Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 27, 2021

by | Jun 27, 2021 | Rumors | 27 comments

Should the Oilers pursue Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Zach Hyman, Jaden Schwartz or Nolan Patrick? What’s the latest on Evander Kane and Matt Dumba? Find out in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples weighed in on a recent discussion between Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman regarding the possibility of the Oilers inquiring about Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Arizona Coyotes will attempt to move the 29-year-old defenseman during the course of this offseason.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (NHL Images).

Stauffer believes the decline in Ekman-Larsson’s trade value could force the Coyotes to retain part of the blueliner’s $8.25 million annual cap hit in return for picks and prospects. Friedman thinks there are teams that feel Ekman-Larsson could regain his form on a new club. He speculated the Oilers kicked tires on OEL but Stauffer felt that could complicate the Oilers’ efforts to re-sign Darnell Nurse. Friedman wondered if they’d be interested if he wasn’t making $8.25 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staples sees little chance of the Oilers acquiring Ekman-Larsson and I agree with him. He pointed out that the blueliner would have to approve the deal and the Coyotes would have to absorb a big chunk of his cap hit.

Staples also took note of a recent discussion on The Leafs Report podcast between Athletic writers James Mirtle and Jonas Siegel regarding Leafs pending UFA winger Zach Hyman.

Siegel feels the 29-year-old Hyman could get a six-year deal worth $6 million annually from a club like Edmonton or Ottawa. Mirtle suggested Hyman could have four more years left at his current level of player. Siegel believes he’s got two or three years left, adding that type of contract could be risky.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Oilers could get Hyman on a four-year deal for less than $5 million per season it might be worthwhile. Six years at $6 million annually is too much and too long given the eventual toll his physical style of play will take on his body.

Staples points out it’s uncertain how well Hyman would fit alongside Connor McDavid. He also reminded everyone of how quickly Milan Lucic declined after he joined the Oilers.

If the Oilers fail to re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jim Matheson suggested they take a run at signing winger Jaden Schwartz should the 29-year-old winger becomes available in the UFA market. He felt Schwartz would be more affordable than Hyman or Colorado Avalanche winger Brandon Saad.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson said it’s believed Schwartz would be looking for between $5 million and $5.5 million depending on the term. He felt Oilers GM Ken Holland would give him a four-year deal.

Schwartz could be a good option for the Oilers if Nugent-Hopkins departs. However, other clubs could be willing to go another year or two longer or bump up the cap hit closer to $6 million annually.

Matheson also wondered if the Oilers would attempt to acquire center Nolan Patrick from the Philadelphia Flyers. They need a right-hand center on their bottom-six and the 22-year-old Patrick could use a change of scenery after spinning his wheels in Philadelphia.


SJHOCKEYNOW.COM: Sheng Peng cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli’s inclusion of Evander Kane on his list of offseason trade candidates. Seravalli reported friction between the 29-year-old Sharks winger and several teammates this season.

An NHL executive told Peng he doubted the Sharks would get much of a return for Kane. Despite his consistent production, he’s difficult to move because of the locker-room drama that’s dogged his career, his ongoing bankruptcy proceedings and hefty contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with that assessment. Despite Kane’s obvious talent, he’s carrying too much baggage. I’ll be surprised if he’s playing for another club when the curtain rises for next season.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien suggests teams interested in a trade for Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones should instead consider Minnesota Wild blueliner Matt Dumba. He pointed out Dumba has better underlying numbers at even strength over the last three seasons plus he’d cost considerably less to acquire in a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports claiming interest in Jones is off the charts indicate no one’s taking O’Brien’s advice. Nevertheless, he makes some valid points about Jones’ performance compared to Dumba’s.

Dumba could be available if the Wild believe they cannot protect him in next month’s expansion draft. He would become a suitable “Plan B” for clubs that lose out in the Jones sweepstakes.


  1. The Oilers aren’t getting Hyman for 4 years at less than $5m. per. For that type of contract, he’d stay in Toronto.

  2. I like Hyman’s game and I’d bet that Dorion and D. J. Smith like it as well. But NOT at $6 mil per for 6 years. I would, however, give him $5 mil per over 4 years. If some team goes higher than that in both $ and term …. well, good luck down the line.

    • George O and Howard

      Couldn’t agree more.

      He’s had two or three knee injuries in the last 18 months. He’s a valuable player on TOR but I see his max value at $4.5 x 5 to bring down the AAV. It’s double his last salary. Any team that signs him for 6 or 7 years will likely regret the last 2 or 3

      Blake Coleman is a similar player to Hyman and he’s currently playing out a $1.8M AAV contract going into UFA. My guess is he signs for $3-3.5M somewhere.

