NHL Rumor Mill – August 25, 2021

by | Aug 25, 2021 | Rumors | 35 comments

The latest on Vladimir Tarasenko plus recent speculation on possible Oilers trade targets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NHL.COM: Amalie Benjamin reports the St. Louis Blues still need to find a trade partner for Vladimir Tarasenko. The 29-year-old winger requested a trade through his agent on May 25 but the Blues have yet to find a suitable destination.

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

Benjamin speculates that could result in Tarasenko playing this season with the Blues. The optimal solution would be finding a new home for the unhappy winger. He has two years remaining on his contract and has had three surgeries on his right shoulder since the end of 2017-18.

STLTODAY.COM: Benjamin Hochman also reported on the ongoing uncertainty over Tarasenko’s status. The Blues have $3.5 million in cap space but they still must re-sign restricted free agent Robert Thomas.

Trading Tarasenko would provide additional cap flexibility but finding teams willing to take on that burden won’t be easy. His shoulder surgeries also raise questions about his performance that could adversely affect his trade value.

Hochman suggests Tarasenko could start this season with the Blues to prove his worth. More clubs could become interested if he’s healthy and can still score.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Hochman pointed out, Tarasenko isn’t happy over how the club handled his first two surgeries. The Blues could attempt to move him before training camp but a deal could be tough to find unless they’re willing to absorb part of his $7.5 million annual average value or include additional enticement in the deal.

It could come down to Tarasenko starting the season with the Blues and hope a strong start improves his value in the trade market. Still, finding a club with sufficient cap space to take on his contract won’t be easy early in the season.

THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell recently examined the Edmonton Oilers’ remaining roster needs and possible trade targets to address them. Goaltending depth and a shutdown defenseman are the priorities.

The Dallas Stars could move Anton Khudobin to clear up their logjam in the crease. Jaroslav Halak could be another option if the Vancouver Canucks fall out of the playoff chase. Mitchell suggested they could also pursue defenseman Colton Parayko if the Blues falter this season.

A left-handed defenseman and a right winger could also be on their wish list. Anaheim Ducks blueliner Hampus Lindholm could be a suitable playoff rental. Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko’s contract would be difficult to fit into the Oilers’ payroll. Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel is also expensive at $6.8 million but he’s in the final year of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The goaltending could become an urgent issue if aging Mike Smith declines and Mikko Koskinen fails to pick up the slack. That could make them very interested in Khudobin if he’s available and if they’re not on his modified no-trade list. The Blues could be keen to re-sign Parayko unless he’s intent on testing the market next season. Even then, the Oilers could be hard-pressed to out-bid clubs carrying more tradeable assets.

Lindholm could be available this season if he doesn’t fit into the Ducks’ long-term plans. However, their asking price could be young assets that the Oilers can’t afford to part with. They’re unlikely to pursue Taransenko or Kessel given their limited cap space.


  1. It is sounding LESS likely that a Tarasenko trade is pending, and MORE likely that the unhappy player will return to the Blues. Wonder how that will work out?

    • His situation and that of Eichel’s are quite similar in that respect. I doubt very much that either gets moved before the start of the season. Unfortunately, that won’t stop seeing both mentioned constantly in the “dog days” of hockey news.

      • Agreed—The biggest difference is that I would certainly expect that Vladi will be playing to start the season, and I don’t believe that Eichel will. I just wonder what it will look/sound like in the Blues locker room?

      • Tarasenko’s situation is vastly different than Eichel’s

        He had his shoulder surgery and returned to the ice, played decently and popped a couple of goals in the playoffs.

        There’s a body of work to look at whereas Eichel is damaged goods.

        Team doctors can evaluate him, Habs “gambled” on Josh Anderson shoulder and gave him a long term contract. Team is very happy with him.

      • In regards to both Jack and Vlad, I know I would and bet everyone would look at their situation differently if the place you worked told you have to go to this team doctor to get the treatment however if your not happy with the result, the team can stop you from seeing or doing another procedure with anyone else.
        That’s a tough pill to swallow considering it’s your livelihood at state.
        Anderson’s contract is generous for what he brings…im sure we’ll have a well aging contract there.

      • Yeah, habfan30, I get that. When I say “similar” it’s just betting that no GM or team owner is going to risk $15 mil for Tarasenko and $50 mil for Eichel – AND give up quality in quantity at the same time – until there is absolute certainty that either injury is not chronic in nature. And I don’t care how many goals Tarasenko popped this past season upon his return.

