NHL Rumor Mill – July 28, 2021

by | Jul 28, 2021 | Rumors | 61 comments

The free-agent market opens at noon ET today. Check out the latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Getzlaf, Darcy Kuemper and many more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman didn’t acquire goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for the Vegas Golden Knights to flip him to another club. There was speculation he could end up in Pittsburgh as that’s where his career began.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Matt Vensel reports a source said the Penguins aren’t looking to acquire Fleury. They’re still interested in upgrading their goaltending but Fleury’s age (36) and cap hit ($7 million) makes no sense for the Penguins given their limited cap space ($7.4 million).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The hockey world still awaits Fleury’s decision on his future. There’s talk he could retire rather than head to Chicago. If he retires, there is no cap recapture penalty because that applies only to exceedingly long contracts signed before 2012-13 and Fleury’s doesn’t fall into that category. The Blackhawks would not be charge his $7 million cap hit.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting the Carolina Hurricanes are believed to have offered defenseman Dougie Hamilton a deal comparable to that of St. Louis’ Torey Krug: seven years with an annual average value of $6.5 million. If Hamilton departs, Friedman expects the New Jersey Devils will make a big pitch for him.

Is Dougie Hamilton heading to market today? (NHL Images)


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports it’s possible Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf could sign with another club. The Edmonton Oilers could top his list of potential destinations. The Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars could also be in there.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers have been in touch with the Arizona Coyotes regarding goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

Frederik Andersen hasn’t received a contract offer from the Leafs and appears headed to market. The Avalanche could be interested depending on what happens with Philipp Grubauer. So are the Hurricanes. Petr Mrazek and Martin Jones could be two options for the Leafs.

The Canucks could be interested in Jaroslav Halak after buying out Braden Holtby yesterday. Jonathan Bernier hasn’t worked out a deal yet with the Hurricanes and could head to market. The Devils could be interested in him.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER’s Sam Carchidi speculates the Flyers could sign Holtby, citing his friendship with Carter Hart.


SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen wondered what’s next for the Golden Knights after shipping Marc-Andre Fleury to Chicago yesterday in a cost-cutting move. Speculation links them to Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers general manager Chris Drury could be pondering the possibility of shipping out center Ryan Strome and replacing him via free agency with Phillip Danault.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Bruce McCurdy cites TSN’s Bob McKenzie reporting the Oilers are getting closer to a multi-year contract with Tyson Barrie. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman adds they could be in the mix for Cody Ceci. Meanwhile, Jim Matheson speculates they could target goaltender Linus Ullmark.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reports the Stars have zeroed in on Ryan Suter as a potential replacement for Jamie Oleksiak, who was chosen by the Seattle Kraken in last week’s expansion draft.

TORONTO STAR: Mark Zwolinski suggests the availability of affordable young forwards such as Nick Ritchie, Ryan Donato and Pius Suter could change the Maple Leafs’ plans to acquire depth via trades. Twitter was also buzzing yesterday over a rumor suggesting Joshua Ho-Sang could be headed to Toronto on a two-way contract.

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Muzitani expects the Minnesota Wild will target Alex Goligoski, Nick Foligno, Jake McCabe and Derek Stepan in the UFA market. They could also bring back Ian Cole if he doesn’t find any suitable offers via free agency.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators will seek a center and a defenseman when the UFA market opens today. Options could include Alex Wennberg, Andrew Copp or Casey Cizikas. They’ve also shown an interest in Rangers center Ryan Strome.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports the Columbus Blue Jackets are expected to pursue Ohio native Sean Kuraly, who’s expected to hit the open market after four years with the Boston Bruins.


  1. the Kraken are in on Darcy Kuemper big time with two goalies already signed and the Flyers are in on Coleman and his potential Cap Hit. Does this re-ignite the Konecny for Dreidger trade that was rumored last week?? Makes much more sense if the Flyers hold off and sign a Holtby or a Reimer and concentrate on their remaining 2 RFA’s Sanheim and Hart. The fan base will go nuts if they lose Konecny won’t they??

  2. So…. Ron Francis and the expansion draft….

    Got nothing from Jackets (Bayreuther UFA)
    Got nothing from Hawks (Quenneville UFA)
    Netted only a 4th (‘22) from Ariz (as Pitlick was traded to Cgy)
    Netted only a 4th (‘23) from LA (as MacDermid was traded to Avs)
    Got only True (only 19 total NHL games… just 5As) from Sharks
    Got only Borgen from Sabres
    Got no side deals…. GO NO SIDE DEALS!!!!

