NHL Rumor Mill – December 11, 2021

by | Dec 11, 2021 | Rumors | 37 comments

Analysis of Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek’s list of potential trade candidates in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek recently listed 25 potential trade candidates of interest to watch this season.

Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano (NHL Images).

He starts by wondering if Mark Giordano might be thinking of a shot at the Stanley Cup and if the Seattle Kraken might consider shopping him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t rule it out. That move could happen near the March 21 trade deadline. On the other hand, I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of the Kraken re-signing him.

The Montreal Canadiens could get a first-round pick for defenseman Ben Chiarot from a team seeking a deep playoff run.

That seems to be the growing consensus among the pundits. We’ll find out at some point this season if that’s the case.

Marek also wondered if Brendan Gallagher and Tyler Toffoli would want to be part of a potential rebuilding in Montreal.

If the Canadiens decide to move Gallagher and/or Toffoli it’ll likely happen in the offseason. It’s difficult to move older players with several years on their contracts during the season, especially with 22 teams carrying less than $3.6 million in cap space. Some will have more cap room by the trade deadline but they must also keep an eye on next season’s payrolls with the cap only rising by $1 million.

The direction of the Nashville Predators depends on what they do with pending UFA winger Filip Forsberg.

Predators GM David Poile said in July he was engaging in a “competitive rebuild”. That could continue with Forsberg’s departure. If they’re still in playoff contention by the deadline they’ll keep him as an “own rental” and let him walk this summer if they can’t reach an agreement on an extension.

The Dallas Stars are shopping Anton Khudobin. Marek suspects they’re after a forward. Teams like the Carolina Hurricanes have called about John Klingberg but the Stars could keep him for the playoffs if unable to re-sign the pending UFA defenseman.

Concur on both counts.

The Boston Bruins will remain patient in their efforts to move winger Jake DeBrusk until they get the best possible player or players in return.

Interested clubs could also be unwilling to meet the Bruins’ asking price. Marek’s colleague Elliotte Friedman reported GM Don Sweeney was seeking a defenseman or forward of equal value.

The Vegas Golden Knights could move Reilly Smith to free up cap space when Jack Eichel is ready to return to action.

Smith seems the most likely trade candidate. He carries a $5 million cap hit, lacks no-trade protection and is slated to become a UFA this summer.

The Vancouver Canucks are looking to change direction and could surprise us by moving J.T. Miller.

Not if they manage to climb back into playoff contention. Otherwise, I wouldn’t rule out the Canucks testing the trade market for Miller.

Marek doesn’t envision any scenario where Evander Kane returns to the San Jose Sharks lineup. He believes they’ll have to absorb some of his salary to move him.

He’s not the only pundit who believes that.  Kane’s off-ice woes, his reputation as a divisive player in the dressing room and his $7 million annual salary cap hit make him difficult to move.

Perhaps a team in Alberta would have an interest in Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Marek is referring to the Edmonton Oilers. However, that depends on the health of Oiler goalie Mike Smith, whether Fleury would accept a trade to Edmonton and if the Blackhawks are willing to pick up part of his cap hit.

Marek suggested Detroit Red Wings forward Vladislav Namestnikov and defenseman Nick Leddy could become trade candidates.

Only if the Wings drop out of playoff contention again. Otherwise, they’ll keep both in hope of securing their first postseason berth since 2016.

Ditto Ottawa Senators center Chris Tierney and blueliners Erik Brannstrom and Nick Holden.

I agree regarding Tierney and Holden but I can see them giving Brannstrom another season to crack their roster.

The Columbus Blue Jackets could trade Joonas Korpisalo by the trade deadline. Elvis Merzlikins is their starter and Daniil Tarasov shows promise.


Marek wonders if the St. Louis Blues might try to trade Vladimir Tarasenko. It’s clear things are frosty between Taraseno and Blues coach Craig Berube.

