NHL Rumor Mill – November 11, 2021

by | Nov 11, 2021 | Rumors | 19 comments

The Canadiens and Senators are reportedly eyeing Rangers winger Vitali Kravtsov plus the latest Kings speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli recently reported league sources claim the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators were the two teams that expressed the most interest in Vitali Kravtsov.

New York Rangers right wing Vitali Kravtsov (NHL Images).

The 21-year-old right wing is in Russia awaiting a trade after refusing to report to the New York Rangers AHL affiliate in Hartford last month. The Rangers loaned him to KHL club Traktor Chelyabinsk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There were conflicting reports out of New York regarding Kravtsov’s decision. Some claimed he’s had a difficult relationship with Rangers general manager Chris Drury stretching back to their tenures in Hartford in 2019-20. Others said the former first-round pick (ninth overall, 2018) felt he’d never get an opportunity to crack the Blueshirts’ top six given their depth on the wings.

Whatever the reason, Kravtsov apparently made up his mind he doesn’t want to play for the Rangers but recent reports suggest he hasn’t ruled out returning to the Blueshirts. Loaning him to Chelyabinsk gives him the opportunity to remain in game shape. It also enables teams interested in the youngster to evaluate his performance.

No surprise the Canadiens and Senators are interested. Both teams are struggling and could use some scoring depth. The Habs have the league’s second-lowest goals-per-game average (2.00) while the Senators (2.50) are 28th overall.

THE ATHLETIC: In her latest mailbag segment, Los Angeles Kings beat writer Lisa Dillman if there’s a player the club could target to acquire before placing Drew Doughty on long-term injury reserve. She believes the Kings aren’t targeting players for trades right now because Doughty is expected to return around Christmas. November tends to be a quiet time in the NHL trade market as teams still sort out what they have.

With the Kings in the thick of the playoff race and sidelined players like Doughty and Viktor Arvidsson due back soon, she doesn’t expect they’ll be involved in much trade activity right now.

Asked where Gabe Vilardi fits into the Kings lineup, Dillman said she isn’t sure given the Kings depth at center. She suggested he might benefit from playing with a team that lacks depth at that position.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings GM Rob Blake wants to see improvement out of his roster this season. They had a wobbly start but have won six straight and are jockeying with San Jose and Nashville for a wild-card berth.

Blake could become a buyer in the new year if the Kings remain a playoff contender by the February Olympic break. If so, maybe he uses draft picks and/or prospects to bring in a rental player or two. He could also use Vilardi as trade bait to add a more established player. The 22-year-old center is in the final season of his entry-level deal and could interest a club seeking depth at center or a team looking to rebuild.


  1. Vilardi has back issues, caveat emptor …

  2. Kravtsov for Zucker, straight up!

    • The only thing I am certain about is that the Rangers won’t trade Kravtsov in the division.

    • The Rangers would want a prospect or young NHLer for Kravtsov, not a guy about to turn 30.
      From a Habs perspective, he’d be a great young player to pick up. He has the potential to be a top scorer, but obviously not yet. The Rangers are reportedly seeking a top prospect. The question is, who do the Habs give in return. Caufield and Guhle are in the “not a chance” category but some of their other prospects might fit the bill.

      • No offense, I am sure that is what the Rangers want. But they set the market at the draft for disgruntled first round picks refusing to play for them, and it was a second round pick. Drury can stick to his guns and probably get nothing, or trade him as far away as possible for something. I don’t see why any team would trade one of their better prospect for the Ranger’s problem (who might in turn become your problem).

      • Howard: the Habs issues are not on the wing. They need a center with some offensive flair, as Evans, Paquette and Perreault have next to none and Poehling has not demonstrated he is an NHLer. That, plus injury and sickness, have hampered scoring from Hoffman, Gallagher, Toffoli and Anderson. Wing is the one area of strength.

        Remember in addition to Caulfield eventually being called up Byron will return in a while.

        Why then take a chance on a guy who couldn’t crack the Rangers’ roster and has 2 goals in 20 games?

        Would you not rather see them add someone at center, or acquire someone even temporarily tha the Habs could put in to help Allen? Who knows when Price will return, and what he will be like when he does?

      • Well, one trade isn’t setting the market. Ny has the option of doing exactly what they’re doing. Loaning him to the KHL or letting him rot until he comes around.

        They certainly aren’t taking a 30 year old with one year on his deal.

      • LJ,

        If Mcdavid was stuck on the Rangers 4th line last year, he’d probably not look to good either.

        His stats definitely don’t tell the story. Watching him closely last year, I honestly liked what I saw from him than Kakko, and in some aspects more than Laffrienere.

      • That may be so, Captain. But it doesn’t change the fact that the one strength the Habs have this year is on the wings. Pick any other position and the Habs need help there.

  3. I think this is a little outdated.

    Here’s Kravstov’s latest take.

    “I want to thank the Rangers for working with me, and appreciate the open and honest conversations we have had during this process,” he said. “While this has been a challenging time for me personally, I believe having the opportunity to return to Traktor and work on my game is the best thing for me right now. My main focus is getting better every day to continue towards my goal of playing hockey for the New York Rangers.”

    I think a lot of what’s been reported was a bit overblown about his relationship with Drury.