      OTT is looking good as a young team. If they didn’t have goalie issues last season they would have fared better. They have a boatload of exciting prospects…stay the course and allow the team to grow together. A few tweaks here and there…

      • I echo that exact statement from Edmonton George .

    • I also ask, where does Hyman fit in Ottawa. Unless Stuetzle is shifted to center? He doesn’t kick Tkachuk, Stuetzle, Batherson out of the top 4 wingers. Which then leaves Brown/Dadonov/Hyman all competing for the same spot. A spot Brown deserves and earned.

      Then if Stuetzle is at center… are you running Hyman/Stuetzle/Brown or Dad as a second line? I’m just not sure I see the need for Hyman as much as I like him. Particularly at that price and term.

      I’d rather look at someone a bit more affordable who can slot in the bottom 6 and kill penalties.

      • JJB, I believe we’ll see Steutzle at C. And I agree with Connor Brown. This guy has EARNED a top spot. I also agree that, if Hyman were signed, it would be on the understanding that Dadonov was shuffling off – and not necessarily to Buffalo! Getting rid of his cap hit and turning it over to Hyman would make them a very difficult team to play against – up and down the roster.

        The other day HabFan posted (late in the day so it was probably missed) a statistical table to show that the North was anything but a soft collection, with 3 of the top 5 teams in terms of hits coming from that division. Ottawa was 2nd, just behind Montreal.

      • Yeah. For such a young team, we are definetly not soft. A lot of our guys are good two way guys, who compete, and finish. My one problem with being up there in hits… if we are hitting a lot, it means we don’t have the puck a lot. It’s It’s we compete hard, but we still need our possession numbers.

        I like replacing Dadonov with Hyman and sure, we would even harder to play against (think of then adding Grieg later). But Hyman – Stuetzle – Brown is not a line I personally think works.

        Brown/Hyman play the same game and in my opinion, Brown does it better. I’d prefer a speed and skill guy who still has a 200ft game like Forementon on the wing of Stueztle/Brown.

  3. Yeah George, all these numbers being thrown out by the pundits I think are all way too high. With the flat cap for the next few years, players and agents will be very disappointed.
    Personally there wouldnt be a hope in hell I would pay Hyman more than the 4.25 million that Toffoli got. Which would take him off the market. Toronto would be happy to keep him and he would be happy to stay with the leafs.

    • Yeah, FlameFan, looking at their cap situation I’m not so sure they can even retain Hyman at $4.5 per. According to CapFriendly, they have committed to 15 players leaving $11,755,217 to sign 8. Their only RFA is Dermott but even if he’s not dealt (as has been rumored) he won’t command much more than his $874,125 ELC of last season, based on his so-so performance. Let’s say he’s retained at $1.25 on some sort of bridge deal, now they’re down to essentially $10.5 to sign 7.

      Now, while most of their whopping remaining 10 UFAs likely won’t be back, they still have to bring in NHL-ready players to replace them. And does anyone see any of the Marlies ready to step in and contribute at a guaranteed NHL level? If so, who?

      You have to think that UFAs Rittich, Hutton, Bogosian, Nash, Galchenyuk, Thornton and Foligno (likely headed back to Columbus) have played their last games for the Leafs, which leaves Simmonds (coming off $1.5 mil), Hyman ($2,250,000) and Andersen ($5 mil) to consider. Simmonds won’t command much more than what he got this season (if that), while Hyman shouldn’t go lower than $4.5. As for Andersen, he’s likely gone but does anyone believe Campbell is an everyday starter? If not, how much do they spend on his replacement – and where do they find him?

      Whatever the case, that will take a big chunk out of that $10.5 – and they still have 4 spots to fill. It’s fine to say they’ll just deal one of their big salaries to free up the necessary space – but trade them where with most of the league either right up against the cap or with very little in reserve, which would then make it necessary for them to find takers for their expendables. And I don’t see too many of the cap-rich few lining up to help Dubas.

      That’s why I wonder if Hyman can, indeed, be retained even at some home-town discount.

      • Hey George,
        I agree 100%.
        Plus we will see how bad he wants to stay in Toronto and how bad Toronto wants him.

        The only wild card is the wonder kid Dubas, who tends to fall in love with his players and over pays to the detriment of the team.

  4. With Hyman I think its better to keep term short, 6m seems high to me but 5,5 for 3 years is my tops

    I think OEL can be better but not 8,25 better, Arizona needs to keep 3 of that

  5. Dear Edmonton,

    Please take Schwartz off our hands. We could really use the money.

  6. Schwartz with McDavid wow is all I can say someone who can skate and score I think it would be magic. Schwartz with Nathan in Colorado also would work. I’m hoping Bruins make a run at Landeskog.

