NHL Rumor Mill – March 31, 2021

by | Mar 31, 2021 | Rumors | 51 comments

Could Taylor Hall be moved in a trade-and-sign scenario? Are moves in store for the Flyers? Could there be several goaltenders on the move? What’s the latest on the Golden Knights and the Kraken? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports Taylor Hall’s agent spoken with Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams on Monday. He said they discussed potential trade options for the 29-year-old left-winger. There are some teams interested in a “trade and sign” scenario.

Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images)

Adams is also determining what the asking price will look like. Dreger said Hall’s contract becomes less of a cap hit closer to the trade deadline so there could be some upside in that for the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger didn’t specify if the trade and sign would mean Hall gets a new contract as soon as the deal is completed or if it depends on his performance with his new club. Adams’ rumored asking price is said to include a first-round draft pick. He’ll have an easier time landing one of those if Hall is willing to re-sign with his new club.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports it’s his understanding the Philadelphia Flyers have had internal discussions whether to acquire a goaltender and allow struggling Carter Hart a chance to reset and work on his game. The next seven games leading up to the trade deadline could be crucial as to whether they want to add to their roster. LeBrun believes Detroit Red Wings netminder Jonathan Bernier could be on the Flyers’ radar.

Frank Seravalli wonders if the Florida Panthers could put in a waiver claim on Shayne Gostisbehere. The Flyers placed the 27-year-old defenseman on waivers yesterday. The Panthers could be in the market for a defenseman after Aaron Ekblad suffered a fractured left leg earlier this week. Seravalli adds Panthers general manager Bill Zito isn’t interested in trading picks and/or prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher must bolster his goaltending depth for his club to remain in the playoff chase in the MassMutual East Division. Hart’s confidence is shot and they’re relying too much on veteran Brian Elliott to shoulder the load. As LeBrun suggests, the next several games will determine if they become buyers before the deadline.

Acquiring a goaltender or another player means freeing up cap space. Placing Gostisbehere on waivers could be that step. There’s also speculation Fletcher could be gauging Gostisbehere’s value in the trade market. However, his $4.5 million annual average value through 2022-23 will be difficult for most clubs to absorb via waivers or trade.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun looked at several goaltenders who could be available before the trade deadline. Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell could move James Reimer or Alex Nedeljkovic for the right price. LeBrun wondered if the Columbus Blue Jackets might move Elvis Merzlikins or Joonas Korpisalo and what the Arizona Coyotes might do with Darcy Kuemper or Antti Raanta. He doubts Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings or Chris Driedger of the Florida Panthers gets moved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waddell could also keep Reimer and Nedeljkovic when sidelined Petr Mrazek returns to action. Never a bad idea to keep three goalies if you can during this strange season.

The Jackets could shop one of their netminders but that’s a move more likely to happen in the offseason, especially with the Jackets trying to stay in the playoff race. Raanta seems the more likely of the Coyotes goalies to be moved given his UFA status this summer but that’s not a certainty if they stay in playoff contention.

The rebuilding Kings aren’t in any rush to move Quick and his $5.8 million cap hit through 2022-23 is a big sticking point in any trade. The Panthers need Driedger as they jockey for first place in the Central Division.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox examined some possible goalie options for the Toronto Maple Leafs if goalies Frederik Andersen or Jack Campbell end up on long-term injured reserve. Both have been hampered by lower-body injuries in recent weeks.

Rental options could include Buffalo’s Linus Ullmark, New Jersey’s Scott Wedgewood, Carolina’s James Reimer, Detroit’s Jonathan Bernier, Anaheim’s Ryan Miller, San Jose’s Devan Dubnyk, Calgary’s David Rittich, and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne. Longer-term options could include Arizona’s Darcy Kuemper, Columbus’ Elvis Merzlikins, the New York Rangers’ Alexander Georgiev, and the Kings’ Jonathan Quick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve already commented on Reimer, Kuemper, Merzlikins and Quick. Ullmark’s the closest thing the Sabres have to a starter so they probably won’t trade him. The Ducks could move Miller as he lacks no-trade protection but I think that happens only if he asks. Rinne’s not waiving his no-movement clause. The Rangers will likely keep Georgiev as Igor Shesterkin’s backup.

That leaves Wedgewood, Bernier and Dubnyk, as well as Rittich if the Flames fall further out of playoff contention by the deadline.


THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger reports this year’s trade deadline could be a quiet one for the Vegas Golden Knights. While they’ve been aggressive in previous deadlines, a lack of salary-cap space and the club’s solid performance could lead them to stand pat. Nevertheless, Granger feels they’ll monitor the trade market in case anything interesting comes up.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis is getting some calls from rival GMs around the league. He said the calls are from teams “who are trying to feel (Francis) out and say, “Listen, if I make this trade, what would it take from you, that I don’t lose this fourth defenseman, for example”. Francis’ prices, however, are high, in some cases a first-round pick and a prospect. LeBrun said that’s scaring off teams from acquiring another player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would affect players signed beyond this season like Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm. There are teams very interested in acquiring Predators defenseman before the trade deadline but doing so would mean it would mess up their expansion draft protection lists.


  1. I think most teams will have learned from mistakes in the LVK draft.

    You’re going to lose 1 player one way or another and its subject to what others lose so why lose 1 plus a draft pick or two?

    The balancing act in assembling a team will determine who Seattle chooses from your team rather than who you want to keep

    Only 3 teams will lose a backup goalie.
    The rest of the teams will lose either a bottom 6 forward OR a bottom 3 D.

    I’m oversimplifying but essentially what I’m saying that the old business principle of the first loss is the best loss is what GMs should have learned.

    • With you in that HabsFan30

      Knights licking their chops re next year…. exempt from Krakken, already one of this years cup favs, already have 20 of current 23 under contract next year (not under contract… Coglahn , Nosek, Martinez)…. and over $4M in space for that… Coglahn will be bridged reasonably; Martinez won’t be re-signed…. Hague will be in…. so more than enough after Coglahn bridge to re-up Nosek (or replace at equal/less) and for a 14th forward, AND still have space

      All other teams lose a player (so weaker) and contenders still struggling with a Cap crunch…. while realistically only change for Knights is that the much faster, much bigger, 11 years younger, Hague… replaces Martinez

      Add to that…. back to “reg” Divs again… so Avs and Blues not in Knights Div….

      Knights next year will have upstart Krakken, 3 Cal teams; Van; 2 Alta teams

      The only downside I see for Knights…. those awful gold mirrored helmets… seriously distracting

      • Pengy ..

        Our Penguins are climbing despite injuries and the schedule.

        Brandon Tanev returned to practice today, we got Zucker back last game, and quite honestly McCann has stepped up. Malkin who?

        The need to go get a third line center maybe luke glendening Detroit 67% on face offs good defensive player.

        Also was hearing this morning Nick Bonino pending UFA might be available..your thoughts there.???

        Penguins are playing like a team and quite frankly better without the moody one..who is one tic from a bad mood or useless play.

        Management has to see of the big three he is the one to move in the off season. Letang has steadied since dumoulin has returned..and the Penguins are 15 – 4 -2 since dumoulin has returned..

        We may need a goalie and Tristan jarry’s injury is serious..we will see

        I can live with Crosby McCann [Glendening or Bonino. With blueger hopefully comesback.

        Marino has woke up..pettersson ceci have been solid..

        Who do we need?

      • Hi BnG

        I still can’t find anywhere on any post where they directly say how Jarry got injured and/or how specific the injury is or how long he will be out for

        it was the strangest thing

        I watch the game I watched the first period Intently over again, and I didn’t see him tweak anything I didn’t see him wince in pain …..so I have no idea what it is

        he left the ice with everybody else and just didn’t come back; so with that in mind unless he injured himself in the dressing room between the periods; I think it’s probably a tweak of some sort and should not be a serious injury ….something that a few days; even a week, the team should be able to get over

        with that said we have a very capable back up in De-Smith so there should be no problem in that timeframe Vis-à-vis a goalie

        When Gino returns, unless the put Zucker up with him…. I think Gino will be full tilt

        B2B v Bruins, then only 4 games in 11 days … 4/4– 14/4

        Big need… 3C…. yes

        Bonino of old…. in a heartbeat…. but 16th in scoring on his team… only 8 points in 32 GMs…$4.1 M annual Cap… so no…. Pens already got hosed big on a Wild deal (Zucker)

        Glendenning… cheaper annually at $1.8 M; great on the dot; per other here he is good defensively… but 9 points in 35 GMs…. not the 3C type they need

        Staal would have been a great fit…. Hextall apparently didn’t even call ???

