NHL Rumor Mill – February 27, 2021

by | Feb 27, 2021 | Rumors | 34 comments

Making the case for the Leafs to re-sign Frederik Andersen plus the latest on the Ducks in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox believes the Maple Leafs might have to re-sign Frederik Andersen because there are no suitable replacement goaltenders in sight. Nobody will suggest backup Michael Hutchinson is a No. 1 goalie while we’ve seen too little of Jack Campbell’s work to suggests he’s a suitable replacement for Andersen. Joseph Woll may or may not become an NHL netminder.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (NHL Images).

The Leafs aren’t the only team in that boat. Cox points to a number of NHL teams who lack suitable replacements for their current starters or have a promising one that hasn’t fully developed yet.

Free-agent options this summer include Pekka Rinne, Tuukka Rask and Jordan Binnington. However, Rinne and Rask are well into their thirties while the St. Louis Blues are unlikely to let Binnington go. It’s also uncertain how well a goaltender will perform in a new city as the Florida Panthers are finding out with Sergei Bobrovsky.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a trade or free-agent rumor but Andersen’s future will increasingly become the topic of speculation the longer he goes unsigned by the Leafs. His potential departure will generate plenty of conjecture this summer over how the Leafs would replace him.

Some Leafs fans are unhappy with Andersen’s performance but there’s no denying he’s played well despite being arguably the most overworked NHL goaltender over the past four years. Questions remain over whether he can carry the Leafs to the Stanley Cup but at least he gives them a chance to win on most nights.

As Cox pointed out, we haven’t seen enough of Campbell’s work to determine if he’d be a better long-term option as the Leafs’ starter. Maybe he is but is he worth the gamble for a franchise whose fans are starving for a championship? Some will argue yes but this could just as easily go sideways, leaving the Leafs struggling to fill the gap between the pipes while wasting the best seasons of their top young players.

If there were suitable replacement options via trade or free agency I would expect Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas to pursue them. As Cox points out, however, those options aren’t available. They might be able to land a promising young goalie via trade but I don’t see anyone obtainable right now who could backstop them to the Cup.

The one downside of re-signing Andersen is he could seek a deal comparable to the six-year, $6 million per season deal Jacob Markstrom got last fall with the Calgary Flames. If Dubas can use the next season’s flattened salary cap as leverage to convince Andersen to accept a short-term deal for $6 million AAV that could buy some time to develop or acquire a suitable replacement.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens recently took note of the Anaheim Ducks placing low-performing Adam Henrique on waivers last weekend as a wake-up call to their struggling roster. While Henrique went unclaimed Stephens wonders if GM Bob Murray might try to trade him in hopes a rival club might gamble on the veteran center regaining his form in the right situation with a better roster. They could take back a bad contract with less term on it or retain part of Henrique’s salary but the remaining three years of the deal would be a sticking point. Burying him in the minors or buying him out seems unlikely.

Stephens also believes real change for the Ducks must start with Murray. They’ve got too many expensive, underperforming veterans while many of their promising youngsters haven’t played up to expectations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks are a mess. They’ve been steadily declining since 2017 and show little sign of improvement.

If ownership decides a rebuild is necessary it could start in the front office. We could also start hearing trade rumors involving players such as goalie John Gibson, defensemen Cam Fowler, Josh Manson and Hampus Lindholm and forward Rickard Rakell.


  1. Bob Murray’s shelf life has come to a conclusion in Anaheim … same with Poile in Nashville.

  2. Leafs should prey on the Predators current situation
    Poile is a”genius” at making poor trades …

    • Not all trades, he did not get much for PK, but he got rid of his poor play and contract.

      • Still can’t believe how dumb he was to bring in Forsberg for. . . what was his name?

  3. Not sure why the antipathy by some towards Andersen. His GAA average has gone down a bit in the last two years but let’s face it, the defence in front of him has not been fantastic. And Lyle is right, with mediocre back up, Andersen has been ridden hard and often.

    What I do see as a pause point for a long contract is that he is 31. But, sure, Dubas, jettison him. Works for me as a Habs fan.

    • The problem leafs fans have with Anderson is that when it really matters he disappears. You can be sure that if it’s game 7 or game 5 last year he’s going to let in a soft one or two and we lose. I know it’s the entire team folding but nothing deflates a team more then the goalie letting in a soft one when the game is close.

      • You mean like the current situation in Montreal, Roger?

        Point taken.

      • Nope not the same. Montreal hasn’t seen a game 7 in forever. I think we can both agree that we should not talk about Montreal with each other. It will take you a few years to see that I am correct about them. I had the same problem with my team but I’m really glad they to the right path and rebuilt.

      • You are right about one thing, Roger, we should not have exchanges with each other.

        I give up!

