NHL Rumor Mill – July 9, 2021

by | Jul 9, 2021 | Rumors | 84 comments

The latest Vladimir Tarasenko speculation plus rumbling the Canucks could shop Nate Schmidt in today’s NHL rumor mill.


ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Jeff Gordon believes Blues general manager Doug Armstrong can’t waste time trading Vladimir Tarasenko. They don’t want the unhappy winger’s situation becoming an unnecessary distraction heading into next season.

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

Armstrong faces an uphill battle. He’s not dealing from a position of strength because rival teams know there’s an urgency to move Tarasenko. The winger will only waive his no-trade clause for certain teams, he’s coming off three shoulder surgeries in two years and carries a $7.5 million annual average value for the next two years, earning $9.5 million in actual salary for 2021-22.

Gordon wonders if Armstrong will have to absorb part of Tarasenko’s cap hit or package him with draft picks and prospects to make him more enticing to other clubs. He can, however, use the freed-up cap space from a Tarasenko trade to re-sign free-agent Jaden Schwartz or Mike Hoffman, though the latter didn’t win over Blues coach Craig Berube this season.

Jim Thomas believes Armstrong will try to move Tarasenko before the July 17 expansion draft trade freeze (July 17-21) so as not to complicate his own protection list. Interested clubs, however, might prefer waiting until after the expansion draft to acquire him.

NEW YORK POST: David Lazar reports the New York Islanders have been mentioned as a potential destination for Tarasenko. However, they have just over $5 million in salary-cap space with several key free agents to re-sign or replace.

The New York Rangers could be another landing spot. Tarasenko is good friends with Blueshirts winger Artemi Panarin and the two share the same agent.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty looks at whether acquiring Tarasenko would work for the Bruins. His cap hit and no-trade clause are among the hurdles but the Bruins have $28 million in cap space.

Tarasenko’s injury history and the presence of several other stars (Jack Eichel, Seth Jones, Johnny Gaudreau) in the trade market could make him more affordable. Haggerty wonders if an offer of a first-round pick, Jake DeBrusk and perhaps St. Louis native Trent Frederic would entice the Blues.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber floats the notion of the Capitals swapping Evgeny Kuznetsov for Tarasenko. The club is reportedly tired of Kuznetsov’s off-ice antics and could move the 28-year-old center this summer. They can afford to move him given their depth at center, including the promising Connor McMichael.

The Capitals could benefit from an additional scorer. However, Tarasenko’s age (29), injury history and cap hit could complicate things. Silber feels their focus should be on improving their defense corps. Still, swapping Kuznetsov for Tarasenko wouldn’t be the worst thing they could do.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armstrong might have to toss a sweetener or two into the deal to move Tarasenko before the expansion draft. He could have better luck trading him heading into the NHL Draft weekend (July 23-24).

Lou Lamoriello is among the league’s craftiest general managers but I don’t think the Isles GM can pull off acquiring Tarasenko with his limited cap space. His focus will be on re-signing restricted free agents Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech and Ilya Sorokin. Locking up those three will take a big bite out of their cap space, even with putting permanently sidelined Johnny Boychuk and his $6 million AAV on long-term injury reserve and having a player selected in the upcoming expansion draft.

The Rangers have plenty of cap space ($23 million) to acquire Tarasenko and still re-sign RFAs Pavel Buchnevich, Igor Shesterkin and Filip Chytil. However, they could have their sights set on Jack Eichel, putting them out of the Tarasenko sweepstakes. If they spurn Eichel for Tarasenko they must ensure sufficient long-term cap space to re-sign Mika Zibanejad before his UFA eligibility next summer.

While the Bruins will have lots of cap room with Tuukka Rask and David Krejci coming off their books, both players could return on cheaper short-term deals. Factor in the cost of re-signing defenseman Brandon Carlo and left winger Taylor Hall, and there might not be enough room for Tarasenko. Besides, the Bruins’ focus seems to be on shoring up the left side of their blueline.

Tarasenko for Kuznetsov would be a big-time “hockey trade”. However, I don’t think Kuznetsov would be a fit into the blue-collar, hardworking style favored by Blues coach Craig Berube.


