NHL Rumor Mill – May 4, 2021

by | May 4, 2021 | Rumors | 34 comments

Flyers chairman Dave Scott weighs in on his club’s performance plus the latest on the Blackhawks and Sharks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Sam Carchidi reports Flyers chairman Dave Scott shares the frustrations of his club’s fans over the course of this season but doesn’t believe radical change is necessary. “We’re closer than our record shows,” said Scott, pointing out this year’s core group is the same that played well under difficult circumstances during the 2020 playoffs.

Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk (NHL Images)

Scott feels the Flyers need another scorer and a top-pairing defenseman. He also hinted a backup goaltender could be on their wish list. The chairman believes general manager Chuck Fletcher will have sufficient salary-cap space to add some key pieces even if he doesn’t trade a high-salaried player like Jakub Voracek or James van Riemsdyk or lose one of them in the expansion draft.

Head coach Alain Vigneault and his staff have Scott’s support though the chairman wasn’t thrilled by the job they did this season. He also suggested February’s COVID-19 outbreak among several players could account for the club’s difficulties once they returned to action.

Scott said he hasn’t lost faith in Fletcher and looks forward to playing a full 82-game schedule.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to “CraddyShack” for the link. Landing a scorer, a top-pairing defenseman and a backup goaltender will be costly. Cap Friendly shows the Flyers with $70.2 million invested in 18 players under a flattened salary cap for 2021-22. Goalie Carter Hart, defenseman Travis Sanheim and forward Nolan Patrick are restricted free agents.

I don’t see how the Flyers can bring in some key pieces without shedding salary unless it’s a dollar-for-dollar swap or shopping Hart, Sanheim and Patrick. Feel free to weigh in with your proposals in the comments section below.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers considers center Dylan Strome likely to return with the Chicago Blackhawks next season despite his struggles this season and uncertain future. His trade value could be low coming off a down year. There’s a chance he could be selected in the expansion draft if the Blackhawks expose him.

The Blackhawks would like to keep center Pius Suter but Powers is uncertain if they can afford to re-sign him. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. If a contract cannot be worked out the Blackhawks could trade him or let him walk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have $74.3 million tied up in 20 players next season. They can get over $10 million in cap relief by placing the permanently sidelined Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw on long-term injury reserve. That would provide plenty of space for Suter but the Hawks will prefer keeping him on an affordable short-term deal.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka listed a lack of scoring punch among five reasons the San Jose Sharks will miss the playoffs this season. He feels management’s priority is to address this issue in the offseason or the club will head down the same path next season.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently reported the Sharks have some decisions to make regarding restricted free agent forwards like Rudolfs Balcers, Ryan Donato, Noah Gregor, Alex True, Joachim Blichfeld, Jeffrey Viel and Dylan Gambrell.

Balcers is the only one probably assured of returning in the opening lineup next season because of his solid play among their top-six this season. Donato is the most expensive of the group ($1.9 million) but he’s tumbled down the depth chart this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Addressing that scoring depth issue won’t be easy with the Sharks carrying $68.5 million committed to 13 players for 2021-22. Maybe a couple of those RFAs get packaged into a deal for a scorer but it’ll take something else of significance in that package to get it done. They also have a number of veterans carrying expensive contracts that could be difficult to move this summer.


  1. Flyers chairman Dave Scott is … delusional

    • Agreed. I think Mr. Scott ought to be reminded of the old Bill Parcells rule. You are what your record says you are. The good teams find a way to win the tough games.
      So he thinks the team needs a scorer and a top pairing D-man. So do at least 20 other teams. I hope he doesn’t think he could pick them up at the local Walmart.

      • Their biggest weakness was in net. By a mile.
        You would think that a guy like Hart will figure it out, but if he plays like this season, they have no chance. They have the worst tender results in the league.

        It sounds like Scott thinks he will. If so, then ya, then they have a chance to get in next year IMO.

  2. with just over $11 mil in cap space to sign 5, the Flyers have just 3 RFAs to re-up – neither Nolan Patrick ($874,125 ELC – 4g 5a 9ps -23) nor Carson Twarynski ($775,833 ELC 0g 0a 0pts -3 in 7gp have done anything to warrant any kind of major boost. If both are re-upped, their current combined cap hit of $1,649,958 should go to no more than $2 mil.

