NHL Rumor Mill – March 29, 2021

by | Mar 29, 2021 | Rumors | 64 comments

With the April 12 trade deadline two weeks away, here’s a look at the latest on the Bruins, Blue Jackets and Jets in the NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney is once again in pursuit of a top-nine right-winger. “They need a forward,” one NHL source told Shinzawa. “For now and for the future. What’s your second line look like if you don’t?”

Could the Boston Bruins attempt to acquire New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri? (NHL Images)

Shinzawa suggested New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri would be a leading candidate. He has no-trade protection but lives in Massachusetts during the offseason. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer, meaning the Bruins don’t have to worry about protecting him in the expansion draft. They could also sign him to a new contract if he’s interested following the expansion draft.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes Palmieri would make sense for the Bruins. However, he feels it won’t make sense for the Devils if the return is another prospect or a draft pick or two. He believes the Devils need to move past rebuilding and add an established scorer or two.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landing Palmieri might not be easy for the Bruins if the Devils want more than draft picks or prospects. It could cost them struggling (but still promising) winger Jake DeBrusk, who they’re reportedly reluctant to move because they fear he could blossom into a scorer elsewhere.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks thinks Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen owes it to Nick Foligno to move him if the two sides fail to reach an agreement on a contract extension before the trade deadline rather than keep him for a playoff drive. He suggested the Jackets captain could be a good fit on the New York Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks seems to be assuming Foligno would welcome a trade to a playoff contender. That might not be the case. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman thinks trading their captain isn’t something the Jackets want to do. Foligno’s 10-team no-trade clause would also complicate things.

NHL.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Tim Campbell was asked about the probability of the Columbus Blue Jackets trading struggling winger Patrik Laine at the trade deadline. He dismissed that idea, pointing out the Jackets gave up a lot to acquire the winger and won’t give up on him that quickly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine won’t be traded but the Jackets have to get to the root of his (and Max Domi’s) offensive struggles. Part of it is the lack of skilled centers. Part of it could be John Tortorella’s coaching. Complicating matters is Laine’s status as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.


THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates suggests Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski could give the Winnipeg Jets an opportunity to add an experienced blueliner without giving up high-end futures in return. While Golisgoski’s offensive production is in decline he’s still a capable, big-minute rearguard with a left-handed shot who could serve in a variety of defensive roles.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ates points out Goligoski would be a more affordable acquisition for the Jets than Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm or Columbus’ David Savard. He’s due to become a UFA this summer but his $5.475 million cap hit could be a sticking point.

Cap Friendly indicates the Jets do have over $3.5 million in LTIR space remaining and Goligoski has over $1.9 million in salary still to be paid. They can fit him in but could seek more cap flexibility by asking the Coyotes to pick up part of his cap hit.


  1. Re Ekholm

    Preds surging …. won 5 straight; 7-3 in last 10; now in playoff spot. Chi 3-7 last 10, now sitting on the outside… waning terribly

    If you look at the TSN trade bait board…. the only thing Chi has on the board is “Cap space” (#13) ; and Preds have #’s 1 & 3 …. Ekholm & Granlund

    To me this new surge by Predz might just make Poile gun-shy on moving players. On the other hand, I would expect Chi players to start popping up on that trade bait board…Sodderberg is UFA!!

    Also… once again Strome was a scratch. His performance is down as is his confidence. Even if Sodderberg is moved; Suter , Dach, Toews will be ahead of Strome on C depth chart next year. To me… Strome is a prime candidate for change of scenery trade… he certainly has the ability, but execution and confidence is way down. He is not a 4C, and Chi won’t want to pay $3M next year for a 3C. He could play 3C on another team.

    What is the cost to acquire Strome?

    • Ooops

      “ Chi won’t want to pay $3M next year for a 3C”

      should be ….”for a 4C”

    • As someone who unfortunately has Strome in my hockey pool, I can agree he’s a bum.

      However, I think I saw he was scratched last night due to the birth of a child, as opposed to performance. Chi might not be ready to give up on him yet… even if I am. Anyone want him for their hockey pool? I’m open for trades 🙂

      • Thanks Paddy

        Good to know re scratch…. congrats to Strome and his wife (girlfriend?)

