NHL Rumor Mill – April 16, 2021

by | Apr 16, 2021 | Rumors | 39 comments

Expect more three-team trades involving salary retention plus the latest Flyers and Canucks speculation for the offseason in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the NHL had no issue with the three-team trades involving salary retention that took placed leading up to the recent trade deadline. Some team executives weren’t comfortable with a player’s salary being retained by two teams before being acquired by the third team. However, there is no money outside the system, all the salary-cap money is accounted for, and a hockey asset was acquired by the team.

Expect to see more deals in the future similar to the three-team trade that sent Nick Foligno to the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun also suggested in The Athletic that teams with salary-cap space acting as third-party brokers in trades between cap-strapped teams will happen more frequently under the flattened salary cap. He feels we can expect to see more teams renting out salary-cap space to acquire draft picks.

Some observers called it salary-cap circumvention but there’s nothing in the collective bargaining agreement preventing teams from doing this. This provides a measure of much-needed flexibility for teams in salary-cap hell because of the unexpected adverse effect of COVID-19 upon hockey-related revenue. I doubt we’ll see this avenue blocked off in the next round of collective bargaining.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall believes Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher faces some tough decisions in the offseason to address his club’s shortcomings following this disappointing season. He believes the trade market is the best route for Fletcher because of salary-cap limitations.

They need a top-pairing defenseman and Hall suggests drawing from their forward depth to address that need. Fletcher, however, cautioned that type of player is difficult to find though he’ll see what opportunities present themselves this summer and see how some of the Flyers blueliners perform over the remainder of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor shares Hall’s viewpoint that a big move this summer could be required to address the Flyers’ blueline situation.

Trading a forward for a defenseman, however, won’t be easy under the flattened salary cap. Claude Giroux and Kevin Hayes have big cap hits and no-movement clauses. Jakub Voracek and James van Riemsdyk lack no-trade protection but their expensive contracts won’t be easy to move unless a three-team trade similar to those described by LeBrun takes place.

Sean Couturier could be a solid bargaining chip. He’s a year away from unrestricted free agent status but do the Flyers really want to part with the defending Selke Trophy winner? Rival GMs could have more interest in younger, cheaper forwards like Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom or Joel Farabee. On their own, however, those players won’t fetch a No-1 defenseman.

I’m not saying it’s impossible. Fletcher could address his blue-line need with some creativity in the trade market. Nevertheless, Flyers fans must be realistic with their expectations. Fletcher could opt to shore up his second and third-pairing depth if he can’t land a top-pairing guy.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston recently reported the Vancouver Canucks have limited salary-cap space for next season after re-signing Tanner Pearson and Thatcher Demko. They’ll also be re-signing restricted free agents Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes this summer, leaving even less room to fill out the remainder of the roster.

GM Jim Benning doesn’t expect to have any salary-cap issues this summer. Johnston speculates winger Jake Virtanen could be traded. Virtanen and forward Antoine Roussel could be bought out with limited impact on next year’s salary-cap total. They could also get some cap relief if center Jay Beagle is sidelined longer than anticipated.


  1. Bruins Offseason…






    Bruins have a lot of decisions to make in offseason of the top 3 nobody is going to take a team friendley deal which probably means at least one of Krejci,Rask,Hall won’t be back next season & dont see how they fit Reilly in with Carlo a RFA this offseason and McAvoy a RFA after next offseason……both Frederic & Ritchie both RFA decisions decisions…..Miller,Kampfer,Tinordi,Kase,Halak
    ( depending on Rask) probably wont be back

    • Rask has publicly stated that he only wants to play for Boston, it that’s true then he automatically lowers his leverage in negotiations. There is such a wide range in goalie salaries it’s hard to even say what a “hometown discount” would look like.

      I expect Krejci will be back for another couple of years, Boston doesn’t have anyone to replace him at this point. He won’t be making anywhere close to his current salary though.

      Hall will be an interesting case. He’s coming off what has, so far, been a terrible year. He’s bounced around for a few seasons now and has never had an opportunity to play for a consistently competitive team. I think he may be willing to take a little less money for some stability and playing for a good team.

