Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 30, 2021

by | May 30, 2021 | Rumors | 48 comments

In the Sunday NHL rumor roundup: Seth Jones will reportedly test next summer’s free-agent market, the Wild face some big offseason decisions, plus some more Penguins speculation.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported Seth Jones recently informed the Columbus Blue Jackets of his intention to test next summer’s unrestricted free agent market. The 26-year-old defenseman has an annual average value of $5.4 million on his contract with a modified no-trade clause.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (NHL Images).

Friedman said he doesn’t want to deal in absolutes but it appears Jones will test free agency “and we’ll see how Columbus decides to handle this over the next little while.”

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Jones and his agent declined to comment. Nevertheless, this is a devasting blow for the Jackets. The blueliner would be the latest among several notable players to depart the organization in recent years via free agency or trades.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen indicated earlier this month he intended to keep Jones into next season without a contract extension in the hope the blueliner would change his mind. With John Davidson returning as team president, Portzline wonders if Kekalainen will attempt to trade Jones this summer.

Trading Jones could lead to a roster rebuild. It would also raise questions over the future of Jones’ defense partner Zach Werenski (a restricted free agent next summer) and Cam Atkinson, who turns 32 next month and might not wish to be part of a rebuild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Portzline believes the Jackets would’ve made Jones their highest-paid player, as well as offering him the captaincy if he agreed to stay. His decision to go to market next year could signal the beginning of the end of the Jackets’ current roster.

The Jackets can’t afford to let him walk next summer for nothing. Kekalainen could wait until the trade deadline to move him but that comes with the risk of an injury to Jones or being forced to accept a lesser deal. It would also create an unnecessary distraction overshadowing their efforts to contend for a playoff spot.

Despite a decline in his performance this season, Jones remains among the NHL’s top defensemen. The Jackets won’t lack for trade partners if they decide to move him this summer, though those suitors will want assurances Jones will sign a contract extension.

If they trade Jones, they must determine Werenski’s future this summer. He has arbitration rights next summer and will be a year away from UFA eligibility. He could end up getting shopped by next summer if he doesn’t want to stick around.

Atkinson, meanwhile, is signed through 2024-25 with an annual average value of $5.875 million and a 10-team no-trade list. Moving him if he wants out would be a little more complicated but not impossible if it comes to that.


ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski examined the potential offseason plans for the Minnesota Wild following their recent first-round elimination by the Vegas Golden Knights.

Wild GM Bill Guerin faces difficult decisions in July’s expansion draft. Five players (Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin and Mats Zuccarello) have no-movement clauses and must be protected.

If Guerin protects seven forwards he risks losing defenseman Matt Dumba to the Seattle Kraken. Protect eight skaters to protect Dumba and they could lose a forward like Jordan Greenway. He must also decide between exposing veteran goalie Cam Talbot or promising Kaapo Kahkonen. Perhaps Guerin swings a side deal with the Kraken to protect a player.

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani also weighed in on Guerin’s expansion draft plans. If the Wild GM could convince one of his players with NMCs (such as Suter) to waive their clause, it would allow him to protect Dumba.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken could pass on Suter or Parise if they waive their movement clauses. Both are aging veterans with each carrying annual cap hits of over $7.5 million for four more years. It’s no certainty, however, either guy will agree to it.

Wyshynski and Mizutani also wondered what the future holds for Parise, a frequent healthy scratch this season who saw mostly fourth-line duty. A buyout is unlikely because it would put the club in salary-cap hell for the rest of the decade. It could be difficult to find a team willing to acquire the remainder of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mizutani’s colleague John Shipley believes Parise showed he could still be a contributor for the Wild with two goals and an assist when he finally got back into the roster against the Golden Knights. Finding a suitable role for him on the roster for next season will be challenging if a trade cannot be worked out.

If the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel decide to part ways this summer, Wyshynski suggests the Wild has the depth in promising prospects and young players to make a competitive bid. They have a longstanding need for a top center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, they do, and as long as they don’t sell the whole farm to get Eichel, he could prove a worthwhile addition to their lineup. That’s assuming, of course, he’ll be put on the trade block this summer.


TRIBLIVE.COM: Mark Madden recently envisioned the Pittsburgh Penguins trading Jake Guentzel for a different type of forward after watching the skillful winger getting battered and bullied in the playoffs. He pointed to when the Penguins traded James Neal for rugged Patric Hornqvist in 2014.

