NHL Rumor Mill – December 23, 2021

by | Dec 23, 2021 | Rumors | 26 comments

The latest on Vladimir Tarasenko, another Bruin requests a trade, and the latest on the Oilers in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NOTE: The NHL’s annual holiday trade freeze is in effect until 12:01 am on Dec. 28, 2021.

DAILY FACEOFF: Mike McKenna wonders if Vladimir Tarasenko still wants to be traded from the St. Louis Blues. If so, he wonders why.

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

McKenna points out Blues fans still love Tarasenko despite his offseason trade request. He’s also playing well on a line with fellow Russians Ivan Barbashev and Pavel Buchnevich while the Blues are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.

He notes, however, Tarasenko’s unhappiness over how the club handled his multiple shoulder surgeries dating back to 2018. He wondered if the relationship between the winger and the club can be repaired and also point out a trade might not work out well for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent speculation suggested Taranseko still wants to be traded. Maybe playing through this season with Barbashev and Buchnevich and the ongoing support from Blues fans will give him reason to reconsider.

Tarasenko is signed through next season so the Blues aren’t in any hurry to trade him, especially with him playing well right now. A healthy and motivated Tarasenko is better for their playoff hopes.

His annual salary-cap hit, however, is also a factor that may have prevented the Blues from moving him last summer. He’s got a $7.5 million annual average value but is earning $9.5 million in actual salary for this season. That drops to $5.5 million for next season, which will be more palatable for interested teams carrying limited cap space.

I don’t see the Blues trading Tarasenko as long as they remain in playoff contention leading up to the March 21 trade deadline. If he still wants out that move takes place next summer. Despite his improved play and lower actual salary for 2022-23, the Blues asking price could also complicate things.

In other words, expect Tarasenko to pop up frequently in the 2022 rumor mill.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty reports Bruins former first-round pick Zach Senyshyn has requested a trade. The 24-year-old winger was chosen 15th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Bruins. He’s spent most of his pro career with their AHL affiliate in Providence, seeing only 14 games with the Bruins since 2018-19.

Senyshyn said he wants to play in the NHL and feels he hasn’t been given that opportunity by the Bruins. However, he was unclaimed after being placed on waivers following training camp last fall.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senyshyn is the second Bruins to request a trade. Jake DeBrusk, who was also a Bruins’ first-round selection in 2015, asked to be moved in late November. Maybe the Bruins will try shopping both in a package deal before the March trade deadline.

Haggerty points out Senyshyn’s play has improved in the AHL this season but doubts he’ll fetch much of a return for the Bruins in the trade market. He’s currently on a one-year, two-way contract and becomes a restricted free agent next summer.

THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell believes the Edmonton Oilers will have to part with a promising young player if they attempt to pursue someone like Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun or Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury in the trade market.

That player is Philip Broberg, who Mitchell considers NHL-ready and destined to play “a feature role” in the big league. Chosen eighth overall by the Oilers in 2019, the 20-year-old Broberg is a smooth-skating two-way defenseman currently playing for the Oilers’ AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mitchell points out “the pressure of spent picks and no cap room” means the Oilers would have to part with Broberg if they hope to acquire real talent before the March trade deadline. Whatever transpires over the next couple of months could determine if they’re prepared to sacrifice a promising peace of their future for immediate help.


  1. I really like Berube AND I really like Tarasenko—BUT I don’t really like Berube/Tarasenko.

    I just read yesterday, Larry Robinson said regarding Colton Parayko that to be great, a player has to “get out of their comfort zone”. I think Berube pushes hard for Vladdy to “get out of his comfort zone”. Vladdy likes to be nudged, not pushed IMO.

  2. You dont need to trade good assets to get good players. They the oilers need to stop signing bad contracts Ceci was not the smartest move he has done good but bot great. Coach needs to tell him only do thr basic and things will work out better. If you can play high style dont
    Personally if this young defenseman is this good bring him try him out bring his value up if you do trade him first. Right know with the defense going down hard dont trade a blue chip at this time. This time needs to work as a team
    Happy holidays
    Also dont trade for a Flower omg over rated goalie past his prime. go find a goalie that could fit this team and trade a few draft picks
    There New your rangers back up blue jackets again knee issues need a good goalie
    I would bring subban from buffalo over as a back up and find a second goalie to be with him
    Goalie is what this team needs to stop thr puck
    K man isnt doing the job

    • Hey Richard, agree that trading Broberg for Chychrun or MAF would be a mistake.
      But I do think you need to trade good assets to get good players. Only other option is over paying for a UFA like Ceci. I think Holland felt they could contend this year and without a reliable RD, they couldn’t. Ceci can be, if he plays the way you suggest, which he has until injuries hit the Blue line and he was forced into situations he shouldn’t be in.

