NHL Rumor Mill – February 24, 2021

by | Feb 24, 2021 | Rumors | 36 comments

The latest on Marc-Andre Fleury and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins plus updates on the Predators, Sabres, Coyotes, Kings, Red Wings and Flames in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman cited Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley appearing on Andy Strickland and Cam Janssen’s podcast where he said he doesn’t want goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to be traded. “He never came close to be part of a deal,” said Foley. “I would’ve had a big problem with it if that had been presented to me.” Friedman believes the Pittsburgh Penguins tried to reacquire Fleury through another team and they thought they were close to a deal.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman indicated if Foley doesn’t want Fleury traded then that’s the end of it. The 36-year-old goaltender becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Friedman believes Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wants to stay with the Edmonton Oilers and management wants to keep him. The biggest challenge is the economic landscape is recovering more slowly than expected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the salary cap is likely to remain at $81.5 million for next season, affecting how much the Oilers can comfortably afford to invest in a long-term extension for Nugent-Hopkins.

Following up on his Saturday report regarding the Nashville Predators’ trade speculation, Friedman said their deep respect for aging goaltender Pekka Rinne means they want him to retire in their uniform. They have no desire to move defensemen Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis. They’re willing to listen to trade offers but it will be difficult to pry away Filip Forsberg and Dante Fabbro.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators most likely to be traded are pending unrestricted free agents like Mikael Granlund and Erik Haula or those on affordable contracts (Mattias Ekholm, Calle Jarnkrok) that expire at the end of 2021-22. They’ll entertain offers for expensive underachievers such as Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen but I doubt there will be much interest in either guy.

The Buffalo Sabres are making Brandon Montour available. The 26-year-old defenseman is eligible for unrestricted free agent status this summer.

The Arizona Coyotes are looking for a center. They could also be interested in a rental player like Montour or a winger like the Vancouver Canucks’ Tanner Pearson if he becomes available.

Don’t expect the Los Angeles Kings to become buyers if they remain in playoff contention by the trade deadline. General manager Rob Blake intends to stick with his rebuilding plan.


TSN: Frank Seravalli believes three Detroit Red Wings – Bobby Ryan, Luke Glendening and Marc Staal – could draw attention from rival clubs as the Apr. 12 trade deadline approaches. Pierre LeBrun, meanwhile, said the Calgary Flames’ recent slump sparked speculation whether GM Brad Treliving was up to something. However, it seems all’s quiet on the Flames front.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Ryan, Staal and Glendening could be playing elsewhere by Apr. 12. As for the Flames, Treliving is remaining patient with his roster but his hand could be forced if they don’t show significant improvement. Complicating things, of course, are the COVID protocols and travel restrictions for any players acquired from American teams.


  1. Fleury stays a Knight

    Doing fantastic

    Top goalie in League (for any goalie who has played > 4 games) in GAA (1.55) and save percentage (.942)

    No way they should trade him

  2. Pens still in need of a 3C

    Sabres shopping Montour….

    Staal and Montour (both at 50% retained) for

    Pettersson Laffy and a prospect NOT named Poulin or NOT named Legare

    Staal in at 3C

    Montour strengthens RHS of D; but very valuable trade chip at TDL as he would now be at 50% retained

    Sabres get an LD (locked reasonably for 4 more years; and Sabres as at now only have 2 D under contract next year, and their current roster just has 2 LDs) AND Laffy AND a prospect

    For 2 UFAs

    • Pengy… I proposed this to you yesterday…glad you agree.
      I think Eric Stahl makes the Penguins so much better and deeper down the middle. He is responsible defensively, good on face -offs, has a terrific shot, and adds size and physicality. He has 8 points in 13 games which is solid but if you put him in between MCcann and Tanev that is a terrific third line.

      Then Blueger Aston Reese Jankowski can settle in and be that shut down energy 4th line, Montour skates extremely well and has a canon/shot from the point be good for our power play..

      Ceci has been playing much better but depth is always good and we all know Letang can be fragile…

      Always like Brandon Montour because he skates reaa

  3. My hopes for the Bruins would be they go after Nugent-Hopkins in the off season with all the available cap space they have. Hearing he wants to stay in Edmonton makes me wonder if that is even a possibility. So maybe the Bruins go after Bennett?

    Would a deal of…
    To Calagary – Grzelcyk, Kase, Senyshyn and a 1st
    To Bos- Hanafin and Bennett
    be fair?

    Then add some grit and toughness on D for the playoffs and maybe a Ryan, Staal or Glendening up front.

    • swing and a miss on that offer , Carlo and Debrusk would be more in line

      • Bruins might be giving up a little bit to much there but it’s close … Hanafin probably can use the change if scenery

      • I’d swap Kase with DeBrusk, but Carlo would be an over payment. Unless it was Carlo and DeBrusk for Hanafin and Bennett.