      Going to be an interesting offseason for Boston no doubt about that.

      • Moves for the Flyers are simple but expensive,

        Vorachek(2nd rd pk 21 + lindblom)-Seattle

        This one is for George,

        Giroux- Ottawa maybe a 2nud or 3rd back

        Last but not least the ghost issue,

        Ghost 1m retained- LA (if we have to add a pick so be it)

      • I Concue about Hall, but isnt the Bruins a team that is in decline? So if he wants some money, a contract at 3-4 years and a chance to win their are probably better options

      • MP, at one time seeing Giroux at C in Ottawa would have been welcome … but not at this stage of his career. First of all he isn’t all that big in a position where size is a benefit (5′ 11 185 lbs), secondly he’s 33 y/o and when his current cap hit of $8,275,000 expires at the end of NEXT season he’ll be 35.

        Meanwhile, Ottawa’s C corps is just rounding into shape with Stutzle (6′ 1′ 190 lbs), Norris (6′ 1″ 200 lbs) and Pinto (6′ 2″ 195 lbs) projected to be the top 3 by the end of next season, with Mike Amadio (6′ 2″ 204 lbs) holding down the 4th spot.

        So, no thanks.

      • I would say Boston is a team in transition. Decline? Maybe on some levels but plenty of good teams don’t win the President’s Trophy every year.

        Up front, Boston still has, arguably, the best top line in hockey with Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak.

        If Hall, Krejci and Smith continue playing well and developing chemistry that could be a terrific second line, which Boston hasn’t had in years.

        In net, I expect that Rask will be back for another 2-3 years, sharing time with Swayman who will then take over as their #1.

        McAvoy is set to be the anchor on defense for the next decade or so. Carlo is solid and hopefully can stay healthy. Lauzon looks solid (hoping they don’t lose him to expansion, I’d prefer the expose Grz since he is injured all the time anyway). Zboril has been a little inconsistent but with more experience should be solid. Reilly has been a good fit so far, hopefully he comes back if the money is right.

        I think Boston still has a 2-4 year window with their current core and Hall could definitely be a part of that if he wants to. He used his NMC to block trades to every team except Boston so he must want to be there.

      • Doubleminor, Bergeron is currently 35, Krejic 34 and Marchant 32.

        Tukka and Jaro are 34 and 35. Your view about the Bruins 2- 4 year window is replete with optimism.

      • I don’t see Yaro coming back next season, hence the comment about Rask splitting time with Swayman. Rask is 34, still playing very well though he has been injured a bit this year. I don’t see any reason he can’t continue playing well for a couple more seasons. In limited NHL action, Swayman has given Bruins fans plenty of reason to have confidence in him as the “heir apparent” to Rask.

        Yes Bergeron is 35 and still playing at an elite level. I don’t see any reason to think he becomes a bum in the next couple of years. His game has never been about being the fastest guy on the ice, he will age just fine.

        Marchand is 32…and?

        Krejci is 34, see my comment about Bergeron above.

        I posted a range for a reason. Two years is probably more realistic, with four years being optimistic. A four year window would probably require some of their prospects panning out etc.

    • Joe, interesting that you raise the question of trying to “fit in” Mike Reilly when he becomes a UFA at season’s end in terms of the cap. I made more or less the same point in the Headlines thread to Bergyboyzzz as the main reason why Dorion decided to move him at the trade deadline.

      He is going to command closer to $3 mil per and at least a 4-year deal … and might even get a bit more offered from one several teams needing to shore up their D. Philadelphia comes to mind. As does Arizona and maybe Dallas.

      • Philly doesnt need left handed defensemen we have plenty of those.

        We are focused on RIGHT HANDED defensemen,

        Josh Manson comes to mind but any deal will have to wait until the expansion draft is done.

      • Tyson Barrie maybe available as a UFA. Not sure if he is the type of d-man that Philly is looking for,
        but I don’t think there is room in Edmonton for him next season. The Oilers are having a hard time this season getting Bouchard ice time because he also plays the right side.