        I could well be proven wrong over the next couple of weeks – but that’s the way I see their situations being similar.

  2. I really don’t see the Oilers going after another D. Not that they don’t need it, but they seem really happy with their defensive core for this season. Looks like they are banking on

    Nurse – Barrie
    Keith – Ceci
    Russel – Bouchard

    Not sure how strong this is, to me, it’s a bit meh. But not a ton of wiggle room and I’d have to assume adding goaltending depth or another forward is higher on their priority list.

    • With that lineup, the Oilers better hope they win games 12-11, because there is no one who can be considered “very good” in the defensive zone.

  3. 82 this year. A lot longer race. Marathon. How many starts could you expect from Smith ? Ryan Macleod looked real good to me in a short audition and could fill a regular forward spot
    Tarasenko and Eichel are in a holding pattern. Can’t see them moving anytime soon. Maybe between 10-20 game mark if health is confirmed.

    • In regards to EDM looking for a younger goalie….think they should call NY about Gorgi.
      Smith the vet can carry a heavy load and mentor Gorgi while Gorgi can provide stretches of game relief for Smith so both are fresh for the playoffs.

  4. Tarasenko for Kuznetsov?

    • Probably not for Kuznetsov. Historically, the Blues don’t take on the problem child. Occasionally an existing player turns into a problem child (Tarasenko) but taking on a player that’s already a problem child is something the Blues have successfully avoided.
      Every team wants a locker room full of guys like Al MacInnis, Alex Pietrangelo and Ryan O’Reilly!

      • I wonder if Tim Horton would agree?

      • ROR complained in Buffalo quite a bit. Lets not forget problem child poster boy Mike Danton.

      • Mike Hoffman say what?

      • Mike Hoffman spent 8 yrs in the Sens organization without a problem. Karlsson’s wife accused Hoffman’s g/f of harassing her online, which was never proven…..and Hoffman was run out of town.

        He performed well in Fla for 2 years and was lo-balled in contract negotiation so he exercised his UFA rights.

        He signed a low contract with the Blues and performed there too, 2nd in G and 3rd in pts.

        Quickly signed an affordable 3 year $4.5 million contract with the Habs and I fully expect him to continue doing what he always does, score goals.

        problem child? not at all

      • Not surprised by your take, habsfan30. You also defended and supported the decision by Montreal to select Logan.

      • habfan30, you’re starting to sound like the most diehard of Leafs fans – regardless of who they acquire – AND their past skeletons in the closet. When that occurs it’s automatically off limits to question.

        Bottom line: you have NO knowledge as to why he was “run out of town” by the Senators and what their internal, private investigation revealed. Nor will we likely ever know.

        But one thing is clear: he hasn’t lasted long at any of this stops (SJ didn’t even wait 24 hours before flipping him) despite putting up very decent offensive numbers in Florida and St. Louis. Where there’s smoke there’s fire.

        We’ll see how you feel towards the second half of the coming season.

      • George O,
        He didn’t play at Sj and was flipped for a 2nd, 4th, and a 5th to Fla. pretty good return for a days work, considering what they gave up for him
        Florida didn’t trade him, they lost him UFA.
        St. Louis didn’t trade him, they lost him UFA.

        Heck, your team kept him for 8 years with “no smoke”
        I’m confident that I’ll be happy in the second half of the season with a much better PP and Hoffman among scoring leaders on the team.


        Damn right I’m happy with the selection of LM and look forward to him being a top 4 D in a few years matching Guhle with bone crunching checks, playing hockey.

    • To Pittsburgh—Vladimir Tarasenko

      To St. Louis —- Jason Zucker/Marcus Petersson and a second round pick.

      Money is almost even Penguins get a scorer. Blues get a 6 time 20 goal scorer a 25 year old 3 rd pairing guy (can play up) and a 2nd round pick

      • BnG
        Marcus Petersson, 6’3 177, $4.025 million would be the 3rd highest paid d on the team and replacing,
        Niko Mikkola, 6’4 185, $787,500
        Way too much for a 3rd pairing.
        Zuckor, 5 time 20g scorer, $5.5 million, replacing,
        Tarasenko, 5 time 30g scorer, $7.5 million

        Pens are ahead on money ($2 million) and get the best player..

