NHL Rumor Mill – March 25, 2021

by | Mar 25, 2021 | Rumors | 38 comments

A look at several noteworthy names on TSN’s updated trade bait list plus updates on the Penguins and Flyers in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Mattias Ekholm remains atop the updated trade-bait list. Pierre LeBrun recently reported the Nashville Predators seek three assets (including a first-round pick and a top prospect) for the 30-year-old defenseman.

Meanwhile, winger Mikael Granlund rises to No. 3 as Frank Seravalli reported he’s the Toronto Maple Leafs’ primary target ahead of the April 12 trade deadline. Seravalli also pointed out the Predators’ recent surge in the standings have them in wait-and-see mode.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No mention of Nashville blueliner Ryan Ellis on TSN’s list. The Athletic’s Adam Vingan observed Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wondering if Ellis might be available. Vingan weighed the pros and cons of trading either defenseman. He also pointed out the Preds are under no obligation to do so given their recent improvement in the standings and the term remaining on both rearguard’s contracts.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski rose to No. 8 on the list as Darren Dreger reported Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong could look at making changes at the deadline or in the offseason.

Arizona Coyotes winger Conor Garland (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No mention of Coyotes winger Conor Garland on this list. A recent report by Elliotte Freidman speculating over Garland’s availability has BostonHockeyNow’s Joe Haggerty and NBC Sports Boston’s Nick Goss suggesting the winger would be a good trade target for the Bruins.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard sits No. 2 on the list with teammate Nick Foligno at No. 6. New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri remains at No. 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pierre LeBrun, in his column for The Athletic, suggested Foligno or Palmieri could be targeted by New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello if they become available. He and Elliotte Friedman both reported the Bue Jackets could be reluctant to part with Foligno. With the Jackets back in the playoff race they could also retain Savard. It remains to be seen, meanwhile, whether the Devils will trade or re-sign Palmieri.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier remains No. 5 and San Jose Sharks netminder Devan Dubnyk sits at No. 16.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Washington listed Bernier and Dubnyk among possible goalie trade targets for the Washington Capitals. Others include Buffalo’s Carter Hutton, Arizona’s Antti Raanta, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and Calgary’s David Rittich.

Given the Capitals’ limited cap space, any deal they make will be dollar-in, dollar-out. I rule out Rinne because of his no-movement clause and desire to finish his career with the Predators. I don’t see the Flames moving Rittich as long as they have a shot at a playoff spot.

Ottawa Senators winger Ryan Dzingel rose to No. 11.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch considers it doubtful Dzingel will get traded. He feels teams will be more interested in getting blueline help before the deadline, suggesting Braydon Coburn, Mike Reilly and Erik Gudbranson could be targeted by playoff clubs.

Buffalo Sabres center Eric Staal remains at No. 18.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal carries a 10-team no-trade list but it’s believed he could be willing to waive it to go to a contender. However, The Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski recently reported Sabres GM Kevyn Adams hasn’t asked Staal about it. Maybe Adams is waiting until the deadline draws closer. Then again, maybe no one’s called the Sabres about the 36-year-old center.


THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe reports Brian Burke, the Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations, dismisses speculation this year’s trade deadline could be a quiet one around the league, suggesting business could soon pick up. He said general manager Ron Hextall is working the phones as they’ll try to add at the trade deadline if they can. Burke indicated he and Hextall would like to bring some size to their roster.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reports Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher took accountability for his club’s struggles this season. He cited his inability to replace retired defenseman Matt Niskanen as a significant factor. Fletcher said he’s not looking at selling right now, adding the trade market is very quiet. He indicated he’s willing to upgrade his team if a deal makes sense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins are rising in the standings, emboldening their front office to try to augment their lineup at the trade deadline. The Flyers, meanwhile, could go either way, which explains Fletcher’s position. They’re still in the playoff chase but must gain ground over the next couple of weeks for their GM to consider investing futures for immediate help.


  1. To carry over from Lyle’s comment in the headlines and almost hoping for a mercy rule on behalf of Buffalo (paraphrasing) is there any doubt that Eric Staal would burn the NTL and take a pay cut just go anywhere.

    He’d be happy to get out of the dumpster fire.

    Have to admit I feel for Buffalo fans of the once proud franchise.

    • It just reminds me of that Buffalo fan that called into the radio show and eventually absolutely lost his mind on the team – and that was a least a year ago. The guy might be suicidal, or a Bruins fan now.

    • Yes, Habsfan, I read they even cut into the scouting team ! Sad. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot…

      • Giving Skinner 72 millions, and cutting into amateur scouting….brilliant.

