NHL Rumor Mill – June 8, 2021

by | Jun 8, 2021 | Rumors | 69 comments

An early look at possible offseason moves by the Jets, the Sabres are getting calls about Jack Eichel, plus the latest on the Penguins in today’s NHL rumor mill.


ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski believes the Winnipeg Jets must focus on addressing their defense in the offseason. They’re expected to protect Josh Morrissey, Dylan DeMelo and Neal Pionk in the expansion draft, meaning they risk losing Logan Stanley to the Seattle Kraken.

He pondered if they’ll finally give more playing time to promising blueliners like Dylan Samberg and Ville Heinola or stick with stopgap measures Tucker Poolman, Derek Forbort and Jordie Benn. He also wondered if they’ll use their $14.9 million in cap space to bolster their top-four.

SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe also weighed in on the Jets’ potential offseason plans. He doubts head coach Paul Maurice or general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will be shown the door, but believes the roster requires an upgrade.

Like Wyshynski, Wiebe believes they must enhance the defense corps. He also cited promising youngsters Heinola and Samberg could be ready for full-time duty. Despite the emergence of Stanley this season, the Jets could go shopping for an experienced blueliner via the trade market or free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once their strength, the defense corps has become a weakness for the Jets. It’s been an ongoing issue for the last two years and cannot go unaddressed for a third season.

Heinola and Samberg should help, as could Stanley if he’s not snapped up by the Kraken. Nevertheless, they also need an experienced top-four defenseman, preferably one who skates on the right side.

Teams are reportedly calling the Buffalo Sabres about captain Jack Eichel (NHL Images).


TSN: Darren Dreger reports teams are contacting the Buffalo Sabres expressing interest in several of their players, including team captain Jack Eichel. Dreger believes those conversations will increase ahead of the NHL draft weekend on July 23-24.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel raised eyebrows last month suggesting a “disconnect” between himself and management over treatment for a herniated disc in his neck. That generated considerable speculation over whether he’ll be traded this summer.

The report also indicated there’s been speculation about the futures of Sabres center Sam Reinhart and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Reinhart, a restricted free agent, was noncommittal about his future in Buffalo during his end-of-season press conference. Ristolainen, meanwhile, said he’d be fine with a trade or remaining a Sabre. Blueliner Colin Miller could also draw interest in the trade market.

Buffalo fans would probably love to see their club shed the expensive contracts of Jeff Skinner ($9 million annual average value through 2026-27) and Kyle Okposo ($6 million AAV through 2022-23), but I doubt they’ll be moved in an offseason with a flattened salary cap.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports a well-placed source within the Penguins organization said the club intends to protect goaltender Tristan Jarry and center Evgeni Malkin in next month’s expansion draft. Malkin has a no-movement clause but he’d only waive it to go to Florida, where he and his family reside.

Kingerski also indicated the Penguins seek a veteran goaltender with playoff experience and could have an eye on Toronto’s Frederik Andersen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins don’t seem to want to give up on Jarry. He could benefit from an experienced mentor to help him split the duties for the next year or two. Andersen’s critics will snort with laughter over the thought of him backing up Jarry but he does have a solid resume over most of his tenure in Toronto. He could also benefit from a lighter workload compared to what he endured with the Maple Leafs.

No surprise Malkin has no interest in waiving his NMC to go to Seattle. He’s made no secret of his desire to finish his career with the Penguins. While he might welcome a trade to the Florida Panthers, they have no reason to acquire him when they’re planning to pay captain Aleksander Barkov a lot of money to stay put.


  1. If left unprotected per his approval why in the world would Ron Francis want an aging injury prone, dumb penalty taker turnover machine like Malkin???

    Jets need a new decision maker and I would protect Stanley … he’s still developing and learning on the job …

    • Ok, Ed I will bite. I’ve looked at Malkin’s penalty minutes versus Crosby’s and there is little difference between the two. Same can be said for the games lost to injury.

      What is the basis for your comments?

