NHL Rumor Mill – March 4, 2021

by | Mar 4, 2021 | Rumors | 43 comments

Should the Bruins pursue Jack Eichel or revisit their interest in Oliver Ekman-Larsson? Will the Penguins add some toughness before the trade deadline? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss believes the Bruins should be among the first team to contact the Buffalo Sabres if Jack Eichel decides he wants out or if they decide to move him in order to stockpile assets for their ongoing rebuild. However, the Bruins should say no if the asking price is David Pastrnak or Charlie McAvoy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Patrice Bergeron aging and the possible departure this summer of David Krejci via free agency, Eichel would be a great fit with the Bruins. However, I don’t believe they can come up with a suitable trade package to pry him away from the Sabres if they’re unwilling (as they should be) to part with Pastrnak or McAvoy.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy noted the Bruins’ need for an experienced left-shot defenseman. He suggested Bruins general manager Don Sweeney should revisit his offseason trade discussions with the Arizona Coyotes regarding blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Coyotes captain was willing to waive his no-movement clause for the Bruins or Vancouver Canucks but a trade failed to materialize by his self-imposed Oct. 9 deadline.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk continues to pop up in trade speculation (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekman-Larsson’s agent was emphatic his client wasn’t going anywhere after that deadline passed. Maybe the Bruins could revisit those discussions in the offseason. With the Coyotes jockeying for a playoff spot in the Honda West division they’re probably not thinking of becoming sellers right now.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: DJ Bean wonders if the Bruins should go for it this season and fill in the cracks in their roster to improve their chances for a deep playoff run. He points out their roster could have a different look next season if Tuukka Rask and David Krejci depart via free agency this summer.

If the Bruins decide to go for it they’ll need to at least add a top scorer on Krejci’s line. They have $3.62 million in salary-cap space. They could be unwilling to part with their 2021 first-round pick and their prospect pool is unimpressive. Bean suggests inconsistent winger Jake DeBrusk could be an interesting trade candidate, though there is the risk that he could blossom on another club.

Bean also noted the Bruins could use an experience left-side defenseman, pointing out Nashville Predators blueliner Mattias Ekholm could be available.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports one NHL assistant general manager claims the Bruins haven’t made DeBrusk available. Another NHL source, however, can see the 24-year-old winger being moved.

Shinzawa points to DeBrusk being bounced around the lineup and a five-game stretch sidelined by a lower-body injury as factors affecting his disappointing performance this season. He feels the Bruins should get back a like-minded forward or a left-shot defenseman if they decide to put DeBrusk on the block.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk has been a fixture in the rumor mill since the offseason but Sweeney has stuck with him. The Bruins GM might be able to bring in a decent second-line rental player by the trade deadline without having to part with DeBrusk to do so. Finding a top scorer for Krejci’s line or an established top-four left-side rearguard, however, could be difficult without giving up something worthwhile in return.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski cites Penguins director of hockey operations Brian Burke hinting his club could make a move or two before the April 12 trade deadline. “That’s the goal, to see if we can add this year. See how far we can get with this group. Yes, the team is getting older. The stars are getting older. But since I’ve been here, they’ve all been excellent,” said Burke.

Penguins GM Ron Hextall last Saturday admitted he’d like to add some toughness after Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson injured Pens forward Mark Jankowski with a hit during a recent game. Hextall said his club would look into it if a suitable player could be found but there aren’t many available around the league.

Kingerski listed Ottawa’s Austin Watson, Anaheim’s Nicolas Deslauriers and Detroit’s Luke Glendening as three options that could address that need.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We know Burke likes an element of truculence on his rosters. Acquiring one of those players listed by Kingerski shouldn’t cost very much provided they’re available.


  1. Luke G. is well liked in Detroit. He is good on the PK, leads the league in faceoff percentage, and is willing to go into the corners and front of the net. He does play with some grit. But he is not a big man, and fighting isn’t his thing. If the Penguins are looking for some sandpaper and defense to their lineup, Luke is your guy. But if you are looking for a tough guy to fight and protect your stars, then there might be better players to fit that role.