        Sutter re-hash…. I don’t think so …. also 8 points… $4.4 M annually

        Granlund .. bidding war likely… count him out

        Zajac …. excellent fit … but full NTC

        Getzlaf… would have to be a to through … Ducks retain 50%; Chi 50% of that again…. full NMC… so… not happening

        Carter for Zucker (both 50% retained…. basically to save Kings cash… Cap about equal)…. Carter almost exclusively now a W… but played 100’s of games as a C…. fits Burke “long pants”…. 6’3” ; 220

        Ideal but costly …. Strome (Chi) as he is behind Toews, Suter, Dach on the depth chart and is NOT a 4th line centre… last game was very good; down year (perhaps new child on the way… now born… was on his mind

        Best deal…. as earlier Ducks tried to move him…. change of scenery for both ; plus swap of depth…. Ducks save over $6 M in commitments…. Zucker and Laffy for Henrique and Delauriers (exactly the long pants player Burke covets):

        Sid Guentz Rusty
        Gino Kappy Rodrigues
        Henrique McC Turbo

        That’s 3 scoring lines

        Blueger ZAR *Gaudreau…. great checking line and * can play C

        “Long pants “ Depth

        DeLauriers (6’3” 220)
        Zohorna (6’6” 225)
        Janko (6’4”; 215)
        AA (6’4” , 200)

        The other thing I’ve read is the potential swap of Zucker for Mantha (this guy needs a change of scenery)… 6’5” , 235…. that deal would also work:

        Sid Guentz Rusty
        Gino Kappy Mantha
        McC Turbo Rodrigues

        That’s 2 top notch scoring lines; plus a 3rd scoring line

        Blueger ZAR *Gaudreau…. great checking line and * can play C

        The key….. no Zucker with Gino…. super drag on Gino production

        If no 3C move and they keep Zucker… I would actually try ….

        Sid Guentz Rusty
        Gino Kappy McC
        Gaudrea Turbo Zucker

        That’s 2 very good scoring lines and a third , with chemistry/gelling pending; that has the potential to be a pretty fair 3rd line

        Blueger having a good year pre injury but I feel that he is best at 4C instead of 3C

        Trade bait for Pens

        Extra LHD
        Ruhweedel (I jest… no one takes him)

        Under no circumstances should there be any talk of moving P-O J OR Poulin OR Legare

      • Pengy, the Knights are also managing to keep actual salary well below the cap salary.

      • I didn’t have time to read your entire posts Pengy but is it true Burke is interested in Lucic? Asking for a friend

      • To Sparky’s friend

        Nothing surprises me with Burke

        I’m hoping he lets Hextall make all decisions


    • Habs. I’ll believe that gms learned their lesson when I see it. I believe Seattle will do as well if not better than vegas with holding teams feet to the fire. Not only did gms continue to sign awful contracts after vegas but the COVID flat cap put teams in an even bigger hole.

  2. I don’t think it would be a wise move for Zito to pick up Ghost

    Montour, Savard or Manson to “somewhat” replace Ekblad, are better options

    If GMJK is “selling” , and I believe he should; then if Zito wanted a Leftie… DelZ could be had for a mid rounder at much less cap hit than Ghost (and Ghost has 2 more years) and DelZ , this year, IMHO, is the better bet than Ghost

    If Zito must have a rightie…. suggest a quick call to Hextall …offer a 7th in 2038 for Ruhweedel… see if he bites

    • Stop with Chad Ruhweedel already, it’s gotten stale …

      • Not any more stale than your snarky retorts.

    • With Nashville surging they may not be that much of a seller..so

      Where do the Penguins go for a third line center?
      1. Detroit Luke Glendening

      2. Wild Nick Bonino

      3. Ducks Adam Henriques 50% salary returned

      4. Ottawa not sure they have much

      Heard stevie Y is annoyed with Anthony Mantha and the tires have been kicked there..penguins maybe interested…mmmhhhh

      He is a talented young big body who can score..not sure who we move maybe zucker or pettersen???

      Like I said before the penguins should play out this season with Malkin and move him to a place where he feels comfortable.

      Save cap space bring in a free agent get a decent return..

      • Hi BnG

        Did my response re 3Cs for Pens above

        Best bet IMHO …. is the Zucker Henrique flip with also Laffy Delauriers flip…. see rationale above

        Go Pens Go

      • Ottawa doesn’t have much??