  7. Hyman was drafted by Fla and played out his 4 years at Michigan. He would’ve been a free agent and his rights were traded to his hometown team. I don’t see him leaving Toronto. 3 years @ 4.5M per

  8. Simplest solution is to sign Hyman to a eight year deal with four or five years front loaded and no trade protection after the four or five. Something like 40 million with the first four or five years paying somewhere around 8+ million with salary and bonuses then the last years at1 million. The number could even be higher but the AAV stays at a doable number.

    The same kind of deal could be done for Reilly and possibly Freddie? This means that Kerfoot, Engvall maybe even a Micky have to be replaced by cheaper guys? Personally if they could get Ullmark, Reiner, Bernie or Mazek? For a couple years that would be ok. A fourth line of Spezza, Perry and Getzlaf would be the best? Less than 3 mill and some bad attitude would be my suggestion?

    • I’ve mentioned this before, but worth repeating. Pretty sure the new cba has guidelines on those crazy front loaded contracts. Not sure they’re allowed anymore. Besides that, due to list revenue during covid, most contracts last year had less money up front with most money being paid at back end.

      • Hi Slick

        I think the only restriction (from new CBA) re front-end loading; is with 35+ contracts


        Strategy smart but contract too high

        $5M Cap still stiff for Leafs; and he’s more likely to take a reasonable contrac (less than market value) if he stays a Leaf

        I think there may be a team that perhaps might go 5 @5 … $25 M contract( not offer mind you; just what they might go to after full negotiations)

        Hometown discount then to me would be say $20 M- $ 22 M

        Leafs have buckets O’ $’s but are Cap strapped… so….

        IF (big if) Leafs go the 8 year plan….

        Sal 8 yrs each @ $800 K; except yr 4 (see below)

        SB’s …..

        Yr 1 & yr 2 $7M each
        Yr 3 $3.8 M

        Yr 4 $1M SB, $3.6 M Sal

        That’s $28 M…, Cap hit $3.6 M

        Hyman collects $24.8 Mover the first 4 years

        Entering the year he turns 33 (‘25/‘26) his cap hit is $3.6 M but owed only $800 K per…. He’d have to play 4 more years to get $3.2 M (take home a tad over $1.5M [per Gavin Group])…. That’s an incentive to retire

        Just a thought

  9. Then they need to look at Galchenyuk, and Robertson to fill out the top lines so Hyman needs some line mates that can be shut down guys with a bit of offence. Then look at Bogo and Hutton for your 7-8 guys?

  10. Evander Kane is just plain bad news – always has been and always will be. It doesn’t matter if he’s bankrupt or wealthy – his problem is visible when he looks in the mirror and that has nothing to do with his balance sheet.

    BUT . . . on the subject . . . 7 years / $49 million and he’s filing for bankruptcy.

    Hindsight is 20/20 but what was Doug Wilson thinking when he signed this guy? He’s less than half way into this 7 year contract.

    • In this day and age I think this post could easily be misconstrued….

  11. Hyman will probably end up with TML at a fraction of the numbers being talked about.

    Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow will be available UFA for a fraction.

    Hard working wingers that work the corners and can play up and down the lines, who aren’t injury prone are out there.

    A cap strapped team has better options.

    • Habfan30

      Couldn’t agree more.

      I think Dubas likes Hyman but it’s easier to find guys like him than guys like Mathews and Marner.

      Coleman or Goodrow are very similar players. My guess is either of those guys would be just as effective for TML as Hyman at $3M a season.

      There is money to be saved by replacing players like Engvall and Mikhayev. There is $3M in salary that could be cut in half by playing Brooks and Robertson.

      Halak would be an excellent choice for a back up. They should find a decent back up for $1.5M

      • Daryl,

        Two players on the TML that stood out for me were Engvall and Kerfoot.

        Kerfoot’s problem is his contract.

        Engvall showed talent but low hocket IQ, I haven’t followed him closely so I don’t know if its a coaching/development that can be fixed.
        With his size and speed he should be doing more.

    • All of Hyman Coleman saad and goodrow will get more money than expected as teams look for that tough skill. Gms will overpay for it.

  12. Just sitting back in my Acadian lounge chair sipping a bloody bull, visualizing the newest additions to the bruins blueline and up front Eichel and Seth….Feeling no pain, ooh oh pain just around the corner. Here he comes now!

  13. I can’t be bothered with “insiders” for a bit. I’m still anguishing over Game 7’s loos to the Bolts.

    GO HABS!!!!!

    Never in my life will I root for a team to win, as I will for the HABS.

    habsfan 30……Count me in!

  14. Would love to see Hyman in a Penguins sweater next season. If we can unload, trade, or move Jason Zucker and Marcus Pettersson that is $ 9.6 million. That is more than enough for Hyman..


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