NHL Rumor Mill – April 6, 2021

by | Apr 6, 2021 | Rumors | 27 comments

Analysis of the latest update to the TSN trade-bait board in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Frank Seravalli considers the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers among his shrinking list of firm buyers as the NHL’s April 12 trade deadline approaches.

Seravalli believes the Leafs seek a versatile left winger who can play throughout the lineup. He suggested the Nashville Predators’ Mikael Granlund, the New Jersey Devils Kyle Palmieri, the Columbus Blue Jackets Nick Foligno and the Vancouver Canucks Tanner Pearson as trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators’ surge into playoff contention could take Granlund out of the trade market. I still don’t believe the Blue Jackets will part ways with Foligno but you never know. Pearson’s been sidelined since March 17 with an ankle injury. With COVID-19 cutting a swath through the Canucks roster he’s probably unavailable.

Palmieri was held out of the Devils’ game on Sunday with the Washington Capitals as a precautionary measure. It’s believed he’ll be moved by the end of the week. Trade rumors link the 30-year-old winger to the Leafs, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Colorado Avalanche and the Predators.

The Jets could seek a defenseman, preferably a rental. If the Predators’ Mattias Ekholm isn’t available, Seravalli suggested the Blue Jackets’ David Savard, the Dallas Stars’ Jamie Oleksiak, the Anaheim Ducks’ Josh Manson, the Buffalo Sabres’ Brandon Montour or the Chicago Blackhawks’ Nikita Zadorov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Ekholm’s off the market. The Predators are playoff contenders, their reported asking price of three assets (including a first-round pick and a top prospect) is very expensive, and the extra year on his contract means he’ll have to be protected by the acquiring team in this summer’s expansion draft.

Savard and Montour seem the more likely options here. The Stars are still chasing a playoff berth so I don’t see them moving Oleksiak. The same goes for the Blackhawks and Zadorov.

Sportnet’s Ken Wiebe also included Montour among five under-the-radar targets for the Jets. The others include the Ottawa Senators Mike Reilly, the Detroit Red Wings Patrik Nemeth, the Ducks’ Ben Hutton and the Devils’ Dmitry Kulikov.

Trade talks involving Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall could be heating up (NHL Images).

The Islanders are expected to use their long-term injury reserve to find a replacement for sidelined winger Anders Lee. They’ve been linked to the Sabres’ Taylor Hall, as well as Palmieri and Foligno.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli’s colleague Darren Dreger reported there’s a sense trade talk involving Hall have escalated though not to the point where a deal could be imminent. Maybe the Isles are part of those talks.

Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell has admitted he’d like to add a right-handed defenseman with term on his contract and a depth forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Manson, Buffalo’s Colin Miller and the New York Rangers Tony DeAngelo are the right-shot blueliners on Seravalli’s list with term on their contracts.

It’s believed the Colorado Avalanche could seek a backup goalie and a little more muscle on defense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rumor mill linked the Avalanche to Detroit’s Jonathan Bernier and the San Jose Sharks’ Devan Dubnyk. The Sharks could be reluctant to part with Dubnyk while they’re fighting to get back into the Honda West playoff chase.

Chris Driedger of the Florida Panthers and Darcy Kuemper of the Arizona Coyotes are also on Seravalli’s list. I don’t see Kuemper moving when the Coyotes are holding down a playoff spot in the Honda West Division.

Florida Hockey Now’s George Richards believes Driedger’s availability depends on the deal. It’ll also depend on whether they have confidence in promising but inexperienced Spencer Knight filling the backup role as well as Driedger.

Seravalli also listed the clubs he considers secondary, or “soft”, buyers seeking specific needs:

Edmonton Oilers (right-shot depth center), Montreal Canadiens (defensive depth), Pittsburgh Penguins (depth center), Washington Capitals (experience goaltender), Tampa Bay Lightning (defensive depth), Boston Bruins (top-six winger and/or defensive muscle) and Vegas Golden Knights (center depth).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Limited salary-cap space explains why they’re “soft” buyers. In the Canadiens case, however, I wonder how Brendan Gallagher’s fractured thumb could provide some wiggle room to pursue another trade. If he’s out until the playoffs they’ll get $3.75 million in cap relief by placing him on long-term injury reserve.

Seravalli also pointed out the Blackhawks, Red Wings and Sharks are willing to offer up their cap space in return for assets to help facilitate trades.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, those three clubs are willing to take a bad contract off the hands of one of those soft buyers provided it’s packaged with futures like draft picks and/or prospects.

