NHL Rumor Mill – June 4, 2021

by | Jun 4, 2021 | Rumors | 60 comments

More proposed destinations for Seth Jones plus the latest on the Predators and Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Mike Johnston listed the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs as possible destinations for Seth Jones. The 26-year-old defenseman recently informed the Columbus Blue Jackets of his intention to test next summer’s free-agent market.

Speculation persists over possible destinations for Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (NHL Images).

The Kings are considered early favorites, given their extra second and third-round picks and impressive depth in young forwards and prospects to offer up as trade bait. The Blackhawks also have extra picks and depth in prospects plus they hold the 11th overall pick in this year’s draft.

Johnston suggests the Oilers could feel pressure to add a defenseman if Adam Larsson and Tyson Barrie depart this summer via free agency. Lacking extra draft picks, GM Ken Holland might have to part with one of his young players. The Flyers, meanwhile, would have to move a few bodies to free up cap space.

The Canadiens have extra picks and several players coming off the books this summer. Johnston suggests Jones would be an ideal replacement for Shea Weber if the Habs could find a way to move his $7.75 million annual cap hit. The Red Wings have the draft capitals to do it with 12 picks in this year’s draft, seven of those in the first three rounds.

As for the Leafs, the comments of GM Kyle Dubas and winger Mitch Marner suggest he’s not going anywhere. Nevertheless, Johnston wondered if he’d be off the table for a defenseman like Jones.

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan believes Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito could shoot for a reunion with Jones. Zito was the Blue Jackets former assistant GM before taking the full-time gig with the Panthers.

Brennan, however, thinks the Colorado Avalanche could make a pitch for Jones. They’re bound to lose a good defenseman to the Seattle Kraken in next month’s expansion draft. He also believes the Leafs will have to get creative to land Jones.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The team with the depth in draft picks, prospects and young players plus the cap space to ink Jones to a long-term extension is the most likely to pry him away from the Jackets in this summer’s trade market. The Kings and Blackhawks seem to be the favorites but that depends on their willingness to meet what’s bound to be an expensive asking price by the Jackets.

One of those other teams mentioned by Johnston and Brennan could surprise us with some intricate wheeling-and-dealing. The key remains the willingness of Jones to sign an extension with the acquiring club. If he’s noncommittal that will narrow the field of potential suitors, making it difficult for the Jackets to get a significant return.


THE TENNESSEAN: Paul Skrbina made several bold predictions regarding possible offseason moves by the Nashville Predators. He thinks aging goalie Pekka Rinne could be brought back for one more season, Matt Duchene and/or Ryan Johansen could be left exposed in the expansion draft. Juuse Saros and Mikael Granlund will be re-signed while Viktor Arvidsson could be traded to make room for a young winger.

THE ATHLETIC: Adam Vingan believes it’s time for the Predators to shake up their core. He also suggests they consider trading the oft-injured Arvidsson. While Arvidsson’s contract isn’t prohibitive, the $8 million annually being earned by Duchene and Johansen could leave the Predators eating part of their salary or adding a draft pick in the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Arvidsson would be easier if he were healthier, but if he were healthier, the Predators would have little reason to move him. His $4.25 million AAV isn’t expensive but he’s signed through 2023-24. It could be difficult finding suitors with the salary cap remaining flat for next season.

Moving Duchene and Johansen will be very difficult given their contracts and poor performance. GM David Poile could attempt to get a third team involved to broker a deal but that could still mean he’ll still have to absorb part of their salaries to make it work.

I doubt the Kraken will select Duchene or Johansen if they’re exposed in the draft. It would take a significant sweetener to convince them. Even then, I think they’d balk at paying out $8 million annually for a player with several seasons remaining on his contract.


THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston recently examined possible free-agent forward targets for the Vancouver Canucks. They have holes to fill at center and right wing but a tight budget could hamper efforts to address those needs.

