NHL Rumor Mill – July 31, 2021

by | Jul 31, 2021 | Rumors | 54 comments

How will the Bruins cope without David Krejci? What’s going on with the Islanders and Oilers? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: In the wake of David Krejci’s decision to finish his playing days in the Czech Republic, Fluto Shinzawa pondered how they could replace the 35-year-old second-line center.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk (NHL Images).

One option could be the trade market but Shinzawa rules out pursuing Buffalo’s Jack Eichel, citing their lack of cap space and Eichel’s health issues and hefty contract. Jake DeBrusk remains a trade asset but the dropoff in his performance last season makes him unlikely to fetch a second-line center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shinzawa reports the Bruins are about $1 million under the $81.5 million salary cap. While a trade is possible for a second-line center I wouldn’t be surprised if they start the season with Charlie Coyle replacing Krejci. And no, they’re not trading for Eichel.

Perhaps they’ll have an opportunity to add a short-term replacement before next year’s trade deadline. The pickings in the free-agent market are slim and none will suitably replace Krejci unless someone can find a fountain of youth for Joe Thornton or Eric Staal.


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple weighs in on the seeming inactivity of the New York Islanders since the start of free agency on Wednesday. He believes general manager Lou Lamoriello is keeping silent about his signings because he doesn’t want anyone in the league to know where the Isles are with their salary-cap space. He believes Zach Parise and Kyle Palmieri have been signed, perhaps Casey Cizikas and maybe Travis Zajac but doesn’t know when we’ll know for sure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello employed the same tactic last fall with Matt Martin, Andy Greene, and Cory Schneider. No surprise he’s doing it again.

Staple took note of a report by colleague Jeremy Rutherford indicating the Islanders are believed in the mix for St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko. He doubts Anthony Beauvillier would be part of that deal, suggesting Josh Bailey as the likely trade candidate given the Isles left him exposed in the expansion draft. Perhaps Bailey packaged with a high draft pick and/or another asset might be enough to clear cap space to acquire Tarasenko (if the Blues pick up part of his $7.5 million cap hit) and leave enough to acquire a defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staple also mused about the Isles pursuing Seattle’s Vince Dunn, Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm or Anaheim’s Cam Fowler or Hampus Lindholm as a replacement for the departed Nick Leddy on their blueline.

Dunn, a restricted free agent, hasn’t been signed yet by the Kraken but I think that’s only a matter of time. The Predators are committed to re-signing Ekholm. Lindholm might be available but the Isles would have to part with a suitable package that fits the Ducks’ rebuilding scheme. Fowler, meanwhile, has a four-team trade list and the Isles might not be on it.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples reports of rumors that have the Oilers offering up goaltender Mikko Koskinen (along with a first-round pick and/or prospect Dmitri Samorukov) to the Columbus Blue Jackets for netminder Joonas Korpisalo.

It’s hard to imagine how such a deal makes sense, as Korpisalo isn’t obviously a better goalie than Koskinen,” writes Staples. He believes the Oilers are better off with Mike Smith, Koskinen and Alex Stalock as their goalies to start the season and shop for a goalie if Koskinen and Stalock fail to cut it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Couldn’t have said it better myself.


  1. Coyle a #2 center ????? there were rumors about moving him to forward just because he wasn’t a VG center..

    • Bruins made a mistake in taking quantity over quality.Doing things by committee is a mistake.the Bs had 14 million coming off the books from 40 and 46.They spent it on spare parts.

  2. The Bruins could probably have Tierney for DeBrusk.

    • George O…Great suggestion that would be a very good deal and make a lot of sense for both teams. Get Sweeney on the phone and get this done!

      I was similarly wondering if a CBJ-BOS deal for Domi might not make sense if they can make the cap work.

      • No thanks on Domi Deacon, at least not as a 2C.
        Coyle isn’t the offensive player Krecji is, but he can bring some. Smith and Hall as wingers will make for a tough line to play against.
        He is also a way better defensive player, top shelf for C’s, and one of the best 3 C’s in league. Big, fast and wins battles.
        B’s will try to out defend the opposition and score with the big line and PP.
        Not highlight reel hockey on the way this season in BOS.
        I don’t think we are finding a 2C for DeBrusk or any other player the B’s would be willing to move.
        Play to our strengths and let’s go.