    • Sabres – Buffalo area always near the top in TV ratings, even if the team is not in playoffs. That’s a problem for the league.

      I hope league leadership is doing something, because this great hockey market is rotting on the vine.

      • I think it’s pretty much rotten TSP. They’re not even trying to fake that they’re trying.

        Krueger doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy that would have given up, but he has to be relieved to be out of that stench.

        When your coach gets fired and absolutely nothing changes with regards to effort? You don’t give a crap.

        Feel bad for the young guys like Cozens who is about as positive and good natured a guy as you will find. What is a kid like that thinking?

    • Hi Habfan30

      Agree….. and his maximum take-home pay cut at TDL … would be going to one of the three highest taxed franchises (Sens, Leafs, Habs) … and max take-home loss …. from staying as a Sabre…. only ~ 28 K

      So …. with all his millions banked , if choice is (1) stay here and continue to lose or (2) max overall loss to you 28 K but have a chance at a cup…. mmmmmm… to me easy choice

      I’ve been hoping and praying for him on Pens

      If Staal joined Pens at TDL…. he actual gains about 12K in take home pay after its all said and done

      Staal to Knights (the only position they’d be looking for is a 3C)…. he goes to one of the two Cup favs…. and gets a take home boost of 24K

      Staal to Knights makes most sense… Cap space needed at full whack (no retention) …. is ~ 950 K (which Knights don’t have)

      50% retained …. ~ $475 K in space (they have garnered from Lehner and McNabb LTIRs… but that leaves them with absolutely no flex

      Cash owed to ES @ TDL… ~ 650 K… so ….

      Staal at 50% retained, to Chi
      Chi then retains 50% of that again, and sends to Knights
      Knights get him for a cap hit of only $237 K (which they can afford)

      Bowman is out space (he is already said he is willing to do) and $162 K

      Knights still have their own 1st and 2nd, AND NJ’s 2nd

      Adams gets NJs 2nd
      Bowman flips Chi’s 4th for Knight’s 2nd
      Knight’s get Staal (@ only 237 K in Cap) and a 4th, for two 2nds

      If the Pens do the deal… it has to involve players/prospects as picks ain’t there

      Staal and Montour at full hit to Pens (both UFAs)

      Sabres (who only have a single LHD under contract next year [and he is very very small and has <15 total NHL games)…. get….


      All 3 under contract next year

      Go Pens Go

      • Pengy ..I liked Montour in Anaheim he has slipped in Buffalo.

        Stahl would help really this he is heading to Carolina to play with his brother.

        I think burke will go after bobby Ryan Detroit..

        Penguins need to stay hot..up to 42 points..Buffalo again tonight then islanders come in for two to PPG PAINTS ARENA.

      • Hi BnG

        Pens don’t need Ryan as he is a winger; and has struggled huge lately

        Started season off really well but has fallen off (re production) quite quite dramatically…. last 8 games… 1 point (an assist) and in those 8 games… he is a (-8)… yikes

        So…. under no circumstances should Pens go after Ryan

        C should be the target

        I would do Zucker for Henrique straight up

        Henrique is a C and needs a change of scenery

        About same size as Zucker, similar cap hit; is 2 years older and has 1 more year on term vs Zucker; but Henrique is much faster; better hands; and Zucker has not been clicking at all… Sully absolutely shouldn’t (and I didn’t think he will) put Zucker back on Gino’s line (he really dragged Gino’s production when they were together)

        So Zucker when returning (if not traded) and when Gino in line-up… will go to third line wing

        For about the same cap… I’d rather have a C

        And he has 5 points in last 5 games including 3 against Avs !

        Ducks save a bit and drop a year on term

        Sid Guentz Rusty

        Gino Kappy Rodrigues

        Henrique McC Turbo

        Blueger ZAR Janko or Sceviour

        AA and Janko or Sceviour

        Looks like no Kappy tonight…. I think we’ll get our first look at the big boy (Zohorna ) tonight… probably Burkie request (long pants)

        Go Pens Go

  2. Usually by the time Sweeney gets around to things the cupboard’s usually bare. I like Garland he’s got talent, speed and he’s low cost what more can you ask for!

    • I like him too. What would you offer for him?

    • Why would Arizona trade him? What would Boston be willing to give up?

  3. Not sure why Washington is looking at goalies?
    They have one of the better tandems in the league and the playoffs will be no different you need 2 goalies going – no need to rock the boat here.

    They could use a depth D and F to make any hay!

    • Agreed..I think Washington stands pat on all fronts.

