NHL Rumor Mill – March 8, 2021

by | Mar 8, 2021 | Rumors | 52 comments

Could the Maple Leafs pursue Nick Foligno? What’s the latest on the Jets, Capitals and Penguins? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons took note of recent speculation claiming the Maple Leafs are seeking a forward, preferably one who can play among their top six. He said Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets has popped up of late, but the Leafs have next to no salary-cap space.

Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno (NHL Images).

Simmons believes it would take moving “other assets and money” like Alex Kerfoot, maybe a young defenseman such as Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren or a young sniper like Nick Robertson or maybe an early draft pick to get it done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Leafs with just over $130K in projected trade-deadline cap space. Foligno, the Blue Jackets’ captain, carries a $5.5 million annual average value with $2.9 million remaining to be paid out as of today. An unrestricted free agent this summer, he also carries a 10-team no-trade list.

The Blue Jackets could consider trading Foligno if they fall further out of playoff contention leading up to the April 12 trade deadline but they’ll want a decent return. As Simmons points out, it would have to be a dollar-in, dollar-out move by the Leafs to get it done and they’ll have to include a promising player or a decent draft pick. They might have to consider more affordable options.


NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: In a recent mailbag segment, J.J. Regan was asked if he anticipated the Capitals making any moves at the trade deadline. He thinks they’ll look but their usage of long-term injury reserve to exceed the cap means they cannot bank cap space to put toward trade-deadline acquisitions.

Regan felt the Capitals must boost their depth at center and in goal. He suggested Darcy Kuemper or Antti Raanta of the Arizona Coyotes would be good targets, especially Raanta as he’s a free agent this summer. However, the Coyotes would have to absorb a fair bit of his $4.25 million annual average value.

He was also asked if the Capitals could package Evgeny Kuznetsov and something to the Buffalo Sabres for Jack Eichel but dismissed that idea. The only scenario he sees the Capitals trading Kuznetsov is if they’re engaging in a roster rebuild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL insider Bob McKenzie last week indicated the Capitals might like to add an experienced goaltender. It’ll have to be someone affordable.

As for Kuemper and Raanta, they’re not available unless the Coyotes fall out of playoff contention. Of the two, Raanta is more likely to be traded given his contract status.

THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe recently examined which members of the Pittsburgh Penguins are most likely to move at the trade deadline. He listed defenseman Marcus Pettersson and forward Colton Sceviour in his “I Smell A Trade” Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yohe acknowledged big changes could be coming for the Penguins under new general manager Ron Hextall and president of hockey ops Brian Burke. They could involve long-time core veterans Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang but Yohe doubts either guy will be moved at the trade deadline.

Hextall and Burke both recently indicated they’d like to add more toughness to their lineup. Pettersson and Sceviour could be the trade chips used to bring in more muscle by deadline day.


SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe was asked by a reader if Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff would entertain moving Paul Stastny before the trade deadline while his stock is high. He doesn’t believe Cheveldayoff will consider doing that, citing Stastny’s value to the Jets in terms of leadership and ability to connect with his teammates. He wouldn’t be surprised if Stastny signed a one-year contract extension.

THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates recently examined several potential trade targets for the Jets. He considers Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard as the best fit in terms of age, skill set and a right-handed shot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stastny was a perfect fit with the Jets during his previous short tenure with them. That chemistry hasn’t worn off despite his age and the decline in his skills. His versatility and leadership have given them a boost this season.

Mattias Ekholm has been linked to the Jets in recent trade speculation but I agree with Ates that Savard would be a better fit on their blueline. Whether Cheveldayoff pursues him remains to be seen.


  1. Peterson probably has some value. Has been playing really good lately. Not sure how much value he has out there. Colton been on the bench much of the year. Not sure what value he could have.

  2. With the Penguins injury luck they’ll trade Pettersson and China Doll Doumalin will get hurt right after … then Matheson becomes their top lefty d-man … ugh

    • I have mentioned Foligno in my earlier blogs ..
      Great addition
      Swap one of their goalies for Anderson, as well ..
      As per Simmons notes , above Sandin, Liligren , Kerfoot , SURE, NO to Nick Robertson leaving .
      Maybe Savard is available , as well … as per previous blogs on this site
      Toronto has dead weight to expose , Absolutely !
      Get somebody that wants to show up game in and game out , not snow flakes !