    • The Sens are so flush with LW young players (Tkachuk, Stuetzle LW/C, Formenton, Grieg, Crookshank, Jarventie) that I see no point in acquiring Debrusk. Especially when I’d play Formenton over him at this point.

      I’d rather a pick come back to use in a trade for a top 4 dman or used in a bigger package for one. Maybe Debrusk can be flipped for one too, but I see his value declining rather than appreciating

  3. Greetings Lyle. Hope all is well. I have watched every NHL game Korpisalo has played as well as a considerable # of games during his AHL time w/ the Monsters (including the Calder Cup Championship team). I am going respectfully disagree w/ the assessment that Korpi is not better than Koskinen. I readily acknowledge a cursory look at overall GAA and Save % may suggest they are similar. However, I’ll offer that Korpi has had an All-Star year and was stellar in the bubble playoff series against TOR and TB. At $ 2.8 cap hit, he is a bargain for a #1 netminder & fits the EMD cap structure quite well w/ Smith at $2million. I’ll share one observation that gets overlooked, Korpi excels when he has the net for consistent stretches but struggles w/ a platoon and/or periodic start situations like he had w/ Elvis last year and w/ Bob for several years as the clear #2. His play in 2015-16 (when Bob was injured) and All-star season of 2019-20 when he was the #1 for most of the year are far more indicative of his ceiling as a #1G. If CBJ are willing to take back Koskinen’s salary, I can see a deal similar in structure to what Seravelli is suggesting being made given CBJ taking on salary and the heightened value of cap space. I truly believe this would be a deal that would be vilified by EDM fans/media initially but that ultimately they will be pleasantly surprised at how good he is, particularly in the playoffs. One last thought, several of the EDM moves this offseason have the feel of a team that has urgency and/or a mandate to win now (whether that be emanating from ownership or franchise players). Those frequently yield some trades/signings that may not occur under different circumstances (see the Keith trade, Ceci signing, the apparent offer on Kuemper, and now the Kori speculation). Just my 2 cents on the situation.

    • agreed, why couldn’t the Oilers keep Larsson with the contract that Seattle gave him

      Larsson >>> Ceci

      Oilers are going to regret that loss

      • Agree 100% about Larsson. That hurt! I don’t know all the details of why he left, but he really through a wrench into the works!

      • Here is what is being discussed in EDM regarding Larsson.
        He never felt comfortable here. Fans (the idiots) went at him early because he was traded for Hall. Larsson ain’t flashy, but he is effective. He didn’t make the trade so not sure why some went after him.
        Also, his father was in Edmonton from Sweden and died suddenly a couple years ago, and this is just a rumor, is that his mother never felt comfortable in EDM since that time, and hadn’t been here in a long time. (Covid?)
        Which, hey, I get that if she felt that way because of that, and he feels that way because of that. A really tough time in his life from what I hear.
        Not sure how folks would want Holland to change that.
        He has done well, he lost Klefbom, at the time the #1 D on a great deal, now Larsson for what was out of his control, and EDM has improved a lot in his time here. And he has had to scramble a bit. They finished 25th the season before he got here.

      • He chose to leave. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. The rumours here in Edmonton are that the “traded 1 for 1 for Hall” got to him after 4 years of hearing it, and his dad passed away here while visiting, also that klefbom, his Swedish partner in crime is out another season.

    • I appreciate your stats and knowledge on Korpisalo. Thank you! I don’t watch the Jackets much, but do realize he was doing quite well pre-pandemic.
      I just don’t see him being enough to pry a 1st AND a good prospect, even to take Koskinen’s salary.
      Then again…I’m biased! Ha!

      • Artsy19…completely agree. The return Seravelli is discussing may not ultimately be accurate but the general structure of the deal does seem to make some sense given the salary cap value and recent Kuemper deal. I have to own my bias as well that clearly getting a 2022 1st for Korpi would be huge for the CBJ rebuild. I suspect CBJ-EDM will make a deal around a G, it will be interesting to see the assets that are included. Another interesting thing to note about CBJ, they currently have 8D on one-way contracts w/ 1 RFA to sign (RD Peeke..reportedly they are making progress on a multi-year deal). Likely that a D or 2 may be going elsewhere still this offseason.

