Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 24, 2021

by | Jan 24, 2021 | Rumors | 48 comments

The latest on the Canadiens’ Phillip Danault and Victor Mete, some blueline trade targets for the Penguins and the Maple Leafs are looking for help at forward. Check out the details in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


LA PRESSE: Mathias Brunet last week reported Phillip Danault rejected a six-year, $30 million contract offer from the Montreal Canadiens. The 27-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Montreal Canadiens center Phillip Danault (NHL Images).

The Habs are said to be willing to increase their offer by a few hundred thousand dollars annually but received no counter-offers from the Danault camp. His agent, Stephane Fiset, declined to comment.

Brunet indicated Danault is happy in Montreal and wants to continue his career with the Canadiens. Sources indicate the gap between the two sides isn’t that large but seems to hang on the duration of the deal. Some speak of a five-year contract, others a six-year deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens’ offer would be worth an annual average value of $5 million. The Danault camp might try to push that to between $5.5 million and $6 million annually.

Cap Friendly shows the Canadiens with over $65.9 million committed to 15 players for 2021-22 with Tomas Tatar and Joel Armia also due to become UFAs this summer. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Victor Mete and Artturi Lehkonen are their notable restricted free agents.

There seems a willingness on both sides to get a deal done. However, the flattened salary cap for next season and the rise of young centers like Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki could affect those negotiations.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Victor Mete can’t get into the lineup on a deep Canadiens roster. The club won’t assign the 22-year-old defenseman to their taxi squad because a rival team could claim him off waivers. Friedman believes some teams will be keeping an eye on this situation to see what progresses.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens probably don’t want to shop Mete just yet. Several NHL teams have already seen their roster depth depleted by injuries and the Habs would prefer avoiding that situation. Nevertheless, they could trade Mete if the right offer came along or if push comes to shove and they have no choice but to put him on waivers.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski looked at several possible trade targets for the Pittsburgh Penguins to address their injury-depleted defense corps. One could be Minnesota Wild blueliner Carson Soucy. Another could be Detroit Red Wings rearguard Danny DeKeyser.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kingerski listed five defensemen but those two caught my eye. He noted the Wild now have seven defensemen with their recent addition of Ian Cole. Soucy, 26, carries an affordable $2.75 million AAV through 2022-23. He’s currently seeing third-pairing minutes with Cole so the Wild might not be keen to move him.

DeKeyser, 30, missed most of last season due to back surgery. He carries a $5 million AAV through next season and has a 10-team no-trade list. The Wings might be reluctant to move DeKeyser at this point in the season but could change their minds if they sink to the bottom of the standings again. That might not happen until later in the season but the Penguins need immediate help on their blueline.

The Penguins could be among those clubs Friedman said were keeping an eye on Victor Mete’s situation in Montreal.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman noted Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Nick Robertson (knee) and Joe Thornton (fractured rib) are sidelined with long-term injuries while center Auston Matthews (upper body) is listed as day-to-day. While the Leafs have a lot of forwards, Friedman believes they’re looking around to add or upgrade up front.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are already pressed for cap space and are already moving players in and out of their taxi squad on a regular basis to stay cap compliant. Robertson and Thornton are on long-term injury reserve but their combined salaries ($1.52 million) won’t free up much to make a significant addition. That might require a dollar-for-dollar swap.


  1. Pengy… go change your underwear.

    • Hi Chrisms

      Fainted and just got up after 4 hours if dreamland

      Soucy ….. 🤞🙏😁

      I responded to BnG on this from yesterday’s posts

      What does GMJR give up to get him

      The way Zucker is playing (I can’t see this sloppiness continue ; he has to come out of this slump), Billy G wouldn’t even look at him 1 for 1 for Soucy

      Billy G will want Rusty I’d think….

      Rusty/CR for Soucy/Beckman

      But that screws top 6 forwards on Pens

      CR and Laffy for Soucy not enough

      I’m thinking GMJR will have to part with one of his prospects (plus CR)

      CR/Maniscalco/4th or


      for Soucy

      Go gettem GMJR

      • Pengy/Chrisms… Something is coming we need a dman..

