NHL Rumor Mill – April 1, 2021

by | Apr 1, 2021 | Rumors | 67 comments

No April Fool’s pranks here as we examine the latest notable changes to TSN’s trade-bait list in the NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Frank Seravalli moved Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard into the top spot on his NHL Trade Bait List. Savard’s teammate, Nick Foligno, also moved up two spots into fourth on the list as the Blue Jackets struggled to remain in playoff contention in the Discover Central Division.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The next week or so should determine if the Jackets become sellers by the April 12 trade deadline. Savard seems more likely to move than Foligno as it’s believed the Jackets hope to sign their captain to an extension before free agency opens in July.

Mattias Ekholm, who sat for weeks atop the board, slid to sixth while teammate Mikael Granlund dropped from third to seventh as the Nashville Predators surge into a playoff spot in the Central.

Seravalli doesn’t believe Predators general manager David Poile has pulled his players from the board but he could prefer giving his club the opportunity to prove they’re playoff-worthy before the trade deadline. Granlund was believed to be a primary target for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who could be forced to consider other forward options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators’ recent improvement is also bad news for teams like the Boston Bruins who may have had an eye on Ekholm or Granlund. Like the Leafs, they could end up having to find other trade targets.

Granlund’s status as a pending UFA makes him a more likely trade candidate than Ekholm, who has a year remaining on his contract. The Predators’ rumored asking price of three assets for Ekholm (including a first-round pick and a top prospect) would’ve also turned off some potential suitors.

New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri moved up into the second spot on the board ahead of Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall. Palmieri’s $4.65 million cap hit would be easier to move than Hall’s $8 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres could agree to absorb up to half of Hall’s cap hit if it would facilitate a trade that fetches a healthy return including a first-round pick.

NBC Sports Boston’s Nick Goss recently made the case for the Bruins to pursue Palmieri, citing his five 20-plus goal seasons and his improved production in recent games. The winger is a pending UFA and it’s been reported contract talks have stalled between his reps and Devils management.

The Athletic’s Corey Masisak observed Palmieri’s been linked to the Bruins, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier remains at No. 5. Increased interest in Bernier’s teammate Luke Glendening moved the Wings center into the ninth spot on the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Contenders seeking checking line depth are drawn to Glendening’s faceoff skills and penalty-killing experience. It’s believed Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland could have an eye on the pending UFA center.

Seravalli added Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger at No. 12 and Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton at No. 16. The Panthers signing top prospect Spencer Knight could give them the flexibility to move Driedger as he’s is a potential expansion draft target. The Flyers, meanwhile, face a decision with pending UFA Laughton, who’s a versatile two-way forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Panthers will trade Driedger while they’re jockeying with Tampa Bay and Carolina for the top spot in the Discover Central Division. They can always wait and trade him in the offseason before the expansion draft. As promising as Knight is, he has no NHL experience right now. Laughton’s future in Philadelphia could depend upon where the Flyers are in the standing by the trade deadline.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn, Calgary Flames forward Sam Bennett and Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen rejoined the board after sliding off it a week ago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The struggling Blues could turn into sellers if they drop out of contention by the deadline but I still think GM Doug Armstrong sees himself as a buyer.

Armstrong could attempt to use Dunn as a trade chip to add a scoring forward. A restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. He carries a $1.875 million cap hit and surfaced in trade rumors earlier this season following a stretch of poor play.

Bennett could hit the block if the Flames fail to gain ground in the Scotia North Standings. His agent raised eyebrows around the league in late January by claiming his client wouldn’t object to a change of scenery. He could soon get his wish.

The Canucks would probably love to move Virtanen but his poor performance combined hurts his trade value. So does his contract, for while he carries a $2.55 million cap hit next season he’ll earn $3.4 million in actual salary.


  1. Bruins should aim higher than Palmieri.Shoot for Rhinehart,6 years younger and just as good.B s learn your lesson when you passed on Toffoli at less than 5 million.Find a real answer for that top 6 forward they have been looking for,for an eternity.

    • The issue they’ll have with Reinhart is the ask will be significantly higher…

    • And give up who to get him? Boston really doesn’t have much to give up to get someone like that

  2. Today is the day. Andersen needs to be off the roster by sundown or Dubas needs to go now.

    Andersen is meeting with the Dr today about his LBI and Dubas better have a Lou move in him and get fred on LTIR until end of season to open 5M capspace for a new goalie.

    “Please buckle your seat belts and bring your chairsto the upright position as we make our final approach to Robidas Island”

    • Yawn.

    • We are O.K. with Jack in goal.