    That leaves them just over $9 mil to sign 3. The other RFA, however – D Travis Sanheim (3g 11a 14ptd -18) is coming off a $3,250,000 cap hit and, at the very least, should settle for a bridge deal in the range of $4 mil, leaving just over $5 mil to sign 2.

    As for the UFAs, two are goalies (Elliott – $1.5 mil) and Lyon ($700,000) and if neither is re-signed they do need a viable back up to Hart. How many teams will look at Elliott as a back-up? if the Flyers want to keep him how much more than his current cap hit does it cost? Morin, the other UFA ($700,000), is likely gone.

    If Scott truly believes that they are closer than their record shows we shouldn’t expect a lot of roster changes, although you can bet we’ll be hearing about Gostisbehere and Giroux again as trade candidates, along with Voracek and van Riemsdyk.

    • Scott need to drink a little less. His team is last in goals against and next to last on the PK. But they are 12 in shots allowed. That seems to say they give up too many good scoring chances. Basically they don’t defend well. Add inconsistent goaltending and the have his team. Most games I’ve watched it’s been bad defense and weak goaltending. I don’t think these number lie. If he thinks they are a scorer and d-man away, he’s nuts. They should offer Seattle whatever they need to for them to take Voracek. The lack leadership also. But Giroux isn’t traceable with his cap hit and NMC. Their record probably shows better than they have played this year.

      • The way the Flyers have played this year I think Scott is better served drinking a lot more.

      • The Flyers to me have always been the most predictable team in the NHL. They live for their special teams but in today’s NHL you have to be good 5v5. I thought last year Vingeault had them on the right track for the first time in many years. They were good defensively and 5v5. Hard to believe for a Flyer team who never dislikes a good penalty to take! Watching them, I don’t know what their problem is their forwards to me look disinterested and I’m talking about their so called leaders like Giroux , Vorachek, Kaneckny and Hayes. The only one who brings it every night is Couterier? I think the need to ship some guys out including their leaders IMO for whatever it’s worth!

  3. The Flyers are as good or as bad as Carter Hart is.

    Was last year’s playoff the outlier?
    Was this year the outlier?

    The Flyers have been unable to have a dominant goalie for ages, not a back up .

    Every team could use a scorer and top D, the Flyers need a goalie.

  4. Howard that is one of my all time favourite sports quotes. In a long season what else matters but the record. You can understand a short term run against the record but in the end, where you are in the standings say amost everthing.

    I actually entered today today to ask other guys here what they think will be the price to get rid of some these expensive contracts.

    The Leafs paid a first to get rid of one year of Marleau. What would 2 years of Van Rymsdyk or 2 years of Vorachek cost. Or 4 years of Burns or Erik Karlson. I think teams that want to change the structure of their rosters that are tight to the cap will have to pay more than they imagine.

    Vegas had the advantage of taking picks to not select certain players. Seattle may be able to get more by taking costly contracts from vulnerable teams like who have costly contracts they want to get rid of.

    What contracts do you think guys from different teams and at what cost

    • Old Blue Dog, I truly don’t believe Seattle wants to – or even needs to – take on any such contracts just to build up a pool of draft picks and/or prospects.

      There are far too many of those kinds of “bad” contracts still in the system which, combined with the flat cap and NM/NT clauses, dictate that the vast majority of them will still be with their original teams when the dust settles.

      Not only is Seattle going to be able to establish a solid 29-man core from the draft itself without extending “favours” (and thereby taking on albatross players), but another better option will be prevalent. And that is, that there are so many of the top teams so up tight against the cap that they’ll have no option – when a very limited option on moving a “bad” deal dries up – but to move a decent player with term and a big enough cap hit to make it worthwhile for them to do so. And THAT is where Seattle can make hay, so to speak.

      • I believe Francis will do a few of these moves. Build for now and the future is why Carolina is competing for president trophy. Not only could you get futures at the draft but these players may still have value with money held at next deadline if Seattle is out of playoffs. Multiple futures. Francis could also trade said futures to other teams with cap problems for more immediate help.

      • Little side bet then. Figurative NY-style pastrami.

