NHL Rumor Mill – July 19, 2021

by | Jul 19, 2021 | Rumors | 52 comments

Check out the latest on Vladimir Tarasenko, Jack Eichel, Rasmus Ristolainen, Adam Larsson and Ryan Strome in today’s NHL rumor mill.


ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Jim Thomas wonders if the Seattle Kraken will take Vladimir Tarasenko in the upcoming expansion draft. The unhappy 29-year-old winger wasn’t on the St. Louis Blues’ list of protected players.

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

Thomas said league sources claimed Blues general manager Doug Armstrong received multiple offers for Tarasenko before the imposition of the expansion draft roster freeze on Saturday. Those proposals would’ve taken on his full annual salary-cap hit ($7.5 million) for the next two seasons. If the Kraken pass on Tarasenko, the sources said those trade offers still should be on the table.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple wondered if Tarasenko could become a trade target for the New York Islanders after they shipped Andrew Ladd and his $5.5 million annual cap hit on Saturday to the Arizona Coyotes. They have $12.2 million in projected cap space and could get an additional $6 million when permanently sidelined Johnny Boychuk goes on long-term injury reserve at the start of the 2021-22 season. Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog could be another option if he’s not selected by the Kraken or re-signs with the Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armstrong reportedly didn’t move Tarasenko before the roster freeze because he didn’t like the offers he was getting. However, the Blues GM could be forced to move the winger for less than he seeks to get that cap hit off the books. He could then use the savings to put toward re-signing pending UFA winger Jaden Schwartz or address his roster needs via trades or free agency.

The Islanders have the cap space to pursue Tarasenko. They’ll get more depending on which player they lose in the expansion draft. However, they still must re-sign restricted free agents Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech and Ilya Sorokin and perhaps re-sign pending UFA Casey Cizikas. Tarasenko’s cap hit would make it difficult to keep those players.


WGR 550: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reported the Minnesota Wild are expected to make a trade offer for Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel after buying out Zach Parise and Ryan Suter last week. He also suggested the Colorado Avalanche could be a dark horse suitor for Eichel if Gabriel Landeskog departs via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild could indeed make an offer for Eichel. However, The Athletic’s Michael Russo last week indicated Wild general manager Bill Guerin didn’t want to blow through his cap space or deplete his prospect pool. If so, there’s probably not much chance of them landing Eichel.

I don’t see how Eichel’s a fit for the Avalanche. They already have a No.1 center in Nathan MacKinnon and no room to take on the Sabres’ captain’s big contract when they’re trying to re-sign Cale Makar and Philipp Grubauer.

TSN’s Darren Dreger recently said the Sabres seek a good young defenseman and a high draft pick for blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen. He feels that could be more than teams are willing to stomach.

Ristolainen won’t be going anywhere if Sabres GM Kevyn Adams doesn’t lower the asking price. I don’t blame him for trying to get the best return possible but I’ll be shocked if any club meets that price.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites reports indicating the Oilers’ attempt to re-sign Adam Larsson might not be a sure thing. One source believes there’s a chance the 28-year-old defenseman will hit the open market. There’s also talk they’re in discussions with pending UFA Tyson Barrie, raising the possibility they could sign him as a replacement for Larsson.



  1. Question,who gets a better contract, Larsson or Hall? Yes it will probably be Hall. But my feeling is it will not be the landslide difference we all thought of back on the day they were traded for each other.

  2. The Islanders also unloaded Leddy. If they lose Nelson or Eberle, They should have space for Tarasenko. But what’s left to trade and what would team look like after??

    • Slick, I think you meant Bailey or Eberle – Nelson was protected. The Isles will undoubtedly lose one of them. That, plus putting Boychuk on LTIR, would be enough to pick up Tarasenko, sign their free agents, are very possibly pick up Suter as well. I don’t think they’ll have to put up a king’s ransom for Tarasenko.
      Speaking of Tarasenko, while Armstrong undoubtedly didn’t like the offers he was getting, something I don’t see getting better if Tarasenko is not picked by Seattle, it is still better than losing him for nothing. Which means that either he would rather lose him for nothing as the price of not losing Vince Dunn, or, quite possibly, the “offers” for Tarasenko included taking back a bad contract – which he doesn’t want to do.
      As for Ristoleinen, I think he’d be a good pick up for the Habs. I’d give up this year’s 1st (no. 30 overall) and one of Norstrom, Struble or Harris. Possibly even include Guhle in that mix, although I’d prefer not to. Not Romanov, though.

