NHL Rumor Mill – March 26, 2021

by | Mar 26, 2021 | Rumors | 60 comments

The latest on Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri plus updates on the Canadiens, Oilers, Flyers and Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall said he would “for sure” listen if general manager Kevyn Adams approached him about trade options. His comments came following the Sabres 4-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins last night.

Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this month, Hall indicated he’d also be open to re-signing with the Sabres. Perhaps the strain of 16 consecutive losses has changed his mind. The 29-year-old winger has a full no-movement clause and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. There’s speculation the New York Islanders could be interested in his services.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the New Jersey Devils and Kyle Palmieri aren’t close to a new contract. He’s told the two sides are struggling to find common ground due to the flattened salary cap and uncertainty over what contracts could look like moving forward. LeBrun considers it more likely Palmieri gets moved by the April 12 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Palmieri is completing a five-year deal with an annual average value of $4.65 million. A five-time 20-plus goal scorer who can skate on either wing, the 30-year-old winger would be a very enticing rental player for playoff contenders seeking scoring punch.


TSN: Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin told reporters yesterday he doesn’t expect to be busy leading up to the trade deadline due to salary-cap constraints.

TVA SPORTS: Maxim Lapierre believes Bergevin could make a move despite his comments to reporters. Lapierre believed the Habs GM is on the hot seat and maintaining the status quo isn’t an option. He feels the club needs a fourth-line center or a veteran third-line forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d argue landing a reliable top-four, left-side defenseman is the greater need for the Canadiens. Regardless, a number of pundits aren’t buying the notion that Bergevin won’t do something before the deadline.

Bergevin could strike if the opportunity presents itself. Cap Friendly indicates the Canadiens have over $3.5 million in projected trade deadline cap space. They also carry plenty of tradeable assets in draft picks (11 between rounds two and five) and promising prospects.


TSN: Frank Seravalli believes the Edmonton Oilers are looking for a right-shot center who can win faceoffs and help them kill penalties. He proposed Detroit’s Luke Glendening, Vancouver’s Brandon Sutter and Calgary’s Derek Ryan as three options, though the latter two carry higher salary-cap hits than Glendening. Seravalli points out the Oilers traded away their second, third, and fifth-round picks in this year’s draft “so they’d like to do all that with a fourth-round pick if they can.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers GM Ken Holland undoubtedly wants to bolster his lineup before the trade deadline. That will be difficult given their limited cap space and shortage of picks in this year’s draft.

Holland will have to get creative, including perhaps moving out a roster player or dipping into his 2022 draft picks. I also don’t see the Canucks or Flames dealing with the Oilers as long as they remain in playoff contention.

PHILADELPHIA HOCKEY NOW: Ryan Gilbert reports Flyers assistant GM Brent Flahr was among a number of scouts at the Arizona Coyotes game against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. He speculates Flahr could’ve been checking Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski or Jason Demers. The Flyers kicked tires on Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson during the offseason but he has a no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers won’t be buyers if they continue to struggle in the MassMutual East Division. The New York Rangers have overtaken them for fifth place.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators have placed Christian Wolanin on waivers for the purpose of sending him to their AHL affiliate in Belleville or moving him to their taxi squad. He said they’ve been trying to trade the 26-year-old defenseman for the last little while but couldn’t find anyone willing to give up any assets.


  1. Marc Bergevin has pulled off a number of moves, signings, extensions that have all improved the team substantially from last year.

    One thing that the moves had in common is that neither fans or pundits saw any of the moves coming.

    I don’t know how he manages it in a hockey mad city like Montreal but he’s clearly respected by other GMs to not divulge anything to anybody.

    Based on his history, if he does make a TDL deal it’s probably one that hasn’t been mentioned.

    • Not sure if Montreal has improved “substantially”. They’re playing same 6 teams all year, so hard to tell. There’s currently 9 teams in league with below .500 winning percentages and 3 are in Canadiens division. As far as trades, I think everyone here had discussed Domi as a trade piece for a big part of off season.

      • Slick62,

        Nobody had Domi going for Anderson.

        There was fan/pundit chatter of Domi or Danault or Tatar in vague terms.

        The eye test and record show the Habs are a much better and competitive team than last year.

        All to say that the gist of my comment was that Bergevin’s move, if and when it comes will probably be a surprise.

