NHL Rumor Mill – April 3, 2021

by | Apr 3, 2021 | Rumors | 49 comments

Who could the Islanders be targeting in the trade market? Could Sam Bennett become available as the Flames fade? What’s the latest on the Leafs and Oilers? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple believes Taylor Hall could be among those on the New York Islanders list approaching the April 12 trade deadline as they seek a replacement for sidelined captain Anders Lee.

Staple doubts the 29-year-old Buffalo Sabres winger is at the top of the Isles wish list. General manager Lou Lamoriello is unwilling to pay the reported asking price of a first-round pick.

Kyle Palmieri is still the best fit in Staple’s estimation. However, teams like the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and perhaps the Toronto Maple Leafs could also pursue the 30-year-old New Jersey Devils winger, potentially driving up the Devils’ asking price.

New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri could be among the New York Islanders’ trade list (NHL Images).

Staple also noted Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno and Los Angeles Kings winger Dustin Brown have also been connected to the Islanders in the rumor mill. Foligno is a pending UFA who could end up re-signing with the Jackets while the Kings could hang onto Brown if they remain in playoff contention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello holds his cards close to the vest but he’s also made his share of bold moves over the years. He could land Hall if the Sabres lower the asking price but I think he’d prefer Palmieri as his style of play fits better into Isles coach Barry Trotz’s system.

I don’t see Foligno or Brown going anywhere. It wouldn’t surprise me if Foligno signs a contract extension with the Jackets. Brown has another season remaining on his contract with a seven-team no-trade list. I don’t think the Kings are really feeling any pressure to move their former captain. That doesn’t mean they won’t listen to offers but trading him isn’t among their priorities.

As for what Lamoriello might offer up, Newsday’s Andrew Gross suggested young forward Kieffer Bellows as a potential trade candidate.


SPORTSNET: Eric Francis believes plenty of teams could line up to make a pitch for forward Sam Bennett as the Calgary Flames playoff hopes fade. Earlier this season, Bennett’s agent told Elliotte Friedman his client would welcome a change of scenery. Francis feels the 25-year-old forward’s versatility and previous postseason performance could attract more attention in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Calgary GM Brad Treliving could make Bennett’s trade wish come true by next Monday at 3 pm ET. The Flames have dropped seven of their last nine and sit six points behind the fourth-place Montreal Canadiens in the Scotia North Division. The end of the regular season is just over five weeks away and the Canadiens hold five games in hand.


WGR 550: During an April 1 appearance on “The Instigators” with Andrew Peters and Craig Rivet, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Toronto Maple Leafs spoke with the Buffalo Sabres regarding goaltender Linus Ullmark.

Friedman indicated the Leafs were doing due diligence and merely inquiring as to the Sabres’ plans for Ullmark. He doesn’t think the Sabres’ asking price would be a first-round pick but does believe the netminder would have some value in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This came about as a result of Leafs starter Frederik Andersen remaining sidelined by a lower-body injury until at least next week. Ullmark is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said he doesn’t believe the Leafs are panicked over Andersen’s status and didn’t have a sense they were calling other teams. Like Friedman, however, he acknowledged that could change if Andersen is sidelined longer than expected.


SPORTSNET: Mark Spector wondered if Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland can find the right fit for his roster before the trade deadline when he’s already maxed out at the $81.5 million salary cap. His lack of second, third and fifth-round picks in this year’s draft also limits his buying power.

A third-line center and a top-six left winger as the Oilers’ primary needs. Spector suggested Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening, Vancouver Canucks center Brandon Sutter and Ottawa Senators winger Ryan Dzingel as trade targets.

Montreal Canadiens winger Tomas Tatar would be a good fit but that hinges on the Canadiens’ playoff fortunes. He also doesn’t see Canucks winger Tanner Pearson as much better than what the Oilers already have. His suggested trade asset includes Caleb Jones or Ethan Bear if the price is right.

THE ATHLETIC: Jonathan Willis also mentioned Glendening and Sutter as well as Vancouver’s Travis Boyd and Calgary’s Derek Ryan as his proposed trade targets. He considers Ryan as best-suited to address the Oilers’ needs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whoever Holland pursues in the trade market it’ll have to be dollar-in, dollar-out. That means giving up a current roster player in a one-for-one swap or shipping out a player to another club in a separate move to clear cap space for the intended target.