        Tierney would make a perfect 3rd line C – which is where he’ll be in Ottawa once Stutzle takes over at # 1, followed by Josh Norris at # 3.

        Tierney you MIGHT get but forget about the other two.

      • Hi George

        Didn’t mention Tierney as I thought that Dorion had no interest in parting with him

        Trade cost?

        ….. and no mentioning any of P-O J, Poulin or Legare

    • Pengy..I hope burke doesnt try to be too big like kings 2012 2014…
      We need to be like 2020 Tampa bay lightning speed transition and some sandpaper…
      Lightning added gourds coleman maroon

      Carter is a pussy nothing big boy about him..I watch him a ton here in los Angeles..bounce back year no grit.

      Alot of potential players getting hurt Bobby Ryan rickard rakell and now Nashville may not be the seller we thought climbing in to a playoff spot..

      Mantha for sure

  3. Who even gives a 2nd for Hall?
    19 minutes per game and 2 goals to show for it

    Trade and sign? Maybe roll dice on 2 years @4mil…….will be even worse for Buffalo if he finishes season and walks for nothing

  4. T – 1 Dubas. Anyone but Reimer.

    • reimer was terrible on the leafs—just like blozak–could never get it done

      • It is imperative to get a better goalie and the sooner the better because it is highly desirable to finish 1st because:

        (Putting aside the participation ribbon ,better known as the loser point) here are the North winning percentages:

        TOR .629
        WIN .611
        EDM .595

        MTL .469
        CAL .432
        VAN .432
        OTT .333

        3 very good teams and 4 absolute dogs that have no business being in the playoffs.

        1st place = 1st rounder walkover.

        Get it done today Dubas or be fired tomorrow.

      • They haven’t exactly “walked over” Ottawa this season

      • Jeff, disagree on both counts. Think of the defence in front of Reimer. The coach didn’t exactly give him any confidence either.
        As for Bozak, he did his best for the Leafs playing out of position – no one ever said he was a first-line centre but he was the absolute best centre for Phil Kessel at the time.
        Both guys deserve more respect.

      • As much as I hate to say it, I think MTL is better than some give them credit for.
        Really deep team that is very good 5 on 5 which matters more in the playoffs.
        Price seems to be getting it going and if he gets hot they have a chance against anybody. Plus a strong backup if he struggles or gets hurt.

        Having the Habs and Leafs being good at the same time is pretty annoying. I hope they play each other in the first round and get rid of one them early.

      • Love the way folks moan about loser points but are happy get points for skill competions.

        Points are awarded differently in the playoffs, no 3 on 3, no shootouts.

        That is why there are players who get you to the playoffs and players who get you through the playoffs.

        Teams that have depth, grit and goaltending get both to and through the playoffs.

        Teams that are top loaded, soft and fair goaltending get you to but not through the playoffs.

        Rather than rejigging stats to feel better, rejig your expectations based on the qualities of your team.

      • You do not know your audience at all habsfan. I bet no regular poster here likes the skills competition shootout.

        It should be 10 mins 3 on 3 sudden death and then its a good old fashioned tie.

        And while I’m starting a fantasy wish list:

        No player interviews unless its after game for a record breaking performance or a match penalty type of situation.

        1 ref

        No colour commentators

        No enforcer use

        Get rid of the stupid trapezoid.

        I would be thrilled to have even one come true.

      • Damn. Had to check to see if there were two moons out. I totally agree with every wish.

  5. I hope teams won’t make the same mistake they did with Vegas. That draft made my head spin and I couldn’t believe half the trades the got. Teams should just let them choose who eveer they leave free. Better lose one player rather than playerS and picks to save one. They had 2 years to prepare for this. Hopes Seattle s*cks and needs to draft good players so we don’t see another Vegas who dominates because of the stupidity of other GMs.

  6. ‘Fletcher could be gauging Gostisbehere’s value in the trade market?”

    He’s been trying to unload him for 2 years. Now, anyone can get him for nothing. (waivers) It’s a crappy contract (he’s not worth the 4.5 for a few more years) He is a decent player.

  7. I’m hoping the bruins do not pick up Gostisbehere , but then again that is Sweeney’s M O picking up retreads! Take a crack at hall ..2nd rounder Kase or Beecher that ought to do the trick

    • You were gonna trade a first rounder ++++ for him a couple of weeks back. Why the change of heart?