Tarasenko hasn’t rescinded his trade request and is fully recovered from his shoulder surgeries. However, his $7.5 million annual average value through 2022-23 remains a sticking point as it was this past summer. The fact he’s owed $9.5 million in actual salary this season and I believe the earliest he gets moved is next summer.

New York Rangers GM Chris Drury won’t budge on honoring Vitali Kravtsov’s trade request unless he gets something of quality in return. Backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev’s name has also been in the rumor mill.

Kravtsov is on loan to KHL club Chelyabinsk and can’t return to the NHL until the KHL season is over. Georgiev’s solid effort filling in for sidelined starter Igor Shesterkin could improve his trade value but the Blueshirts could be reluctant to move him unless they’ve got a reliable backup to replace him.

Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel is available and so is pretty much anyone not named Jakub Chychrun.

I anticipate Kessel gets moved by deadline day. It’ll be interesting to see how many other Coyotes veterans hit the trade block by then.

Marek also wonders what the Pittsburgh Penguins will do with pending UFAs Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Bryan Rust. What happens with Malkin will depend on his health.

I doubt the Penguins shop any of those three if they’re holding a playoff berth by deadline day. Rust is the only one lacking any kind of no-trade protection and carries the most affordable cap hit ($3.5 million).

Marek wondered if Oilers GM Ken Holland will use his first-round pick as trade bait to bring in immediate help for his roster. He also mused over whether the Buffalo Sabres would use one of their three 2022 first-round picks to address an organizational need.


  1. I’d be shocked if chariot gets a first. At best I could see a conditional one with it turning into a first if said team makes conference finals or something like that

    Bruins have been waiting so long to move debrusk for the right value that he now has almost none…. What are they waiting for? For him to actually have zero value?

    • It is a waste if the Bruins trade Debrusk for another 3rd .org 4th line wing. As I have already commented, they need a puck-moving defenseman like the Ghost.

      • I actually don’t care for hot beverages. Maybe a chocolate after being out in the snow once in awhile.

    • I would not want to see you unsettled, Chrisms. While you are not the first person on this site to be skeptical of Chiarot giving a first, there is good reason why many covering hockey predict he will. I certainly can’t blame you if you have not been watching Habs games this year, but Chiarot regularly demonstrates his value.

      So brace yourself, my man. Perhaps with some of the BRC that Joe so often recommends?

      • What’s going on with Josh Anderson, Lj? A key player, I think, but never mentioned. Is his surgically repaired shoulder bothering him? The Habs must have expected better than 37 points and minus 21 in 77 games when they signed him for 7 years at $5.5 million. Should he be a trade consideration?

      • I can’t tell you anything about Anderson’s injury, Francis, save what has been published: up to 4 weeks after “falling awkwardly.” I’ve found it difficult to find even basic information on injuries – such as total games lost per team.

        As for Anderson’s contribution this season, it is difficult to assess. Just before his injury his play had picked up dramatically. But the Habs have so many injuries it is impossible to assess how players are doing: there is no line continuity and every game someone new is out of the line up. Wish Gorton luck coming to a determination on who should go and who should stay.

    • Chiarot def brings a first back, maybe more …

      • If the first were to fall somewhere between a Connor McDavid and a Nicholas Merkley, where would you place him, Ed?

  2. The. Debrusk situation. Is a disconnect between coach and player He has the skills to be a 20plus winger but his rope was made too short by. Bruce. He struggled emotionally last year with being alone thru. Covid Bruins signing of. Hall told him we no need you anymore. My bet is a fresh start will return Debrusk. To a 20 Goal player I believe Sweeney thinks that as well so needs to get equal value and or upside. He should have pulled the trigger 2 years back when Jessie P and the oil were at odds Time will tell how this plays out

    • Sweeney still has not replaced Boychuk,Chara,, Krug, or Krejci What makes anyone believe he will act quickly and move Debrusk?

