NHL Rumor Mill – November 18, 2021

by | Nov 18, 2021 | Rumors | 63 comments

A look at some options for the Islanders to replace the sidelined Ryan Pulock, possible goalie targets for the Oilers, and the latest on the Canadiens in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple examined possible options for the New York Islanders to replace sidelined defenseman Ryan Pulock, who’s out four to six weeks with a lower-body injury.

General manager Lou Lamoriello could look to within his system. He could give younger defensemen like Noah Dobson more playing time, turn to a veteran like Thomas Hickey, or call up Robin Salo.

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (NHL Images).

If Lamoriello decides to go the trade route, Staple suggested inquiring into the availability of Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun or Dallas Stars blueliner John Klingberg. Less expensive options could include the Seattle Kraken’s Mark Giordano or Vince Dunn, the Montreal Canadiens’ Ben Chiarot or the St. Louis Blues’ Marco Scandella.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t rule out Lamoriello pursuing a deal for a defenseman but I think he’ll look to within for the time being. Staple was merely suggesting possible trade options. There’s no indication any of those defensemen he mentioned are available.

The Coyotes aren’t moving Chychrun unless he requests a trade. They see him as a key piece in their rebuilding process. The Stars are talking contract with Klingberg and I don’t think they’ve reached the point where they’re considering a trade. I doubt the Kraken are planning to move Giordano or Dunn right now. The same goes for the Canadiens with Chiarot and the Blues with Scandella.

Anything’s possible, of course, and if Lamoriello’s willing to overpay maybe he could acquire one of those defensemen. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for one of them to be suiting up with the Isles over the next six weeks.

THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell recently observed Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland doesn’t have a history of swinging trades this early in the season. He usually waits until the trade deadline if his club is in contention and his roster has a need to be filled.

Goaltender Mike Smith’s recent injury has given some cause for concern. Mitchell suggested the Detroit Red Wings’ Thomas Greiss, New Jersey Devils’ Jonathan Bernier, Chicago Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury and the Dallas Stars’ Anton Khudobin or Braden Holtby if the Oilers should need help between the pipes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks have already started linking Fleury to the Oilers but I’d keep an eye on the Dallas Stars. Ben Bishop has been practicing with the club for several weeks but they’re taking it slow to ensure he’s 100 percent recovered from last year’s knee surgery. They also can’t activate him off long-term injury reserve without clearing some cap space.

NHL.com’s Mike Heika speculated they could move Khudobin or Holtby though doing so could put the Stars in a bind if Bishop got hurt again. They do have promising Jake Oettinger that they could call up but they could prefer letting him spend this season with the farm team before bringing him up full time.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Montreal Canadiens would consider adding a puck-moving defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a move that might not happen until the offseason. The Canadiens are sinking like a sunset in the standings and there’s not much available in the trade market to help them right now.


  1. I really can’t see Yotes letting Chychrun depart…. GMLL would seriously have to overpay

    I think Klinger stays in Dallas

    I can see the Flower on Oil; but even at 50% retained; they (Oil) need space; unless it is Koskinen going to BlackHawks. TDL more likely a move on the Flower

  2. The Canadiens shouldn’t just consider adding a puck moving defenseman. They desperately need one. But I agree with Lyle that it likely won’t happen in season. There are a few prospects within the organization who could fit the bill – remains to be seen if they’ll develop into NHLers.

    • Holland cannot believe his current tandem is rugged enough for a run at this point. There is no reason he cannot dangle the 2022 1st when it should not be in the top 20.

    • We’ll start finding out tonight, Howard, as Mathias Norlinder Will make his NHL debut. Other options in the future are Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris (if he decides to sign for Montreal at the end of this season) and his teammate Struble ; however whilst potential good, all around Dmen, none of them, IMHO, has true, number one, PMD potential.
      This rumour about Colorado makes sense….

    • I don’t see Sid leaving Pittsburgh, as (1) Mario will be staying as a minority owner with say in running the team and (2) Henry will be bringing his big wallet to the team, ensuring the team will continue to spend to the cap

      • Hi Mike

        I’m with you about 90% on #1…. Mario WILL have an influence (but minor only) and it’s possible Sid may see a rebuild and want to spend twilight of career on a team that gives him a chance at another cup. IF (big IF) Sid asks to be traded…. They’ll do their absolute best to accommodate

        #2…. No doubt re wallet and spending; but only way to spend and keep competitive is to trade (space) and give away futures…. I don’t think that will be the case here…. My gut is a hybrid short rebuild (some gutting of top end Cap hits; 2 years or so); followed by some wallet spending to make team competitive again say 24/25…. Henry opens up his wallet for AM on 1/7/24 maybe? I’m good with that… goes from one of my fav teams to another

      • And in the mean time Mario has a room in his mansion already set up with wrights name on it!

