Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 14, 2021

by | Nov 14, 2021 | Rumors | 12 comments

The latest on Tomas Hertl, a suggestion for the Ducks to embrace a full rebuild, and speculation over whether the Penguins should shop for a backup in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz still believes there is a 50-50 chance Tomas Hertl signs a contract extension with the San Jose Sharks. While the 28-year-old center seems happier this season, that doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to finish his career in San Jose or the Sharks want to sign him to a long, expensive contract.

San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hertl has said he hopes to speak with Sharks general manager Doug Wilson later this season about a contract extension. However, it won’t be easy to fit a new deal for him under their cap hit for next season.

Cap Friendly shows them with almost $62 million invested in 15 players for 2022-23. Assuming Hertl and Wilson agree to a $7 million annual average value, that won’t leave much room to bolster their roster unless they can shed some salary. Some will suggest buying out Evander Kane’s contract but that would leave a lot of dead cap space over the next six seasons.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien believes the Anaheim Ducks should embrace a true roster rebuild following Bob Murray’s resignation as general manager. He suggested attempting to move John Gibson in a well-timed, sell-high trade.

The 28-year-old goaltender carries a $6.4 million annual cap hit through 2026-27. Otherwise, they risk his performance declining by the time they’re truly ready to contend. O’Brien acknowledged trades involving prominent goalies with term on their contracts traded during the season but felt they should be aggressive and creative in pushing their rebuild.

With Ryan Getzlaf, Rickard Rakell, Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson on expiring contracts, O’Brien proposed shopping them (along with Gibson) at the March trade deadline. They could also weaponize their cap space by moving those players out to create enough room to target teams willing to pay a premium to unload some contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll likely get a better grasp of what the Ducks interim management intends to do by the second half of the season. They could start shopping those pending free agents and veterans like Gibson who might not fit into their long-term plans if they’ve tumbled out of playoff contention by March. However, they could also retain those players if they’re in the thick of the postseason race.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski wondered if the Penguins will be shopping for a reliable backup as Casey DeSmith has allowed four or more goals in seven of his last 10 starts dating back to last March.

Kingerski noted sources said Penguins management was interested in finding an experienced backup over the summer. Brian Burke (president of hockey operations) downplayed those rumors last month but Kingerski speculates that might be more the result of a bad trade market than a lack of interest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Josh Yohe doesn’t think it’s time yet for the Penguins to start searching for a better backup. However, he feels DeSmith needs to pick up his play and soon. A few more shaky performances and the Penguins won’t have much choice but to find a suitable understudy for starter Tristan Jarry.


  1. Maybe they ride out with desmith until maf returns.

    • Chrisms

      That might make for a storybook ending for Fleurys career but I doubt Hextall would surrender anything of value for a 36 yr old goalie having a bad sewson (albeit on a terrible team).

      Id more expect the Pens to wait until trade deadline or ride the season out and see Hextall sitting with Lemieux and pushing for a rebuild.

      Penguins do have a couple of moveable assets in Malkin and LeTang. Crosbys not going anywhere I would think.

      Going to take a long time to undo the mess Rutherford left behind. Pens need to stockpile picks and replenish the farm system.

      Pittsburghs a hard read for me. Should be good enough to make the playoffs if healthy but they could just as easily miss.

      • Unless pens are far to the outside looking in I doubt Malkin or tanger move.

        I can’t see what Rutherford left behind as a mess…. Just the natural cost of doing business to win two cups. He made some head scratchers (horny for matheson) but otherwise just tried to keep the crosby Malkin window open as long as he could.

        Definitely gonna be a slog for a few years coming up soon.

  2. Watched Bruin game yesterday it’s time they let some of the young guys play watching Foligno and Coyle on 2nd line is painful. I think they would be better off with Studnicka and Steen or even Fabian. Coyle and Foligno and Smith are third line guys need skill on 2nd line. Also play Swayman he looked real good.

    • Obe, I was looking up to the heavens when Dubas gave up a first for Foligno last deadline and equally shocked Sweeny signed him for 2 at almost $4m. His body is giving up on him naturally I guess,with the type of game he plays.

      I agree, let the younger guys in there.

