NHL Rumor Mill – May 22, 2021

by | May 22, 2021 | Rumors | 30 comments

Could Nazem Kadri’s latest suspension turn him into an offseason trade candidate? What’s the latest on the Canucks and Senators? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Peter Baugh yesterday examined the fallout of Nazem Kadri’s then-pending suspension for the Colorado Avalanche lineup during their series with the St. Louis Blues. Kadri received an eight-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Blues defenseman Justin Faulk during Game 2 of their opening-round series.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Baugh pointed out Kadri was traded in 2019 to the Avalanche by the Toronto Maple Leafs following two playoff suspensions. He wondered if the 30-year-old center could face the same fate again this summer.

The Avalanche have two young centers in Tyson Jost and Alex Newhook working their way up the depth chart. They must also shed salary to re-sign core players such as captain Gabriel Landeskog, goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Cale Makar.

Kadri carries a $4.5 million salary-cap hit. Baugh speculates the Avs could explore trade options this summer or leave Kadri unprotected in the expansion draft.

THE DENVER POST: Mark Kiszla believes the Avalanche should cut ties with Kadri as soon as possible. He feels whatever value he brings to their lineup is overshadowed by his reckless play and unwillingness to adjust his style.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That decision, of course, rests with Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic. Whether he sees things the same way as Kadri’s critics among Avs followers remains to be seen.

If Sakic decides Kadri must go he’ll probably go the trade route rather than lose him for nothing in the expansion draft. While the latter is an easy way to shed Kadri’s salary if the Seattle Kraken select him (and I think they would), Sakic would probably want to get something in return for him.

Despite his suspension history, Kadri would still be an enticing commodity in the trade market. His 10-team no-trade clause would be a bit of a sticking point but not insurmountable.


THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston reports Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning takes responsibility for his club’s failure to reach the playoffs this season. He also dropped hints as to his offseason plans for the roster.

Contract buyouts are on the table. Johnston listed Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel, Loui Eriksson and even Jake Virtanen as potential candidates, though the latter’s legal situation could make things murky.

Benning said none of his players have asked for a trade. He also indicated he would be aggressive in the trade and free-agent market in search of more offense.

Johnston noted there’s currently no third-line center as Brandon Sutter is due to become an unrestricted free agent and best-suited for fourth-line work. Benning also feels they need more speed up front and veteran leadership.

Steve Ewen reported Alex Edler hasn’t heard from the team yet but he’d love to remain with the Canucks. The 35-year-old defenseman is due to become a UFA this summer. Sutter also indicated a willingness to return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks production was down this season (2.64 goals per game compared to last season’s 3.21). However, that was due to Elias Pettersson’s season-ending wrist injury in early March and most of the roster being waylaid by a COVID-19 outbreak for nearly three weeks in April.

I believe the Canucks’ biggest need is shoring up their blueline and checking lines. Last season, the Canucks had a goals-against per game of 3.10, their penalty killing percentage was 80.4 and they gave up 33.3 shots-against per game. This year, their goals-against was 3.34, the PK percentage was 79.8 while their shots-against was 33.4.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch noted Senators owner Eugene Melnyk spoke about his club’s roster needs during an interview earlier this week with Bob McCown.

Melnyk is confident his club will re-sign Brady Tkachuk to a contract extension. The 21-year-old winger is completing his entry-level contract. Garrioch recently reported the expectation is Tkachuk will receive a lucrative long-term deal instead of a bridge contract.

The Senators owner also feels his team needs a “good defensive defenseman” and “a veteran-type first-line center” but acknowledged those types of players are easy to come by.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Re-signing Tkachuk should be the easy part for the Senators. They could be forced to continue building with youth while augmenting their ranks with affordable veteran depth before they’re in a position to address those needs cited by Melnyk.


  1. Kadri obviously is an idiot who can’t control himself and does stupid cheap shot stuff that costs him and the team. Why would anyone trade for him it happens year after year.

    • Kadri has a 10 team no trade list? He’d be fortunate if there were 10 teams that would trade for him. He seems to go against everything that he Av’s represent.

  2. God I Hope kadri is not a Burke type of player.

    • Who drafted him?

      • I remember that scene at the 2009 draft well – the mics picked up a conversation between Burke and Brian Murray on the floor as their draft positions neared (Toronto 7th – Ottawa 9th)

        Burke: “what do you think of that kid Kadri?”

        Murray: “I like him”

        Burke: “too bad … we’re taking him ”

        So Ottawa picked some stiff D named Jared Cowen who had the foot speed of a pregnant water buffalo. After those tow picks came

        Ryan Ellis, Calvin de Haan, Nick Leddy, Chris Kreider, Kyle Palmieri … and Ryan O’Reilly

      • Oh god no!

  3. Good thing the Avs are not counting on or really need Kadri to win the cup.
    I am not sure they will trade him. See what happens game 5, second round or if they even put him back in the lineup at that point.
    If not protected Seattle would be all over it.
    Flames wanted him at one time. I would give you Backlund.

    How are the Leafs tonight going to replace a $11m dollar player ? With a 41 year old ? Galchenyuk worked well top 6

  4. i repeat kadri has been a non factor for avs the last couple months….jost is getting better and better and newhook while raw has a very promising future

  5. Caps move out Kuznetsov and Kadri comes in to DC….. fits

    • ds, so what sucker takes on Kuznetsov and his $7.8 mil cap hit for 4 more years?

