NHL Rumor Mill – November 25, 2021

by | Nov 25, 2021 | Rumors | 36 comments

A look at possible Canucks trade candidates plus the latest Stars speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: With trade rumors swirling about the Vancouver Canucks, Thomas Drance looked at which players are likely to become trade candidates if management decides to shake things up or being overhauling the roster.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Drance believes J.T. Miller’s competitive style, experience and versatility would interest clubs in “win-now” mode. He said there are teams monitoring the Canucks fortunes with Miller’s short-term future in mind, including the Minnesota Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller, 30, is also signed through 2022-23 with an annual cap hit of $5.25 million and lacking no-trade protection. However, his agent told Drance’s colleague Rick Dhaliwal they haven’t had any conversations with Canucks management about trades.

Drance also addressed recent speculation about Canucks winger Brock Boeser. While acknowledging the 24-year-old winger’s talent as a sniper, he felt Boeser’s $7.5 million in actual salary this season is too expensive for most clubs in a flat-cap era. He’s a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dhaliwal also reported Boeser’s agent said he doesn’t believe his client will be traded but he’s aware it could happen. He said Brock has faith in the Canucks team and his teammates to get through their struggles.

Players slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer, such as Jaroslav Halak and Tyler Motte, are the most likely to be moved if the Canucks become sellers by the March trade deadline.

Drance also suggested Micheal Ferland’s permanent long-term injury reserve status could have some value for cap-strapped clubs seeking creative solutions. He also didn’t rule out the possibility of moving players like Travis Hamonic, Jason Dickinson and Tanner Pearson who still have term on their contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could surprise by moving one of their talented core players. However, I think Drance’s assessment is spot on and I recommend reading the entire piece if you have a subscription to The Athletic.

A rival club could make an offer for someone like Miller or Boeser before the trade deadline that’s too good for general manager Jim Benning (or his replacement?) to pass up. Still, it could be difficult to put that type of deal together during the season.


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks recently observed promising goaltender Jake Oettinger is giving Stars management something to think about. He’s outplaying veteran Anton Khudobin but there’s a logjam in goal with Braden Holtby (lower-body injury) expected to return soon from a lower-body injury.

With three goalies on the roster, the Stars don’t have enough cap space to call up any extra forwards or defensemen. DeFranks indicated they could trade Holtby ($2 million) or Khudobin ($3.33 million) but that would deplete depth between the pipes as sidelined starter Ben Bishop’s status remains unclear.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars signed Holtby not because they lacked confidence in Oettinger but rather they wanted him to get a little more seasoning in the AHL before bringing him into the roster on a full-time basis. His performance this season shows his effort in the shortened 2020-21 campaign was no fluke.

Oettinger remains waiver-exempt so the Stars can send him down to their AHL affiliate once Holtby returns from his lower-body injury. Trading Holtby or Khudobin, however, would be an easier way to address this. The uncertainty over Bishop, however, remains a nagging issue. He’s reportedly eligible to come off LTIR but still isn’t physically ready to play.

The Stars shouldn’t have much difficulty moving Holtby or Khudobin if they go that route later in the season. There are already some clubs (hello there, Buffalo Sabres) in need of experienced goalie depth who could come calling.


  1. I think Jt is a prototypical bruin he exemplifies the bruins m o. at five mill he’s affordable he’ll net you 20 goals a year has grit, good skater not afraid to go into the dark areas put him on the second line. Drop Coyle to the third. A 2nd and prospect should be enough. ( for b’s eyes only)

    • A 2nd and a prospect? Not even close to enough. Dream on. Beside’s, the B’s are getting Eichel, right?

      • You are right, this is not even close.

        Vancouver paid a 1st rounder for him when he had 3rd line minutes in Tampa.

        His value was not even that high 2 years ago. Since then he’s almost a point per game player, plays top line top power play and can even play center or wing …

        You’d need Studnicka and a 1st imo

      • I would say more than that Cam. Not sure what Studnicka is worth? Not even a proven NHL player yet IMO. At 22 which is when it becomes make or break time for forwards.

      • Ah ah ah, Flying V

  2. The thought of JT wearing the Blue Note is making me salivate!! (It might be the turkey)

  3. missed most of yesterday banter about Kane.