    • Why would the Kracken want a Hall of Fame player to be the face of their franchise? Its not like they want to attract media attention and fans to their business of anything.

      • Malkin has 1 year left on his contract with a 9.5 million cap hit. He’s coming off knee surgery that will keep him out of early training camp. Not to mention that he showed up at camp this past season terribly out of shape. Why would the Kraken want that? At 35 Malkin no doubt has a little left in the tank. To call him “the face of a franchise” is going a little far, no?

      • No, its not. A clear first choice Hall of Famer, not sure what else the face of the franchise needs to be?
        Its not just a game, its also a business

      • A face of the franchise for one (more than likely injury riddled season ) before he bolts somewhere else to get that last big payday?

        I seriously doubt Seattle has interest in Malkin and vice versa.

        Grabbing a 35 year old for one year is highly unlikely. The only one who would benefit here is Pittsburgh by shedding that cap hit.

        Full nmc, zero chance Malkin says “yes please, send me to Seattle on an expansion team”.

        Don’t expect the same Cinderella story of a cup run in Seattle that Vegas had.

        I’d imagine Francis is more interested in building a foundation that will last for years rather than a face for a year.

        Seattle sells out soccer games, not easy in the US. Seattle will be just fine without a temporary face of the franchise.

      • For those who are trashing potential Kraken interest in Malkin, you should probably look at Vegas. Specifically I mean like how Vegas picked Fleury to be their franchise face despite Fleury’s value being so low the Pens gave away a 2nd for Vegas to take him. These types of guys 100% have value.

    • We are stuck with Malkin for one more year…uggghhh

      If they extend him with out a home town team friendly team discount that will be really bad for the team..

      Let him play out his final season of his contract and let him walk….

      It is time! He has been a great Penguins but isn’t worth $9.5 million anymore..

      I would love to move him to Florida where he and his family live full time…

  2. I don’t think any team is going to commit to Eichel (trade) until his back issues are in the rearview. He’ll likely be a Sabre in the fall.

    The Jets love big D men regardless of their skill level. Stanley, Forbert, (Trouba, Tyler Myers,)

    • The Sabres-Eichel divorce terms are as much about trading his injury treatment as it is about trading a talent. Eichel is unhappy with how the Sabres managed his treatment and the Sabres are unhappy with Eichel’s insistence to have a radical medical procedure…Very messy divorce which will involve the Sabres trading Eichel and his injury treatment for less than what they would get trading a healthy Eichel….One sticky wicket for the Pegula’s and their hockey operations team.

      • i really don’t think its about his injury , i think he wants out and it’s an opportunity to save face and not quit on a team as a captain. i just hope we get a decent return , the sabres have spent ton on money on coaches , gms and spent up to the cap almost every year with nothing to show for it . time for a change jack you and buffalo both need it

  3. The Jets do need a legitimate number one defenseman as Josh Morissey proved he is not that. Not sure if they can get one. They do have some good prospects who should step in. Stanley isn’t going anywhere, he was great in game four. Demelo or Appleton will be headed to Seattle.

    Jets should fire Maurice today and get at the front of the line for a replacement. Just as Claude Noel wouldn’t have taken Jets to where they are now, PoMo can’t get it done. To lose the first three and make no lineup changes … if that’s not saying I am out of ideas and give up than I’m not sure what is. Poor systems in place, replace the coach. The GM has done a good job and should remain.

    • They lost there first line center, so not sure how you can change line up to account for that. Little isn’t available and stas looked like he was playing injured every game.

      In short no centers = loss
      bunch of 4 , 5 , 6 dmen trying to play above there skill levels shows also.

      • MP…they got screwed by the NHL DoPS out of their number 1 ctr…Playoff suspensions are usually HALF of what regular season suspensions are, given the value of a playoff series. Scheifele, a first time “offender” got the equivalent of 8 games. I am not a Jets fan….but it’s galling to see Tom Wilson a CONSTANT offender get nothing for his transgressions, but Scheifele got the regular season equivalent of 8 regular season games. Perros needs to be fired.

