NHL Rumor Mill – November 17, 2021

by | Nov 17, 2021 | Rumors | 27 comments

No changes yet for the Canucks, an update on Samuel Girard, and the latest on the Rangers in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Darren Dreger reported Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini met yesterday with general manager Jim Benning to discuss the club’s poor on-ice performance this season. However, there aren’t any changes coming to the Canucks, “at least not yet”, according to Dreger. It’s believed Aquilini will remain patient but the expectation is the results on the ice must change.

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That isn’t going to stop speculation that Benning and head coach Travis Green are on thin ice. After reaching the playoffs in 2019-20, they got a mulligan for missing the postseason last season because of the shortened schedule, the outbreak of COVID-19 that decimated the roster in April and Elias Pettersson’s season-ending injury in March.

After a 3-2-1 start, the Canucks are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games. They’re six points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference and in danger of falling so far behind that they’ll be unable to make up the lost ground over the remainder of the season.

Aquilini’s patience will be tested if the Canucks fail to make significant improvement over the next two or three weeks. Another stretch like the last 10 games could spell the end for Benning and Green.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the Colorado Avalanche isn’t interested in shopping Samuel Girard. The 23-year-old defenseman is in the second season of a seven-year contract with an affordable $5 million annual average value.

LeBrun suspects the Girard trade chatter was a result of the Jack Eichel trade talk over the past few months. He said the Avalanche did inquire about Eichel but he doesn’t believe the talks got very far.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Girard trade speculation originated with The Denver Post’s Mark Chambers, who speculated the blueliner could become expendable with young Bowen Byram stepping up as a top-four rearguard. LeBrun doesn’t rule out the possibility of Girard getting moved if the Avalanche received an offer too good to refuse but said the club isn’t interested in moving him.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks examined what the Rangers could do to address the loss of forward Sammy Blais to a season-ending knee injury. They were already thin up front, especially after winger Vitali Kravtsov’s departure to Russia to await a trade.

Brooks wondered if they could interest the Los Angeles Kings in a swap of Kravtsov’s rights for recently demoted center Gabriel Vilardi. For now, he thinks general manager Chris Drury will look within his system to address the issue before turning to the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most general managers tend to look to within for replacements before seeing what’s available in the trade market. If there was interest in Kravtsov’s rights he would’ve been moved by now. The Kings don’t seem to be in any hurry to dangle Vilardi in the trade market.


  1. Looking forward to the “Fire Benning” and “Fire Travis” chants tonight.

    Its about time.

    • I’m looking forward to a win myself. I hope the chants will be for the players playing a good game.

      • Nice!

    • Green is on thin ice, not sure he deserves the fire Green chant just yet even if the PP and PK are on the coaches and must be better. The Benning chant should have started 3 years ago

    • IMO Green is a good coach. The issue is the way the Canucks are built. That is all on Benning.
      Besides having an actual number one goalie, and a top pairing offensive d-man this Canucks team reminds me of the 2010 to the 2014 Oilers team. Skill in the top 6 forwards, weak bottom 6, weak defence in their own zone, no power forward anywhere in the lineup, and easy to play against.

      • Benning preached a team of “meat and potatoes” but created a soufflé.

      • Green and Benning are 50/50 responsible for that roster. Green has opted to cut good developing prospects for fringe vets for years. Hasnt developed 1 rookie on the pk while pigeon holing vets into roles way above their abilities and will never change.
        Owner likes to meddle but he doesnt stare at the 30 ships anchored in English Bay dreaming of Tyler Myers, OEL, or Loui Eriksson suiting up for his team
        This is Jim Bennings team after 8 bloody years. There have been teams that have torn down and rebuilt 2 times already in that span

        Change starts with Benning

    • Seems about right KevJam.
      Perhaps the ire of angry Nuck fans should be pointed at Aquinili?

      They seemed to be heading in the right direction in a rebuild until Linden left. It was reported that he wanted to stay the course, ownership wanted to expedite the process. They signed some quality players, but at higher prices. Moved up the standings a bit, but never an actual contender as outside of Miller, the other guys were meh or gone now.

      As KevJam says, they don’t have the quality depth. Perhaps a couple more years of acquiring young assets, prospects/picks, drafting and developing those would be paying dividends.
      Right about now?

      Benning wanted to stay, likely needed to financially, and is doing what his boss told him to do. We all get that I suppose. Which he may get fired for doing, but likely has enough $$ now to be OK.

      • This sums it up nicely.