      • George O….Grzelcyk got his contract at $3.6/4…Carlo is up next this offseason probably looking for $4+ million per.McAvoy will want his next year at least $6+ It’s going to be tough adding in another $3-4+ million Dman unless two of three Rask Krejci Hall leave

      • Maybe Sweeney can convince the Kraken to take John Moore off his hands?

      • MP. I’m sure Philly could be at top of DrAngelos list once NYR buy him out. Philly would be crazy not to give him a chance on a cheap 1 year deal

      • Kevjam,

        The last place Tyson Barrie would go to is Philadelphia, the burial ground for offensive defencemen.

        Vignault has turned Gostisbehere into a bum, and did the same to Gustafsson .

    • Wow that is an extensive list of zilch. This is good list for Bruins to walk away from ans start fresh.

      • Hmmmm. How’d the mighty Leafs get their current core? Drafting gems out of the 2nd round and shrewd trading, or tanking and winning lotteries?
        Pump the brakes, Wendel. They haven’t won anything yet. They may never win with Austin set to bolt in a few short seasons.

    • I believe DK signs 1 yr at 5 Rask 2 at 6 after that I believe they try and keep this yrs team together. If Hall really wants to be a Bruin long term I have zero doubt he takes a team friendly contact. Bergy Marshy Pasta and Mcavoy have all taken discounts to remain Bruins and be able to have cap room to make deals for other players to stay and add new ones to the mix. Not everyone is money hungry some love it here and are willing to do what it takes to stay. Krug said he was but walked for less money a yr but 1 extra yr on his contract. I believe he changed his mind partly because Chara wasn’t coming back.

  2. Bruins fan here commenting on the Flyers. Provorov is a top two defenseman and is still developing. The Flyers need only to sure up their defense and create a defensive system to help a young goalie develop his professional confidence in Carter Hart. This team can be rebuilt. I dislike the Flyers, but it is not hopeless.

  3. The biggest problem that Flyers fans have is that Chuck Fletcher is making these decisions … somebody please tell me what this guy has won or accomplished as a manager??? Yes, I’m still waiting … still waiting … I don’t even think he’s dumb enough to trade Couturier … if he makes him available he’ll get 32 urgent phone calls …

    • Completely agree….

  4. Kent if Hall Rask Krech and Carlo take reasonable deals and with Bergeron Pasta Charlie and Marchand already there Bruins will compete for cup for next 4 years. In know way are they a declining team they finished 1st last year and without injuries this year would be first again.

    • If thats the case why not make and offer to columbus,

      Cooots for Jones straight up no sweeteners

      • That’s a fair deal.

      • OMG ! It would take 3 Cotouriers to get Jones.

      • How many Dubois’ did it take to get the great Laine?
        C’mon, Wendel. Your assessments have been waaaaay off on absolutely everything you care to post about.
        A #1 C, can and will fetch a #1 D.

      • He’s a 2c and Jones isn’t just 1d he franchise 1d.

        Dubois and Laine have both been bad for new teams so it was a bad trade for both. Winnipeg lost their scare factor when they dealt Laine which is great for leafs this year.

      • Dubois a #1C in CLB, #2C in WPG, cost Laine and a 3C Roslovic. Who is actually their 1C in CLB.
        C’s/generators and most important forward defenders, are worth more than wingers even those that light it up with goals, at least in the minds of GM’s that trade them and trade for them. IMO as well. The most important skaters on the ice. And I was a D.
        I think it is a fair trade.
        CLB would do it, not sure Philly would as CLB has Werenski, who does philly have to replace Coots?

  5. Re “ LeBrun also suggested in The Athletic that teams with salary-cap space acting as third-party brokers in trades between cap-strapped teams will happen more frequently under the flattened salary cap. He feels we can expect to see more teams renting out salary-cap space to acquire draft picks.”