    Did he rot the dressing room in Winnipeg, were there players who he didn’t get along with, sure; but it doesn’t and didn’t stop the rest of the players from getting along.

    Each off season he asked for a trade and each off season he didn’t get it and yet all thru that time he kept it private and out of the media.

    Who in San Jose leaked that he wasn’t wanted and came up by some players during their exit interviews?

    What was the purpose of the leak?

    Have you ever played a team sport where you had a guy on the team who wasn’t liked? If you say no, then i would suggest you didn’t play any team sports.

    On the ice he is productive, skilled and tough and willing to stand us for his teammates, even the ones who don’t like him.

    Yes i would be happy to see Kane in a Boston sweater, could certainly use that skill and toughness and no i’m not concern with the dressing room. That would be Kane decision if he wants to fit in or not; it certainly won’t effect how Marchand, Pastrnak McAvoy and Bergeron get along.

    I wonder how 1st place Carolina feels about having Anthony Deangelo on their roster?

    • Well, Caper, clearly you have a tolerance level higher than many in here.

    • Caper, I wonder how NYR feel after not getting anything for DeAngelo before his inevitable blow up. And the best team in league now has the 3 players involved in trade that pretty much started the Rangers rebuild. (AdA, Raanta, and Stepan) All NY has left is Will Cuylle.

    • I was waiting for you yesterday Caper to post what side of the fence you were on with Kane.

      I would also be happy to take him on the bruins. Can play off wing and would help their secondary scoring. If SJ is willing to eat some of his cap hit I would bring him on.

      As for DeAngelo, I was hoping the B’s would sign him this off season and man he will be in for a pay day if he keep this season up.

    • Count me as one of them George and Caper. Yes the other Jets got along away from Kane, and they threw his cloths in the shower. Because he was late for a meeting, again. And it was the leadership group. And then they are answering questions about it in the locker room. Then he asking for a trade. Players are asked again, and again. And around and around it went.

      This time in SJ he lied to the team, and his team mates about his vaccination status. He is a liar. Not only that, he is bringing in unnecessary risk to the team and hurting their chances at success. And even before that his own team mates told mgt they didn’t want him back.

      DeAngelo got his 2nd chance, we knew he would, and so far so good, hope he is a good team mate going forward. He will have a good career if he does. Kane has had multiple already. They are not the same guy.

      You have a player who has proven he isn’t accountable to his team mates. That doesn’t work, and yes I played team sports, hockey in winter, baseball in summer, hockey for 42 years. And coached it.

      Some folks change, some don’t. The odds of him changing don’t seem high to me, and not worth it for 3 more years.

      • Ray, just a correction for you and wasn’t because he was late for a meeting.

        Big Buff threw Kane track suit in the shower and that was because it wasn’t part of the dress code.

        Of interesting note, we also now know some young players on the Jets didn’t like Wheeler, because of how he treated them and got in their face.

        We also know there was a divide in the Buffalo dressing room between Eichel and O’Reilly which lead to O’Reilly being traded.

        Point being it’s hard to get 23 players together were everyone likes everyone.

        I doubt DeAngelo has changed, maybe just keeping his opinion to himself.

        Playing team sports, there is always clicks, some become best friends, usually a few groups hang out together, while others are just mingle while at the arena and little socializing; other then the game itself, they may have very little in common.

      • Caper, from the CBC pasted below:

        There’s reportedly more to the Evander Kane saga than some inappropriate attire.

        According to multiple reports, including CBC News, the Winnipeg forward failed to show up for the Jets’ game in Vancouver this week following an incident involving teammate Dustin Byfuglien.

        It was reported that Kane missed a pre-game meeting, and that he couldn’t be reached until approximately an hour before the start of the game, when Kane answered his cellphone and said he wouldn’t be playing against the Canucks.

        Re SJ, from Kurz at The Athletic:

        Kurz reported several Sharks players don’t want him to return, citing his “disrespect for team rules” and the lack of consequences for his actions.

        The vaccine debacle followed that.

        From BUF, before they traded him for less than he was worth based on his on ice performance:

        The latest controversy came Wednesday when he had a rather unpleasant exchange with teammate Justin Falk during practice. An upset Falk could be heard yelling things like “selfish” after the two were separated.

