NHL Rumor Mill – February 5, 2021

by | Feb 5, 2021 | Rumors | 42 comments

Sam Bennett becoming a healthy scratch is stoking speculation he could be traded soon. Get the latest plus updates on the Avalanche and Penguins in today’s NHL rumor mill.


CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports the Flames made Sam Bennett a healthy scratch in yesterday’s 4-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. The move comes just days after his agent claimed the 24-year-old forward was seeking a change of scenery, fuelling speculation a trade could be in the works.

Calgary Flames benching Sam Bennett fueled more trade chatter (NHL Images).

Gilbertson noted TSN’s Darren Dreger broke the news of Bennett’s benching. While Dreger acknowledged it would fuel conjecture, he claimed there was “nothing on the front burner related to trade.”

Flames coach Geoff Ward claimed it was his decision to make Bennett a healthy scratch but Gilbertson suggests this feels like a move could be coming soon. Scratching him, however, won’t help the Flames’ depth nor improve his trade value.

SPORTSNET: Eric Francis believes if Bennett is scratched from Saturday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers it could mean he’s played his final game for the Flames. He also said the front office has received clarity about Bennett’s status from the forward himself. Francis claims he “wants out”, prompting management to sit him.

The Flames aren’t in a rush to move Bennett unless it’s for the right deal. However, the benching could turn his situation into a bigger distraction.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Bennett has been a subject of conversation between the Flames and the New York Rangers. Brooks claims the Flames have conducted due diligence on Tony DeAngelo and have expressed “at least preliminary interest” in the 25-year-old defenseman. Sources tell Brooks the Flames haven’t made a definitive decision whether to trade Bennett.

DeAngelo, meanwhile, is in the first season of a two-year contract carrying an annual average value of $4.8 million. The Rangers don’t want to absorb a significant chunk of the blueliner’s salary or take back a big contract in return. If the Flames were to acquire DeAngelo he’d be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine due to travel restrictions at the US-Canada border.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trade talks might not be on the front burner for Bennett but they could heat up quickly. Cap Friendly shows him in the final season of his contract with an affordable $2.55 million cap hit and lacking no-trade protection. There could be clubs willing to take a chance on him filling a top-six role this season, especially considering his strong postseason performances.

DeAngelo’s offensive skills could boost the Flames’ blueline production. However, recent reports out of Calgary suggest they’re not interested in the troubled defenseman, whose temperamental attitude and poor defensive game are big red flags. If the Flames were to acquire DeAngelo they could insist on the Blueshirts picking up part of his cap hit.


THE DENVER POST: In a recent mailbag segment, Mike Chambers was asked if he felt Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson would waive his no-movement clause for this summer’s expansion draft. That move would allow the Avalanche to protect another defenseman.

Chambers believes it’s likely, citing Johnson as a player who’d do anything for the Avs’ organization.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We have no indication if the 32-year-old Johnson will waive his NMC. He is signed through 2022-23 with an annual cap hit of $6 million. If he does waive it, the Seattle Kraken could balk at selecting an aging defenseman with a long injury history carrying that hefty cap hit.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski suggests the arrival of Penguins rookie defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph could turn another blueliner into a possible trade chip for the club’s next general manager.

Once the Penguins’ blueline is healthy they will have five left-shot defensemen. Kingerski feels Marcus Pettersson would be the trade chip that could net the best return. Moving him could fetch a couple of draft picks to replace the second, fifth and sixth-round picks that the Pens lack in the 2021 draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kingerski stresses this isn’t a pressing issue for the Penguins nor do they need to rush into a trade. Nevertheless, this could be a situation worth monitoring if Joseph continues his strong play over the course of this season.


  1. Would Bennett for Kerfoot work? Flames get more offence, and Leafs get a gritty centre for their third line with Hyman and Mikheyev.


    • love it—been saying this as well—kerfoot is terrible—whole third line needs to go

      • Just what we want, a terrible player. Also Eric Francis is not a reliable source. Brooks has slightly more credibility.

    • Bennett for who?

      *Consuela on Family Guy*: Noooooo, noooo, nooooooo….