      • Buffalo with their cap room

  6. Bungling Jimmy takes responsibility for Canucks mess.

    If Dim Jim was actually taking responsibility for the trainwreck he created he’d resign.

    Year 8 of the 5 year masterplan. Canuck fans must be elated.

    • I don’t follow the Canucks closely Ron but even at a distance there are rumblings about the role of ownership in the franchise intruding – if that is the right word when one owns the business – into not just player personnel but also spending.

      That may be true for many franchises and it is an element that we as fans don’t get to know much about. So maybe some of Bennings’ decisions are really the Aquilini’s.

    • Really still with the lame-ass school yards taunts. Brave man doing it on the web. I agree that Benning should be gone, but the “Dim Jim” crap is incredibly lame on the thousandth time used here.

  7. Odd the Department of Player Safety made multiple references to Kadri being a “repeat offender” as partial reason for the 8 game suspension when the current CBA clearly states that to be deemed a repeat offender a player has to have been reprimanded within 18 months of current violation. Per their own rules Kadri is not a repeat offender and thusly the suspension is too long.

    That being said there is zero room in the game for players like Kadri or Wilson.

    While the NHL cant control the type of unfortunate incident that happened with John Tavares as it was clearly an accident they certainly can take steps to remove players like Kadri from playing in the league and avoid the unneccesary dirty plays.

    I love hard hitting fast paced hockey but I absolutely detest dirty over the top dirty/cheap shots.

    • Ironically, when it’s Wilson, we hear the “every team would love a player like him”

      Kadri’s a player like him and nobody wants him

      • Slick,

        Good point.

      • Thanks Ron. They’re few and far between. Haha

      • Wonder why that is, if that’s the case.

  8. Look for Tkachuk to get $7 to $7.5 mil per for 7 years.

    • George: I agree with the AAV, but don’t think the term for Tkachuk will be 7 years because that contract would end at the same time as Chabot. I don’t think you’d want two negotiations of that magnitude done at the same time. My guess is 6 or 8 years with an obviously higher AAV for 8 years.

      I’m very interested to see the amounts/term for Batherson and hopefully Josh Norris. I’d try to get Norris signed long term this summer as he could be a 1C and his floor appears to be a very good 2C. A 6-8 year deal this summer could end up being a Scheifele type contract for Ottawa and would be hard to turn down for Norris.

      I think Batherson will end up with a 6 year deal at 5-5.5M. Thoughts?

      • Batherson is going to be a bridge, everyone will want to make sure that he is going to continue his development. I expect 3-4 years or so.

        Tkachuk needs to be locked up long term, paid, and given the C. He drives the team and he is the future. The fans need stability and assurance we are committed to the future.

        As for Norris, if I’m his agent I’m waiting to negotiate. Another strong season or even stronger season gives him more leverage at the table. If Norris signs this summer, 3 year extension at max. Sens will be gun shy after Colin White.

      • Good point on the contract terminations Van. And you’re absolutely right … no way Dorion wants to deal with those two at the same time.

      • Kadri to Sens would be interesting if he would agree.

    • I think they might go 8 yrs on his contract, he’s a keeper.

      8×8 and eat up a couple years of his FA.

      Just dreaming but Sens really should inquire with the Flames what it would take to untie the brothers.

  9. If Holtby doesn’t get taken in draft: Rangers send Gorgiev and Howden to Van for Holtby and Zach MacEwen. Rangers get tougher with Mac as sweetener. Holtby gives them a veteran goalie who should be better than he was this year, to back up Shesterkin. Can gains cap space, a young backup goalie, and a 3/4C

    • MacEwen isnt good enough to be a regular in the Canucks bottom six.

      • IRon, Rangers could use a big 4th liner that can handle himself in scraps. He gives Rangers something they’re sorely missing in bottom 6 and Howden hasn’t exactly lit it up in his time here. He’s a BC kid.

    • Not certain if Canucks are interested in another 1 goalie right no. Demko has locked that up, di Pietro is in the wings. Maybe. Zach MacEwan is a big rangy undrafted kid, whose development at the AHL was great, but tailed off in the NHL. He could still develop in a nice third liner, who could move up in a pinch. But the NYR would have accept him as an incomplete project who needs develop his game more.

  10. I wouldn’t mind adding a good shutdown D to play against tough opponents and help our PK. But I’d only want to add them if we are moving Zaitzev. Chabot, Brannstrom, Zub, & Mete (if resigned) have earned their spots. I want to leave a spot for Brown, Docker, Thomason to compete for on thr blue line. Which leaves Zaitzev our.

    As for the veteran #1 center. We’d only be able to get a former #1 on the downswing that we gamble could be better. We’ve done that before, let the kids play. The veteran route didn’t work last year.

    Tkachuk, Chabot, C. Brown make an excellent leadership core for the team. Let the kids play, see if we can add a good physical depth peice on the wing in the bottom 6 and maybe a penalty killing center for the bottom 6.

    Unless we are bringing a guy like Spezza back on a one year deal or maybe seeing if we can lure Eric Staal over! But small peices. Don’t got nuts.

    Playoffs COULD be a possibility next year. But this isn’t the time to start selling the farm yet.


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