Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 21, 2021

by | Nov 21, 2021 | Rumors | 18 comments

Will the Rangers go shopping for a forward? Have they started contract talks with Ryan Strome? What moves could be in store for the Sabres after trading Jack Eichel? Check out the latest in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple took note of TSN’s Darren Dreger’s recent report claiming the New York Rangers are in the market for a middle-six forward to replace Sammy Blais after he suffered a season-ending knee injury. He also felt they could pursue a defenseman but that could be a move made closer to the March 21 trade deadline.

Staple believes the Rangers can’t afford to take on players with term remaining on their contracts as new deals will be required next summer for Blais and restricted free agent Kaapo Kakko plus they’ll also require a second-line center and a backup goalie.

Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel (NHL Images).

Looking at players on expiring contracts, Staple suggested the Seattle Kraken’s Calle Jarnkrok or Marcus Johansson, the Ottawa Senators’ Chris Tierney, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Nino Niederreiter, the Arizona Coyotes’ Phil Kessel, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Dylan Strome, the Montreal Canadiens’ Artturi Lehkonen and the Los Angeles Kings’ Gabriel Vilardi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Niederreiter will be available. The Hurricanes are among the NHL’s best teams and have little reason to ship him out for a draft pick or prospect. If they were to move Niederreiter, it would be to bring in a player to address a different roster need.

The Los Angeles Kings aren’t a struggling club like the others listed here but they could become a seller should fall out of the playoff chase as the season rolls along. Vilardi was recently demoted to the minors and could become a trade chip at some point. Staple’s colleague, Lisa Dillman, speculated the former first-round pick might be at the point in his career where a trade could help get his career back on track. She proposed the Tampa Bay Lightning and the rebuilding Coyotes as possible destinations for Vilardi.

Kessel would be an expensive addition unless the Coyotes retain part of his $6.8 million cap hit. Teams with an interest in the veteran winger could prefer waiting until the trade deadline to pursue him.

The Blackhawks tried shopping Strome since last season but couldn’t find any takers. The interim management probably won’t have any better luck. He’s been skating on their checking line but is best suited on the second line with better wingers.

As for the Kraken, Senators and Canadiens, they’re going to be among this season’s sellers but they don’t have to dump expiring contracts right now. They’ll likely wait until the second half of the season in order to find the best return possible.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy wondered if the Boston Bruins might try to entice the Rangers into taking winger Jake DeBrusk off their hands. He had a strong preseason but has been inconsistent thus far this season. DeBrusk remains a mainstay in the rumor mill among NHL scouts and executives but there’s no indication the Bruins and Rangers are talking trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk might still be a topic of trade chatter in some NHL circles but there’s doesn’t seem to be much interest in him. The media speculation about the 24-year-old winger’s trade status has died down since the summer.

NEW YORK POST: Speaking of the Rangers, Mollie Walker reported there haven’t been any contract extension talks between management and Ryan Strome. The 28-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Given their recent signings of Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox plus Kakko due for a new contract, Walker believes the Rangers probably can’t afford to re-sign Strome.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Rangers with over $70.8 million invested in 16 players for 2022-23. Strome will seek a higher annual average value than his current $4.5 million. He’ll likely hit the open market next summer unless the Rangers shed some salary to re-sign him.


THE BUFFALO NEWS: In a recent mailbag segment, Lance Lysowski was asked if the Sabres would pursue a starting goaltender via next summer’s free-agent market. He doesn’t see them going that route with promising Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen on the cusp of the NHL.

If Luukkonen is ready for the job next season, the Sabres could bring back Dustin Tokarski or sign a reliable veteran on a short-term deal. Lysowski recommends going the trade route if Luukkonen isn’t ready.

Lysowski was also asked which of the Sabres pending UFAs could be shopped at the trade deadline. He felt Colin Miller’s value as a right-shot defenseman puts him at the top of the list.

Others could include Vinnie Hinostroza, Drake Caggiula, Cody Eakin, Robert Hagg, Craig Anderson and Dustin Tokarski but he doesn’t expect the Sabres will trade them all. He speculated they could attempt to bring back Mark Pysyk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres have made their big moves after trading Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall, Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen since April. Any major moves between now and March 21 will likely be to move out some pending UFAs for draft picks.


