NHL Rumor Mill – September 9, 2021

by | Sep 9, 2021 | Rumors | 26 comments

The latest on Vladimir Tarasenko, the Hurricanes could face a salary-cap crunch next summer, and an update on the Oilers in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BALLY SPORTS MIDWEST’s Andy Strickland hosted St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube on his “Cam and Strick” podcast on Sept. 7. Asked about Vladimir Tarasenko’s trade request, Berube doesn’t expect the 29-year-old winger to be moved.

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

I expect Vladdy will play for us, and I’m gonna treat him like any other player,” said Berube. He added Tarasenko will continue to fill his role on the team and they’ll deal internally with the trade request.

Strickland followed up on Twitter the next day, suggesting a third team might have to get involved if Tarasenko gets traded. “There’s at least one team willing to retain a portion of Tarasenko’s salary,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could take a third team to make a Tarasenko trade happen at this point. We saw those types of moves at last season’s trade deadline (David Savard, Nick Foligno) where three clubs would share portions of a player’s annual cap hit.

Whether it happens before the start of the season is another issue. Tarasenko could end up waiting until the March 21 trade deadline at the earliest for the Blues to honor his trade request.

Strickland didn’t mention which team is willing to pick up part of Taraseko’s $7.5 million cap hit through 2022-23. It could be a rebuilding club with plenty of cap space willing to do so if the Blues or the team receiving Tarasenko kicks in a draft pick. Potential candidates include the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes and Detroit Red Wings.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently reported the Carolina Hurricanes may have put themselves into a bind for the next offseason because of their successful signing of Jesperi Kotkaniemi to an offer sheet.

Murphy cites an NHL executive suggesting the addition of Kotkaniemi could create difficulty for the Hurricanes to re-sign him and their other key free agents. Kotkaniemi and Martin Necas are restricted free agents while winger Nino Niederreiter and center Vincent Trocheck are unrestricted.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Hurricanes with a projected $56.5 million invested in just 12 players for 2022-23. Tony DeAngelo and Ethan Bear are also slated to become RFAs next summer.

A qualifying offer for Kotkaniemi would be $6.1 million but the two sides could agree to a long-term extension for less money in the New Year, depending on his performance this season. The Hurricanes will have to pay raises to Trocheck ($4.75 million AAV) and Niederreiter ($5.25 million) to keep them out of the UFA market. Bear and DeAngelo won’t be expensive to qualify but they possess arbitration rights.

Necas could be the one to watch here. He’s in the final season of his entry-level contract. If he builds on last season’s promising 41-point performance (in 53 games) he’ll be in line for a lucrative pay raise.

He could become an offer-sheet target depending on what the Hurricanes do with their other free agents and how much cap space they’ll have. Unless, of course, they decide to avoid that hassle and ink him to an extension before next summer.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers could bring in a right-hand defenseman on a professional tryout offer. Most likely candidates include Michael Stone and Jason Demers.


  1. Re the Oilers possibly bringing in a couple of D on PTOs … Pengy, that would underscore what I posted in response to your Barto question in the other thread.

    • Hi George

      The difference is quite a lot

      Demers and Stone are far better than Bartko

      Bartko had but 3 NHL games over the last 3 seasons. Stone and Demers about 70 and 125

      Both are much faster; both true righties; both far better IMHO than Bartko

      Both Stone and Demers are value added depth Dmen

      Bartko at best; as mentioned in morning coffee, is WBS bound

      Bartko as Chrisms mentioned; was a PR move (local lad)

      Don’t get me started on Sackic giving a PTO to JJ

      • The chances of ANY of them cracking a roster range from slim to none. They are there to provide competition at training camp, following which they’ll either be cut loose or, if signed to a two-way deal, find themselves in the AHL.

        I could care less who is better than who – that’s totally subjective. They are warm bodies for scrimmages – cannon-fodder if you will. Happens all the time at pro football camps.

  2. “This was pure ego pleasure by an owner who has no idea what he’s doing,” the source said. “Take a look at what they have coming up to sign. Dundon royally f***ed Waddell here. This is what happens when an owner doesn’t understand how to run a team and doesn’t let the hockey people do their jobs.”

    jimmy Murphy’s been around the game long enough and known as a straight shooter. He’s reporting the obvious to all those claiming the offer sheet wasn’t revenge motivated.

    “There was clearly no big picture vision here and just tunnel vision from an oversized ego.,” the source went on. “This is why the rest of the league is laughing at Dunbdon right now and why Bergevin looks better getting Dvorak for a lesser hit.”

    In short order he lists the fall out and gives lie to Carolina’s spin machine.

    • Some pretty dramatic language there HF30.
      Gives lie to Carolina spin machine? Wow.

      I will go with Friedman over Mr. Murphy if we are going to decide who likely more connected or right in this case.

      Or we could wait until he signs an extension, if he does at all, and for what that amount is. Even better let’s combine that with how he plays, this season and onward. He is 21 after all.

      We can also have a look at Dvorak in MTL as well before we close the book on this one.

      As far as CAR not being run well, they have the best online presence and market their team better than anybody in the league. LV might be the only one who is in the same class.

    • For argument’s sake, let’s say this totally blows up in Carolina’s face, regardless of the motive.

