NHL Rumor Mill – November 16, 2021

by | Nov 16, 2021 | Rumors | 44 comments

​Could teams regret not pursuing Vladimir Tarasenko? Should the Canadiens try to acquire Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz believes there are teams that should regret not making a push to acquire Vladimir Tarasenko from the St. Louis Blues after the 29-year-old winger requested a trade this summer.

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

Gretz acknowledged there were some concerns over Tarasenko’s health following three shoulder surgeries in two years. He also had two seasons left on his contract with an annual average value of $7.5 million. However, Tarasenko has regained his high-scoring form with seven goals and 14 points in 14 games with the Blues.

The Seattle Kraken passed on selecting an unprotected Tarasenko in the expansion draft. The winger also submitted a 10-team list of preferred destinations that was believed to include the New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Vegas Golden Knights, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. Gretz points out several of those clubs (Flyers, Bruins, Rangers) could’ve used Tarasenko.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of the general managers of those clubs could be kicking themselves over failing to pursue a Tarasenko trade this summer. Hindsight, as always, is 20/20. The concerns over Tarasenko’s shoulder were realistic while his contract (paying him a whopping $9.5 million in actual salary this season) was difficult for most of those clubs to absorb under a flattened salary cap.

Let’s not overlook the rumored high asking price of Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. He wasn’t going to just give Tarasenko away. A first-round pick, a top prospect and an affordable young forward with top-six potential were reportedly part of the sought-after package. Armstrong was also said to be unwilling to absorb any portion of the winger’s annual cap hit.

Tarasenko could still end up getting traded if the Blues should tumble out of playoff contention later in the season. That appears unlikely at this point. Interested clubs will likely have to wait until next summer to take another crack at pursuing Tarasenko, provided the winger hasn’t changed his mind about getting traded by then.


TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie suggested the Montreal Canadiens could use a defenseman to improve their blueline shortcomings this season. Philippe Boucher agreed, proposing they look at acquiring Samuel Girard from the Colorado Avalanche. Girard recently surfaced in trade rumors following a report in The Denver Post suggesting the Avs could shop the 23-year-old rearguard.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Several factors sparked the Girard speculation. He struggled during the Avalanche’s second-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights last spring. He had a slow start to this season while rookie Bowen Byram emerged as a top-four blueliner.

However, Byram’s recent concussion combined with an improved effort on Girard’s part highlighted the latter’s ongoing value to the Avalanche defense corps. That doesn’t mean he’s untradeable but it shows the Avs probably aren’t in any hurry to move him.

If Avalanche GM Joe Sakic dangles Girard in the trade market he’ll likely seek a top-six forward in return. Given the Canadiens’ offensive woes, there might not be a deal to be had there.


  1. In case you are interested your site is still opening up on November 13 on Microsoft Edge …

    • Thanks, Ed. It appears to be a caching issue at our end. It could take a bit of time to resolve.

      • ok Lyle, good luck getting it resolved, it’s a minor annoyance … a lot like me 🙂

    • It’s likely a cachin issue on your browser, when you open the site hit CTRL+F5 to do a hard reset on the page and should be ok.

    • It is doing the same on Google Crome

      • It’s not a widespread issue, seems to be limited to a handful of readers. I’ve checked on multiple browsers and had no issues except on my Safari browser on my iPad, though it works fine on my phone.

      • Google Chrome here. Haven’t had any issues myself.

  2. Notwithstanding the Habs scoring problems, they do have several solid wingers who can be trade bait. Things obviously haven’t meshed in Montreal this year. But that doesn’t mean those players wouldn’t be productive in Colorado’s system.

    • Howard, you and I see the Habs differently, it seems. I would like to hear your view of the problems and solutions.

      • LJ, I am with Howard on this. Full disclosure: I’m a Habs fan, so likely value my own team’s players.

        However, I 100% believe the Habs’ biggest scoring issues are to their lack of puck moving defencemen. That complete lack of transition game means the forwards don’t get the puck enough and aren’t well-supported when they do. This creates a big lack of opportunities, which means the forwards struggle and scoring is low.

        I agree with Howard that with a better system & better support, many these wingers could do well on another team.

      • Paddy:

        Puck moving D are indeed valuable. Petry is clearly hurt which limits what he brings, so that does hamper break outs. That said the Habs D got them to the finals emphasizing defense first. Neither Weber nor Edmundson are puck moving D, yet their absence is clearly felt.

