NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2021

by | Oct 20, 2021 | Rumors | 27 comments

Check out the latest on Evander Kane, Travis Hamonic, Claude Giroux, Ryan Getzlaf and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Chris Johnston reports the San Jose Sharks cannot terminate Evander Kane’s contract due to his 21-game suspension for using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card. He cites two sources as saying the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) doesn’t allow them to do so.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports he doesn’t believe the league sought to terminate the contract and the NHL Players Association would have fought it.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnston and Friedman wondered what happens with Kane once his suspension ends in late November. They agree that a trade is pretty much unlikely right now.

Will he be welcomed back by his teammates or has his behavior since last season irreparable damaged their relationship? If so, will management bury him in the minors or tell him to just stay home? That’s something they’ll have to sort out with Kane once he serves his suspension.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun noted the void Travis Hamonic’s absence leaves on the Vancouver Canucks blueline. The 31-year-old defenseman is currently on what the club is calling a temporary leave of absence for personal reasons. They currently intend to stick with the rearguards they have while remaining hopeful Hamonic will return at some point this season.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Canucks placed Hamonic on a leave of absence because a suspension is a road no one is willing to travel. He cites sources saying there’s more to this situation than meets the eye, which is why the club is remaining patient

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could change, however, if there’s no change in Hamonic’s status and his absence becomes an ongoing issue on the ice.


Elliotte Friedman cites Al Morganti stirring things up last week by suggesting Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux would be happy to play for the Ottawa Senators. There were rumors about the two clubs talking this summer but Friedman looked into it and got multiple denials.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Asked about the possibility of Giroux moving this season, Morganti said the only place he could see him willingly go to was Ottawa, where he resides in the offseason. He was only referring to a hypothetical situation where the Flyers shop Giroux if they’re unable to re-sign him before the March 21 trade deadline. As I noted yesterday, that will depend on whether the Flyers are sellers by that point, if Giroux is willing to waive his full no-movement clause to facilitate a trade, and if the Senators are in a position to acquire a big-name player as a playoff rental.

Keep an eye on the Anaheim Ducks over the course of this season. Ryan Getzlaf, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell are all unrestricted free agents at season’s end. Friedman doesn’t get the sense contract extensions are close in any case.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getzlaf has a full no-movement clause in his one-year contract. However, he said last season he’d accept a trade if the return would help the Ducks. The others lack his full no-trade protection.

New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant personally called winger Vitali Kravtsov hoping to convince him to return. The young winger is back in Russia but several teams say they’ve been told he wants to play somewhere in the NHL where he’ll get a fresh start. He indicated the Rangers seek a high price for the 2018 first-rounder but there’s definite interest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman didn’t elaborate as to what that high price might be. TSN’s Chris Johnston last week speculated it could be a return comparable to what the Rangers got from the Los Angeles Kings (second-round pick) in the Lias Andersson trade. Andersson was another first-round pick who didn’t pan out for the Blueshirts.

The Ottawa Senators will ask real value for Erik Brannstrom from teams calling about him. The 21-year-old defenseman still hasn’t landed a full-time roster spot but the Senators recognize his talent.

Friedman also touched on the Buffalo Sabres’ unwillingness to retain salary in a Jack Eichel trade and how much Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg is seeking on his next contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman spoke about those during Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada telecast and were duly noted in last Sunday’s NHL Rumor Roundup.


  1. Kravtsov at this point should have more value than a second. Quit being a suck is my advice. As quick as you are sent down you are called back up. Often it is just on paper

    Doesn’t anyone else find it ironic that Kane’s suspension is 21 games and that is his most favourite parlour game

    • If a call from your coach is not what helps convince ya to repair the relationship and play for NY then a trade is best for NY.

      He has the talent to play at the NHL but if ya watch him play…like most young kids….they lack defensive awareness and the “will” to play gritty and fight to get the puck back. They circle the wagons waiting for someone else to retrieve the puck and get it to them for the flashy offensive stuff.

      Package him up with Hajek and see what else Buffalo wants for Eichel.