        At any other time I’m sure you would be right on – but there are just too many teams that will have to move some decent term cap simply because the frozen-cap era precludes the movement of “bad” contracts. When push starts getting to shove and there are still RFAs to be signed (and maybe a key UFA they wish to keep), and clearly getting no one to bite on THEIR bad ones because a few other teams beat them to the gun – then Francis can strike. He is under absolutely NO pressure to rush anything.

      • Huh. Smartest poster in the world bet then. Vegas got two 1st rounders. I’ll wager Seattle gets over the over under of 1.5.

        Not including their own btw. Two more.

      • That was before the flat cap and the effects of the pandemic on economics.

  5. There’s a decent chance you could see Flyers make a play for Johnny hockey. I think it would cost them Provorov & nothing less. They’re stuck w/ #93 for 3 years after this. And JVR! They also need to sign #28 and “Thank” him for his years of dedication. Being this draft is not necessarily “strong” , might be a good year to give up their 1st rounder and more. Philly is very quick to overpay.

    • Vincois, would you agree the Flyers need better defenders and reliable goaltending? Not sure Gaudreau’s the answer.
      I also can’t figure out why the coach isn’t under the gun.

      • Reason AV isn’t under the gun is he has been a coach in the 2 weirdest seasons of hockey in the sports existence. He hasn’t had the chance to coach a full 82 game season yet. I am in the camp that yes they underperformed this year and there were significant problems but that has more to do with the players Fletcher gave him and having to use an injured Hart since late-January/early-February. Hart was pulled from backing up a game early in season due to “tweaking something” and I don’t think his knee healed. Kypreos on Snow the Goalie pod made mention how pushing off from his left knee Hart couldn’t get across like he had in years prior and his right knee would hit ice earlier to slide across the ice versus having enough power to stay airborne. Teams lit him up on these plays.

        I don’t see Flyers making a play for Gadreau unless Konecny is going back the other way. 0 chance Fletcher would move Provy for Gadreau. Fletcher knows Gadreau wants to be a Flyer (not a rumor; there is legitimate deisre to come back to Philly) so he has a little leverage here in a trade. Konecny and Myers could get Johnny Hockey back

      • The expectation in Philly is (and should be) that Hart will rebound from his March disaster. A younger backup less prone to giving up weak goals than Elliot, who has wilted under the pressure of a heavy load of starts, is a foregone conclusion at this point. A little depth among goaltenders in Philly’s system wouldn’t hurt, either.

        It’s easy to forget that a little over a year ago Philly was in the top 10 teams defensively and among the leaders in scoring, with largely the same roster and coaching staff (minus Matt Niskanen). For whatever the reason the skate blades fell off this year–and it wasn’t just because of Niskanen’s retirement–AV isn’t getting canned unless this turns out to be the same under non-pandemic conditions. Even then, I’d expect some of the assistant coaches to get axed first.

        What Philly needs to do is offload at least one of Voracek (preferably) or JVR to free up cap space, and engineer a genuine hockey deal to bring in a minute-crunching legit #2 D-man to partner with Provorov. If this means dealing Konecny, Myers and a good prospect or two (like Morgan Frost), so be it.

      • Couple of good Flyer takes.
        Obviously Flyer fans.

        Their are some decent, physical, defend first RD’s available as UFA’s this off season.
        Larsson has been very good in Edmonton this year. I think they try and keep him here, but he will get offers if he tests the market.
        Plus Savard as I can’t see TB being able to keep him.

        Nolan Patrick has had a tough go. That kid was a really, really good 2 way center in Brandon, but can’t stay healthy until this year, but then doesn’t produce. Kind of understandable. I dunno.

        Is he worth trading for? Will Philly leave him exposed? I haven’t watched Philly often, but seems like a guy who could blossom next year.

    • I think you are very right that I see Philly & Calgary talking a serious hockey trade as both want to make changes. I can see a deal of Konecky & Prov for Gaudreau & one of Flames young D like Valamaki or Anderssen with a few pieces/picks added in.

      • Gadreau is not worth Provorov alone, no way he fetches Konecky and Provorov. One of the other d-man maybe and a prospect gets Gadreau is his twilight years.

      • Whoa. That’s for sure. Konecny AND Provorov for Gaudreau? Not in this universe.

