NHL Rumor Mill – March 5, 2021

by | Mar 5, 2021 | Rumors | 52 comments

Updates on Taylor Hall, Alex Ovechkin and Tuukka Rask plus the latest on the Canucks and Flames in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NHL.COM: cited a report in The Buffalo News in which Taylor Hall said he’s willing to sign another contract with the Sabres despite a disappointing performance by himself and the team this season. Hall said he’s enjoying his time in Buffalo, praising his teammates and coaching staff, adding he and his agent are “open to anything.”

Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not doubting Hall’s sincerity and perhaps Sabres management would be interested. Given the club’s current plight, however, I don’t think there’s a deal to be had unless the Sabres are willing to pony up a hefty long-term contract.

The Sabres have already been soaked with the Jeff Skinner deal. Unlike Hall, Skinner had a solid performance in his contract year. Team owners Terry and Kim Pegula could be reluctant to risk a similar investment on Hall.


NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz cited NHL insider Bob McKenzie reporting Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin could resume contract talks with management in April. Ovechkin (who represents himself in contract talks) met with Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan earlier this season but the two sides agreed to table talks until later in the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Gretz points out, both sides want to get a contract extension done but how much and for how long could make it challenging. Ovechkin will be 36 when his new contract begins next season and at some point won’t be a $9.5 million player anymore.

MacKenzie also reported the Capitals could be in the market for an experienced goaltender given the lack of experience of their current tandem of Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek. Their limited salary-cap space could hamper those efforts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals added Craig Anderson as a third goalie. However, the 39-year-old is past his prime and only appeared in two games this season.

McKenzie also reports the Boston Bruins could explore new contracts for pending free-agent goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. The Bruins also have sufficient salary-cap flexibility to add a significant player before the April 12 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins have limited options available to replace Rask and Halak via this summer’s UFA market. It would also be difficult to find suitable replacements via the trade market. Re-signing both to reasonable short-term contracts could be their best option.

The Bruins need an experienced top-four, left-side defenseman and a reliable second-line scorer. They’ve been linked to Nashville Predators blueliner Mattias Ekholm and forward Mikael Granlund.


TSN: Darren Dreger speculates the Vancouver Canucks could shop pending UFA winger Tanner Pearson if unable to re-sign him before the April 12 trade deadline.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston reported the Arizona Coyotes have had a longstanding interest in Pearson stretching back to last October’s trade talks with the Canucks regarding Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He suggests it’s best the Canucks move Pearson for something handy as they face re-signing young stars such as Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes in the near future.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Pearson could be traded if the cost of retaining him could affect the cap space necessary to re-sign the Canucks’ top young players. Maybe the Coyotes could revisit their interest if they become buyers at the trade deadline.

Ben Kuzma recently reported there’s been some trade buzz surrounding Canucks center Brandon Sutter. A pending UFA like Pearson, Sutter wants to stay in Vancouver but Kuzma points out he could also be a good rental solution for the Edmonton Oilers as a replacement for the disappointing Kyle Turris on their third line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sutter has a 15-team no-trade list but the Oilers might not be on it. They have limited cap space so the Canucks would have to pick up a healthy chunk of Sutter’s remaining salary. They could try to swap Turris for Sutter but I doubt the Canucks would do it as Turris has another year remaining on his contract with a $1.65 million cap hit.

TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports the Calgary Flames are in the market for a right-winger. They’d like to move Elias Lindholm from the top line to center the second line, which would create a need to replace him on the right side. They’ve tried several players in that role this season but haven’t found the right fit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli recently listed Detroit’s Bobby Ryan and Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen on his updated trade-bait list. Both are affordable but Ryan would be the better option if the Flames seek a rental player. Kyle Palmieri could be a better one if the New Jersey Devils become sellers at the trade deadline.


  1. I said last year Palmieri would be a great addition to the Flames. How about Bennett as the basis ?

    Er ah er Sutter back behind the bench. Did not see that coming .

    I think the Sabres need to start in net. A tier 1 goalie and a top rated coach would help. They have some really nice pieces and should be better.

    • Be interesting to see how Bennett fares with Sutter. It seems like a good match.

      • Agree BCLeafFan, Bennet seems like his type of player.
        I think Sutter is exactly what they need, his way or don’t play. Should light a fire as well.
        Gonna be interesting.
        Also agree SCJ, if this doesn’t work, Treliving has a problem.

    • Didn’t see that coming either. I think Sutter specifically is chosen both for his history with the Flames during their last cup run, his penchant for holding players accountable, and importantly, his local residence, which means he won’t have to quarantine before joining the team.