    • Though small sample, DuBois for Laine, looks bad for the Jets.

      Unless DuBois is injured, he looks like a big guy who doesn’t like the heavy going.

      The same could be said about Laine, but he is always a threat to score, something the Jets could have used against Montreal.

      • Laine didn’t exactly light it up in Columbus either. 10 goals and 11 assists in 45 games with a -29.

        This trade looks bad from either perspective. Both are solid players. I’d expect somewhat of a bounce back from both, but the center situation in Columbus may hinder Laine a bit.

      • Somebody on TSN wrote before Game 4 that Dubois’s play had been subpar against the Habs. I disagree. He would have had to significantly raise his level of play just to get to subpar.

  4. Unfortunately Maurice will be around next season.

    Seattle will quickly select Stanley if not protected. After watching him play, I can’t see how you leave him unprotected, let Seattle have Demelo.

    The only reason Stanley got into the lineup was because of an injury to Beaulieu so can’t give credit to Maurice for that.

    • agreed Caper , as much as I like DeMelo I would protect Stanley over him. The Kraken could even select DeMelo and trade him for assets, he is a solid stay at home D man.

  5. Man. Malkin scored 5 points in 4 games on 1 leg. Of course the pens wouldn’t expose him for Francis to steal. Just silly talk.

    • Francis wouldn’t touch him with the proverbial 10 foot pole – he won’t need fading “names” to generate fan interest – that’ll be there for at least the first 3 years despite how they do during the seasons.

      • Disagree George. Malkin is a massive name, massive. Their social media will hype this up huge and tons of jerseys will sell.
        If Malkin is exposed, 100% he would be taken. To us this is sport and passion, to the owners its business.

      • George also thinks if eichel was exposed he would t be taken. I’ve got a ton of respect for George but to suggest Francis wouldn’t take either is well. Silly. Marketing is one reason
        Absolute all star potential play is another
        Value at trade deadline is another.

      • They’re SRO now before they even drop a puck. There is absolutely NO need to add a 35 y/o who comes in chronically out of shape and probably will never see a full season again.

        As in Vegas with Marchesseault and Karlsson, as two examples, the locals will latch onto whoever emerges from their draft picks as goal scorers and it will be their jerseys that will lead sales.

        Pittsburgh HOPES he’d be selected – but that’s just wishful thinking on their part. If they protect him and expose a younger talent, then they deserve to spiral down the loo.

      • Nice try George. One. Malkin has never been out of shape. That’s bologna. Two there is nobody on Pittsburgh that would be a major loss in the draft even when Pittsburgh does protect Malkin. Three there is not one player that Francis drafts that he wouldn’t immediately trade straight up for Malkin or eichel and dance gleefully around his office.

        Let’s try this

        Would Francis gamble that Malkin comes in and plays even half decently for him, say close to a point a game, and even if they arnt playoff contenders and he has to move at the deadline. What would Malkin fetch at next deadline? A 1st and top prospect? At least. So Francis takes Brandon tanev or petterson over that haul? Let’s think this through a bit.

      • You hang onto that fantasy Chrisms.

      • 🤘

      • habfan30 on May 13, 2021 at 3:58 pm
        The Eichel talk is lunacy on the part of the player, the team and the media.
        $50 million plus some draft picks and prospects is a valid discussion for a healthy 24 y/o centre at the top of his game.
        That isn’t the case here.
        Eichel is a disgruntled 24y/o coming off a terrible year with a serious injury, herniated disc in his neck, that he and the team disagree on treatment.
        Reality dictates that Eichel trade speculation be held off till next year when he has recovered from whichever course of treatment and a year of production to show what his value is.
        Left unprotected the Kraken would pass on $10 million damaged goods.
        Chrisms on May 13, 2021 at 5:26 pm
        No way Francis would pass.
        George O on May 13, 2021 at 5:57 pm
        Then all he’d be doing is paving the way for his eventual firing. And he’s not stupid.

      • Agreed..I’m a huge Penguins fan but it is time to either let Malkin play out his contract…then let him walk or sign him to a very good hometown team friendly discount..