  2. Deslauriers is the man the Pens need … of course Rutherford traded a #1 & Oscar Sundqvist for Ryan Reaves only to give him away for nothing (Brassard) because Sullivan didn’t know how to use him .. truculence …

    • Lower cost for OEL than Eichel. But need is forward . Marchand needs to remain with Pasta. Mcavoy great player~potential. I just think he will be injured often in his career. Reckless abandon which actually makes him great.

  3. So, no matter where we all evaluate Eichel progress/skillets /upside, doesn’t it cost the Bruins THREE late round number ones a prospect and a player?
    I love these sportswriter like stirring the trade pot w/o any forethought with their dream catchers.

    • That’s exactly the package I’d offer Buffalo for Eichel. Not sure if it would garner a response from Adams, but it’s where I’d both start and end negotiations.

      • 2422,
        Jarmo can clean up the Eichel situation by offering up Laine…Bruins can’t touch that.

        CBJ will have to pay Eichel money to keep him or trade him anyways.

      • I wholeheartedly agree, Habsfan. The Bruins can’t touch that offer, nor should they even try.

      • Boston is the last team I trade Eichel to, they are getting old at the center position, divisional rivals so why help them out especially when they don’t have the right package for it to be a good trade. Number 1 centers are hard to come by so some team is going to have to pay the freight to acquire Eichel. BTW, id PLD can garner Laine then Eichel should garner Pastrnak which Boston wouldn’t do.
        Buffalo’s biggest problem is they hire rookies for their management positions. Get experience at the GM and the coaching positions, hire a president of hockey operations and let Kim stay home and bake cookies as she is the biggest problem the Sabres have.

      • I should have added a team to watch is Vegas bc they have a knack of coming in late and getting the job done. If they don’t win the cup with MAF having a great year they can include him to make the cap room to fit Eichel.

        Fleury-cap reasons
        1st rounder


        An Eichel trade isn’t a TDL deal, it’s a before the draft trade if he is even traded plus there’s no rush on the Sabres part as they have to before the 22-23 season when Eichels NMC and 7.5mil bonus kicks in.

      • Hi Len

        Fully agree re Knights…. I’ve watched all but 3 of their games this year

        I fully agree with those on TV claiming Knights are the fav

        Re the trade… I can’t see that happening

        I believe they will meet Bolts in playoffs … could be in Semis; could be finals…. regardless… winner of series… IMVHO …. gets cup

        Knights are exempt from Seattle; and have 20 of their 23 signed on for next year at least; with $4.5 M in space

        They will re-sign Coughlan to very reasonable bridge

        They have no need to re-sign Martinez

        Nosek… maybe maybe not

        Either way…. $4.5 M easily covers Coughlan ; a 7th D and a 14th Forward

        Add to that … they have great prospects in the 18-21 year old range ; and have their own first; and own 2nd this year; plus NJ’s 2nd (which will be a low 2nd)

        Knights are sitting pretty dang good

  4. Players like Tom Wilson are slowly disappearing I wish someone would put him through the glass and end his playing time this year. He is and always has been a dirty player. So he hurts Jankowski and Wilson gets to continue playing. The league should make Wilson stay out as long as Jankowski can’t play. Perhaps that would help jerks like him to be more concerned about ending careers.

    • Hate woilson but hoping for injury is not ok.

      Solution is easy. Dirty suspendable hits should be punished harsher for players but also the coaches gms and owners should be fined.

      Coach put them on the ice. Gm signed them. Owners paid them.

      Dirty hockey would be gone lightning quick if that happens.

      • With you Chrisms

        I have no respect whatsoever for Wilson

        I watched him play as a teenager in Toronto and he was a head hunter then.. with his fam cheering him on and him laughing as there is a kid lying on the ice , lights out

        He should have had a suspension for the Jankowski hit…. to the body yep…. but so late and with so much force; the intention was obviously to injure

        I’m still sick to my stomach remembering the ZAR hit….. don’t forget…. not admonished until after the game ; after he contributed to tying and winning goal

        He is going to end someone’s career

        That said…. I would be unjust in wishing a similar plight back on him

        Player safety… step up … penalize, be consistent; increase suspensions (games) on repeat offenders

    • Wilson knows what he is doing when he crosses the line. He has been suspended 4 times, once for 20 games (reduced on appeal to 14).
      He also knows that there is payback in the NHL, he is the one who enforces that for Washington.