      • I wouldn’t give up a stale box of cigars for Foligno I mentioned when they made the Foligno signing he’d be injured within the first few games and voila . I don’t really feel Steen will make much difference but because of his play in Providence he deserves a chance. I almost upchucked when I took at look at one line Kuhlman isn’t even a good ahl player. Foligno shouldn’t even be playing. Bruins have to make a trade for a second line centre.

    • was kinda hoping Hertl would end up in Boston somehow….but the D we have…..ugh….

  3. Why is it Brian Burke always being quoted about trade speculation when he is not the GM. It seems Hextall is really the assistant GM with the GM title. I can’t imagine this is what he envisioned when he was hired on in Pittsburg.

    • Hi Jeff , re “ It seems Hextall is really the assistant GM with the GM title. I can’t imagine this is what he envisioned when he was hired on in Pittsburg.”

      What you are perceiving, is what most are perceiving; me included

      I’m pretty sure you are right…. Hextall neither envisioned this nor signed on for it

      On the flip side…. I have a strong belief that this is EXACTLY what Burkie envisioned and signed on for

      Burkie can fire Hextall if the team fails; even though he was de facto shot-caller on moves; and there is no proverbial direct egg-on-the-face of Burkie…. sweet deal

      They need to do something…. They are gearing (as at now) to possibly end up just outside of playoffs ; and picking 15th or 16th

  4. With the moves Sweeney makes Bergy and marchands chances of winning another cup in Boston is closing fast! Why is this guy still GM? Is it because he is cheap and jacobs is still filling the building? The 3 first round picks he blew, the Kase deal, the Vlad deal and the Foligno deal alone should get him removed

    • I have mentioned this numerous times in this space,Sweeney is a good capologist,below average talent evaluator.Must look at the scouting department also.What is Neeley s role in this.He took some of the blame for that aborted 2015 draft.Solution,hire Tim Burke of the San Jose Sharks to run your scouting department,he has local ties Melrose and he drafted the guy all the people want to get Thomas Hertl.

  5. Pens and trades??

    HexBurkie has to decide (1) whether Pens can make the playoffs and (2) if they make it… what is the likelihood that they can go all the way

    To me… #1 is a tough call …. Right now they have many teams to leapfrog before they get to a playoff spot; and they are in the toughest (IMVHO) Div in the NHL. However, they have been playing with a decimated roster and lines and D pairings are constantly jumbled limiting the development of comfort/chemistry with line mates and D partners

    #2 is irrelevant if #1 doesn’t happen; regardless, a full and healthy Pens as is; or at best; an extreme longshot to make it out of the East , let alone win a SC

    The worst outcome this year is not doing any moves (now or at TDL) ; and finishing just out of the playoffs …. Picking 14th or 16th

    The all in move…. that’s IF HexBurkie truly believe Pens can get in and with the right moves …. Can get to the SCF….options

    (A) Zucker ; DeSmith; Ruhweedel + + + for the Flower, De Haan , Strome (all at 50% retained…. note …. only balance of year left on contracts); sign Staal; sign Duby….. that move gets a squad (barring injuries) that has a fair shot at getting to the ECF (where anything can happen in a 7 game series) …. However that +++ will have to include a 1st (lottery protected); and Marino ; and 1 or 2 prospects….say O’Connor and Puustinen; but has..

    Gino-Kappy-Carter or Heinen
    Carter or Strome-E-Rod-Staal or Heinen
    Blueger-ZAR- Heinen or McGinn or Staal
    Depth: Simon, Boyle, Poulin; LeGere

    DeHaan/Matheson or Pettersson
    Friedman /Matheson or Pettersson
    7th/8th P-O J; Riikola

    Jarry/The Flower
    3rd … Duby

    The middle strategy…

    (B) Zucker for Manson (Ducks); sign Duby; sign Staal; send down De-Smith; send down Ruhweedel….. barring further injuries…. That squad gets Pens in playoffs; fair shot at round two; marginal shot at round 3 (where anything could happen in a 7 game series)

    Carter -E-Rod-Staal or McGinn
    Blueger-ZAR- Staal or McGinn
    Depth: Simon, Boyle, Poulin; LeGere

    Manson/Matheson or Pettersson
    Friedman /Matheson or Pettersson
    7th/8th P-O J; Riikola

    3rd … DeSmith

    Or if HexBurkie deems them out of it at TDL…

    Get what you can for Tanger; Rusty; Carter; ZAR; E-Rod; talk to Gino to see if he waives to go to Panthers…. and start the rebuild