NHL Rumor Mill – March 15, 2021

by | Mar 15, 2021 | Rumors | 44 comments

The latest on the Bruins plus updates on Clayton Keller, Pavel Buchnevich and Troy Terry in today’s NHL rumor mill.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy took note of colleague Joe Haggerty’s piece over the weekend calling upon Bruins general manager Don Sweeney to shake up the roster. “Not at the NHL Trade Deadline when prices will skyrocket but now.”

Boston Bruins forward Charlie Coyle (NHL Images).

Murphy believes the transitional leadership group of Charlie Coyle, Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly aren’t leading by example. He suggests Massachusetts natives Coyle and Wagner could find themselves playing away from home again but point out the former has a modified no-trade clause and a no-movement clause in his contract.

He suggests Sweeney look deeper into the Arizona Coyotes than defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, as well as explore possibilities with the Ottawa Senators. In a separate piece (stick tap to Florida Hockey Now), Murphy noted Oliver Ekman-Larsson was close to becoming a Bruin last fall, adding Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong “is listening again on his captain.”

Murphy also cites a source claiming Senators center (and Boston native) Colin White was “out there” at the trade deadline two years ago. With younger players coming through the Senators pipeline, the source wonders if White could be available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sweeney might be able to afford Ekman-Larsson’s annual average value of $8.25 million if he could move Coyle’s $5.25 million as part of the return. That’s assuming, of course, Ekman-Larsson is willing to waive his NMC during this season and if the Coyotes aren’t on Coyle’s 10-team no-trade list. I don’t think that’s going to happen. 

Coyle’s low production and his annual cap hit through 2025-26 won’t attract many suitors unless Sweeney takes a comparable player and contract in return. That’s not going to improve the Bruins before this year’s playoffs.

As for White, the Senators could entertain offers but they might not be in a hurry to move him. He’s got four more years remaining on his deal. They can afford to wait until the offseason if they feel the need to move him out.


FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy pondered the possibility of an Arizona Coyotes fire sale at the trade deadline or during the offseason. He wondered if they could consider shopping forward Clayton Keller. A source told Murphy he’d heard Keller’s name “more than you’d expect” before signing his current eight-year contract and is hearing it again, though he stressed GM Bill Armstrong isn’t shopping the 22-year-old forward. The source believes that sort of move would be more likely to happen in the offseason around the NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Coyotes we can’t rule out the possibility of Keller getting traded. However, it’s worth pointing out Coyotes Insider Craig Morgan doesn’t see Keller being that high on the trade board.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers have a big decision to reach with Pavel Buchnevich before the April 12 trade deadline. He wonders if the winger has played well enough to be taken off the trade market or if he’s priced himself off the roster going forward. Buchnevich turns 26 next month, is slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer and will be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

With 22 points in 26 games, Buchnevich has become one of the Rangers’ most reliable forwards this season. Moving him would create a hole on right wing that could take a couple of years to fill. If they’re going to trade him, Brooks feels they should get a young, no-doubt top-six center or a grinding-oriented winger comparable to Toronto’s Zach Hyman but doesn’t envision either scenario happening.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks believes it could cost $5.5 million annually to lock up Buchenevich long-term. The Rangers could entertain offers for Buchnevich at the trade deadline but they don’t have to move him by April 12. They still hold his rights through 2022 so they can address this issue in the offseason when teams have more cap space and willingness to make significant trades.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens noted Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday he’d heard Anaheim Ducks forward Troy Terry might be looking for a change of scenery. However, Stephens cites a source indicating that’s not the case.


  1. Once again dazzled by the brilliant Brooks.

    • he is the gift that keeps on giving. If you read the article he also has some “great” insights on Kakko.

  2. Colin White is an enigma. The guy came out of Boston College with the reputation of having some “edge” to his game and in his first full season under Guy Boucher and then Marc Crawford in 2018-19 showed some promise as an NHL C with 14g 27a 41pts in 71gp (but with an ominous -24).

    Even so, Dorion thought enough promise was there to award him with a$4,750,000 cap hit that will last through to 2024-25 – which, had he continued to progress as they envisaged, could have been a real bargain.

    But something seemed to go wrong when D. J. Smith arrived on the scene and he’s been in and out of the dog-house since then – and clearly still is. He’s a solid 5’11’ 200lbs and shows the occasional glimpse of that promise – but nothing on a consistent basis. Is it a question of finding the right linemates or has the jockeying from C to wing done him more harm than good?