  4. everyone has the Isles signing all of these players, but they have to worry about their RFAs. Those guys will chew up lots of space. I see them resigning those Pelech, Beauvillier, Palmeiri, Parise, and Cizikas, and then they’ll be near the cap.
    Can’t see them getting Tarasenko, not sure if the Blues would want Bailey AND retain salary of VT

  5. I read that Oilers/CBJ story yesterday and will say again….

    HARD NO!

    Korpisalo and Koskinen have virtually identical numbers. And to throw in a 1st??

    If this goes down, I’m going to seriously wonder if Chiarelli is an advisor to Holland.

    The only way I’d dangle that 1st is to go over the top with a top prospect (Broberg/Holloway) and Koskinen as a start for a Goalie with ALOT more upside.

    • I doubt it would take Koskinen and a first to acquire Korpi. More likely, Jarmo would be happy with a straight up deal or, at most, toss in a middling forward prospect.

  6. Buffalo just can’t catch a break. And I am really starting to turn against Eichel. His agent’s announcement last night virtually forces the GM to trade for the best deal he could get now. If Eichel had any decency he would have worked harder to help Buffalo with the sales job, seems he is doing the exact opposite. Spoiled brat in my opinion.

    • Not many of those in the NHL, are there?

    • I read a tweet yesterday from a Buffalo AHL’er J.S. Dea that contrasted the difference between Crosby & Eichel. Crosby in the locker room was a regular guy, talked to everyone in same manner. Eichel on the other hand wasn’t like that at all. He’s not the comforting type. Tends to be a lil “cliquy” w/ little or no reassuring trait. i’m not suggesting he’s a lousy capt. but spoiled? maybe so

    • He could make it easier to trade himself….rip up the contract and sign a cheaper one …makes him more viable to many other teams and this easier to trade. Heaven forbid an agent suggests something like that

      • Why would he do that AZ? He hurt himself playing for his employer. Would you also suggest a worker in any other industry injured on the job accept a reduction in workers compensation just to help the Employer’s insurance assessment rates?

        If you were a player would you give away millions of dollars to help the team that agreed to your contract?

    • And you are entitled to your opinion, red.

      My opinion is that the one who bears the greatest risk is Eichel. It’s his career, and his health on and off the ice. Were it you, would you accept your employer telling you what surgery you were going to have, and never mind what you want?

      It’s also my opinion that it is the Sabres who have mishandled the situation. It was apparent months ago that the relationship between Eichel and the Sabres was irreparable. How has the Sabres’ tough bargaining stand worked so far? They set the bar ridiculously high for a damaged player in a flat cap world, and haven’t come down despite no one accepting their price. That has weakened their position.

      I’m surprised that Eichel’s agent didn’t come out and declare that he would under no circumstances play for the Sabres again. That would really have knee caped the Sabres. They should be thankful that hasn’t been said publicly. Yet.

      • Does the agent get paid if eichel is suspended without pay? If not I doubt he would make such a suggestion

    • Red. Eichels agents are just doing their jobs. No reason to attack the kid. Adam’s was one who went public with stupid comments. Agents responded that they’ve held their end up and Sabres keep moving goal posts.

    • Well perhaps there is another way to read the situation. Eichel has a debilitating long term injury that he has no confidence that Buffalo management dealing with it appropriately. Hell, they have done well on anything they have touched in the ten plus rebuild they have been in. I would not wanted those idiots to have any say in my rehabilitation. as for the captaincy, it was just another grandstanding flub by Buffalo. With few exceptions, the best captains are players who have been around for awhile, and who have the personality and drive for the role. Eichel was a kid when he became captain, and was almost certainly not ready for the role. That he has not excelled in that role is partly on him, but mainly on management for setting him up for failure. Setting people up for failure is the one thing the Sabres do well.

    • I agree Red – Eichel and his agent have done everything possible to sabotage any value Buffalo might receive in a trade. As it is now, they would be lucky to get a bag of pucks and a Reggie Fleming autograph for Eichel. If I were Adams, my answer to Eichel would be to shut up and get ready to play or you will be here for another five years.

  7. Let me start by saying I think there are a lot of knowledgeable hockey fans on here and I’d like to get your opinions on a discussion on RDS in Canada (french sports network in Mtl for those who don’t know). So please don’t attack me for the below idea, I’m just the messenger don’t shoot me. LOL

    The following is a 3-way with Mtl, Colorado and Buffalo.
    To Col: Drouin (Buf retains 50%), C.Miller
    To Mtl: Eichel (Buf retains $2M per)
    To Buf: Kotkaniemi, Newhook, E.Johnson, Jordan Harris, Mtl’s 2022 2nd and Mtl’s 2023 1st.