Seth Rorabaugh speculated the Penguins could free up some cap space if they can entice the Seattle Kraken to select someone like Marcus Pettersson ($4.025 million annually) or Jason Zucker ($5.5 million) by offering up a draft pick. They did something similar with Marc-Andre Fleury during the Golden Knights’ expansion draft in 2017.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving Guentzel for a power forward would be a significant move by the Penguins. It would address Brian Burke’s desire to add some skilled toughness and size to their lineup. However, it could also backfire by robbing the Penguins of a significant part of their scoring punch.


  1. Pittsburgh/Minnesota

    Guentzel 25-50 retained for Jordan Greenway.

    Wild gets scoring, Pens get a power forward.

    • That’s a joke right? Come back when Greenway starts scoring goals …

    • Guentzel for Josh Anderson … straight up … how do you like that one Habs fanboy?

    • That’s a hard no from Pittsburgh..

      Jake will be hitting the weight room this summer he knows what he needs to do and he will..

    • That is a hard no from Pittsburgh.

      Jake will be in the weight room this summer. He knows what he needs to do.

      Greenway is a slug, slow, and can’t score…

    • Only reason Hanzel & Geuntzel scores at all is because he plays with Crosby.

      No Sid? No production. No way anyone not named Benning trades for Geuntzel.

      • Guentzel will hit the gym this summer. He owned up to what he needs to do and he is a good goal score with or without Sid.

        they may go shopping for a running mate with Sid…we will see..

      • Ron Jull..Guentzel is a good young goal scorer period. Yes playing with Sid helps but he can score. He will hit the weight room this summer.

        Guentzel isn’t going anywhere……

  2. If Seth Jones really does intend to test the market and not re-sign, the Jackets have no choice. They must trade him before next season starts. They can’t count on him changing his mind. Seems like nobody wants to be in Columbus.

  3. Jones goes home to Dallas.
    Roope Hintz and 2 1st round picks to Columbus.

    • Lol Slick Flyers can a package together way better than that.

      The one i heard is Konecny/Myers/1st +

      Once again no center in the deal, and i am 100% sure there ask will be top 2 lines center and go from there.

      First off Columbus will want a center(1st/2nd) Hintz doesnt move that needle.

      • A lot of teams can have a better package but, If Jones won’t sign extension nobody dealing for him.

  4. To Chrisms & BnG

    Only just now responded to your posts of yesterday re Pens … so my response is found in yesterday’s thread

    • Whatsit say?

    • Pengy…..Penguins played well, fast, stood up to the physicality of the Islanders, we just had sub par goaltending……PLAIN AAND SIMPLE.

      We out played them in game 1, 2,3, and 5….. this isn’t like 2019 that series was up for grabs and Sorokin took it for the Islanders.

      We make a hard push for free agent defenceman Dougie Hamilton…That dude is 6ft 6 230, can skate, pass, and shoot, and oh yes run a number one power play…

      (All things Letang can’t do these days)
      Move him to Montreal if possible his no movement is 10 teams so he can be like Malkin.

      Move Zucker, Pettersson, Letang, that is $16.8 million
      Don’t resign the ufas including Ceci and sceviour which is $4.4 million

      $21.2 million us some of that on Dougie Hamilton, find a goalie, and add some depth, grit and sandpaper guys..

      Like Tampa did with Gourde, Coleman, and Maroon these guys aren’t expensive but important to a team..

      Did Crosby get held to three points yes.. All good players get shutdown in the layoffs sometimes..

      Matthews had 1 goal going in to last night (leadiing goal scorer in the NHL)

      Toffoli Montreal didn’t score at all until last night game 6.

      Marner has 0 goals 3 assists.

      Penguins with some subtle moves, a goalie, and get in on Hamilton we are fine…

    • Pengy..Marino and POJ are protected already because of 2 years or less of service to their NHL Club…
      They can’t be claimed in the expansion we don’t have to protect them….they are already protected

      Zadorov if we traded for him would pair with Hamilton

      Marino and POJ/Freidman

      Dumo / Letang

      look at this defense… all very doable ,,

      Zadorov’s name was in the rumor mill last season.
      Zucker and a 3rd hawks are desperate for scoring…..Zucker is only 29 and a six time 20 goal maybe a change of scenery..