      • No one is saying we are not ok with Campbell. However, if Andersen cannot return I agree LTIR him but doubt that as all indications he returns.

        You need to upgrade Hutch to a goalie like Neddy in Carolina or Saros in Nash – costs a lot but you need a go to should Campbell who is not the pillar of health either struggle or injury forces him out.

    • 41 goaltenders in the NHL have at least 1 shutout this season.
      Not one of them is Freddie.

    • Hi Wendell
      Can u keep me up to date, as per Anderson, LTIR , cross our fingers , he is indeed OUT !!!

    • But the maple leafs have 0 bad contracts, correct? Or is that only if you exclude your whipping boy Freddie and (there’s no denying it) the hometown fan JT? Asking for a friend. Because facts are important.

  3. No way I want Palmarie in Boston. Outside of his 6 goals against Boston he only has 3. I would rather they take a stab at Dustin Brown and his 16 goals. And regardless of locker room issues with his goalie I wonder what the Ragz want in return for Deangelo. 5th or 6th rounder? I’d take a chance at worst leave him exposed and that doesn’t work buy him out.

    • If I were a GM, my only worry regarding DeAngelo would be the poison he could bring into the locker room.
      Like you say, all other issues can be resolved pretty easily but if he creates a divide between teammates that would likely stay after he is gone.

      • I think that locker room is close enough to not let that happen and if it starts on waivers. But I’d think he learned his lesson and stay cool if he wants to continue any kind of NHL career.

    • Rangers have the money to take a chance on Virtanen. In DeAngelo, they’ll take anything for him, but they won’t retain salary. At this point, they’re happy to just buy him out at seasons end. If any retention, it’ll have to be equal to post buyout cap hit.
      Interesting team to watch is LA. Currently at .500. They only have 7 games remaining against the top 3 teams in their division. (Vegas, Colorado, and Minny)St Louis has 17! Kings have cap room to trade for anyone, but not sure they’ll part with any top prospects.

      • He makes what 3.7 this yr and next? I’d take the chance.

    • That’s a big no for so many different reasons. I’ll list just a few….. I like Brown, but he’s a huge beneficiary of Kopitar’s offensive excellence. He’s pretty long in the tooth and has some incredibly hard miles on his body. The guy is a warrior but I’m not sure he has enough left to warrant what LA would ask for him. Not to mention the cap hit involved. As for DeAngelo, from all reports, he isn’t a good human, so he can remain in The Rags purgatory until they buy him out and he continues his career in the KHL.

      • He could be the beneficiary of DK as well. I don’t think it would cost a lot to land him. Any player with term and upside is gonna cost us guys like Studz and Freddy. I’m sure he’s not the player he once was but like I said I’d rather not give up the kids at this point. As for Deangelo I’d put him on the 3rd pairing and rotate Lauzon and Zboril as his partner. I bet he’d be great on the power play. We need a shake up there it seems Bruce n the boys have been figured out.

    • Bergy, does Deangelo play he play his off side? As a rd, the Bruins have McAvoy and Carlo, i would prefer to see someone with more size. He could be the answer on the PP. I don’t have an issue with his political views as sitting at home waiting for an opportunity should be a major wakeup call, that not all views need to be posted.

      • Caper and Ray Bark. DeAngelo was slated to play left D when season started but they opted to give Miller a shot. Good choice. 6 games is a small sample size for kid who was tied for 4th last year in points for defensemen. Definately a lot of baggage but I think somebody will bite the bullet by deadline and take him for this season. They will then have option of keeping or buying out.

    • Deangelo has 1 point and was -6 in 6 games.
      Rangers record with Deangleo 1- 4-1. Record without Deangelo – 15-11-3.

      They are a better team without him, not sure why the B’s would be better with him.
      Plus he isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

      If the B’s are gonna go for it, then go for it. Get somebody good and can make an impact. Obviously it will cost more, not the time to shop in the bargain bin.

      If they don’t plan on extending Rask, Krecji or Halak, (and they haven’t yet) then either go for it or sell.

      Who that is? Not sure I see him on the trade bait board. Palmieri seems like the best of a so so bunch.

      I guess I shouldn’t hold my breath for the big move.

      • Ray, in fairness, you need to note Panarin’s role in the Rangers’ recent record.
        He is a game changer.

      • The Rangers would take a bag of pucks for DeAngelo. It was addition by subtraction. He is a jerk and I would love to get anything for him. Most likely they buy him out at the end of the season and he plays overseas next year. He could come back to the NHL if he can show he isn’t poison in the locker room when playing overseas.