      Worst case:
      Kotkaniemi stinks and is not re-signed
      lost (likely) late-ish 1st
      lost late-ish 3rd.

      that’s it. That’s the worst case.

      (They have the cap space this year, so that angle’s irrelevant)

      And in the worst case, they have money to (probably) re-sign all of their pending FA’s.

      The potential upside certainly outweighs that. Maybe a 2C on a reasonable deal for years.

      The downside is so minimal that I still don’t understand why other decent teams with cap space didn’t do this.

      • I think the worst case is if KK has a decent, but not great, season, resulting in an uncomfortable overvalued long term contract, and then he fails to improve and live up to that contract. I think there will be pressure for Carolina to sign him.

        As far as valuing KK based on him being a former #3 OA draft pick, imho that was always a tremendous reach by the Habs and I would have seen his value more in the #10-15 range.

      • I think its a given they cannot afford Trochecks next contract and KK should slot right into his spot + in the 4-5 mil range new deal

        Can they beat Tampa or Florida in a 7 game series next spring? They were better off making a play for Gibson imho

      • Good point, Curtains, the worst case is that he’s probably good enough to re-sign, but not good enough to earn it.

    • More Montreal sour grapes.

      • Chrisms, Jimmy Murphy is from BOSTON Hockey Now. That sour grapes ain’t coming from Montreal.

      • Wasn’t talking bout mr Murphy. He’s just wrong.

    • I really understand the hurting you are feeling. However- this one contract will not totally blow the cap next year. There are many other moving pieces as to who will sign then. Assuming some of the current team will have to be signed is short sighted. I thought the Necas “warning” quite amusing. Like Carolina would let itself get played like Montreal did.

    • I think we need to see how it plays out. The name of the game is to win now and Carolina added to an already solid team with Kotkaniemi plus evened the score on offersheets with Montreal.(that’s the ego part). With these assets who knows what Carolina could get done. It worked out for Montreal as well. A win/win IMO.

    • Ray Bark,

      Jimmy Murphy has been a Boston based guy not Montreal but he has been on Montreal radio over the years, commenting on the rivalry between the teams and yes I consider him to be a straight shooter in his analysis over the years, often grudgingly agreeing with him.

      I don’t take Elliotte Friedman seriously as most of his commentary is filled with maybes and supposedlies . He throws it all on the wall and if something, anything sticks, that’s not an insider imo.

      I have never said that Kotkaniemi was a waste or a dud, he continues to compare favourably to the centres in his draft year.

      Did you read the article by Jimmy Murphy?
      If you have, we disagree again 🙂

      • HF30, you’re a much more interesting read than Elliotte Friedman. Keep it up.

      • Jimmy Murphy and Haggarty are dough heads. Sensationalists at best. They may be based in Boston, but they’re definitely not reputable, or trusted sources. Friedman may be boring, but he’s probably only second to MacKenzie in truthfully having legit sources. Kevin Weeks is up there too.

      • If Montreal had done exactly what the Canes did you would almost certainly have declared that Bergie was Brilliant.

      • Why don’t you stick to the article and comment on it as opposed to what you think I’d say.

        Read the article and direct your comments to the NHL executive who weighed in who I’d think is better connected than you are, or to Jimmy Murphy, a Boston area pundit who is also better connected than you.

        cheers 🙂

    • I thought what Canes did was great. Got a very good center. No worries on resigning JK. No one’s laughing at Dundon. 21 year old to replace an aging Staal?

  3. It all comes down to what Kotkaniemi signs for . If as reported $4m not a bad situation. You knew almost regardless of what MTL offered Aho it would be matched. It wasn’t my even that much Kotkaniemi was a revenge offer sheet plain and simple . I don’t think others are laughing at the Canes landing a 3 rd overall who in his rookie year was the youngest player in the league . He will be a fit in Carolina

  4. My goodness a “straight shooter” commenting on a teams owner. I’m sure Dundon is so nervous right now that he may end up having to sell the team in order to save face. I’m sure that this Jimmy Murphy guy has called the rest of the owners and heard them “laughing” at the Hurricanes owner. The rest of league don’t care because they are too busy minding their own business !!

    • Yes funny as this Jimmy Murphy (who?) is only known in a Myoptic fan base and Bergevin is the one who is laughed at by getting axed by Waddell. Necas will be signed and NN will go on his way with his inconsistent play which will leave room for Jarvis and Drury with enough Cap to ink VT to an extension should he stay healthy. Bear likely stays but TDA is on a make it or break it deal, so the latter my guess. HF30 needs to worry about the conference this season, but why waste time with being in the East again its not looking good for the Habs playoff hopes this season…Suzuki and Caufield are gonna get $.PAID.$ now!

    • Oh, the rest of the league definitely cares. No one will be offer sheeting any Canes in the near future. Shots definitely fired!

  5. Necas will be the one to watch. No cap issues whatsoever. They couldn’t reach extension for Trochek. VT walks on open market for at least $6M. NN walks for less than he is currently making. Bear and D’Angelo will be performance based raises

  6. Tarasenko to Pitts for Zucker plus
    Run thru AZ for AZ to retain salary to balance cap out for both teams

    3rd rd 2022 pick to AZ via Pitts to hold salary
    something else thrown to STL for the player swap