        Only reason I put Kase in there, is I think he needs to play a different style than what Cassidy pushes. I think Hanafin is in the same boat. Needs a a change of scenery.

    • Calgary would need to throw in more then Hanafin and Bennett for that deal.

      Carlo > Hanafin the other 2 are a wash.

  4. Fair to Boston…..

    • Nice idea but Grzelcyk & Kase are fragile don’t think the CF would do that …. Hanafin isn’t playing well but Bennett would be a nice add for the B’s

      I’m thinking the Bruins make most of the moves they are going to do in the offseason…don’t think 46 comes back unless it’s a team friendly contract , should be a busy summer for the Bruins

      • Agreed, Bruins probably add a veteran d man for the playoffs, and maybe a little scoring depth

      • Do you watch Western teams play Joe? Hanifin & Tanev has been the Flames best defensive pairing this year. Hanifin is finally starting to look like a 5th over all pick. You can’t be watching if you say he isn’t playing well.

  5. With coaches in Montreal being fired, I wanted to be the first to start the rumour of Mike Habcock

    • Babcock is coaching the Sask Huskies.

      • Of course he would never leave the high level of University Hockey for NHL level. Honestly I just wanted to say Habcock

    • not quite sure where that comment is going , the Habs have their man in Ducharme. Babcock would not get along with the Montreal press.
      Pretty sure Gallant is headed to Seattle but if the Habs plummet and miss the playoffs under Ducharme then Bergevin could be reaching out to his old buddy.
      I have a feeling Ducharme will do a good job in Mtl.

    • Sorry. I don’t like to comment negatively on others post. This one l can’t help. I believe yesterday or the day before someone was saying how much better the Habs were over the Leafs. I guess Marc never got around to reading Lyle’s column. lol

    • @MotorCitySmitty … I laughed.

  6. Julien and Muller fired in Montreal, is Travis Green next?

    Canucks closer to the basement than the penthouse.

    • As a life long Isles fan, not enough bad things can happen to Muller.

      Still the second most hated man on the Island.

    • Funny how far Vancouver went in the playoffs, and everyone was praising the team. And rightfully so. Now after 23 games, folks talking about firing coach & GM> whatever. Off to a crappy start. No, you don’t fire anyone. relax folks.

  7. Asking for a friend ….

    Would a Carlo & DeBrusk get the Bruins a Nurse

    • That would be a horrible deal for the Bruins, Nurse isn’t equal to even one of them. Hanifin for DeBrusk maybe, Carlo isn’t going anywhere!

      • I might be wrong but I’m thinking Nurse has a better all around game than Carlo

      • Joe, I would say Nurse has more offensive upside but Carlo has become a reliable, big shutdown d-man that the Bruins are happy with. I’ve heard some Oiler fans not happy with Nurse’s defensive game

      • As a Bruin fan living in Edmonton and follow both pretty close.
        Nurse is a significant upgrade over Carlo, and I like Carlo.
        Nurse is the Oil’s #1 D man this year with Klefbom out, and has been better than Klefbom has ever been.

        Check out the Oil’s #’s with him on the ice, vs with him off.
        Nurse is a really, really good player. He has stepped up huge this year.

    • Let’s put it this way – if Boston and Edmonton have any sense at all, neither Nurse nor Carlo should be moved. They are different players, but both are and will be studs. Should either come on the market, I hope the Wings are first in line to make a call. I’m not sure what the wings could offer that would interest Boston or Edmonton, but I would have to ask anyway.

      • The wings seem bereft of trade chips. It is a sad time in Hockeytown right now. 😪

  8. Re: trade idea Hanifin and Bennett to Boston…. Hanifin and Tanev have been by far the top d pairing in Calgary, described not too long ago by TSN’s pundits as their new “dominant pairing” with utter brilliance being shown in puck possession stats.

    Hanifin ain’t going anywhere.

    • Hanafin Has 0 goals and 3 assist on the season

      He’s 3700 on Fandual

    • If that’s the new dominant pairing in the NHL then it’s no wonder the Flames are a .500 team

  9. If you ever wanted a picture that shows that goalie equipment is too big, look at the picture Lyle posted of Fluery above.
    Or maybe he just has a really small head.

    • Ray

      I hadn’t actually looked at the pic

      I did now after your post and it cracked me up

      I showed ur post and the Fleury pic to Mrs. Pengy and she absolutely howled with laughter

      The last time she laughed that loudly was about two months after the birth of our daughter (our last child; over a quarter century ago) when I told her I was “in the mood” (nudge nudge wink wink) and I was asking if she was interested

      That laughter went on for days

      Oddly, I wasn’t laughing 😢

      • I think Mrs Bark and Mrs Pengy would be friends.