      • I don’t think Boston can make it out of the East this year. I would rather see them hold on to the assets they have, and possibly add more.

        If Rask continues his career, it will be with Boston next year. He will have to take around 5 per, so Swayman and Vlader can have more time.

        I’d trade Halak for some assets…. maybe Colorado… maybe Toronto?

        Move Krejci to a team that needs a center…… NYI to replace Lee?

        I’d even look at moving other pieces to prepare for next season and the large salary cap space.

      • Pretty sure Panarin was in the lineup for all of Deangelo’s games BCLeafFan, but ya Panarin is their best player.
        I guess what I am saying is he isn’t what the B’s need IMO. They have a couple offensive/puck moving d -men already. They could use a responsible 2 way guy on the left side as they are rolling out a couple rookies.
        B’s need scoring that can produce 5 on 5 if they want to contend and not just get in.

  4. Bennett and Rittich and a third for Robertson : Scott ,and Kerfoot
    Flames might have to hold a few dollars.

    • SilverSeven, your are clearly a Flames fan.
      Not a chance.

    • SilverSeven, your are clearly a Flames fan.
      Not a chance that happens.

    • SilverSeven

      I like the idea of the Leafs trading for Rittich. He would make a good tandem with Campbell for the rest of this year and in the future.

      Bennet might be a useful player for TOR but if he doesn’t want to play a checking role with CGY why would he want to do it in TOR?

      I wouldn’t make your proposed trade. Rittich is a UFA. Trade value might be a 3rd round pick.
      Bennett produces at a 3rd/4th line rate. Not great defensively. Trade value is a 3rd round pick or “B” level prospect. Don’t let his draft position cloud your perception of him.

      Robertson is the Leafs #1 or 2 prospect. He alone would fetch a better return.
      Kerfoot is a useful player. Scores at about a 35- 40 point pace. Good defensively. Trade value likely a 2nd round pick maybe a #5 or 6 Dman?
      Scott has been battling injury the last year. Just coming back. Likely no trade value. Better off keeping him and see what develops. Remember…goalies are a crapshoot.

      Leafs would be wise to call PHI and ask about Laughton. He’s a better player than Bennett and a little cheaper salary. He plays LW/C
      Another player to consider would be Dzingel from OTT.

      • In Toronto Bennett wouldn’t have to put up with Tkachuk’s antics. 😉

      • Bennett in Toronto would see a role like Simmons/Hyman…a guy who is forcing the play and setting up snipers, not playing 4th line.
        Toronto’s 4th line actually goes on the offensive a lot, where as Calgary tends to have pure checking lines at the back end.
        Galyenchuck is looking solid in his first few games, but he’s still not a hitter. Thornton hits a bit – but can you really depend on that in a playoff series?
        If I am Dubas my priorities are:

        1. Is Andersen healthy enough to play 3 games in 7 days? (You know that an opponent will target either Leaf goalie in a playoff).

        2. Do we have another Jake Muzzin-type Dman ? Muzzin went down last year vs Columbus and the series changed immediately. They need more Muzzin “cowbell”….less Dermott.

        3. A forward who can bang, pass, and shoot to ride shotgun with the likes of Marner, Tavares, Mikeyev, Nylander, Matthews, etc…
        Simmons can’t be on every line and Hyman should not have to add that to his roles.

  5. You are clearly a Flames fan.
    Not a chance.

    • You said that before – twice.

      • Hi George, I went back to look at Schultz VS Gillies. It’s grainy at first but thats about 10 seconds.


        In his autobiography, Schultz said that Gillies and Robinson were the two worst beatings that he ever took.
        He also said that he hit Gillies with the hardest punch he ever threw. He knew he was in trouble when Gillies just smiled at him.

      • Hey Bob … that’s something like the Ali-Chuvalo fight when Ali, using his usual rhymes, predicted Chuvalo would go down in the 4th. Later he said that, in the 4th, he caught him with one of the hardest right hooks he had ever thrown and when Chuvalo just blinked and kept pummeling away with the body punches, Ali said to himself that he was in for a long night. It went 15 and Ali won on a decision of the type that usually goes to the reigning champion.

    • Doktor Dave

      Bennett has never really shown he’s a playmaker in CGY. You think a simple change of scenery will change his results? That’s a big gamble.

      Couldn’t agree more with your list.

      1. Andersen does not look healthy enough as you mentioned. Ligament injuries take time to heal properly. One quick stretch too far and he’s back on the shelf. While Campbell has shown well so far you don’t want to rely on Hitchinson as a back up.

