopitar ages as well as their depth in promising assets to tempt the Jackets. Cons include what could be an expensive asking price (Quinton Byfield?) by the Jackets and the cap hit required to keep Dubois in Los Angeles after his current deal expires.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Dillman that the Kings should at least explore the option of acquiring Dubois. If the asking price is Byfield, however, that could be a deal-breaker.

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan believes the Senators should contact the Jackets about Dubois’ availability and the asking price. He feels the Sens have the depth in prospects, especially young defensemen, to make a serious pitch. Dubois would address the Senators’ need for a first-line center now and for the future.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators and Jackets have a trade history. While the Sens have plenty of promising youngsters to offer up a trade bait, the Jackets probably want a return that provides immediate help to their roster.

The Jackets are not a rebuilding club but one that sees itself building toward Stanley Cup contention. I think they’ll want a scoring forward (preferably a center) in return rather than budding young NHL defensemen unless those prospects are flipped to another team to acquire a scoring center.

The Senators would also want assurances from the Dubois camp that he’ll commit to a long-term deal with them after his current contract expires at the end of next season. Otherwise, it’ll be a waste of assets to acquire a player who doesn’t want to be there.

Turning to Mathew Barzal’s contract negotiations, THE ATHLETIC’s Arthur Staple reports it’s believed New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello is trying to unload another contract in order to sign the 23-year-old center to a lucrative long-term deal. Once completed, Staple suggests Barzal could get perhaps a six, seven or even an eight-year contract at an annual average value close to $10 million.

Staple speculates defenseman Thomas Hickey ($2.5 million AAV, $3.75 million in actual salary for this season and next) and forward Leo Komarov ($3 million AAV, $3.5 million in actual cash) as potential trade candidates. Trading Johnny Boychuk’s contract is another option but that would take away the Isles’ long-term injury reserve flexibility for this season. It doesn’t appear anyone’s taking Andrew Ladd and his $5.5 million AAV off their hands.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello attempting to make a cost-cutting trade to free up cap space for an expensive long-term contract for Barzal would explain why the young center remains unsigned a week into training camp. Perhaps this can be sorted out during this weekend.

However, Barzal’s missed a week of practice and scrimmages with his teammates. That’s not going to help his preparation for the upcoming season.


  1. Dubois would be a good addition for the Habs but not at the cost of Suzuki or Kotkaniemi. Danault + Poehling (or another good prospect) and a 2nd rd pick would be a good price.

    • I think it has to be more. Danault (help now), Norlinder (prospect), and a first?

    • You are kidding right? I’d trade Suzuki or KK in a heartbeat for Dubois … and I hear laughter all the way from Columbus regarding your proposal … bwa ha ha ha … gotta love all these pundits wanting a first line centre like Dubois without giving up anything significant … Monahan? Daneault? Do you people even follow the NHL?

      • Ed, I asked you yesterday what you thought a fair/possible trade proposal was for Dubois. Or Laine.
        Did I miss it or…?

      • Sorry Ed. You can keep Dubois then. I do believe Suzuki and KK will be better or at least equivalent to Dubois in a few years. I could be wrong but to me, Dubois hasn’t prove enough up to now to justify moving both. And, thanks for your comment on following NHL… I have the same question regarding your “trade in a heartbeat” comment.

      • Not kidding at all Ed.
        Look at last year’s stats and see for yourself:
        PLD: 70 GP, 18G, 31A, 49P, -2
        Phil D: 71 GP, 13G, 44A, 47P, +18
        Agree, with his size and age Dubois has more upside, but Danault at just over 3M is a steal and pretty much every GM would love to have him at that price. The key to such a deal would be CLB’s ability to sign him long term.
        If you don’t want Norlinder, you can have Struble or Harris instead. Either way, it’s the classic “help now, a good prospect, and a high draft pick” GMs want for a “franchise” player (“franchise” in quotation marks as he is a potential franchise player… not quite there yet).
        And yes…. I follow the NHL very closely. Do you?

      • Re PLD

        If (big if) traded soon…. it has to be with at least another young NHL (already IN NHL) centre coming back. The balancing picks/prospects for is not as paramount to Clb as receiving a current C in return. They are not in rebuild.

        That has to mesh with a team also having a C that they could/would trade; viable space now (or with a fairly easy extra move)

        So with that in mind… to me …, a trade pre start of the season, is limited to…

        Monaghan, Dach, Kokianami , Suzuki

        Moving PLD to Cgy or Habs before season starts… knocks him out for season start (quarantine restrictions) with new team

        Dach is injured, so Clb would lose a C for that length of time

        So… IMHO… Trade not happening before season start

        To me… move more likely after season ends, with slight possibility of happening at TDL

    • Good one Louis, I thought you were serious for a second. Ha ha ha you got me.