Florida Panthers forward Alexander Wennberg would be an interesting option but he’s not going to be cheap coming off a 17-goal season. The same goes for Tampa Bay’s Blake Coleman, who tallied 14 goals. More affordable options could include Vegas’ Tomas Nosek, Chicago’s Vinnie Hinostroza or Carolina’s Steven Lorentz.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Canucks GM Jim Benning can find a way to shed some burdensome contracts, he’ll have to go to the bargain bin this summer.


  1. Dorion has the cap space to offer up, for Jones, the 10th pick overall, Jake Sanderson and Alex Formenton IF Jones indicates his willingness to re-up in Ottawa. They are an up and coming team so, who knows …

    • George that is a very temping offer if CLB is going rebuild mode. Indicating willingness and actually putting ink to paper is the key. I would however not sell the farm for one year. CLB will get a much better package if Jones confirms he will ink an extension with his new team.

      • I agree 100% Fergy22. But, let’s say he has his mind set on going to Dallas – or L.A. – or New York – even if a team like Ottawa – or Toronto – offered up a package that Columbus likes and could live with, there is probably no way he assures them in any prior talks that he’d re-up there. So they back off – then it becomes choosing the best package from Dallas – or L.A. – or New York – which may not be as good as what they were offered from a non-desired location.

        And let’s not kid ourselves, if he has no intention of re-upping anywhere but a location he has his heart set on, that will become clear to any teams expressing interest from here on.

        Columbus is between a classic rock and a hard place.

      • agreed on all points George , if I am Dorion the deal does not get done unless there is a written agreement that he will resign. His resigning would be be a distraction all season long.

        I would include Philly as a destination. His father is asst coach with the 76ers.

      • I think NY is out. Trouba, Fox, they just signed highly touted Lundkvist and Deangelo is still hanging around. They don’t have a center outside of Chytil that looks promising. And probably can’t spare him.

        Zero chance NY includes Fox in any deal.

        Unless they want Trouba back (and I don’t see that happening) it doesn’t seem like a good fit for either team.

        LA, Ottawa seem like the most logical fit.

      • Fergy, forgot about Popeye being with the 76ers – good point.

      • I’m not sure that his father with the 76ers means much.

        The seasons coincide with each other and the Flyers play in the same building as the 76ers. Which all but guarantees they’ll never both be in Philly at the same time.

        They may as well be on separate sides of the country.

    • Re George O: I dont see the Rangers as a possibel for Jones, the y have Trouba and 3-4 very good young D and prospects. What they need is a good young center as a 1/2 with Zibanejad.

      • There’s more than one team in New York

  2. Jones will be at least Pietrangelo’s money on a new deal. I don’t say it often but I believe he is actually worth it and a true stud on the blue line

    Canucks should be focussed on improving their backend and forget adding another plumber up front .

    • Coots/Sanheim +1st



      • Hard no on that. Coots, Sanheim and a 1st for a moody scoring winger that doesnt score or play any semblance of defence and one year of Seth Jones?

        Offer rejected, with malice and your number blocked.

  3. I can’t see the Wings going after Jones. They are still a ways away from contending and Yzerman values draft capital too highly to part with any picks at this stage in the rebuild.

    • I agree.

  4. Toronto can offer Morgan Reilly, Timothy Liljegren and Ilya Mikheyev. That’s a loaded package for a defenseman that doesn’t want to be there. From Columbus’ perspective Reilly would probably sign for a lot less, Liljegren has a lot of upside and Mikheyev woukd get more opportunity on their top 6.


    • Frank there is certainly value in that package, there is growing buzz of CBJ taking a more rebuild approach so they may be targeting prospects younger player heavy packages rather that than players like Reilly and Mikheyev (who are arguably in or entering their prime years) in the Jones trade.

    • Aww man, come on. A loaded package? An expendable Mikheyev, a D-man that has been around for 4 years and wasn’t even considered ahead of the turn-over artist Dermott, and Reilly?