    • Pengy….Do you go after Dougie Hamilton Carolina UFA or trade for Seth Jones of Columbus…

      Yikes…both are amazing…

  5. Wow, another top player wants to leave Columbus.
    I have never been to Columbus, but I am sure it is a very nice city so if that is eliminated you have to move to crappy ownership and/or management.
    Question to the Columbus fans, what is the sentiment around Kekalainen,
    Is he the problem?

    If I was Columbus and it is true Jones wants to go to free agency I would be trading him for a top center this summer.

    Some suggestions;
    Jones for Draisitle
    Jones for Eickel
    Jones foe Byfield +?
    Jones for Barkov
    Jones for Monahan +?
    Jones for Aho

    • Aho isn’t going anywhere. A young, #1 C on a bargain contract (thanks again, Habs) doesn’t get traded.

      That said, virtually any team would like to have Seth Jones, so nothing against him.

    • Fla has Ekblad on rd already, so doubtful they give up Barkov. Same in LA with Doughty and Byfeld. Slim chance Jones would want to sign long term in Buf, Edm or Calgary. Carolina should extend Hamilton and keep Aho.

    • Why would those teams give up those quality of Cs for one year of Jones? Why not wait a year and get him for free?

      Oh and LA doesnt need Jones, especially for Byfield plus. Werenski is a guy LA would be interested in however.

    • Jarmo typically has not been viewed as the problem. However, his hard-line approach to negotiating RFA contracts is proposed to be a source of some of this challenge. Not sure if there is any validity to that. Many have suggested Torts was but I think that is overblown & is now a non-issue. The trade listed above may be examples of the types of options Jarmo pursues if they go for “now” assets (to be clear I don’t believe some of those players will be available: For example Barkov, Aho). However, if they are now committing to a longer retool I think the return possibly centers on top prospect, promising young player (recent high pick on ELC), 1st Rd pick, and conditional 1st-2nd Rd pick if he re-signs long-term w/ the acquiring team.

      • Same GM that traded a 1st and 2nd round pick for Vegas to take their #1 center?

    • Spot on Fames fan.. No one seems to want to resign there in Columbus..

      What are you hearing on Johnny Gaudreau?

      He would look good in Penguins black and gold.. What would it take to get him? He is consistently on the rumors chart the last two years?

      Jason Zucker plus a first or second round pick?

      • Why is it that Pens fans bash the heck out of their players and then want to trade them for gold?

        Guentzel sucks!! Too slight!! Too weak! Only scores cause he plays with Crosby!!!!
        Zucker sucks too!! Trade him!

        So we’ll take , Jones, Johnny Hockey, Hamilton or any number of far superior players for him/them in a trade.

        I’m an Isles fan.
        Sully got schooled by Barry.

        Trotz took away both of Crosby’s wingers. You can’t hope to stop Sid, but you can cut off his choices. And that’s where Trotz earned his money.

        Sullivan had no answer.

        The Isle battered Guentzel and wore him out. They took Rust out of the game, leaving Sid to have to do it all by himself.

        The Pens lost this series when they traded Hornqvist, who is a beast, as far as net front presence. He is the perfect compliment to Sid.

        And let’s not forget the Isles won this series WITHOUT their Captain and top goal scorer.
        Just look at Barzal’s numbers without Lee.

        Sometimes, coaching, discipline and belief in your teammates beats pure talent.

        Yes, your goalie sucked. But so did Varly in both of his losses. That seems to be forgotten.

      • I agree neversip,

        But it’s not just Pens fans that play the game of my trash for your treasure game. It’s all over every rumor board out there. Agree on the series as well. Pens fans can continue to deny it, but this team is in desperate need of a rebuild. Not retool, full on tear down.

        Bounced 3 years in a row. I don’t see them trading Zucker and other pieces. The prospect pool is more like a prospect puddle.

        Time to kick the can one more time for Pittsburgh has come and gone.

        It was a good run, but all good things come to an end. The end is now.

      • Black gold

        The Gaudreau talk has kinda slowed down, but because Monahan had such a poor season that’s seems to be where the focus is.
        Personally I would rather keep Monahan and trade Gaudreau.

  6. That Jones revelation has far-reaching consequences. If, as Slick62 suggests, he indeed has his eye on “going home to Dallas” then the Stars – if they’re patient – don’t need to sell the farm to get him next season by offering up that high a return.