    • Barry, why move quickly if the right deal isn’t there? If it isn’t keep DeBrusk, if the deal makes sense then do it.
      The B’s have been playing better of late, they have tightened up their structure and have really started to limit chances against. So agree the play is to generate more high danger chances, as they need help there. Disagree on the Ghost idea. The guy is an overall negative as he doesn’t defend well, and if you bring in a puck mover he also needs to not give up more than he generates. That ain’t Ghost.
      I think a guy who can generate from the wing, a distributor vs shooter, will be the answer as I don’t think he can afford a 2C and not hurt the team on the ice elsewhere. He can likely get that at the TDL for a 1st.

      Just my thoughts, unless Krecji wants to come back. When does that season end?

      • What have you been watching.?! Tell you what, let’s all stand pat let the pieces fall in place the bruins will miss the playoffs but what will be, will be right? You sound like the guy living near an atomic bomb explosion “ well we only have few seconds left to live, but just look at beautiful cloud formations.

      • Interesting comment by Jake dad, last game when they were showing highlights of Jake game.

        It showed the hit by two bruins where Debrusk wasn’t really part of the hit.

        Louie partner said ” Your not going to give him any credit there.”

        Louie replied “alright he was there, but the kid got to hit more.”

        Honest evaluation from Dad.

  3. What the hell with Pettersson ? I heard he is having supply chain issues with his sticks. No joke
    I think there is more to it than that . He needs to be in the trade bait discussion. 4 goals

    • Bruins will take him. 😎

    • If you dont want him, send him to Boston for DeBrusk…….

    • SilverSeven. Interesting off season where we heard how Tarasenko and Eichel were “damaged goods”. Nobody said anything about Pettersson signing big deal coming off wrist surgery. Wonder if it’s hampering his shot?

  4. Got to 2nds for Boychuk. One is Carlo. Krug makes too much$$
    Hard to replace 46 it really hurt the bruins this year. Chara is old and slow A 7th d on a contender he plays too nice. Needs a little Pronger DNA no one would go near him

    • Really like this Josh Manson on the west coast, he hits like a brama bull ,good positional hockey player mean as they come. Bruins should try and get him

  5. “Marek suggested Detroit Red Wings forward Vladislav Namestnikov and defenseman Nick Leddy could become trade candidates.

    Only if the Wings drop out of playoff contention again. Otherwise, they’ll keep both in hope of securing their first postseason berth since 2016.”
    Wings upcoming is maybe the toughest in the league. That being said, I do not for see them crawling back in contention.
    I wonder if the Avs are still shopping for a scoring forward and to rid themselves of Girard’s cap hit? If so, why not trade for Girard. Byram’s injury has stalled this move, but if a puck=moving D is given to replace Girard and a scoring forward, would Sakic make the trade???
    So, I summit that Stevie give the Avs Leddy(1/2 salary retained down to $2.75M cap hit and Zadina for Girard and his $5M x 5 more years contract.
    The Wings need help at LD, the Avs clear the cap hit, get an affordable puck-moving rental D that will give them more cap flexibility next year and get a middle six scoring forward with a lot of upside (but is currently snake-bit in Detroit)
    Girard may not be the perfect Yserman defender, but bigger bodies are on the way for next year.

    • I’m not sure about this proposed trade. It does accomplish something for each team, but doesn’t get to the root of each team’s problems. Detroit does get a young puck moving LD, and Colorado does get some cap space. But both teams have the same issue – they both need a shutdown defenseman. Yes, the Avs did win 7 -3 yesterday, but they also gave up many scoring chances, ones they can’t afford to give up if winning the Cup is their priority. Other contenders would have scored 5 – 6 goals against them yesterday, and you can’t count on scoring 6 goals against serious cup contenders come playoff time. Leddy doesn’t address the defensive issues for the Avs, who may also need another goalie. And Detroit desperately needs someone other than Seider to be able to win defensive zone one on one battles. I am also not ready to give up on Zadina.

      On a different topic, am I the only one who watched yesterday’s game that thought that Makar’s cross check on Hronek late in the third deserved more than two minutes ?

