Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 10, 2021

by | Oct 10, 2021 | Rumors | 42 comments

An early look at this season’s pending unrestricted free agents, Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello is working the phones and the Canucks are shopping Olli Juolevi. Check it out in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently looked at which of this season’s high-profile unrestricted free agents could sign contract extensions within the next month or two. He wouldn’t be surprised Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg is signed by midseason though there’s work to be done. The Boston Bruins signing Patrice Bergeron is a no-brainer if the 36-year-old center wants to return for another season.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

There haven’t been any real contract discussions between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Evgeni Malkin as he focuses on recovering from offseason knee surgery. LeBrun expects those talks could begin later in the season. He also believes the Penguins want to avoid lengthy deals they could regret for Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang. The latter could be willing to see how the season plays out.

LeBrun believes the San Jose Sharks haven’t given up hope of signing Tomas Hertl but thinks the 27-year-old center is unlikely to do so. He could become a big name potentially available at the March 21 trade deadline.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had preliminary talks with Morgan Rielly and lines of communication remain open. This could be decided in June depending on the Leafs freeing up sufficient cap space to sign him or Rielly going to market because they can’t afford him. LeBrun expects he’ll be in the $8 million per season club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with LeBrun’s take on all but Klingberg. He’s in the final season of a seven-year deal worth an annual average value of $4.25 million and could seek something comparable to Dougie Hamilton’s $9 million AAV with the New Jersey Devils.

As The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks observed, the Stars already have $8.45 million annually invested in Miro Heiskanen, $5.8 million annually in Esa Lindell and $3.65 million in Ryan Suter. Assuming Klingberg accepts something in the $8 million range, the Stars will have one of the NHL’s most expensive bluelines.

Unless the Stars shed salary or decide not to re-sign other pending UFAs like Joe Pavelski and Alexander Radulov, they could be unwilling to ink Klingberg to an expensive long-term extension.

THE ATHLETIC’s Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said general manager Lou Lamoriello isn’t quite finished assembling the roster. He may be looking to trade some of their extra players. NEWSDAY’s Andrew Gross reports Trotz said the Isles GM is still working the phones.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those “extra guys” likely include defenseman Thomas Hickey and winger Richard Panik as they were placed on waivers yesterday. If they clear, Lamoriello could attempt to peddle them elsewhere.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston confirms a report in The Athletic that the Vancouver Canucks are shopping defenseman Olli Juolevi. The former 2016 first-round pick has tumbled down the Canucks blueline depth chart.

If they can’t find a trade and they decide to send Juolevi to their AHL affiliate, he’ll have to be placed on waivers today. Given his pedigree, Johnston anticipated he’d be claimed by another club.


  1. Malkin has earned over $122 million.
    Bergeron has earned over $95 million.
    How much are both players worth on new contracts?
    What are they’re values in a trade?
    Not that Bergeron would ever be dealt……..unless he requests a trade, of course.

    • low value for Malkin, he gets hurt lacing up his skates … has become a turnover machine, plays recklessly and can be goaded into taking dumb penalties …

      • I suppose so, but he can still score at a point per game pace. That’s worth something.

      • He got hurt lacing up his skates? Wow! I never heard or read about it. When did this happen?

      • Hey TheFlyingV

        The article you looking for where Malkin got hurt lacing up his skates is in the magazine Sarcasmtoday. It is a detailed accounting of the event written out by the best dead-panners (did I spell that right? Can’t get the red line to go away) of our time.

      • Thanks, Jeff Noel. Found the article.

        It says he was wearing the latest “Ed Van” skates and cut himself on the razor sharp wit laces. Reckless indeed…

      • Ha

    • Bergeron not going anywhere. Malkin still puts up points… when he plays. I don’t see Pitt extending him right now. Metro is up for grabs this year. Pens could win division or not make playoffs. They’re better off seeing how season goes and how many games. Sooner or later they need to move on. Malkin could be a nice trade chip at deadline,if healthy.

  2. No mention of Zibanejad here. Brooks reports there’s absolutely no leaks on negotiations. Drury keeping everything under wraps.

    • @Slick
      Is Zib going to score 40-50 or miss half the season with injuries? Scoring 41 in 57 before covid was leading him to get 9-10million easy…

      What would you be offering him if you were the GM?

      • ds. I don’t get your question. Are you implying Zib is injury prone? He hasn’t missed significant time since 2016/17.

      • Neither has LEtang but it don’t stop people from whining.

    • 8 years 8.5. I wish it was 6 @ 8 but, probably kills the Eichel talk.

      • Probably??

        Never going to be in Vegas now.

      • Good deal. I think only reason he got eight years was to keep the AAV down. Probably structured so last couple years could possibly be bought out.

      • TheMan_oss,

        Yes probably. Hypothetically, NY could still afford Eichel this year without moving much more than an elc out.

