NHL Rumor Mill – May 8, 2021

by | May 8, 2021 | Rumors | 20 comments

Check out the latest on the Ducks, Blackhawks and Coyotes in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens recently wondered if this season will be the last for Ryan Getzlaf. The 35-year-old Anaheim Ducks captain becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. He and general manager Bob Murray intend to meet following this season to discuss his future.

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf (NHL Images).

Murray has indicated he’s interested in bringing Getzlaf back but Stephens wonders if that’s a good idea. The Ducks are rebuilding with younger players, Getzlaf’s best seasons are behind him, he was slowed by a bad back this season and no longer skates among their top-six forwards or their top power-play unit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This season was the worst in Getzlaf’s 16-season career, tallying a career-low 17 points in 47 games. He could face three choices. He returns for a final season with the Ducks, he considers signing elsewhere, or retirement.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers recently examined which forwards are expected to be in the Chicago Blackhawks lineup next season. Dylan Strome fell into the category of “most likely” while Pius Suter’s future was unknown.

Strome faces an uncertain future with the Blackhawks after struggling this season. Powers believes he’ll return next season in part because his trade value is low coming off a down year plus he’ll require a new contract after next season. He could be exposed in this summer’s expansion draft.

The Blackhawks would like to keep Suter but that could depend on his contract negotiations. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He played well this season but benefited from a larger role with other key players sidelined. Powers speculates the Blackhawks could trade him or let him walk via free agency if a new contract isn’t worked out early in the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hawks could try to trade Strome if they feel they could lose him for nothing to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft. A rival club seeking depth at center could make a pitch for him but I agree with Powers’ assessment. The Kraken could pass on him too.

Suter’s contract situation could get dicey if the two sides reach a stalemate that could require an arbiter to sort it out. However, this could end up quickly sorted without much hassle. If negotiations go sideways I expect the Hawks would shop him in the trade market in hope of getting a decent asset in return.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell pointed out Michael Bunting became an important player for the Arizona Coyotes in recent weeks. The 25-year-old winger is slated to become a Group VI free agent (UFA) this summer unless the Coyotes re-sign him. Head coach Rick Tocchet sang Bunting’s praises, calling him “a guy we sorely need in this organization”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bunting has 10 goals and 13 points in 20 games since joining the Coyotes’ roster in late March. He would be an affordable re-signing on a one-year “show-me” contract. Bunting could also become a worthwhile, low-risk signing by another club on the open market.


  1. Five years ago Getzlaf posted 73 pts in 74 gp – since then it’s been a steady decline in both points and games lost due to injuries. He turns 36 on Monday and has back issues.

    Never mind if there’s doubt as to whether it would be wise for Murray to bring him back, why would any other team waste a roster spot? Forget his past credentials and “name” attraction – the guy is done. Retire to the beach.

    • George,

      Getzlaf is past his prime obviously, but he’s 6th in scoring on the Ducks,

      He’s still good on face offs, almost 52%.

      Point being that he still has what to give, he’d middle of the pack in scoring on the Sens, he’d be right up there with fo%, as a mentor he’s still better than the ceiling of many young guys.

      That’s if he’s willing to be paid like an aging mentor.

      I’m not suggesting the Sens, just an example of the type of young team.

      • regardless of how he’s doing on the team that is just ahead of Buffalo, any team that takes him on as a UFA is wasting a development spot. Like Corey Perry.

        They’ve had their day. Go away gracefully.

      • If blugy is taken by Seattle I’d take him on pens for cheap as a bottom 6 center.

      • Based on what? His (long) past? He has 17 points in 47gp for a bad team and is a -13 – telling me that anything he contributes is mostly negated.

      • Exactly. For a bad team. Look what the pens did for carter. More points than any other td acquisition to date. I’d want some grit face off help and occasionally offense from the guy.

      • Chrisms, Sam Bennett has more points (15)in less games played (10) than Carter (12pts) in 15 games and Bennett is plus 12 in his time with Florida up to tonight ‘s game end of the second period.