      • Heh. The reason lightning never strikes twice in the same place is that the same place isn’t there the second time.

        But dreams are nice.

        Karma says the Coyotes strike it rich with Wright … which will be an additional lure for Matthews when the time comes 🙂

      • Hi Chrisms

        Wright, then Bedard ….😁

    • Pens wouldn’t hold salary for several more years.

      • Sid obviously isn’t going anywhere unless he wants to. Full NMC. As far as Pitt retaining salary, the actual dollars owed is whatever’s left to pay this year if he’s traded plus 3 more years at 3mil per. His contract was heavily front loaded. The cap hit would be the issue.

      • Sid to Boston to play with his buddy Patrice.

      • Since bergs is ufa seems like the opposite would happen first

      • Hi Chrisms

        I agree with Slick

        The deep pockets coming in have no worry re $’s…. the only concern is Cap. If they trade Sid…. No ifs ands or buts…. They are rebuilding and Cap won’t be an issue for at least 2 years

        IF, and big IF, they trade Sid, that’s a rebuild…. Hold 50% (investment in future)…. That’s only $4.5 M cash in out-years

        Note…. Carolina paid $3.8 M to get a first rounder (Marleau deal) that they thought was going to be early/mid 20’s ; but ended up being 15th (Leafs lost the play-in round) … Seth Jarvis

        That was $3M up front (SB) plus two years each nigh $400 K per

        Sid at 50% …. $1.5; $1.5 ; $1.5 over 3 years

        Sid (even at his 35; 36; 37 year old seasons) at only $4.35 M Cap….. has to be worth 2 firsts

        Here is a set of deals that of course will NOT happen; but just to give a ships’n’giggles stab at it (again , Sid would have to agree, that’s why I chose Avs [his bud Mac K])…..

        Sid ; Tanger ; and E-Rod all at 50% retained ; plus 3rd and 4th (‘24) to Avs (lose $8.3 M annual Cap this year, gain $4.35 M for 3 years after)

        To Pens

        E. Johnson (17% retained); Compher; Sherwood; *Bowers; **Barron ; 1st ‘23; 1st ‘24; (lose $9.25 M annual this year; $4.5 M next year

        This year net Cap is negligible

        22/23… Avs drop $5 M in Cap for E Johnson and $3.5 M in Cap for Compher…. ($8.5 M); Sid comes in at $4.35 M Cap…. that’s $4.15 M to cover 3RD and depth winger

        22/23 Pens…. Reduced by $4.35 M in Cap (Sid) ; but 3 roster spots in at $9.25 M

        Pens gain 4 firsts (*1st in ‘17; ** 1st in ‘20)

        Geno (50% retained) to Panthers for Horny (15% retained) and 1st (‘23)

        Pens effectively get 5 firsts and Sherwood towards the rebuild; as of end of 23/24…. Just sids $4.35 M cap, $1.5 M cash left from existing hits above

        Rusty, Carter, ZAR, all at 50% retained …. Should get a 2nd; 3rd; 4th (note lost a 3rd and 4th to Avs) or equivalent (in value) prospects

        Net above ….. equivalent of (value of picks or prospects) 5 1sts; a 2nd; and Sherwood…. ; and tons of space staring in 23/24 (for UFAs) ….For the rebuild

        Again, not happening…. waaaaaay to complicated….. waaaaay too many pieces….. waaaay too manny assumptionsThis was just to show a guess at relative values of unloading the top end now

        A realistic deal is Sid (50% retained) for Compher (Avs) and 2 firsts; Gino (50% retained) for Horney (Panthers) and a 1st

      • Ray

        Re Sid to Bruins…. I’ll take a Yul Yuk stab ….

        Sid (50% retained) and Rusty

        For Coyle (17% retained… for identical Cap hit to Sid coming in at 50%) ; Foligno; and 2 firsts (‘22 lotto protected)

      • Bergy to the Burgh sounds like an astrological forecast come true (forgive me, Ray and SOP). And with the cap space Pens would gain if Malkin and Letang depart. they could sign native-son Trocheck and keep Crosby. With the cap space they would gain by trading Crosby without salary retention, they would have enough cap space to add a bevy of free agents over the next few years. Perhaps, they would rise to the top as quickly as the Golden Knights, since they would be starting off a lot like an expansion team.

        On the down side, is there a chance the new owners might try to move the team from Pittsburgh?

    • Pengy..buckle up new ownership which means Letang and Malkin are not guaranteed to return. Mario doesn’t have the final say so anymore.