      If he crosses the line and injures a guy, again, and a guy on the other team gets him back and he gets injured. Fine.
      I don’t think that is wrong, I think it is karma and it couldn’t happen to a better guy.
      If you run around like that, doing that to other players, you have it coming IMO.

      Not saying intentionally injure a guy like break your stick across his face, but you get even, and if it results in an injury? Okeedokee.

  5. Players are paid a fortune to play a game. Its about entertainment and league needs more players like Wilson, not less to turn up the temperature and excitement for the fans. A great scoring chance (doesn’t actually matter if it goes in ) and a great hit are in their moment more exciting than a goal. PP are boring, end to end speed and hard hits are what makes the game great.

    • Meant to add they are more than fairly compensated for the physical risk they take.

      • Wrong again higgins. I’m sure is you are old enough to work, that you would want to make sure that everyday you go to work won’t be your last, right?

        Hockey is a contact sport; that being said, injuries occur just by fluke or is part of the game, we all get that. What you dont get is removing the element that makes a player illegally hit a player causing an injury not where said player injures a player on a clean hit… it seems players that play Wilson’s style do seem to be aware of the difference, Wilson seems to forget that from time to time… that still doesn’t make it acceptable.

  6. Pen’s want toughness

    to SJ: Zucker & McCann
    to Pitts: Kane

    Kane has some grit to him and can shoot

    • That would be a perfect deal if the Penguins could coax Dustin Byfuglien out of retirement to handle Kane in the locker room.

    • The Bruins should add an emergency goaltender !
      Bruins are OK, not as good as the Leafs mind you, but Who is !!!
      Just in case Raask pulls his Charlie Brown act , goes AWOL , during the playoffs with his thumb in his mouth and his blanket ..
      All the talk in bean town , is moving Debrusk , Leafs will gladly take him , along with Brandin Carlo
      We have Kerfoot, and a superstar in the making , with Nylander ….
      Anderson might be of interest , as well ….
      Package up something nice for us, as Leafs are no longer in your division , we will accommodate U !!!!

      • Ken do you have kids of so what would you do if your child was sick and 1000 miles away

    • Debrusk and Brandon Carlo to the Leafs ..
      No longer in your division ..
      We have some more gentle players for you , but highly skilled , Nylander and Kerfoot
      If you are worried about Raask doing his disappearing act, again on the playoffs , maybe look at Frederick Anderson ..

      Eichel isn’t going anywhere , everybody is in dreamland !!
      But the above Leafs are , good second choice for you bean town boys !!

      • You know that these division changes are only for THIS season, right? Next season BOS and TOR are in the same division again.

  7. Does Boston have the assets to trade for Eichel, YES!

    Is Boston a one line team, NO!

    Is Boston a Cup Contender, Not as it stands.

    Do I want Eichel on Boston, Yes / No

    Every team has the asset if your willing to part with them, it comes down to quality vs quantity. Lets say Boston offer Pastrnak that certainly quality some might say the Bruins need to add, I would agree only because Pastrnak only has tow more years at $6.66 which is a bargain basement deal; but Eichel is locked in at $10m for another 5yrs

    The Bruins have 3 lines unfortunately they don’t have a second line, to much of their scoring is relied on 3 players

    For Boston to be a contender they need to solve there 2nd line issues, maybe a Taylor Hall for the second line.

    I’m not sold on the LD a Mattias Elkholm would be nice.

    Eichel in Boston sound nice, but there seem to be issue with his attitude that i’m not sold on, he doesn’t make the players around him better and for my money he appears to be an issue and not a solution, i leaning more towards thanks but no thanks.

    Stay the course have this and next year to make a run, have the cap space to add. Need to add a LD with size and skill (sorry Tinordi) and maybe have to over spend to find a second line solution; otherwise no cup for you.

