NHL Rumor Mill – November 6, 2021

by | Nov 6, 2021 | Rumors | 30 comments

The Leafs are shopping a defenseman but have yet to open contract talks with Jack Campbell, while trade chatter grows about Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. Check it out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox cited Elliotte Friedman and Nick Kypreos reporting the Toronto Maple Leafs have let the rest of the league know Travis Dermott or Justin Holl are available for the right price. Fox speculates that price is either “an upper-mid-round draft pick” or “perhaps a rugged d-man with less term on his contract.”

The cap-strapped Leafs have no space to add a salaried player, they hold just three draft picks in the 2022 draft, and management must clear cap space for the short and long term. Holl is signed through next season with a $2 million cap hit and a 10-team no-trade list while Dermott is earning $1.5 million annually through 2022-23.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see which one gets moved. Holl, 29, is more expensive and his no-trade complicates efforts to move him. He’s struggled this season but played well over the previous two campaigns. The 24-year-old Dermott is younger, more affordable and he lacks no-trade protection but he’s had consistency issues and been relegated to mostly third-pairing duty.

TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos reports agent Kurt Overhardt, who represents Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell, denied reports contract extension talks are underway with his client. “Whoever said we’re talking is full of crap,” said Overhardt.

Traikos believes the Leafs have already waited too long to ink Campbell to an extension, believing it should’ve taken place during the summer. As the 29-year-old goaltender’s value rises, Traikos believes he could be playing elsewhere next season the longer it takes the two sides to start contract talks.

Campbell is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. His current annual cap hit is $1.65 million but Traikos believes the Leafs will be lucky to get him for twice that amount if his strong play continues throughout this season. He pointed to Philipp Grubauer getting a long-term deal worth $5.9 million annually from the Seattle Kraken and Cal Petersen earning $5 million annually on a three-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have little choice but to sign Campbell for probably between $5.5 million and $6 million annually. They’ve got no one in their system capable of challenging him for the starter’s job, there aren’t better options in the trade market and Cap Friendly shows few suitable long-term alternatives via next summer’s free-agent market.

That explains in part why they’re looking to move one of their defensemen. They must free up cap space before next season to absorb Campbell’s new contract.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline recently reported trade chatter was increasing about Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo. He said there were whispers around the league claiming Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen was fielding calls for the 27-year-old netminder.

Portzline spoke with three NHL front-office sources about potential destinations for Korpisalo. They suggested the Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens as likely possibilities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Korpisalo is a UFA relegated to backup duty behind Elvis Merzlikins. He could be on the move at some point before the March 21 trade deadline.

The Coyotes seem like a prime landing spot given their struggles this season but they could be reluctant to acquire someone who could bolt via free agency next summer. . The Sabres are getting surprisingly good goaltending from 40-year-old Craig Anderson and backup Dustin Tokarski but that could change as the season goes along.

Sloppy defensive play and inconsistent offense are the Canadiens’ biggest problems this season. I doubt they’ll pursue Korpisalo with Carey Price set to return to the lineup in the coming weeks and Jake Allen doing a decent job between the pipes in his absence.


  1. I’m not sure the Yotes would have an issue with bringing in a goalie who’s a pending UFA.
    90+% of their roster are pending free agents.
    7th round picks for Holl and Dermott?

  2. @Shorepark the yokes aren’t going to give up assets to acquire a goalie who will be a ufa. Makes no sense it’s not like they’re fighting for a playoff spot.

    • My point exactly. It’s one thing if a number of their players are UFAs. It’s another to waste assets on a player who might not commit to sticking around beyond this season.

    • I was just poking fun at the fact that their roster is filled with pending UFA’s.
      With that said, Isotopes has a very valid point as posted below. There are only so many jobs in the league, and Arizona itself is quite nice. A warm weather climate would be a strong selling point to me. A chance at a starters job is another.

  3. I’m not so sure Arz doesn’t trade a 3 rd-4 th rd pick for Korpi. Why not if they think he’s got the goods. Bring him in and show him what they have to offer long term. From his point of view there’s only 32 starting jobs in the NHL maybe he could solidify one for himself long term. He’s a backup now and eventually Arz has to build a team or move to a different city. If he goes there and shows well maybe he gets a 4 or 5 year deal.

  4. Toronto should make a play for Tuukka Rask

    • Absolutely,you can have him at a low contract for a first round pick.He can join Ritchie and Kase as Bruins castoffs!

  5. Can someone explain why Buffalo took on Boychuck’s contract for nothing and supposedly gave up futures to boot? The only thing I could think of was that the futures would be a longer term toxic contract going back like(Okoposo) and his 2 year deal for instance. If that’s the case wouldn’t the Isles have to put him on there cap right now. Seems like a Lou manipulation

    • It was all about Buffalo hitting the cap floor after trading Eichel.

      • I guess Buffalo doesn’t want real money on the books but isn’t that exactly what rebuilding clubs do. Even Arizona is taking on$ for picks. I mean Buffalo had this trade cooking for weeks and this is the best way they could be cap compliant. Just seems odd

    • Isotopes,
      The Sabres reach the cap floor without spending the money by using Boychuck’s contract and its only for one year.

