Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 23, 2021

by | May 23, 2021 | Rumors | 11 comments

What’s the future of J.T. Miller with the Canucks? Could Panthers coach Joel Quenneville have his eye on the Kraken’s coaching job? Could the Flames make a management change? Check out the latest in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman reported there were lots of questions last week about J.T. Miller’s future with the Vancouver Canucks. He reached out to a source who indicated Miller doesn’t want to be traded and has no intention of leaving the Canucks.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

SPECTORS’ NOTE: Earlier in the week, Friedman speculated one or two members of the “upset” Canucks players could ask for a trade. I don’t have the context as to what those players would be upset about. It could be the way the season turned out or perhaps unhappiness that Jim Benning is staying on as general manager.

Miller has two years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $5.25 million. He’s one of the Canucks top players and among their leadership core. His outspoken concern over the way the NHL was handling the club’s return to action from a COVID-19 outbreak forced the league to move that date ahead by a few days to allow the Canucks more time to adjust.

Benning indicated some changes will be coming this summer. I don’t see Miller being part of them unless he requests a trade. We now know that’s not something he wants to do.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports of speculation suggesting Florida Panthers bench boss Joel Quenneville could have his sights set on becoming head coach of the Seattle Kraken when this season is over. Brooks thinks that might be the reason why Kraken GM Ron Francis is moving so slowly to reach a decision.

If Quenneville departs for Seattle, Brooks feels it would be money-related. He thinks that would also be a reason to rethink whether the Panthers would re-sign captain Aleksander Barkov before his UFA eligibility next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Quenneville is signed through 2023-24 earning a league-high $5.25 million per season. He’d have to break that contract to join the Kraken and that could get legally complicated. The Kraken would also have to make it financially worth his while.

The Panthers could fire Quenneville if they lose their first-round series to the Lightning. However, I don’t see that happening after he guided them to their best regular-season performance in years.


FLAMES NATION: Ryan Pike cited former TSN insider Frank Seravalli suggesting there could be management change coming to the Calgary Flames. During his recent appearance with Jason Gregor on the DFO Hockey Rundown podcast, he disagreed with general manager Brad Treliving’s end-of-season assessment that his club was a good team that had a bad year.

Seravalli pointed out the Flames have had the same core for a while. They doubled down on it last year by adding Jacob Markstrom and Chris Tanev but it didn’t pan out. He feels the Flames need a new look, be it a change in management or blowing up the core by moving Johnny Gaudreau or Sean Monahan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No indication thus far as to whether Treliving returns as general manager. He reportedly has two more years left on his contract. Ownership could give him at least one more year to try and get this club back on track.

If they intend to dump Treliving and hire a new general manager they must act soon. The expansion draft is July 21, the NHL Draft follows soon afterward (July 23-24) and the free-agent market opens on July 28. His replacement needs time to prepare for those important off-season events.


  1. Flames need a new decision maker or they will continue to crash & burn in no man’s land …

    Is Quenneville that hard up for more cash???

    and Benning has turned the Canucks into a giant mess … Ericksson, Roussel, Beagle, Holtby, the list goes on …

  2. i suppose anything is possible. i remember quenneville getting the police escort up oakland park blvd to the bb+t arena the day he arrived. and randy moller(in his finest hour) all but guaranteeing a cup in the near future.will be interesting to see what barkov wants to do. the bigger problem is in net.

  3. Lyle,
    Your comments are spot on!
    As much as I would like to see Flames move on from Treliving unfortunately this is not the time. Replacing GM’s is not like replacing coaches as this is the busiest and most important time for GM’s. Especially this year with the expansion draft.
    It is counter intuitive but the best time to let a GM go is at the start of the season. The new GM gets a chance to see how the team plays, if he likes the coach, and can prepare for trade deadline.
    The only issue with that is a replacement is almost impossible to hire as most candidates would be under contract.

  4. Most GMs do very little scouting on their own and rely on their scouting departments around the globe to prepare a list in order of preference, mixed with specific alternates if a targeted player is taken just ahead of them. In addition, any GM brought in as a replacement would have to have been on the moon if he didn’t have a solid grasp of what’s been transpiring throughout various levels of hockey.

    I would even venture to say that some of the top candidates – if not all – are familiar with the scouting personalities of all teams – or at least their reputations insofar as solid recommendations are concerned.

    To me anyway, the biggest challenge for a late GM change is that the newcomer might not wish to go with the inherited coaching staff. In those cases, history has shown that, when a late GM change is made, the inherited coaches immediately go on a short leash.

    • Ownership had a finger in the Sutter hiring & ironically Sutter has the same contract time as Treliving. Sutter likes the team & has come out & said so. Sutter & Treliving are on the same page. Any new GM would want their own coach. Why would ownership payout more caoch severances & a GM severance when in 2 years they have been told the GM & Coach will get this turned around. This is all a bunch of talk by media whose jobs are to create & get speculation out there. I would bet $$$ Sutter & Treliving go no where this summer. Treliving has a good trade record & have no problem him making trades with the core. Moves will be geared to winning now not rebuilding like many pundits say should be happening. Whether they should blow up or not is a different question the hiring of Sutter answered that question

  5. Coach Q and Barkov on a charter up to MSG

    sign me up

    • Fire Treliving. Gorton and Quinn to Calgary. Trade Gaudreau and Monahan to Buffalo for Eichel and Reinhart.
      Speaking of Gorton, the one mistake he made with Rangers was including Miller in the MacDonaugh trade. Maybe Drury can get him back. Always liked his game.

  6. Considering the time of the year I would be surprised to see Treliving leave this summer, next one is a different matter, but you never know.

    Q might not get along with the owners in Florida, the only reason I can see for moving, but knowing Florida that might be true

    JB has made a mess in Vancouver, mainly because he doesnt seem to have a plan, except the no plan plan. Miller might not be wanting out but they should see his worth considering he will be 30 when next they play in the playoffs, and if the right team asks I can see him want a trade

    • Benning has a mixed draft record and his trades and free agent signings have been terrible overall. Outside of JT Miller, where he possibly didn’t need to give up the 1st round pick, I can’t think of a good trade. Burrows for Dahlen seemed like a win at the time, but Dahlen didn’t pan out.

      Benning consistently overpays for depth pieces like Eriksson, Beagle and Roussel in the free agent market and leaves limited dollars for filling out the rest of the roster. I think he and Green were kept in part because ownership didn’t want to pay 2 GM’s the next two years and sign a new coach to a term longer than 2 years.

  7. “Earlier in the week, Friedman speculated one or two members of the “upset” Canucks players could ask for a trade. I don’t have the context as to what those players would be upset about”

    Maybe you shouldn’t report unsubstantiated claims then?

    Maybe “someone said that someone else said that some unidentified players said something” shouldn’t be your bar for reporting?

    • Who are you referring to, Garth?