        He isn’t worth $ 9.5……

    • I accept apologies in cash check credit or Bitcoin.

      Ps. Don’t think ny “left”.

      • Pretty obvious, isn’t it?

      • That he “left?”

      • That he didn’t.

      • Man George. A simple apology and a you were right I did in fact say that would have sufficed.

        I guess it’s just a cowinkydink that Wendell and the life went dark at the same time.

      • Shoreorpark. So long as we keep his memory alive he will always be with us.

      • Ny was being kicked in the teeth but a certain un-linear thinker. And someone else joined in, can’t remember who it was. He lost his crap toward the two individuals here. Don’t know if he was booted or left on his own.

        But seriously, good for him.! The bs that was being spewed and allowed to be spewed was beyond ridiculous. The guy was defending himself against unwarranted garbage.

        He is the reason I won’t even engage in the type of personal bs that goes on here.

      • So very obvious.

  6. IMO Jets should protect Stanley over DeMelo. Sure DeMelo is locked up at a reasonable $3 million for 2 more years but Stanley’s upside is only starting to emerge. Beside that he’s a Chevy 1st round pick and is part of their draft and develop program. From what I saw in the series against the Oilers he was definitely better than DeMelo. Big physical defenceman like him are hard to find.and since they found him why give him up to a potential expansion draft loss.

    • Easy decision , you can pickup a Demelo on waivers but 6.7 defence men who can skate reasonably well, hit and shoot are not available. Who knows what the upside is maybe he becomes Chara.

      If only we had a shot at Barry Trotz.

    • Stanley is a load for sure and is smart enough to know he doesn’t have to be overly aggressive to knock someone on his butt.

      That said, I was happy to see him on the ice against the Habs as his decision making is questionable. That can be fixed by coaching – if he is coachable. A worthy project but a project nonetheless.

  7. Logan Stanley is big, not mobile, was on the ice and responsible for a number of goals against, he’s a gaffe prone turnover machine who isn’t NHL ready.

    He’s a project who might grow into his body or he might be another Jared Tinordi.

    He did his best but he was a turnstile and Corey Perry kept throwing him off his game.

    Big D like him take five years to arrive, if they arrive, he’s too much of a project for Seattle when there’s a boatload of experienced young D available.

    He looks good but needs more grooming in the minors.

    • @habfan30 Stanley actually played pretty good, can he improve his skating definately, was he a turnover machine that you claim no. Stanley wasn`t on the ice for a 5 on 5 goal against in the series. Montreal scored once on the PP with Stanley on the PK but that was a screwup by Pionk. He has 37 career games under his belt going into the playoffs for an NHL rookie I`d say he played great. He was +13 in those games and +6 in the playoffs while only taking 2 penalties while playing maybe 14 minutes a game. My big question is did you even watch the games to come to your conclusions or are you just a bad judge of talent. With a little more experience Stanley will be a decent dman maybe not a top 3 guy but a keeper

      • agreed on all points Bob , the potential is definitely there

      • Bob,

        I watched all 4 games and I was happy to see him on the ice .

        Eric Staal had a 5 on 5 goal with Stanley on the ice.

        Did I watch the games with a loupe on Stanley? no

        Did I see him cough the puck up, miss hits, put himself out of position a few times, score two goals? yes.

        I didn’t say he’ll never become a decent D, I said he’s a project and D of his size take 5 years to develop.

        Am I a good judge of talent? As I tell my son, I’m a fan with some knowledge and opinions and if they were so valuable or accurate I’d be working on an NHL team.

  8. I so often hear it said of younger goalies that they may benefit from having an older goalie as a mentor, that I have begun to wonder why teams have a goalie coach on their payrolls. What would the mentor teach that the coach wouldn’t?

    I doubt that the tutorship of a middling, 31-year-old Fred Andersen would benefit 26-year-old Tristan Jarry any more than 41-year-old Joe Thornton’s leadership elevated the young Leafs in the playoffs.