      John Henry the new owner doesn’t like to sign aging players reports say….whether it is soccer, baseball, or now hockey… mmmhhhhh

      Sis isn’t going anywhere and if Malkin /Letang or both leave, are traded, or not resigned that is a lot of money..

  3. When is Sweeney gonna get off his sorry Keester and trade for a GOOD 2nd line centre?!?! If Sweeney’s still employed next year which I doubt he will be. Look for the same old tired line “we’re actively looking” ( meaning; we’ve done absolutely nothing) Here’s probably of the most overused lines of all time. Sweeney’s been working phones ( Meaning Sweeney’s having a pint at his summer estate in the Bahamas.

    • Let see how Sweeney makes a trade for a second line center that moves the needle.
      That would cost. One or more of Pasta Carlo. A 1st Plus what ctr is he getting with 2 mil in cap space. Which will drop to 1 mil when he resigns. Rask after Xmas They are what they are until they blow it up

      • No it would not cost Pasta nor Carlo, a little creativity on Sweeney’s part for once in his life and draft choices. it’s his problem he’ll have to solve it. If he doesn’t Bruins don’t look like they’d throw much of a scare into any team come post season, I’m not even sure right now they’ll even make the playoffs not when your bottom two lines contains ahlers and not very good ones Kuhlman, Blidh Frederick etc. Not too mention the worst goalie I’ve seen since Jon Casey. Ullminus.

      • No specifics Rick? Weird, thought you would have.
        I assume you won’t elaborate on what a little creativity might include? Finding a 12 yr old GM to deal with?

        Agree MrBruin4, if you want a top 6 C with some term it will cost a lot.
        Recent example – Dubois, who in 2019 had 49 pts in 70 games, and played a good 2 way game. Was also fighting with his coach, sitting at home and demanding a trade.

        He cost Laine. I think he was worth it too.

        Pasta can get you one IMO, would need to add to Carlo.

        Not saying I would today as it depends on the player in return, but gonna be costly.

    • Rick, you’re boring.

  4. You are right Lyle… and it’s just as beautiful to watch as a sunset. 😝

    • Trolling, Chrisms? You’re a Penguins fan, aren’t you? How are they doing this year, and how does their future look?

      Comment karma, Chrisms.

      • I’d have labeled it friendly ribbing… hence the emoji. But if your the overly sensitive type I sincerely apologize.

      • Thanks for the apology, Chrisms, but no, I am not overly sensitive. I hope. My comment was not intended to be a harsh rebuttal.

        I do confess to being beat up and deflated by the Habs’ peformance, though …. (insert sad emoji here).

    • Actually Chrism I like whats been happening in Montreal. Middle of the pack team who only made the playoffs the last 2 years because of Covid. They think they’re better than what they are so Bergevin and there fans will continue to forgo the obvious rebuild they’ve needed for the last 5 plus years. I don’t want them to finish near the bottom because that’s a better draft pick. Not that Bergevin won’t ruin that yet again with his philosophy of drafting by position instead of the best player available. I loved the fact the Habs had a fluke run to the finals. It continued there thinking that they were actually a good team. With no top end prospects except for maybe Caulfield who’s going to be 22 soon (Yikes) they’re looking at a minimum 5 year rebuild and that’s if Montreal fixes there scouting department and starts drafting properly. I have friends who are Habs fans and when I asked them who the Habs were going to beat to make the playoffs all they could say is they made it to the finals so they’ll make the playoffs. The injuries and lost players they have wouldn’t even move the needle in terms of them making the playoffs. They wouldn’t have made them last year in a normal season and they were all healthy with Anderson and Toffoli on pace to having career years. They weren’t bearing Florida, Tampa, Toronto or Boston in there division let alone other potential wildcard teams. But like I told my friends I hope Bergevin keeps thinking like you guys. Teams like Detroit, Ottawa and even Buffalo have a substantial head start on there rebuilds and other than maybe Boston every other team in that division should be in contention for many years still so good luck Montreal.

      • What the Heck:

        The Habs are a dumpster fire this year for sure.

        But no team could survive the loss of two of their top 4 D and now their two starting goalies. It is impossible to say where they would be in the standings had the missing players been healthy in the line up so far, because the only proof would be their record if they had been playing.

        I agree that their record as a whole going back several years has been sub par. But your comment that they only made the playoffs the last couple of years due to covid doesn’t make sense: they won enough games to qualify under the same conditions every other team faced.

        As for last year’s playoff run, be fair. True, no one predicted the team going to the finals. But they earned their way there. Every team they beat was the favourite in the series. Would you say Tampa got lucky by winning the Cup because they played the Habs in the final? Playoff success is unrefutable proof of a good team.