    • I think this makes sense as well but straight up Leafs would need to eat about 500k of Kerfoot’s salary

    • As a Leafs fan I’d prefer Kerfoot. He stepped up his game against Columbus in the play-in round and it has continued this season.
      He’s using his speed well and forechecking hard.

  2. Hi Lyle

    Re Pens and

    “ to replace the second, fifth and seventh-round picks that the Pens lack in the 2021 draft.”

    They have those picks

    They don’t have 1st, 3rd, 4th , or 6th rounders

    Agree Pettersson best tradable LD asset but I’d hate to see him go; but unless Matheson has an uptick ; he won’t get a return of much (if anything)

    If they do move Pettersson; they need an upgrade at 3RD…. Ceci is much better than Ruhweedel and Weber … but an upgrade would be welcome

    • Fixed, thanks Pengy!

      • No worries 😄

    • Sorry pengy I know we disagree on pettersson but he will b moved…especially if the penguins go after victor mete. Or vince dunn..

      • I read recently that the Kings were considering outdoor games, I guess the idea was pandemic inspired. Does it ever get cold enough there to make that practical?

      • Hi Francis

        Ok to disagree on a player …. that is what this whole site is about — candid discourse

        If Pettersson is traded for team improvement in-year (and I agree that he has best return for players that they could move) it has to be for an RHD

        Once healthy the team has on LHD

        Dumo, P-O J, Pettersson, Matheson, Riikola, Czusman, Cameron , Almeri

        On the RHD

        Tanger, Marino, then a huge drop off

        Ceci, Weber, Trottman, Reilly, Maniscalco, Lindgren, Ruhweedel (from best (well least worst) to awful)

        They would need an RHD coming back

        Mete and Dunn are Lefties. Dunn almost exclusively plays LHD; Mete can (and has ) played RHD but not as well as on the Left side

        So … they need to look to a team that has on their NHL roster, more RHDs than LHDs and it would need to be an American team as the two week travel protocol coming from a Northern team not worth it.

        Sabres have 5 RHDs, 2 LHDs

        RR or Montour for Pettersson?

      • That was supposed to be

        Hi BnG

        read the note but somehow drawn to your name Francis, which was just below


    • I always have liked RHD Brandon Montours game especially when he was out here in Anaheim.

      Like your proposal there pettersson montour money about even..
      How old is montour 26/27

      He has a cannon shot.uummhh penguins power play?? (LOL)

      I like victor mete better because he is so fast, can skate, and his versatility.

      Your idea is solid pengy

  3. Pens have a second not a first. Just to be sure I googled it. I had no idea the pens had 4 7 round picks this coming draft! We’re rich!

  4. Hextall will come in and after this season will shed the Pens of Malkin, LeTurnover, Pettersson, Zucker, McCann and the rest of Rutherford’s mistakes. It will be a full blown rebuild centering around Sid (he ain’t going anywhere), Kapanen, Guentzel, Poulin, Joseph & Marino. Get ready for it Pens fans, especially those of whom are spoiled.

    • All of us pens fans are spoiled Ed. Including you!

      • Chrisms–Looking at some Penguins stats has me looking for your thoughts, in light of the thoughts of Penguins doomsayers.

        Crosby was minus-8 last season, the first season he’d been minus since he was minus-1 as a rookie. He’s minus-5 now, worse than the often-criticized and supposedly disposable Malkin. Does Crosby’s decline suggest a trend? Should the Penguins plan on building any future roster around him?

        Jake Guentzel is minus-8, and nothing near the point-per-game player he was last season. He’s been no better than Zucker and McCann, and he sometimes seems to be timid since his shoulder injury. Should he receive as much blame as the other two?

        Pettersson is unappreciated if not disdained, despite being plus-22 over the past two seasons. Does that make sense?

        Are critics remonstrating the wrong players, and do their proposed Penguins roster revamps require reconsideration? Is it too soon to bury this team and its stars, or is it too late.

      • It’s too late. Don’t get me wrong. Crosby is still a top ten player in the league if not top 5. Malkin I don’t get. He had his ups and downs last year but was still over a point per game. His play this year? Head scratcher. Similar to letang. It’s awful hard to judge this team when an ahl d (mostly) is moving the pick up the ice.