    What did Knights got in side deals:

    Ducks…Shea Theodore
    Panthers… Smith
    Wild… Tuch (Knight’s gave them a 3rd)
    Jackets…. 1st, and a 2nd
    Isles…1st, 2nd, Bischoff, Grabo
    Bolts… 2nd, 4th, Gusev
    Pens… 2nd
    Canes… a 5th
    Buffalo… a 6th
    Jets …. gave a 3rd AND flipped their 1st for Jackets 1st (acquired above)

    So the side deals netted them…. 3 key current roster players (Smith, Theo, Tuch); Gusev; Bishop; Grabo; 2 1sts; 4 2nds; a 4th; a 5th; and a 6th… Knights gave up a 3rd

    I realize that GMs learned from last time and that Francis was not expected to reap as much…. But ZERO side deals; Z E R O; two selections converted to future years’ 4ths; 2 very low picks in Borgen and True…. AND effectively ZERO received from two teams (Jackets and Hawks)….. Holy Shiteshooter Batman. 🤔🧐👎👎👎




    • As speculated many times in the past. A GM will just take their chances and let the kraken pick rather than lose the picked player and another asset to only see both teams Excel.

      I suspect the side deals GMs wanted the kraken to take were along the lines of bad contracts. Kraken were having nothing of that.

      • Yeah, but there was other players that could have been better leveraged in those available.. Clague would have been a better pick over MacDermid (he’d get more then a 4th now) for example.. just odd that they even took 2 UFAs that weren’t bothered to be signed… why?

      • Agree Jeff

        I was floored however with ZERO side deals and even more with Krakken ending up with Jack Squat from Jackets and Sabres and only two FUTURE 4ths from Kings and Yotes

        That was abysmal selecting

        Hextall did help him tremendously by allowing Francis to get 2 very good Pens 💩🤬😡

    • Pengy

      Francis made some of the moves to give him some cap space to sign a few free agents. Larsson and Scwartz have been good gets so far.

      • Hi Sjf928 & Bigphatbastard

        No challenges with that overall strategy… (I.e. take many lower contracts to have Cap equity in future trades)

        My challenge and astonishment is Krakken only netting two (FUTURE) 4ths TOTAL (that’s 2 very low asset values) from 4 teams

        To me… not great work

    • I suspect that was by design so they would have $30 MILLION when UFA period hits now. Whether that was a good plan or not will be debated after we see what happens with the free agent frenzy. But for those teams you list that lost NOTHING to the Kraken, perhaps Francis didn’t see any talent that he wanted from their unprotected list.

    • @ Pengy No idea what Francis was doing, he missed out on the opportunity 30 other franchises never had & that was to extort numerous assets out of all the teams. Wow, he did nothing. Why didnt he take Zadorov? Flames get him from Chicago for a 3rd. Im just blown away by Seattle. Glad they are in our division. Saw Pens are inquiring about Lucic. Talk was Zucker for Lucic, many Flame fans really dont want to see Lucic go. This last year he was one of the more refreshing players on our team.

  3. Today is the day that a lot of general managers become impatient and overpay for mediocre players who they will then try and get rid of after a season or two …

    • Right on the money Ed. The foolish GM’s and their money are soon parted.

    • Linus Ullmark had a .917 save pct on crappiest team in league. He’s 27 and had almost all of Buffalos wins last year. Feel he doesn’t get discussed enough here. Was pretty good in all the Ranger games I watched last year. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him snatched up early today.

      • Slick, he may be the best tender on the market. His #’s on BUF are just as impressive as Grubbi’s on COL.
        But it’s goaltending so next year could be completely different.

    • EVP….somewhere, Jim Benning’s ears just perked up….😜

  4. Absolutely correct Ed but definitely fun to watch.

  5. Looks like Kuraly’s history good player speed size. Bruin need to get bigger faster and tougher Forbort isn’t the answer Savard is. getzlaf can be our 3rd liner centre till Eichel gets well. Ryan is A bit of ponderous skater but no denying his talent.

  6. Rumors is Boston going to sign Blake Coleman at 6 x 5 i’m not sure if that $6 at 5yrs or $5m x 6yrs but i’ll but it this way… they both suck!

    Like the player but he isn’t worth the term or dollars

    I rather give that term to a Brandon Saad personally

    • Better not be either they both are terrible.. in 2-3 years they’ll wish they never had that contract

    • I agree with you Cappy, they have to do better than that. I’m starting to get that Oh no feeling again. Sweeney swinging for the fences is like most gm’s lobbing a ball out to the pitchers mound.