I don’t see the Canadiens moving Tatar while they’re in the thick of the Scotia North playoff chase. Pearson is currently sidelined but could return to action later this month. However, the current outbreak of COVID-19 among the Canucks likely takes him and Sutter out of the equation.


  1. None of these players being discussed move the needle for me but Sam Bennett does need a change of scenery … The Steel City would be ideal but the cupboard is bare … Flames have definitely underachieved this season, time to blow it up …

    • Edmonton, DO NOT trade Ethan Bear for scoring. He is part of your future!!

      • Edmonton, Bear is a dime a dozen defenseman. Kinda like a dozen MTL forwards I can think of. He is of little consequence on your roster or as trade bait so don’t sweat it.

  2. Flames are in bad spot. Not sure if anyone else tuned in for their post game but the body language of Tkachuk & Bennet was not pretty.

  3. After watching last month the bruins are no longer struggling they have flatlined no amount of help can save them now it’s been an issue Sweeney had a couple of years to straighten out and he didn’t do it first five or six games I gave Kase a pass. But now I finally realize this guy couldn’t hit the broadside of barn door with beach ball waste of first rounder. Major major screwup once again for Mr. draft of 2015 Sweeney. Hopefully this is his last year in beantown thanks for destroying the bruins

  4. It was a good game and a tough loss. One of the Flames better performances of late and still lost. I agree move on from Bennett. The return has to be a right shot right winger prospect and a 3/4 round pick.

    At least the acquiring playoff team will see him at his best shortly. Then will come a long regular season.
    Flames will be sellers next Monday. I think Derek Ryan would also be a good depth pickup- 4th Rounder ?

  5. The Oilers can surely use another scoring forward, as they are McDavid, Draisaitl, and N-H. The Flames are indeed on life support and unless they can with both games on the 14th and 16th against the Habs they will be done.

    Tatar isn’t going to move for several reasons: he is playing excellent two way hockey right now, as is his line; the Habs aren’t as deep on left wing as they are on right; even if Caufield came up and was a hit he is right wing and there isn’t enough time to find out as trade deadline is almost up; the Habs have a brutal schedule and they will need all the bodies they have to rotate in and out of the line up.

    The only possible exception might be Armia, a right hand shot, who could just possibly be moved for a depth D. Otherwise look beyond the Habs moving anyone.

    • As well, there’s a relatively decent chance the Habs & Oilers could meet in the playoffs. Unlikely to trade an impact player to a rival! (even considering COVID restrictions)

    • I think you’re right, LJ. I certainly don’t see Tatar being moved, and I hope that both Danault and him can be re-signed. Their line, with Gallagher scored something like 16 goals at 5 on 5 this season, and gave something like 3. Why break something that works ? Oh….. Cap.

  6. Teams seeking a center might turn to the Florida Panthers for an option that can be had for a lesser price than what the Flames have been said to be asking for Bennett, particularly if they can offer the Panthers a defenseman to ease the loss of Aaron Exblad. The Panthers, maybe with their most competitive team since 1996, are sure to attempt that, and could offer guys who probably would provide more bang for the buck than Bennett.

    The Panthers signed Carter Verhaeghe for nothing. Condemned to cap hell by the Lightning, he’s playing wing , but has been a career center. He’s now worth far more than he cost. On the other end of the experience spectrum there’s Alexander Wennberg. His pedigree alone would attract some interest, and his cap hit is palatable.

    • Verhaeghe should get an extended contract by Florida sooner than later. Cannot see him not a part of next season contention

      Wennberg has been solid 2 way and would fetch something for sure

  7. Lucky to get a bag of hockey pucks for Sam Bennett.

    Rene Bourque was also a “beast” in the playoffs and disappeared.

    Who would give a right shot prospect and a draft pick for a bust??

    How is Tomas Tatar supposed to be a good fit in Edmonton considering it has to contract in and out and he’s a UFA at the end of the year?

    Who would the Oilers offer up?

    • Typical Habs fan with his blinders on. Oh our players are great but your players suck. I have seen your evaluations of talent, HF30 no worries of you ever working in hockey

      • Sparky

        What would you say Sam Bennett’s trade value is?
        Try not to think about where he was drafted and just go by his performance in the league.
        His stat line is 399 GP 67G 69A 136 pts -68

        So…here we have a player scoring at .34 PPG and a -68. To me that means he’s not great offensively or defensively. Seems he’s been given a lot of rope due to his high draft position.

