NHL Rumor Mill – November 7, 2021

by | Nov 7, 2021 | Rumors | 20 comments

What’s next for the Blackhawks after firing their head coach? Will the Stars make a cost-cutting deal soon? Find out in this edition of the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers wondered what other changes could be in store for the Chicago Blackhawks after interim general manager Kyle Davidson replaced Jeremy Colliton as head coach yesterday with Derek King on an interim basis.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images).

The Blackhawks GM could spend the next 10-15 games to determine if moves need to be made to help the club improve or nudge it toward getting worse and improve their chances of keeping their 2022 first-round pick. That selection was part of the deal in acquiring Seth Jones from the Columbus Blue Jackets but Powers points out the Blackhawks would retain that pick if they finish low enough in the standings and have the draft lottery balls drop in their favor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly has the details of the conditions for the Blackhawks’ 2022 first-round pick.

Powers feels the Blackhawks have a handful of players they could move this season, suggesting Marc-Andre Fleury and Dominik Kubalik as trade candidates. Fleury, Calvin de Haan, Ryan Carpenter and Kevin Lankinen are among their notable upcoming unrestricted free agents.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury’s struggling behind the Blackhawks’ porous defense. However, there could be playoff contenders willing to bet the 36-year-old netminder will regain last season’s Vezina Trophy-winning form on a better club. His $7 million cap hit, however, could keep him in Chicago until the weeks leading up to the March 21 trade deadline.

Kubalik carries an affordable $3.7 million cap hit and is just two seasons removed from his 30-goal NHL debut. He’s also a restricted free agent with arbitrations rights next summer, which could make him a more enticing option for teams seeking a scoring winger they can keep beyond this season.

Prior to Colliton’s firing, Mark Lazerus pondered the fate of Dylan Strome. The 24-year-old center has been a healthy scratch in most of the Blackhawks games this season and often sees checking-line duty when he gets into the lineup. Given the club’s struggles, Lazerus wondered why they won’t at least move Strome up in the lineup and put him with some skilled linemates.

Lazerus noted the Blackhawks have tried trading Strome for nearly a year, suggesting the recent management change clouded his situation. Even if they could find a team to ship him to, they’d be selling low right now on one of their best trade chips.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks might have to accept a lesser return for Strome. There’s obviously not much of a market for him right now and they’ve done him and themselves no favors by keeping him in the press box for most of this season. Like Kubalik, he’s an RFA with arbitration rights next summer.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau believes there are players the Blackhawks shouldn’t consider trading, such as Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach. However, he suggests Davidson should contemplate shopping long-time stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. While they each carry $10.5 million cap hits, they’ve got just one season left on their contracts following this one. Proteau thinks a team poised for a long Stanley Cup run could be willing to take on one or the other.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It comes down to whether Toews and Kane will agree to be moved. Both carry full no-movement clauses and might not be keen to waive them despite the Blackhawks’ struggles. Perhaps that decision is made next summer. It would be easier if they approached management and requested to be traded but there’s no certainty they’ll do that.


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks recently reported Stars goaltender Ben Bishop is now technically eligible to come off long-term injury reserve. However, that decision remains with Bishop and general manager Jim Nill.

Bishop’s been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery last fall. The 34-year-old goalie has been practicing with the Stars but they lack sufficient cap space to take him off LTIR. They can accomplish this by sending players to the minors or via trades.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars already have two goaltenders in Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin. Holtby, 32, has seen the bulk of their starts this season and sports a solid 2.46 goals against average and .924 save percentage. He also carries an affordable one-year, $2 million contract and lacks no-trade protection. Perhaps he becomes a trade candidate when the Stars decide to reactivate Bishop.


  1. Is there any logic to the Rangers acquiring Dylan Strome? Maybe playing with his brother might improve his game? The Rangers always seem to be lacking depth and center? I think the Rangers have young assets that they could pass over to Chicago who also need a change of scenery (Not named Kravstov)? Thoughts

    • Dov. IMO the Rangers already have 1 too many Stromes. Would he be an upgrade over his brother? They’ll both need new contracts next season. Maybe they’d be interested in the younger, cheaper one. Don’t think they can fit both next year but depending on Chytil injury last night it’s possible they’d be interested this year. Really need a scoring winger. Offense has been anemic.

  2. The Blackhawks are currently 1-9-2, so I’m not sure how it is possible to “nudge it toward getting worse.”

    • I would like to see the Stars trade Bishop (if that’s even possible)…Heck, I was hoping that the Stars would have gotten into the Eichel sweepstakes, with some thing like, Klingberg, Garianov, Bishop and a first in 2022. Would have helped Buffalo on many levels and given the Stars a goal score which they desparately need.

  3. The Blackhawks are a hot mess…

  4. The Black Hawk comment was an Lol I agree. As far as the Dallas goaltender situation it never made sense to have 4 nhl caliber guys. I always believed they just signed Holtby to trade him to a desperate team after an injury to there No1 guy. Unfortunately for Dallas that perfect storm hasn’t happened to a contending team. If the Jets lose Hellybuck or Calgary Markstrom for example instant market. Right now I suppose he’s a 2 nd rd pick but the upgrade to a 1 could be days away

  5. I could see Kane waiving but not Toews. Hawks would easily get a 1st + for Kane imo.

    • Buffalo can absorb his cap hit, they need a star player, and heck, I’ll throw in the local boy factor as a bonus.

      • Why would he agree to go there? He has already stated he is not interested in a rebuild but you keep making this suggestion…

      • I keep making this suggestion??? By making it once and disingenuously, I might add, is what you mean by “keep making”? … ok.

      • Maybe not you specifically several times but I’ve seen it made several times in the last few days.

        Still makes no sense.

    • A deal around knight for Kane with salary pieces exchanged sounds good for both teams.

      • Kane @ $10.5 million vs Knight @ $641,667. That’s gonna be a lot of salary pieces exchanged.
        What would you suggest. They’ve basically swapped all of their bottom six and spare parts over the last few seasons.

      • Hornquist would be a start. He’s half that money. Hawks could retain a bit. Dunno. Just find the situation with Florida interesting. Stuck with bob for years … for better ir worse. So far this year better. Knight is ready to be a starter. Florida is a cup contender if not favorite. I’d say use the futures to go all in.

      • I’d ask for Lundell as well, if I’m Chicago.
        I can see what you’re saying and I’d bet Kane would put them over the top. Wonder if Chicago would retain any money?

      • This just in, the Hawks are in more of a rebuild than the Sabres are at this point.

  6. Colliton was doomed anyway. Surprised he lasted as long as he did the season was is slipping away. Hawks have enough to be competitive

    Kane and Debrincat need to play together.

  7. It would be nice if NYR could acquire both Kane and Towes – an opportunity to play on the same with Panarin could be enticing for them. CHI would have to retain 50%. But in return NYR could send Strome, Chityl, one of the promising D prospects and picks. Maybe more.