      • Howard, you’re correct. Mixed up Brock and Bailey. Still, point was large cap savings. They might not have to give up a kings ransom but they won’t be the same team

      • No Tarasenko on the Island! We just got rid of 1 Albatross (Ladd) no need for another!

      • Howard, do you have good intel on Norstrom, Struble, Harris or Guhle? I don’t but what I have heard is that they are all promising. A first for Risto AND a good prospect who could blossom is too much. Weber is 35 and as we know his condition is not great. Petry is 33, Chiarot 30. That’s three of our top 4 D on the wrong side of 30.

        If you think I am being too cautious, think on the name Ryan McDonagh.

      • Armstrong is very smart and i think you nailed it. If the offers were bad contracts, he doesn’t want them and if they weren’t better than Dunn then it doesn’t make sense to take them. Don’t protect him and worse case you still have him to deal or he is gone and you still have Dunn and $7.5 to use on Landescog or ???

      • Howard and LJ,

        Who is Norstrom?

        Are you guys thinking of Mattias Norlinder?

        He played for Frolunda in the SHL this year and signed his 3 year ELC.

        Kid is projected to be on the Habs lineup after next year.

      • Howard, I like Risto too, would be very happy to have him, but that’s wayyyyy too much.

        And, if Weber comes back?

        Risto is a UFA next year, is he pre-signing before the trade a contract extension going forward?

        Harris and a 3rd as it stands.
        That’s it/ that’s all.


      • HF30, late in the day, thanks for the correction.

      • Howard,

        FYI Harris hasn’t signed a contract with the Habs and has the ability to be a free agent after college.

        There are whispers that he’s concerned about falling behind Norlinder,Stuble and Guhle and of course Romanov on the depth chart.

        Ristolainen has been shopped for two years and has become a rental with a $5.4 million contract UFA at the end of the year.

        Savard is an available UFA and he was traded for a 31y/o career AHL player, moved for a 4th round pick.

        Scandella came to Habs for a 4th round pick and went to St. Louis for a 4th.

        Seems like a 4th would be enough for a rental.

      • Habfan, thanks for the correction. You’re correct, I was referring to Norlinder.
        LJ you can’t conpare this to Mcdonagh, who was a 12 overall pick while Norlinder, Struble and Harris are 2nd and 3rd rounders. As promising as they seem now, there have been no shortage of promising 2nd rounders that fell flat. You can’t count on them to become impact players- one of them is expendable.
        Ristoleinen will certainly fetch more than a mid round pick. I’d part with the #30 overall. At that point, few picks develop into frontline players. As is said, no Romanov. I’d certainly prefer that it not be Guhle. And I’m not big on Savard. Good defensively but adds no offense and the Habs need O from the D right now.

      • He can’t give in and take less. It will hinder him in any future trades and negotiations. A good GM sticks to his price tag and doesn’t give away something for something way below its value or other GM’s will low ball him continually in the future knowing it’s possible he will take anything simply to avoid losing a player for nothing.

    • Tarasenko doesn’t fit Barry Trotz and the Islanders team structure….plus he is fragile as a potato chip.

      He is going to Seattle !

      Saw one mock draft Seattle’s top three centers–
      – Max Domi
      -Yanni Gourde
      -Nick Bonino


      • A 6ft 225 lb chip?
        He’s not fragile. He had 1 injury they wasn’t fixed with 2 surgeries. Went outside org and had 3rd surgery to fix problem. Was back playing at end of season with no issues. Guessing with a couple months to train and strengthen shoulder he should be his old self. Guarantee he scores more next year than either Hall or Landescog.

  3. Kraken must take Tarasenko now .can retain salary increase the return.get a high draft pick

    • If they dont take Dunn Francis should be fired.

      • @ Milton..I have always liked Dunn a terrific, good skating puck mover. His only thing is staying healthy enough to be productive and be on the ice.

    • Moegillknee…I think Seattle does Take Tarasenko ! Whether they flip him or not remains to be seen.

      If Seattle takes Zucker from Pittsburgh and Yanni Gourde from Tampa that is not a bad top line..