        FYI 2 of the teams below .500 were easily above .500 in last years divisional alignment which might be interpreted that the North is tougher to be in. or not. Isn’t definitive of anything

      • Habfan, I think Lyle can verify that Domi spent a lot of time in this trade rumors section. Him being traded is “a move” that most saw coming. IMO, they had a decent off season. Just saying its hard to label them “substantially better” under these circumstances.

      • Slick62,

        nice link.
        Did you notice that one of the teams suggested is Columbus?

        Did you notice John Anderson’s name mentioned?

        No, and that is the point, Bergevin doesn’t tip his hand and his moves are unexpected.

        Nobody saw that 5-6 weeks after being eliminated he’d be off to Columbus for Anderson and I repeat, that is the point.

      • Habfan. Again, Domi was mentioned in rumors and yeah, Columbus was considered a top fit. Anderson was also in daily rumors at the time. Not really sure what you’re getting at. Rarely does anyone predict exact trades, but it was pretty much a gimme that Domi was on way out.

    • If he “improved” the team, how so? Like last year, they weren’t playoff bound and it appears it might happen again. Improvement implies better, is this team better than last year, I think it’s not much different and better or worse we’ll know soon enough. This team has major holes still, the rose tint in your shades is getting in the way.

      • Added to Habs

        Gone from Habs


        It is impossible to say that the players brought in are not substantially better than those who are gone.

        The eye test and record show an improved better team.

        Now I will repeat, the gist of my post was to say that if Bergevin makes any TDL move, it’s probably something people haven’t considered.

      • I don’t often agree with you Habs fan but I liked what Bergevin did especially the free agent signings. They could be a tough out in the playoffs with their additional size and toughness. I also thought the Sens are much improved as well , they are beginning to show that they are not a team to take lightly.

      • I think it’s safe to say they are playoff-bound … they are 2 points up on Vancouver with six (6) games in hand and 4 points clear of Calgary with two (2) games in hand …

      • Hey Ron

        You mentioned the Habs have major holes. As a person that just casually follows the Habs can you identify what they are?

    • Hanfan30,

      I’m not a frequent contributor to this site so I’ll come out and say I’m a Leafs/Flames fan but have a healthy respect for the Habs. Wondering what you mean by substantially improved? Last year the Habs were a corsi machine as they are this year. They went out and got several quality players as noted by many here on this and other sites. After 31 games this season in the weaker Canadian division, they have a total of 3 more points than they did after 31 games last year. I’d argue they aren’t substantially improved, and GMMB is no miracle worker. Under GMMB they have doubled down on more middle six forwards and haven’t addressed their elite talent deficit, which is why they aren’t contenders. Unlike many Habs fans, I won’t be surprised when he trades for a middle six forward or 3-4 defence man at the TDL…

      • Well, WaWman, you and Habs30 are both correct, given that the Habs have acquired Eric Staal. That was unexpected – at least to me – and you are correct in that Staal is sort of a middle six.

        Without wishing to descend into sophistry, you two are also correct: The Habs are substantially improved, yet the standings don’t show it. I am both surprised and disappointed at them still being in 4th place.

        That said the standings are very tight. The Habs are in 4th place but 7n points out of first with games in hand on every team above and below them.

      • Waxman59,

        This year if they keep the pace they’ll be well ahead of last year.
        In theory the better quality of player should produce that result.

        You have the right to think the moves made in the off-season didn’t address many of the holes on the team, but that really isn’t the point.

        Did you consider Allen, Edmundson, Anderson or Toffoli becoming Habs?

        Did you consider Perry and Frolik becoming Habs?

        i doubt it, I know I didn’t have a clue, I didn’t see them mentioned by any pundits or fan sites.

        As stated in my original post: “One thing that the moves had in common is that neither fans or pundits saw any of the moves coming”

        I keep repeating myself, that’s all I’m pointing out.

  2. “the Oilers traded away their second, third, and fifth-round picks in this year’s draft “so they’d like to do all that with a fourth-round pick if they can.”

    Move along, Kenny. Glenny’s not going anywhere for a fourth rounder.

  3. Re Hall and…” said he would “for sure” listen if general manager Kevyn Adams approached him about trade options. ”

    Yes Captain obvious…. every extra game Hall plays on Sabres (instead of another team) depreciates what his contract offers will be

    A change of scenery for him can only be a plus for his upcoming performance for balance of year; and his negotiating power (on next contract)

    I am not saying Sabres necessarily are dragging him down…. just that he needs a change of venue

    I would say that Staal would also very likely improve performance in another venue

    I for one, would love ES on Pens at 3C

    • Hextall has nothing to trade … Rutherford stripped the cupboard bare …

      • Hi Ed,

        Agree that Cupboard pretty dang bare but….