        If you want to make informed comments about playoff success then consider that only 8 teams have won the President’s trophy and the Stanley Cup?


        Are Detroit, Buffalo and Ottawa ahead of the Habs in their rebuild? By what measure? Surely it is not the standings, given that we are less than a quarter of the way through the season and no team has qualified for the playoffs. Are you willing to declare now that any of those three will make the playoffs?

        I also note you say that “the (Habs) fans will forego the obvious rebuild …” Fans control rebuilds?

        I just told Chrisms I am not sensitive about criticism about the Habs. Good criticism leads to improvement. Yours isn’t.

        Let me help: Healthy or not, the Habs need better production from their centers. While Kotkaniemi isn’t doing anything in Carolina, Dvorak’s lack of offense freights their top 6. They haven’t a bottom 6 center that brings any offense. This lacking down the middle negates their strength on the wings.

      • For both you and lj. I can’t with a straight face throw shade as a pens fan. Just saw Lyle set it up and couldn’t resist knocking it down. Tone is tough to convey on a message board and my sarcasm has had me misunderstood in the past. Also vise versa.

      • @ LJ The Habs were out of the playoffs and not making it 2 years ago that’s a for sure thing. Last year if no Covid then they would of had to finish ahead of one of Toronto, Tampa, Boston and Florida. Means they at best finish 5th in there division so the hope lays on them getting the second wildcard spot. Rangers has a better record in a better division so last year if you rea line to none civid divisions using the records they had Habs do not make the playoffs period. They had 1 win more than Ottawa and 2 wins less than Calgary. They were not a good team. By Detroit, Buffalo and Ottawa being further ahead means that bot only do they have way more young higher end players and prospects they have cap space. Those teams started there rebuilds a few years ago so that’s why they are further ahead than the Habs. They really aren’t very good. None of the players they lost would help them score more goals which has been there biggest issue. Price in the regular season has been just average at best. Weber’s best days were already behind him. Danault is by far the most overrated player in the league and most certainly would bot have provided the Habs with the offense they are in desperate need of. K.K. well look at his numbers on a way better Carolina team. He’s played 150 plus NHL games what you see is what you get. None of those guys moves the needle for the Habs. I’m glad you think that’s the issue though and I really hope Bergevin feels that way so you guys can delay the much needed rebuild another year. I hope the Habs start winning as well, the more they win the worse the draft pick. Delays the rebuild even more.

      • WTH: You are devoted to your opinion, that’s fine.

        In future can you please use proper sentence structure, paragraphs, grammar and spelling in your posts? They are a disincentive to read.

      • Show some class LJ. Stick to hockey. I’m typing on my phone with fat fingers so deal with it. What I said in my post is the truth, opinion has nothing to do with it.

      • What the Heck: Show some class yourself and have some respect for the end recipients of your long posts. It’s not my fault they are rambling and difficult to read. Basic literacy isn’t too much to ask.

    • Is there a class for old guys on proper imoji use?
      Also, without my readers I can’t tell which one is which.

      Have to say I enjoy it too chrisms.

      • No need to spend hard-earned money on expensive tuition, Ray. Just learn from #19 in the list of Confucius aphorisms: “Coach who write LOL after every Penguins post never have to say he solly.”

  5. The Sens need to somehow get the Oil to take Matt Murray. If they’re looking at Fleury then they’re looking at anyone.

    • Actually, Dark G, I’m kinda surprised Murray hasn’t been among those 10 dinged with the virus! With his track record of “if it can happen it will” it would have been expected. Anyway, I don’t think Dorion holding a gun to Holland’s head is allowable under the negotiation rules.

      Seriously, though, that is going to be Dorion’s ongoing deal gone bad unless there’s a dramatic turnaround. Otherwise, how do you deal a G costing $6,250,000 per off the cap for 2 more seasons after this before he becomes a UFA at age 30? Even withholding a couple of million it would still be a sell stuck somewhere between hard and highly unlikely.

      • @George although at this point the Murray signing can be seen as a mistake Ottawa has really good Goaltending prospects so they should be safe. I’d try to dump Murray to get rid of that cap hit though, problem is who’s going to take him.

      • And therein lies the rub. As I say, IF there’s a dramatic turnaround in his game once they get everyone healthy, then possibly he could be dealt at that stage, especially of there are teams suffering in goal either through performance or injury. The key would be not to suddenly get hesitant because he’s suddenly playing well. Strike while the iron is hot – IF it gets hot. Even if you have to withhold a bit of cap. Not that they can’t afford to do that. And the return should be minimal to prod the move along.