      They could also take Vince Dunn, 23, talented, but like Tarasenko comes with injury concerns.
      Seattle has to have someone to score goals. They can get other defenseman in this expansion draft so I think Tarasenko goes to the pacific Northwest.

      • I think they pass on Tarasenko – If I’m Francis and I can see more than 2/3’s of my other GM brethren sweating over the cap crunch I don’t spend up to the cap. No Price (he had a great playoff but his regular season was scary and is a 36 and 37 year old CP going to be worth 10+ mill?) If Francis is smart he takes the younger RFA’s that he can control and the pending UFA’s that he can flip at the deadline and stockpiles picks… Don’t let other GM’s off the hook by taking their flashy Cap Hell problems.

  4. It’s not fair that new teams ( Kraken )can weld that much power. Then Vegas who got the cream of crop a few years back are unaffected. This is total garbage!

    • What is unfair about this? The Kraken ownership PAID to get a strong head start. The NHL owners took the buy-in money which was significantly more than previous expansion teams’ purchase price. That was the negotiated team they were buying. GMGM of Vegas did such a great job that it vaulted the Knights much further ahead than most people could have imagined. This time around the collective NHL GM’s may have learned their lesson and not cut so many bad side deals. Time will tell…but I don’t think I can get on board with calling this process unfair. The Knights management team just did a better job in the boardroom than the other management teams which resulted in a stronger team. The business of hockey isn’t just played on the ice.

    • It’s totally fair Rick.
      Foley negotiated the price to be $500M for the team. That price included the expansion draft rules when they drafted, and this year.
      He was negotiating with and paying every other team in the NHL, including our Boston Bruins ownership. The teams they compete with.

      I can’t think of a process that could be fairer than that?
      How would you have done it?

    • So what do you think half a billion dollars should buy you so this will a fair?

  5. If, as Strickland speculates, Ottawa is among those interested in Ryan Strome I know one thing – if such a deal ever went down one thing the Rangers WON’T get is Zibanajad Part Deux! Not with McGuire on board as an “adviser.”

    • Which is who in your opinion?
      Logan Brown?
      Colin White?
      Shane Pinto?

      I listened to Poulin on 1200 this morning, he said he wouldn’t do it.

      I don’t know who or if they even should be pursuing a veteran center.

      • I more or less agree Dark G. I touched on that yesterday (or the day before maybe), offering my opinion that, between Strome and Monahan, only the latter could move into the top 3 of what looks to be Ottawa’s top centers – Stutzle (if he indeed is moved to that position as has been speculated), Norris and Pinto.

        As for Logan Brown, the fact they protected him could mean they either see him eventually developing into an everyday NHLer after much seasoning in the AHL (a la Nick Paul) OR he could be part of a deal.

        I doubt the Rangers would take White’s contract – way too much for what he’s produced, In fact, I was surprised they chose to protect him and expose Dadonov, who I think had started to come around to what they envisaged when they got him from the Florida roster (his history with the Seattle coaching staff could result in him being selected rather than Tierney, who then becomes trade fodder).

        When a couple of Calgary fans asked me who I thought Dorion might relinquish for Monahan I said I could see him offering Logan Brown, Colin White and D prospect Lassi Thompson. But I just don’t see them going down that road and, instead, will be seeking a scoring RW and a seasoned RD to play Mark Methot to Chabot.

  6. No way should the kraken take on these big tickets contracts. Draft players to get to the bottom of the Cap and then trade for those players with a sweetener attached. i.e. trade for tarasenko plus a first for a 3rd round. Same for price 4th round pick to habs for price and a first in 2022.

  7. Bruins will bring back #46….add a top 4 winger, play with the bottom 6 by adding 1-2 or possibly 3 players, bring in a SAH tough Dman 3rd pairing, possibly add a Dman who can play both ends equally well and last add a goalie not named Rask ….. goodbye 28 million

    • I think they need another good goalie to back up Swayman.

  8. Weber to the Lightning where he spends the season on LTIR and returns in time for the playoffs.

    Rumor is Kucherov has a career threatening hangnail and may miss the entire season as well with a “chance” he returns for the playoffs.

  9. Does anyone know how many permanently injured players can a team take on to create cap space for themselves? Is there a limit?

