NHL Rumor Mill – August 19, 2021

by | Aug 19, 2021 | Rumors | 49 comments

What clubs could have an interest in Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk? What are the ongoing needs of the Canadiens and Oilers? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Fluto Shinzawa was asked about the odds of Jake DeBrusk getting traded. He’s heard the Edmonton Oilers remain interested in the 24-year-old winger and the Calgary Flames to a lesser degree.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk (NHL Images).

Asked if DeBrusk could fetch a second-line center if bundled with draft picks, Shinzawa said it would be an ideal return. However, the Bruins aren’t in a great spot to trade picks. He believes the return would likely be an underachieving player similar to DeBrusk who might improve with a new club.

Examining the Bruins’ opening-night roster without Tuukka Rask and David Krejci, Shinzawa noted coach Bruce Cassidy declared DeBrusk his third-line left wing. If he’s traded, removing all or part of his $3.675 million cap hit could clear space for Krejci and/or Rask if they return to the Bruins later this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk has been a frequent topic of trade speculation since last offseason. That he’s still with the Bruins suggests his value is low in the trade market.

Shinzawa acknowledged the Bruins would be selling low. They could shop him in earnest later this season if his performance doesn’t improve, but they won’t get much of a return. A better effort by him this season would improve his trade value but it could make management reluctant to move him.

Cap Friendly shows the Oilers sit over $3.2 million above this season’s $81.5 million salary cap but will get $4.167 million in cap relief by placing Oscar Klefbom on long-term injury reserve. It would have to be a dollar-for-dollar swap or the Bruins would have to retain some salary. However, the Oilers’ recent additions of Zach Hyman and Warren Foegele probably takes them out of the market for a top-nine left winger.

With over $11.4 million in cap space, the Flames can afford DeBrusk’s salary even after re-signing restricted free agents like Dillon Dube, Nikita Zadorov and Juuso Valimaki. Their addition of Blake Coleman should address their left wing depth so DeBrusk probably won’t be heading to Calgary.

NHL.COM: With Shea Weber’s career potentially over, Mike Zeisberger believes the Montreal Canadiens must find a top-four defenseman for the long term. David Savard, Jeff Petry, Ben Chiarot and Joel Edmundson are their likely top four while Alexander Romanov will be expected to step up in his sophomore season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weber’s absence takes away a big physical presence, leadership and a powerful shot from the point. It will take time to find a suitable replacement for their sidelined captain.

Tim Campbell believes the Edmonton Oilers still need a long-term plan between the pipes. They’ll be riding 39-year-old Mike Smith as their starter with Mikko Koskinen and Alex Stalock in relief. Campbell points out a succession plan for the future remains elusive.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers don’t have any immediate help coming through their farm system. They’ll have to follow the trade market or go shopping next summer for any decent free-agent netminders.


  1. Despite Rishaug’s “debunking” of the Seravelli report early this month of talks between EDM-CBJ centering on a trade for Korpisalo, I’ll humbly suggest that it may be more accurate than many acknowledge. Although the exact assets Seravelli mentioned may be too steep, CBJ can take on the Koskinen contract in the deal and EDM gets cap room and an experienced starter that can be extended at a reasonable cap hit. This is deal that still may get done prior to the start of the season.

    • You make good points and there is an equitable deal for both sides there. Thing is, after the initial report, there’s not even been a whisper on any news &/or rumor site. Very unusual and it’s not like Jarmo is under any pressure to make a trade at this time.

    • I would be surprised if it happens Deacon. The talk here in EDM is why give up any assets to get Korpisalo? He makes less money, sure, but he isn’t a better tender than Koskinen and not close to Smith. If you look at last season, last 2 combined or last 3 combined.
      I would also argue that CLB focus more on D play that should lead to better SV% than EDM although they have improved under Tippet.
      Only reason would be for $1.8M in cap space and maybe a fresh start. You don’t give up much for that do you? A mid round pick maybe?

      The Oilers didn’t have a goaltender problem last year, Smith was very good. The concern is their best guy turned 39 this past spring. Fair enough, but doesn’t mean he will suck this year either.
      IMO Korpisalo isn’t the answer either, in fact he isn’t even as good as Koskinen.

      On another topic, how much C did Foligno play last year in CLB?

      • The Oliers could have picked up Wallstedt in this year’s draft, but instead gave it up for Minny.

    • Why would CBJ help out Oilers? If you really want to send Korpisalo to Edmonton, get something decent in return. Not that bloated contract. They’ve been trying to unload him (Koskinen) for 2/3 seasons. Unless CBJ is getting back at least a 2nd round pick (sweetener of some kind)

      • Korpisalo isn’t better than Koskinen Vincois.
        Can’t see EDM giving up a 2nd RD pick for $1.8M in cap space if they swapped the 2.
        Seems like to much, as either guy will be your backup.
        Neither one is the answer IMO. But hey this year could be different.