        Faulk was right, Big Buff was right, his SJ team mates were right.

        Evander Kane cares about one thing, Evander Kane, screw everybody else.

        A 1 year show me deal that you can bury if he continues to act like, you know, himself, OK. 3 years after this one at 50% his salary, hell no.

      • Ray, I fully aware of all the reports and it was the track suit incident that lead directly to the trade.

        You can focus on all the negative; However if your just going to focus on the negative, you’ll never look for the positive.

        question can his underline behavior change?

        Why does he act out against authorities and rules?


        He wanted out of Winnipeg for years and not once did he make it public and didn’t affect his play on the ice.

        He is productive and very much a team player on the ice and on the bench.

        His willingness to standup for his teammates

        It was no Kane who has made any concerns public.

        I prefer to deal with the issues which is his unwillingness to conform will team policies; why does this bother him so much?

      • So, Caper, the ability to Put the puck in the net” trumps everything else. I almost wish the Bruins DID get him – or the Leafs – then wait for that shoe to drop.

      • Fair enough Caper, just pointing out the likely reason his tracksuit was in the shower, straw and camels back thing. And ya, when he is on the ice he plays hard and produces. No question. Always has.

        And yet here we are again?

        He disregards team rules when everybody else follows them, with ya. Why is he a narcissist AKA selfish person? Don’t know and from a NHL team that he isn’t on perspective, don’t care. He goes to counseling now, let the therapist and his family figure it out. And from a human perspective I hope he does, as narcistic disorders are a real thing.

        But this is a hockey site and we are discussing whether or not you want him on your team. Flat out no. The Bruins aren’t a health services center and team mates aren’t counsellors.

        There is a reason the Rangers got DeAngelo out and paid him to stay away, the rest of the team wanted it after the fight and all the other needless drama. It impacted everybody else. He is a good player too. How did they do after he left? How about this year?

        I think we disagree on one key point, but correct me if I am wrong, I think it effects the other players negatively and it is his responsibility alone to fix it.

        Many on here think it is up to the other players to adjust, even make him behave or “keep him in line” with strong leadership. I disagree with that.

        Not talking about cliques or different personalities. That’s normal on every team. This ain’t normal.

        I believe it is up to the individual to follow basic team rules and not be a selfish A-hole. I believe you are accountable to your team mates, each and every player. Or it ain’t a team and you ain’t winning sh*t.

      • Agree Ray it’s a hockey site and we are debating the value if any of having Kane on the team.

        I totally disagree with you, if you don’t think it falls on the team to help players and guide them, attitude is a big part of scouting.

        Your dislike towards the player is obvious and that’s fine. As neither of us know the person, this dislike is implied to the perception of character flaw(s).

        I don’t need to like you, or hang out with you, i just need you to come in and do your job, and let management deal with the other stuff.

        Ray i respect the debate and your opinion; but for today, we’ll have to disagree.

      • “Perception” does not translate into repeated well-publicized infractions. What, exactly, does he have to do before you say “not on my team?”

      • Caper. I liked you argument until you said let management deal with the stuff. If this was a new behavior from an established employee that makes sense. But management deals with kanes stuff by not bringing him in.

    • Caper, totally agree. When Thornton and Pavelski ruled the locker room, Kane behaved. A team with strong leadership, like Boston, could avail themselves of a good all round hockey player for very little.

    • I think the big problem wasnt that he wasnt liked but that he acted as if the team rules didnt apply to him. Getting late for practice, trips and team meetings, being a distraction in the tabloids, treating people bad on the team, having a false covid vaccination etc etc

  4. Not certain why people suggest trading for an LTIR player adds cap flexibility “in season” … the players’ own AAV eats up all the LTIR space added … there are some technical benefits in the off-season and a team can benefit from taking on the contract if they get a player/pick/prospect to do so … but not simply by trading for a player on LTIR …

    • Boeser is 24 and has been their leading scorer in 2 of last 4 seasons. Curious if there’s been any talk on an extension and why not. He has that salary of 7.5 this year but, according to CapFriendly has 4.5 left. It’s the qualifying offer next year or a long term deal that’s probably landed him in rumors. Rangers moved Dryden Hunt up into top 6 last night. Obviously they can do better. Also curious to see if Gorgiev gets another start soon. Otherwise, Holtby should be on their radar as season goes on. They’re going to be a playoff team.