        As you say What the heck, they do have very good young goalies in the system, led by Gustafsson in the immediate future.

  6. Pens are going to reset come next year and it will be Sid’s choice whether to stay or go … and he has unquestionably earned that right … and the Pens will be in good hands, John Henry is rich, competitive and spends to win. All you can ask from an owner.

    c’mon Lyle, get that cache fixed!

  7. San Jose will play their 21st game November 30th, that is the last day of Evander Kane suspension. Then what?

    • Evander’s going to be setting a while making free money. The team looks fine without him…

      • Hi Rock


        He’ll collect paycheque until he’s bought out next summer….. or somehow Sharks find a buyer to take him @50% retained (saves Sharks [over buyout] in cash)

        If he’s bought out… setting aside escrow… he loses $5M gross

        A team could sign him 3 @ $1.7 M (a great deal if he turns the attitude around) and he loses nada in gross (after tax would depend on where he’d be signing)

        The reality is that Kane ever playing wearing a Sharks jersey again…. Is a very low probability

  8. Some potential trade options for the Habs:

    Tyler Toffoli for Sam Girard
    Artturi Lehkonen for Dylan Strome

  9. Wonder if the isles could use Holl or Dermott, they are most certainly available and won’t cost much

  10. I think that the end of a season-long road trip will help the Isles more than adding a defenseman. Watch them rise is the standings, trade or not;

  11. The old adage that you are what your record says you are is as true now as ever and will be true at the end of the year.

    Throwing shade in the meantime is as much of a pastime today as it ever was.

  12. Klingberg, Forsberg & Hertl should all sign TOGETHER in AZ or Buffalo with all that cap room next year.

    Take the paycheck in this flat cap era.

    • Those teams are rebuilding so why would they sign those players? There’s 2 potential franchise players in the 2023 draft. That’s there goal.

  13. I don’t remember the exact quote, but I seem to remember that Crosby said that his dream would be to play in Montreal one day. That is the only place I could see him going.

    • to VGS: Crosby

      to PIT: Dadonov & Smith & 2nd rd this year

    • Hi Sfj98

      Yes I believe Sid’s childhood fav team was Habs (his Dad was drafted by them)

      With that in mind; and being a longshot…. Again for Shos ‘n Giggles

      Sid and Tanger…. Both at 50% retained;

      For Dvorak; Wideman; Canes’ 1st (‘22) and 1st in ‘23 (lottery protected…. Bedard)


  14. After reading this I am leaning towards Gries as the goalie to hope for.
    Gries HDS – 68 with a HDSV% .912 (4th out of 62 goalies in the NHL with at least 100 minutes played)
    Other than Fleury (84 HDSV) that is the most HDSV in the bunch with the highest HDSV%.
    Koskinen hasn’t been to bad with HDCA, but more times than not he lets in a bad goal in the first 7 minutes of the game. Koskinen had 79 HDSv and a HDSV% .873 (16th out of 62 goalies in the NHL with at least 100 minutes played).

    • Yep KevJam, that early bad goal seemed to happen to him for a stretch last year too.
      Then he makes a bunch of great saves.
      Early in the season, then he got better.
      Maybe there is something to him not being as good when he plays a bunch, as Smith was out at beginning of last year too.

      Don’t get how a guy who can play so well most of the time, lets in a soft one at the beginning of games sometimes. It’s weird.

  15. Ottawa should trade Murray to the Oilers

    • No they shouldn’t.

    • Oilers already have a goalie on the IR, they don’t need a second.

  16. LOL. I thought I covered that above Ray.

    Seriously, though, the ONLY way Murray would ever go to Edmonton is if he turns his game around for a good stretch and that comes at the same time as the Oilers are in the midst of a goalie crisis AND Dorion withholds around $2 mil per for the balance of his contract AND accepts a 7th round pick or a secondary prospect.

    • Not sure what Dorion was thinking on that one George. He is usually pretty shrewd of late. Quite a few folks on here put up the buyer beware sign, with some exceptions.

      Goaltending is voodoo and the swings in performance from year to year is crazy. Look at Bob – great for 3 years, brutal for 2, playing really well again.
      Hart, great as a rookie, like worst in the league brutal last year, playing great so far this year.

      I dunno, just don’t pay them too much for too long I guess.

  17. Hi Pengy

    Swap Chiarot for Wideman and have the Pens add a pick and you have a deal.

    • Hi Sjf928

      I think Habs would definitely want to keep Chiarot over Wideman , wouldn’t they?

  18. Hi Pengy

    I brought up Chiarot because it seems as though they do not plan on resigning him.