NHL Rumor Mill – December 2, 2021

by | Dec 2, 2021 | Rumors | 47 comments

Check out the latest Flyers and Bruins speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi believes it could be time for Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher to make some tough decisions if his club falls out of playoff contention. They’re mired in a lengthy losing skid and losing ground in the postseason race.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

One of those decisions could involve shopping captain Claude Giroux. The 34-year-old Flyers forward is their leading scorer and still has something left in the tank. He’s also slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Carchidi believes Giroux could fetch a solid return if shopped before the March 21 trade deadline.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox also speculated on some of those difficult decisions facing Fletcher. He wondered if Giroux would agree to waive his no-movement clause. Fox noted Elliotte Friedman mentioning Giroux on the Jeff Marek Show. “I’ve wondered about him going to Ottawa before,” said Friedman, who also pondered the possibility of the Flyers perhaps shaking up their core again after having done so in the offseason.

Fox felt any number of options could be on the table for the Flyers, including shopping winger Travis Konecny. While that would be a bold move, he also felt it would be a long shot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher recently spoke about being patient with the lineup but I think he’ll soon reach the stage where he’ll have to do something to shake this club out of its doldrums. That could include replacing Alain Vigneault as head coach in hope of saving the season.

If that doesn’t work or if Fletcher doesn’t go that route, trades will be in the offing at some point if the club fails to reverse its fortunes. He could sit down with Giroux to determine where his captain sees his future and if it’s with a rebuilding club.


THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes it could take some time before Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney pulls the trigger on a Jake DeBrusk trade. The Bruins still need him in the lineup with Brad Marchand serving a three-game suspension plus their farm team in Providence is going through a COVID outbreak. He also pointed out Sweeney’s reputation for carefully considering trade offers and playing hardball for as long as he can.

Shinzawa also pointed out one of Sweeney’s preferences is clearing salary-cap space for Tuukka Rask. The play of current goalie tandem Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark has been the club’s other weakness besides its offensive production.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma took note of recent speculation linking the Vancouver Canucks to DeBrusk. He pointed to the Canucks’ limited cap space as a sticking point, suggesting it might have to be a dollar-in, dollar-out deal to take on DeBrusk’s $3.675 million cap hit.

One option could be shopping Tanner Pearson, who’s in the first season of a three-year, $9.75 million contract. However, he has a no-trade clause for this season.

NBC SPORTS: Sean Leahy believes the Bruins are keeping their crease warm for Tuukka Rask when he’s finally ready to return to action from offseason hip surgery. He’s currently training five days a week and could be ready in early January. Rask is an unrestricted free agent but has made no secret of his wish to sign with the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rask has also indicated he’s willing to accept an affordable one-year deal with the Bruins. Still, it would be worthwhile to clear sufficient cap space to sign him. However, it could also complicate efforts to swap DeBrusk for another middle-six forward.

DeBrusk has been linked to around a dozen teams. Most of those mentioned, like the Canucks, are cap-strapped clubs. Sweeney might have to focus on those with cap space to make a deal happen.


  1. That’s Sweeney’s problem he’s played hardball throughout his tenure. His unwillingness to deal has missed out on countless opportunities to help this club. His terrible drafting record, poor minor league system, and terrible, horrific free agent signings are a matter of record. to list all of his blunders would take the better part of my day and I have to get work. If anything’s to be gained from this season is that Sweeney finally gets his comeuppance at the end of the regular season.

    • Bad drafting, poor minor league system and poor free agent signing, isn’t what cost Marc Bergevin job in Montreal?

    • You are not a bruins fan all you do is crap on their team. You have little to no hockey knowledge. I bet you tune in to felger n Maz regularly. Go jump ship. Donny has done what every GM does looks into cost. Every team with a player worth having has requested Pasta Carlo Mcavoy and Swayman. I could only imagine the crying if he made those moves

  2. DeBrusk for E Kane $3.5M retained. This bad boy may be the Bruins messiah!

    • I like the Kane to Boston for Debrusk scenario. Kane will bahave himself for a year or two with strong leadership from Marchand and others, but those guys are long in the tooth. What happens when they’re gone? I’m a Shark fan, and would love someone to take him off their hands like this.

      • Kane will behave because of strong leadership from Brad Marchand?? The same Marchand who licks, kicks, and cheap shots his way through the league? THAT will be the guy to straighten out Kane???? THAT is HILLARIOUS!