    • Thats a good question, I have no idea though. Hopefully someone has the answer.

      • I believe the answer is three LTIR contracts at a time is the maximum. It took a while for us in Lightning land to understand the first time JB trade live assets for a player who couldn’t play; it’s neither intuitive nor something teams thin on talent can afford. Between the LTIR deals and the Savard machinations we’ll have to restock the farm, so the (very good) core and goalie may have to carry a heavy load this year. I expect, however, a frugal season; with no need to finish at the top of the division, and some young guys to look at while the old guys get over the cup hangover. Near .500 and the midpoint would not be a shock, nor would deadline moves the coming season.

    • I don’t know how many LTIR spots ara available in the regular season but I hope this gaping loophole gets fixed in the next CBA. Some hockey reporter type recently said that it was like the Lightning were playing chess while the other teams were playing checkers. They saw they loophole, and took advantage of the situation in a way that didn’t contravene the rules. NHL doctors looked at Kucherov’s injury…he was really injured…no question there. The only thing that was suspect was the timing of the player’s rehab process to make it coincide perfectly with the start of the playoffs.

      Good for them…they were already a great team and they found a way to lock down the title instead of leaving it up in the air. I don’t think they cheated…they just played the off-the-ice game a little better than other teams to give themselves an advantage. I can respect their team still.

  10. Am I the only one thinking that the timing of Carey’s injuries in relation to the expansion draft is suspect? Get him to waive his NMC to protect Allen, then publish reports about the injury and possible surgery and sitting out next season to scare the Krakken off from drafting him? I know I am being cynical, but it would be a brilliant move if it works.

    • Id think there would be a very hefty fine involved if that was the case.
      Theres no way the NHL would allow that chicanery.

      That would be like allowing a team in the playoffs use an 95 million dollar lineup when the cap is 81.5.

      Just no way that would happen, riiiiiiiiight?

      • Ha ha – that’s exactly my point. What TB did was “technically” within the rules, so what is to prevent something like this? Loopholes can be a powerful thing. I find it VERY convenient that they only figured this out in the 24-48 hours leading up to the expansion draft. Like I said – I am extremely cynical, but I am also in favor of taking every last advantage of the rules as long as you are working within them. I’m not big on the “intent” of rules.

    • CuriousInATL,

      There are no medical reports published regarding Price or Weber as being unable to continue their careers.

      GMRF is under no obligation to pick either one of them, the Habs have put enough G and D to qualify.

      He has to ascertain the risks in the next few days while talking to other GMs and make a decision.

      If Price cannot play, either GMRF or GMMB will have $10 million LTIR against the cap.

      If he can play, GMRF will have a face for the franchise or GMMB keeps a generational goalie to platoon with Allen.

      The puck is on GMRF’s stick and ownership has deep pockets

      • I don’t disagree at all. Again – I just find it very interesting and a GENIUS move. It isn’t really about Price – it’s about who MTL can protect by NOT protecting Price.

        Again – it may be (and probably is) 100% above board – but I think it could also be a nefariously brilliant (yet devious) move – allowing them to “protect” an extra player by sowing major seeds of doubt regarding one of your exposed players.

        As you point out – it could also totally backfire if GMRF is willing to gamble that Price could miss a full season and then still come back at 100% and true to form at his age.

        It is certainly interesting to consider.

    • What reports did MTL publish about Price’s injuries?
      Why assume MTL leaked it to the media?

      Weber and Price played hurt, happens every year, happened this year with lot’s of players. In case you folks haven’t noticed teams never come clean about player’s injuries in the playoffs as they get targeted.

      Players require surgery after playing in the playoffs, literally every year. 3 of my Bruins last year. It usually doesn’t get scheduled within 10 days of the season unless it is necessary to have it quickly. Surgery is almost always avoided if possible. Eichel/Sabres still had not decided on his surgery months after he was injured.

      They are older, so naturally there are concerns as both have a history of injuries, pasted below.
      I know that, so lets assume Seattle does as well. Seattle also has the records of his injuries and the supporting docs. Just not the ones from the specialists involved as the playoffs just ended.

      This isn’t suspicious, just older players with an injury history and a history of playing through them in the playoffs. The older you get the more likely it becomes that it is a problem that impacts your ability to continue playing.