  9. Leadership is interesting and absolutely necessary. Watching the Habs lately they seem to be coaching themselves via the leadership of some of their veterans. Players will listen to each other with more attention than will pay to a coach.

    I don’t think you can bring it in very often at the trade deadline or for a single season. I have been very impressed by the Hab leadership group. Vital to their success and constant attention to detail I suspect.

    • Too true Old Blue Dog. Clearly, the veteran pick-ups by the Habs (Staal, Perry) have had a much more positive effect on the younger Habs with their heart and production than the tired old re-treads Thornton, Simmonds and Brodie did for the younger Leafs. Spezza was the exception there.

      • Staal & Perry, Stanley Cup winners

        Thornton & Simmonds, perennial losers.

        Not a fan of Bergevin but he clearly outsmarted the wonderboy in Toronto on which veterans to add.

    • I believe that an old dog can teach new tricks as well as learn them, so I’m curious to know what you’ve seen that convinced you that it’s the April trade deadline pickups, rather than the February 24 appointment of Dominique Ducharme as interim head coach, that’s led to the team’s metamorphosis and “constant attention to detail.”

      Maybe, leaders and producers aren’t one and the same. If those pickups hadn’t scored as often, and the Habs hadn’t won as often, would any of the pickups still be a leader?

      I think Ducharme deserves some credit.

      • He does. Definitely. But there’s still no comparison between the contributions of Staal and Perry vis-a-vis those of Thornton, Simmonds and Brodie to their respective teams – pre- and post-Ducharme.

      • Francis S

        I think you’re bang on.
        Many of us question his choice of lineup but there’s no denying he has made systemic changes once he had some practise time to work with.

        The PK and PP are run totally differently as is the forechecking

        The Jets used to bottle up the Habs in the defensive zone while they kept chipping the puck along the boards, Sens did the same thing, Ducharme has given them different options.

        Makes me hope Bergevin can get André Tourigny to join the staff in Montreal or Laval

      • @Ron I can not agree more Perry wanted to sign with the Leafs and they said no we want Thortan a proven loser . KD does not need leaders that are losers year after year . Happy Perry is a Hab

  10. If Morrissey and Wheeler are team first guys, they should agree to be exposed in the expansion draft. Both contracts are over payments, Seattle will very likely avoid either.

    • I remember when Phaneuf turned down Ottawa’s request to allow himself to be exposed in the Vegas draft. As things turned out I bet he wished later that he had done just that.

      • Barkov and Malkin both have a year left on current deals, so I don’t see how Barkov new deal would be effected by Malkin. That said, Florida just signed last years 1st rd pick Lundell, to an ELC and he could make team next year. Another good young Finnish center man. Maybe Pitt stumbles next year and Malkin waives nmc at deadline?

  11. Re Malkin

    There is no Pens “will” protect him….

    That infers that Hextall is doing Gino a favour

    Gino MUST be protected …. full NMC

    There would only be two ways I see in in which he’d call up Hextall and waive his protection….

    1) he has a massive change of mind re wanting to retire as a Pen….. count that likelihood a minuscule fraction over zero

    2) He experiences or foresees massive problems re: recovery from his surgery that leads him to believe that he’s gone for almost all, if not all, of next year…. and then decides to waive his rights so another Pen can be protected…. again… count that likelihood a minuscule fraction over zero

    Hextall needs to have discussions with RF re cost for Krakken to take Zucker; and it can’t be a first or second; must be WBS or depth Pens NOT named Poulin; Legare ; or P-O J

    • I’m still not sure he would necessarily need incentives. They might think his performance prior to pens is enough to take a risk on. The other options the pens have to pick from ain’t much better.

      • Pens just need him and his $5.5 M gone

    • So youre down for another year of Crosby, part time Malkin, minor league goalie Jarry and Kristopher LeTurnover?

      Id wager that Hextall is smart enough (unlike Torontos wonderkid Kyle Dubas) that more of the same will only lead to more of the same results.

      The Penguins window for a Cup is closed, locked and nailed shut.