        He was performing well when he first came to BlackHawks from the desert; but that performance is much much better than his recent work

        I still think that as at now Bowman has him penciled in below Toews, Dach, Suter for next year

        That cap and cash for a 4C is too much ; and I do believe that a change of scenery just may be his ticket to improvement

      • Hey Pengy, I agree. Much as I joke about him killing my pool, I think he has talent to be a 3C and maybe slot up to a 2C when injuries strike. But I think you’re right – it doesn’t look likely to be with the Hawks.

        CBJ is in dire need of centres…

      • Hey Pengy, you and a few there were really high on him draft time…if I recall correctly, the Leafs made the wrong pick and went with Marner instead of the big center Strome. Mind you, this isn’t the only time comments here are, how can I put it, bad, like I think I know what I’m talking about but time will show how little you know.

  2. Another day and another change of my mind!

    Cassidy pretty well called out Sweeney yesterday saying this team isn’t built to score or something like that.

    It’s always the risk versus reward.

    Sweeney knew he wasn’t resigning Chara or Krug and decided to keep them and let walk for nothing.

    Read he had a deal in place with Dallas for Loui Eriksson Esa Lindell put keep him and watch him sign in Vancouver (that part was ok)

    Now decisions with Krejci, Halak, Kuraly

    scare he’ll blossom elsewhere…. who cares, if he isn’t blossoming here! But don’t give him away. Jake for a Jake.

    Sell everything except McAvoy, Carlo, Pastrnak, Frederick, Studnicka, and yes everything else can go and yes i mean everyone else.

    Or go find two forwards that can put de puck in de net.

    • Going to be interesting to see what happens with the B’s and MGT decisions.
      If Sweeney decides to move assets (I am skeptical he does unless they keep losing) then trade Rask to Leafs for Anderson and Amirov.
      If B’s need to eat salary, OK.

      If you can move Anderson before the TDL, then OK.

      Thoughts Caper? Wendel?
      Bueller? Bueller?

      • Ray, my question about Boston is this:
        When they have a fully healthy roster, are they a contender?
        I haven’t seen enough of their games but, based on the way they show up every year in the playoffs, my answer would be “yes”.

      • That is the question BCLeafFan.
        I was the guy on here saying they weren’t as good as their record when they were in first place this season.
        So o be consistent, I would answer it with a no.
        The reason is they lack secondary scoring and their 1&2 C’s are 34 and 35.
        Plus the youth on the blueline.

        Not being critical of Sweeney, just how it goes in in the cap era NHL when you are good for a prolonged stretch.

        If they could add an impact winger and solid veteran #3/4 LD-man, then they have a shot.

        Even then I don’t think they can knock off TB or LV/COL unless Rask wins the playoff MVP.

        The cost to do that? I dunno.

        I’m fine if they give it a go, just not sure they will.

    • Lol big fat no you trade Bergy? That’s ridiculous bro. They would be in far better shape had they no had these injuries that being said the previous 2 games we’ve only got scoring from the secondary guys. Bruce is being out coached by lesser teams. He needs to figure it out or he’s gone. I’ll hang on to DeBrusk who’s won the bruins more games this yr than the perfection line as has Kurley Smith and Fredrick. I think there’s issues with leadership in the locker room. Not saying Bergy so much as who on that team is being secondary leaders? But I won’t leave Bergy out because he’s always had big Z now he doesn’t. Who is the commanding figure head? Bergy Marshy minus 8 in loses Pasta minus 7 and Mcavoy minus 10. There’s more than meets the eye here. Time for a shake up no matter how small one of their liked guys needs to go for team wide shake up

      • Bergyboyzzz, why is it ridiculous to trade Bergy? Because he is in your handle?

        If your in the belief Boston doesn’t have a chance at a cup this year, then i would suggest by hanging on Bergy, Krecji and others then you don’t have a chance next year either.

        The core is old and are depreciating assets. Bergy still has high value and would still bring in a very good return.

        Spit balling here but could you trade Bergeron and Rask to Edmonton for say Klefbom, Neil and JP.