    Boston should be wary of potentially taking on another Backes. Especially at that cap hit.

  3. I have wondered with the Clayton Keller/St.Louis “connection” and the Bill/Doug Armstrong “connection”, whether a homecoming would be a possibility?? With the $$$s involved it would be challenging—maybe Schenn, Sanford, and Dunn?

    • Hi Iowa Prince

      To me ; Schenn alone is worth more than Keller

      The only thing Keller has on Schenn is that he’s younger

      Schenn is bigger, better, a C instead of a W; far grittier; and cheaper

      Garland should be the target from Yotes

      Garland and Keller are exactly the same size; both can play LW & RW; Garland is actually faster than Keller; is the team lead in points; and….. cap hit $0.8M… RFA

      Sanford for Garland should be the move…. both RFAs….Sanford a little more in cap hit…. the trade is size for speed

      • Hi Pengy,

        I KNOW you’re correct!

        Schenn has been playing great hockey and I wouldn’t want to lose him! GIVE something/GET something—I’m really betting on Keller’s future, and that Schenner’s contract may not hold up well in later years. Maybe by adding Garland to my initial proposal of Schenn, Sanford and Dunn makes it happen.

        It will be SO interesting to watch how Arizona proceeds with trade deadline AND beyond–14 UFAs and RFAs to deal with?? Impossible.

  4. Coyle isn’t an issue for me, yes i would like more offense, but believe he will be fine.

    Wagner is a waste of a roster spot. Brings absolutely nothing to the Roster.

    “Outside of the Box” trade

    After the TDL Boston has 15 games remaining 9 against non playoff teams as it stands today.

    Once the playoffs start Rask own the nets.

    Is there a team that is trying to make the playoffs or make a run that could use Halak? Could Boston move Halak for some help on offense.

    Halak has a 2.06gaa and a .922sv%

    Yes Boston can still use him but Rask will start between 10 and 12 of the remaining games, we’re talking about 3 to 5 games.

    • There’s a good idea Caper.
      I am against moving prospects or picks this year at the TDL. B’s are not good enough, keep them, we will need them.
      Trading Halak is risky, but I prefer that to above.
      Hey Leaf fans, how much for Halak?

      Not trying to be negative, but we ain’t contending for a cup this year. We’re not good enough.

      If we keep up with the less than stellar efforts, I sell, not buy.

      Player need to earn their shot, now is the time to prove it to Sweeney.

      • Andersen and a 5th for Dave Reece…I smell a McDavid 11 pointer in the offing.

      • Andersen and a 5th for Dave Reece. I smell a McDavid 11 pointer in the offing.

      • Ray Bark

        Engvall for Halak?

      • Prefer a prospect or pick Daryl.

  5. Charlie Coyle’s low production is his career average. The guy has a 40 pt average in his career and that includes an outlier season of 56 points

    His low production is what he’s delivered since he arrived in Boston, and he was awarded an overpay of a contract, Pageau money.

    Will not be an easy contract to move, 4 more years at over $5 million

    • I like Coyle but yeah paid like he gonna be 55 pt for next 5-6 years

      • Another player whose point totals have never totally wowed anybody are Mikael Backlund’s, he earns just over $5m per season, but is worth it in other ways beyond scoring, as a very reliable two-way center.

        Does Coyle have any of those attributes? There is a ton of Boston talk going on lately but I don’t know much about their players, and haven’t watched any of their games for a long time.

      • Nevermind, answered later. I guess I need to read the whole thread first haha.

    • To BOS: OEL & Kessel
      To ARZ: DeBrusk, Coyle & Grezlyck

      caps should work out

      both teams win out.

      BOS gets a scoring forward not signed long term to give flexibility

      ARZ gets long term cap relief too by unloading OEL contract and gets serviceable staff to transition

      • Hey I like that trade IHC better run it by Cappy and the rest of his followers before it reaches the ears of the head brass in Boston

  6. The bruins have to trade for scoring help now not at the trade deadline. I’m not confident in Sweeney’s trading ability. I think after this season you’ll see him bumped out of the picture if this club doesn’t shake up the roster. There isn’t any help at the ahl level but keep an eye on goalie Swayman I’ve watched about half dozen ahl games Swayman may be the best goalie the bruins have had since cheevers he’s killing it in minors Beecher by the way is another bust . I’m predicting the bruins will be out of the playoff hunt by the end of March

  7. With Anders Lee down…NYI should long term look at Clayton Keller

    To ARZ: Bellows, Wahlstrom & Komarov a 1st
    To NYI: Keller

    Keller next to Barzal for years to come makes sense

    • No thanks on Keller. I wouldn’t trade him for Wahlstrom alone.

