NHL Rumor Mill – February 1, 2021

by | Feb 1, 2021 | Rumors | 36 comments

What next for the Flames after Sam Bennett’s trade request? Is a Jake Virtanen-for-Victor Mete swap possible? What’s the latest on the Avalanche? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson wondered what Flames general manager Brad Treliving will do in the wake of Sam Bennett’s recently reported trade request. He suggests making no move at all is one of his options.

Calgary Flames forward Sam Bennett has requested a trade (NHL Images).

Gilbertson believes Bennett seeks more ice time “and an increased role with another bunch.” The 24-year-old Bennett has seen mostly third- or fourth-line minutes this season while others such as Dillon Dube, Josh Leivo and Dominik Simon have gained top-six playing time.

Bennett, however, hasn’t looked anything much like the dominant player he was in last year’s postseason. He’s the type of player the Flames prefer to keep for what he brings to their bottom-six, but he hasn’t proven that he’s earned top-six minutes in Calgary despite plenty of opportunities.

Gilbertson believes there will be plenty of interest in Bennett but doesn’t expect the Flames will get much of a return for the former first-round draft pick. Complicating the matter is most potential trade partners reside in the United States, meaning any players received in return would require a two-week quarantine before joining the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Treliving could wait until the offseason to move Bennett unless the season goes sideways or the forward’s concerns about his role come to a head. Bennett’s inconsistent play could affect what the Flames hope to get in return.

Salary cap space is also a concern. Cap Friendly shows the Flames with over $1.3 million in projected wiggle room with Bennett’s annual average value at $2.55 million. Moving him won’t free up sufficient room to land a significant player in return.

The Province’s Patrick Johnston suggests Bennett would look good as a third-line center with the Canucks. He’s not sure how they’d make it work, speculating the Flames will want a forward in return. However, if Bennett is seeking a top-six role, he might not be a good fit in Vancouver.


THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston took note of Sunday’s report claiming Montreal Canadiens defenseman Victor Mete had requested a trade. He cites the Montreal Gazette’s Andrew Berkshire signing Mete’s praises as a transition defenseman and defensive blueliner, believing he could definitely help the Canucks.

Johnston noted the Canadiens and Canucks had a conversation about Vancouver winger Jake Virtanen during the 2019 NHL Draft. Given Virtanen’s inconsistent play, however, a source suggested 30 teams would’ve passed on qualifying his rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin quickly and firmly denied the report about Mete asking for a trade. If he does shop the blueliner, however, I don’t think he’ll revisit any interest he once had in Virtanen. The Habs are pretty deep at forward this season, and that’s with Michael Frolik on their taxi squad and Joel Armia sidelined by a concussion.

Both teams have limited cap space. Virtanen’s also making $2.55 million per season while Mete’s AAV is $735K for this season. Doesn’t seem like there’s a fit there. Hey, Virtanen and Bennett have the same AAV! Hmmm…


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Peter Baugh was asked if the Colorado Avalanche were going to trade for a goaltender. He doesn’t think so as long as the tandem of Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz is healthy. However, they could consider it if Francouz remains sidelined and third-stringer Hunter Miska struggles.

Baugh also doesn’t expect the Avalanche to trade a defenseman like Ryan Graves or Connor Timmins if Bowen Byram plays well. He also doesn’t expect depth forwards JT Compher or Joonas Donskoi will be moved.


  1. Why would anybody in their right mind trade for Jake Virtanen?

    • If Jake Virtanen was drafted in the 3rd round he’d be looked at differently.

      Drafts aren’t guarantees of anything but if you look at his draft year he’s in the top 25 in goals and points.

      A change of scenery is just what he might need.

      • Virtanen for Mete? Two responses:
        1. No, unless the Canucks retain at least half his salary.
        2. No!

        When last season ended, I was hoping Bergevin would make an effort to pick up Virtanen. But with the Habs picking up Anderson and Toffoli, they no longer need him. That’s even before considering his awful start to the season.

        A trade to St. Louis for Dunn makes more sense. Or Bennett for Virtanen, as Lyle suggests.

      • He can have that change of scenery in any city that doesn’t start with Montreal.

        I see Mete is in the line up against the Canucks tonight. I am sure it is a coincidence …

  2. So how does centering Vancouver’s 3rd line satisfy Bennett? He’s doing that right now for Calgary …

    • Could you imagine how hard a third line of Sam Bennett, Adam Gaudette and Vasili Podkolzin would be to play against?

      I also wouldn’t mind trying to get Dunn either but it would cost Virt plus a 2nd or 3rd and maybe a player like Rafferty as well. I wouldn’t go a 1st, though. The next draft is pretty deep on D.

    • Ed he was centring the 3rd line in the play in & playoffs & was beast mode. Now he’s either centring the 4th line with plugs or playing wing on the 3rd line. He wants to either play centre (&not with plugs) or top 6, which he should get over Leivo or Simon & debatable even over Dube.

  3. Flames Fans

    Just for Ships ‘N Giggles

    What would you want in trade from Pens for Bennett?

    • With Dominik Simon taking playing time away from Bennett, what would the Penguins be willing to give for him?

      • Hi Francis

        Are you asking re what Pens would part with for Simon…

        Pens let him (Simon) go for nothing (didn’t qualify him) …. can’t see a return there

        I was reaching out to all Flames fans what the asking price (from Pens) would be for Bennett

      • Pengy–I realized too late that my comment was ambiguous, I meant to counter your question of what the Flames would ask from the Pens for Bennett with a rhetorical question: What would the Pens want to give for Bennett if Simon is better ? In effect, I meant that, if Simon, whom the Pens had canned, has showed the Flames that he deserves Bennett’s ice time, as Spector wrote above, would the Pens want Bennett?