      5 coaches in 6 years….Have to feel like Treliving’s future beyond this season is tied to Sutter’s ability to get these team to play with some heart.

      • It’s like Goldielocks and the Bears in Calgary.
        Hartley was too hard for the Kids. Gully was too soft. Peters was kind of a good fit, but he had other issues. Ward was a fill in. Nothing more. I hope Sutter tunes those kids in, before they’re no longer kids. A hard hand approach would go a long way with Johnny and Monny.

    • If I’m the NJ I want no part of Bennet, he hasn’t proven he is anymore then a 3rd line player and the Devils have enough of them.

      I would like them to hold onto Palms, with their young core they are going to need some veteran leadership.

    • Palmieri a good fit in many places. Bruins need someone to Krejci’s right. Palmieri I believe lives in the Boston area, he would fit great there

  2. The Sabre’s already have two contracts that are next to impossible to move (Okposo and Skinner) they don’t need a third. If Krueger still has a job after this season then I can see it happening as he has the Pegula’s ear for some reason. Hall knows he’s at a time in his career where he isn’t getting a big long term contract from a contending team so why not settle in Buffalo who is dumb enough to give him what he wants. If Skinner went to the open market he never gets the 9mil, the Sabres should have let him test the market. I would let Hall test the market and get what you can at the TDL.
    Buffalo is a convenient stop for both Skinner and Hall as once things are back to norm they are a 2 hour trip up the Q from home and family.

    • Henrique to Buff for Okposo?

      Gives them a 2c and can trade off Staal and Hall for assets?

      • Hi IHC

        3 more years at 5.8 vs 2 more at 6…. both not performing anywhere near Cap hit

        Okposo a yr older and a winger

        I think Sabres would have to pony up more; but the gist of the trade makes sense

        Then ….

        Staal to Pens please 😁

    • Hall is not worth 7m plus. His last 3 season performance indicates a drastic decline. the “eye test” confirms it.

      Buyer beware. I thought the same for Skinner but Pegula got what he wanted. I bet Botterill did not want to do 9m and long term and got canned when proven right.

      • IHC, the rumor at the time was that Eichel was pushing hard to sign Skinner. No idea if accurate.

      • I think Botterill didn’t want to go 8 yrs on Skinner, he wanted a shorter term contract.

    • Hi LEN

      Excellent points… 2 albatross contracts already

      I see the interest Hall might have in staying

      Certainly saying the right things

      30 this year…. an 8 year offer is all but a dream

      It comes down to $’s and term he can get

      If he is not getting an 8 year offer; and Sabres are still near the bottom…. why not at least test UFA

      Fully agree…. Sabres should shop him @ TDL…. at least see what the offers are

      @TDL (and taking into account escrow) he’d be only owed just shy of $1.9 M for the balance of the year

      Retaining 50% (costing Pagula $950 K) … $4M annual Cap ….. but “real” space of ~ $1.35M…. opens up more viable suitors…. what’s the offer

      • Excellent points Pengy

      • Stahl to penguins if we had him we wouldn’t ha e lost a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3.
        Joseph se t to AHL affiliate surprising. Marino has been inconsistent.

        Dumoulin back soon hS missed 15 games.

      • Hi BnG

        Marino was awful last night and has had s tough year; I think he will rebound though

        Marino directly caused 2 goals and was co-responsible for s third

        As I said…. he’ll rebound

        Yes PO-J to WBS is strange

        I’m guessing then that Dumo WILL start on Sat; and that would mean P-OJ in press box (Dumo, Pettersson, Matheson ahead of him on LHD depth) and demotion gets him actual playing time

        Ironically, they keep CR up. If Friedman is healthy and Riikola is healthy…. waive CR down… he’s not going to be picked up; and he doesn’t lose any money (same pay up and down)

        Yes …. we need a 3C…. Staal would be perfect

    • So glad NJ didn’t offer or Hall didn’t sign a $10M contract when they could of.

      GP 56 G 12 A 28 P 40

      Since the trade. Now Ari and Buf are terrible teams, but the margin between them in NJ is not wide enough to expect that he would be faring much better in NJ

  3. Brent Seabrook announced his retirement.

    One of my favorite Blackhawk, the guy who told Captain Serious to get it under control, while Toew was throwing a fit, sitting in the penalty box.

    • Liked him too Caper

      Very very good player in his prime

      Technically not retired but will be doing the “Pronger” retirement method… stay through end of contract on LTIR… insurance pays him while on LTIR

      He’d be foolish to “officially” retire and walk away from the $15 + M he will get over 4 more years from the insurance company

      Great career

      With $26 +M on LTIR and playing well …. does Bowman make a move?