        Curtains, rumor here is they would have picked Cossa, but DET grabbed him. Obviously didn’t like Wallstedt as much. Can’t say I watched him so no idea. Time will tell.

    • Deacon,

      I think it is too expensive. If you break down into two parts
      1) CLB would want an asset to absorb Koskinen salary – possibly a 2nd round choice
      2) Now the two teams have to agree on what is fair value for Korpisalo – would a 2nd rounder be fair?

      So now Edm would be sending Koskinen plus two seconds for Korpisalo.

      Seems a bit steep, Edmonton should just ride out Koskinen’s deal and go with smith, then address the goaltender issue next year.

  2. Obviously, Shea Weber is not a player who can be replaced so easily. I can see Romanov moving into a top 4 role and he’ll have to produce. Hopefully, some of their prospects will be able to work their way into the lineup over the next couple of years. Matt Dumba May be a trade target next summer, as the Wild will have a cap crunch.

    As for the Bruins, as horrible as Debrusk was this past season, he averaged. 25G 48P per 82 games the previous 3 seasons. If the Bruins trade him now, they won’t get much and may then have to watch him blossom elsewhere. The best outcome for both sides would be for him to pick up his game this year and then have the Bruins trade him to fill other needs.

    • Also, a short-term puck moving RD is still a must for the Habs for this season. Betting on Chris Wideman is unrealistic. Josh Brook needs another year in the AHL. I’d try to bring in Sami Vatanen on a 1 year deal. Probably wouldn’t cost more than $1m.

    • Although I agree that a short term puck moving D is a need, I think the biggest question mark is the center line. Not sure Kotkaniemi is up to 2nd line duties as of now, Evans is one concusion away from LTIR. So many question marks with the Habs going into next season.

      • Agreed. That’s why I also want the Habs to pick up a veteran center like Bozak. But I didn’t want to go off topic.

    • @Howard ‘Asked if DeBrusk could fetch a second-line center” LOL, not with last years numbers any GM won’t return the call for $3.675 PY and 5G/9A even pro rated to 82 Game numbers 10G/18A he’s goin nowhere.

      • Maybe Zucker for Debrusk . Jason Z could in nicely with the Bruins

  3. Re DeBrusk and Shinzawa …” He believes the return would likely be an underachieving player similar to DeBrusk who might improve with a new club.”…

    Anybody who has read my posts knows who I’m thinking about here as an “underachieving player” ; and in addition Laffy and O’Connor could be added…. Alas it won’t happen 😢

    Just the thought brightened my day a bit

    I think DeBrusk would do well with the Oilers; but I can’t see a viable trade that works

    IMHO slightly less of a fit on Flames… but again… viable trade seems a longshot

    • Why would you trade DeBrusk for another slumping player who might not ever achieve what was predicted. And I certainly would not dump him to clear cap space for Rask or Krejci. That makes zero sense

  4. The Habs don’t need to look for a long term replacement for Weber, it exists in the system.

    Jordan Harris
    Jayden Struble
    Josh Brook
    Mattias Norlinder
    Kaiden Guhle
    Alexeander Romanov

    and there are others.

    As for the present, David Savard replaces Weber in all defensive aspects like he had been doing in Columbus.

    The reality is that hockey is a copycat sport and the big shot from the point has been replaced by backboard rebound, wrist/snapshot finding a hole, deflection/tips.

    Not to say Weber’s shot isn’t a plus but he has been getting neutralized and his impact on the powerplay wasn’t as positive as it used to be.

    He’ll be missed in the room and this where Gallagher steps in to be the face of the team and its natural leader.

    • HabFan, with the exception of Brook, all of those guys are LD. And only Guhle was a first rounder. None of them can yet be termed as “can’t miss”. Hopefully, one or two of them will step up as top 4 D-men but it’s far from assured.

      Of course, they do have an RD prospect with size, offensive skill and mobility who plays with an edge. Let’s hope he matures and gets his act together. Of course, he’s at least 2 years away.

      • Howard,
        I listed them as long term replacements not as stepping in right away, I even included Romanov who played all year.

        Brooks and Mailloux play on the right and Romanov plays well on the right as well.

        Petry, Edmundson, Chiarot and Savard are there for a few more years, ample time for the young D to step up into a role.

        UFAs like Vatanen, Demers are always available as stp-gap 3rd pairing D

  5. sick & tired of reading about DeBrusk and the Bruins … make a move already

    • Many of us could do without your constant negatively, Pens fan boy.
      Get a life.

      • Can we make both happen?

    • Ed, I like/enjoy your posts, mostly spot on.

  6. Would a DeBrusk for Kerfoot deal help both Boston and Toronto? It would be a swap of salaries and something tells me Krejci wouldn’t sign for the same number or if he is even likely to return.

    • No. No it wouldn’t.