Seravalli also made a few significant changes to his list of players considered trade bait:

The Ducks’ Josh Manson debuts at No. 11,

Red Wings center Luke Glendening rose to sixth while Nashville’s Mattia Ekholm dropped to 10th. Ekholm’s teammate Granlund remains at No.7,

Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton rose from 16 to ninth.

Devils defenseman Ryan Murray debuts at No. 17,

Ottawa Senators winger Ryan Dzingel drops from 11th to 20th,

Calgary Flames center Derek Ryan debuts at No.22,

Vancouver’s Tanner Pearson drops from 19th to 25th, and

Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper debuts at 34.


  1. Jets need some sandpaper on defence. Savers/Manson if he’s healthy.

  2. Manson’s dad played for the Jets. I think should be a higher rated target. Same with Glendening who leads the league in face off win % at 64 and change. Higher win percentage than even Bergeron .

    • I agree: Manson seems like a perfect fit for the Jets, and it may jumpstart his potential.

      I wonder what it would cost the Jets to do it?

      • I say the Jets should go for Marilyn Manson. He’s a pretty scary looking dude.

    • gms1,103 G102,A288,P390 -8 PM 2,792

      Dave Manson was one tough cookie (2800PM) and had one of the most tireless skating strides I have ever seen. I watched him play hockey for the Prince Albert Raiders. He had the occasional occurrence to make dumb mistakes and snap when he was in a fight and that followed him to the NHL.

  3. Rock his Dads nic name was Charlie and he was a mean bad dude.

    • Ya, Charlie is definitely scarier than Marilyn.
      Saw Dave play when he was with the Raiders in PA when they came to town.
      Including a Memorial cup in 85.
      Ken Baumgartner was also on that team, so ya they didn’t back down. Line brawls still happened back then.
      In 3 seasons Manson had 666 minutes in penalty minutes, hmmmm?

      • I met Charlie briefly in the late 90’s. Big happy go lucky dude. Two things stuck with me from that meeting , he had big paws and his raspy voice. He took a shot in the throat during his playing days and his voice never fully recovered. As some have noted he had a hair trigger temper but could really play as well.
        Josh would be a good add to the Jets depending on the asking. Watching the Jets last night I kept thinking what a difference in size on the back end compared to a couple of years ago when they had Buff, Trouba and Myers…Stanley is a big lad , he will be good given time + I like the fact he plays with DeMelo who keeps it simple.

      • Manson’s voice was great. When he played with Tor there was a game he got called for a bench minor for yelling at the refs from the bench…pretty sure it wasn’t actually him yelling. He laughed all the way across to the box though.

      • Dave was just an ok defenseman, average or slightly above but liked his crazy streak. Today people would be talking about him like Tom Wilson. Speaking of Wilsons, Behn Wilson , now that was mean and scary.

      • Wendel, the reason we talk about Wilson like that and not Manson is we now know more about head injuries than we did back then. So does Wilson and he runs around blind siding guys anyway.

        You know, like below pasted from today’s Morning Coffee Headlines. Catch on yet?

        NEW YORK POST: A Minnesota medical examiner ruled the March 3 death of Mark Pavelich a suicide. The former Team USA and NHL forward was receiving treatment at the Eagle’s Healing Nest in Minnesota as part of his civil commitment for assaulting his neighbor in August 2019. He was diagnosed with a mild neurocognitive disorder due to traumatic brain injury, likely related to repeated head injuries.

  4. I have come to the conclusion nothing’s going to help this sinking ship Sell, Sell, Sell! Vlad okay last night but, for g’s sake at least try Swayman he’s up there now, it’s a tough choice cause he’ll have nhl shooters targeting him now. I have seen this kid in the AHL he’s got all the tools. Maybe the team will play harder Infront of him, can’t hurt. Do not play Vlad 2 nights in a row

  5. The Leafs would be wise to target Scott Laughton, he is more versatile than Granlund as he can play center or wing throughout the lineup, he is less of a cap hit with a salary of 2.3 mill compared to 3.750 for Granlund and is just flat out a better player who is a F/A at the end of the year, either try to re-sign him or let him walk.

    • Dr. Pepper

      Agree regarding Laughton. Very useful player with a reasonable cap hit. Would be an improvement on Engvall.

      Galchenyuk is looking good at 2LW.

      I still believe they need reinforcements on D. Not a good plan to have Sandin, Liljgren, Marincin as next up if there are injuries.

      Savard from CLB would be an ideal target.