      Perhaps a 3 team trade where Anaheim sends players or picks to NY; NY sends Kratsov & Hajek to Buff along with Anaheim sending players to Buffalo and Eichel gets sent to Anaheim.

      • Hajek? Maybe Kakko or Lafreniere. Eichel ain’t going anywhere without a high end NHL ready player in return

      • Or maybe something g is wrong with the Rangers organization?

      • DTzak
        Kravtsov wa considered a high end NHL ready player before this issue. Just like Buffalo doesn’t have to trade Eichel, Rangers don’t need to move either Hajek or Kravtsov. Curious what team you think is giving up anyone equal to Kakko and Laf? Ones a 1st overall and the other a 2nd overall.

      • DTzak – based upon what exactly?

    • Silver, why would a GM give a first for a player that isn’t good enough to make the Rangers’ line up now, and who packed up his bags for Russia and won’t come back?

      Any receiving GM would have know if Kravtsov needed to be sent down to the AHL from his new team, the guy would likely board Air Go Home. Why bother take the risk knowing he isn’t NHL ready?

      The Rangers either let Kravtsov stay in Russia or write him off for a low pick.

  2. I thought I heard that there is jail time in California if caught with a fake vaccination card. Is that true or false? If it’s true, then why is Kane not being prosecuted for it?

    • I wondered that too.

    • Do you seriously think they would put someone in jail for the fist time offense of using a fake covid card? It’s extremely hard to end up in prison in the United States. You have to commit an actual serious crime. Often times, repeatedly.

      I’m not excusing his actions in any way. I just honestly don’t believe that anyone who is alive and breathing could possibly think that Evander Kane would end up in JAIL for passing off a fake covid card, geesh.

      • Why do some folks think their opinion is right and anyone who has a different opinion is wrong???

        I think that just shows the character of the person making that type of statement.

      • Randino – do they put people in jail for endangering lives? I believe they do. In that regard some have gone to jail for withholding the fact they have AIDS.

        So, why shouldn’t someone who thumbs his nose at a state decree that is trying to prevent the spread of a deadly virus by faking his supposed vaccination status NOT go to jail?

  3. Rangers might end up with a crappy return on Kravtsov, but I think his ceiling is still higher than Anderson’s. And even though they only got a 2nd for Anderson, team is actually pretty happy with player they got with that pick, Will Cuylle. Had a pretty good camp. If Rangers had made offers for Eichel already, based on reports of Drurys disdain for Kravtsov, I’m sure he’s already offered him up to Buffalo. Who knows what they want.

    • The Rags don’t need to do anything with regards to Kravtsov as the decision sits with him.
      If the issue was simply he was waiver eligible and it allowed time to deal with Hajeck, or waiting for an injury (which happened), then he needs to get on a plane. His call I guess.
      If the issue is his game, then he needs to work to improve and earn a spot. If he wants to get traded, make yourself valuable.

      This is all up to Kravtsov so unless the Rags get what they believe to be equal value (history suggests unlikely), then they wait.

      Not a tough decision. I would bet $20 he comes around eventually.

      • Ray Bark. Agree they won’t cave. This reminds me of Puljujarvi situation.

      • Yep, very much so Slick.
        Anderson was different IMO because the way I understand it, the issue with him was he had slow feet.
        While you can improve that somewhat, it ain’t easy and usually it keeps guys out of the NHL in today’s game. The odd exception to guys like Krecji who have elite vision and skill. Not sure he had that as part of his game.

  4. Re Kane

    if Wilson is intending on burying him and/or telling him to stay at home and collect a pay-cheque… why not at least try to trade (50% retention with some return ; is better than paying 100% for nothing)

    Re Getzlaf… I said last year that if he would agree to waive; the most likely place is LV (4 hours from home— wife and kids all born in the OC). Base Sal and Cap— $3.0M but has PB opportunity of another $1.5M

    Does anybody here know if there is a 50% retention AND he reaches the PB levels; is the annual Cap (proportionately done at TDL) then $2.25M or $1.5 M (at TDL those two would be around $0.75M and $0.5M)

    I don’t see Getzlaf agreeing to a trade to an Eastern team.