        Soucy is 26, lefthanded, and our friend Billy guerin is there….

        Plus Minnesota is dressing 7 defenseman so???

        We can’t give up Drew O’Connor he is one of the few young good forwards in the system.

        Maniscalco is a young, offensive, good skating dmam..records at Arizona state.

        Marcus pettersson and a 5th. I like pettersen but soucy is better and we save $1.4 million..
        POJ Can stay 3rd pair..

        Rudwhedel scares me a d can. Be dicey.

        Dekeyser 30 one year left big physical..injury concerns…but who doesn’t. Pettersson and ZAReese for him.

      • Zucker will come around he is too good..Malkin is struggling too..

        Mistake to trade Zucker

      • Pengy..line changes at practice for tonight..except Crosbys line

        Malkin McCann Rust

        Blueger ZUcker Kapanen

        Jankowski Tanev Sceivor

      • Hi BnG

        I would really like Soucy on Pens

        He can pair with Marino until Pettersson returns; then he can switch to RHD (play with PO-J ) when Pttersson returns

        Fully agree re Ruhwedel. His pattern seems to be …. press box for a bit; return… great game; coaches then continue to play him where he then regresses; then the cycle starts again

        Too much of a gamble with him playing

        IMHO Petterson is better than Dekeyser; regardless; Dekeyser older and upcoming UFA; no chance it takes Pettersson and ZAR. ZAR alone for Dekeyser is too much

        Re Gino… yep started bad but has now started to pick things up

        Rusty played great last game

        Can’t wait for Kappy to eventually get up to full NHL speed and be up with Sid/Guentzel

        Zucker has had 5 straight pretty dang awful games

        It’s not like he’s not trying… he is

        His positioning seems fine

        It’s his stick work…. every one of the five games he has missed receiving a pass; OR sending an accurate pass; OR has panicked and dumped it out (sometimes not even getting it out) of Pens’ end , thus giving possession to the opposition… least 10 times /game. His shots on net are also off.

        I’m wondering if he is playing with an injured hand or wrist?

        It could be short training camp or no exhibition games; but he should have improved by now

        If this continues then he must be playing with an injury. If he is not injured and this type of play continues …. then he should be moved post haste

        I see from the daily lines that it appears he has been demoted to the third line

        Fingers crossed that he improves

        Re Soucy…. GMJR should call Billy G and offer

        CR/Maniscalco or


        and then start adding a 7th , then change to a 6th, then 5th; etc.; until Billy G agrees

        A 4th with one of those two pairings; for Soucy ; to me is fair

        I put CR in there as oddly enough; Billy G is blind to CR’s faults and actually likes him??

        🙏🤞for Soucy in a Pend uni

      • I actually think Minny should hold pat with the 7 dman strat unless they have ready replacements in the system.
        They have a lot of young potential top 6f that need to progress so I think the 7d dressed may be the best strategy for Minny.

      • @Pengy..big win Rust, McCann and Guentzel with 131 left to beat the Rangers.

        Jarry solid big win we go to Boston for two need a split there.

        I like soucy or dekeyser for the short term on defense..

  2. This Is An Emergency: When Pengy reads about the possibility of C. Soucy to Pens immediate CPR will be necessary to revive!!!

    • LOL

      see my post above responding to Chrisms

      Soucy ….. on Pens …… 👍👍👍👍

      • Pengy.. agree
        With you on rudwhedel. If soucy can play the off d side great..I’m bot giving up drew O’Connor or Joshua Maniscalco for soucy…

        We disagree on petersons value..he is good but a third pairing guy….we need a top 4 Lhd to compete for a Stanley cup..

        Dekeyser a big physical one year option..