        Hex has a surplus of LHDsand Zucker (whose $5.5 M cap was producing at 1/2 that value when he got injured)

        Change of scenery trade…. Henrique (who Ducks couldn’t find takers for earlier in the year) ; straight up for JZ

        Both players get a change of scenery; Ducks save dough and term

        Pens get a 3C… to likely be between McC and Turbo; with Rodrigues up with Gino/Kappy

        That’s 3 scoring lines; marginal change to Cap

        If/when Zucker returns; he should not be with Gino (dragged Gino down)…. so Zucker would be 3rd line winger

        For basically the same cap… C better than W; and Henrique has had an uptick in play recently

        If it’s Staal… should not be expensive …. there should be a call to Adams at the very least

        Can’t afford the deal… no harm no foul…. no call… not acceptable

    • Pengy

      Does it strike you as odd that Hall would consider signing a long term deal with a franchise that’s in such disarray?

      To me Hall reeks of a “me” guy. I remember when McDavid was drafted and Hall was quoted “I’m the guy on the left, white tape” or something along those lines.

      I wouldn’t touch Hall with a ten foot pole

  4. Taylor Hall is pathetic … and imo the habs need a FRONT line centre, Suzuki isn’t ready yet, JK might never be ready and Danault is a stiff … Bergy counted on all three this year and they have let him down … a bit shortsighted perhaps but he really needed Dubois but didn’t have a Laine/Rosolovic package to give up … and Carey Price has been average this season as well … Bergy still gets an A for effort in my book …

    • LOL Ed! Bergy, an A for effort! Come on down and get your participation trophy 🏆

      So why is Hall pathetic? You think somehow he forgot to play hockey or what? Having met the person ican tell you he’s far from “pathetic”.

  5. Any team signing Hall to a long term deal at 29 can look at the Tavares disaster.
    I would give him one year at 4.5M and go from there. If he is still counting on a big pay day from his MVP year, he is in for a surprise.

    • TBH Tavares is the better player but I understand what you are saying.

      Hall is NOT remotely close to Tavares. Tavares thinks the game better, has less gaffes and helps makes his teammates better or at least allows them to excel without dragging them down.

      Skinner & Eichel worked then Hall slot in and Eichel cannot score or assist.

      Hall passes to Dahlin when the Penguin was on top of him (Dahlin)and blows past him to score.

      Too many gaffes and he is a shell of himself.

      Hall should take the team discount and go to a team of veterans like BOS or elsewhere he can slot 2nd or 3rd LW and now have to BE THE MAN. He has some speed but his overall game has regressed.

      Maybe to EDM for Neal plus a 1st and prospect.

    • Maybe even to VAN for Virtanen, Eriksson & a 2nd

      • Hall for garbage, trash and a 2nd rounder?

        Good luck with that.

  6. Habs could land Ekholm or Savard. Poehling and Fleury and a first

    Pens Flames let”s go.

    How many more times Phil-Rangers-ouch.
    Hard to believe Flyers outside looking in. They need to make some changes

    • Safe to say Zibinejad is recovered from covid. Giving poor Carter Hart nightmares. Rangers are healthy and only 3 points behind B’s for 4th playoff spot. Bruins have games in hand but probably need to make move now. On a side note, for Bruin fans. “Value less” Strome now has more goals and points than B’s 1C

      • How did Zibinejad end up on the rangers? Did they draft or trade for him? He’s rounding out nicely.

      • @Ron we traded Gaborik to CMB in 2013 for Brassard.

        Later on in 2016 i think we trade Brasssard for Zibby.

      • I believe. Was brassard and a second round pick for Zibanejad.

        Brassard was a veteran 2nd line centre ottawa needed and helped the em go to the conference final. Zbad was a building block for the Rangers. His rise to the 1rst line spot is quite surprising.

      • Jeff Noel. It was actually Brassard and a 7th rd pick for Zib and a 2nd rounder. Yup, you read that correctly. Rangers got Zib AND a 2nd!