      Unless you think MTL simply leaked false stories now and Price isn’t actually hurt. When there is evidence of that, I will consider it. Both missed time this season with injuries, including “lower body” injuries which are the problem now as well.



      • As I’ve said – probably 100% above board – but it would be a GENIUS strategical move if it weren’t.

        Personally, with the term and money, I don’t take price if I’m GMRF either way.

        The cynic in me just looks at things like this and kind of wonders in the back of my mind – especially with the TB situation this year (which I also believe was probably also above board).

    • I don’t see any suspicion here. Teams who own the rights to players will have “inside” information when it comes to decide these things. Now if a team doesn’t reveal this information to the other team acquiring the player then I’d see a bit of wrong doing.

      Imagine if the Canadiens know Price won’t play again this season and may not return as the same player due to the injury, surgery and his age. They could keep quiet let the Kraken take him and free up money and protect another player. Price can then tell Kraken management sheepishly his plans.

      Yeah you don’t have to protect an injured player. The Kraken can choose to take a chance on an injured player.

  11. Jake Bean will be the steal of the expansion draft ala Theordore for the Knights.

    It wouldnt be the end of world for Giordano to be taken. I think the Kracken can have a decent defence core overall day one.

    • SilverSeven – I’m almost certain that Bean will indeed be the player taken from CAR, but I’m not convinced it’ll be a steal. I certainly hope not, for my fandom reasons, anyway.

      Bean’s had over 5 years now since being drafted and it’s been a frustrating ride. At some point “potential” has to be equivalent to “actual” and nobody here has seen enough of the actual to get overly excited.

      He was decent in the regular season. Certainly not out-of-place. But he was awful in the playoffs. Got pushed around mercilessly and was not an offensive factor, purportedly his specialy. Now, I know that playoff hockey is a lot to ask of a 23-year old, but much more was expected.

      Good for Francis if Bean does become THAT guy. After the unceremonious way RF was dumped here, it seems like a decent payback.

  12. Fear not Isles fans. LL as a plan, a back up plan and a back up, to the back up plan.

    Once the fog of expansion, lifts we will be able to clearly see what his vision is. And you will like it.

    George, Remember this. I warned you about Strome. LOL LOL

    • Oh, I haven’t forgotten that. 🙂 Every which way I look at it, there’s just no way Dorion brings in a $4.5 mil C who has 1 year to go before becoming a UFA, to play 3rd line C back of Norris and Pinto – and maybe 4th line if Stutzle is moved to C.

      I’m convinced his priority is a RW with a scoring touch and a RD to play alongside Chabot. He doesn’t need to make any other moves.

      • I think Strome could win a cup, the hart, the rocket, and maybe the Vezina for the first time ever for a forward, and most NY fans would still be trying to run him out of town.

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with Strome, other than his fan base.

        This guy has done nothing but produce, and a portion of the fan base would give him away for a 2037 3rd round pick.

  13. It’s very smoky out, there is a fire somewhere.

    • It’s crazy smoky here and we know exactly where the fires are.
      Not so much with NHL.

      I know I keep harping on the zero evidence thing and give reasons why it is likely exactly what it appears to be, because that is what it is until there is evidence that it isn’t.

      It is a bur in my saddle for things that matter, not the NHL. It’s a big problem where facts don’t seem to matter anymore.

      Perhaps I am bringing that to this site, but seriously there is nothing to suggest that this isn’t simply what it appears to be. Couple old players who played hurt and are now figuring out how bad it is.

      Just happens to be an expansion draft this year so everybody thinks something bad is happening.

      • Ray i don’t believe in coincidence and i don’t believe lighting strikes twice, to add to them coincidence.

        Also i don’t really care, Seattle can make their own decision ; if injured but them i ltir and use the capspace. Teams will come calling.

      • Ray Bark,

        As you infer, facts do matter despite the propensity to make up bs and click bait.

        There isn’t even any real smoke here never mind a fire.

        The obsession with whether Price and Weber can be on the unprotected list or not fails to recognize that the alternative is to be exempt as GMMB chose not to protect them.

        Unprotected players like Klefbom and Bishop who sat for a year might never play again, yet there is no “smoke” there.

        This is simply GMMB doing what other GMs have done, leave some high cap players exposed including UFAs.