      • Most Id offer for Guadreau is Nolan Patrick and a 3rd rounder.

        Flyers already have enough marshmellows on their roster, no need to add another one.

      • Only players Philly would want from Calgary are anderson/tkachuk other than that you can keep johnny hockey.


        Vorachek for gaudreau works for me

  6. Lyle, NHL Rumor MILL Heading says APRIL 4th (not May 4th) at top of today’s column

  7. Wilson fined $5,000.00.

    The fine is pretty much for punching a defenceless and prone Ranger lying face down on the ice.
    Despite the optics you have to keep in mind that Panarin jumped Wilson from behind. Without that act initiated by Panarin he never would have been ragdolled by Wilson at all.

    Do I like what Wilson did? Defintely not. I love hard hitting hockey with the ocassional fight between two willing combatants. Wilsons history clearly shows hes a dirty or dangerous player but the bottom line is once Panarin jumped him from behind he became a willing participant in what transpiredl

    Suspendable? No. Chickensh*t and gutless? Absolutely. Just like World Heavyweight Champion Wayne Simmonds beatdown on Alexander Edler. Gutless and chickensh*t. Sadly for both the Canucks and Rangers their rosters are filled with lightweights and charmin soft marshmellows so there will be no reprisals on ice for either Wilson or Simmonds.

    Imagine the hue and cry, the outrage if someone the size of Zdeno Chara or Sam Morin decided to beat the tar out of Willie Nylander or Johnny Tavares for no decent reason? There’d be no talk of “the code” or “answering the bell” from the Toronto media, only cries of sorrow and outrage.

  8. Anybody witness , review Tom Wilson’s WWF take down on Panarin from the Rangers

    When is this “goon” going to be officially stopped , disciplined in a manner that is appropriate by the NHL

    Kadri was disciplined , labelled , under a microscope , with the NHL , ruined his career as a Leaf
    and Wilson continues to put players on the injury reserve list

    This could of been a very serious injury , Panarin is out for the season …
    Brandon Carlo was the last casualty , unless there was someone after that .’

    Panarin , Rangers most highly skilled player , far from a brawler and gets Mugged by this monster !!

    It’s Crazy , this GOON is allowed to play !!!

    • Uhhhhhhm, if you watch the video it clearly and I mean crystal clearly shows Panarin jumping onto Wilson, from behind.

      • Ron , All I seen was the body slam !
        Wilson pummelling him afterwards
        Besides , Panarin is a feather weight vs a “goon” heavy weight !!!
        TSN video , not saying you are wrong ..

      • Ken,

        A brutal look for Wilson for sure, I cant/wont argue that. The optics stink, just like Simmonds punching out Edler.

        As for the “goon” label, Wilsons a dirty cheapshot artist. Dave Schultz, Paul Baxter, Bob Probert or Dave Brown. They were goons.

    • Lol, the “goon” never even took his gloves off…. some thug… try actually watching the video instead of jumping on the bandwagon….. Panarin jumped him from behind… .. if he’d stayed on the perimeter and not gotten involved then he wouldnt have gotten tossed around like a ragdoll…

      • Ron, please explain what exactly provoked Wilson into punching Buchnevich in the back of head? That alone should’ve warranted a suspension. It’s a headshot on a defenseless player by someone with a history of disregard for players safety. As far as Panarin, he simply tried to restrain Wilson. Wasn’t throwing punches. Wilson pulled his hair! And almost drove his head into the ice before throwing a few punches while Panarin was on his back. The guy needs to be suspended from league. Psych evaluation and drug testing should be mandatory requirement for reinstatement. There’s something wrong with this guy. I suspect steroids. He was irate after minor roughing call earlier that resulted in Rangers PP goal.

      • Slick,
        As I mentioned above the punch to the Ranger lyimg defenceless on the ice was a dirty play, a cheapshot.

        As for Panarin, if he stays out of it and doesnt jump Wilson from behind he doesnt get hurt. Once you engage like Panarin did you become a willing combatant.

        Its a shame he got hurt but he has to bear some of the responsibility.

  9. Crosby laid punches onto Konecnys head while he was lying defenceless on the ice tonight. Exact same as Wilson, but you wont hear word one about it because its Cindy.