    • I’m not sold on Eichel either and not at the cost to get and salary.
      I wonder if we are going to see the cheap Jacobs return from the pre-cap era. We may have gotten a first look at the not resigning Krug and Chara. With the bottom line down with everything the Jacobs do, I don’t hold confidence in resigning DK or Rask and I don’t see them getting a 10 . Jacobs has been always about the money.
      million dollar player
      I also think after 6 years of failing to fix the second line it’s time for a new GM.

      • Many years back, I though Jacobs was a tight wad…. and he was. Now, you really can’t say that. The Bruins spend up to the cap or at least really close, every year. Chara leaving was the best thing for the Bruins. As much as I respect him, it has allowed McAvoy to step up and continue his progress. Chara even said he wasn’t willing to take a lesser role. As for Krug, I am not upset they let him sign elsewhere either. He is a very good powerplay quarterback but his defensive play needs work. Not to mention I think in a few years, his contract will be a tough swallow. I hope he proves me wrong on that because I like him a lot.

        If Rask even plays next year, it will be with the Bruins. I see Krejci walking unless he signs a 1 or 2 year deal at $5mil.

        As for fixing the second line, I don’t fault the GM there as much as the coach. He changes out the players too often. Not giving them time to gel together. Sweeney has tried over the years with Nash, Johansson, Coyle and Kase. Nash retired, Johansson was helpful in the 2019 playoffs, Coyle has been better than I expected and could replace Krejci if given the chance and Kase has been an injury issue which Sweeney should have seen. Still, second line scoring falls back on shuffling the lines so much.

        Play DeBrusk and Smith with Krejci and leave them alone. Same with Coyle, Frederic and Ritchie.

    • @Caper
      The window with Bergeron +Krejci(even add 32 year old Marchand) is not open much longer.
      Will Krejci resign for team friendly contract next season?
      Bruins have to be all in this season even if it mortgages the future like they have for a decade it seems.

      Taylor Hall is not the answer for the run

      • I understand that Jacob has paid to the cap, but I large part of his business is concessions throughout the country. This business has been hurt very bad by the pandemic, I’m saying it would surprise me if he cheaps out a couple of years.

        I will admit Sweeney has tried and maybe it’s Krejci can develop chemistry. Johanson was good on the third wing with Coyle not with Krejci. Nash retired and that was a heavy price for a handful of games. All in all every has failed.

        I guess I’m not convince one player is going to get you over the top this year. Too many inconsistent players not enough balance and how is the young defense going to stand in the playoffs.

        Far too many question to be answered by going big for one guy.

      • Ds if Hall isn’t the answer for you, who is?

      • @Caper
        E Staal

        I do not think Nashville moves Forsberg.
        Honestly I think Kessel be better for a playoff run than Hall but that not happening

        Jeff Skinner could be had for ‘futures’ ;-0
        Don’t forget Palmieri

      • The window is closed.If they get into the playoffs,do you see them beating Caps or Islanders.Bad matchup.How long can they depend on 46,37,63.You are putting off the inevitable,start the rebuid .At the deadline trade46.40.41.Then sign them again in the offseason

  8. The only thing that saved them last night from an embarrassing score against the Capitols was Rask he was heads above everyone else as the best player on the ice much as as I’d like to see Eichel in a bruins uniform I don’t think the bruins have enough to get him. Taylor hall is having a dumper of a year worst I’ve ever seen .I think Hall would be easier to obtain I know they need a centre but the cost the sabres are asking would be too much I think for Trent, 1st rounder and one other player besides c Mac, Patrice, Pasta or Brad would be great for Hall fit put him beside Studnicka. The bruins need to get some better players. So they can compete with Washington, if they were to play them now they would be out in four straight. The islanders apppear to have their number this year as well.

    • T Hall is probably the way the Bruins should go, he wont cost as much in return & Buff won’t resign him…..

      saw a trade posted on Fansided

      Bjork & Bruins 1st rd pick 2021 for Hall

      • instead of hall would ya do

        to NSH: DeBrusk & Moore
        to BOS: Johansen (who plays C & RW)

    • Let s hope the Bruins make the playoffs.They are a bad matchup for Caps and the Islanders.One of these teams will not make the playoffs,Bruins,Flyers,Penguins.The team that doesn t better hope they are sellers at the deadline.That could very well be the Bruins.