        Try Guentzel , 6 time 20g scorer $6 million and Auston-Reese $1,725 million for VT

        money is about the same, Pens get the better scorer, Blues get a scorer and a 4th liner

  5. Looks like The blues couldn’t give away Tenesenko even he comes with a lifetime pass to Bora Bora. Likewise for Eichel I believe Buff will have to eat a good portion of Eichel’s salary and the demand for 4 # 1’s will go down to 2 with maybe some minor pieces. Buffalos done terrible job of handling this. Eichel will look grand in a bruin jersey this fall.

    • is Studnicka, Coyle, Debrusk and two 2nds too much for Eichel?

      Pasta can slot with Eichel

      Hall can go to play with Berg since Eichel & Hall did not pan out well the 1st time.

      • A former first round draft pick that hasn’t cracked the team, two problem contracts and two second round picks for Eichel? Not a chance that happens. Boston doesn’t have enough quality assets that they’re willing to trade to get Eichel. Start with Pasta or McAvoy and Buffalo would listen but those two are untouchable as they should be. That’s the sad reality for Bruins fans.

        I think it’s apparent Buffalo has lost this staring contest and now are down to two options, let Eichel get the surgery he wants or let him sit on the injury list.

        Any trade they do now would be selling pennies on the dollar.

    • Are the Bruins going to have 41 Jack Eichel Bobble Head Nights?

      Lets be clear, Tarasenko is nearly a year removed from his last surgery has played 30+ games and has shown some offensive ability, yeah he was rusty, but he has been working out and if he is back or close to his old self then maybe he gets moved and the price will increase dramatically.
      Eichel has a career threatening neck injury and has he even had a procedure done?

    • Biggest difference with Eichel and Tarasenko is that Vlad was able to go outside the team medical staff and have surgery by a doctor of his choosing. After 2 surgeries with team that didn’t correct the problem. Let’s not forget that Tarasenko also has a full ntc. I don’t believe he’s willing to go to any team.

  6. So Allan Mitchell talks about who the Oilers could get near trade dead line. Oilers aren’t good enough team to pencil them in as a guaranteed to make the playoffs at the start of the new season

  7. Nope bpb two firsts a few minor pieces will be enough to get it done and Buffalo will have to swallow about 60% of Eichel’s salary as well. Buffalo waited too long ……..advantage Bruins.

    • Rick see below:

      What is a retained salary transaction/trade
      When a team trades a player, they have the option to retain a part of their salary (and cap hit). The team who retains the salary then pays the retained percentage of the salary, and also retains the percentage of the cap hit until the contract expires. The following requirements must be met to retain salary:

      The percentage retained cannot exceed 50 percent of the player’s salary (including all bonuses) and Salary Cap Hit.

      The same percentage must be retained for both the player’s salary and Salary Cap Hit, and cannot be modified.

      All teams are limited to a maximum of 3 retained salary contracts per season.
      Teams cannot retain an aggregate amount of more than 15 percent of the Salary Cap Upper Limit.
      Players’ contracts are limited to 2 retained salary transactions per contract.

      • Kudos on the attempt to insert reality into RWM’s fever dreams. Yet I doubt they have a lasting effect. This guy has shown he knows very little about hockey in general. I’m sure the more obscure details won’t penetrate his obliviousness.

      • Cappy I do believe the bruins will get Eichel they have to, time’s running out on them. They need a top notch centre now and Eichel is it. I won’t respond to the silly sister.

  8. Re Vlad… change of scenery requested… hard to find trade partners? I disagree… there is an opportunity

    I once again state (plead for) a Vlad (50% retained) for Zucker (50% retained) ; with sundries/sundry to balance trade….works for both teams

    Blues move Vlad (becoming an issue that is taking away focus on team) and free up $1M in space

    Pens; move a player that just might bounce back in BluesLand and who has dragged down Pens offence. Pens gain size. Pens tight at Cap; but Gino will start season on LTIR and per reports will be a minimum of 1/6 th of the season there…. even with a call up to get to 23… that’s a minimum of $1.3 M in Net Cap savings… above proposal has net Cap loss of $1 M…. so…. a deal that fits both teams’ needs and wants

    Yet… it takes HexBurkie to actually pick up the phone; which they have reportedly NOT been doing 💩😡🤬

  9. Zucker would not be enough of a player return for me. Appreciate the money works. Maybe change the hold percentages Used to be a fan. Was absolutely brutal last year. Maybe a rebound is coming but not feeling it

  10. Vlad is still hurt, The blues have every reason to lie and teams arent buying. everyone knows the Blues need to sign RFA Robert Thomas, and that Parayko is going to be a free agent after the season.

    Armstrong is deparate to find a taker for Tarasenko but the Cap is king and that makes the rules