      • @Pengy…….. I think Stahl would be that perfect fit down the middle for out third line center….

        Imagine Stahl Tanev, McCann new third line nice speed, grit and defensively strong.

        Not sure what we give up for him.. If he does well we can resign him next year. He wears big boy pants as Burke describes..

        Moves are coming…Penguins have shown they can compete with anyone the problem is consistency, urgency and toughness..

        with Dumo coming back I think we are solid enough defensively

  4. Boston doesn’t need to resign Halak; they need to give either Vladar 1.78gaa 924sv% or Swayman 1.80gaa 935 sv% the opportunity to backup Rask.

    • Agree caper, Vladar first I think.
      Hopefully he gets a decent amount of games in this year.

  5. Re “ The Bruins need an experienced top-four, left-side defenceman”

    Agree fully

    As sad as this sounds for a Pens fan; I read on another site a cogent rationale re trading Dumo. Certainly not a fan fav thing to do (moving Dumo) but to summarize the logic presented…. Pens now with 10 D, 5 Lefties (Dumo, Matheson, Petterson, P0-J; Riikola), and Dumo and Riikola about to return

    The story went on to say…. trading the up and coming PO-J is foolish; Matheson (due to contract length) tougher to move; Riikola little return; and with Petterssons reasonable contract…. shouldn’t

    Dumo is Pens best LD; but Pens have stayed afloat so far this year w/o him and the bigger need is 3C and grit forward. Per the post…. Dumo would garner the best return

    So…. hate to even suggest it; but Dumo on Bruins would be an excellent fit….

    Dumo two more years at extremely reasonable $4.1 M; and Pens need to go all in this year

    Dumo/Laffy and prospect NOT named Poulin and NOT named Legare for

    Ritchie,Debrusk, 1st

    If somehow Pens could also get Staal….

    Sid Guentz Rusty

    Gino Kappy McC

    Staal JDB *Ritchie

    Blueger ZAR *Turbo


    *Can move up the line-up in a pinch

    Tanger Matheson

    Marino Pettersson

    Ceci P-O J


    Freidman, Reilly, Lee, Czuzman, Trottman, Weber

    • Re Dumo in Boston

      Would certainly strengthen their D; is a New England lad (grew up 2 hours North up I95) and played for BCE and Bruins certainly not opposed to having a “local” on the team

      Very reasonable Cap hit

    • Not a chance on that deal, Pengy. The additional 1st you bandied about almost made me physically ill.
      I honestly don’t see a deal between our two clubs, as we’re both after the same prize at the same time.

      • Absolutely true ShoreOrrPark

        The article I read didn’t refer to where Dumo could be traded

        I just tied in with Lyle’s post of today of Bruins want/need for a top 4 LHD

        Alone … as Pend top LHD; and two more years at only $4.1M…. a first plus ; I truly believe is the value

        Pens are all in and need grit/winger… hence my suggestion of Ritchie

        No matter what… Pens as is; are in trouble

        They need 3 scoring lines

        A fair 3C to allow McC to play top 6 wing; is IMHO, the first order of business

      • Ya, no thanks on the deal.

        While I am sure Sweeney will add at the TDL if the B’s are solidly in a playoff spot, not sure he should based on play so far.
        Do I think they make the playoffs, sure they can. Do I think they have a legit chance to win the cup even if they add a veteran top #4 LD, nope.

        I hope I am wrong and they start to consistently outplay and out chance their opponents, but if they keep on the way they are playing now, they ain’t winning anything.

        Not trying to be a Debbie Downer, they just seem kind of meh. Too many holes and a Dumo type guy isn’t moving that needle enough.
        IMO their record is better than they have played.

      • Agree Ray

        High bar realistically for any of the “new” Metro Div for this spring; is to hope that Semis are Central vs West so that exposure to Knights or Bolts doesn’t come until SCF; and then , IMHO, it is Knights or Bolts to win

        A major addition to Bruins, Caps, Isles, or Flyers does not necessarily get them to semis

        A major addition by Pens still may not get them above the cut line; but as is; almost near a guarantee that without an upgrade; they are long-shots to get in

        Pens IMHO MUST make a TDL move of significance; or conclude the obvious and start the re-build

        It hurts just thinking about it 🤬😡😭👎

    • Ummm no thanks Pengy.

      Not giving up a 1st.

      Boston will do a 7 3 protection so Dumo would have to be protected or expose.