        Klefbom is done for the season, only player removing from the active roster is JP, Boston eat half the salary and whatever else it takes.

      • I’ve heard people say there shouldn’t be sentimentality in sports but I think that’s hogwash. Somethings are more important than giving your team a slightly smaller chance to win years down the line. Bergeron should retire a Bruin. Sid should retire a pen. When you get these amazing players and get to look back and say he was always our guy that is as good a feeling as looking back on that championship.

      • I agree with that Chrisms, unless the player wants a shot at the cup and expresses that wish to the team. The team shouldn’t ask with a guy like Bergy.
        Like Ray Bourque did. Is Bruin and always will be and I was happy to see him win a cup, even with another team.

        It is up to the team to decide if they need to go in a new direction. If the player with full NMC tells you he wants another shot at a cup vs the rebuild, you oblige.

      • Agreed. Boston and ray was a classy move on all parts. It never felt like ray was a an av. More like a Bruin disguised as an av.

        His face when he held that cup is possibly my top non Pittsburgh sports moment

      • Caper he’s up next yr if he wants out then do it but he doesn’t want to go anywhere trust that. He’s skills have not drooped off one bit we are not in rebuilding mode. Stop the chicken little sky is falling crap. I’ll trade Pasta before Bergy all day as he’s a one dimensional player who constantly coughs the puck up Bergy has given his heart and soul to this team and is the most complete player in the NHL at 35 yrs old. I don’t want to trade Pasta but if it came down to one or the other.

      • Ahem. Sids better. No debate. Duh.

      • All around no he’s not

    • I would keep Clifton he shows up every game and does show he has speed

  3. I say Boston give up Studnicka, DeBrusk, and a conditional 1st pick to BUFF for Hall & Reinhart. if not the pick is a 3rd.

    conditional pick revolved around if hall resigns

    Hall should take team discount to stay in Boston like Marchand and company did to keep competing IMO.

    Buff needs to find a way to move Skinner next.

    • I realize the Sabres need a overhall but I don’t see them trading Reinhart. He’s a consistent 20-25 goals a year and just goes about his job.

      Hall is going but I’m interested to see what he bring back. I’m thinking a prospect and a 2nd.

      • Len his over 5m now. not sure they want to give him a skinner contract and weigh the team down even more even though he is worth his money so far.

        I would keep him but this package gives them flexibility and a bigger prospect pool to redefine this team.

        Then beg LA to take Skinner for Brown & Quick. 2 cup winner that can help the young players understand the effort it takes night in night out to win. Also gives Buff long term cap flexibility since they are both up in 2 years.

    • Why should Hall take a team discount for a team he doesn’t, and has never played for? Man you crazy Toronto fans.

    • IHC. Where is Boston getting cap space to take Hall and Reinhardt?

      • MOORE to LTIR cap relief and BUFF retaining Hall cap to garner picks
        sending Debrusk

        close but i am sure other moves can make it work

      • IHC. Even if Buffalo agreed to retain the max 50%, which I doubt, that’s still a combined cap hit of nearly 7 mil.

      • 3.675 from debrusk take off
        Moore to LTIR take off 2.75

        that is 6.425 and within striking distance to make another roster move to make cap room.

        just spitballin’ not trying to anyones job for ’em

  4. Bruins need more than just one top 9 forward … they need an entirely new 2nd line …

    For the millionth time ad nauseum Max Domi is not a centre … he is a winger … what did JK think would happen when he traded Dubois? That there wouldn’t be a gaping hole down the middle? Just a short time ago the Blue Jackets were scary and had an incredible future … now they are a shell of their former selves…

    • Agree Boston needs to rebuild the entire second line. It’s been this way for years trying to find wings for Krejci. Now we need a replacement for Krejci also. Team looks terrible without Marchand.

      • Studnicka, Debrusk, 3rd & conditional 1st to Buff for Reinhart & Hall ??

        Hall and Krejci take discount to stay in Boston like Marchand and Bergeron and complete a 2nd line.