        I don’t see the need for a new system either, which got them to the finals and which won’t fix one their clear issue right now, which is a plethora of injuries.

        That said, thanks for the exchange.

      • Love it, LJ. Always up for a good debate! The injuries and absences are definitely huge. With Howard’s original post, I do think some of the wingers could succeed in other systems. (Drouin for Girard? Money works, at least)


  3. Re Gretz … “Gretz points out several of those clubs (Flyers, Bruins, Rangers) could’ve used Tarasenko.”

    I can buy into Bruins and Flyers gaining ; but Rangers are doing great…
    700 hockey; 1 point out of first in , arguably, the League’s toughest Div

    Rangers would have had to give up a roster player…. would the increase in production (Vlad over lost roster player) made enough of a difference to warrant the cap hit of $7.5 M this year and next… I’m not convinced

    • Pengy, Rangers traded away their 1st line center to Blues. Buchnevich hot 5.8 m deal and Rangers got what most feel wasn’t a great return. Blais was a pleasant surprise, but now he’s out doe season. Most felt Rangers had plans of playing both Kakko and Kravtsov in top 6, but we all know that didn’t happen. If they had planned on stocking with Strome, getting Tarasenko in that Buchnevich trade might’ve made more sense. I’m sure they would’ve had to add, but a Blais was supposed to be a bottom 6 guy.

      • With Blais out how do you NOT bring back Kratsov.

        When Chytl comes back have him play #1 RW.

        Goodrow #3c and Kratsov take 3RW with LAF 3LW

        Gauthier 4RW with Reaves and Rooney

        Kratsov chance to prove he belongs and well with Blai out 6-8 months…much better option than McKegg or anyone in Hartford.

        Baron is Not ready.

      • I don’t believe bringing back Kravstov is an option. If I’m not mistaken, I believe he isn’t eligible until after his khl season has concluded.

      • @Captain

        I did not know a loan precludes from recall. Thanks for the info.

      • I thought I read somewhere that Kravtsov has an out clause for NHL? Even so, what message would you be sending to the rest of your prospects who are in AHL? Kravtsov team put out statement about working hard to play for NYR, but why couldn’t he do that here?

      • @Slick

        The message you are sending is YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO GET CALLED UP FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON.

        Name one player better in Hartford better than Kratsov?

        None…… and Kratsov does not even backcheck well. He skates better, better hockey sense, offensive skill, better shot, passing but sadly does not have a 200ft game.

        This will be his season make or break. Good way to showcase him for a trade too.

      • I’m not Ranger fan, but wasn’t Zibanejad their best center? He is certainly a better two way player..

      • Wasn’t it Kravtsov’s choice to go back home?
        No big deal IMO. Might just be a maturity thing. Not the first guy to not understand the level of commitment and work involved to play in the NHL.
        He can play, hit the gym, work on his game.
        If he does the right things he will play for the Rangers next year and maybe even after the KHL season this year.

        Might even be making more $ than he would in the AHL.

    • @ihate
      I’ve said for two years that Chytil to me plays like a winger….. would love to see that. but i doubt it at this point

      Rangers should send Kratsov away for a 2nd and a RW with an expiring contract….. why not

      • @DS
        Kratsov 3RW with LAF3LW with Goodrow as 3C is fine with me.

        He can get them to develop their 200ft game and giving him 2 wingers with offensive talent on the 3rd line is ideal.

        Chytil as 1RW now allows him to really grow since he is always putting in effort.

  4. Not sure how valid but there were Gallagher to Pittsburgh rumors floating around. How about Gallagher and Chiarot for Rust,Dumoulin and a no. 2 pick?

    • Hi Sjf928

      the proposed trade is not the issue. Your proposal with a tweak seems fair to me

      The issue is whether Pens SHOULD be trading to keep the prayers of a window still being open

      As at now…. still a long way to go just to get the last WC spot. Season is young; and Gino still out; and yes current record is a product of massive top player shortages leading to discombobulated and constantly changing lines and D pairings which in turn severely hampers chemistry and effective production.