      • Excellent point Caper

        I truly believe Dumo alone with his skillset; proven abilities; size, poise; and 2 years left at extremely reasonable $4.1 M is easily worth a first

        I had however forgotten/not considered the Seattle draft

        Bruins obviously protecting McA and Carlo

        Is Dumo worth the extra $400 K over Gryz…. absolutely. Much more

        That said…. why give up assets to improve when they’ll be expised to losing Gryz next year

        Note Bruins also have to expose a goalie; and Rask and Halak are UFAs …. so until they are re-upped; neither can be the Bruins exposed goalie

        Are Bruins in danger of having to expose Vlad ? Ir does Booth qualify?

        If (unfortunately for Bruins) it is Vlad having to be exposed; I’d think Seattle would take him over Gryz

        Either way… excellent point re expansion… muddies the trade waters doesn’t it

        I think with s fair single TDL move…. Bruins should finish first in the Div

        Compare that to Pens…. Sans an upgrade…. 5th place and no playoffs is much more likely than getting in

        Whatever 4 teams get in; with the tightness and with “anything CAN happen “ in the playoffs mindset…. anyone of yhem could emerge to play Knights or Bolts or recency bias indicating likely Leafs (from North)

        Pens MUST trade

        Bruins SHOULD trade

    • Maybe if you changed the first to Vakanainan I would be OK with it.

      • Hi Dee

        I’m good on that… which would be:

        Dumo/Laffy and prospect NOT named Poulin and NOT named Legare for

        Ritchie,Debrusk, Vak

        But our Bruins co-posters are pointing out that they wouldn’t accept the 1st being in the deal… 1st is future unknown; Vak is a good known prospect; so Vak in deal compared to 1st in deal is Bruins giving up even more

        Key first move for Pens is 3C

        Staal to me; checks all the boxes… what’s the cost?

        Henrique with 3 more years at $5.8 M is too much… perhaps if they retained at least 1/3rd; or if there was a bigger deal with Henrique AND Delauriers (to satisfy Burke’s long pants mantra)…. but what does that cost?

      • That makes the trade even more lopsided. Two proven wingers and a grade B defensive prospect for a middling defensive defenseman and a underwhelming depth prospect.
        Respectfully, no thank you.

  6. Taylor Hall got a 1 yr show me contract for $8 million and has shown nothing to earn it.

    If he wants to show a desire to stay in Buffalo he needs to be producing close to his pay grade.

    He has been a 20 goal scorer (that’s including his big year), but talk about him revolves around the one outlier year in his ten year career.

    Its like 50 has become the new 25 and talking up value is unrelated to performance.

    • Hi HF30

      Your line “ 50 has become the new 25” caught my eye

      I just turned 60…… does that mean I can become the new 35? I’ll settle for 45 LOL

      Aside from my personal proclivities and insecurities … fully agree… step up Hall.. earn ur next contract

  7. how much $$$$ would the Flames give the Bruins to take Lucic and his two year contract

    • Hi Joe

      Setting aside his full NMC (up to 1/6/21) …. Lucic back to Bruins would take a bundle

      IF somehow he waived his NMC …. Flames just may have to retain 50% of their already 88%

      That Cap AAV to the receiving team ~ $2.6 M ; with cash AAV (after escrow) in the ~ $1.6 M range ($3.2 M total over 2 years)

      Who will take him at that, and does he agree to waive to go there; or in off-season; are any of the those teams on his 8 team trade list

      I believe that since his full NMC is expired come expansion draft; that he can be exposed to Krakken…. does anybody know for sure?

    • Obviously Lucic is not full value at his current AAV. He does bring leadership, toughness, and effort to a team sorely needing those attributes. He is quietly playing well and I think he is the type of player Daryl Sutter likely wants more of.

  8. Speaking of Hall, I don’t see how he is not moved at TDL. What could possibly be the reason? Other than him resigning in buffalo, but they could do that any way if he hits FA.
    What are some of the teams that would look at him seriously at the TDL?

    • Hi Taz

      All depends on (1) retention; and (2) how he plays over the next 10 games

      The Captain obvious is….The list of teams looking to add Hall at 50% retained is substantially longer than the list of those willing to take him at full hit (count that as basically none; or a substantial crap contract has to be dumped back to Sabres)

      13 points (only 2 goals) in 21 games is not pretty… then again… that’s the same goals and 3 less assists than Eichel; and whole team playing pretty bad

      Also -13; but team over-all (GF-GA) is -17

      If somehow he gets 8 points in next 10 games ; including 4 of those being goals… AND 50% retention…. I’ll say over/under on teams actually willing to trade for him (not just kicking tires) ….5

      • Pengy,
        To state the obvious from this past year’s UFA’s Mike Hoffman costs half the money and he keeps producing in comparison.

