NHL Rumor Mill – July 6, 2021

by | Jul 6, 2021 | Rumors | 32 comments

Could the Golden Knights move a goaltender to free up cap space to fix their power play? What’s the latest on Duncan Keith? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen reported Golden Knights owner Bill Foley will be meeting with his club’s front office and pro scouting staff in the coming weeks to draw up their plan for the offseason. He singled out the club’s power play as a key area to address.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images).

The Golden Knights’ play with the man advantage has plagued them since last year’s postseason. Their power-play was held scoreless in 15 attempts during their semifinal series against the Montreal Canadiens and was 4-for-43 in this year’s playoffs.

With the second-most salary-cap space allotted to goaltending ($12 million), the Golden Knights must also decide whether to keep Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner. Foley advocated during last offseason to retain Fleury and has expressed his wish for the veteran netminder to finish his career with Vegas. Fleury, 36, won the Vezina Trophy this season. He and 29-year-old Lehner also won the Jennings Trophy for fewest goals-against.

Foley said he likes both goaltenders but indicated they’ll have to see how things evolve in the coming weeks.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Mark Madden believes the Pittsburgh Penguins should attempt to acquire Robin Lehner from the Golden Knights if Marc-Andre Fleury isn’t available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights could face a difficult decision with their goaltenders. They could be forced to move one of them to free up salary-cap space to bring in additional scoring punch for their power play.

Fleury and Lehner would draw plenty of interest in the trade market. Perhaps the Penguins could be among them but their limited cap space means shedding salary to make room for one or the other. 

Fleury has a year left on his contract but carries a $7 million cap hit. Lehner’s is $5 million annually but has four more years on his deal. However, their modified no-trade clauses will limit the potential destinations. Fleury has a 10-team no-trade list while Lehner’s is eight teams for the coming season. If Vegas trades one they’ll have to find a suitable (and affordable) replacement via trade or free agency.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers’ pursuit of Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith could be complicated by the upcoming expansion draft.

With the Oilers expected to protect seven forwards and three blueliners, perhaps it means any possible deal for Keith takes place following the July 21 expansion draft. In that case, however, it could mean the Blackhawks risk losing Riley Stillman to the Seattle Kraken if Keith won’t waive his no-movement clause for the draft.

Given Keith’s age (37), Matheson suggested the Oilers would be better off in an ideal world trying to sign 28-year-old Dallas Stars blueliner Jamie Oleksiak via free agency. However, Oleksiak could command $4 million per season. Oilers GM Ken Holland would likely be bidding against eight-to-10 other teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson raises an interesting point regarding the Keith-to-Edmonton trade speculation. As he pointed out, the Oilers could send the Blackhawk a defenseman in return for Keith that can be exposed in the expansion draft to protect Stillman.


  1. no way Oilers are really chompin at the bit to get D. Keith. Especially before expansion draft. (he has NMC has to be protected). Then again, we are talking about Ken Holland, who royally messed up Detroit. Whole notion is absurd.

    • if Keith gets moved he retains the right to waive his NMC for the draft. Pretty certain that would have to be a requirement before a trade was signed off.

    • As an EDM native I can confirm that the majority of Oiler fans are against this trade. They are calling into 1260 this AM railing against it.

      I don’t think there is a world that Holland trades for Keith without CHI eating some of that salary, or a contract going back. If he does, judge it then.
      Keith can still skate and move the puck and won’t see the top pair or close to the minutes he plays now.

      Vincois, does Holland get credit for the cups or just the blame for trying to stay competitive for too long? Or the NHL record 25 year playoff streak, where he held key positions prior and during it’s entirety and probably deserves more credit than anyone who didn’t put skates on?

      He didn’t mess up DET, he created a perennial contender and hung on too long

      • Disagree Ray. Not taking anything away from his glory days. But similar to Lou, Bill Torrey, Sather, they all had a good “run” w/ drafts/trades/signings. I’m a Devils fan & Lou left us w/ nada, and Stevie Y had/has a horrible mess to clean up. They (previous GM’s) sustained it as long as they could, but eventually killed it.
        Here are other GM’s I don’t think will ever GM again after this. Wilson (SJS) and Dale Tallon,

      • From a Detroit fan’s perspective, Holland’s failing as a GM was his inability to navigate the roster after the salary cap was imposed. He seemingly over-valued his grinding style players and put too much money into them. Or else he saw them as more complete players than they truly were. Prime examples are the contract extensions for Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader. The Abdelkader extension was truly baffling to the fan base. I completely agree with your statement that he hung on to the streak too long, but it was the salary cap nightmare that he orchestrated tat lead to the Detroit fans to vilify him.

      • I don’t disagree that GM’s try to stay competitive even when it seems they should sell assets and start over.

        I think they know it too is what I’m saying. What happened in DET wasn’t an oops.

        Plus they have owners that want to win and fill the seats. They know it will be a mess after, but do it anyway while the core is still there and try to delay the inevitable.
        Kind of like Philly when Snyder was nearing the end, the rumor is Illich knew he wasn’t going to be around much longer and wanted to keep pushing for the cup.