      2. Leafs definitely need an upgrade on D. Savard or Ekholm please.

      3. I like the idea of Foligno from CLB or Laughton from PHI. They need somebody with size and skill and drive…just like Hyman.

  6. If the CBJ don’t find ways to win consistently in the next stretch against TB and FLA, it is possible all the UFAs could be on the block. The Foligno situation is the most complicated. Lyle is absolutely correct that CBJ wants to re-sign him. However, the whispers here suggested that is less likely to happen prior to the expansion draft as it alters the protection plans. Whether that is fact or rumor is unclear. Hard to predict how the Foligno situation plays out. I am firmly in the “sell” camp for CBJ. They have a solid young core but collecting as many assets as possible could advance the retool in the offseason. Jarmo is very savvy and whatever he has planned is surely far better than anything I would think of…:)

    • Deacon

      I would love for the Leafs to pick up Foligno.
      High character player. Can play skilled and mean when necessary.

      I would also like the Leafs to get Savard. He’s a very good defensive defenceman and would be a good partner for Reilly who is not the greatest in his own end.

      I’m sure CLB would like to keep Foligno but if they can get a good asset back by trading him AND are-signing him in the offseason it’s worth looking into.
      What would you propose on a trade to get Savard and Foligno?

      • Daryl, that is my armchair GM perspective as well. This year’s rental values are hard to estimate. The past few years the majority of rentals haven’t yielded 1st round picks. Is this year different for a few teams who may view this as an opportunity to “go for it” with the unique division alignment (i.e., TB at the good chance to repeat, TOR, COL, WPG, FLA?). My thoughts are with both Savard and Foligno one of the following futures based package asks to a contender (who will have later picks obviously) 1st + lesser prospect (if a bidding war occurs); or 2nd with A level prospect (not their top prospect but a notable potential prospect); or a 2 2nds or a package of prospects that are approximately equivalent. For example, LeBrun recently proposed FLA send Kolyachonok and Noel for Savard…maybe? I welcome others view on appropriate value from their team’s perspective. As an aside, I would love a package deal w/ TOR involving Liljegren as part of the deal or WPG for Samberg but that could be wishful thinking.

  7. Haha! Can you tell I was having issues?

  8. I would like for Sweeney to make a deal for both Sam Rhinehart and Linus Ullmark. I’d send Debrusk Wagner, a top prospect and decent pick or two.

    • I’m sure you would be in the real world Buffalo is not trading the only semi respectable goalie they have and there 2nd best forward for Bostons crap.

      To get those player mentioned would be multiple no 1 picks and prospects. Picks you have but your prospect pool isn’t that good anymore.

      • MP Ullmark is a pending UFA that can’t stay healthy. Worth a 2nd rounder, maybe?
        Reinhart is a player with value. Debrusk is a crapshoot, not crap IMO, he had 3 straight seasons around 20 goals. And SOP is including a top prospect and picks. I assume by prospect he means Vaakanen. Not that far off IMO.

      • Ulmark and Reinhart if Buffalo goes full rebuild with a trio of prospects to fill future needs.

        Vaakanen, Swayman and Studnicka.

        Given a shallow prospect pool its a big price but Reinhart can step right in as a top C

      • Ha! Good April fools joke, MP! Multiple number 1 picks and prospects for a player who averages 45 pts per season and a UFA goalie with an abysmal stat line. I believe I was being extremely generous with my fantasy offer.
        Oh well. See what else comes around, I suppose.
        Adams will want someone to overpay for Reinhart, but he probably will be left standing pat, as no one will want to pony up for his asking price.

      • 2422,

        Reinhart averages 55 pts and that number has been steadily rising.

        Even this year with the entire team tanking, projected over 82 games he would have 55 pts. (33gp-22pts) which would slot him as a 2C behind Bergeron, just behind Pasternak and tied with Marchand at 13.

        Point being that he is a valuable player and he’s only 25.

        Ulmark has a 2.49 GAA and .920 save % this year on the league bottom feeder.
        He’s only 27 and UFA who can be resigned cheaply.

        As I said it’s a big ask, but 3 prospects for 2 NHL regulars isn’t unreasonable and its a bigger gamble for Buffalo.

      • Habsfan. Could you please show your math where Sam Reinhart averages 55pts per season? I’m genuinely curious as to how you figured that out. If you don’t include this season it puts him around 51 per season.
        So in all fairness he’s more like a 50-51 pt man. I concede my error, having said he’s a 45 pt player. I’m clearly 5 pts off his true numbers.

        I suppose you are closer than me as you’re only off by 4ish pts.
        Either way, I like the player and would offer a slight overpayment based on projections.