    • Ed, I am a big fan of Jarmo’s moves but I agree the Domi move is hard to figure out. Domi has looked much better the last 10-12 games (though the offensive #s don’t reflect it). I really like Domi’s game but he is certainly not a fit for C in Tort’s system. C is a dire need for CJ moving forward, it be a huge deadline and offseason for the CBJ. It all hinges on Jones’s willingness to sign long-term. That will dictate the direction of the team for the next 5 years.

      • Deacon call Buffalo for help

        Eichel (10M) & Hutton (2.7M) to CMB

        Roslovic (2M), Tex (RFA), Domi (5M) & Elvis (4M) & 2 1sts

        Eichel & Laine for years

        Domi not what CMB needs and Eichel a better Center.

        Roslo and Tex new Buffalo blood for a new locker room

  5. Not saying I have the answers, but trading Pals for a late first rounder or a prospect that can’t crack the Bruins line-up just does not move the needle for the Devil’s re-build. Hopefully Fitz figures something out because the Devils need a legitimate scorer in the same age bracket as Hughes and Hischer. If reasonable they might as well just sign Palms.

    • ihatecrosby, I like the idea and enthusiasm as Eichel certainly would be the ideal 1C target for CBJ. Unfortunately, I am not sure they have the pieces to get it done. I think at least NYR and LA could put together better packages.

  6. Many in CBus now feel the weekend series in DET clearly showed the CBJ retool needs to begin at the deadline. Love Torts but, just as at previous stops, he has a shelf life and he’s reached it. With loss of Dubois and Anderson and the acquisitions (Laine, Domi) and young players (Texier, Foudy, Bemstrom) coming up the defensive, forechecking identity doesn’t fit the personnel. The mix is so poor it is making them look like a much worse team than they are. UFAs Savard, DelZotto, Nash all need to traded for assets at the deadline. Savard’s value could be rising as he is likely the top RD on the market and if NSH shifts from its sellers status (and neither Ekholm or Ellis are available), possibly the top D available in a thin market. As Lyle points out, moving Foligno is a tough one as he is the C and beloved here. However, if legitimate contenders (TOR, COL, NYI, TB, others?) have a solid offer I sincerely hope he gets the opportunity to chase a cup and then re-sign in the offseason (ala Tkachuk in STL).

    • Like the COL idea for Foligno, but IMO they should add a backup tender first.

      Is Erik Johnson due to come back by the playoffs or not?

      That matters as well for D depth and Cap space.

      • Agreed Ray. I see CBJ-COL as a nice fit as trade partners. If CBJ are willing to listen on Jenner (no evidence of that yet) I would think that would be of great interest to COL (& TOR, MTL)

      • Teams could always call St. Louis to see what they’d want for Hoffman. 8g 12a 20 pts in 33 gp is certainly not something they thought they’d get when they took a flyer on him at $4 mil! I bet they wish they had invested that somewhere else.

        P.S. to St. Loo – don’t bother calling Pierre Dorion – he’d die choking from laughter.

    • Ive always felt Savard would be a perfect fit in Carolina. If he is available, I assume the price to get him will probably be too high for Carolina.

      • GP CAR is another interesting option. It pains me to say as a CBJ fan but CAR has really assembled an impressive team. I watched the 4 game set they juts played w/ CBJ and they have a bright future. Aho and Necas were awesome and the D is deep. They are legit and maybe a G away from being a favored SCF contender

  7. The bruins need a lot more than just a good second line forward. Being beaten by a non playoff team like NJ every time they play is a bad sign. Time to fold the tent and sell I mean sell everything this isn’t fixable, it’s a disaster the only ones I wouldn’t touch Is Mac and Pasternak. Grab a bunch of 1st rounders and rebuild this team has lost it’s drive, lost it’s passion it’s a boring team to watch.. SELL!

    • They play down to their competition. No reason they shouldn’t be potting 4-5 against the Buffalos or Devils!

  8. Bruins fans need to calm down. They pumped 40 shots at the guy again last night. They’re just not finishing. Just gotta get in the door at the dance. Anything can happen after that. Lotsa cap space come summer to go big game hunting.
    They’ll be fine.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Not only has their roster taken some big hits lately, but this tendency to look at the current standing of the opposition and extrapolate that that should dictate the results is not realistic.