    Benefit for Col is it reunites Drouin with MacKinnon addressing Col’s need for another top 6 winger, dumps Johnson’s $6M and replaces him with a solid Miller. Col now has room to operate under the cap and fill out roster. No better place for a fresh start for Drouin out of Mtl. Could be dynamite as the playmaker for MacK and Rantanen.

    Benefit for Buf is 2 young centres that have played in the NHL (so not prospects) that are so young they can be part of the rebuild. Also a stud young D prospect in Harris that Mtl may not be able to sign by the Jun deadline. Plus a 1st and a 2nd in addition to Johnson who will help get them to the cap floor and they could possibly flip later.

    For Mtl, obviously a franchise C that can help them make a run in the time Price has left. Plus if Buf retains $2M getting Jack at $8M/yr is worth paying more. Also allows Mtl to keep their 2022 1st when they are having the draft in Mtl.

    • Once again, whoever suggested this on RDS is operating on the assumption that Eichel is 100% and raring to go – and if that were, in fact, the case, Montreal would drop to the bottom of the line-up going after his services.

      But he’s not. In fact, there’s some suggestion that, should he proceed with that controversial surgery, it would be a 6-7 month recovery time. With, naturally, NO guarantee that he would ever be the same player.

      Do those making wild proposals not consider that possibility?

      • George. Not sure where you hear those rumors of recovery times. On Friedman’s recent 31 thoughts podcast he interviews doctor who performs the surgery. Worth listening to actual neuro surgeon as opposed to all the internet experts. I recommend all to listen before making anymore comment on this “new, never done before” procedure. Also explains exactly what’s wrong with Eichel.

    • Mike, the only perspective I can take on this is the Habs, and the deal you propose is based on the premise that Eichel is a better risk than KK.

      There is IMO more unknowns about Eichel than there is about KK. The Habs are indeed at risk with the the centers they currently have and are likely to acquire another center once Weber’s contract is approved for LTIR. That said, KK is 21 and I think it is too early to conclude he cannot be a good # 2 center.

      Another unknown in your proposal is Drouin, and yes I wonder if he can stand the pressure of returning to the Habs. But his value is low so it is a dilemma as whether to trade or keep him

    • Sorry Mike, can you explain how that is a good deal for Colorado. Drouin at 50%, that is almost what it would take to move him. His performance and now off ice problems don’t really make him attractive acquistion.

      • Hey Sparky. Not my pitch (relaying from RDS) but my assumption is that Drouin’s problems are due to french media and fan pressure so a fresh start away from those could bring back the Tampa Drouin who had so much potential. At 2.75 M per if he rekindles what he and MacKinnon had with the Mooseheads then he would be a steal. Risk and reward I guess like Eichel too.
        I was just wondering if you guys thought this was a deal in the ballpark or RDS delusionally dreaming?

      • Mike13,

        Erik Johnson has a full NMC which makes the entire process moot.

        He isn’t leaving Colorado.

        That makes the rest of the exercise moot.

  8. Here we go again, Bruins fanboys crying over spilled milk … what else is new?

    Lou Lamierello should have gone to work for the CIA … their secrets are much more important than his …

    • You like doing the Jeffery Toobin don’t you ?

  9. I would not include a first for Korpisalo. Colorado did because they had too. Edmonton doesn’t have to. I think a third or fourth ,maybe a Benson ,and Koskinen would be plenty. More importantly they still need help on D . Unless Broberg is stepping in full time. Maybe platooning with Bouchard. Why is Ryan Murray not signed ? Only 27 a former second overall Last avv hit was $4.3.

    • Hi Silver, Per Ryan Murray when healthy w/ CBJ he was a legit #3 who at times played like a solid #2…..again when he was healthy which was unfortunately rare. He has a chronic back issue that limits his ability to play consistently, let alone consistently at the high level he is capable of. The injury is chronic and sufficiently severe that is likely limits the pool of teams willing to sign him. It is a shame, during his time w. CBJ I found him to be a great kid and a class act on and off the ice….wish him nothing but the best but this may be the last NHL contract he gets.

  10. Good morning Ed just so you know this Bruin fan isn’t crying I love all the Bruin signings and I believe Jack Studnicka will fill in nicely for Krech.