      • Agree with your assessment, but giving up Sandin and Robertson is definitely a no no. They are our future Morgan Reilly and a top six forward. I think a deal could be had with Nylander and Dermott and a 2nd rounder for Foligno and Savard. The best player in this trade would be Nylander. Foligno is 33 years old, his days of being the face of the franchise is no longer relevant. Seth Jones will become their new captain as soon as Foligno is shipped out. Columbus has a core group of Seth, Laine, Domi, Roslovic. All young and talented. I believe Torts will be shown the door at the end of the season. Adding Nylander and Dermott to the core further accomplish their long term goal in becoming younger but with skills. Moving out Foligno, Jenner and Savard will definitely overhaul their roster. For Toronto, their window is now. Foligno another captain in the dressing room will be a definite plus. Savard will slide right into Dermott’s spot. If you can pry out Boone Jenner for let say Jimmy Vessey and Boyd or Perani, and turn this in to a block buster.

    • No kidding right.. McCann is hurt again too…..this team is brittle….

  3. Why would the Jets consider moving Stasny?
    They moved up past the Habs imho as the team to push the Leafs to come out of the North in a 7 game series

    • As it stands now, ds, I have to agree. I think the Jets have a stronger forward line up than the Leafs, and better goalies. I’d give the Leafs an edge in d.

      We’ll get a demonstration of their relative strengths starting tomorrow night.

      • @LJ
        I still think Leafs come out but Jets surpassed the other canadian teams imho

  4. Jets also gave a fair bit to land Stastny not that long ago.
    If they wanted Savard why not include him in the Laine deal ? Already gave up more in terms of Roslovic . Add a player~pick . Now will be a lot tougher on his own.
    Burke Hextall should have interest in Bennett. It didn’t take them long to identify a need for toughness,

    • Savard was only going to become available if Columbus fell out of playoff contention, which it appears they are.

  5. If the capitals need a goalie why would anyone expect the coyote would pay part of that goalies contract ?

  6. Continues to amaze how TML fans and media continue to dream up trading spare parts for a major return as if other teams exist to satisfy TML roster issues.

    Nick Foligno is the Captain and heart and soul of CBJ.

    • Nick Foligno could be the actual player that gets moved and resigns with the team that traded him.

      If he is available other teams will probably have better offers than what the Leafs can send

    • Lots of mou$e-clicker$ in that region, $o it’$ a popular $trategy for many writer$ who would like to $ee more cover$ation$ obviou$ly 😉

    • Also a UFA at seasons end Habsfan30 who has yet to sign an extension.

      Kerfoot and Sandin aren’t spare parts as a return for Foligno IMO. I think it’s a slight overpay actually, if you think Sandin will be an NHLer in the near future.

      No idea how he is progressing.

      • Sandin, who can’t move out either of two pylons on D, Brodie and Bogosian and Kerfoot who has been a disappointment and TML fans are dying to trade are spare parts and not of Foligno’s stature.

        It’s as if I suggested Kulak and Mete for Ekholm, and I could rationalize it easily, younger, faster, both could start there.

        Never going to happen, spare parts for a legit top 4, like the TML spare parts being offered.

      • Kerfoot is a middle 6 NHL player who over the last 3 seasons and this one has more points than Foligno. But basically the same.
        Signed for way less money, and for 2 more seasons than Foligno. Is 26 vs 33.
        Foligno’s stature is that he is the Captain of the team. Fair enough.
        Sandin hasn’t replaced the 2 you mentioned because he just turned 21 yesterday and isn’t ready yet. Normal learning curve actually.
        He was also a 1st rd pick.

        Kerfoot is an overpay for Foligno, throwing in Sandin is simply foolish IMO. Dubas isn’t a fool, so won’t happen.

        Foligno is a 3rd line player with leadership ability and pending UFA. A 2nd rd pick seems about right. Although you’re probably right and he stays in CLB on a 2 year deal at a reduced AAV.

      • Rationalization and overevaluation in TML land rears it’s head again.

        Nick Foligno has more value to a team than Alex Kerfoot by a country mile. The two aren’t in the same league when it comes to stature, leadership, team identity.

        He’s the straw that stirs the drink for the CBJ and is the sandpaper that gives the Torts message to the team.

        Kerfoot is a bottom 6 player who the TML overpaid for in that misguided Kadri trade.

      • LMAO habsfan…omg you’re good at trolling. I mean wow first you condemn a reasonable trade beginning and then come up with your trade for Ekholm which includes Mete! and another scrub…are you kidding me? That’s just beautiful, I just love it…that was brilliant.

