NHL Rumor Mill – November 9, 2021

by | Nov 9, 2021 | Rumors | 22 comments

The latest on Filip Forsberg and a suggestion for the Penguins to target a Leafs defenseman in the trade market in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segment, Adam Vingan was asked if the Nashville Predators have held any contract talks with Filip Forsberg. His agent, J.P. Barry, told Vingan those discussions have not started but anticipated they could begin at some point in the season.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

Forsberg is in the final season of a six-year, $36-million contract. Vingan speculates Barry could push for his client to become the Predators’ highest-paid forward, exceeding the $8 million annually earned by Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene.

Another reader wondered if Forsberg’s latest injury (upper body, week-to-week) could affect those talks. The 27-year-old winger had already missed a total of 56 games over the previous four seasons to injury. While Forsberg isn’t a reckless player, his latest injury is a reminder of how risky it is for the Predators to sign him to a contract extension.

Vingan suggested Predators general manager David Poile tread carefully in negotiations. He also suggested an argument could be made for Poile to shop Forsberg before the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile has indicated his preference to signing Forsberg but I doubt he wants to repeat the mistakes he made with Johansen and Duchene. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Predators GM shops Forsberg if a contract extension isn’t ready before the March 21 trade deadline. Despite his recent history of injuries, Forsberg would draw considerable interest from playoff contenders if he becomes available in March.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski suggested the Penguins target Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Justin Holl in order to shore up a blueline that has been depleted at times already this season by injuries and COVID-19. Young rearguard Pierre-Olivier Joseph still doesn’t appear while there are questions if Juuso Riikola will reach NHL regular status.

Recent reports out of Toronto indicate the Leafs are shopping a right-side defenseman. While the 29-year-old Holl won’t light up the scoreboard, the 6’4”, 210-pounder is a physical blueliner who can clear traffic around the Penguins net and block shots. He also carries an affordable $2 million cap hit through 2022-23.

The cap-strapped Penguins would have to get creative to acquire Holl but he’d be an immediate upgrade. Kingerski recommended the Penguins offer up goaltender Louis Domingue in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kingerski also proposed the Penguins look at the Buffalo Sabres’ Mark Pysyk but he could be harder to acquire as he’s earning second-pairing minutes. Meanwhile, Holl has been a healthy scratch for the past five games.

It remains to be seen if there’s a deal to be had between the Penguins and Leafs regarding Holl. He shouldn’t cost that much to acquire but there doesn’t appear to be much interest in him thus far. The Leafs are also rumored to be willing to entertain offers for Travis Dermott.


  1. If I were the Leafs my first trade candidate would be engvall.

    • Holl would be better than Ruhwedal or Friedman. Dermot is a left shot and the Pens are 5 deep on the left side already.

      • Agree Dee that Holl (based on last year) is head and shoulders (literally LOL) over CR…. That said, he’s having a very rough year for Leafs

        To risky, IMVHO , for Pens to shell out for a $2M bottom pairing RHD that has been press box bound oft this season

        If he was the Holl of last year.. jump on it

        Friedman has been juggled back and forth and it’s hard to grade him

        Riikola…. I’ve posted dozens of times… he must have said or done something inappropriate to Mrs Sully…. Sully has treated him like absolute dirt and never gives him a chance

        When he has a great (read EXCELLENT ) game …. Oct 30th … Devil… 18 minutes…. Sully then penalizes him next game …. Sitting him for stretches and only giving him 11 minutes…. Sully has done Riikola a tremendous deservice

        Friedman has been promising. We’re it not for a glaring mistake by his D partner and 2 other goals (multi-directional changes/bounces; seeing eye goals)…. He’d be +5 (8GP) on the season

        Pens have had such a jumbled up roster with top players missing (Gino 10 of 10; Sid (9 of 10; Tanger (4); Rusty (7)) and adding to that Dumo uncharacteristically struggling defensively AND Marino having inconsistency issues…. Their standing (Div, conf, Wild Card, League) is understandable

        Fingers crossed for reg win v BlackHawks tonight. I am not holding my breath re Thursday v Panthers. Hoping for W v Sens…. If they get those 4 (of 6 points)…15 points (13 GP)…577….. then have all back (but Gino) for Wash….. that’s not too shabby…. Win in reg v Wash…. With above… 17 in 14 GP…608!!!