  7. The Post-gazette’s reasoning with MAF not making sense for the Pens is wrong. It makes perfect sense. They have maybe 2-3 years left with the core and it would certainly be welcomed by Sid, Geno and Tanger. MAF’s age should not even be a factor, he is showing no signs of age related decline in play. The money could be solved with a trade or some portion retained or a 3rd team. The end reality may be true that the deal won’t happen but it’s not because it doesn’t make sense.

    • I agree Marko

      Chi… retain 25% on MAF; receive Zucker; DeSmith; Laffy


      Or… Bowman can sit it out; fingers crossed; miss all the FA opportunities; then MAF retires in a few weeks; Bowman struggling then to find a starter

      • Why would Chicago want to do that though? Give rid of a great goalie for another very very mediocre one, an okay contract and a very very bad contract…

      • Pengy what is with you and having someone retain $$ on MAF to take on Zucker…. LOL

        it should be the other way ’round.

        Zucker has the less of value….

        I know you are working cap numbers but Flower just won the Vezina LOL….why would CHI have to retain $$??

      • It makes no sense because you know Vegas would have called Pit first.
        And clearly got ZERO interest.
        So…now you flip him to a team, not on his list (not sure how the CBA lets that happen) and Chicago is gonna expect assets back when they trade him to Pit and retain salary? Sounds like an episode of Hammy Hamster.

      • BnG

        Shhhhhh…. Stan may be listening

        Stan… if you are reading this… Zucker… an EXCEPTIONAL hockey specimen… you should jump on deal… if you act quickly perhaps you catch GMRH in a giving mood and maybe he throws you the spectacular RHD… Ruhweedel

        If Stan is not reading this…. The above paragraph gave me carpal tunnel and a headache to type

      • Hi Bigphatbastard and Dark G

        If Stan is either told or believes that MAF would rather retire .. he should try and get something (anything) for MAF in trade

        The Flower has earned over $70 M gross (likely $40 M + net) over his career… perhaps the extra $3.5 M in take home to play at 36; in a City he doesn’t want to go to; is not worth it

        He also has to weigh uprooting his family for the 2nd time in 4 years. Retiring to Vegas is an option. So is moving back to a city he is very familiar with; is a fan fav; and has teammates he is very familiar with

        Hi Dark G

        They did try to move him to Pitt; Hextall apparently was close; MacCrimmon apparently refused to retain anything or receive an somewhat equivalent hit coming back)

        Re moved to a team NOT on the Flower’s list…. That’s the only teams he COULD be traded to

        He provided a list of 10 teams that he would NOT allow a trade to…. All 31 teams NOT on that list (and Chi was obviously one of them) was eligible for him to be traded to

        I’m still crossing fingers; eyes; toes that he ends up a Penguin and that Zucker goes bye bye

      • Oops

        I responded “ BnG”

        Should have been “IHC”

  8. Good comparative assessment on Seattle and Vegas Pengy.

    Looks like many teams out there are having yard sales to gain cap room for free agency and some potentially to make room for a trade pitch for Eichel.

    I am a little surprised given the flat salary cap and uncertainty over it for the next few years that teams are handing out money and term.

    Edmonton handing out max contract to lower annual cap hit. Is this the new norm? Have GMs not learned anything g from the (recent) past?

    One surprise move was signing Holtby and then discarding him a year later. Wow.

    Glued to tv and phone today….

    • Agree Frank

      My only guess re lower Cap hit; much longer term…. Is the potential speculation by Ed et al, that Revs will be in “normal” mode in 5-7 years and $5M cap then (when player in early/mid 30’s) will be proportionately much smaller

      BTW … how’s your Aunt Sally doing?

      Haven’t heard you mention her for a long while. Hope she is well

  9. Bob McKenzie taking the fun out of it


    Ryan Suter, Dallas; Zach Parise, NYI; Michael Bunting Tor; David Savard Mtl; Jaden Schwartz Sea; Tony Deangelo Car; Jaro Halak and Luke Schenn Van; Jake McCabe Chi; Andrew Cogliano SJ; Zach Hyman Edm; and David Rittich Nsh

    • Wow, I didn’t realize how lame this UFA class would end up being! LOL. Maybe back in 2014 this list had some big names.

  10. No one commenting on 7 years with an annual average value of $6.5 million offer to Hamilton?

    • Not sure why Hamilton would take such a low $$ value around 6.5

    • That’s what I thought. At that price, there might be a long list of teams that would fit him in a team that price.
      Also the Canes signed DeAngelo an offense first Dman to replace him?
      Seems they like the Leafs are trying to buy champagne with beer money to fill out their rosters.

    • 7 years $60 mill puts average at 8.5mill per, which is more realistic.