  9. Burke is saying in roundabout way what fans have been complaining about lately.

    Both the Refs and the DOPS are not keeping control of the game.

    Headshots are called…..sometimes, slew foots are called ….sometimes.

    Let’s be honest, if penalties, fines and suspensions were being handed out consistently to discourage foul play you wouldn’t hear for calls frontier justice.

    Burke may be a neanderthal but the league is making the case for him.

    • Sure call them but not all the phantom hooks and trips that makes league look like WWE to uneducated fans and a joke to those who know the game.

    • That is true Habsfan30, couldn’t agree more. I’ll add the hits from behind to your list.

  10. Winnipeg is in a unique situation this year. The expectations is next season the NHL will go back to its normal division (hopefully Covid under control) as teams don’t like to deal within their own division.

    Winnipeg is the lone ranger in the North, in a normal year they are the only Canadian team in their division.

    Does that give them an advantage come trade deadline? Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa play in one division and Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver play in another.

    With the 14 day quarantine in place cross borders, maybe the jets have a slight advantage on the trade front.

  11. Re

    “ Penguins GM Ron Hextall last Saturday admitted he’d like to add some toughness”

    To me he is just regurgitating Burke’s will/mindset on the “long pants” theory to success

    Hextall needs to be the sole decision maker; Burke decisions solely based on slow footed, skill short (hockey-wise) , pugilists will not win a Cup

    Will grit improve the team… I would say so; but it is not (in and of itself) necessarily getting Pens into playoffs, let alone towards wining a series , or even thinking about anotherCup

    Re adding Glendenning; Watson or Deslauiriers….

    Glendenning is below league average height and just a tad below league average weight…. certainly not in the Long Pants category

    Watson big and tough but longer term left and at higher Cap… will likely cost more in trade

    I’d rather go for the $1M cap hit in the biggest of the 3… Delauriers (an inch shorter than Watson ; but 15 lbs (of muscle) heavier

    That acquisition should come reasonably

    Pens , when healthy, will be set on D

    What they don’t have is three scoring lines… and most importantly a consistent and reliable 3C

    I’d love to see Staal there… He’s UFA and Sabres are not getting in… the old taboo of not trading in Div is not real in this case as Sabres go back next year; Pens remain in Metro

    Gino was clicking with Guentz/ Rusty…. they could try keeping that line and try (when Sid returns ) Sid/McC/Kappy

    Get **Staal….

    Staal/Turbo/ Rodrigues

    *Would Ducks flip Deslauiers for Laffy?

    **Sabres don’t have a single NHL LD under contract for next year… as at now Pens are carrying 5 LDs… Dumo, Matheson, Pettersson, PO-J, Riikola…. with PO-J’s bright future and low cap hit…. he shouldn’t be even considered for moving

    Sabres not likely to take on the longer and pricier contract of Matheson

    Pettersson with his reasonable contract; straight up for Staal is seriously overpaying

    Riikola for Staal… Adams will likely want a tad more (and much to my chagrin , throwing in Ruhweedel is not cutting it 😢)

    I read on another site the suggestion (with long term logic but certainly not a fan friendly move) of trading Dumo. They cited his value to contract with 2 years left as well… would bring back a good forward in trade

    If it was Dumo to Sabres… more than Staal comes back for sure

    Any chance Sabres bite on Dumo/Zucker and a prospect NOT named Poulin and NOT named Legare for

    Staal/Reinhardt ??

    Go Pens Go

    • Pengy,

      What about Henrique in ANA. Off this year but solid last year. Change of scenery can do wonders.

      To PIT: Henrique & Shattenkirk (1m retained)
      to ANA: Peterson & Marino

      • Hi IHC

        Marino alone is worth more than Shatz and Henrique

        Wouldn’t mind Henrique but Ducks will need to retain …. at least 1/3rd

        Pettersson came frim Ducks…. not sure on sending him back

        Staal for a readonable ask would be better for Pens

        They won’t do it but…,

        Henrique (1/3rd retained) for Zucker??

      • @Pengy

        Not sure 1/3 of the 5.8 to Henrique added to Zuckers alary making him a 6.5 mil player looks appetizing for anyone lol.

        Zuck is not worth over 6M lol