SPORTSNET: Iain MacIntyre reports the Vancouver Canucks are exploring potential trade partners for Nate Schmidt. They acquired the 29-year-old defenseman last fall from the Vegas Golden Knights but his season in Vancouver proved as disappointing to him as it was for his team. He has four years and $23.8 million remaining on his contract.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston also took note of the recent Schmidt trade talk. While the blueliner hasn’t requested a trade, sources say he’d be amenable to a change of scenery.

There was speculation of swapping Schmidt for Oliver Ekman-Larsson with the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes could be among the teams Schmidt would agree to be dealt to while the Canucks were linked to Ekman-Larsson last fall.

However, a Canucks source dismissed the idea of a Schmidt-for- OEL deal. The price tag for the Coyotes blueliner and his declining performance make him a poor fit in Vancouver.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Will the Coyotes want Schmidt? GM Bill Armstrong appears to be getting ready to shake things up by shopping some veterans such as Ekman-Larsson and Phil Kessel. Maybe he’d prefer a young defenseman than a soon-to-be 30-year rearguard with four more seasons at $5.95 million annually on his contract.


  1. Hard to see the Canucks moving a defenceman out without one coming back. Even with Schmidt the Nucks defence was bordering on brutal.
    Benning cant afford to add additional salary if he opts to move Schmidt so Id say OEL is a non starter.

    A defence made up of Hughes, Myers, Juluovi, Rathbone and likely Edler as full time players is asking for trouble.

    • How about Eichel and Dahlin for Boeser, Q. Hughes, juolevi and a second…..

      • One true number one center and a first overall top pair defense man for…a second line winger, a second or third pairing d-man, a potential bust of a D – (3 points in 23 games) and a second??
        Are you serious?
        Buffalo may make a trade like this, but it doesn’t mean they should or that it’s a fair deal.

      • There is no way that is enough. Maybe without darling? Bu its hard to imagine the Canucks accepting that even if it is an even trade.

  2. Tarasenko 29 years old Big $$$ per has played 34 games last two year with 7 goals …. Big Pass as a Bruins fan

    • Ya, all depends on the shoulder Joe. Same as Eichel. You have to be sure before you spend assets and that kind of $$.
      If what he is saying is true regarding the first 2 surgeries with the team Dr’s is true maybe worth a look?
      It’s only 2 years left and if he can’t play LTIR. But giving up quality assets is another thing entirely. Agree not worth the risk unless you get him for sweet FA.

    • I agree, I dont get why its big news, I wouldnt send anything to take that contract, its the opposite, St Louis should pay to get someone to take it

    • I totally agree with you 110%.

  3. Capitals swapping Evgeny Kuznetsov for Tarasenko will never happen. The ST LOUIS BLUES do NOT acquire players with ANY off-ice antics. It just doesn’t happen. Many times there have been players who look good on paper (Evander Kane would be an example) but the STL Blues show ZERO interest because they make sure there are NEVER locker room problems caused by a player being added in a trade. It’s great to see an organization with the integrity to pass on a player who’s just as bad off the ice as he is good on the ice!

    • Mike Hoffman had huge off ice issues in Ottawa

    • Oh is that so, and what would you call Hoffman?

      Lets ask George if Hoffman has any previous off ice antics that would affect a teams performance.

    • They aquired O’Reilly after his drunk driving antics, and Mike Hoffman after the off-ice antics of his wife harassing Karlssons wife.

      • Heh, a couple of real doozies for sure. I don’t mind second chances, and while O’Reilly appears to have put that episode behind him, here’s Hoffman once again a UFA and likely looking for his 5th team in 5 years (SJ didn’t even hang onto him for 24 hours before flipping him to Florida). In fact, after potting 36g followed by 29 (in 69 gp), Florida made no attempt to bring him back when he reached UFA status there, and he dangled for quite a while before St. Louis offered their deal.

        Something obviously doesn’t click with this guy in terms of team cohesion.

    • Wow. You got stuffed with that post masdaq.