      • Hi Francis

        Excellent point

        Oki doki

        Ruhweedel ???

    • Had to go into work today in a snowstorm so missed the morning coffee DeAngelo talk. He cleared waivers so as Brooks asked, could he now be traded. Most teams didn’t have space to claim him but is there any team that would take a chance on him? Reading most reports yesterday from NY beat writers, there seems to be consensus that if they can’t move him he’ll be either buried in AHL or taxi squad. And then buy him out in summer. Also they tried to trade him in summer, so I’m sure Gorton could see if anyone willing to take him at a much lower price. Calgary could use a right D, would they take a chance if they need a taker for Bennett? Rangers could retain $ to make cap work. Bennett could realistically get a shot at 2C, but definately 3C.

      • @slick62
        Rangers would jump on swap for Bennett even if ate the salary difference

      • pretty sad that he signed that new deal and is going to get paid for not playing. Gorton must be pissed but I give the Rangers credit for taking action. I can’t see anyone picking him up cause he costs too much. No way would I give up a valued asset in Bennett.

      • Ferguson, Gorton spoke today and said DeAmgelo was pretty much given an ultimatum after getting scratched for blow up in game 1. He’s done. Gorton said he’s played his last game with Rangers and they need to find “somewhere for him to play.”

    • Pengy,

      Dont know if these would be good or fair trades but here are a couple of players I will throw at you

      One sticking point would be the salary differential as the Flames are close to the cap

      • Hi Flamefan

        Kappy for Bennet for sure would be overpayment

        If I put my “logical” hat on… yep to Tanev

        My “heart” hat says keep him

        Yes too high a Cap for 4th liner (recently 3rd liner); but I do like his tenacity

  4. A few weeks ago, when Patrik Laine’s picture appeared where Bennett’s is now, a poster cracked a joke about Laine’s hairline. With 2 years to catch up to Bennett. will Laine make it? Maybe not, if he’s no longer worried about being traded.

    • LOL

      wow… so young to be receding that much

      If you look at Laine as a child; teen, and day of draft…. he already had a very very high forehead

      My late father also had a very high forehead (not in Laine’s league, but high forehead still the same) yet he never lost any hair. He had the identical hairline all his life ; passed at 90 without ever losing any hair

      I have a full head of hair and have never had any recession. My brother is just like my Dad was. Full head of hair , but massively high forehead. He’s never lost any hair.

      One of my sons also has a high forehead…. I don’t think he’ll recede either

      Bennett’s for sure has receded

      Laine’s just might be a super high forehead… maybe ??

      • My hairline has receded so much, I no longer have a forehead. It’s more like a five or six head.
        My brother says it looks like a cul de sac.

      • Keep your brow-ser on this site for additional pictures of hairless hockey players.

      • Hi ShoreOrrPark

        You had be laughing so hard , tears were rolling down my cheeks

        My one friend claims he doesn’t have a receding hairline, but more appropriately he says “ a proceeding forehead”

        His cup has always been half full

  5. Bennett and Kylington for Chytl and De Angelo holding a little something

    • SS, my initial reaction was ‘no way’ from a Flames point of view but that is an nice carrot you are dangling in Chytil. Point here is I am pretty sure every GM in the league has heard ADA stories and the toxic attitude he brings.
      Maybe it they were to room him with Milan and they tell Lucic to stare him down for a week. The kid needs to wake up. I hate seeing a talented athlete throw it away because he can’t shut up or put his ego in check.

    • Ya, too bad about him Fergy, but having a team decide they are better off without you playing has a tendency to be a wake up call for pro athletes.
      We’ll see I guess.

    • Not sure if Bennett upside is any more than Chytil. He was playing pretty good before he got hurt. Maybe DeAngelo and Howden plus a pick

  6. Sam is a Bruin dressed up in red and yellow needs a change.

    • Agreed! I’d take him in a heartbeat. Kids got guts.

  7. From D Dreger:
    Spoke with DeAngelo’s agent, Pat Brisson. He says he and Rangers GM Jeff Gorton are talking with clubs with trade interest in DeAngelo. Brisson is confident they will get something done in the near future. In the meantime, DeAngelo will remain at home awaiting a deal.

  8. Rangers signed ADA for 2 at the dollars they did. Must have seen something in him.
    I think the Flames could take advantage if they want to move Bennett. Their highest selection ever and proven playoff type. So that is a big if.
    Chytl would be my ask. DeAngelo only if some money is held and you can take advantage of the situation. Flames need a pp QB in addition to Anderson . Kylington not sure what is going on there. Move on.

    • Well, Chytil is currently out 4-6 weeks. Rangers aren’t trading him for Bennett and he’d be no use to Calgary right now. I think DeAngelo will be traded on his own with some retention, unless it’s for a comparable contract

  9. @Pengy, Flames fan here… no way in hell would I want DeAngelo back – Flames do not need the poisonous castaway.

    I would suggest Kapenen as a starter for Bennett – but would also like to see a center come back in return to replace Bennett on the third line. What is the ceiling for Maniscalo?

    Bennett to PIT for Jared McCann (salaries within 500k of each other) and Maniscalo if the latter has any value going forward

    • Recognizing Maniscalo is a D-man – switched paths half-way through the idea!

    • Also realize DeAngelo not on PIT, so don’t jump on me for that either xD

    • Hi Augustus

      Kappy too much

      The McC for Bennett is just trading the same quality… so only done if for change of scenery

      Maniscalco is an unknown now but they certainly have touted him as having a very good future

      Maniscalco ; O’Connor and Ruhwedel for

      Bennett and Kylington