      • There is one straw that stirs the drink in CLB. His name is Seth Jones.
        Yes Kerfoot is a bottom 6 player in TO. Just like Foligno will be.
        If you think he is replacing someone who is in their top 6 now, let me know who that is.

        I like Foligno as a player, and I think he would fit in well in TO’s lineup. But not for those 2 guys.

        I agree with your statement that he brings stature, leadership and team identity. He better as his production sure doesn’t justify his $5.5M salary.

      • Ron Moore, trolling much?

        Did you read my post to the end?

        “Never going to happen, spare parts for a legit top 4, like the TML spare parts being offered.”

        What are the spare parts for a legit top 4?
        Kulak and Mete.

    • Well I wouldn’t trade any of those for Foligno. Nick Foligno? We’re talking about nick Foligno. 4 goals; Nick Foligno. Oh yeah! Throw in a 1st and Kerfoot, too make the money work.

      • some team will overpay if Foligno is moved

        its the same old saying…you cant have enough of those type of players in a playoff run.
        If TML actually brought him they could rotate vets in games as we all know spezza, jumbo, wayne not gonna stay healthy

        i wouldnt overpay for a 3rd line character guy but many do and will

      • Foligno would make sense for Toronto just like Coleman and Goodrow did for Tampa last season. Tampa gave up a first for both guys, though they also got a 3rd back with Goodrow. If a first rounder is the price for Foligno, Toronto should jump at it.

    • You mad about leaf fans and media habfan ? Get in line.

    • All due respect, Foligno ís 33. His days of production has long gone. He may be the captain but Seth Jones is the face of their franchise. It’s time to move on. Nylander, Dermott and a 2nd for Foligno and Savard, I think it’s no brainer who wins this trade in the long run. Domi/Nylander/Roslivic behind Atkinson and Laine’s line . That is not too bad. Younger faster more skillful top six then what they had at the start of the season.

    • First of all never align Steve Simmons and Leaf fans. He’s a guy who used up any TML insider currency long ago – I would have no idea how he would come up with any inside info with how he’s treated the organization in the past…

      Second I agree with Ray and Ron in that if The Leafs do have an interest in Foligno then it wouldn’t be for a roster player on their team. Dubas won’t over pay for a playoff rental. Foligno’s great but what has he ever won? The Leafs don’t know how to win in the playoffs yet unfortunately but i’m not sure Foligno is the guy tp show them how it’s done…

      I’m sure that he will go at the deadline for a roster player on some other team potentially but the Leaf’s won’t make that deal.

      Habs fans should worry about the boat anchor Price contract and leave TML playoff worries to us Leaf fans…lol

  7. Nick Robertson back in lineup is better than Foligno any day. Lines for playoffs should be:

    Hyman Matthews Nylander

    Robertson Tavares Marner

    Engvall Kerfoot Micheyev

    Thorton Spezza Simmonds

    • I agree about Nick Robertson. But your playoff lineup not so much. Where is the push back with this lineup. Who is going to protect Mathews and Marner. Too soft of a lineup. I suggest:

      (Barabanov, Galchenyuk, Boyd)



      With this lineup, every line has a bit of sand paper and a hammer.

      • Sand paper and hammers don’t score goals, the thing you need to win.

        Wait how does this hockey work again?

  8. “NHL insider Bob McKenzie last week indicated the Capitals might like to add an experienced goaltender. ”

    Don’t they have Craig Anderson under contract? He’s only appeared in 2 games and has given up 5 goals … hardly an acid test.

  9. Re “ Hextall and Burke both recently indicated they’d like to add more toughness to their lineup. Pettersson and Sceviour could be the trade chips used to bring in more muscle by deadline day.”

    That will be Burke saying that and Hextall just regurgitating it… the “long pants” idea is all on Burke…. Sloth speed low IQ Pugilists are NOT what Pens need

    First order of business can’t be for grit/size…. unless that player comes in at 3C

    The 3C position is paramount for Pens to ensure they make the playoffs

    This Div is very tight 1st-5th….