    • Didn’t Ryan O Reilly drive a tractor thru a drive thru while plowed?
      I think the Blues are a pretty “tolerant” team

  4. I would take Tarasenko on Flames . Unlikely though as they only have 1-2 Russians in their entire system. Not sure why.
    Gaudreau and a draft pick to Devils for Wood , a first and McLeod

    • Tarasenko is the best pure goal scorer rumored to be available, at least that I have seen on here. If healthy. So ya S7, there is value there.

      Big if, but I would take him over Hall if so. Would fit with Krecji like a glove IMO. Plus only 2 years is good for B’s timeline.

      But shoulders are scary, the new knee so to speak, so probably not gonna happen.

  5. Schmidt was obviously not a good fit with Vancouver, but I still think he’s a solid d-man. I hope Bergevin at least inquires about him. The only concern I have is that his success in Vegas could have been more as a result of their system and he may not be as good elsewhere. But I think he could succeed in Montreal, given the veteran D-men he’d be playing with. Of course, 4 years left on his contract at nearly $6m. AAV would make for an expensive mistake.

    • No thank you, Howard. Schmidt was somewhere between sup par and lousy with the Canucks last year. The Habs have several young D who can challenge for the 5-6 position at entry level cost.

      Even if Schmidt had played well, do the math: he is making 5.95 million a year. How is that going to work into the Habs cap space?

      • Schmidt’s performance suffered last year because he played on a weaker defensive team. Before Vegas he did well in Washington. He is a 4/5 d man. The only way I see the Habs taking on his salary is Drouin going the other way.

      • LJ, I 100% agree with you on Schmidt.
        Too much, too long, too old.
        Showed well on Vegas – but that was a powerhouse team.

        Howard, we’d be much better off with David Savard – on more than one front.


      • The Habs need an LD who can play top-4 minutes and move the puck. Not just a third pairing plug. I expect Romanov on the third pairing next season. Schmidt can be the guy they need. Agreed, he was not good in Vancouver, but he’s been an effective, mobile D-man and he can bounce back.
        Cap space can be created. Drouin will likely be moved out and Chiarot will likely be off to Seattle.
        Not necessarily too long and certainly not too old. When his contract expires, he’ll be only slightly older than Jeff Petry is now – and the Habs have extended him at a higher AAV than Schmidt has right now.

      • Ok, Howard fair enough that you have a different opinion on this, and yes Vancouver was bad last year.

        But in $ terms you effectively value Schmidt at 5.9 over Chiarot and Edmunson at 3.5. Schmidt is basically the same age as those two but smaller. There is nothing in his career numbers to suggest that he is an upgrade on either of them.

        Chiarot may or may not go to Seattle, and I would give them a first rounder to not take him if I knew Chiarot would sign at 4 million or less on a new contract.

        No way the Habs should add more $ for defense when their issue is goal scoring. Against the Bolts they scored, 1, 1, 3, 2 and 0 goals. Pretty clear their need is more scoring.

      • MB should talk to Sakic , see if Girard is available, likely not, then ask about Graves.

    • Montreal sounds like a good fit for Schmidt, they need a better puckmover in their top 4.

      • Agreed, Kent.
        Sorry LJ, but, offensively, Schmidt’s numbers prior to his unproductive year in Vancouver are better than Chiarot or Edmundson. And he is a solid puck mover, which those two are not. A major part of their offensive struggles in the final is that they didn’t have enough possession drive from their D, while TB did. Adding a guy like Schmidt (or Dunn, Martinez, or Ghostisbehere) would help them offensively.
        Fergy, I agree that they should inquire about Girard. But I don’t see Sakic giving him up.

  6. Tarasenko and Eichel – damaged goods – buyer beware.

    Both should be on the 75% off discount rack.

    • Hall, Tarasenko and OEL will be Bruins this season and that is NOT necessarily a good thing.

      St.L and Arizona will both eat have the salary and taken a 6th and 7th round draft pick.

      I didn’t mention Eichel, because that’s already a forgone conclusion.