        So…. No need to panic… yet

        Conversely …. If say they only get 3 of next 8 points …. That’s 500, last in Div, and so much ground to make up…. Then panic mode possibly

        Holl move…. No IMHO

        Now the suggestion of Psyk… for only $150 K more (annually) than CR…. Add to that, younger, bigger, faster, and far better defensively (than CR)…. But more importantly he brings the hybrid position into play… Psyk can and has, played RD and RW equally well

        That flex is awesome…. He could dress some nights as 4RW (3RW in a pinch) and if there is an injury in game to a DMan (happens often) or two (rarer, but happens) then moving him back to D in-game vs playing balance of game with 5 (possibly 4) d-men…. big plus

        The obvious player going back is CR…. But it will have to be CR +….. and what is that going to cost?

        Or you ask for Psyk and Eakin (both 50% retained) ; give them CR and a bigger asset (than the plus above) as it is now window closing time

        Regardless… winning in reg tonight buys some panic time back

      • Riiko has looked good the last couple without Sullivan behind the bench for sure. I don’t think giving Holl a shot is that terrible of an idea depending on the cost to acquire. Toronto is an extremely toxic environment and sometimes a fresh start in a better culture is all a player needs to regain old form(see Ceci, Cody).

  2. engvall, kerfoot and holl need to go or toronto doesn’t do anything in the future—and i watch every game and fan of 40 years

    • Any or all of the Leafs bottom 6 can be dealt. I understand you rely on the $10million dollar guys but you need a little scoring from B6.

  3. I thought Holl was real decent last year. I guess he got dumb over the summer.
    There is a deal out there I am sure.

  4. Ritchie before all of them

    • Ritchie is an absolute train wreck. It’s one thing to not produce but his effort level is unacceptable.

      • Why do you think the Bruins never offered him or Kase a contract.With your top 4 forwards getting all the money you are left to get scrap heap forwards,third pair defensemen and backup goalies.Good luck!

  5. Ritchie’s lap speed with puck is measured with a calendar . For large dude plays soft. Bunting will have more majors

  6. @ Pengy…The Penguins are seriously interested in Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens do you make that move?

    Hextall and Burke want a character guy and he is that.

    Salaries are close Zucker at $ 5.5 million
    Gallagher at $ 6.4 million

    Both players are 29 and both would be better getting moved. No word on what was going back to Montreal I am assuming Zucker.

    Zucker strong start 3 goals 4 assists 7 points in 10 games.
    Gallagher /leader / grit / net front presence goes with Crosby and Guentzel..

    Do you make that move?

    • E4.

    • How about Craig Smith of the Bruins.2 more years at. 3 million aav.Strong character guy you are looking for and cheap.

      • Steve B…Yes agreed Smith character guy…..

        Gallagher is a captain, is more skilled, and gets those net front goals that you need in the playoffs.

        Yes he is more expensive than Smith but sending Zucker $900,000 difference..

      • I get them wanting Gallagher B&G, but why would MTL want Zucker, if in fact they do want to start a rebuild. He doesn’t seem like the guy they would want in return. Usually it would need to be young players/prospects/picks.

        Unless of course MTL just wants to get rid of him, and if that is the case why did they just extend him last year?

  7. Who in Montreal wants to move Gallagher??????
    Hard pass 🙂

    The only talk about Gallagher in Montreal is to name him Captain.

    • It has been on a couple websites that Hextall and Burke are seriously talking to Montreal about Gallagher.

      Montreal feels it is going in to a rebuild and they want to get from underneath his longer contract.

      Plus he has been underperforming they feel…there words not mine

      • Highly curious blackngold … as they also signed Toffoli, Anderson and Hoffman to multi-year deals .. Cup Final last year … Bergevin wants to stay in Montreal … just doesn’t seem believable that Montreal is suddenly thinking rebuild just because of this terrible start. So much has gone wrong so far in terms of injuries, Price’s situation, perhaps some sort of hangover from last year, the Kotkaniemi thing .. Something not right between the ears, but do they really feel like a rebuild is on?

        Just wondering where that came from? Radio? Those sites you mentioned?

  8. Girard to AZ for Kessel (50%retained) & CAPOBIANCO

    works for me

  9. Can the Bruins just trade DeBrusk with a piece and bring in a Dman …… DeBrusk is awful

  10. Ray Bark..The reason for wanting Zucker is his deal is short and they can out from under Gallagher’s deal.

    Jason Zucker is skilled and off to a good start 3 goals 7 assists 10 points.

    Jason fits their up tempo style in Montreal. Montreal apparently wants to start a rebuild.

    Brendan would fit nicely on Crosby’s line because he can drive to the net, he is a net front presence (ala Hornqvist) ANand he has some grit, and gets those close in goals.