    • Many variables in a Dubois trade. Trade now or off-season. If now, they want roster players, not futures (both?). Prefer not to deal with division rival.
      Win: 2 teams that have had recent departures, so both Laine and PLD would need to commit long term (meaning deal would have to happen next off season)
      Ott: plenty of assets, but nothing to help Col now.
      LA: Same
      Rangers: as a fan, I’d love to add him, but in current alignment, BJ not sending to division rival.

    • Louis, I know Dubois is a very good young center with size, and of course is French Canadian. While he ticks all the boxes there is good reason to believe Suzuki and Kotkaniemi are on their way to becoming very good centers as well.

      The Habs line up is stronger than it has been in years. In order to acquire Dubois the Habs would have to part with desirable players just as they are about a season full of promise. And then there are the cap problems. Too many downsides, even for a player of Duboise’s calibre

    • That proposal doesn’t get a hello.

      Your saying in your opinion both Suzuki and Koktaniemi are better then or projected to be better then JLD

      If that’s the case there is no deal to be made because your trading for a number 1 or 2 C not a 3 c.

      JLD is better then anyone Montreal has at C today

      Also from the Province, I hope JLD doesn’t get traded to Montreal

      I would love for Boston to land him but they don’t have what Columbus needs.

    • You don’t trade two hotdogs for a Porter house steak.

      • Lol – well said

      • Your just a MTL hater. Susuki had 41 pts in his rookie season, Dubois had 49 and it was his 3rd season. Susuki has 2 more seasons @ 833,000, Dubois 5 mil. I think MTL will stick with Susuki and see where it goes.

  2. Something like this happens every time a quality player comes available.

    Team X’s fans will trade a good player on a great players contract, a former first round draft choice that disappoints but isn’t a total failure and 2 second round draft choices.

    The essence of the trade is quantity of easily replaceable assets for a quality asset that is not easily. And because they love their team they think it is a reasonable trade proposal.

    They they write quick outline of their teams new roster and how they still are under the cap.

    Hope springs eternal. It also explains why the word “fan” is a derived from fanatic.

  3. What is plan for divisions? Where is Seattle going? IMO, league should redo divisions after this season. (Not just so NY gets PLD)
    Kraken go to Pacific as it is, but Coyotes join new south division with Wash.,Car., Tampa, Fla.,Nash., St.Louis and Dallas.
    Central: Leafs,Jets,Minn.,Det., Av’s., Chi., Pitt, and Colombus.
    NE: NYR, Bos., Buf., NJ., Isles, Flyers, Mon., and Ott.

    • Any division alignment that splits the Pens, Flyers, and Caps up, in my opinion, is a hard pass. No thanks.

  4. The issue with the Kings trading for PLD is that they do not have a player to slide into the lineup for CBJ @ center now

    Even if Columbus gets a short term 2C back and a sure fire prospect who will be a 1-2C that would work
    As high as Vilardi’s ceiling might be he is not going to set in and play top 6 minutes with this season if moved

    Also the Kings are not deep to keep contending with the Kopitar, Drew core….they should do the full rebuild. The Ducks are going to be good again soon

    • They should do the full rebuild?

      ds, whats your definition of a full rebuild?

      The way I see it, the Kings are in the midst of it right now. They’ve had two top 5 picks in consecutive years and have traded Muzzin, Martinez, Toffoli, Pearson, Clifford and Campbell, all for draft picks and prospects. They’ve also moved on from other cup vets like Lewis.

      Meanwhile clearing a bunch of cap space, to the point where they have more of it than any other team in the league. And as they move on from Kovalchuck, Phaneuf, Carter and Brown over the next two years, they’ll clear off another $20 mill.

      All this combined with the best rated prospect pool in the league, tells me the did a rebuild and are ready to make the next step forward, which Blake recently said they’re in the midst of.

      • L.A has an impressive prospect pool , Blake has done a great job the past couple of years drafting and signing young talent. Picking up Byfield in the last draft was an unexpected bonus & Brown and Carter will be off the books after this season which gives them ample cap to bring in a couple of high end players to mesh with the youngsters.

  5. Columbus isn’t trading Dubois anytime soon. They control his rights for 4 more years. If I’m Columbus I play Dubois out exactly the same way Winnipeg dealt with Trouba. Let’s revisit in 3 years.

    As for trading Hickey or Komorov not with out a solid draft pick to pay a team to take them. Why would anyone want them? Hockey is a 7/8 Dman they grow & trees & can be had at the league minimum & Komorov a solid 3rd line checker but again his cap hit will require a 2nd at a bare min to have a team take.

    • The only reason dubois signed the contract was so JK would get a better return! He might play this year in clb but that’s it, he will be moved no later than next offseason

      • Agreed BBB, PLD is traded before the end of the next offseason.

        Oh and I wouldn’t be modelling anything after what Chevy has done in Winnipeg.