        What do you see as his trade value?

      • Daryl, last year the Lightning paid a 1st round pick and a prospect for Barclay Goodrow. Sam brings much more in the playoffs than him. So what will a team that wants a proven playoffs performer pay for a player that might help them win the Stanley cup. PS: go to hockeyfights.com to see Sam’s fight with Goodrow. If you watch all of them you will see he brings more than just fighting. He is a guy you want on your side when the play gets tough.

      • Daryl, by all means watch the Goodrow fight it is so short you probably need to see the others to get the idea. It does show how hard he can hit

  8. Thank goodness this is a short season and there are no fans in the stands.
    If a team was ever to have a bad season this is the season to have it.

    Flames are having a very bad season.
    I think they could get a second round pick for Bennett, third rounder for Ryan. Ritchie might get us something a big body power forward that could be useful to a playoff team.

    Treliving should acquire as many picks as possible because this draft will be a bit of a crap shoot. Maybe they can hit on a 2nd or 3rd round pick that was overlooked because of the lack of scouting.

    The Flames have a history of having a good year then a bad year. Next year will probably be good year. At this point Treliving should accumulate as many picks as he can to rebuild the prospect pool. Geez maybe they can get lucky in the draft lottery.

    If next year is a bust, say goodby Treliving.

  9. TSN’s Pierre Lebrun doesn’t think Leafs are panicked with their present goaltending situation , as per today’s comments ..
    How do these guys get these jobs ?
    He and Elklund should meet up and discuss their strategies

    • Ken, just because you disagree doesn’t they don’t know what they are talking about.

      Why would the Leafs be panicked about their goaltending? Their starter is getting healthy and his backup has played great.

      Who would you trade away and for who that would make the Leafs better?

      • Their back up is playing well , but he has a “wonky” leg
        Anderson , even healthy is a risk , he doesn’t show up for the playoffs , hasn’t the ability to “steal” a game , very well known for a soft goal , which is a “killer” , demotivated.
        He is not the guy , and I will prove myself right , if they choose to keep him .
        I am assuming there is an emergency “fix” arriving before the trade deadline .
        Most people on here are American followers , do not observe , suffer watching the Leafs and Anderson’s unpredictable antics .

    • Why panic? We got Jack for a goalie.

      • Calgary isn’t going to make a cross town deal

  10. Well Ken, you could join them. What an allstar team that would be !

  11. As I understand it, the goal of teams in the NHL is to win he cup. That said, I would like to propose the following for the Flyers: Time to clean house and by that I mean CLEAN. Voracek, Giroux, Couturier, Gustavson, Elliot, all need to go. I would happily trade Couturier, Sanheim a #1 and a prospect to Buffalo for Eichel and Ristolainen. I would happily send Gostibehere and a#2 to Dallas for Oleksiak. A couple of thumpers on the back end to pair with Morin has a certain appeal. The Flyers are deep in prospects. Most importantly, time to change the culture of losing. What say you?

    • I’d be inclined to keep Coots, but I dig what you’re saying.

    • Richard E Farish are you trolling? Couturier is a keeper. The rest can go but most won’t get you much in this cap world

      And Eichel is a lazy player in practice, you don’t want him

      • not trolling, Eichel is rate by most hockey people as a superior talent, as is Cout’s. But far more important is shedding the culture of losing that is the Flyers. In all the years that Giroux, (16)m Voracek (8) and Couts (7) have been there, no cups, few playoffs. Can’t always be the coaches. Got to shift the paradigm and get fresh blood, not tainted by the current funk that is the team as it is currently constituted.

    • Flyers need saves.
      Get Hart turned around.
      Flyers will be fine.

      If not they won’t be.

  12. Can someone explain why the Leafs are running Joe Thorton out there night after night? With all due respect to his HOF career he is Without a doubt the most useless player in the NHL right now. No legs to carry the puck; puck retention, possession, recovery etc all well below standard. Disagree? Focus only on him when on the ice. Travis Boyd was waived in favour of a “locker room presence”!?!? Good leave him there when they take the ice.