    • Ullmark is a UFA after this season. Why trade assets for “the only semi respectable goalie they have” when you can just sign him next year.

      As for Reinhart, he isn’t worth what Buffalo would ask for. He is a RFA that will be looking for a big payday. There are better options out there that would be worth the trade.

      Your trade isn’t that far off if the prospect is Vaak, Zboril or Beecher and a first. I still would rather use those assets on someone that would better fit the team.

  9. I am sure the Oilers would pursue Chris Driedger hard now before the TDL or in the offseason. What are the Panthers looking for in return? What type of combination of draft picks, prospects, forward, and/or d-man? The Oilers lack a 2nd, 3rd, and 5th round draft picks this years draft. The only way I see the Oilers giving up a 1st round pick in a deal is if they can get a 2nd coming the other way.

      • Wendel, I still think Freddie can do the job, but if not we are O.K. with Jack in goal. No one is going to touch us (although a hot Carey Price could be trouble).

  10. David Savard to Florida for Verhaeghe.

    Florida gets the top RD that they need for therest of the season.

    CBJ gets a young top 6 LW/C that they need, RFA that could be resigned cheap

    • habsfan , you typically make solid points or suggestions but this proposal is bogus. Verhaeghe is the Panthers top goal scorer, signed for next year @ 1 million and you want to trade him? I realize the Panthers have a hole to fill on the back end but Zito would not do this IMO.

      • Fergy22,
        Verhaeghe is having a great year on a hot team, playing out of position and an RFA who will want a raise obviously.

        My reasoning was that both teams have a need, RD for one and 2C for the other.

        Zito knows Savard well from his time at CBJ and he’d fill their need for a 1st pairing RD.

        It might be too rich an ask but if he can’t crack the lineup as a centre even though he outscores all of them, who does Zito trade to get a 1RD?

      • habfan , the Panthers won’t get better giving up their top scorer for Savard. I won’t spew out a bunch of names but If CLB is building for the future then I suspect Kekalanien would prefer prospects &or picks.

  11. Conor Garland is tHe guy I would try to grab. He’s a can’t miss product don’t forget Martin St Lous was a small player he was pass Ed over because of his size. I’m not saying Garland is another MSL but he’s an upgrade on Debrusk he’s more talented I think than Palmeri and less than a 1/4 of the price. Stay clear of Deangelo very talented but there’s something about this guy that just jell

    • why would Arizona trade there no1 scorer to Boston?

      • Why did the Oilers trade Gretzky?

      • Because ARZ is going nowhere fast. They may sneak into the playoffs but not likely to go far.

        They have serious cap issues and Garland is a RFA with Arbitration rights. They may not be able to afford his next contract. Garland is young enough to match with some of Boston’s youth too.

        ARZ doesn’t have a 1st round pick. Garland would be a good fit for BOS closing contention window.

      • Because Edm owner was bankrupt.

        Facts are important

      • Ya Pocklington was a piece of work.
        He might have been hurting for cash but I don’t thing he filed for bankruptcy until the 2000’s like 2008 as that is when he was charged and plead guilty to bankruptcy fraud/perjury for lying about how much money he had stashed off shore.

        Sather got Katz to put up bail/security for the bail who didn’t really know Peter Puck.

        Crazy sh*t.

  12. bruins need size they get pushed around and cant fight in corners plus thats why mantha and tuch would fit in well

  13. Garland only makes 800;000 a yr for someone of his talent that is amazing, yeah I know he’ll get hefty raise next year probably in area 5 or 6 million maybe. But the moment as James Lipton used to say Is “ Nouwwwwwwwwwwwwww,”! Speed scoring incredible passer, a little undersized but well worth effort!

  14. Anyone taking on Rittich, beware, he is mercurial as ever, he’ll give you a few vezina games and then let in 5 goals on 20 shots.

    He’d be a decent option to back up Campbell, maybe, but never sure what you’re going to get from Rittich if you have to play him.

    • Thanks Augustus
      Anything is an upgrade to Anderson
      Hey Wendell – keep us up to date , as far as the LTIR , regarding Anderson …
      Perhaps we can ship him off to Ronnie Francis , out in Seattle

    • Sounds like Andersen…the 2nd part of your first sentence i mean


  1. (4/1/21) BLH's NHL Trade Rumors: "Some feel the 'bigger' move is this proposed deal with the..." - Beer League Heroes - […] Lyle Richardson (Spector’s Hockey): The Sabres could agree to absorb up to half of Hall’s cap hit if it…