    NY needs to play this right. I seriously doubt NY wants the same outcome as they got with Lias Andersson. 2-top 10 first rounders they lose for a 2nd or worse? No thanks!!!

    • Work on his defensive two way game, agressiveness/forchecking and physical play(battling for the puck.

      That is how he gets in the top 9 for NYR.

      Laffy tooks some plays off from battling for the puck and being aggressive on the forecheck and found himself on the 4th line.

      Gallant & Drury know the style they want to play. Kratsov has the talent just needs to add the other element to his game and he will be just fine.

  4. Krav has shown more than Lias Andersson did as a Ranger so I would expect either a similar prospect or a lesser prospect+ a 2nd?

    Not pleased with handing of Laf as a Rangers fan. Kid looks great for a few games, has chemistry issues with Chytil(does anyone have chemistry with Chytil?) and LAf gets less ice than a 4th line plugger.

  5. You just aren’t going to get more than a 2nd rounder for a guy who hasn’t cracked the lineup and chooses the KHL over the AHL.

    I’d take a flyer on Kravtsov , a young forward with potential is always good to have either on the roster or for trade.
    Wonder what Romanov has to say about him.

    • NYR would be foolish to trade him for a 2nd. IMO the odds of this guy being a good player are still better than a 2nd rounder.
      Rags are doing the right thing and judging by Captains post he is saying the right things.
      Tall, skates, skill and his scouting report says he can play all 3 forward positions. Not sure if that is true still, but they could use a young talented C couldn’t they?
      Moving Draisaitl back to C a couple years ago improved his 200′ game, might do them same for this kid. And who knows may thrive.

      Still looks like a kid, he can hit the gym too.

    • Maybe, maybe not.
      CO failed to post the next line,
      “The Rangers reportedly gave Kravtsov permission to seek a trade on Oct. 12 after the club left him off its roster to begin the season. The forward, who’ll turn 22 next month, was apparently unhappy that he didn’t make the team.”

      You may think trading him for a 2nd is foolish yet clearly he didn’t find a suitable trade partner and he Flew in from Miami Beach B.O.A.C. to play hockey.

      NYR traded Lias Andersson, #7 overall for a 2nd round pick
      Kravtsov, #9 overall is at the same stage

      • Sure HF30, it is maybe.
        It always is, but the probability of a 2nd rounder being a top 6 guy is slim and I would suggest a guy with his physical skills has a better chance, that’s all.
        A recent example of this working is Puljujarvi, many on here said the exact same things about him on this site.

        I just can’t see the Rgs trading him for a 2nd RD pick, so they haven’t. Not yet anyway.

        Andersson was a bad pick, Holland was asked why he didn’t pursue him, his answer was he had slow feet. Taking a slow guy with a top 10 pick doesn’t happen much these days for a reason. This guy has the skill set to succeed, from what I have read, so see if his head catches up and he puts the work in.

      • “ CO failed to post the next line,”

        Actually I didn’t forget to paste the next line. The Rangers gave him permission to seek a trade on October 12th. And loaned him to the KHL November 3rd.

        Why are we talking about Kravstov moving? Because of what he stated Back in October. It seems he may be changing his tune a bit, so I posted the most recent quote.

        Not a chance NY was trading him at this point (for a bad return) and everyone involved knew that.

        This is the best thing for all involved.

  6. Captain I think that the bigger question is why are these top draft choices leaving the Rangers?

    Are they that good that no rookies can crack the line up?
    Or is Chris Drury a problem?
    Having a top choice bail once is something you say “Okay. maybe the kids was wrong”.

    When it happens again, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at the root cause.

    Has their been a more hyped player than LAF?

    He looks like he is.

    A mid level player.

    Being in NY, I get to watch all the Ranger games.

    Maybe I am wrong (and I often am), but I do not see “greatness” in LAF.
    Sorry, I just don’t.

    I don’t see him as anything special and just an ordinary, serviceable top 9 player.

    If Lou L manages to squeeze Sam Girard from the
    ‘Lanche then he sews up his 3 rd GM of the Year in a row.

    I am hoping against hope, that these reports are true. Although how many time have LL trades sneaked out?

    Putting Girard on this team gives them the Cup.

    • What’s getting lost with Kravstov is , he was known to be a problematic type personality when he was drafted. That’s why a lot of people were kinda taken back by the pick.

      Lias is just an awful, slow player. His ceiling was a hopeful 2 way 2b type center. He wasn’t supposed to be good.

      Laffrienere has not impressed me, however most 1st year draft picks (even most #1-2 overall) don’t impress most people. If your expectation of every 1st overall, 2nd overall is Mcdavid / Eichel, you’re going to be greatly disappointed.

      Hischier Didn’t set the world on fire, and still isn’t.

      Lose for Hughs? Is he lighting up the scoreboard?

      Nolan Patrick, I’ll leave that alone.


      Dahlin hasn’t exactly looked amazing as advertised.

      I could go on forever. It takes time and patience to develop most 18 year old kids. Giving up Laffrienere for Girardi is a total mistake. Ny has a logjam on d-men with a few more coming.

      Like every other Ranger, he’s been rushed along and hasn’t had any real meaningful time or line-mates until now. Not a chance I’d give up on him