    • Good luck with that thought. Studnicka couldn’t make the second line at the Hazelton seniors citizen complex. and if you think Foligno can help watch him last year in his brief stint with the leafs, washed up. Sweeney has single handily destroyed the bruins franchise.

      • Lol. Yep. She’s destroyed. It’s all over now, Rick. I doubt they even play the season out.
        Why would they?
        This team wouldn’t compete with your grandmas, great aunts, neighbors cross stitch group.
        Pull the plug already. Time for all of us fanboys to cheer for up and coming teams, like Pittsburgh, Chicago, LA, Washington and St. Louis.

      • The “Hazelton seniors” must have a pretty good team, Rick, if Studnicka couldn’t make the second line! My gawd, that means the Leafs wouldn’t stand a chance. The Hazelton boys would win in a blow out! 🙂

  11. So trade Koskinen and his bloated salary but only once he plays poorly? Right…

    • Could a DeBrusk/Studnicka bring back a Christian Dvorak… $$ matches

      • Wouldn’t give up on Stud yet wait till trade deadline and see what’s available if need be.

      • One if the main reasons Studnicka didn’t stick last year was the lack of strength.
        Lost vast majority of puck battles, got knocked off it, couldn’t protect it and could keep position in front of the net.

        If what we hear is true about the added weight and strength will help. Not unusual for a young guy to struggle adding muscle until they get a little older.

        If he makes it out of camp, I can see lower in the lineup until he proves he can handle both ends as a C. Still the Bruins after all, it’s how they roll.

      • Watch DeBrusk have a comeback season, wherever he plays. He’s too good to fade away. Fingers crossed that the B’s keep him.

  12. Is it just me, or does CBJ have more than enough assets to acquire Eichel? The players are there, as are picks. But just make the picks conditional on Eichel’s performance this year.

    Just spitballing!

  13. A Recruitment Process the way It Should Be Done

    Congrats Ronnie Francis
    Build from the goaltender out!
    1ST Rate Goaltender, I don’t think anyone seen that addition coming, not even the Avalanche !
    Great Defense

    Far superior than the Leaf defense and goaltending, perhaps more than a few teams ?

    Mr Dubais game plan is , to only recruit with past experience with the Sault Greyhounds…
    No other candidate might be suitable….
    It’s just an absolute joke , disgrace to an original ‘6″ team , let alone being without a cup since 1967

    They have made attempts with patchwork strategy and it has failed …
    INSANITY – Doing the same thing over and over again, Expecting a different result !!!

    Yzerman, just experience , follow the Red Wings in the upcoming years, in rebuild now, but 3-4 years from now, we will see how they are doing,,,
    They will be legit CONTENDERS!

    Facts Above, not speculation!

    • Ken, anything new to say? Speaking of repeating the same stuff over and over.

      • Right now, almost every team thinks they drafted the next Howe, or Lidstrom, or Sawchuk, or signed the missing link UFA, or won every trade. But, as Yzerman said, I think we are better…..I hope we are better….but everyone is looking at their roster, and, on paper, thinks they are better. I am a Wings fan, and trust Yzerman, but it doesn’t mean anything until it translates to success on the ice. Let’s wait and see.

  14. BC Leaf fan
    I don’t recall mentioning Francis or Yzerman on repeated occasions
    Of course , I have mentioned the Leafs are a “pitiful” franchise , but the board of directors should take notice ..
    Tampa has been successful over the last while – Why?
    Francis’ did an outstanding job so far with the Kraken – Why ?
    Yzerman has drafted and traded cleverly in Detroit over his short tenure – Why ?
    Just because die hard Leaf fans can’t see the Forest for the trees
    There are knowledgeable people on here , George etc , read and acknowledge their statements ‘!!!

    • I really enjoy reading George’s posts.

  15. Rick W. Murray

    Trade you Dubais and a sweetener for Sweeney !!!

  16. Good evening everyone I wanted to post my thoughts on Boston.Krecji will be hard to replace but there is always a trade the pieces I would offer are Gryzlyck and Debrusk I’m not a huge fan of Gryzlyck since the playoffs with those brutal give aways and they need to beef up the blue line a bit.Im not sure who’s available .Maybe Washington has a center Kunetzov I’m sure I spelled it wrong.Maybe my other choice would be the Rangers Zibanajed.Id rather go out of conference but just two that came to mind.


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