NHL Rumor Mill – November 20, 2021

by | Nov 20, 2021 | Rumors | 11 comments

Check out the latest on the Penguins, Wild and Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Josh Yohe was asked if the Pittsburgh Penguins could become sellers at the 2022 trade deadline if they don’t make the playoffs. He didn’t dismiss the possibility of a rebuild but felt they’re not at that point yet.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images).

Asked if Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust and Brian Dumoulin could become deadline trade chips if the Penguins were out of contention, Yohe replied he could envision them being available for the right price, especially Rust as he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He also mused about whether general manager Ron Hextall would attempt to peddle pending UFAs Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski believes the Penguins need a course correction to snap out of their early-season struggles. He feels they need a right-side defenseman, a scoring winger for Jeff Carter and a spark plug player similar to former Penguins forwards like Patric Hornqvist or Brandon Tanev.

In the wake of the Penguins’ impending sale to the Fenway Group, Kingerski wondered what effect that could have upon the future of Malkin and Letang in Pittsburgh.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be interesting to see what changes there are (if any) once the Fenway Group takes over ownership of the Penguins. The longer Malkin and Letang go without new contracts, the more speculation about their trade status as the deadline approaches.

Management could be reluctant to move Malkin, Letang, Rust or any other pending free agents if the Penguins hold a playoff berth by deadline day. We’ll have to wait until the calendar flips to January 2022 to perhaps begin to get a clearer picture of their plans.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Michael Russo was asked about the future of winger Jordan Greenway. He could be moved before next season to make room for promising wingers like Matthew Boldy and Adam Beckman.

Greenway’s a pending restricted free agent in the midst of an underwhelming start to this season. Russo believes he’ll be moved at some point before next season and expects the Wild would seek futures in return.

Russo also said the Wild are trying to move center Victor Rask but haven’t found any takers yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Greenway, 24, is a 6’6”, 231-pound left winger who was showing some potential as a big playmaker over the last two years. However, he has just three assists in 12 games this season and facing criticism for not being more physically engaged and driving the offense. With a cap hit of $2.1 million, he could be an affordable option for clubs seeking size and offense at left wing.

OTTAWA SUN: Earlier this week, Ken Warren speculated over whether the Senators will pursue a trade for a center to replace the sidelined Colin White and Shane Pinto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators have been rumored to be in the market for a center for some time. GM Pierre Dorion could be shopping around but finding a suitable deal this early in the season won’t be easy.


  1. Regarding the Pittsburgh Penguins, anyone not named Crosby, Kapanen or Joseph can be had .. time to Reset … reboot … rebuild …

    • Maybe in Quebec City? 🙂

    • The transformation may well be even more comprehensive, Ed. . However, whether Hextall will orchestrate or be a part of any changes is yet to be decided. A Pittsburgh news source, basing its information on the knowledge of someone familiar with how the Fenway Sports Group operates, predicted ” virtually everyone on the payroll likely will need to speak with new owners in order to stay with the team.”

      That’s the power on unlimited wealth.

    • Disagree Ed…. This team can compete and new ownership might just be the ticket. Coming off back to back shutouts in Montreal and Toronto they are in the middle of the metro.

      This team has had Crosby for only 4 games, has played without Malkin all year (he is skating now) long stretches without Letang, Rust, Matheson and losing a ton of man games to injury and covid…

      Ask Detroit and all these other rebuilding teams how that going…

      We need a few tweaks and we are right there…we have beaten Tampa, we have beat Florida, we have beat Toronto twice with like half a line -up most nights.

      We need another right handed defenseman and a forward or two with grit skill and leadership ala Brendan Gallagher…

      We need a back up goalie…

  2. I don’t think Joseph will be any more than a 3rd pairing defenseman. If someone wanted him included in a package I would not hesitate. Because he was a number one pick coupled with how bare their system is, I think his status was elevated higher than maybe it should have been.

  3. The question to Yohe was “ could become sellers at the 2022 trade deadline IF they don’t make the playoffs”

    The key word is “IF” ; and then add to that, how much are they out of contention as at TDL

    IF they are out at TDL and IF they are out by a likely insurmountable margin….

    Then… they MUST rebuild… which means moving as many UFAs for as much as possible

    It is rare, but does not preclude , these moved UFAs re-signing next summer

    Gino, Tanger, Rusty, E-Rod, Carter, and ZAR are all UFAs…. In totality their return in trade can start the rebuild off

    Dumo has 1 year left after this. Off for part of season this year; and has had some rough games; but if (I believe he will for sure) he rebounds to form…. $4.1 M per…. Excellent Cap hit…. So viable in trade for more rebuild assets

    Last game was excellent…. We’ll see how they do tonight in my home town (I’m hoping for an OT game and since Pens are further down in standings… hoping for Pens win in OT) 🤞🙏🤞🙏

  4. Pens are off to a rough start for obvious reasons. All the players mentioned have been out of the lineup except Guentzel . Who has had no one to play with.

  5. A bit to early to stick a fork in em. If it goes south by the new year I do look to move pieces. Only untouchable in that case would be crosby and Jake. I’d keep teddy and dumo. And if you didn’t believe tanger would come back after being a rental I’d try to sign him.

  6. This is off topic but I wanted to point out that Seth Jarvis is going to play his 9th NHL game today and every indication is that Carolina plans to keep him on the roster. When Carolina signed Kotkaniemi there were rumors that he would sign a new contract that was more in line with his value. Both Jarvis and Necas are currently ahead of him in their development so it will be interesting to see if Carolina and Kotkaniemi can come to an agreement before he has to be qualified. The emergence of Jarvis may also impact what Carolina is willing to pay Trochek and Niederreiter. If Trochek is signed Kotkaniemi is probably one and done in Carolina.

    • Kk will have to keep playing his way to earn a contract but he is younger Andy more affordable than nino so perhaps he is kept for that reason

  7. Penguins can reshape the roster for the better like

    To MTL : Zucker & Heinen
    To PIT: Gallagher

    Long term cap relief for MTL to get younger and rethink how they want their roster built. Zucker can be traded off to a cap floor team if needed.

    WIth AZ needing to remain above the cap floor next year perhaps in addition to above

    To ARZ: Petterson
    To PIT: Kessel with cap retained to balance cap for Pittsburgh

    Kessel and gallagher can flank Carter And give pitts depth upfront