    I say that because, if that is his desired location, any other team that might otherwise be interested, is going to be leery of giving up anything of great consequence either for what would amount to “one season and see ya.” I imagine that any team Kekalainen talks to – including Dallas – will want to talk to Jones and his agent first and get a firm indication as to whether he would be willing to re-sign with them.

  7. Billy G… your path to keeping Dumba is easiest through convincing Parise to waive his NMC…. no chance Ronny takes him

    Jarmo…. you “fired” the problem/reason (of talent exodus)…. Torts…. why is Jones wanting to leave? Contract posturing ???

    If he goes UFA… only 31 teams interested in him… doh!

    Don’t wait…. make him the extension offer ASAP

    Pens… move Guentzel?? Big risk move… could pay off… but you’re also breaking up great Chemistry (Sid-Guentz)….. who would they target?

    Krakken to take Zucker…. yes please…. but no more picks offered up please, unless it is 4th or beyond

    Perhaps it’s Zucker with a player incentive ….. Lafferty? Lafferty & Ruhweedel?

    Maybe the “all in” move….. Cap magnitude at the level of Panther’s combined Marsh/Smith to Knights….. Zucker/Pettersson ….. freeing up over $9.5 M in Cap!! Then go all in on Hamilton ???

    • Re Pens and moving Guentz…..

      I’d do this (won’t happen but I’d do it)…

      Guentz/Zucker for Hintz/Gurianov

      • Oops …. should have added… 50% retention on JZ and 15% retained on JG

      • We aren’t moving Guentzel….

  8. George, I don’t know if he wants to go to Dallas, Just guessing since he grew up there. If I’m BJ’s, Hintz is a good young center that can fill a need. I don’t think he’s enough to get Jones but, as you suggest, nobody giving up a lot unless he’s willing to sign long term extension.

  9. Wonder what the narrative will be after game 7 :

    Leafs collapse again, classic choke for the ages. Calls for Keefe, Dubas and Shanascam to be fired.


    Greatest goalie in the world loses yet again. Carey Price outplayed by and loses to 20 yr old Carter Hart and career backup Jack Campbell in consecutive playoffs.

    • Probably “the Leafs dominated throughout … but that damned rubber biscuit just wouldn’t find the holes” OR “the domination finally shined through in the goals department.”

  10. Just seeing yesterday’s thread re the oilers . People talk like this team was not good this year . 4th best record league wide over the last 46 games of a 56 game season . Tied for top road record , not as impressive as with fans but none the less . Top power play , net top 5 special teams , right around top 10 in goals for and goals against (without #1 d man from previous season) . And now with cap space (roughly 28 m) to spend and prospects nibbling (Bouchard , McLeod , Holloway). As has been stated on here a few times , need to find an answer for the nets long term (smith was a strength this year, skinner developping nicely in ahl but still years out from his chance ) and address the left wing position this off season but let’s keep in perspective what this team was , for 2 years now . They have choked in the postseason , no doubt(I’ve heard out of Toronto for 4 years now it takes time to learn to play in the playoffs, Washington before that) and need to spend the cap money they have wisely but they aren’t exactly starting from the bottom like many here make it out to be . I ran the numbers on cap friendly the other day as I layed out then , a Neal buyout , resigning larsson and yamo gives them roughly 6.5 m to target a goalie, i would look hard at Freddy for a buy low short term deal , allows him a chance to revamp his value(I wouldn’t go over 4.5m for him x 2 years) 6 million to sign or replace nuge , 6 million to target a scoring left winger , 4.5 million to target a d man ( depending on klefboms health) and money left to resign shore (13f) and two other 1 million dollar players to fill out the roster . Moving koskinen and resigning smith if possible would open up another 1.5 m or so , my numbers included koskinen on the roster. The window can swing wide open if Ken has a strong summer

  11. To WSH : Eichel & MIller
    To BUF : Kuz, Wilson & Schultz And a 1st

    To EDM : Okposo & Tokarski
    To BUF : Neal & Koskinen
    EDM buys out Okposo to create more room

    If PItts wants size then

    To PIT : Wilson & Olofsson
    To BUF: Guentzel & Rust

    Buffalo gets value for assets and uses cap space to compete. Starting goalie , solid wingers, depth wingers and a reclamation center. All who can be traded again to playoff teams if need be.
    EDM gets cap space to make better moves
    Pitts gets size without trading direct with Washington
    Washington gets a top center and cap room to resign Ovi

  12. I would say Parise gets bought out and Dumba protected

    • choice could be accept waiving NMC or if not Guerin buys him out. Soucy is my bet on who will be the player Seattle takes in the end.
      Outside chance maybe Talbot.