      Columbus would never consider that.

      • George O

        I agree, CLB would not consider that package.

        Do you think they would consider this one?
        Reilly and Marner for Jones and Jenner? Leafs get permission to talk extension with Jones first…

        Marner is signed until 2023-25 and his contract was front loaded. CLB has had difficulty retaining talent. He would be a fantastic set-up man for Laine.

        Jenner would be a good fit on 2nd line with Tavares and Nylander could move up to 1st line with Matthews. Jones would pair with Brodie on 1st pair D.

      • They probably would Daryl. And Toronto should. But unless there’s a 180 degree shift in the Shanahan-Dubas approach I just don’t see it happening.

      • I don’t think that trade is really possible.

        I think Columbus will be looking for a center for starters. Whether it be a prospect or a young established center. Laine and Marner would be an awfully expensive pair of wingers with no center for either.

      • @Daryl Jenner hasn`t had a decent year since 2016 so basically you`re saying Reilly and Marner for Jones. I like Jones but not at that price

      • I agree, Reilly is on the out anyway and what says he signs with CLB, Liljegren has not showed lately what they thought and Mikahev isnt a center and is 26 and in one of his prime years had 17p in 54 games and non in the playoffs. I wouldnt even pick up the phone for that offer

    • My thought,

      Toronto not counting Anderson has 12 UFA’s and one RFA to contend with in the offseason. They have 4 forwards costing 41 million. How do they fit an extension in for Jones, and fill in that roster next year and beyond?

      Further I believe many teams would put that offer to shame.

      It doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense from either teams perspective.

      • I think any trade with the Leafs that includes Jones would need Marner going the other way, for the sake of money and talent.

  5. George O if CBJ are focused on a futures-oriented package for Jones (which is looking increasingly likely) what you suggest is pretty close and the kind of very intriguing package that may get it done. My only modest tweaks are I believe a prospect and/or ELC C may be the focus relative to a winger and I think a conditional 1st based on Jones resigning is likely part of a final ask. So if I am using my predictive skills (for whatever they’re worth :)) I think a futures-based package will be: top prospect; promising young player on ELC; 1st rd; conditional 1st if Jones resigns. I am sure many will think that is too much but #1RD in their prime rarely come available and Jarmo has been quite successful in extracting full value even in difficult trade situations

    • DeaconFrost, I hear ya. I inserted the IF in there because there are some who think his goal is either home-town Dallas with dad Popeye and family, or a big market like L.A. or New York.

      Any team prepared to give up a hefty package such as I suggest will want to have absolute assurance that he would be willing to re-up in that location. If he indeed has his site on a specific location, the return package could be somewhat diminished if that sort of location realizes he’s headed there in one season anyway.

      The wheels will be turning.

      • Spot on George…apparently CBJ was extremely interested in Sanderson so that is exactly the type of top prospect (albeit D from some C from others) they may target from various suitors. I still believe LA and CHI are likely landing spots w/ COL & VAN as under the radar options

      • Ottawa would be foolish to trade Sanderson if Jones wasn’t willing to resign. Ottawa has good depth everywhere, but Sanderson is their clear #1 prospect when you consider Stuetzle isn’t a prospect anymore.

        Without an extension, I don’t see a fit in Ottawa if Columbus needs a good young centre of defenseman. Trading Norris, Stuetzle or Sanderson for one year of Jones makes no sense, and I’d be surprised if they trading one of those three regardless. IMO, Seth Jones’ availability is about 2 years too early for Ottawa to make this kind of trade. They could be a powerhouse in 3 to 4 years without Jones.