    • Leafs have no other choice to fill out their lineup – “scab” hockey , thanks to Dubais ….
      They are too top heavy – Fabulous “4” at 40 million
      Final 16 -at 40 mil …
      U have to sign Hyman , not an easy task , U will see Nylander traded in the off season , they have no other choice ..,
      They have to free up cap space
      Reilly will want a windfall the following year , they should trade him also, he is over-rated .

      • Ken

        It’s DUBAS 😉

        Agreed about Reilly. Convert him to LW and replace him on D…Ekholm and Brodie would be a good top pair.

        I liked Boyd too. Always gave an honest effort. Too bad that VAN poached him.

        TOR needs to solidify their D and limit high danger scoring chances against. Galchenyuk looks good with JT and WW

        A better 3rd option in G than Hutchinson is good insurance. Tough to find a replacement for under $1M though.

    • i remember a player like that named blozak–one of the worst plus minuses in 100 yrs

  13. Pengy I know who shot Sid it was the guy on the grassy knoll besides that hockey flop thought it was a great game at times. Some great saves but also a few weak ones looked like bad Brad wasn’t going to let Boston lose and Sid was just as good love to see them face off in playoffs two winning franchises and two of best teams in the last decade.

  14. How would Sam Bennet look in an Isles uniform? I don’t see a lot of Flames games unless they are playing the Oilers or another “TV ratings” team.

    I’ve read that he is a strong playoff player. Could LL fool everyone again, and pull this off?

    George, Pengy and you guys what do think of Sam on the Island? Is he a Trotz type?

    • Sam Bennett is a better player than his stat line shows. Trotz would love him, and he would be a great fit on the Island. I selfishly hope that The Don makes a pitch for his services.

      • Sam Bennett was suppose to be the next Doug Gilmour .
        I forgot about him .
        He idolized Gilmour, wearing number 93 in junior .
        He shows up for the playoffs , might be a diamond in the rough .
        I am not an Islander fan , but Bennett might warm up to Marchand and the Bruins .
        A change is “needed “ for this player, at an affordable cost .

      • I just hope he isn’t traded to the Oilers.

  15. Kein, Ray asked you about trading for a goalie. Who’s out there that you’d trade for? Who would you trade?
    Come on, Kein, let’s hear it.

  16. Sure
    Kuemper , crouse or garland

    Anderson , kerfoot, liligten, prospect

    OR – the Buffalo goalie , for a second , whatever


    Raask and his broken back for Anderson and his soft head

    Quirk , a maybe …. not keen on the idea

    Rittich out of Calgary

    Lots of possibilities !!!

  17. Reimer, is welcome to come home …..
    We forgive him , although the worse game 7 ever performed by a goaltender , against Boston …
    Anybody , other than Anderson .
    I really like Campbell , the players -PERFORM for this guy , but he is playing with a fragile injury , Knee ???
    Leafs need reassurance …

    • reimer and blozak can stay away—yes i am bitter but i don’t forget junk and heartache–neither should anyone else

      • jeff – I agree with U
        that was than..
        NOW IS NOW …..
        Reimer has had an ok year !!

        Anderson is a NO !!!

  18. 7 Choices BC – Leaf

    Pick “1”

    I personally like the Arizona deal

    • Cept Arizona deal is ludicrous. You offer trash for gold. Try starting with your 1st and then add. A lot.

      • Chrisms
        U can have Leafs 2021 1st…
        People like to pump Anderson’s tires on here.

        Amirov, which was 2020 1st pick
        Anderson, U can do whatever,,, we need to dump salary,,,
        Kerfoot , U can take or leave him, an adequate , diversified performer, for us , we trade after this season, if he isn’t gobbled up in the expansion draft..
        Would u like Galychynuk instead, Lol
        Liligren has promise, if not, take Sandin. Leafs are in win now mode…
        HUGE prospects for Arizona

    • OK, Ken, some decent options there – well done. I like Reimer coming back – that game 7 memory for me is a picture of guys running around like chickens with their heads cut off, not so much bad goaltending.
      If Freddie can get healthy, we have a pretty good tandem now.

  19. Columbus has a
    1A goalie

    They are going no where …

    Leafs have to dump salary though, to sign Hyman

  20. Hey George O, solid win by the Sens tonight. I couldn’t help thinking that with the Canadian Tire logo on the Sens helmets they need a star player named Albert. Fans chanting “Albert, Albert, Albert ” would be great

  21. yawn !