        ZAREESE isnt going to crack the line up ever again…pettersson is expendable for a legit top 4 dman

  3. Habs should let Danault walk, he’s not worth it … Soucy & DeKyser won’t push the needle for the Pens, as long as they have LeTurnover, Matheson & Ceci they aren’t going anywhere … Pens need a new GM …

    • “Despite his (Danault’s) offensive numbers not suggesting he is a high end NHL forward however, he truly is developing into one of the league’s best two-way centers, and though some fans have yet to take notice, his peers are. In fact, when asked who is a pain to play against, superstar forward Nathan MacKinnon quickly mentioned the 27-year-old.

      «Danault», the Colorado Avalanche forward said. «Such a good centreman. It’s hard to get space on him. I don’t know if he’s in Selke talks but he should be, hopefully he wins one. Good versus everyone, not just me.»”

      • I still expect a deal to get done with Danault. I see him as a solid second line Center. He is a shutdown center who can go against the other team’s top line. He does have offensive limitations. He’s a 50-55 point per year player. A decent playmaker but certainly not a goal scorer. Given the flat cap, I don’t see him getting any better offers. I think they’ll eventually settle on 5 or 6 years at $5.5m. AAV.
        I don’t see Mete traded anytime soon. The Habs still want to maintain their depth. Whatever they get for him now wouldn’t help them immediately. Maybe in the off-season.

      • Several of us have been pumping his tires for a while now. The guy plays an excellent game. I’d sign him in Boston.

      • With ya SOP, hope the Habs don’t sign him, I mentioned on here if they don’t offer 6 x6 he should walk.
        B’s should take a shot at him with Kercji’s $ IMO, and maybe Kecji stays as a wing at a reduced rate I dunno what to do with him. Still looks pretty good, but 34.
        I would think Jarmo and Torts would take a shine to Danault as well.
        He is crazy if he signs for less than 6×6 IMO unless he really wants to stay in MTL, and if so, good for him, but I think there will be demand for his services.

        How bout them B’s!

      • Hey, Ray. Bruins look like we thought they would, eventhough it’s early in the season. Suppressing shots, and taking a ton of their own. Good to see Ritchie going on the PP. I’d keep Krech, but at a more team friendly dollar amount. Same for Rask.
        I’m very impressed with the Kids on LD. Very mobile and keen on playing hard at both ends of the rink. Little Z looks good and Lauzon is a nice complement to Charlie.
        Bruins vs Habs for the cup.

      • Wouldn’t that be something!
        We owe them a few.

      • Agreed. I think the problem on the Hab’s end is that they may be seeking a shorter term than what he wants. To properly allow Suzuki/Kotkaniemi to develop into the top 2 C’s it would be ideal to have Danault for another 2 or 3 years or so.. not 5 or 6 with a ntc.

      • And if I’m not mistaken Danault has been in the voting for runners up as a Selke candidate the past couple seasons.

      • Habfan, calling him a runner up is using the term pretty loosely. Last two years he was 6th and 7th in voting respectively.

      • Canadian King, still though? That’s pretty respectable out of a possible 60ish (?) or at least 30 who even meet the award criteria.
        I mean.. to be 6th or 7th you don’t need that many great defensive forwards to be ahead of you.. and you’re in good company.. off the top of my head:
        Bergeron, O’Reilly, Couturier, Stone, Kopitar. Not bad company to be 6th or 7th.

    • Nonsense. Danault is just fabulous, 5 on 5, Mackinnon just said so : he’s Selke trophy material. I say, sign him ASAP, 5.5, for 6. Too bad if this Tatar and Armia cap casualties.

      • Patrick $5 mill per for five years is more than than enough. KK needs to sign a bridge contract the end of this season & Suzuki the end of next.

        If Danault wants term, then he has give on the dollar amount.

        Joel Armia needs to be reupped at seasons end as well. His size, defensive ability with some offensive ability is the kind of player ever championship team requires.

        Tatar may be the odd man out.

    • Ed van impe,, Rutherford did a great job in 2016 2017 but has slipped may b time to go..

  4. Trading Mete will not hurt the Habs as they have Fleury and Ouellet are fine for a # 7 D, and they have good prospects on the way up.