      Wahlstrom has a Laine type shot that you don’t see very often.He’s not going anywhere.

  8. I think what people don’t realize when it comes to Boston having trouble pulling off big trades is every teams reply to”who do you want in return” is Mcavoy,Carlo,Patsrnak, and now Fredrick. There’s no way I’m moving any of them personally. We had issues with guys Like Iggy turn trades down of which I believe the league pretty much hates the Jacob family lol can’t say I blame them. As fir Coyle I’d love if he had a few more points but he brings a lot to the table other than scoring. He’s got some good speed probably the best on the team protecting the puck. He plays on PP and penalty kill. I love him just needs someone on the left wing. Chemistry is a huge part of success you can’t just go out and get a guy and expect wins because of his stature. Also it’s a tough transition yr with Chara and Krug gone. They Defense is more active now all around but they don’t have that guy to replace Krugs breakout passes. That’s hurts worse than his offense. Also the physicality of the new division hasn’t been been a strong suit since the Looch Horton and Thorty days. I also believe teams are doing their best to scout the Bruins and Cassidy is getting out coached. Too many injuries time is running out to right the ship. They need a shake up and guys like Moore Kurley and Kase need to go. Honestly I think Ritchie and Halak are our 2 best chips at the moment. But the expansion draft looming we need to be careful who we go after. Don’t want to take a spot from one of the kids nor over pay on a guy we will lose in the draft.

  9. To all Bruins fans and especially to Sweeney; as a Pens fan, with Bruins in the same Div this year….

    I say, Stand pat…. no trades please

    …. and thanks

    • Pengy you should want Boston to make a move; here why:

      John Michael liles for 3rd 5th Camara

      Lee Stepniack for 2nd 4th

      Nick Holden for 3rd

      3rd round pick for Frank Vatrano
      Rick Nash for 7th, 1st, Ryan Spooner, Ryan Lindgren and Belesky (50% retained)

      Tommy Wingels for 4th

      Marcus Johansson for 2nd and 4th

      Ondrej Kase for Backes , Alex Anderson, 1st

      The only player Boston has on the roster from them deals is Kase (injured)

      Meanwhile Sweeney has given up:

      2 1st round picks
      2 second round picks
      2 3rd round picks
      3 4th round picks
      1 5th round pick
      2 7th round picks

      active players Frank Vatrano and Ryan Lindgren

      Boston roster and draft picks have not strengthen the tea, so, No as a Penguin or Leaf fan you do not want Sweeney to stand pat.

      • Great job disecting the terrible trades by Don Weeney! He always overpays
        Jacobs, please FIRE Weeney & Neely has got to go too !!
        Horrible drafts, worst farm system in the NHL.

      • Hi Caper

        As Tony said…. good list

        Don’t get me started re Jimbo and barren cupboard

        I do wish for no moves by Bruins…status quo not working and Sweeney, who has been idle for quite some time ; is due for a winner of a deal

        So please disconnect his modem; land line; and ditch his cell

        GO PENS GO

        GO LEAFS GO

      • Coyle and Ritchie are missing from your list

    • Pengy do you want

      To PITT: Skinner
      To BUF: Zucker, McCann & Petterson


      • Hi IHC

        I do not want that deal

        Staal should be the target

        2nd in ‘22?

        If it’s multi-player….

        Zucker, Pettersson, Laffy, 2nd in ‘22 ; bend my arm and they can have the superhuman Ruhweedel


        Staal, Montour, Reinhardt

        and maybe Friedman , Sceviour, + B prospect for Delauriers

        That gets

        Sid, Guentz , Rusty

        Gino, Kappy , McC

        Staal, Reinhardt, Turbo or Rodrigues

        Blueger, ZAR, Turbo or Rodrigues

        Janko, Delauriers, AA


        Montour/ Matheson




  10. Wouldnt it be funny if the Leafs dont win the North Division because they cant beat the bottom feeding Senators?

    I wonder how Dubas is feeling right now about Johnny its not about the money Tavares and his 11 million per season mega deal. I still think that contract is going to become an anchor for the Leafs.