    • The only thing I can think of is that both of their goalies are inexperienced, and they want a vet to turn to if things go south on them. Bernier fits the bill – he has been very good for a poor Wing’s team……UFA after the season, and Detroit has room to eat cap if need be.

  4. The cost to trade is too high right now. Not to mention the cap makes it hard. Prepare for a dud deadline

  5. To the Bruins fans here

    If the true goal is for a top 6….

    If Sweeney can swing it… Garland

    The lad is very fast, great hands, he played for the Jr Bruins; hails from 45 mins away (Scituate)… RFA…. 775 K, 25 yrs young

    Arz Pic cupboard bare

    As a Pens fan I hate to give this advice…. but…

    Sweeney, pick up the phone and call Armstrong…. start with your 1st… and see what else he wants

    Garland fits short term and long term (25 yr old speedy and talented RFA that plays both wings) plans

    A call costs you nothing but your time

    • Pengy you’re singing my song. Garland is a very good player a bit on the small side, but just conjuring up a picture of what he could do along side Krejci would be magic and he’s affordable grab him

    • Pengy, risky for both teams. Yes, Garland just turned 25 a couple weeks ago. 2nd full season and has 82 points in 147 career games. Boston currently in playoffs and I’d assume Garland will help hold that spot. For Arizona, you’d be giving up a good young player for a late 1st that maybe becomes an nhler in a few years? I say no. For Boston, giving up a 1st and maybe still missing playoffs? Is he guy that pushes you over the top for one last run? Boston needs to really start looking at future.

      • It’s been rumoured since Garland is having a good year and is a RFA with arbitration rights that ARZ is worried about how much his next contract will be.

        He is an ideal TDL target for quite a few teams. Scoring at nearly a PPG and on a very low salary as well. If BOS doesn’t try to get this guy I don’t know what Sweeney is looking for? A 1st round pick is not going to help BOS for years…Garland can help now and is young enough to fit in with their younger guys like Carlo, McAvoy, Pasta…

    • Scituate Ma … a beautiful beach town work a lot of storm trouble in that area …..

      • You a lineman by chance Joe?

      • Yes … 44 years

        Line helper .. lineman ….trouble man….lead lineman …. and the worse job ever for me supervisor

      • Thought so by the storm work comment.

  6. Flames Pens will make a deal. I am sure Burke Treliving are comfortable.

    Bennett and Calgary’s third 2021 for Zucker money held and PO Joseph.
    If the deal doesn’t work out, Treliving is relieved

    • Hmmmm. Calgary did try to land Zucker previously and Burkie does like Benny. Excellent call! I like it.

    • Hi Silver Seven… with PO-J in the deal , it doesn’t even start the convo

      PO-J, Poulin; Legare should not be in any trade proposals

      Pens aren’t guaranteed of making it in yet

      A good 3C should; and if team gets healthy… they could come out of the East Div…. but Bolts, Knights, or maybe even Avs….💩💩💩🤬😡🤬😡😭😭

      and Zucker with retained $’s ….. only for a top notch top 6 or for high quality 3C with term

      What’s the cost to acquire Mangiopane ??

      • Too much, Pengy lol.

        Mangiapane plays the right side in Calgary and the Flames are in need of a top six right winger. I would not trade Mangiapane for an older, injury prone Zucker.

  7. Connor Garland….5’10” 165 lbs……STOP

    • Denis Savard, 5’10 170
      Theo Fleury 5’10? and 180
      Johnny Gaudreau 5’9 and 165


      • Just what the Bruins need another winger that won’t go near the wall they have enough of them already

    • Hi Joeman

      Small but he does make up for it in speed, tenacity and skill


      Good examples but let me correct you re Theo… he was never 5’10” , even in in high heeled Cowboy boots …. I am 6’ 3” and I absolutely towered over him

      He was always listed as 5’6” …. but that may be gifting him an inch

      Rock solid… played tough and presented himself as if he was 6’

      Great great player 👍👍

      Joeman… agree that to a certain extent size matters, but if you play “big” and are quick and tenacious… it doesn’t matter

      Marchand is only 5’9” , and was 169 when he was in his early 20’s… he’s only 180 now

  8. lago,

    Do you think Glendening is available and if yes, what do you think it would cost the Habs to get him?

    • Yes, I think he is…….mid round pick.

    • Yes, I do….mid round pick.

      • lago,

        I’d grab him in a heartbeat for that.

  9. 7 day quarantine for US players coming into Canadian city.

  10. Sully won’t want a bigger forward, he only likes smaller and fast players ,that can play up and down the lineup.