        They currently have 9 million in cap space. So I’m positive we haven’t heard the last of Eichel to NY. Even though it would be crippling to NYs cap situation going forward with players like Fox, Kakko, Kravstov etc needing new deals.

      • I’ve said before. NYR would get Zib at 8 years between 8-9.m. Fox living the dream in NY. My guess. Eichel to NY. At least 10% retained. Fox does 2 year bridge takes him to year Trouba contract goes to 15 team ntc.

      • Fox the Norris winner is going to take a two year prove it deal?

      • Chrisms. Fox wants to be a Ranger for life
        He’ll get paid. Will work around cap

  3. If players clear waivers, why would any team pass them over and then trade for them?

    • @LJ cap savings. It’s been to the point where the trading team has taken back a smaller bad contract or retained salary just to clear some space. Other teams may want that player but just not at that cap hit. Also if they clear waivers they go to the AHL so they can be traded in the AHL and not clear waivers.

      • WTH: Maybe I am having a slow morning, but if they clear waivers aren’t the almost always assigned to the AHL and thus off cap?

        Dunno, maybe it’s me … I will take my dog for a walk and see if it seems clearer.

      • @lj depending on there contract there’s only a maximum amount of cap relief when a player on a 1 way contract gets sent to the AHL.

      • What kind of dog do you have?
        Any word on Pengys dog?

      • Also teams might want to send a contract back to avoid hitting max amount of contracts

      • One other thing I thought of. If you pick a player up on waivers it moves you to the back of the line. If a last place team think the player won’t get selected maybe they trade instead so they stay at the top of the list.

    • LJ, another consideration may that a team would like/have to move a contract while taking on another. Teams are allowed 50 contracts. A GM may want to maintain some wiggle room for other moves or the trade deadline.

    • Good question LJ….one I keep asking myself. Let’s see….a GM can claim player X from waivers for nothing, but doesn’t, and yet some clown suggests that that same GM will give up assets to acquire that player ?????? Friedman suggested that about Tyler Johnson last year…..really Elliot ?

      • Not sure they are clowns when that exact scenario has happened on multiple occasions in the past

    • LJ, maybe a team is at their 50 contract limit so they need to clear a contract before addi g another making a trade the only way to go.

      • Hey guys: Iago, thanks for articulating what I could not. CK, Mike, WTH, thanks for pointing out something I hadn’t thought of. Still, if the # of contracts were at the bottom of this, a trade would have to be made after circumstances changed … but yes, the penny has dropped. Finally.

        SOP: My hound is a flat coated retriever. Great breed — if you have a sense of humour.

  4. We are always talking about trades involving stars.

    How about a proposal for players that are just not working out for their teams for whatever reason?

    I’m thinking Olli Juolevi for Kieffer Bellows or something like that.

    Any thoughts or any fans have a similar player they wouldn’t mind from their team going to Vancouver for Olli?

  5. Just wondering when the Habs pick up John Moore off the Bruins’ waiver wire…

    • Both Moore and Wagner cleared. One could only hope for both to be picked up.

  6. Many people last year kept poking fun (wrongly) at players teams wouldn’t even take for free.

    This off season we saw players not only given away for free but with added draft picks.

    GMs have lost a big tool (money) and are using a different one, cap space, some adjusting better than others.

  7. Malkin will waive his NMC so that he can be traded to the Lightning and be near his family in Florida. The Lightning will put him on injured reserve until the playoffs begin. The internet will be replete with pictures of Malkin, Kucherov, and Putin, all standing bare-chested and drinking Stolichnaya from the Stanley Cup.

    Chrisms posted a link to hilarious picture of Malkin with Putin last year, I hope he sees this and posts it again so that everone can laugh again.

  8. The 50 contract limit has a little to do with the waiver issue, but very little.

    The reason to trade instead of claim is a matter of cap space, plain and simple.

    Thomas Hickey has a $2.5 million cap hit, an amount that 2/3 of the teams couldn’t afford and stay under the cap.
    Letting him clear waivers and trading for him allows for a cap swap, making him affordable.

    This has been going on since last year.

    • There you go speaking like all that you think and say matters.

      Put it this way bud, your wrong, plain and simple. The 50 contract limit plays a role in waiver wires whether you like it or not.

      If a team has 50 contracts, then how the hell can they claim another contract on waivers? So if that said team sees a player on waivers that they feel is an upgrade but is at their limit, then they have to shed a player somehow.

      This has happened before, more than you think.

      • There are 28 teams with 47 or less players signed, 2 have 48, one has 49, none have 50.

        There are 20 teams that are at or near enough to the cap limit that have no room to pick up a $2.5 million contract without shedding a like dollar amount.

        Now I did say that the 50 contract limit has a little to do with it, not that it has none.

        I happen to think that managing cap dollars is the major reason to prefer trading contracts to adding cap expense on a waiver claim.