    Danault is a fine defensive center but he is just not offensively gifted. Playing with Tatar and Gally he has 0 goals this year. Yes, it is early but he has 50 goals in 348 games, a 14.4% scoring clip. I’m ok with 5,5/year to keep him but it is clear that Suzuki and KK will be – maybe are now – be more balanced. As they continue to grow, does Danault become a # 3 center at 5.5 in a flat cap world?

    And I would not be sorry to see Byron go. His best days are behind him.

    • Danault is obviously not a goal scorer. But he’s done well setting up Gallagher and Tatar. The young Centre men still need his veteran leadership.
      I don’t see how this isn’t Byron’s last season in Montreal. They’ll need to dump his salary. I think he’ll end up in Seattle.
      The Habs do have good prospect depth at D, but no one who’s ready to step right in. Fleury is better off playing the season in the AHL rather than watching from the taxi squad or the #7 D-man. The rest still need more time. That’s why any trade will not happen till the off-season. Mete will get some playing time – someone is bound to get hurt sooner or later. As for Ouellet, if he plays another game with the Habs, something will have gone terribly wrong. He is not a NHL D-man.

      • He’s very responsible and to his credit, un-selfish, and allows his wingers to shine. Some would call that somewhat of a perimeter player but I think he compliments Tatar and Gallagher pretty well.
        Habs are not keeping both Tatar and Danault though. Maybe not either. It would be great to have the luxury of Danault as a 3rd string center in a few years but if it’s gonna handicap the habs in the future for signing their youth I’d say pass.
        If we had to run a 4C lineup of Suzuki, Kotkaniemi, Evans, Poehling it’s still not the worst thing in the world if we still have the talent signed on the wings.
        I say sign Tatar to less than Danault’s offer and go from there.

  5. Cole is ufa at end of season. Soucy just signed that deal he has. There’s no way Minnesota trades him. They’re currently tied for 1st with Vegas in arguably the worst division. Should be a play off team so no reason to sell.

    • Hi Slick

      Ur prob right re Soucy but I certainly hope ur wrong

      Soucy on Pens would be great

      I’ve got fingers , toes, and eyes crossed (much like when I drive, LOL)

      Re “weakest division”… that is subjective but I have to disagree here

      That Div has two ((VGK/Avs) of the top 4 favs for this year’s Cup, and last years finalist (Stars) and the SC champ (Blues) from 19 months ago. Yes there is also the rebuilding Kings and the two other Cal teams that are underperforming recently… but I wouldn’t define that Div as weakest

      At the end of the reg season it should be Knights/Avs or Avs/Knights 1&2; and then Blues/Stars or Stars/Blues for 3rd and 4th

      Arz with Keumper … if he goes on a tear; could bump one of Blues or Stars

      I don’t envision Wild; as at now; making the playoffs

      If Billy G sees the same outcome perhaps he is willing to trade Soucy ….. 🙏🤞

      • How good is victor Mete and isn’t he righthanded?

        Maybe to replace Rudwhedel……but THAT doesn’t help a LHD for Marino

      • Hi BnG

        Mete is a Lefty but does play both LHD and RHD

        Mete for CR would be a plus for Pens but not a chance GMMB takes that deal

      • Yep. No reason to change the status quo right now if you’re Minny. Run the 7d and therefore give more icetime to Kaprizov, Fiala, Greenway, Erikson Ek etc. Let em develop into the top 6 you hope they’ll be. Because they don’t got much else to rely on long term.

    • Pengy, based on last years standings: 3 California teams were 3rd,4th, and 5th worst in league. Arizona was 10th worst with Hall and Stepan. That’s 40% of bottom 10! As I said, “arguably” worst division. I’d be shocked if Minny doesn’t get in playoffs.

      • Hi Slick

        I had a brain fart… Stars not in that Div

        Minn will battle it out with Arz for 4th… not guaranteed though

        Arz “seems” better this year… just from the small sample size I’ve seen

        I’d still love Soucy regardless

      • Pengy, I think a lot of teams would love Soucy! Honestly, Pitt might have a harder time getting into playoffs. IMO, that division is a lot tougher. Also, if Minny became sellers, I’d think Dumba would be the guy they shop. Seems like he’s the one that’s been rumored most.