    To me…. I’m guessing his preference in waiving would only be to a contender; and close to home; that is why I suggested LV (I don’t see Ducks , Sharks, Krakken in the hunt for the Cup this year).

    Avs maybe?

    • nor Yotes (in the Cup hunt)

      • Assuming Getzlaf wouldn’t go to Buffalo, who out of those other guys would? I keep hearing Buffalo won’t retain salary but would take back salary. What would a trade with Ducks look like? If Buffalo isn’t paying Eichel, why would they want to pay guys that won’t be around next year? Buffalo currently has 23 man roster and I believe only 4.5m above cap floor. Subtract Eichels 10m plus at least another 750k for every roster spot needed, and you’re talking 6-7m you need to take back.

      • Hi Slick

        Getzlaf to Buffalo—- there is no logic at all for him to agree to waive to go there

        Suitors (willing, able, have funds, have requested trade assets, owners willing to accept the risk) for Eichel, as at now, for this year …… very very very few in number

        It would be highly unlikely that a contender is willing to give up roster assets to get zero production return …. until Eichel has his surgery , and returns (if he does)…. and what is his expected production on return

        Other UFAs sent in the deal are actually ideal for Sabres… they only have to pay for them this year; can trade them at TDL ; AND mpore importantly, if they are taking on UFAs— Adam’s will be asking for more in other assets (picks , prospects) in the trade

        I still say the list is small; and Eichel being moved soon, is getting less and less likely

    • Pengy, EDM flight is only 3 hrs and 22 minutes to LA.
      He’s a Sask boy from Regina, I can see him coming close to his roots.
      Plus pending UFA’s Manson and Lindholm, Ducks could collect some quality assets if they fall out of contention and don’t get an extension done.

      • no challenge on the possibility of going to Ed Ray

        That said…. for his family…. pop in the car and be in their seats at the game in LV in 4 1/2 hours vs booking a flight (drive to airport, park, check in, board, de-board, customs [Covid protocols?], taxi to game…. door to door from OC to a game in Ed (if all clicks)— has to be a minimum of 6 hours; and the same back; AND limited to what time the flights leave /arrive. Also is there a direct JohnWayne to Ed flight; or is it a connector through Van?

        So, yes possible, but to me, IF he waives, more likely it is for Knights.

        I’m sure it would be a thrill for him and his Prairie rooted family, for him to go to the Oilers to finish (?) his career

        time will tell

      • Agree Pengy it’s more likely for a team like Vegas, plus they have a greater need at C IMO.
        And ya, his kids are still young so if he goes at the TDL, likely on his own if in western Canada for a few months other than a few weekends.

        Just kind of throwing it out there. Oil likely hunt for a D man come deadline as well.

    • Pengy, the other day when you suggested that Ottawa should look into acquiring Strome from Chicago I pointed out that, as they are structured down the middle now, there’s no room for a C who’s been a healthy scratch for their 3 opening games – all of them losses. Now they’re 0-3-1 after losing to NYI last night and again Strome was a healthy scratch.

      Clearly, the coaching staff have lost all interest in this guy.

      • Agree that they have George

        So price to acquire should be very low

        Add to that … 24; and in 18-19 he went 17-34-51 in 58 GP

        He has the potential, Sens have the space

        More depth is better than no depth

        Sens have 5 “bonus” picks in the upcoming draft

        If they could get him for a 2nd; and he pans out…. uber bonus

        If he doesn’t; he is RFA , so they have his rights, and even if they don’t want to re-sign him— they lose a 2nd in ’22… so a player that MAY make his NHL debut in ’25-26

        So if they can get him for a 2nd…. very little downside; and potentially good upside

        This is a player that I truly believe will benefit from a change of scenery

        Can’t hurt to at least make the call

      • I’ll let Dubas do that, thanks.

  5. Orange County or Strathcona county in January ? Wouldn’t Geztlaf finish his career in Calgary where he played for the Hitman

    A one is never done. D Strome will find a home being selected 3 overall. The ask can’t be a ton

    Klingberg will get $9m like everyone else