  7. It’s obvious watching the game last the bruins need a little more than just secondary scoring ! The bruins cannot pass the puck, with the exception of the first line along with Mac and Krejci it was painful Shoot the puck more often for g’s sake! I think Hall can be had for second rounder and maybe a couple of other minor pieces his value has slipped but he can help the bruins and they need a good rushing d to help out on the pp
    All this rests on Rask if he’s out for another month. Rebuild and sell! You play the isles 4 times you have to either split or win one of those games. I guess the good part in all this is Sweeney “Mr. laid back do nothing Sweeney” will most likely be given his walking papers after this disaster!

  8. re: Oilers , I do not watch them play much but it seems Marody and Benson are too good for the AHL yet not good enough to crack the Oilers lineup. Could they be trade chips ?

  9. People are hard on Taylor Hall
    Take him over Tavares any day,,,,

  10. People are hard on Taylor Hall
    Rather have him than Tavares, any day
    I wish Boston would sign him…
    GOOD FIT, Rental, Boston needs a JOLT!
    I think he would do well there, at a minimal player exchange, and have BUFFALO, eat half of his salary

    • Ken you hit the nail right on the head a change of scenery would do Hall wonders! He’s never been on a winning team. It feels a bit odd saying that, considering the way the bruins have played lately, but once they get all their players back I’d put Kase on the third line.
      or get rid of him. Put Hall a speedster with Krecji and Debrusk watch him light it up. No way any teams gonna give a first rounder to Buff for the way Hall’s been playing but a second rounder and couple of other pieces.?

      • I’d like to see what Barry Trotz can make of Taylor Hall, playing with with his old buddy Jordan Eberle and centered by Barzal, that could be dynamite. And I don’t think anybody can argue about the Trotz effect.

  11. Hi Rick
    I regret saying , I am a Leaf fan, but Boston, has always been a close 2nd….as I was a Bobby ORR Nut!!
    Boston, I have liked since, Leafs need a goalie and a maybe , a defenseman…..
    I really think Hall needs to play with a winner, and Boston’s group of players will help him accomplish that !!!
    Marchand will lick his neck if he doesn’t perform
    I just wish Sweeney would get the deal done, a 3rd and a prospect, whatever, can’t be that hard, for a guy that has 2 goals

    • Hey I knew I was talking to someone who knew their hockey! I watched Bobby while I was still in novice I used to pretend I was Orr. Obviously I wasn’t even a 100th as good as that guy. Best hockey player of all time! I hear what you say about Hall A lot of people have given up on him but I think the bruins should grab him while they can. Even Neely didn’t play up to his potential till he got to Boston. Listen I’ll let you in on a little secret if the bruins bow out and it’s just the leafs I cheer for Toronto they have a good fast team.

  12. Dear Flyers,

    It’s over.

    Fire Fletcher, fire Vigneault and the entire coaching staff. Trade everyone possible not named Provorov, Couturier, Sanheim, Lindblom. Hart or Konecny.

    A complete disgrace. No heart, no soul and no effort. Every single one of the orange and black should be ashamed of their performance.

    • The Flyers should consider sending Hart down as I don’t think he has to clear waivers yet. The kid is leaking oil.

      Let him find his game away from the glare and get his confidence back.

      The flyers have the worst save % in the league. There D haven’t been great, but they haven’t been as bad as the goals they are bleeding.

    • Please keep hart. Does pens fans good.

  13. Augustus
    U R right about Barry Trotz, BEST coach, hands down…
    Islanders were going no where, until he arrived…\
    Lou didn’t do anything sensational, player wise..
    Their PJ guy left, did them a HUGE favour, and BURIED the Leafs, with his presence, his upside down cake, at 11 MIL…
    Worse contract EVER !!!

  14. Staal to Montreal…

  15. Well Habfan looks like your prediction came true Montreal just traded for Eric Staal

  16. HOLY Sh#%^T

    Hextall is leaving off where Jimbo finished… missing the boat

    Habs got Staal 😪😭

    Exactly what Pens needed; and he fits the Burke “Long Pants” ask

    Hextall couldn’t beat a 3rd and 5th??

