NHL Rumor Mill – April 14, 2021
The ongoing fallout from the trade deadline features Taylor Hall’s future with the Bruins, the Canadiens making a pitch for Tony DeAngelo and musing over the availability of Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin. Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
NOTABLE HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the hope between the Boston Bruins and Taylor Hall is for a long-lasting relationship beyond this season. The Bruins acquired the 29-year-old left-winger from the Buffalo Sabres before Monday’s trade deadline. He’s due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Bruins are betting his two percent shooting percentage this season is an aberration.
Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland said he didn’t make a push to acquire Hall at the deadline. Friedman doubts the Toronto Maple Leafs made a pitch. The New York Islanders, Vegas Golden Knights and St. Louis Blues seemed the strongest pursuers beside the Bruins. The Golden Knights made an offer the Sabres would’ve preferred but Hall exercised his no-movement clause to go to Boston.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall had every right to use his no-movement clause to dictate where he could go. Sabres management agreed to give him that clause to bring him to Buffalo for one season and had to live with the consequences. We’ll find out soon enough if Hall is a good fit with the Bruins.
The Montreal Canadiens made a proposal to Tony DeAngelo that would’ve been comparable for this season and next to what he’d lose if he terminated his contract with the New York Rangers. The 25-year-old defenseman rejected the offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports more than one team was interested in signing DeAngelo as a free agent prior to Monday’s deadline if he’d been placed on, and cleared, unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. However, sources say there wasn’t enough time for the blueliner to find the right fit and deal.
DeAngelo will remain on the Rangers payroll until he’s either selected by the Seattle Kraken in this summer’s expansion draft or is thereafter bought out of the remaining year of his contract. Brooks doubts the Kraken will take him.
The Rangers could try to trade DeAngelo before the expansion draft or afterward but that remaining year at $4.8 million ($5.3 million in actual salary) will be difficult to move if teams believe the Blueshirts will buy him out.
The Canadiens also asked about Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf but Friedman doubts it was a serious possibility. He also believes they had an interest in St. Louis Blues winger Mike Hoffman but weren’t willing to meet the Blues’ price. The Ducks had a discussion with the Vegas Golden Knights (with Getzlaf in the loop) but it doesn’t appear they were close.
The big trade on Monday that sent Anthony Mantha from the Detroit Red Wings to the Washington Capitals prompted Friedman to wonder if anyone asked Wings GM Steve Yzerman about team captain Dylan Larkin. One of the factors behind moving Mantha is the Wings feel their rebuild will take longer than expected. Perhaps the Mantha deal will elicit other clubs to inquire about Larkin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be worth monitoring during the offseason unless Yzerman tells his peers around the league not to waste their time.
Nashville Predators GM David Poile intends to speak with Mattias Ekholm following this season about a contract extension, “not whether we want to trade him.” He indicated he would not lose Ekholm in the expansion draft. Friedman also wondered if Poile will re-sign pending UFA winger Mikael Granlund.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile either intends to protect four defensemen (Ekholm, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Dante Fabbro) in the expansion draft, leave Fabbro unprotected, or swing a side deal with the Seattle Kraken to get them to select another player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets aren’t likely to part with Gavrikov, especially given the fact there’s some uncertainty over blueliner Seth Jones’ future in Columbus. He’s a year away from UFA eligibility. They’ll need Gavrikov if Jones departs via free agency or if the Jackets trade him before then.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And I don’t think Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong wanted to trade one of his leading scorer with his club battling for a playoff spot in the Honda West Division.
In other tidbits, the Pittsburgh Penguins looked at Travis Zajac before he was shipped to the New York Islanders. Friedman believes the Dallas Stars’ unwillingness to trade Jamie Oleksiak suggests they could try to re-sign the pending UFA defenseman.
The Oilers had an interest in defenseman Patrik Nemeth before he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. Speaking of the Avalanche, they considered goaltender David Rittich before acquiring Devan Dubnyk from the San Jose Sharks.