    • GAA average reflects on the entire team, but SV% is on the goalie, and Andersen’s hasn’t been good. He is currently 38th in the NHL, and 9th in the North Division.

      His biggest problem though is he has a SV% of ,876 in playoff series deciding games. To put it simply, he can’t hold his mud when the chips are on the line.

      • Not trying to be contradictory Shrike, but you need to look at more than save %. That is often team dependent as well.
        The best measure of a goaltender I have seen takes into account the expected SV%/GAA based on where the shot comes from, one timer coming off an east west pass, who takes it etc, etc. Basically measure how many goals they have prevented vs expected as per the league average.
        Gibson has been consistently good, Rask, Bob was until he signed for the big $$ in FLA.
        Anderson has been up and down, usually a little better than average. Which is fine for what he is paid. Price, not so much.

  4. Good point. I mean when’s the last time the Habs won a cup? 1966-67?

  5. I’ve been to enough Leaf games to know that Andersen is notorious for letting in soft goals, consistently drops to his knees so smart shooters know to aim high, and disappears when it matters in the playoffs.

    • Oh My Bad Frank, I thought you were referencing Rask.

      Missed the first sentence.

      • Lol….Big part of the Rask game

  6. Andersen deserves better than the Leafs and constant complaining.
    The Oilers could use him

    • Hey…you know what…the Habs could use him aswell.

      Have you seen the comments in Montreal sports (media & fans) about Price?


      • FD,
        the schadenfreude crowd loves to badmouth Price any opportunity they have then trip all over themselves when he gets his mojo back.

        As a positional goalie he just has to be a bit off for it to show, fortunately that’s repairable with his regular goalie coach.

    • Funny…somebody on here in the off-season said that Koskinen was a better goalie than Andersen.

      EDM should have been all over getting a better goalie in the offseason. Kuemper would have been a good add. As Scotty Bowman once said…”show me a good goalie and I’ll show you a good coach”

      • Thankfully for the Oilers, Mike Smith has spurts of brilliance in which he can still, at his age, perform brilliantly in the crease for stretches of time.

      • Also, as Jim Schoenfeld once said, “have another donut!” 😀

        (not directed at you Daryl, just one of the best statements a coach has ever made haha)

      • Koskinen will find his game, Smith getting hot is perfect as he can focus in practice without playing.
        Koskinen was a better goalie than Anderson last season. I’m not the one who said he was better than Anderson, as it takes more than a season, but he was last year.

        Anderson is under appreciated. We as fans like to focus on what a player hasn’t done or doesn’t do, as opposed to what they have done and do.

        IE – Nurse in Edmonton for years. How do you like him now?

  7. Ideally, Dubas trades Andersen to Oilers.

    • Wendel, it’s confession time. Before the season started I was ribbing you, praised Ottawa’s additions and criticized Toronto’s… even suggesting Ottawa would probably finish higher in the standings.

      Well…yep. I stepped in that one!

      • Don Koharski would like a word or two with you.

  8. Ducks have lots of assets and could change the look easily. Might have to change the GM first . They have been bad for awhile. Have also had zero Lottery luck in moving up. Zegras is a keeper and the team will be built around him soon. Henrique will move also soon. Coming into the season 9th Ironman and back to back 40 points. Hold a little and take a little back will get it done.

  9. Boston claims Jarred Tinordi. Now that should solve everything.

    • It’s a move that had to be made but Tinordi isn’t very good at it

      Hopefully he can play some D

      • Ok .. why does that above need moderation ?

      • Because you used your email rather than your name. I fixed it for you.

  10. Lol…. thanks

  11. Ii am a little surprised about the decline of Adam Henrique and probably more so that he was waived. I always thought he was an effective 200’ player. But then since the Ducks play most of their games in their own end I guess it doesn’t matter. No wonder John Gibson apparently wants out. Come to think of it, why doesn’t Dubas go after him?

  12. The bruins finally made the BIG move!! They just signed Tinordi off waivers my heart soars like a bored bird big and slow. They needed a big gun and once again they didn’t get it. Hopefully this will be Sweeney’s last year!

    • Any big moves are more likely to happen closer to the deadline, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see some moves happening earlier on account of quarantine requirements.

      Tinordi is nothing but an experienced body that can plug into the 6 spot in case of a rash of blueline injuries in the playoffs. Costs essentially nothing, and was only -1 through 7 games on a pretty questionable Predators team, playing 16-17 minutes per game on average. Plus, not like he’s Dion Phaneuf, but he’s a big guy, might be worth plugging into the lineup just to match another team’s physicality. After all, who are the big hitters on Boston’s blueline? (half rhetorical, half actually wondering if there are any – the names don’t suggest a rugged blueline)

      There’s time yet for Sweeney to make a bigger deal if he wants.