    • Hey Striker, long time. Agree Columbus has no reason to trade him and holds cards. But, if it becomes a huge distraction?
      ds: Unless Kopitar waived and Columbus was willing to take back that contract, then I don’t see LA either.

      • Yea I would love to see PLD in LA, but I don’t see it happening either.

        Kopitar is going no where and Byfield is a non-starter. The only thing that makes sense for LA is a deal involving a top prospect (not named Byfield) like Turcotte ++ but that doesn’t make sense for the BJ’s.

        Nothing to see here.

    • Striker, great to see you are back. I always enjoyed reading your comments. My opinion of Dubois changed last year. There was a game against Carolina in which he was a dominant force and really demonstrated what his ceiling could be. He was matched up against Staal all game. I have a lot of respect for Staal’s defensive game and his physical play. I have never seen anyone in the league play a game like that against Staal. Basically beating him at his own strengths. If Dubois ever learns to consistently play at that level he will be one of the elite centers in the league. I think Columbus needs to wait and see how this season plays out before making a trade of this magnitude.

      • He played Bergeron hard 2 years ago. Bergy was gassed after every shift against him. Jenner was a cake walk compared to PLD, and Jenner plays a heavy game.
        PLD is going to be a great one.

  6. I like the Monahan for PLD idea.
    Columbus gets a proven center that can score on a reasonable contract that would fit their cap.
    I know it might be tilted in Calgary’s favour a bit but that is the problem teams face when players demand trades. The team that has to trade a player never gets full value.
    In this trade situation Columbus gets a first line center back which is what they need.

  7. PLD going nowhere. Sometimes contract disputes aren’t pretty. They can smooth things over.

    • It might just be that Vincois. I am simply going but what was reported, that he wants a bigger market. Whatever that means other than not Columbus.
      If that is accurate, then the GM can’t fix it.
      Sounds like he will be a pro and good team mate. No reason to doubt that. So no rush, but he is signed to a pretty attractive contract right now and if he has a good season…. you might get some bites this off season.

  8. I am going to throw out a pretty wild idea that may make some sense.

    Winnipeg trades Laine for Toews with Chicago retaining 2 million.
    I know this is pretty wild because of the age difference but Toews is a Winnipeg boy and he might put the Jets over the top.
    This would only happen if Toews get a clean bill of health

    • Jets trade a 22 year old up sniper for an aging 3x cup winner and leader who is on the back nine @ 32 years old, dealing with an unknown illness and making 10 million a year? going to suggest a pass on that.

      • Fergy22,
        I don’t disagree with you, I threw it out mainly to get people thinking outside the box.
        Most times when players like Laine come around the trade is for players or picks that no one even sees or speculates on.

      • FlameFan , if Toews was 5 years younger it would be something to ponder. I have the utmost respect for Toews as a player but his better days are likely behind him, Laine will only get better.

  9. i cant believe no leaf fans on this topic, so here it goes how about nylander and dermott plus 2nd for pld and savard…hmmmm

  10. Don Brennan thinks Ottawa’s overstuffed cupboard has what to offer and then picks JacobBernard-Docker and Logan Brown even up for PLD.

    A 5th depth chart D and centre prospect Ottawa has lost faith in.

    He also writes that the offer needs to be made before Bergevin strikes..

    Whew and I thought some of the offers here were far out.

    • Breannan’s a knob. Eklund worthy.

  11. RItchie just signed by Flames. The “Battle of Alberta simmering .
    I predict overall fight majors as a percentage will be up this year .

    I would continue the conversation with Monahan for Dubois. Treliving likes trading pairs and picks. Can’t see a one for one. Add players like Gabriel Carson and Kylington

    • Yeah, I know Treliving would be talking because he talks to everyone, but If I was him I would be making a pretty serious offer and it would start with Monahan plus ….
      I think PLD can be a top center in the league and they do not come along very often.
      Treliving can remake the flames by adding PLD then replace Johnny.

  12. @ed “Monahan? Danault? Do you even know the NHL?”

    Do you, Ed?

    Monahan: averages just over 50% on faceoffs

    14-15: 31-31-62pts
    15-16: 27-36-63pts
    16-17: 27-31-58pts
    17-18: 31-33-64pts
    18-19: 34-48-82pts
    19-20: 22-26-48pts in 70 games

    Dubois: averages 44% on faceoffs

    17-18: 20-28-48pts
    18-19: 27-34-61pts
    19-20: 18-31-49pts in 70 games

    Tell me what makes you think Sean Monahan is a laughable option.

    • If I was Tre, I’d trade Johnny, not Monny.

      • I would too but I don’t think Johnny is a player that Columbus would have much interest for

    • Augustus, the question might be why would the flames want that deal?

    • Any combination of Danault , Colefield or Poehling for Dubious works for me

  13. Cory Crawford retires….