      Entering February 11 the Senators were dead last in the entire NHL with a pathetic 2-12-2 record thanks primarily to a) inconsistent goaltending and b) a coach’s tendency to play under-achieving veteran acquisitions a bit too much. Then Dorion got rid of the likes of Galchenyuk and Paquette for the speedier Dzingel, claimed goalie Forsberg off waivers from Winnipeg after seeing the mainly inconsistent Murray go on the IR as well as the promising Daccord, elevated top prospect goalie Gustavsson to the starting roster, waived Wolanin and, most importantly, saw to it that Smith began playing the kids more, including Formenton who replaced the ultra-under-achieving Watson when he went down, along with quasi-veteran Colin White after Stepan went down for the season.

      Just looking at the games since that low-mark February 11 to date, the Senators would be among the playoff contenders in the North Division with 23 points, ahead of even the Leafs by 2 points who actually sit 5th in that stretch, albeit Toronto has played 2 less games. As for the other teams over that same stretch, Ottawa is tied with Vancouver, a point back of Edmonton and 4 behind the Jets and ahead of Montreal (19 pts) and Calgary (18 pts).

      Yeah, I know, unfortunately those first 16 games count and overall it is what it is. But all of this just to say – and unless it’s Buffalo – don’t shrug off the opposition on the basis of where they stand. Again, with the exception of Buffalo for now, teams like Ottawa, NJ, Detroit, Anaheim, San Jose have been making constant roster adjustments and you can bet most of the prospects each have elevated have one thing in common – to play to their level best every night as they try and ensure a spot in the NHL.

      Buffalo will soon join that approach.

      • George,

        The Sens were losing but they were in the games and didn’t seem disinterested.

        There’s losing and there’s losing.

        The lack of effort, the painfully slow line changes, all signs of a team that has given up on a coaching staff was never on display with the Senators.

      • George, with everyone only playing in division, every night is a 4 point game. Opportunities are there for any team to get hot and gain ground.

      • Hey George, want to know how the Sabres could get their 1st win in 17 games?…..Let them play the Flames.

  9. Ansimov on waivers

    i gotta think he better center option in Columbus than current for Laine

    • Someone might grab the upcoming UFA for C depth down the stretch since the bulk of his $4,550,000 cap hit will have been absorbed by the Sens, unlike the last time he went through waivers on February 11. He just came off IR and hasn’t played since March 10.

      Of course, putting him on waivers is necessary as they try to send him to the taxi squad and comes about as the result of that energetic 4th line of Dzingel – Formenton centered by Clark Bishop playing very well. The other 3 C positions are currently held down by Josh Norris, Colin White and Chris Tierney. Waiting to debut there is Stutzle – and that will likely come sometime soon.

      Anisimov will likely be in the KHL next season.

  10. To much panic re Bruins need to relax let them get healthy had 100 points last year only lost Chara and Krug who were old and Krug not very good in own end. I wouldn’t do anything this year at deadline but offseason a different story lots of cap room. As far as leadership Bergeron best leader in hockey and Marchand not far behind.

  11. Trade DeBrusk while you can. What”s he got 7 points. Dying on the vine and not blossoming into a scorer.
    Bruins” fans will need to embrace a low scoring tight defensive game. Which ain’t that bad of an approach in the post season (if they can get there)

    • Huge mistake,not signing Tyler Toffoli .He got under 5 million a year from Habs and has scored at least 15 goals,instead Sweeney was chasing Debrusk around to settle his contract.

  12. I’m honestly wondering if the Bruins are just zoning Cassidy out? He moves players around way too much. I understand when injuries happen, another player needs to step in but these guys need some chemistry. Coyle played his best when he had Ritchie and Frederic on his wings. That line was playing great. Could have actually been the 2nd line at the time. We all know who plays with Bergeron barring injuries. Krejci has had a revolving door on both sides this year. He has played with Smith, Debrusk, Ritchie, Bjork, Pastrnak and others. When all are healthy, leave Debrusk and Smith with him. The 4th line can be the one that injects different energy depending on the game.