    Staal should be the top priority …. get the trade done now before the bidding war

    Re Sceviour or Pettersson

    I just can’t see any GM line up for Sceviour… nothing against him… but who is seeking a 31 year old ;just under league avg in height and weight ; who carries a hit of $1.2 M…. there are plenty of younger and bigger 4th liners at league minimum hit

    Re Pettersson…. when team is healthy… Pens will have 5 LHD’s…. Dumo, Pettersson, Matheson, P-O J, Riikola

    So there is room to move one… with the downside risk of a subsequent LD long term injury causing a roster snafu

    They absolutely should not trade the up and coming P-O J; Matheson contract fairly hard to move and likely a loss in the trade; and Riikola trade gets only a pick

    So it’s Dumo or Pettersson

    Dumo value much higher…. $4.1 M (for 2 years after this year) for a big 29 year old top-pairing stay-at-home D-Man…. should bring a pretty dang fair return…. note can be traded to 20 teams

    Pettersson … same height, 30 lbs lighter; 5 years younger; slightly less Cap hit; but for 4 years after this; and who I believe will never get to a regular top pairing position… will have reasonable trade value but certainly not the value in trade of Dumo

    The “all in” but certainly NOT “fan friendly” and certainly with higher downside risk (a subsequent injury to an LHD on Pens ) is trading Dumo

    Sabres..as at now have Bryson Jacob … 5’9” 185 ; total of only 7 NHL games as the only LHD under contract for next year

    So could Adam’s use either Dumo or Pettersson … absolutely

    Staal is UFA… $3.25 M Cap hit

    Sabres would definitely have to give up more than UFA Staal for either Dumo or Pettersson

    What is the extra?????

    Or does Hextall dig even deeper in an “all in” move and add to Dumo offer to get Staal and Hall OR Staal and Reinhardt ??

    Whatever the deal is… Hextall … please pick up the phone and ask Kevyn what the ask is for Staal


    • @ Pengy.. Look I agree Eric Stahl is a great target but many teams will be after him.

      I would rather go after a guy that not as many people are looking at and that is Calle Jamkrok center Nashville Predators.

      -The Predators will be sellers

      – He is 29 and affordable at $2 million
      – He is signed for 2 more years.
      – He is 7 years younger than Eric Stahl.
      – His last 5 years goal totals are consistent.
      -2015-16 16 goals
      -2016-17 15 goals
      -2017-18 16 goals
      -2018- 19 10 goals
      -2019-20 15 goals
      This year he already has 6 goals. He is fast, skilled, has some edge and was terrific against us in the 2017 Cup finals..

      A third line center in his prime at 29, signed for 2 more years and is a consistent 15-16 goal guy I’ll take that…

      We have Pettersson, Rikola our number #2 pick next draft whatever it takes.

      two years from now we have all our picks and we should protect those but until then it is win this year and next and whatever it takes…

      • Hi BnG

        Yep Jarnkrok is reasonably priced Cap wise but Pens need a 3C not an LW

        Jarncrock just like many forwards; has on rare occasion, filled in at C….. maybe 30 shifts over the last 12 months

        Pens need a 3C that is a regular C

        Yes there are other teams that will be in on Staal… but I think at the very least the call to Adams needs to be made… get a deal done now… instead of waiting until TDL

        If they got Henrique with Ducks retaining and for reasonable trade… that also might work

  10. What’s odd to me is no one is talking about the expansion draft. I’m sure there are a few teams who can move a guy out for another they could use but won’t protect.and the Canadian teams will have to wait 2 weeks of quarantine protocol before anyone can play for them. Sucks for them and a doubt there will be much trading between teams in that division. I’m gonna guess the deadline will be quite this yr compared to other yrs

    • Hi BergyBoyzz

      You are probably right re dull TDL day and especially much duller for the CanDiv

      I expect there will be some shuffling trades post season pre expansion draft

      Only one team is sitting back relaxing and smiling… they are exempt; one of the cup favs; and have 20 (of 23) already signed on for next year with about $4.5 M to sign those three … Nosek , Coughlan , Martinez

      With the surge of their young D and already having Theodore and McNabb at I LD and 2LD respectively; and with Hague playing quite well… no need to re-sign Martinez (for at least $3.5 M)

      They’ll re-up Coughlan very reasonably for a bridge and have

      Theodore, McNabb, Hague, Holden on the left

      Petro, Whitecloud, Coughlan in the right

      So after Coughlan re-up they will have plenty of space to re-up (or replace) Nosek and a 14th Fwd

      …. and in their pipeline…

      Fwds… Krebs, Elvenes, Lechyshyn, Dugan

      D: Cormier, Korczak, Corcoran

      Note…. the oldest of those 7 is 22 (Dugan); and Cormier (only 18) is having a great season in the Q…. 24 GP… 11-21-32 and a + 18

      Not to shabby outlook for Knights

      • How long are they exempt?