      • Peter Brad also scores passes hits wins fights kills penalties plays power play and is the ultimate competitor. Bergeron is also a pretty good example of leadership. Brad Bergie and Sid were easily Canada’s best line and Marchand was arguably their best player.

      • Kane marches to the beat of his own drum, so I highly doubt strong leadership matters…he alienates his team mates. The guy has talent but is mush between the ears…his history shows that time and again.

  3. Didn’t at first but starting to like the Kane for DeBrusk although wouldn’t mind seeing the Bruins move DeBrusk and a piece or two for a #2 center and either move Coyle down to 3rd line center or just move him to a wing ….. they could also use a SAH Dman and a 4th line banger with toughness

    • I’ve been thinking about a bigger package deal to San Jose. Get Hertl and Kane. Package DeBrusk, Coyle, Moore, Senyshyn and a 3rd. If Hertl resigns, the 3rd goes to a 2nd. San Jose is getting DeBrusk, Senyshyn and the pick for Hertl and Coyle and Moore for Kane. No salary held either way.

      • Wow. Do it Donnie.

  4. Boston getting close to needing to make a decision.

    On their roster the have only 3 forwards 25yrs old or younger Pastrnak 25, Debrusk 25 and Frederick 23

    Average age of forwards 28.9

    3 ufa’s at season end Bergeron, Lazar and Blidh and 5 the following season; Pastrnak, Foligno, Smith, Haula and Nosek

    to complicate things they have 3 LD in Grzelcyk, Forbort and Reilly all make $3m per for two more season, imo none of the 3 are worth $2m and the left side D needs a complete over haul.

    If the teams to slide, i rather see a bunch shipped out for prospects and picks, most won’t get much of a return, maybe some seconds and thirds but gain some valuable cap space.

    The biggest return would be for Bergeron if he is willing to move.

    The only way any of the above happens is Boston has to be well outside the playoff picture; if there even close to the playoffs Sweeney will add not subtract.

    • That 2015 1st round draft has hurt the Bruins for sure. Missed on 2 of the 3 picks. Now the one that they hit on is struggling and wants to be moved.
      I know hindsight is 20/20, but if they would have picked just one of the players that have worked out after their 3 picks the Bruins would be looking a lot better today.

      • Everyone always says Barzal I don’t touch him with a 10 ft pole if you want to dream take Aho and Connor two studs.

      • I have always said that if the Oilers had kept their 15th pick instead of trading it that they would have picked Thomas Chabot and not Barzel.

    • The 2015 draft will always haunt Sweeney. The players he drafted had decent numbers and were projected in some mock drafts to go close to where they were taken. Regardless, you don’t pass up on Barzal 3 times! Chabot has more points than DeBrusk as a defenseman, so that was another blunder.

      Grz is worth 3 mil, if Cassidy would stop playing Forbort with McAvoy and leave Grz with him.

      Reilly is a serviceable 3rd pairing guy, maybe even 2nd with Carlo.

      Sweeney was asleep when Col traded Graves to NJ. That would have solved a lot on the defense.

  5. Just tossing this out there …. If the Bruins are happy with the Rask health and his goaltending would you think at some point if they decide to sign Rask it would be a good idea to move Linus Ullmark and his 5 million per in a trade

    • I was thinking the same thing. Colorado is in desperate need of another goalie after last night’s events in Toronto – perhaps the Bs could get a young defender like Timmins in return. It would leave Swayman holding down the fort until Tuukka returns which isn’t ideal but a risk maybe worth taking.

      • Isn’t Timmins out for the year

    • I think it would be good to try. But he has a full NMC for all 4 years. That was stupid move by Sweeney. They will be ok this yr as Swayman will get sent down and Rask will help Ullmark and the bruins. If Rask is same old Rask. Maybe Sweeney will discuss a trade with Ulmark in the off season

      • with a NMC Ullmark can be traded as long as he consents to where he is being traded to.

    • Ullmark is just not quality nhl goalie. What a waste of time, money and free agent pickups.

      • RWM …. Keep that to yourself don’t let anyone know that he was a waste of $$$ along with all the depth they brought in this past offseason … if only they used all that $$$ on a couple of difference makers

    • If I am not mistaken,Ullmark has a nmc,no movement clause,thanks Donnie.

      • You are correct, Steve.

  6. I expect Boston would be interested if Claude Giroux was on the market.

    • Pretty much everyone would want Giroux but Bruins would have to give up way too much for playoff rental 1st top prospect plus Simply not worth the investment this year

    • Nope ….if they were a little closer to a Cup maybe but they aren’t

  7. question for Howard , Habsfan 30 and other Canadiens fans …..been there done that but if Vigneault gets canned by the Flyers could he end up back behind the bench for the Habs next year ?