    • Isotopes. I wish someone could explain to me what rules govern “future considerations”. Rangers traded a 2nd rd pic with M Staal to Detroit over a year ago and to my knowledge have still not recieved anything.

      • Well, ya, they did Slick62 … the ubiquitous “future considerations” …. how long in the future wasn’t stated

  6. Good Saturday Morning to All. I do hope Korpi is traded where he has the opportunity to play consistently. He doesn’t thrive in platoon situations but has been stellar for CBJ when he has the net for consistent stretches. Completely agree that while ARZ is a fit based on a need for a competent G, CBJ they aren’t a fit as both teams are looking to acquire futures. BUF may be a fit but the same asset issues apply there as well. Another scenario I am watching for is a a G injury for a legit contender. Although the buzz is certainly increasing that a trade is coming Jarmo will be patient.
    I’ll be at nationwide for the CBJ-Avs game tonight, 1st time since the pandemic

  7. Food for thought. If bob keeps playing this well…. Knight… what a trade chip at the deadline! What teams out there that are likely out of the playoffs that could use a blue chip goalie? Zona? Hawks?

    Could you imagine Kane with money held going to Florida? For knight and a salaried player? Cup favs!

    • Didn’t Bob get hurt the other night?

  8. Re rumors of Korpisalo to Montreal, don’t they already have something like $13m tied up in goaltenders, with Price on his way back? What am I missing here?

  9. Holl and Dermott are trade chips to teams that have too many bags of hockey pucks?
    Dubas deserves a medal for dealing with Friedman, Kypreos, Fox and Traikos.

  10. Honestly, someone has to be fired in Toronto. Continually trying to pound a square peg into a round hole is now becoming idiotic.
    What started out as such a promising rebuild, the timing was perfect to tank in the year a generational center was available in the draft and they actually won the lottery.
    To screw up so bad is now an insult to leaf fans by not holding anyone accountable.

    Shanahan had options and selected Dubas for his vision and plan for the team. Dubas seems incapable or unwilling to make the hard choice and is supported by Shanahan. Therefor Shanahan should be fired in my opinion.

    • Well, all I can say is, and for the sake of the health of certain individuals, I’m glad I didn’t post that because those same individuals would be turning purple with terminal apoplexy in their frenzied rush to brand me a “hater.”

      But I do agree.

      • You know what they say George, “You can’t see the forest for the trees”
        To us from afar and not being Leaf fans it seems obvious because we can see the forest

      • Flamefan, it’s probably difficult for them to see the forest for the trees at this stage, something we can’t blame them for given the circumstances in which they’ve found themselves. Maybe they just need to take a step back and get a little perspective.

        Four or five top stars are great during the regular season when they combine to light up the opposition and get the faithful all excited … but it’s been proven time and again that those stars can’t overcome the intense attention applied to them once the playoffs roll around, and what’s left on the ice simply isn’t good enough to get it done.

    • Should be a few more Greyhound alumni kicking around for him to pick up. I’ll give the kid one thing, he’s certainly loyal to his friends and former players.

      • Perhaps Kyle will trade for Colin Miller and Zach Senyshyn next?

  11. Something rings a bell with Overhardt. I believe he is hard line for dollars. Campbell will get his one way or the other. Unless Mrazek with a reliable backup is the plan.

    • He did that with Trouba, Ryan Johansen, Larkin and, perhaps most significantly, goalie Gibson – among others

  12. Regarding the Forest for the trees comments and seing things better from a distance….I don’t feel that applies to many Leaf fans including this one. What is most painful to many Leaf fans is that we can see the forest from the trees, it is upper management that can’g.

    Over the last year, I have become relativley apathetic….and so have other Leaf fans I know. Therein, lies the poison for this franchise….apathy.

    • Yes too bad the Leafs went from being bad to being one of the better teams in the league… well a team that has been touted as such. Many here don’t consider a team finishing at the top or near it as a good sign, especially after losing FIVE (really it’s four but sounds better if you count the loss to the BJs) 1st round playoff games… but also let’s kick out the fact that in all but one (the most recent one – classic choke job) they were underdogs by a fair margin… but that doesn’t matter, nor the fact that all of the series went to seven games or that the team they lost to went as far as the cup finals and two of them were eventual winners. A team who’s core is still younger than most and being to enter their prime years.

      That’s a clear sign that the Leafs have no idea of what they are doing now, does it?

      Let’s take Lyle’s comment today: “The Leafs have little choice but to sign Campbell for probably between $5.5 million and $6 million annually.”

      Can I see a comparable? Campbell hasn’t even played in 100 games in three years in the NHL. Who got that much or the equivalent to that? No one that’s who but somehow the teams that has been able to year in and year out juggle and make the best use of what little cap space they have all of a sudden do something as random as that? No, I don’t think so.

      • Were they at the top of the league, or were they underdogs?
        They’re a very good team, but they’re built wrong.
        They have some top tier players in their top six. A fantastic 4th line center on a sweetheart of a contract, but not very much after that.
        They should finish in the top half of the league again this year.
        Maybe this is the year they win a round or 4. Who knows?

  13. Both the forest and the trees are visible once the leafs have fallen.