      • Depth is the key word at trade deadline. Don’t go looking to sell the farm for a star. Succession planning in todays NHL is too important to aim for the stars at deadline day.
        Another year and Robertson will step in for Nylander and Sandin will step in for Reilly. Not yet as good but cheaper with high ceilings.
        TSN and Sportsnet should plan for half day coverage because this year will be a DULL trade market. With the salary cap; expansion draft; COVID etc all in play this will be a down year for moves. If the Leafs can acquire a depth D for nothing then do it.

    • I’m down for anyone’s that will move the needle. As good as this team is, it still have issues that need to be fixed and hope it’s not due solely to personnel.

      Never against pushing players down the line up in an acquisition of a player rather than replace a player with a player. I think that’s a key for this team.

  6. I don’t understand why teams are willing to trade for a player to make the playoffs and cost there future especially Nashville. If they make it chances are they will play Tampa And lose and go out. What’s the upside before Covid you could make some money from the gate at your rink but not now.

    • David I have been saying this same thing for a while in here and to anyone else who will listen. Any GM willing to mortgage longer term future in a flat cap world is building his house on the sand.

      In fact, teams like Ottawa, Detroit, Anaheim and New Jersey have to be rubbing their collective hands together right now with their imminent rebuilds and few expensive contracts on their books. I would include Buffalo in that mix but they also find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. The turnaround time will be fast for most of these teams, so much so that I predict one or more will be deep into the playoffs in 2 years, maybe even the SCF.

    • There are a number of reasons, many of them involving the nature of the beast. Owners, GMs, Coaches and Players are by definition highly competitive people who want/need to win today and tomorrow.

      Qwners and GM’s know they need to feed their fan base with a desire to win. For example, Buffalo hasbeen falling apart but they are spending freely in an attempt to ice a winning team.

      Then there’s human nature, once you get in the playoffs you never know what happens, There are upsets, that’s why the games are played.

    • Because your star players have a limited number of productive years. Don’t you want your team to go for it each and every year? As a fan, that’s what I expect. Now, a bad GM, a bad trade, or if your club is rebuilding(or should be), I get that. I just never been able to understand a fan who want to ‘win’ futures. The future is now for a lot of clubs. At least that’s how I see Nashville. Maybe I’m overrating them a bit.. Columbus beat Tampa in the first round a couple of seasons ago. Didn’t see that coming.

      • Ya it’s a tough one Randino, we have debated BOS at length on here about that very question. Will Sweeney, probably. Will it work, seems highly unlikely IMO.
        How about a team like Edmonton – Draisaitl signed this year plus 4 more. McDavid signed this year and 5 more.
        Pretty good team this year, mostly on the backs of those 2 and a couple more guys. Do you trade a good prospect like Bouchard or a first plus for a top line winger like Rakell? Or a guy like Jenner? Likely have to give up another asset to move cap space as well.
        Or do you wait until this off season when you have more space, more teams with space to deal with, your young guys like Bouchard get better?
        Give up assets to win a round or build up to go on a real run and have a legit shot at the cup?
        Do giving up assets this year make it harder the following years?
        Tough call.

  7. David I have been saying this same thing for a while in here and to anyone else who will listen. Any GM willing to mortgage longer term future in a flat cap world is building his house on the sand.

    In fact, teams like Ottawa, Detroit, Anaheim and New Jersey have to be rubbing their collective hands together right now with their imminent rebuilds and few expensive contracts on their books. I would include Buffalo in that mix but they also find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. The turnaround time will be fast for most of these teams, so much so that I predict one or more will be deep into the playoffs in 2 years, maybe even the SCF.

    • I agree. There should only be about 7 or 8 buyers, and that’s it. Toronto, Washington, Islanders, Tampa, Florida, Carolina, Vegas, and Colorado. Minnesota and Winnipeg maybe. Everyone else should be either standing pat or selling.

      • And honestly lago, as a TBL fan, I would prefer they did nothing unless both Cernak and Rutta are out long term. Even then, I would not go after anyone unless it involves moving out Tyler Johnson’s contract. Otherwise, giving up an asset they will need to move him during the off season isn’t worth it

  8. The hard reality going forward for most of the teams going into this trade deadline is that I think over half the teams are using LTIR, 14 teams have no cap space and about 10 more have less than $1m to deal. That doesn’t look good for teams looking to deal that will fit.

    Oh Pengy, I have a site for you to test you crazy trade proposals. Go to mcdavidforpicks.ca to test your crazy ideas…don’t worry it will reject crazy ones but not all…still fun.

    • crazy like

      to VAN: Skinner

      to Buff: Eriksson, Beagle & Virtanen?

  9. B’s…No to Kulikov… no way now how