    I’m not taking any blame away from management. Not going after Toffoli, Hoffman, Vatanen, Duclair, or Dadonov and only grabbing Smith, McKegg and Booth was pathetic. They have been saying they want to upgrade the second line scoring for HOW many years! Well piss or get off the pot! Now we may trade assets to bring in Vatanen when they could have just signed him?

    Granted, New Jersey has some talented players, and Blackwood stood on his head last night stopping all 40 shots but something has to give. I don’t think Boston has a chance at getting out of the East, even if they are healthy. Granted, any team can go on a streak and if a goalie has an MVP playoffs, anything can happen. Well if “ifs and buts” were “beer and nuts” we would have a party.

    Some changes need to be made. They have a great core right now….. which part is fading fast. Bergeron only has 3-5 more years, while dropping down the lines to be replaced by youngsters. McAvoy and Carlo will anchor the D. Vlader and Swayman just might be a great tandem, if they can replicate what they are doing in the AHL. (Remember the “ifs” comment!) Pastrnak will only continue to improve. They have some cap space next year, so lets prepare now. Don’t trade more assets on a hope and a dream. They CAN’T get past Washington or Tampa and this team will get smoked by Vegas or Colorado.

    Offer up Rask, Krejci, Halak, Kuraly and anyone else not named above. I honestly like what Ritchie has brought to the table this year and would consider keeping Frederic as well but anyone else…… build around the core.

    And if Cassidy IS being zoned out……. Gallant is just a phone call away!

    • was thinking budreau too.

      • Maybe they’ll re-cycle Julien … I mean, the Habs did after all.

    • Hoping for Gallant in CBJ for the post-Torts era of players coaches to nurture and develop our skilled young players 🙂

    • Thank your lucky stars they DIDN’T go after Hoffman. They could likely get him now from St. Louis for peanuts.

  13. Don’t Panic?!? You gotta be kidding!! It’s not only time to panic it’s time to close the curtains for at least another four or five years! Sell …Build around Past and Mac everyone else needs to go too old 4 wins in the last 13 games that’s not even typical of a last place team. The players that are injured are not offensive d either. Sweeney knew what the team needed he didn’t get it SELL grab a bunch of number 1’s ease up the payroll, rebuild!

    • You’ve been in panic mode since the beginning of this abbreviated season. Do carry on. It’s becoming amusing.

  14. Outstanding play at the AHL doesn’t necessarily translate to the NHL.

    There are career leaders in goals, gaa etc who have failed in the NHL.

    Goalies need to be measured in the NHL where the shots are harder, faster and more deception is used.

    There’s a reason that coaches prefer using seasoned pros before AHL call ups and why performance during pre-season and exhibition by AHL players usually fall off when the season starts.

    There are usually a couple that succeed yet usually sent back to the AHL.

    On a different note one has to wonder how much Chara’s leadership is missing in Boston, he may have had a more commanding presence in the room and on the bench than management realized.

    • Not sure it is the leadership that is being missed, he is still an effective d-man in WSH. Doing what Chara does. 2nd on the team in +/- all while starting the vast majority of his shifts in the D zone. Still kills penalties more than 2 minutes a night.
      Playing fewer minutes but still close to 19.
      Gotta give the guy credit.

      Preventing goals isn’t the B’s issue, scoring them is.
      The fact that the B’s didn’t grab a guy like Toffoli in the off season makes you wonder what they were thinking. They had the cap space. Might simply be Jacobs wanting to save some $.

  15. This is gross negligence by Dubas not having acquired another goalie by now. Leafs are playing Hutchison tonight (McD must be freaking out with excitement) because Campbell is again a little off with his LBI from Saturday game… again. $80M payroll and a 10 cent starting goalie in Andersen. Groundhog day. Wake up Dubas and Shanahan.

    How can he be allowed to ignore this one roster crisis wasting Matthews prime years??!!… DUCK!

  16. Who is Hutchinson”s backup ? That statement in itself is an oxymoron. Don’t care if you have the 5 best forwards in the world not winning a series with that net minding.