      • Vancouver could have the cap to sign in FA but no way the players to trade now, unless your sending Pettersson the other way and that is a non starter

      • Van, I said specifically “Any team prepared to give up a hefty package such as I suggest will want to have absolute assurance that he would be willing to re-up in that location …”

        Where did I suggest Norris or Steutzle? As for Sanderson, he has yet to prove squat at the NHL level. He may well do in a couple of years (he’s back at college this year) and in the meantime Zub has turned out better than anyone expected and Bernard-Docker shows every sign of being a solid addition. And after a rough start, Joshua Brown turned things around, Brannstrom I believe is here to stay, and Zaitsev was generally solid throughout. Add to that a proven D commodity like Seth Jones alongside Chabot and you might well have THE most solid D corps top to bottom in the NHL.

  6. CBJ doesn’t have any big unreasonable contracts and have a young team with only one Cam Atkinson over 30 and long term.

    Seems to me that CBJ need to pony up and sign the few big hitters.

    Prospects and picks aren’t enough for a guy like Jones, a #1RHD on most teams despite the supposed rumors out there.

    Think of your own teams….would you give up a sure thing for some maybes?

    • Habsfan…agreed but CBJ have had little, if any success in the UFA market and big time UFA signings. Additionally, apparently signing UFAs is not part of Jarmo’s preferred approach (for right or wrong). I do suspect between the Jones deal, the goalie trade, and a trade of at least 1 of their 1st rd picks they will be adding young players that are “now assets”

      • Deacon,

        I mentioned the other day that I think TML can make the best offer for both teams.

        Nylander, Engvall and Sandin for Jones.

        TML gets the D they need, CBJ gets a proven scorer, a big forward with speed, a D with upside.

        Habs have nothing to offer.

      • habs fan that package on paper looks decent for the Leafs but its not something they can do.
        Going into 2022 they can’t have Matthews at 11.6, JT at 11, marner at 10.9, Jones at 8.5-9M and resign Reilly for about 7.5M. Thats roughly 50M in 5 guys.
        If there are any thoughts of Jones to Toronto, one of those top 3 contracts has to go the other way and it’s not going to be Matthews or JT.
        I also do not see a deal which includes both Marner and Sandin – though obviously, I would do that for Jones and Bjorkstrand but Columbus won’t

      • Taz,
        Nylander-7 million appr
        Engvall- 1.25 million
        Sandin- 900 thousand. appr

        9 million out

        Jones- 5.4 million

        TML are ahead almost 5 million for this year

      • Totally agree about this year hf30 there are cap savings.
        I just don’t believe the Leafs are contenders come next year and Jones isn’t going to shift the needle to get them there.
        The issue is the year after.
        The core of Matthews, Marner, Nylander and Tavares are together another 3 years. Add in Muzzin for the next two years.

        However, instead if they move Marner out, that means resigning Jones and Reilly. Making the core Matthews, Nylander, Tavares, Jones and reilly for the next 3 years, at least. I like my odds with the the second core.

    • If he’s intent on leaving in one year and refuses to discuss an extension, what other choice do they have? Stubbornly hang onto him for 1 season and then watch him walk away for NO return, or take the best package offered?

  7. I think the Jackets will want a player who can help them immediately in addition to futures.

    I’d love to see the Habs get Jones but it’s not happening. He’s an RD. The Habs already have Weber and Petry. They need an LD. I really don’t see them trading Weber. Bergevin loves his presence and leadership. As to Weber’s contract, while he has 5 years left on his 14 year contract, the last 3 come in at $1m. per. That was obviously done to lower the cap hit – those type of contracts are no longer permitted. I fully expect Weber to retire 2 years from now. He’ll be 38 years old and I don’t see him playing for a “paltry” $1m. If Jones were available 2 years from now instead of now, it would be better for the Habs.

    As for the Leafs, if they’re willing to trade Marner, which I don’t think they are, they may get Jones. I wouldn’t trade Reilly. That just opens up a hole and doesn’t accomplish much.

    The big elephant in the room is, obviously, no team will give up fair value unless Jones is willing to sign an extension.