      • Hi Slick,

        Agree re Dumba but he’d cost a lot more and I think he’s RHD

        Yep…. Pens are tough to make playoffs as is

        A couple of successful tweak trades might do it ???

        But Jimbo has not been great at trades/acquisitions over the last two seasons… time to retire??

        Injuries hurting (LHD); as is slow start/weak play by a few forwards (most notably Zucker)

        I’m hoping he comes around soon

        Fingers crossed on a win tonight

        Hoping and praying that Quinn plays JJ 20+ mins and on every special team…. that should easily do it for Pens. Pens capitalized on JJ errors last game and had many scoring chances due to him and were successful twice 5on5 with JJ out


  6. For the Leafs. Maybe it’s time to move Marner.

    • In the current financial state of most teams, I don’t Marner going anywhere.

    • Who is going to give up assets to take on that contract? If Leafs don’t get a haul back they will look ridiculous. So I would say rock and hard place there.

    • Hi Yes Guy

      The Cap hit is prohibitive for almost every team ; and those that could fit him in now… I don’t think they’d be willing to give up assets (futures) that they are using in their rebuild and at same time making him their highest paid player

      I’ve been a Leaf fan for over 5 decades but I truly believe they are not Cup ready… 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds is not the answer

      AM won’t be moved; JT can’t be w/o his say; and I think MM contract to tough for other teams

      WW (~ $7 M Cap but effectively only ~ $5 M AAV Cash per remaining) for a lower Cap hit on a top 4D is the proper move for Leafs IMHO

    • FINALLY someone gets it!!! When you have a player who’s leading the league in points, not a liability defensively and under 24….sign me up for that.

  7. I can see why Danault does not want to settle for 5 per … if he is that good of a two-way centerman, he would want at least 5.5m … comparable might be Mikael Backlund who earns 5.35m per – Danault would easily seek 5.5 to 6 per based on that.

  8. Also, the cynical part of my mind wonders if Jarmo and Chevy did the Dubois/Laine swap not just to get a player they wanted, but also to stick it to the players at the same time.

    “Oh, you don’t like playing here do you? Well, here ya go…enjoy playing for Torts”

    “You want to be another star player that wants out of here for a bigger market, do you? Enjoy Winnipeg.”

    • Of for sure. Won’t take credit for the comment but someone originally said they traded Dubois to the ‘Columbus’ of Canada and Laine to the ‘Winnipeg’ of the USA. Haha. There was def a little of that involved. But not as much on the Peg end because Laine continuted to give effort. PLD didn’t.. hence Roslovic overpayment.

  9. Don’t think Guerin wants Zucker back.
    Pens could look into Kylington and a third next year. Flames liked Zucker before . Maybe add Magipagne

    • Hi SilverSeven

      The way Zucker is playing lately…. Mangiapane for Zucker would be very welcomed… very welcomed!!

      I’m hoping Zucker turns things around (I’m starting to believe that he is playing with a hand or wrist injury) as Jimbo consistently refuses to change things on acquisitions he has failed at (cite JJ …. it took JJ directly and all by himself; causing 3 of seven straight playoff-playin losses and 2 more where he seriously contributed in yhe losses; before Jimbo finally capitulated …. and at that, he had to buy him out as no one was trading for him [even at 50% retained])

      • @Pengy, heh heh.. as a Flames fan in Calgary, if Zucker were fully healthy I would take a chance on him in exchange for Mangiapane, if the cap dollars worked. But another part of me says he would need to get on a roll first, in which case Pit wouldn’t want to trade him anyway, and also that Mangiapane deserves this full season to show some more growth for Calgary – I’ve watched nearly every game for over a decade now, so have seen Mangiapane from the start, shows some promise!

        @SilverSeven, Kylington seems to be the odd man out yet again on the blueline. He’s still some nice depth though if Valimaki or anyone else gets injured, but if the price is right I suppose he could use a change of scenery.