        No idea if true, but makes sense to me. Deal with the mess later, which Yzerman (who Holland mentored for years) will.

        Guys who have been around as long as Holland know the drill and the possible consequences of the moves they make and the deals they sign. The guy knows what he is doing and the Oil are lucky he came available.

  2. “However, Oleksiak could command $4 million per season.”

    Holland needs to not skimp on the D. Oleksiak at $4M is better than trading for Keith.

  3. It’s interesting That Keith wants to move to be closer to his son who lives in BC but the Canucks are not on his wish list. Close but not that close.

    • Probably 2 years to push for another cup. Better chance with McDavid

    • Where did you see that?

    • Keith is viewed as a villain in Vancouver after a bad hit on Daniel Sedin

  4. interesting dilemma for McCrimmon , do you move a soon to be 37 year old current Vezina trophy winner who has been the face of the franchise and a favorite of the owner or do you trade the 1B starter who is 6 years younger and on an affordable deal with 4 years left? I would keep Lehner , trade MAF and free up some cap to land a decent center.
    It comes to , it’s a business.

  5. If Vegas moves a goalie, could they be in on the Eichel sweepstakes? Seems like they could get more return for Lehner. They also seem ti be interested in moving in from Glass. Could they use a return from Lehner, Glass and few other pieces to pry Eichel from Buffalo?

    • That seems plausible, but I still think Lehner stays in Vegas, MAF would be the one out if either leaves. I don’t see anyone in their pipeline that could replace MAF if he retires when his contract expires.
      But for a healthy Eichel, that would be awful tempting. I wonder which goalies will be available for LV next season as a replacement?

  6. As great as the cup finals are….once we are done with them, this line” but indicated they’ll have to see how things evolve in the coming weeks.” is the action teams will be forced to make to prepare for the draft. This is when side deals and player movement happens. Even the ground work to the draft and FA.
    I hope we’ll be right in it come this weekend!

  7. I had heard Pens had interest in the Flower but I hadn’t heard re Lehner

    Lehner will cost more (in trade) due to term; as a Pens fan; I’d rather have MAF

    T bring in either , space is required

    There is no chance Knights take Zucker but Zucker and say DeSmith off roster , replaced by MAF…. that improves team with but a $250 K extra hit towards cap

    The catch is… who takes Zucker? De Smith would likely be part of package back to Knights; but someone has to take Zucker

    If it’s Krakken, they’ll want a pretty sweetener

    it’s tough (with all these moving pieces) to see the Flower end up back with Pens next year

    Handsome Jack as a Knight??? IMVHO , no.

    The city of gambling just might not be prepared for that risk; and more than a goalie has to move onward for them to be able to take him on

    I can’t see either goalie having Sabres on their list; nor waving to go there

    Stone and Petro have full NMCs

    Next on list cap-wise is Patches… again I doubt Sabres on his list, and doubt he’d waive to go there

    So …. the only way handsome Jack comes over is at least two of

    Wild Bill and Marsh (both partial NTC… unlikely to have Buff on list); Tuch (shouldn’t move); Theo (no way they should move him); Smith

    So Knights with Handsome Jack next year…. longshot

    When I say longshot… it’s in the realm of a 3-way trade that has the end result of something like

    Pens end up with MAF (@ 50% … Sabres take 50% in to through trade); but retain 50% of DeSmith; and 50% of Zucker…. net is extra $125 K 21/22; $2.75 M in 22/23

    Knights end up with Handsome Jack (25% retained) and DeSmith (50% retained) ; and about $5M in extra Cap space

    Sabres end up with Tuch, Zucker (@ 50%) , Glass, a depth Pens player; Vegas 1st, NJs 2nd …. and lose a tad shy of $5M in Cap space

    Now that’s a long-shot trade!!

    P. S. I’m sure Adam’s would insist that the depth Pen coming over would have to be Chad Ruhweedel 😎👍👏👏🙏

    • I dont see Hextall moving players, picks or prospects to add a 37 year old goalie with a 7 million dollar cap hit. Flies in the face of everything he stands for. Pens need to rid themselves of fat contracts that provide little return.

      The Penguins window is closed, boarded up and nailed shut.

      Outside of Crosby nobody should be considered off the table. Pittsburgh needs to upgrade their AHL goaltending (not with Fleury) and minor league defence.

      If I were a Penguins fan (ewww) Id expect a 3-5 year roster overhaul to get younger, faster and replenish the farm system.

      Wont be easy after Rutherford gutted it in a feeble attempt to win another Cup. Even Rutherford knew he’d set the franchise back 5 years with his trades and signings, likely the reason he quit.

      • As an Avs fan I think Crosby would help get them over the hump. Avs have some great young prospects (Bryan, Newhook, etc.) that could make sense for the Pens. Crosby may welcome the chance to play with MacKinnon

      • What’s wrong with being a Penguins fan? Chooch …

    • @ Pengy.
      Penguins are looking in to college UFA goalies and two good ones.