      • Thanks for the reply. I sense that a Girard for Chariot + would be a better solution for the Avs. But the money would be tricky for both.
        As for goaltending, would the Avs trade Kuemper for MAF (1/2 salary retained) seems like a winner for both parties. Francouz is on his way back soon and is doing good on his conditioning stint.
        And yes, that Makar hit on Hronek deserved more attention. But Makar sells a lot of tickets and jerseys…….

      • cannot give up on Zadina at all … no deal

  6. How about this for the B’s. The best offensive pending UFA, on a team that won’t likely make the playoffs is Claude Giroux. DeBrusk plus a 1st? PHI eats some $. He has NMC so can control where he goes, so may be able to get him for less if he wants to go to BOS. Too much? Not enough? Go ahead and critique.

    Option 2 is Forsberg from NSH, but they are in the hunt, and also in a “competitive rebuild”. Not sure what that means, but if they want a return for him, for the rebuild part of that quote, and don’t think they can resign him, then maybe?

    Those type of guys.

    • Both those guys are great. Giroux would solve the 2nd line problem and probably. Light a fire with Hall. But I don’t think. Bruins would do it simply because he will just walk away at year end and they still wouldn’t be a top 4 contender this year

      • I think Sweeney is going for it.

        I still believe this team is built well for the playoffs.

        Less then a week to sign Krejci

        If you look at capfriendly.com and when all the contract expire over the next two season. I believe Sweeney is giving them a two year window.

        If things don’t go well next year they’ll have some ufa to peddle at the till.

    • That is the burning question MrB4 and agree with you, still don’t think it is enough to get them to the promised land. Not sure they have the assets to accomplish that goal.

      But my guess is they try, because that is what teams in their position often do. I’m OK if they do, I get it, just not sure it can work.

  7. Bruins and Flames play tonight, good opportunity to scout each other for a straight up trade;
    Debrusk for Dube

    Cap works if the Flames send Froese to the minors

  8. Detroit will probably trade anyone they can, including Namestikov, even if they make the playoffs.

    • I agree. I think that Namestnikov, Fabbri, Greiss, Staal, Dekeyser, Leddy, Stecher, and Gagner could all be candidates. And I don’t expect them to hold onto a playoff spot. They are a .500 team at best right now.

    • I am wondering how long Lou holds back from selling on the Island. If Detroit beats them Tuesday, that may be another nail in the coffin!

  9. Tarasenko to Colombus for Joonas Korpisalo?

    Colombus are suprisingly good and have a good and young defense and goalie depth. Sillinger is a great surprise and if Laine can rejoin them, adding another sniper like Tarasenko would give them the depth up front to compete right this year.

  10. Canucks replace one Bungling Jimmy with another. Though with the Canucks having zero prospects or cap room it seems Mr Benning has already done the hard part and gotten the Nucks where Mr Rutherford would have eventually ended up, right before he quits.

    • Condolences Ron

    • Pens didn’t have any cap space when Rutherford was hired and he got them two cups. I fail to see your point.

  11. I got it! Giordano and Donato (both 1/2 salary retained) for Girard!
    Mark gets his shot at a cup, Avs get a shut-down D with offensive capability and a scoring middle six forward that they may re-sign, and dump Mark’s salary at the end of the season for more cap flexibility for next season. The Kracken get a damn good puck moving D. Win-win!

    • Very risky move, Donato has struggled to make his mark in the NHL, and dumping Gio after a few months? They’d better hope they win the cup, or that would not be worth a talent like Girard, who has term on his deal and is obviously much younger..

      I think it is more likely that Joe will move Girard, if he does, for something that will help the Avs for at least a few years, they still have that window to tinker with the roster and find the winner.

      Now, if Gio signs an extension with the Avs for, say, 2 years, that would be a worthwhile trade as long as he performs at a high level.

      I am kind of cap stupid, just being honest, do bonuses count toward the cap in any way, shape or form? Could a player just sign for $1m per year cap hit with a $4m signing bonus, or other bonus?