      • I saw a couple of goofs all within the span of about a week and a half. Shane gave away the puck twice one almost resulted in goal another did. I also saw one forward Eberle who’s about the same size basically push him aside like a sack of flour I knew he wasn’t that good defensively, but after watching him a little more closely his defensive short comings is something the bruins don’t need right now. Although I’ll bet Sweeney will try!

  8. Gostisbehere cleared waivers

  9. In early February, when the Flyers were off to a commendable start and the foundering Penguins had just hired Ron Hextall as their GM, praise for Hextall and his patient rebuild of the Flyers came from everywhere in the hockey world. Mike Sielski, a Philadelphia Inquirer columnist, was the voice of many when he extolled Hextall as having “shaped the Flyers’ present and future, “ explaining that “Twelve players on the roster — from the team’s leading scorer to its top four defensemen to its two goaltenders” were Hextall products.

    Now that the fast-fading Flyers have given up the “Ghost,” and the Penguins are marching again still in their pre-Hextall formation, perhaps Jim Rutherford needs to be exhumed and his record reexamined. Perhaps, Hextall’s should be, too.

    • Good use of the word exhumed Francis and agree on Rutherford. What does a GM need to do to get respect on here?

      Philly has a goaltender problem, just like they have for more than a decade. Hart looked to be the answer last season but seems to have blown a tire. They need to get that kid away for a while and get him back to what he was doing to be successful.

      They generate way more chances than they give up and score more than average, but more chances go in against them than any other team in the NHL. They are even worse than Buffalo that way.

      If they want to save their season they need some saves. Elliott likely isn’t the guy.

      • Ray–With some Bruins fans seeming anxious about what they see as Sweeney’s reluctance to trade, would Trader Jim be welcome in Boston?

      • I think this might be the last year the B’s are buyers at the deadline for a while Francis, maybe one more after this one. So not sure Trader Jim is the right guy, or that BOS is the right team for him at this stage.

        I think Sweeney is OK. He has swung and missed a couple times but so do all of them and I don’t really blame the 2015 draft on him as it was his first season as GM. That one lands with the director of amateur scouting, which has changed since.

        Is he the right guy to retool/rebuild in a year or 2? I don’t know.

  10. I still get a kick out of watching Tom Wilson do the turtle on Ross The Boss

    • Something like Dave Schultz when he finally found himself head-to-head with Larry Robinson – who destroyed him and the myth all at the same time.

      • Wasn’t it Clark Gillies who destroyed Schultz, George?

        I seem to recall Gillies pounding Schultz into oblivion.

      • Larry Robinson was one of the top 20 players of all time in this man’s opinion. He could do it all, and by God he was a tough customer.

      • His brother Moe was even tougher … just didn’t have the same hockey skill set. We used to meet them now and then in fastball tournaments when they ran the Marvelville/Metcalfe team. You pitched very carefully to both.

  11. OK …..Kyle Palmieri and a Dman who plays both ends of the ice equally well plus the PP for the Bruins ….. come on Sweeney Cassidy is begging

    • Palmarie isn’t what the bruins need. Outside of 3 goals the rest came against the bruins last thing we need is a struggling winger lol

  12. Why would T Hall start scoring goals ?…asking for a friend

  13. To DET: Ghost & Patrick
    To PHI: DeKeyser & Bobby Ryan


    • You must be on drugs with that proposal.

      Yeah trade ghost for Dekeyser why even bother to make a deal?

      4th rounder for Ryan would be my deal
      5th rounder (1mil retained)to LA for future considerations (prob have to add low level prospect

    • No, hell no, no fawkin way.

      Flyers decline, with malice and block your phone #.


  14. Dear James Reimer

    We forgive You
    Please Come Home !

    Our Leafs are in DIRE Straits !!!

    We know U R the guy to take us our Destiny ..
    If Not, I will have to Cheer on the Bruins !
    Bruins fans by the way, there is an injury issue …
    Not like U have a circus clown, between the pipes , as per the Toronto’s search for a cup for over 53 Years !!
    Ps … Kerry Fraser – How are you.

  15. Polonich fought Shultz 8 times and Clark Gillies countless (including minor and Junior and NHL). If you are talking tough he is only 5’6”. Apparently held his own. Schultz took things off the ice as well