  1. With two C already out long-term (Colin White and Shayne Pinto) I doubt Tierney is going anywhere in the foreseeable future – unless Dorion can find someone through the trade route. Even then …

  2. Why would Boston trade Debrusk to the rangers ? Ryan Strome isn’t the answer to centre they need a Thomas Hertl. Debrusk is a better player than Strome. Got a feeling if they unload Debrusk they’re gonna sign Rask. Any hoo Got to go wives cooking up some eggs bacon, and flapjacks Already slipped out got my giant Cup of Timmy’s. Bruins will win tonight Bad dah dah dah dah I’m loving it.

    • Drinking your Timmie’s while singing the Mickey D’s jingle.

      That’s about as mixed up as most of your posts.

      They are going to sign Rask whether or not they trade Debrusk.

      • Thanks captain Obvious,. flying v living proof there is life after death.

      • Nice to see you take sarcasm as a way to validate your post, Rick.

        You do realize that the Captain was being glib?

        Not so Obvious after all, Captain. You are going to have to be a little more simple with some comments it seems;)

    • I could see how Debrisk is superior to Strome. Over the last 4 years (not including this year) Debrisk has put up 136 points to Stromes 177.

      Makes perfect sense?

  3. Are any of those “middle 6” forwards a huge upgrade for Rangers? No. Villardi is only player mentioned that I’d trade for in that group. And not as a need, but as a possible swap of Kravtsov. Rangers have zero need for DeBrusk, considering they’re already stacked at LW. Already experimented with Kreider, Lafreniere, and now Goodrow at RW. My opinions of Murphy has lead to him blocking me on Twitter. As far as Strome, I don’t see any upgrades currently for him in trade rumors. I also don’t see a huge drop off from him with their other centers. Team went 4-0 when he was out of line up. Goodrow or Chytil could both slot up to 2C if they decided to move Strome or just let him walk in off season. Rangers are 6th overall in winning %, but only 22nd in scoring per game. Curious to see what Vancouver does, as Boeser was in rumors here last year and would fit nicely in Rangers top 6. Would be nice if they can add someone who can actually put puck in. Not sure if Kessel can still do, but if cost wasn’t much?

    • @slick
      Trading for Kessel only makes sense if he wants it. a motivated Thrill is a good player….but if he doesnt want to leave skip it him.

      • ds. Havnt seen Kessel and have no idea what his value is right now. He does have an 8 team trade list but I’m sure he’d be pretty open to going to many teams. Yotes have a ton of picks already in next draft so someone like Kravtsov could be a fit there. Would Arizona give up a 2nd and Phil?

      • Wait. A second and Phil? For kratsov?

      • Might be better off to trade a 6th to Chicago for Strome and make him 3c with Laf and Gauthier

        Move Chytil to 1rw and goodrow as 1c until Zib is back

        Upon Zib return move goodrow to line 4 with Rooney and reaves

        Hunt can sit.

      • Slick, I think the currant trade value for Phil is either/or but not both a 2nd and Krav.

    • Kessel would be a nice fit but the best fit would be Järnkrok, he can play both C and W and would be a good fit on 3rd C and move Chytil to second line winger, or be put on 2nd line himself.

    • Slick62, who are you going to give up for BB? Not sure who I’d want back. Kakko maybe?

    • Boeser having a slow start and Canucks are dangerously close to solidifying this season into the trainwreck category. Add it up and the fans are starting to suggest Boeser is the piece we should trade for a legit defensive right sude d-man. Not sure Rangers would be the right trading partner for that.

  4. engvall and kerfoot and holl for kessell—-iron man sniper and no blozak to ruin his toronto stay

    • Re-Kessel…That’s a gross overpayment for an upcoming UFA.

      Not that I mind Kessel coming back to TOR but where would he play? Unless Nylander shifts to LW or C he’s not taking Marner’s RW spot. I do think a line of Nylander-Tavares-Kessel would be entertaining. Look what Tavares did for Moulson on the island.

      PLEASE get rid of Engvall ASAP. This guy is so frustrating to watch.

  5. Re “ The Blackhawks tried shopping Strome since last season but couldn’t find any takers.”…. I believe it is more likely they couldn’t get takers at their asking price

    No team would pay two firsts for him; but I’d think 31 teams would be willing to pay a 7th in ‘23 for him

    These two goalposts of trade value of course are ludicrous… I’m only pointing out that he IS tradable at the right price… what that is??

    If it was as low as a 3rd …. HexBurkie could have (and should have) jumped on that… they had the space with Gino out…..

    Not doing great this year… but young C that had an 18 G (full season) pace last year…. Yes $3M… but only for 1 year… not required to re-sign him….

    so the ask for sure was greater than a 3rd