    • keeping in mind he worked with Gorton for 3 years in NY

    • Fergy22,

      I see no reason to take on Vignault.

      As poorly as the Habs are playing, their actual game is trending better, or less badly, and they are scoring at the end of periods, indicating they aren’t giving up.

      I don’t like the new defensive structure Ducharme has chosen but the players are starting to get it.

      IF there was a new coach I’d prefer it to be from Ducharme generation, eg Joel Bouchard

      • good feedback HF30, thanks…. other options could be Benoit Groulx, Ian Laperrière , JF Houle. Bouchard is another logical choice.

      • Excellent point Habfan30,

        Fergy22, like HF30 I think if Gorton decide to kick Ducharme out, the next logical person to come in is Joel Bouchard, personnally I like also Pascal Vincent, but the obvious choice for me is Bob Hartley is team are always working and that the kind of identity that I like about a team. Also Any hockey trophy Hartley has is name on it.

    • Fergy22 – If Vigneault is fired then instantly the most experienced French speaking coach so very likely to get a long look… unless they create a new position like Executive Coach – he can be non-French speaking (but will be the real head coach) and then hire someone else – who speaks French – to speak with the media and pretend he’s the head coach.

      • how about this. you take Vigneault and the Flyers toss in Laperrière just cause they are feeling the xmas spirit.

  8. to ARZ: DeBrusk & Grezlyk & a good pick
    to BOS: Capobianco & Keller

    • Would not happen Keller is young and very over paid for many more years AZ would have to eat a bunch of cap hit to make it happen and the pick would not be a 1st or 2nd

  9. Will Gorton pull the trigger on a trade for Laffreniere?

    I can’t imagine for who but he’s a 3rd liner now.

    • LAF is still only 20. He isn’t McDavid, a supreme generational talent.

      Give the kid a break to develop lol.

      NYR is NOT trading him.

    • The article is a lengthy exercise in missing the point.

      There are more than enough francophone GMs and head coaches in the league to keep the Habs’ front office fully occupied. But most of them are working for other teams. A good francophone candidate can work for any team in the league. A good anglophone candidate can work for any team – except Montreal. Everyone else fills management positions from the whole pool of available candidates. The Habs only fish in 20 percent of the pool and ignore the rest.

      There are solid historical reasons for this handicap. But it is a handicap, no question about it. The last two Stanley Cup winners were built by a francophone GM, Julien BriseBois. If the Habs had the right of first refusal on Quebecois managers, as they used to have on players, BriseBois might have won those championships in Montreal. But they haven’t, and he didn’t.

    • Julien BriseBois was hired by ansd worked 9 years for the Habs before going to Tampa Bay.

      The canard of the Habs not choosing the best available by limiting it to people who can speak French is a tu quoque.

      The Language issue exists all ready but its ignored and not recognized, every coach and GM has to speak English.

      There is no movement in ant city or in any supposed fan base to hire the “best” and consider a unilingual Russian, Finn or Swede for GM and coach, with a translator of course.

      The article may have been too lengthy a read for you, I suggest you try and go to the end and leave your preconceived notions behind.

    • Some good and truly valid points being made but one that is still being missed… Habs fans don’t only live in Montreal… A lot live in the province (and adjacent ones and as far as PEI) and in most cases DO NOT understand the english language.

      I hope this can help some with understanding why a company (the Habs) is trying to maintain or develop stronger ties to their audience which is probably predominating french speaking, aka fans that understand french way better than they could ever understand english.

  10. Habfan. Was thinking same yesterday. Was something Rangers should’ve looked into before drafting him. Had Kreider and Panarin already signed long term. Looking at rosters, the teams who had 2nd and 3rd picks that year would still make sense. Habs have nothing Rangers need. Laf for Byfield would give Rangers a player with one more year on elc than Laf. Havnt seen Stuestle play center so not sure if I’d take him without adding. Laf and Kravtsov for McTavish and Milano plus? Laf will be a top 6 forward.

    • Ill pass on trading LAF & Kratsov for McTavish and Milano.

      Milano is 25… cannot keep trading away cost effective young players with actual talent.

    • Slick, can’t see LA even thinking of trading Byfield for Laf…he is the heir apparent to being the Kings 1C. Maybe Turcotte but not Byfield.

  11. Wow! The Flyers are so boring that no one even cares enough to comment…

    Boring players
    Boring style
    Boring coach…