  7. If I was Toronto I’d pitch Reilly and top draft picks and prospects to Montreal for Suzuki and Caufield.

    Love Reilly…moves puck well and has good hockey sense but he has a muffin shot on the point and I power play is useless with him on it.

    Buys them ELCs with guaranteed production and eventual replacements when the FAB 4 depart u less they get a kings ransom.

    • I really like Reilly too. But NO WAY do the Habs make this deal.

    • Hopefully Suzuki has a good year, waits until the off season to negotiate an extension and gets offer sheeted by Carolina.

      • That would be awesome!

      • Interesting day. Un-Ray of you, Ray. Even SOP seems to have woken up to an empty coffee cup.

        Frank, it is hard to understand why you think your proposal is good for the Habs. Why on earth would they give up their best center? And why weakening the Leafs’ blue line for what would likely be the one year they could afford to keep Suzuki is good for them.

      • I would enjoy that but Montreal would match the offer and Carolina will also need to sign Necas. There is a good chance Ryan Suzuki will be in the NHL by then which would make it even more of a story.

      • Just not a fan of the offer sheet by MB LJ. What goes around so to speak.

    • That pitch is in the dirt Frank

  8. Ed, Don’t read it. Simple isn’t it?

  9. Kessel (50% retained) to BOS for DeBrusk straight up

    IMO best deal for both sides

  10. To Montreal: Nils Lundkvist and a 2nd round pick
    To NYR: Kotkaniemi

    • This is another example of a trade proposal which would disproportionately favour one team from the get go.

      The Habs have one vulnerability this year: center. Giving away KK for a defensive prospect who as far as I can tell hasn’t played an NHL game makes zero sense for the Habs.

      Habfan30 above has listed their extensive list of good defensive prospects.

      • As far as I can tell from last years playoffs, Kotkaniemi is behind Suzuki and Evans. They signed Paquette. Lundkvist is NYR top D prospect. He set record in SHL for points by an U20 defenseman. NY signed him to elc and he’s expected to play this year.

      • “As far as I can tell from last years playoffs, Kotkaniemi is behind Suzuki and Evans.”

        KK played 19/22 games tied for 2nd in G
        Evans played 7/22 games had 1 goal (empty net)

        KK played 2nd line centre.
        Evans played 4th line centre for 1 game and LW on the checking line for 6 others,

        Lundkvist is a very good smallish D prospect who doesn’t fill any of the Habs needs given the plethora of D in the Habs high prospect pool.

        0 interest in trading KK

  11. Oilers need more then a long term goalie! Defense isn’t that good and outside of there top line the rest of the forwards are fair at best. I can see the Oil on even making the playoffs this year.

    • Gorgi from NY would be a solid additon for them as he is under 25.

  12. I know he is 39 and didnt play last year, but would Lundquist be interesting to Oilers as a wild card? My belief is that he can still play, if healthy, and he is an ultimate pro in the locker room.

    • It’s an interesting idea Kent, but think he wants to stay closer to NYC.

      • Kent and Ray

        I’m not totally convinced that he plays again, but….

        He did sign with Caps past year…. 500 KMs from NYC… and he signed for $1.5 M

        Pitt is 600 KM away…. I’ve been posting re Hextall approaching Duby for $1.5 M or less…. Why not give Hank a call…. If he says yes to $1.0-$1.5 M…. Sign him up; if he says no… it’s nothing but a 15 minute convo

        Do something HexBurkie…. Pens are setting up to potentially miss the playoffs

        A rebuild is better than doing basically nothing and end up missing the playoffs just as they would with a rebuild

    • That makes more sense than picking up one of the CBJ goalies.

      I think EDM rides with their tandem in a week Pacific division and see how things are in Jan or Feb. That’s when they go out and get a playoff performer and swap Koskinen and a pick. Maybe Chicago is out of it by then and McDavid can convince his Olympic teammate Fleury to join for a playoff run.

      EDM problem is they have no true blue chip prospect at goalie. I think they really wanted Costa to fall to them and when Det jumped up, they traded with Minny because they weren’t high on Wallstedt.

      But, as I say, wait til mid-season and see who is out there.

    • Well Rask is still out there?
      He said only BOS, but they have their 2 guys IMO.
      And will he be healthy.
      Highly likely they will have some LTIR space by then as well.

      If he wants to play and is open to other locations, have to think he gets snapped up once he proves he has recovered.

    • Lundqvist wants to play, but hasn’t been medically cleared to play yet. As of now, can’t sign with anyone. Will be interesting if Gorgiev does get traded, will NY bring him in on a pto.

  13. Hey how long has MB been the GM of the Habs? I’m asking because in his time, who exactly on the team did he draft and isn’t a star for the team?

    Maybe they should start there.

    • Hard to draft top prospects unless you try to lose and finish last like the Leafs did. Nothing screams Winning Franchise like mailing it in for the 1st overall pick.
      Rewards for intentionally losing is bogus.