  11. I just want to say it here 1st….
    Phil Danault is NOT ….I repeat… NOT… and upgrade over Strome.

    If we are not trading Strome for Eichel or another massive upgrade at2C…please do NOT trade Strome for a pick just so sign Philly D to an overpriced long term deal…ie $5×5 or $5×6

    Trading Buch was to keep the cap room not blow it on Philly D.

    P.S Drury…Danault doesn’t fight nor throw body checks…. FYI

    • IMO Danault is more valuable than Strome.
      No he doesn’t fight, like 95% of the NHL doesn’t fight. Not many hits? No idea, but he wins more puck battles than any C not named Patrice which is the result that matters from hitting.

      I would take him on my team all day every day.
      Just depends what you pay him and for how long.

      • Not saying I would not take him (on the cheap) but for 5m plus for 5 or 6 years IMO it is not an upgrade over Strome.

      • Ya we disagree on this one IHC. Danault over Strome for me.

      • much respect Ray…. 🙂

        It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this roster.

        Still feels like the same roster as last season thus far.

      • Ray he just went to LA on a $5.6 x 6.

      • So LA is speeding up the rebuild.
        May end up being #3C in 2-3 years if/when Byfield is ready for prime time

  12. Bruins bring in a tough/size shutdown Dman & go get Kurtis Gabriel and rebuild that 4th line ..

  13. I’m hoping beyond hope that the Oil walks away from Hyman and take Saad instead. I wouldn’t mind Getzlaf either. As for Barrie, I’d rather sign or trade for a good Shutdown D and Goalie.
    I understand cap space is a thing, but hey….I can hope, right!!

    • Enjoy for 7 yrs. good guy, ok hockey player.

      • I’m praying he clicks. I love the way he plays, but can he sustain? The cap hit hurts for that amount of time.
        Still dying for some help in net! Khubodin or Fleury?

  14. Bear traded to CAR for Foegele.
    Tells you Barrie and maybe Ceci with Bouchard getting a full time slot.
    Oil a different looking team already.
    Better up front, backend?? Time will tell.

  15. I am just working through my first cuppa and need some help, guys. Did I read that the Leafs refused a sign and trade for Hyman in return for two picks, thus letting Hyman sign with the Oil and get nothing in return?

    If so, WTF?

    • Hi LJ

      For sure Dubas declined a pick… but I had not heard that it was two picks

      Either way… he would have gained a pick for doing 30 minutes of paper-work (which he has an EA that handles such…. all he has to do is sign it)… so refusing to do so…. and knowing the pick cupboard is bare…. That’s a very bad move by a GM

      If he’s playing stubborn… why didn’t he do that with the WW contract; Dubas’ capitulation cost (collectively in the WW; AM; MM contracts) likely $4M – $5M in Cap annually *this figure is one f the rarities where Burkie and I see eye to eye on… he quoted same on HNIC) …. That space could have been extremely useful now 💩🤬😡👎👎👎👎

      • Right. I just couldn’t believe it Pengy. And this from a GM whose team is starved for draft picks, one who gave a first and a forth for Foligno, a rental player who did nothing and will now sign elsewhere.

        Astonishing ….

      • Sometimes a person principles are expensive

    • Really!!! Can you share the link? I only saw one of the talking heads tweeted it was only a 6th but first offered a 7th for the Leafs save the Oil $500k/year cap hit. Both offers were lowball offers and any GM would balk at that too.

  16. Furthering my point earlier re Francis and Exp D

    He got nothing from Chi (UFA Quenniville)…. Could have selected the behemoth Zardov… who was just traded for a 3rd (to Cgy)

    Nothing …. Vs a 3rd…. 😳🧐🤔👎👎👎

  17. not liking the concussion signing of Tinordi by Drury.

    I feel for Tinordi but toughness I no longer equate with him. Never a good skater… i am guessing he is the pressbox defender?

  18. a nice young 29 yr old Grubauer to BOS would make my day honestly….

    • and THE KRAKEN land Grubauer…WOW

      what what teams are going to ask Sakic for to obtain a #1 goalie.

  19. Right now are the Bruins better than they were this past season and playoffs …. NO

    Hope there’s more to come

  20. There goes B Coleman

  21. Hi Ken Holland! I know you’re reading this. I’m seeing a lot of goalies switching teams. Yet we still have Koskinen. And next years 1st. And no shutdown D, besides Nurse. Can Ceci do it? I hope so!

    Steve Yzerman…you’re on the clock….sir…..nevermore and shut up Artsy19.

  22. Ullmark to Boston

    GOOD MOVE for BOS along with Foligno & Hall

  23. Bruins need to see if R Reaves or Ross the Boss are available