    • Good for you guys

      • It’s been fun fo sho

    • Ed…if Rutherford who built two Stanley cup championship teams cant move Malkin or letang. No chance in hell the next GM will b able to

  5. Penguins defenceman as a trade chip?

    Yah, good luck with that. Thats the same as saying Pittsburgh has a goalie available.

    • Ron jull. You tell me teams like Minnesota who lost defenseman matt dumba or better yet Winnipeg who cant play defense couldnt use Marcus pettersson..cmon now boy

  6. Anybody think that the NHL has players that would do anything for their team needs to stop smoking the weed.

    Sure these guys will do anything for the team. After the check with the wife and kids who may or may not be happy. After they check with the agent who will always want the longer pricier contract as it brings higher commissions.

    Johnson specifically has stayed with the Avalanche through the tough spells, has probably given up money for stability and can smell success. Sure he will forgo his clause and allow himself to go to Seattle for the good of the team he left behind.

    How naive are Chambers comments. Puppy food for young fans. If I seem cynical ( and I am). oI remember the Musoka ( spelling error?) five. Those boys laid it all on the line. For themselves and the NHLPA.

    • Agree OBD, some would do anything for the teams (playing hurt), but they won’t do that.
      Family first is a good thing IMO.
      Nor would I pick up and move if I didn’t have too and wanted to stay. Deal is a deal as they say.
      I like smoking weed?

  7. Sam Bennett would look good in a Bruins uniform

    • Agreed. He’d look good on any team. I bet Treliving is busy.

  8. Anyone else tired of the Canadian Division yet?

    It sucks.

    4 of the 5 top scorers will come from it, because the level of play is so bad.

    What a joke!

    • Id wager the Caucks have had their fill. Other than 3 free win nights against Ottawa Vancouvers been a complete trainwreck.

      Zero defense, zero, zip, nil, nada.

    • Surprised you feel that way nevinsrip

    • I think the main reason top scorer are from the Canadian division is mainly because it’s the only division where they haven’t had games postponed because of Covid

    • I see Jealousy of the Northern Division. It’s loads of fun. Other divisions have plenty of teams for the scoring leaders to rack points up against. I don’t know why you think a player on an american team will be leading the league if the league was as per norm.

    • Funny thing is I was thinking if Ottawa could play some American teams their stats would be much better.

  9. I have thought that Vince Dunn and Zack Sanford to Calgary for Bennett and maybe a 3rd would be good for all parties.

    Dunn is perfect for Flames and Blues free up some dollars. I think Bennett would fit well.


    • If I’m the Flames I’d jump at that offer assuming they’d be cap compliant after

  10. “There could be clubs willing to take a chance on him filling a top-six role this season” – Why do people think this? He is not a top-6 guy, at all. Stop looking at where he was drafted and start looking at him on the ice.

    • OR “looking at him” in the press box, more accurately.

  11. I like Dunn and Sanford for Bennett. I believe (and seen him often) he is a third line winger that can skate and chip in with a little offence. His greatest attribute is his aggressive play and to quote ‘truculence “. Proven playoff performance as well at a 4th overall has some skill. Not convinced he will explode with another club. I am convinced he is set to be traded . A couple of games ago might have been his best. Sitting him makes no sense based on that.

    • SS

      I appreciate your consideration, and we can make this work. BUT the Blues would still need some kind of draft pick included. Didn’t you like the 3rd???

      • Calgary has more a need at RD. Don’t see how Dunn is perfect for them. Also, St Louis saves 825K in cap space by trading 2 players for Bennett, which gets Eaton up by whoever replaces Dunn

  12. Bennet could certainly receive a more prominent role on the Senators. I wonder if a trade could be formulated to help the Flames? If Bennet would want to join a rebuilding club full of struggles? Ottawa certainly needs top end forwards but attracting them through free agency is a massive hurdle . So a top player’s route to the Sens will likely come via the draft. Quality bottom 6 guys with top 6 potential like a Bennet may draw the Sens interest?