  8. Well if Jackets want prospects Flyers have them.

    How about this deal,

    Frost, Sanheim, 1st , 2022 2nd


  9. Don’t sleep on Chicago for Jones.

    He can step right in for the recently retired Seabrook at around the same money.

    If Toews comes back, then the Hawks are getting closer to a contender. If not, think about all that cap space that the Hawks can play with.

    Jones is not going to NY unless Trouba goes the other way.
    Would you trade Jones for Trouba?

    Not me.

    • Speaking of Toews, one of my all-time favourite players (along with Patrice Bergeron), is there any news regarding his health and potential return?

    • nevinsrip…CHI has been named as one the early suitors for Jones. Could be very interesting deals b/w CBJ-CHI.

      • What do they have to offer that they can afford to relinquish … and that Columbus would want?

    • Does anybody know what is going on with Toews? They have been so quiet and guarded with him??

      Is he coming back? Honestly, it doesn’t seem like it… hope he is ok!!

  10. NSH & Van trade partners?

    To Van: Eriksson & Beagle
    to Van: Johansen

    Erikson is up sooner and Van gets younger body who perhaps changing coaches and linemates can find the ability to score a bit more.

    Semi-win for both teams

    • Why would Nashville trade for Vancouver trash?

      • nsh wants cap relief sooner

        van wants the better player

    • Why would van trade for all those years when both players are gone in a year? Those contracts expiring are why van is in a decent place right now.

    • How is it a semi win for Vancouver 1 more year of Erickson and Beagle cap hit 9 mill vs 4 years Johansen cap hit 8 mill per. Even worse if you look at actual salary combined Erickson & Beagle 6.2 mill Johansen 32 mill. If Nashville threw in a 1st it would still be a win for Nashville

    • I like it! A semi win! I wonder if it would get someone semi fired?

  11. If I was Francis I might take one of those two centers of a first was coming back as well. Be worth considering

  12. Tortorella won’t be back, so player retention should no longer be a Jackets’ trade consideration. Winning will be, and their greatest obstacle to doing that is their deficiency at center. If the Jackets are thinking playoffs, they will be wary of Marner upon noting his lack of production while playing with a good center. They might also not want to risk paying $18 million t0 two scoring wings who aren’t scoring because they have no center to get them the puck. I think they will be looking for a center or an A-grade center prospect in any deal they make for Jones.

  13. if it is possible ….Leafs should go Marner + for Eichel….play Tavarres as winger….

    • This has been mentioned before and likely will be again but who’s 1C and 2C, and how do Matthews and Eichel get along? Always a question, it seems, with Eichel.

  14. I like Jones but if I’m Ottawa, I would much rather take advantage of those teams that will lose a good D in the expansion draft (CAR, COL, MINN for example) and offer to ‘help’ them. I have no problem giving up the 10th pick to get any top 2 D under the age of 30 but Sanderson is a hard no. Maybe the 1st and a young player like Logan Brown or one of the young goalies.

    • Completely agree. Right now, we’re protecting Chabot, Zaitsev and Mete (?). A lot of room to improve the defense prior to expansion.

      We have picks and lots of good prospects that may not have a spot available with all of our young players.

  15. Jones for Marner is not happening. Without Marner, Leafs won’t make the playoffs. With Jones but no Marner, I can’t see how they would make the playoffs. Marner in the top 6 in league scoring. Jones has other intangibles and a solid top 4 d but not at that price.

    • This past playoffs Maple Leafs vs Canadians , how many goals did Marner score ?!

      • Klingberg and Hintz to Columbus for Jones

  16. If I am Jones, Kings Andy Ducks look attractive for many reasons in addition to the Cadillac’s ,Swimming pools and Movie stars….If not a country song it should be

    It is not always current dollars and you would need to look at a plan over a 5 year window. Reilly will get his money. Pettersson will get his money etc.etc.
    I would also suggest that only one maybe two players max at $9m -$10m range is the model.