      UMass goalie Filip Lindberg 6ft 2

      Quinnipac goalie Keith Petruzzelli 6ft 5

      Penguins have been successful with college free agents.

      • Thanks BnG

        What’s the lo-down (outlook) on Lindberg and Petrezzelli?

        Yes … Pens have done well through the college route

    • Hi Ron

      Agree re @$7M; my whacky and convoluted trade proposal had him at 50% ($3.5 M)

      That said ; if he came in at 20% retained and Zucker was exiting and that was the only change….Cap would be Net neutral; and Pens would improve

      Re the rebuild…. It either all in (tear down) or tweak for 1 more year and tear down

      I’m sure Mac K is making Sid’s ears bleed with his pleas to come to Avs…. Highly unlikely Sid would do… but if he did; Avs become cup favs; Gino almost assuredly goes to Panthers…. Pens rebuild starts with a bucket of futures

      Call it 0.0001 % chance

  8. I know he has not been talked about…. but what is PK worth in trade at $500 K and $2.25 M in Cap?

    His SB is paid… for sure he is moved at TDL …. with likely a to-through retainer team

    As at now he is only owed $2M…. NJ retains 50% and then a to -through team retains at 50% (of the remaining 50%)… that’s $500 K cash; $2.25 M in Cap

    Would have to be post expansion draft

    From last years to-through trades (basically teams with space; buying a draft pick)…. $500 K gets a 4th ; maybe a late 3rd…. less than that @TDL

    Would a team pay a late round 1st to NJ and a late 3rd to the middle team; now

    The move, if successful , and he returns somewhat to form; gets a team a 2nd pairing RHD that could help move them deep

    If team doesn’t do well…. move PK again @TDL; retain another50% in Cap…. receiving team at that time would get him for about $750 K in remaining Cap hit; and maybe $200 K cash…. that’s a low 2nd rounder for sure

    So worst case…. the team who acquires him now…. flips a late 1st and late 3rd for a low 2nd; and is out $300 K in cash (less than paid to min roster player for 2/3rds f the year

    Best case… he has a bounce back year; and seriously benefits the team

    If above true, and again this happens post exp draft… what team makes a move?

    Just food for thought

  9. To me, Tampa is in a very interesting situation.

    They have five contracts totaling approx. $35.3 mill with NMC.

    And another six at $27.6 in NTC or M-NTC contracts.

    That is approx. $63 mill tied up in eleven handcuffing contracts to deal with this up coming off season. Add to that they are already have more than $5 mill over the cap for next season in only nineteen contracts.

    Who is going, who is staying, who is willing to waive their contractual rights, who is willing to take on Tampa’s contracts while not moving back some of their own???

    Gonna be interesting!!!

    • DIfference with the Tampa contracts is that all the players attached to them have serious value, so deals can be hockey deals as well as cap deals

  10. Alec Martinez can be a possibility, no ? That’s it’s so much a better option than the Old Hall of Fame Duncan or Jamie Oleksiak… Or there’s Erik Gustafsson… 😅

  11. I would keep Lehner. No question . I have stated my position on Fleury and his game winning, series winning gaffs throughout his long career.

    Keith could end up in Edmonton if a third team involved to keep some salary for picks. Chicago has confirmed Toews coming back. There goes $10m in cap space. Not sure they can hold much.
    Agree why Edmonton ? what about Calgary Vancouver Seattle and Winnipeg

  12. Jarry for maf. A pick back to vegas as well. Vegas cuts that goalie salary in half. Pens take one more run, or 2-3 if maf signs an extension with their core.

    • One more run? More like another one and done.

      Its over in Pittsburgh…

      • Says the Chooch …

      • “triggered”


    • Hi Chrisms

      I think McCrimmin keeps MAF; but….

      I’ve said before if the main in/out for Pens is MAF/Zucker ; its a bonus for Pens

      Knights won’t even look at Zucker

      Some team might for a 3rd

      That 3rd; plus DeSmith ; for the Flower ($250 K retained)

      Pens Cap hit unchanged; team got better

      Knights free up $5.5M; re-sign Martinez OR go after a Centre and have Theo; Mc N ; and Hague as their left side D’s

      Knights were a couple of close OTs; and a brutal PP (O for… ever) away from playing Bolts for the cup…. They are only team not losing a player to the Krakken ; and can have 22 of 23 players back from this year; fill a depth winger; still have space; and only lose Martinez

      Knights have the 29th and 35th picks this year and prospects that can be used to improve

      Were I them … I’d sign Big Jamie O instead of re-upping Martinez; come in slightly less; younger; and way bigger; loss offensively is worth the gain in size and age

      If they (Knights) would trade within their Div and could coax Murray to bite on 29th + 35th + Glass + say Dugan for Comtois ; and sign Jamie O…. That would make; them ; IMHO; cup contenders next year; and that fits in the Cap

      Stevenson; Stone;Patches
      Wild Bill; Marsh; Smith
      Comtois; Tuch; Janmark
      Roy; Kolesar ; Carrier or Reeves

      Theo/Jamie O
      Coglhan or Kairczack/Hayes