      That said… will a trade of that ilk at this point, actually guarantee they get in; AND if in…. what is the level of expectation for a depth run

      Pens could do a couple of minor moves that don’t hamper whatever current path they are on, and will very likely help that path; without giving up too much in futures and/or losing too much of the current roster…

      — sign Duby, send DeSmith down…. no loss of Roster player; potentially strengthening the goalie situation. If Duby fails (tough at this point to think he can’t improve on DeSmith’s numbers)… Duby can be waived and sent down

      —RD improvement…. Obviously Manson would be a massive improvement… but he would cost too much in trade right now; and that is IF Duck’s would part with him (Ducks recently doing well). Other teams also looking for an RD… bidding war not good for Pens. Talk of Holl for Domingue…. Not a prudent move IMHO… Holl struggling quite a bit this year; AND giving up Domingue (who would be needed if DeSmith continues to falter). A prudent, low cost move, IMHO, is Psyk. He is far better than any 3RD that Pens have used this year AND more importantly is a hybrid player (equally good at RW and RD). Effectively Pens could “dress” 7 Dmen in any game by playing Psyk on 3RW or 4RW…. with any injury to a D in game (and there have been cases of two D men down in a game)… he’d easily slide back into 3RD. Psyk costs just $150 K over league min, and acquisition in trade should be very cheap.

      Marino/Matheson or Pettersson
      Psyk/ Matheson or Pettersson
      *Friedman/ P-O J

      *Tanger or Marino injury ; or if Pens want to try “dressing” 7 D (Psyk starts on wing)… Friedman can go 3RD

    • SJF928: I don’t follow the Pens so have no idea about the players you would include, but I can tell you that Gallagher is all but untouchable in Montreal.

      I don’t like the length of his current contract, and can’t see another GM feeling any better about it. But Gallagher is seen as a “heart and soul” type of player. Therefore his perceived value by the Habs is larger than his actual trade value.

      Chiarot might be available given the Habs cap situation, and whoever can offer him a good contract beyond this year will get an under rated D.

    • Sorry. Rutherford ain’t here no more.

      • Phew Chrisms

        So glad you punctuated with a period between “Sorry” and “Rutherford”….. without that period…. well ….. let’s just say that I don’t know of anybody anywhere who would state it without that period.

      • Sounds to me like a respondent to your post is trying to put words into your mouth, Chrisms. He must not have noticed that, a few days ago, you rejected a poster’s claim that Rutherford had left the Penguins in a mess. That, of course, doesn’t mean that you were unhappy to see Jim go, but the guy who’s trying to convince you that you and nobody else should be unhappy about that is the same person who consistently denied to me that the Pens had officially made 15 consecutive playoff appearances, even after I showed him proof.

        Too bad he writes more about the Pens than you do. There’s a saying about stuff sticking to a wall if you throw enough at it.

      • Francis. My pens. They won two cups when I was nearing double digits in age. The fun of hanging out with my dad and uncles watching that barley staying awake… and being allowed to stay awake was amazing. Fast forward. I got to see the 09 pens win as a young man partying in a bar with my buds. Amazing. A bit later I got kids on the way and I got to again enjoy two cups with my dad and bros. With my little ones.

        I hit the nhl fan lottery.

        Of course I need it to continue in about 5 to ten years all over again. 🤞

        I could be a leaves fan. That’s a fate worse than death.

  5. Habs offensive issues are more due to lack of PMDs than due to issues with the wingers themselves

    (not to say their wingers are perfect, far from it, but a PMD for a winger will improve the offense, not detract from it).

    • Agree on the offensive D man Paddy, it’s why teams have them.
      MTL also lost their shooter from the PP and 2 of their top 3 C’s from last year. Big changes.

      Danault did most of the heaving lifting from the C position last year. The unsung, not on the stat sheet stuff that win you games.
      Now other guys have to try and do it and it can take away from their offence.

      Habs lost their #1 tender, their 2nd best D-man, and arguably their best forward, at least one of their top 3 forwards.

      They did not get replaced with equal quality, so it is understandable why they are struggling.

      At least IMO.

      Best get it going soon, already a steep hill to climb.
      Need Price to come back and get hot for a stretch.

      • With you 100%, Ray. Some huge losses, maybe Danault the most.

        To be honest, the math is already very, very against the Habs making the the playoffs right now, almost to the point of “will they even both going for it, at this point?”

        Very dicey.