    • I would, based on a clear bill of health do:

      To MTL: Vlad Tarasenko, Vince Dunn

      To STL: Jonathan Drouin, Vegas 4th

    • Scratch and dent

  7. Tarasenko is an interesting option for Rangers. Like Eichel though, complete medical clearance would be needed. IMO, he’s an upgrade from Buchnevich who could seek around 5 million in n a new deal. So with Kakko and Kravtsov here, he’d be most likely player going back. If they don’t add a 2C to replace Strome, this could be an option to add scoring to that line. Cheaper and less term than Eichel, who until he’s traded is probably still too target for NYR

    • no love for Buch Slick?
      plays 200ft game, decent size, good team chemistry….. for a sniper with shoulder issues hitting 30

      • Not a huge fan of Buch. IMO he embarrassed himself in those scrums with Washington. Not really that big. Just lanky. 200 foot game? That’s debatable

      • fighting back against the Wilson machine is not an easy task

    • Kinda with ya on Buch. not sure he is worth 5 for 5 especially after signing Kreids for over 6 on a long term deal. need to keep flexible with cap incase the team underperforms to be able to move on and retool. Tarasenko for Buch plus something may work.


      to STL: Buch, Hajek & #15 overall
      to NYR: Tarasenko & Dunn & conditional 2nd if Tarasenko cannot play more than a certain amount of games

      • Hater,

        You CERTAINLY have my attention (and I hope Armstrong’s too)

      • @ihate. no thanks on Dunn. we dont need more offensive dmen who you cant trust.
        Buch+Hajek for Tarasenko+a 2nd

        Buch will have a better career the next 5 seasons than Vlad

      • @ds you would sign Buch 5 for 5? NYR aren’t a cup contender currently configured. Tarasenko only 2 years at 7.25 so no long term committment and to be frank he is BETTER than Buch.

        Buch has not surpassed the 50 pt mark yet in his career. last 2 years with Zib on the 1st line unit mainly and yet still has not surpassed 50pts. Not sure he will have a better next 5 years than Tarasenko.

        Basically that is saying Tarasenko will fall off a cliff since he has been a consistent point producer pre-shoulder.

        I am confident the shoulder will be fine.

      • @ihatecrosby
        Yes on 5×5 for Buch. Tara has not been anything in 26 months…tough one. Also what is Kakko ?
        Rangers have to have a decide playoff push NOW… it is closer than you think.

        is top 9 IF they dont add a real 2C?
        Panarin needs a 2way player on his line to give him space ala Fast/Blackwell…. if you play him with Tarasenko you need a better 2way center than Strome or Chytil

      • I come back with this..


      • @ds

        I was leaning more toward

        Laf/Zib/Kakko (Tarasenko)
        Panarin/Strome/Chytl (Kakko)
        Kreider/Kratsov/Tarasenko (Kakko)


        Kratsov needs time at center and Tarasenko speaking russian and kreider speaking russian can aide in him centering 3rd line. if Strome isnt resigned later he can slot 3c and Chytil move to 2c. Chytil outgrew 3c all the time and 2rw can give him more offensive chances. he drives the net and plays hard.

      • That is a stellar top 9 IHC.

      • I agree that Chytil has always looked like a winger to me but not sure Kratsov is a pivot. Would sure be nice if he was

  8. I understand the appeal of shopping a bargain but I don’t get the interest in injured or damaged without a show me year.

    Same goes for a guy like Hall, a show me 1 year deal that fizzled, he showed his value.

    I wouldn’t take any of these guys if they were on waivers.

  9. Vancouver – Nate Schmidt
    Philadelphia – Shane Gostisbehere, 4th round pick.

    • this makes sense

    • Everybody’s trying to help Philly get rid of Ghost!

    • Nope, Schmidt has value, Ghost, not so much. Teams didnt even pick him off waivers. Vancouver also already have a small D in Hughes and dont need another

      • people keep saying certain players value are nill because they went thru waivers and were not picked. One of the main reasons for that was because most teams had no cap space.

  10. To NYI: Tarasenko & Dunn
    To STL: Leddy, Beau, & Bellows

  11. Tarasenko and Dunn to Boston for Debrusk and Rask imagine it, picture it in your mind? Eichel, Tarasenko, and Dunn. Stick Boys Georgie and Eddievan

    • RWM

      I like the proposal of Joe Haggerty included in the article:

      DeBrusk, Frederic, and a 1st for Tarasenko (and I will add Dunn). IF you want to make it even bigger, I would include local boy, Zach Sanford, for a 4th rounder too.