  2. Big changes could be coming next two seasons in Boston

    UFA’s this offseason


    RFA..this offseason


    with Bergeron,McAvoy,Lazar,DeBrusk,Kuhlman,
    Lauzon,Zboril,Studnicka contracts all done at end of next offseason……

    C Smith

    only players with contracts after next offseason

  3. Pasta
    C Smith

    only players with contracts after next offseason..that are on roster now

  4. It always brings a little smile on my face when I read about Strome’s problems… not anything to do with him personally per say, but I keep remembering how wrong Leafs fans like myself were in believing the Leafs got the better player and had to hear it from all the hockey “experts” tell us how Strome is what the Leafs needed not that small guy named Marner.
    What’s that saying? Hindsight is something something???

    That’s just it. Strome was a beast in Jr Hockey, a lot of guys are, especially if they are bigger and stronger than the other teenagers they are playing with… it greatly skews the numbers a bit as in the case with Strome as we are seeing now how his size is no longer an advantage. Its the same dumb thought of looking at a draft of 18-19 yr olds to find your skilled tough guy. Those NHL types don’t pop up until they are 23-25 and been playing for a few years now which makes them evolve into that type of player or whatever… like we are seeing with him now.

    Maybe the hockey minds constantly giving us their thoughtful insights like a wild man swinging his mental colonic bag around covering everything with his feces need to understand when your sooo right in your mind, its best to wait to make sure before you step in it and step in it hard face first.

    • Ron, I’m a big Marner fan and I hope we get to watch him play his entire career with the Leafs but still at the time of his draft there were plenty of questions about his game translating to the NHL – too small, would he handle the physical play, could he be a two-way player? There were legitimate concerns and it’s a tribute to him that he has developed into an elite player.
      There are the occasional “no brainer” picks in the draft – McDavid, Crosby – but most of the time it’s pretty complicated and a lot of 18 year old prospects end up as career AHLers or make their living playing in Europe.
      Toronto hit a home run with Marner.

      • BCLeafFan,

        I doubt Leafs management saw it that way. He was virtually unhittable in junior and had been throughout his career prior to the draft. He was tiny prior to playing major junior and that’s where he developed his ability to create space for himself. He also played on the penalty kill for the Knights so he had defensive abilities even back then, and as I mentioned previously, he would be completely understood as a person/player because the Hunters had him for I think 3 years. Add that he was from Toronto, was a huge leafs fan and that he won everything in his draft year and I’d say he was a no brainer for the buds.

  5. Ron, looking back, and discarding what has transpired since, do you think the Leafs might have taken Strome – all the hype considered – had he not gone 1 pick before them at # 3 to Arizona?

    Was it Lamoriello handling the draft then?

    • George O,

      With the Hunter brothers’ London Knights connection they were totally focused on Marner. He was their guy and Hunter announced the pick. Luckily for Toronto Strome was the consensus #3 pick of that draft.

      • Just as Ottawa fans are thankful 17 teams passed on Thomas Chabot that year 🙂

      • Fair enough, Wawman, btw I looked back at that draft and the first round was really strong, starting with some guy named McDavid followed by another named Eichel.
        Strome stands out a bit, not in a good way, compared to others who followed him.

  6. Marner is a very good small player playing with a very good scorer. Playoffs will be the judge if he can be a force there for more than one round than he will shut up all his critics. The North Division is weakest in NHL it’s a huge advantage to whoever comes out of that Division won’t be beat up and should be healthy.

  7. No, it is NOT the “weakest” division. See yesterday’s thread. NO team in the North is playing below .400 whereas there are two in the other divisions and one just above .400.

    • George,

      I enjoy reading all your posts and this is my first post here after being a long time reader. I wanted to just point something out to you regarding the North division. Mathematical speaking, it would be more feasible for a team to boast a higher winning percentage with 7 teams in a division opposed to 8. I don’t want to get into my opinion of it being a weak division or not but thought I’d share that mathematical tidbit with you.

  8. Thanks Chris – oh, I was aware of that, but had, for one example, Ottawa continued on with their horrible start you’d have a team closer to .250 hockey regardless of how many times they played the other 6. And more games against each other resulted, I think, in a few more back-to-backs than occurred elsewhere. Nor did the Vancouver Covid situation help in that regard.

    I just get tired of some flat out saying it’s the weakest division without providing any substantial proof of that claim, other than bias based on the location of THEIR team of choice. Without a full schedule, and each “division” being, in effect, a separate league you just can’t say one way or the other.