      • There is no way Linden gets a pass in any of this either. His refusal to rebuild until every vet with value retired and hiring one of the most stubborn coaches in team history. Its been reported by local media that Linden was just as responsible for the Eriksson, Gudbranson, Sutter acquisitions as Benning
        Imo Linden/Benning shouldve both been fired at the same time

      • All I am suggesting Tyler is that ownership saw declining ticket sales and no playoff revenue, and wanted to competitive faster than Linden thought was realistic. So he left. That is all that was reported.

        Does Aquinili tell Benning who to sign as UFA’s or trade for, of course not. But hurry up and get competitive.

        Benning gave it a go, hasn’t worked out so far. I would suggest that approach hardly ever works, whoever is your GM. Rebuilds take longer than most fans are willing to wait, unless a guy like Crosby or McDavid falls in your lap.

  2. Drury and Blake are old teammates. I am sure a fair deal could be reached if they chose to make one happen.
    Maintain not much player movement until after US thanks giving and prior to Xmas freeze

  3. I wonder if the Rangers may circle back to Tarasenko for some help at forward??

    The Blues could benefit with some help on defense–maybe Lindgren??

    I guess if the Blues can’t beat the Yotes, they need help EVERYWHERE!

    • I’ll keep Lindgren over grabbing Tarasenko. Lindgren has been good defensively with slow foot Trouba as their 2nd best defensive defenseman. Cannot lose someone who plays D back there right now with the team miscues.

      • With Villardi going down to AHL, wouldn’t that put his value pretty much same as Kravtsov. I still havnt seen anything definitive as far as Kravtsov not being able to get out of KHL contract. Neither player is currently a lock for their respective clubs and Rangers really could use center prospects.

    • I don’t think NY will break up that pairing. But hey, Tinordi may be available!

  4. lyle, problems again with the site. I am back to Nov 13 when I use Firefox, although I got here through Safari …

    By the by, am I imagining that George O has maintained radio silence for some time now?

    • George posted yesterday.

      • Heh. still here LJ. As The FlyingV noted I posted yesterday re one of my pet peeves – the continued butt-kissing of China and cramming the schedule to meet the Olympics demand. They should DROP IT. Now!

        Here, I’m still directed to Nov 13 – I use Firefox as well. I guess you get around it the same way – by clicking on News or Rumors at the top when the site opens.

        Right now Ottawa is marking time until a bunch come off the Covid protocol with games to be re-scheduled, so there isn’t much locally on which to focus.

        Losing Pinto – again – to a shoulder injury hasn’t helped their cause. Maybe it’s time to circle back to some of those early rumors – Chicago’s Strome, etc.

      • George when Ottawa plays their next game, they’ll still have played one more game then Boston.

    • George: There you are. I thought like me you might have given up on hockey for this year, given the dumpster fires our teams are with injuries, covid, and ennui. Sucks to be us this season.

      Still, we have taxes to look forward to, so not all is lost! 😉

      • LJ, no, not quite given up just yet. One thing I’ve had crammed home after years and years of following the game, is that you just don’t put too much stock in Oct-Nov results – one way or another.

        In Ottawa’s case, last year after the first 15 they were 2-12-1. Hell, they’ve already shown “improvement” going 4-10-1 this year 🙂

        Joking aside, there’s still time for them, the Habs, Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver and the Coyotes … well, maybe not the Coyotes … to show improvement – not necessarily playoff type improvement but at least a far tougher 2 points than they’ve been to date.

        At the same time, I don’t expect to see the Ducks atop the Pacific at season’s end, or the Jets in the Central, nor will we see the Islanders still holding up the Metropolitan.

        As Caper has noted, even when they resume playing after the current cancellations, they will still have played 1 more than Boston! That’s just nuts and shows that the Bruins are headed for some crammed in stretches … which all team will face at some point.

        Those teams that grabbed 2 points in recent games against the depleted Sens will at least have those 2 points safely in the bank. Those who were to play them this week in the 3 suspended games sometime later this season could find those 2 points not as easy to come by.

        And there will be more teams going through “Covid Alley” the way Ottawa did (Dallas, Chicago, Minnesota – all 3 among the highest infection rates in the U.S.) who could find themselves roster depleted for stretches. Be interesting to see how long the league waits this time before cancelling some of their games.

        If they do so right away, you’re going to hear howls from the Sens front office.

    • Still having the same problem using Chrome – keeps taking me to the Nov 13th posts

  5. Benning needs to go, not sure why they decided to accelerate the rebuild and try to go for it this year. Not enough depth and traded more assets for oel. Garland was a good get but man Canucks are definitely not good enough to do much of anything atm. We traded one cap problem which would have got resolved after this year for an ongoing one with oel. He’s looked better with the Canucks this year, but not with his salary

  6. Does anyone else wonder why Gallagher wasn’t suspended for a game after sucker punching Goodrow – as Larkin was ?

    • Gallagher begged Parros for a 10 game suspension.