      Pittsburghs core 3 are all declining assets, yes even Sidney. Best move for the Pens is to move out Malkin and LeStink. Crosby wont and shouldnt be moved unless he asks for it.

      Take what they can get, picks, prospects or younger NHL players. Other than Crosby nobody should be considered untouchable.

      Avoid eating salary if possible, that will only lengthen the pain of a retooling/rebuild.

      Pittsburgh is in denial if they truly feel their core can win another Cup with the rest of the roster a trainwreck.

      Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. The Toronto Maple Leafs are exhibit “A” for this.

      Surely Hextall and Burke are more on the ball than Brendan Shanascam and Kyle Dubas.

      Maybe Malkin would agree to a move to the Panthers. A contending team, lower tax rate with family and friends already living there.

      • I’m sure there will be some tweaks but not sure how you improve a division winner all that much. Crosby still dominate. Malkin when healthy (big if) still really good. Letang had a Norris trophy votes type season.

        Pens make it to the second round with even decent goaltending.

        The only thing that closes there cup window next year is if that isn’t addressed.

    • @ Pengy…I believe Malkin will play out his final year of his contract.

      The Penguins either need to let him walk or sign him to a hometown team friendly discount at years end.

      They can’t sign him at the current rate or god forbid more that’s suicide.

      Florida is the only place Malkin will move that NMC. His family lives there full time even during the season, no state tax for if he signs there, and Hornqvist and other Russians are there.
      Fingers crossed.

      Malkin came to camp last year badly out of shape that is documented…he doesn’t have the drive…..he just doesn’t.

      Talent he has drive he doesn’t

      Zucker just didnt fit with the Penguins but he is a 6 time 20 goal scorer at only 29 he could be moved for something…

  12. I think the Jets need to pick up some muscle. Guys like Ehlers, Connor and even Scheifele take too much of a beating out there. Pionk has turned into a legitimate top pairing D, they need one more bruiser maybe Ristolainen from Buf.

    This off season will be time to clear the deadweight. Thompson, Lewis never seemed to be a part of the leadership although Lewis has a cup.

    I’d drop Stastny, Lewis, Thompson, Brossoit. I’d resign Matthew Perrault if he’d do one year at reduced rate (never thought I would hear myself saying that). Also resign Poolman, Copp, and even Forbort. Hate to lose Appelman but if Seattle is smart they’d grab him.

    All this after firing Maurice and getting a better tactical coach who could bring in a new staff. Keep Chevy , we still have Perfetti a year or two away.

    • Forbort is one of the worst players I’ve ever seen in the NHL, Jets will be pretenders again if he’s in the line up next season. Same goes for Beaulieu.

  13. I distinctly recall writing that TML didn’t fill their needs in the off-season, that Brodie was being dropped for 2 years with no takers and Bogosian was given away twice for nothing they weren’t going to help the D.

    I also said Thornton and Simmonds were past their expiry date.

    Folks kept saying Thornton is a first liner and he’s a kid again and that Simmonds brings grit and leadership, using his successful fight with Chiarot.

    They also claimed that Brodie and Bogosian were the shut down D they have been waiting for.

    I don’t know if the ones complaining now were the ones gloating then, but I distinctly recall not getting supporting comments.

    • Brodie and Bogosian were just fine. The problem was up front and a coach whose stubborness in keeping a power play intact when it was beyond brutal.
      Personally I’d have both d-men back next year, preferably with a different face behind the bench.

      • Bring in Gabby. He’s destined to be behind that bench. Could the kids take that kind coaching though?

      • 2422,

        you’re kidding right?

        With the latest early round knock-out of a TML team that shone during the regular season, Gabby, who has cemented his reputation as a coach who has failed to achieve success in the Stanley Cup playoffs is a perfect fit.

      • I quite like Gabby, actually. I think he’s a fine coach.

  14. We’ll take Boudreau in a heartbeat. Keep your guy, HF30, his time’s coming.
    You might want to focus on the next series. You’re getting awfully repetitive about the team you beat. Move on, man.