    I fully agree… adding also the Kraken impact…. the strategic moves including retention will likely happen more often

    Re Lebrun reporting on the recent GP-through trades:

    “ Some team executives weren’t comfortable with a player’s salary being retained by two teams before being acquired by the third team. ”

    It seems to me it will be the executives from teams that couldn’t pull this type of move off that are complaining

    It’s not in contravention of the CBA (that all abide by) … so to me… kudos to those teams that make these deals. I actually like these

    I do get the argument that “rich” teams who have space can in effect “buy” assets (picks or prospects) for future gain; thus a skewed favouritism

    it does seem a tad unfair to teams with space but who have miserly ownership (mmmm say a franchise located in a national Capital city) might be hesitant to “buy” future picks

    As a “buy” example

    Sharks retained in the range of $115 K (balance of retained Sal owing on Janmark less the escrow)… for a 5th

    But in the Foligno retention , Sharks also rid the balance of Noessen for the rest of the year… and after the ins/outs, retention , and escrow…. they effectively paid only 95 K for a 4th…. so $210 K total for a 4th and 5th

    Wings on Savard retention and ridding obligation on Bischoff …. net cost in around $150 K …. to get a 4th

    Last year’s Lehner retention by Leafs cost a net ~ $260 K to get a 5th

    That’s for mid rounders but as a benchmark for cost of 1sts….Canes paid $3.8 M (away about $3.7 M after escrow) for a first rounder they thought was going to be in the 22nd – 25th range… Marleau deal

    It actually turned into Seth Jarvis (at 13th) because Leafs didn’t make the formal playoffs last year (lost in play-ins)

    • Again, at the risk of repeating myself, point to ONE instance where a move was made – or not made – due to Melnyk being a “miser.” Just one where there is no doubt that that was the case, and not some disgruntled media type starting a myth with NO basis in fact.

      • Hi George

        Unfortunately I can’t point to deals that were never made (it’s like proving a negative) but you are bang on with me relying heavily on those in the media reporting (and one non hockey related situation years ago) about how “tight” his wallet is

        So without definitive proof of the hockey deals that didn’t happen; I just may be guilty of making a leap to the conclusions that many in the media have posted re: his he stance to spend on the Sens and his strategies of budgets relating to the Sens

        I am privy to one (insider) non-hockey situation with Melnyk as I was tangentially involved with (my firm) and it was more than a decade and a half ago. It was of much less in relative terms (to the ownership of an NHL franchise) and due to confidentiality I obviously can’t reveal it.

        You may have deemed that situation small and/or irrelevant ; and I can’t argue with your opinion on that. I can’t gather what you would have thought on it. It was just our small groups, (both sides) perception/take of the situation and him not acting on it (it actually financially benefitted me that he didn’t do it)….but I can only guess that my Melnyk opinion (of being a tightwad) had its inception (wrongfully or rightfully so) in that situation over a decade and a half ago

        If I’m wrong on my opinion , I apologize to you, Eugene and all Sens fans

        Again… just my opinion …l’ve been wrong many times before…. so nothing would surprise me

      • Considering that nobody is party to the discussions, the orders, the acceptance or veto given by Melnyk. there is no way to “prove” any reporting that goes on.

        Attendance on the other hand is verifiable and it has been trending down in Ottawa for ten years while complaints about ownership appear to be rising.

        Usually that is related to perception of management’s handling of the product on the ice.

        Hey, in Montreal, internet warriors still debate the Subban/Weber trade.

        They still debate and claim Molson wouldn’t spend to the cap because he was cheap, an idiotic claim imho.

  6. Krejci after this year 4.5 Rask five even nothing more Carlo probably four or five. Taylor’s an interesting one though, because of his crappy year I guess if he really picks it up five at the most but if he tails off either let him go or lowball him. Let Fredrick go he’s really come down to earth quickly.

  7. If the salary hold thing is such a big deal why not allow teams to just hold most or all the salary? Maybe make it contingent on the player being an ufa at end of season so teams don’t get too crazy trying to buy championships. But honestly with the cap I don’t see how this would hurt.

    • Hi Chrisms

      No challenge here on your logic

      Can’t change however until new CBA

      As I mentioned; I am one of the few that like this nuance.

      In a quasi similar way; I do some of that when I either parse out a company into smaller companies or sometimes divisions; or when merging two (or more). To get the deal done sometimes we get parties to retain debt of predecessors or assume debt from a company or division being absorbed.

      • Let’s be an open market again and let teams sink or swim without mom and dad rigging the rules. No cap. Adapt or die. Go leafs go.

  8. Jaysus!