  11. If Im Hextall I let the current “core” sink or swim on its own. Id definetely not trade and picks or prospects (of which Pittsburgh has few) just to get a one and done playoff run. Pens didnt even qualify for the playoffs last season so I highly doubt their going to make a deep run this time around.

    • Hi Ron

      Torn here and sort of fence sitting on this

      I am under no illusion that SC is a pure pipe dream for Pens this year

      That said… doing absolutely nothing and fair chance at missing the playoffs…. then for sure rebuild is on

      I truly believe that a 3C of some merit; gets them into playoffs… where in this tight Div; anything and everything can happen

      So … if the could get Staal (my fav choice) at reasonable … and have then excellent chance at playoffs ; and not out-of-the-realm of possibility of winning two rounds…. why not give it a shot

      This roster gets them in for sure (barring serious long term injuries to key players):

      Sid Rusty Guentz
      Gino Kappy McC
      Staal Turbo Rodrigues
      Blueger ZAR Jankowski
      Sceviour AA

      Tanger Dumo
      Marino Matheson
      Ceci Marino


      So if the above gets them in; the following roster players (not on the above list) could be used in trade (in order of my thoughts on trade value):


      *Pettersson or Zucker alone are worth well more than Staal

      I’d start the offer to Adams with Laffy and Maniscalco for Staal and see what his response counter-offer is

      If Hextall truly wants to go all in… then it’s a multi-player offer to Adams….

      Just spit-balling

      Pettersson, Zucker (30% retained) , Laffy

      for Staal and Reinhardt

      Hextall can worry about Seattle after the season

      That trade gets:

      Sid Rusty Guentz
      Gino Kappy McC
      Staal **Turbo Reinhardt
      Blueger ZAR **Rodrigues
      Jankowski Sceviour

      Same D as above

      **Turbo/Rodrigues could switch

      That’s 3 scoring lines plus a shut-down line…. gets them in and reasonable chance to get to Div finals

      They also have 7 players who are either C’s now or can/have played C; in case of injuries : Sid, Gino, Staal, Blueger, McC, Rodrigues, Jankowski

      Before you counter with what GMJR gave up to get Zucker (waaay too much IMVHO)…. it’s not the cost paid originally for the asset; it is what he is worth now (present value of future play under current contract) … and as at now he is not worth anywhere near $5.5 M in Cap for 2 more years

      Again… simplest move for Hextall is to call Adam’s and offer Laffy/ Maniscalco for Staal and get a counter-offer (or better still an acceptance)

      GO PENS GO

    • 16 of the Penguins last 32 games opponents are Devils & Sabres !!

      • True Speed Kills

        But they are not going 16-0

        They need to go minimum 11-5 just to keep up with Bruins, Flyers; Caps; Isles

        A good 3C will go a long way towards that

  12. Capitols seeking an experienced goaltender , someone just mentioned !
    Another Anderson , for the taking in Toronto !
    Anything else , Washington needs …,
    An electric forward , some promising defenseman …
    Toronto has lots to offer!
    Should be a for sale sign on the Leafs website !!

    • Ken, it’s puff puff pass silly…not hold on to it. Duh

  13. Bruins needs… top 4 DMan who can play both ends of ice …..2nd line winger with size who can score …..

  14. Kerfoot and 3rd pick at the most I’d give up for Foligno. Even that’s an overpay IMO.

  15. Seen this DeBrusk show before he’ll score once in a while then disappears completely… time to pull the plug on him package him with a draft pick or a young D and get someone that’s going to help the team …. the Oilers would be a good landing spot

    • Joe, would you take Kassian back for DeBrusk as the main piece? There is the toughness, with a side of crazy, you have been looking for in BOS.
      Although that is how he got hurt in Edmonton. Due back pretty soon I think.

      • Wood eye …. sure would

  16. Seriously more looking for that 2nd line winger with the size and ability to score

  17. Debrusk is the perfect agitator for the playoffs
    Maybe he needs a change…

  18. DeBrusk is not an agitator. He has been concussed and hasn’t played the same since . Barely physical.
    Maybe it is his slot in his stick blade Causing a lack of point production. Not a bad player -3rd liner not top 6

  19. Question:
    Could the Leafs say pick up Seabrook from CHI, then place him on the LTIR, then spend his cap hit to pick up someone like Nick Folino.