      • LTIR (fictive numbers)

        Let say you have an under achiever 4million player that no one wants. Your cap is 80m. If you send him to the AHL, you still pay like 3m on the cap, so 1m saved.

        If instead you trade him for a guy on the LTIR that makes 5million but that will never play again, you can now save 5million and your cap is at 75m. You probably need to call up a player that makes 900k, but all in all you can manage to be under the cap.

        The other team either gets a player that can play instead of a guy on LTIR or sometimes picks if the contract is bad… but both sides are happy and this is how you use the LTIR to lower your CAP

  5. The Canucks are soft as butter and are having trouble scoring so I can’t see them trading Miller who leads them in face-off wins, goals, points and hits. On the other hand Boeser and Pettersson are doing very little to drive the play and don’t seem interested in competing. If they’re not going to make a much need change in coaching, IMO they should. send Boeser home to Minnesota for Dumba.

    • Gored,

      Boeser for Dumba seems like a decent deal.

  6. Happy Thanksgiving to all here from the US …🦃 🥧 🌽🥦🥕🍠

    Hope your day with family/friends is excellent

    Re Holtby….. what would be the expected add to flip DeSmith for Holtby?

  7. My understanding of a pro locker room is that often same nationalities stick together. The Russians over there and the Finns over there. It might it explain why some teams have a propensity to have more of one than another. No Russians on the Flames lots of Swedes as example.

  8. Buffalo signed goalies this year that they were confident would be bad. Any depth trades would be for Allan Bester or Hardy Astrom.

  9. Change for Canucks needs to start with the GM that built this crap team then the coach thats lost the room.

    Francesco Aquilini has reached Melnyk levels of bush league embarassing.

    Whining to Sportsnet for being too negative, threatening podcasters such as Sekeres and Price to pull sponsorships and allowing future guest seg.e ts, doing whatever necessary to drown out FireBenning chants, having ushers confiscating FireBenning signs, throwing fans out for starting FireBenning Chants.

    Benning CANT be the guy to make any trades or moves

    • Sound like a mess Tyler. Oilers tried to bully mark Spector in Edmonton during one stretch in the Decade of Darkness.

      You know it’s bad when.

      My question is if you fire Benning who you gonna get mid season, that hasn’t been fired by their own team this season?

      Gorton is out there.

  10. Evander Kane could be a good story in Vancouver , hometown boy adds toughness to a soft team, averages 30 goals as long as SJ retains 50%.

    Probably need to go through a third team and involve picks and Pearson

    • No way. You take him. You like problem players.

  11. You will not win the cup with Kane. Very good player but you have to care for one another and become a band of brothers on and office the ice.
    His arrival might be a welcome distraction . Look at this shiny thing over here.
    Boeser should move over Miller. You can replace an outside shooter. Tough to replace T.J. in the middle . Boeser wasn’t even on the number 1 PP until recent. He is not happy about something

  12. Every group has to have an Alpha Male – Kane just can’t be that guy on your team. If Bruins still had Chara at 30 than I would be fine with Kane on Boston problem is Bergeron is the leader and he can’t kick his butt if he gets out of line. Kid can play but what I see and read he hasn’t grown up.

  13. After reading the arguments over Kane pro and con, I ran a web search for “athletes most disliked by their teammates,” mostly just for the fun of it. But In particular, I wanted to find out how their misdeeds affected their teams.

    I was astounded by some of the characters it produced, covering the whole spectrum of despicability, some hated more by fans than by teammates. The lot included Cristiano Ronaldo of soccer, Michael Vick and Terrell Owens in football, Barry Bonds in baseball, Dennis Rodman in basketball, and Raffi Torres in hockey.

    For the amusement (note: not for the agitation) of the Bruins fans that have participated in the Kane debate, the two most prominent Boston athletes mentioned were (you guessed it) Brad Marchand and Roger Clemens.

    You will find many unexpected others by running the same search, but these few may be useful for weighing the relative guilt of Kane and by how much the deeds of a bad-news player affects his team.