        6 goals, 10 assists in 22 games and a +10

        It’s odd how some players are over valued

  9. I keep hearing Debrusk is available ?
    Package him with Brandon Carlo – To the Leafs as they are no longer in your division …
    Bruins might be a little softer, but more talented !
    Nylander , Kerfoot, a first rounder, Leafs can’t draft properly anyways , unless it’s a lottery pick !
    We will even throw in Hutchison
    Anyone see his performance , last night , reassurance,,if Raask decides to take a walk , during the playoffs !!

    • Preposterous. Absolutely preposterous to even suggest such a ridiculous trade. I’m not even going to humor everyone with why it’s such a terrible idea. Jeez. Why don’t we just throw in Pasta and Chuckie and take back Spezza and Vessey as well? A real blockbuster!

    • I think Ken’s trade proposal is not as far fetched as some may think. I think both TO and B’s can benefit from this trade. Boston gets high end talent in Nylander all be it streaky, but he provide secondary skill line behind one of the best in NHL Pasternak, Marchand and Bergeron. Kerfpt will provide them with relenless puck pursuit with some speed and above average hockey iq. On top of all that they get TO’s 1st pick. I’ll say thats a great haul for the B’s. By the way, Nylander and Pasternak are great friends off the ice as well.
      Pasternak is no doubt B’s future captain and the face of the franchise moving forward as Marchand and Bergeron are both aging stars. Thus, Pasta, Willy and McAvoy could be their future for some time to come. As for the Leafs, adding Debrusk is exactly what they need in the playoffs. A lot like Hyman with bit more edge to his game and not shy why from some fisticuffs. Brandon Carlo will become Toronto’s rock solid D man they have been looking for. Big, heavy, nasty, strong stay at home no nonsense take care business type. And they are both 24 years of age which coincide very nicely with Mathews, Marner and Hyman. Only question is would Boston be as excited as the Leafs for this transaction. Nothing wrong with hoping thats for sure. As for their loss to Vancouver last night, the Leafs were totally gassed out. Vancouver played them perfectly, they out skated them and gave them no space and time, something the Leafs did with the Oilers. I don’t fault Hutchinson, as the goals he let in were perfectly placed shots. Even though he could have better positioning on them. But the game was lost due to overall TEAM play. Vancouver just wanted more than Toronto. Anyways, GO LEAFS GO

  10. Which is true
    1. Leafs win the Stanley Cup
    2. The Canadian division is the toughest division in hockey
    3. Leafs complete a blockbuster rare with the BRUINS !!

    • Lol. What’s behind door number 4, Ken?

      • 4. What’s the possibility of a Bruins – Leafs final ..
        Touché !

  11. There U Go .. Shoreorrpark , Mike summed my thoughts up for you …
    Win, win trade ….. Pasternak and Nylander live happily ever after ! Future of the franchise !
    Can you believe , Leafs drafted Dermot ahead of Brandon Carlo , same draft year !
    Nylander is playing really well, as of late , Bruins achieve star power , and Leafs get badly needed aggressors for playoff time , plus Debrusk shines in the playoffs – Bruins are shopping him anyways !!

    • Yeah. Mike has made about 16 posts in the last while and none of them are sensible or astute. Debrusk an aggressor? Since when? Not shy when it comes to fisticuffs? I don’t believe he’s ever been in a fight in his life, let alone in the NHL. Kerfoot is not a top six player. He’s lucky to be in the league. Boy did Sakic ever fleece boy wonder on that one.
      You’ve got to be kidding if you think Willy the streaky floater will bring back a return like Brandon Carlo. I’m well aware of his friendship with Pasta. Ritchie and McDavid are friends as well. Think we can get Conner for Kuraly?
      Jeez louise!
      I’m glad you boys have started watching hockey as it’s always good to have new fans, but maybe lay off the booze before posting.

  12. So the suggestion is Bs trade a 3rd line shy LQ and a 4/5 defenseman for an elite forward and a 3rd line centre with a 1st thrown in? Stop it.

    Dubas would and should be immediately fired if he traded Nylander alone for those 2 spare parts with the Bs adding the first.

    You guys are funny!

  13. Remember Shoreorrpark , U R getting a first round draft pick as well …
    Besides, Wilson “gooned “Carlo tonight , and he may be out for awhile .
    Boston looked really strong , contenders again …Tinordi pickup seemed like a bargain …
    Debrusk is more a pest , and steps up his game in the playoffs ..
    If not Carlo , how about McAvoy ,Leafs can add a sweetener , Lol
    Ps .,
    I am not much of a “drinker”