    • Like Karlsson’s will be (is) for San Jose, Ron?

      • George,


    • Great goaltending cures all!!!

    • What in the world are you talking about Ron. Tavares is not playing his best this year but he is a point per game player since joining leafs, and he is well over 50% in face offs, 23rd in scoring in a 31 team league (so would lead about 2/3rd of teams in league and is plus 11.
      Again, what in the world are you talking about?

      Facts are important.

      • Wendel,

        Exactly how many of those teams are paying 11 million dollars for a #2 center?

        McDavid – worth 11 million
        Johnny Tavares – not worth 11 million

        Johnny its not about the money Tavares is paid #1 center dollars, money the Leafs could of used on a #1 defenceman or goalie.

        The 3rd or 4th best player on a team shouldnt be paid like a centerpiece. Mathews, Marner and maybe even noted marshmellow Nylander bring more to the rink in Toronto than Tavares.

        Those… are…. facts.

      • Yes, they are. Like the fact that there are 12-15 guys that are either within a few points of JT, or tied, or ahead of him making an average of half his salary. Like the face that, if playing for a different team, unless it was with McDavid or Kane or the like, he would be even lower in point standing. I did an interesting exercise. I ranked players I would love to add to my talent poor Red Wings, from top to bottom. JT came in at number 35. And if he were playing with Tampa, he is just another above average but not elite player. Worth $11M+ ? Nope.

    • I checked stats, and he would be leading half the teams in the league.

      • To be fair, Wendel, he did say “I still think that contract is going to become an anchor for the Leafs …”

        Pretty hard to deny his point production right now – it’s there in black & white – but Ron’s likely looking down the road a piece when, still costing $11.5 off the cap, he turns 35 when his last season starts.

        And let’s be clear here – I’m not saying he’ll deteriorate as he ages – but clearly Ron does and that’s just his opinion.

      • Yes George its speculation but I speculate he is a 1LW on mathews line for last couple years snd keeps right on jamming them home at what will be an increasingly good price as years pass. His footspeed was never what made him good.

        BTW Ron JT is not a #2 centre. he is a #1C getting 2c minutes. Likewise Danault isn’t a 1C. He is a 3c getting or who was getting 1C minutes

  11. I don’t know why I read Brooks. IMO, he “stirs the pot”. I enjoyed Tortorella ripping into him. He’s not just reporting. He seems intent on creating controversy. Saw an interview from Vancouver where he said he made amends with Tortorella. Very hard to accept.

  12. Skinner a tough move even at 4.5m.

    Laine should be available soon. 🙂
    Benched last 6 minutes and OT recently

    I like the kid Terry Murray. Good size. Skates kinda bow legged like Mike Gartner used to.

    Coyle not paid to score.

    • Gotta luv the bow legged skaters SilverSeven. Fair to say almost all, if not all, really good NHL skaters have a wide stride, almost bow legged. Watch McDavid or Crosby close sometime. Their knees are far apart.
      Teach the kids.

      • As long as they’re not goalies, Ray.

  13. There were a few Jeff Skinner comments today; I think it was Lyle that posted an article here within the last few weeks about Jeff Skinner, “Jeff Skinner is struggling, or is he?”

    I quite liked it. Folks, there is a pattern in Buffalo. Ryan O’Reilly sunk to his lowest low there, said he simply did not love playing hockey anymore. He goes to the Blues and wins a Conn Smythe Trophy.

    Taylor Hall has 2 goals in 26 games. Not saying he ought to be on pace for 50 over 82, but obviously underperforming. Jack Eichel just can’t seem to get it together there.

    Buffalo is the Bermuda Triangle of hockey – go there, and you get sucked into a vortex of meaninglessness and there has to just be something wrong with the whole atmosphere. Buffalo is not the prettiest city to begin with (sorry Buffalo residents…), but within the team, the culture is as stained as the Oilers under Dallas Eakins.

    I recall a funny moment from Calgary’s sports radio station 960, they did up a skit where someone played Robyn Regehr leaving a phone message for Rhett Warrener, who had apparently recommended Buffalo to Regehr as a fine place to sign a contract. In the message, Regehr is meant to say, “And you told me Buffalo…yeah Buffalo… hey *bleep* you man”