      However, I am guessing that Tarasenko will end up a Ranger.

    • I think Haggerty’s proposal would get accepted by St Louis within 10 seconds.
      Way too much for a guy with that health recors and has requested a trade.

      St Louis will lose this deal, just the way it works in this situation.

      Unless they do what Sakic did, and wait. If he plays and produces and stays quiet, St Louis can get what Haggerty suggests.

      Win win for player and team IMO.

      If not, they get lose the deal.

  12. Bruins rumor of the day Goodrow, Palmieri … Hoffman ….Dman Oleksiak … bring back 46 on a two year let Rask walk … no Hall

    • whats Goodrow contract gonna be?

      • If it’s that low the Bolts keep him. Sacrifice Palat with one more year to resign Coleman and/or Goodreau and both if that’s really the tab for Goody

    • Joe, if they are going after Goodrow then why not go after Coleman vs Palmieri or Hoffman. Coleman does not bring as much offence but he is a gamer , can score 20 and has a chemistry with Goodrow . Put Coyle in the middle , pretty darn good third line.

      • Hearing they want Corley back on the wing and looking for a center

    • I will take either scenario, but prefer Fergy’s.
      Who’s calling Don?

      This makes me happy!

  13. “Haggerty wonders if an offer of a first-round pick, Jake DeBrusk and perhaps St. Louis native Trent Frederic would entice the Blues.”

    Even as a Habs fan I say, “WHAT???”

    Debrusk, yes NP, but a 1st rder??? No, a 2nd yah maybe. Trent Frederic, no way. He is one of those character, role players on a very friendly contract, absolutely not.

    My offer would be:

    To Boston: Tarasenko, Scandella & a 5th rder

    To St. Louis: Coyle, DeBrusk & a 3r rder

    • Uwey (and also directing to IP)

      Pens counter with

      Zucker, ZAR, Laffy,*

      For Vlad (25% retained)

      *I would have added CR, but wanted the Pens proposal to truly be considered, so I left him off …. LOL

    • U,

      U have a deal! IF you change it to a 2nd rounder

  14. Iowa Prince

    Asking again…. Vlad at 25% retained for Zucker plus…. what’s the plus (sweetener)??…

    If you accept CR as the sweetener (LOL)…. Case of Glenlivet 18 in it for you

    Would love to see a Gino Kappy Vlad line

    • P,

      Your trade proposals aren’t giving me a heart attack, but climbing the hills at the John Deere golf tournament yesterday darn near did!

      I HAVE to ask—what is your issue with Zucker?? Is he slow? No defense/checking? Locker room problem? Other??? I don’t see him play often.

      Regarding proposal: I would probably show some interest in Zucker, ZAR, and a McCann sweetener. I would actually prefer a top prospect—who might that be??

      What the Blues really need are top end prospects. OR draft picks (and the Pens don’t have picks to offer

      • Hi IP

        Dang… no flat land on the golf course!,

        I guess it’s much easier (driving and walking down) from the high points

        Zucker…. No dressing room issue that I know of

        Rutherford Uber overpaid for him. He had fair numbers with the Wild but has been a big drag on Gino’s play. Gino has massively better numbers when Zucker was off

        Zucker has energy but his poor play certainly outnumbers his good play

        Change of scenery would do both Pens and Zucker a favour

        Zucker AND ZAR AND McC is quite an overpayment; and not a chance Hextall does

        Pens as you said , don’t have picks

        There is no way they should even consider parting with their top 3 prospects (Poulin; P-O J; Legare)

        I think

        Zucker & ZAR for Vlad (25% retained) is fair

        To that , I’ll add Lafferty

        That should do it…. I hope

        Blues get a player in Zucker that was producing recently at the Vlad level; and they get a great RFA checking forward; and a speedy RFA prospect

  15. It’s kind of amusing but, not that long ago when names like Hall, Tarasenko, Eichel would be mentioned regarding possible new locations, any mention of Ottawa was just scoffed off as the LAST place they would consider. Now we’ve reached the stage where Ottawa wouldn’t touch one of them with the proverbial 10-foot pole.