        1. Try to win, likely miss playoffs and get a bad draft pick, which goes to Arizona anyway? (and that is if Price plays well) Or;

        2. Throw the season early and get a better draft pick that you get to keep? (but then, would Price stand for that? And he might go on a heater and win you too many games, anyway!)

        As a Habs fan, feels like a bit of a lose-lose at the moment!

      • Forgot about that 1st for next year Paddy. That is an ouch.
        No pressure on Price!
        Just what he needs.

        Give a chance until the new year and evaluate options then I suppose.

  6. LJ: The Gallagher rumor came from Ek, but he also has Malkin going to Washington so it is probably just speculation on his part.

    • Hi Sjf928

      Not sure who Ek is, but Ek suggesting Gino to Caps… wow…. To me, Yotes have more chance at winning a cup next June than of HexBurkie trading (and Gino agreeing to it) Gino to Caps. Gino to Panthers, I can see. Caps…. Mmmmmmmmmmmmnooo

      • Pengy Isn’t Geno a UFA after this season? The idea was for him to play with Ovie.

        Just more Ek clikbait.

      • Hi nevinsrip

        Yep UFA come next summer

        That said; I just can’t see HexBurkie even asking Gino about potentially going to Caps.

        The way Pens are headed now; they could possibly be headed for missing the playoffs as at TDL

        If that us the case…. It’s time then to sell the “UFA Farm” snd get what they can for the rebuild

        Retaining 50% on any (all ?) of their UFAs will certainly give them s much bigger return ; and some of those UFAs could still sign back with the Pens for 22/23 +

        UFAs…..Gino, Tanger; Rusty; Carter; ; E-Rod ; ZAR, Boyle;

        If Pens could/would unload all of them AND retain 50%….

        That should be in the realm of (in picks or equivalent)….

        1st and a 3rd; two 2nds; two 3rds; two 5ths;

        That also weakens the club considerably for the balance of the year; making bottom 5 not out of the question

        Gino; Tanger; Rusty; E-Rod could always sign back come July

        Is this path likely…. No…. But not impossible

  7. Hi Pengy

    Ek is Eklund from Hockeybuzz. He stated that Ovechkin wanted Malkin to help them get one more Cup. With Backstrom and Kuznetsov though, I’m not sure how they would work that out.

  8. they were asking a 1st a good roster player AND and top prospect and yet Seattle did not take him for free?

    Hmmm that makes sense

    people are actually paid to arrive at this nonsense..

    • That was already covered. Seattle would have taken Tarasenko had Tarasenko agreed to waive his NTC so Seattle could flip him.
      Again this would have had nothing to do with selecting him as it is not a NMC, but from a EF report earlier, Tarasenko stated he would not waive his NTC once he was selected.

  9. Should be a good game between the Jets and Oilers tonight.
    Oil owe them one, or 4.

  10. I would appreciate any Isles comments. I dunno about these Islanders this season. These Lou contracts for being nice guys? How about NO GOALS scored for all these millions spent. Lou is missing the boat. Pageau is a huge over pay and bust. We should have been done with the slow Clutterbuck, Martin, Cizikas, Greene a couple seasons ago. Thank god Komarov is gone. Lou gets Parise and Chara? Huge fail. They both were washed up seasons ago. Lets inject older into the lineup. Palmieri a bad signing. Lee and Bailey should be way better than the output we see. Goalies have always been good and the D except Chara and Greene. Mayfield, Pelech and Pulock are not all-star D getting points. That leaves the only decent players left on the team: Barzal, Beauvillier, Nelson, Dobson? I mean Wahlstrom and Bellows? Really? That’s the future? Aho, Johnston? I think this team was awesome last season, but this crews time is done. This is the season of Lou where everything is going to catch up and backfire with these adds and resignings with done players. This is Lou’s pipe dream team. Been a fan of the Islanders since 1979-80. This Lou team construction is going to self destruct. I feel bad for Barzy, Nelson, Beauv, Dobson that they are stuck with this mess. Lou missed the boat.

  11. Hi guys, very late and not likely to be read by anyone, but anyway:

    If Girard is a candidate for Montreal, then I think Colorado could ask for Josh Anderson in return. Cap hits are only $500k apart, and if those are the needs of each team, then it would be a decent fit.. if Montreal feels the loss of Anderson would be too great for the addition of just Girard, then a 4 player deal perhaps, Anderson and Romanov for Girard and Compher?