    C’mon… he could have offered Laffy OR O’Connor and a 7th

    He could have offered Zucker for BOTH ES and Montour

    I’m hoping that Hextall only missed out as he is working on a straight up Zucker for Henrique deal

    Hextall 👎👎💩💩🤬🤬😡😡

    GMMB 👍👍👍👍 great move

    …. and if he gets on plane tonight… ES only misses 2 Habs games (in Ottw) and plays at his new home (VS Sens) ; a week tommorrow

    Bravo GMMB

  17. HOLY Sh#%^T

    Hextall is leaving off where Jimbo finished… missing the boat

    Habs got Staal 😪😭

    Exactly what Pens needed; and he fits the Burke “Long Pants” ask

    Hextall couldn’t beat a 3rd and 5th??

    C’mon… he could have offered Laffy OR O’Connor and a 7th

    He could have offered Zucker for BOTH ES and Montour

    I’m hoping that Hextall only missed out as he is working on a straight up Zucker for Henrique deal

    Hextall 👎👎💩💩🤬🤬😡😡

    GMMB 👍👍👍👍 great move

    …. and if he gets on plane tonight… ES only misses 2 Habs games (in Ottw) and plays at his new home (VS Sens) ; a week tommorrow

    Bravo GMMB

    • Both your offers are worse than what buff got? I’m confused….

      • Huh?

        Buff got a 3rd and 5th….

        5th…. is seriously a crap shoot… difference between a 5th and a 7th is = Log [Crapshoot A – Crapshhot B] * sqrt(pie in sky) plus WTF divided by 13….

        and if the 3rd somehow makes the NHL…. it’s in 24/25 at the very earliest

        Laffy (yes having a bad year)…. at a hair over League min ; and under contract next year; and speedy…. has to be worth more than a maybe NHLer in maybe 24/25

        The inly way Hex couldn’t beat that deal is if he didn’t call…. so…. he didn’t call

        At least that’s how I’m rationalizing it

        Fingers crossed on Zucker for Henrique

      • Laff has proved he’s a borderline 4th liner at best. O’Connor not even. You take the proven 2dollar scratcher and a unproven 1 dollar scratcher over a do over?

        I take the new scratchers.

  18. I didn’t see this coming at , and got Buffalo to retain half the cap.

    I’ll admit I was hoping for Glendening, better face off guy to mentor the kids.

    We’ll see if Staal has anything left or if Buffalo was a burial ground.

    Typical of Bergevin to make a move out of nowhere.

    • Hi Habfan30

      Staal may not have the dot success of Glendenning but he (Staal) still has great hands ; great presence; and is an overall; better Centre

      Glendenning is 4 1/2 years younger; but Staal isn’t playing like his age; and Staal is 5” taller and at least 15 lbs heavier than Glendenning

      Great pick up by GMMB

      • I agree this is a great pickup.

        One of the (few) things I like about Bergevin is that he never telegraphs where he’s going.

        As to the Cap space left, this is not even close to being an issue.

        All the Habs have to do is put Chiarot on LTIR (he’s not due back for another 4-5 weeks anyway) and all that Cap space becomes available.

        Exactly as TB did with Kucherov.

        There’s more than enough there to land a D.

        Habs needed a C and an LD/RD.

        Staal was exactly the C I had hoped for.

        Brandon Montour is the D I would be looking at.


      • Pengy.

        You’re right on all counts except the face off circle is the weakness of the kids, though they have been improving.

        Aside from your hankering for Staal for a while now. I have faith in what used to be a weakness in Montreal, Pro Scouting that has been bang on since the Alzner fiasco.

      • Pengy,

        Point of interest, Montreal was on Staal’s 10 team no trade list, he waived it to get out of Buffalo.

      • Thanks Habfans 30

        Win win … Habs and Staal

    • Again, if you read Lyles stories posted above:

      “SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d argue landing a reliable top-four, left-side defenseman is the greater need for the Canadiens. Regardless, a number of pundits aren’t buying the notion that Bergevin won’t do something before the deadline“
      Staal was literally mentioned in half the rumors comments yesterday. I’m really not understanding the whole “nobody saw this coming” I don’t know of any GM’s that are commenting on their trade plans before deals are made

      • Slick62,

        Ekholm was mentioned as a kinda maybe for the Habs, Kerfoot, Bennett, Staal, Hall have all been bandied about, none of them for the Habs.

        If Staal was traded to Pittsburgh you could say Pengy was talking about it. If Kerfoot was traded to Columbus you could say that was mentioned. If Palmieri went to TML, that was rumored etc etc

        Is Eric Staal a reliable top 4 reliable Left side defenseman? No. You keep making my point for me.

        I’m not going down this rabbit hole