    • Agree George…. Risk to high now for the up and coming and developing young Sens

    • I’m sure the feeling remains mutual on their part George.

      • Are you, Chrisms? What is the basis of your certainty?

        Ottawa’s future is brighter than Buffalo’s, St. Louis’, and I dare say the Bruins. Bruins fans may disagree but their core is getting on, they have tough calls to make on O and D, and Ottawa has both good young players now and prospects on the way up.

        Canadian cities remain at the bottom of many players’ lists due to unfavourable taxation and fan scrutiny but in terms of teams with a bright future Ottawa has risen noticeably.

      • Good. Wouldn’t want to tempt Dorion. Let them go somewhere where they have more money than brains, and hamstring them for years to come.

      • Sure. But your telling me you think Ottawa is on tarasenkos trade list? Or that eichel is gonna be happy about it? (Actually he would be most likely to go as he had no say in it and at least age wise he kinda fits). Would hall end up there if he wants to win 🏅 n the next year or so?

        Doubt it.

        Not to say Ottawa should go for tarasenk or hall. But if they could land eichel and didn’t it would be absolute negligence.

      • In your view, perhaps, but with the contracts coming up for Ottawa in the near future the last thing they need is a $10 mil C effing up the cap works for years to come. As I say, let those teams with more money than brains go down that uncertain road, keeping $10 mil fingers crossed that his disc problem isn’t chronic.

        What doctors know is indeed amazing … unfortunately it’s what they don’t know that kills you. Just ask the family of that poor sap in Alberta who had both Covid shots – then caught the delta variant and died.

      • So the question begs… if both parties would avoid each other with a ten foot pole… would it take two ten foot poles, one twenty footer, or does one ten foot pole suffice?

    • Would ya trade Matt Murray, Logan Brown and a 1st this year for Eichel? lol

      prefer Murray or Eichel is what I guess I am curious about there George lol

      • My ONLY concern with Eichel is the uncertainty of that disc issue coming with many years to go at $10 mil per. Well, that and what happens when that $10 mil deal, coupled with the $8 mil for Chabot, the almost assured $8 mil for Tkachuk and God knows what for the Bathersons, Norrises, Pintos, Sandersons, Formentons down the line, quickly putting us in the same sort of cap bind faced by Toronto and Edmonton.

      • In hindsight Goerge Eichel @ 10 has better value than Murray @5 lol

        can always reflip him for other needs post surgery??

        basically the trade really is just your 1st rd pick this year for Eichel as Murray and Logan Brown have no major value in any trade on their own

        Fully understand what ya are considering with cap with upcoming RFA’s.

  16. To the Habs Vlad for Dorian and Byron not sure that works ?

    • Swany,

      If Vlad’s shoulder is checked out by Habs medical staff, sure the Habs could send Drouin and Byron for Tarasenko.

      • hf30

        Don’t think the Blues have the need or interest in Byron—-maybe something like Drouin, Edmundson, and a 2nd??

      • Why would you even consider Drouin until you were absolutely certain he’s even able to play again? No one, as far as I’m aware, has ever related exactly what caused him to bow out during the season and then miss the entire playoffs.

      • My thought is that there is some risk still involved for Montreal in getting Tarasenko, and he is 30 yrs. old with a contract pending in a couple years. The Blues are also taking a risk with Drouin, but a also getting a 2nd to rebuild their minors AND reacquiring a physical d’man in Edmundson.

        I hope that the Rangers or Boston get involved with a better offer.

      • Iowa prince,

        I didn’t make an offer, just responded to it.

        gamble for gamble, I said sure.

        as for your offer, not interested in sending Edmundson and a 2nd for damaged goods.

  17. Schmidt for Patrick/4th

  18. Wondering if the Bruins are seriously thinking about Eichel I know the package going back would be hard to put together unless Pasta is the one they use in a trade ….PB will be 36 in two weeks on his last year of his current contract I know they will give him a offer in terms of years next offseason , DK might get a offer this offseason and then again he might not. they have no other center that’s going to take over when those two leave …. Pasta for Eichel is interesting