  13. Greetings from CBus All…As I discussed in some prior posts across the last few weeks, this summer was a major inflection point for the CBJ organization and arguably the most important part of that decision-making process to pursue a short-term re-load or longer-term retool/rebuild is now clear well in advance of critical events like the draft lottery, expansion draft, draft, and free agency. It is disappointing as I would have loved to see Seth sign long-term, wear the C, and possibly finish his career w/CBJ. However, he is now a major trade asset. If Jarmo and JD navigate this effectively, and I am confident they can/will, CBJ can be flush with a collection of high picks, top prospects, promising young players and substantial cap space. While Seth’s decision is disappointing, to my mind taking a step back now provides a greater opportunity to take the big leap forward to being a serious cup contended and I prefer that to ending up in the “muddy middle” It will be a couple painful to middling years but you have to break a few eggs to make a cup contender omelete

    • Deacon. I really don’t think Columbus has to rebuild. They have a good young team. Defense has been good for awhile and they can survive losing Jones. Savard was a fixture for years. Tampa won’t have space to sign him. I’d try to get him back in FA. Peeks could blossom. Focus on signing Laine long term. Find teams that have centers and Jones wants to sign with. As I said, Dallas for one.

      • Philly fans think we have a chance because his dad is an assistant coach for the sixers.

        We all know money talks so he’s going to a team that can pay him well.

        Dallas/Philly would be the first choices

      • Hey Slick
        Thanks for the optimism…much. needed here this morning:). It may not an Buf Ana or Ott scope rebuild but when u lose a 1C and 1D in a space of 8 months it likely requires a step back to take the big leap. Still hoping for the best out of Jarmo and JD

  14. Will find out soon enough if Jones wants to win or just wants the money does he go to highest bidder or sign at a bit of a discount on a team that can win now? Lots of players talk about winning but many are happy making big dollars and starting their offseason early.

  15. Remember when the Leafs fired Gold Medal and Stanley Cup winning coach Mike Babcock and replaced him with pond hockey coach Sheldon Keefe?

    Babcock trying to teach playoff style hockey and got replaced by a marshmellow lover.

    Little Mitch got butthurt and felt sad so Dubas and Shanahan changed coaches.

    Hows that working out for yah?

    Pond Hockey season is over, the Mens Big Boy Tournament has begun….

    Same Charmin Soft lineup, same marshmellows filling the roster, same results.

    Anyone actually surprised?

    Hail to the Shanascam.

  16. Now Seth Jones would be a move the needle forward player that would be worth it for Ottawa to get in on. I also think Seth could see our roster and see there is a chance of a good long window opening up. Providing he would agree to an extention (7y $7-8 mil) I’d go after him knowing you could have Chabot – Jones as your top pairing.

    To Ottawa: Seth Jones
    To Columbus: Ottawa 1st, Sanderson, Jairve, Zaitzev

    Depending on the lottery draft. This would kick off the Jackets rebuild with another top 10 pick, a future top 4 defenseman with easy top pairing upside, & a possible top 6 future winger. Ottawa had the depth in talent pool to do this.

    Chabot – Jones
    Brannstrom – Zub
    Mete – Docker

    Solid looking blue line for Ottawa.

    • If I am Seth’s agent , I am announcing that if traded, Jones will NOT sign an extension with whatever team he is traded to. Period.

      Jones has all the leverage here. He can pick where he wants to be. What GM will take the chance that they are just renting him for a year?

      The Isles tried that with Vanek. It blew up in their face when he left for a bag of pucks. He told them he was not going to sign and they did it anyway. End result was he left and they got zippo.

      • @Nevinsrip..first of all Sullivan has two cups Trotz has one there is that. I like Trotz he is a classy coach no doubt about that.

        That series was evenly played…yes Varlamov wasn’t great but Jarry was brutal..brutal..

        Penguins outplayed the islanders in games 1,2,3 and 5 Islanders clearly were better in games 4 and 6.

        We had two of the last three at home and losing on a bonehead player by Jarry in OT…you can’t hand the islanders two games as we did in game one and five. They are too solid.

        The Islanders were patient, opportunistic, and SOROKIN was standing tall..