      Let Broberg play a whack of minutes in Bakersfield, he can be a depth guy come playoff time if required.

    • Not sure I agree on Flower, the problem with him though is that he is streaky so its hard to know what you get, so it all comes down to price. I would stay away from Georgiev as he hasnt been that good the last 2 years and rumour has it Rangers cant find any takers willing to pay even a 2nd

  3. Oilers should “encourage” the Avs to acquire Fleury so they could then pickup Kuemper.
    Sure DK has struggled in Colorado but might just need a change of scenery, and maybe EDM can get him without trading Broberg

  4. What is Senyshn looking for?Another gem in Sweeney s 2015 draft.The return might be a bag of practice pucks.Who was the scout that sold Sweeney on him.I hope he is not in the organization anymore.Who wants out next,Zboril,might as well clean out the 13,14,15 pick in the 2015 draft.The one LD that they are looking for was left unprotected Lauzon,When are they going to make a change at the management level.The Bruins have 1 player in the World Junior Tournament,Carolina has 10?

    • @Steve Senyshyn already past through waivers where any team could of had him for free so a bag of pucks would be to high of an asking price. Boston is going to have to decide when it’s time for the rebuild. Bergeron and Marchand could help restock the prospects pretty quick. I still believe they are in contention this year though but are they Stanley cup contenders is the question Boston fans have to ask. I hear a lot on here that Boston needs a second line center which is true but Bergeron is getting up there in age so do you try and acquire that centerman only to need a 1st liner in a couple years or do you start rebuilding and try to acquire those players in drafts and trades. Being in the middle is not an enviable place for teams or there fans.

    • Senyshn agreed to a new one-year, two-way contract in the offseason that normally would have left him a restricted free agent again, but, like Zboril, Senyshyn will become a Group VI unrestricted free agent should he fail to reach 80 NHL games by the end of the year. With 66 needed to hit that threshold, he’s not going to make it even if a trade went through in the coming days, meaning one way or another he’ll get a chance at his fresh start soon enough.

    • Steve R, without rehashing the 2015 draft again; as im about to rehashing it:

      Timing was bad, PC was fired and only one scout remained.

      Read a report earlier that pripr to the draft PC went to a college game to watch Kyle Conner play.

      The comment was made that a GM doesn’t watch a prospect unless there is serious interest.

      If PC stayed in his position until after the draft; would the results be different? Would 30 goal scorer Kyle Connor be a Bruin?

      The timing of firing GM and the scouting department did this draft in more then anything else.

      • You make some good points about PC, but I feel what did him in was his outrageous contracts he gave out when they won the cup.The deals he gave out were way to long and very expensive.I believe Krecji,Rask,Lucic and even Bergeron were given bad contracts that handcuffed the team.I agree Rich Beverly helped the Bruins win the cup,but tell me you would not have wanted Blake Wheeler for all these years.PCwas a good evaluator of talent,but a poor capologist,Sweeney was the opposite of him,poor evaluator ,but a good capologist until his recent contracts given to Coyle and Ullmark.

    • Apparently Zboril asked out before Debrusk and Senshyn, but has settled in and was doing fine till he got injured
      Zack other the hand could walk around Young Street with a for sale sign on his back for an entire year & no one would bite, Zach wasn’t very good as an ahler,better than average OHler. He could never crack the Bruins lineup, he was always injury prone, He is one guy I don’t ever worry how he could come back and haunt the b’s the worst pick since the legendary Zach Hamill, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    • Sweeney has badly mismanaged the Bruin’s… poor drafting, bad trades and subpar free agent signings. The team lacks an identity and has been pushed around most nights over the past couple of years.

  5. Bergeron has a couple years of great hockey left for sure he just simply out thinks the competition. Marchand is good for another 4 or 5 and Pasta is still young in my opinion they need help on the second line not sure who but their must be a team who will rebuild before Boston. San Jose for one Montreal Chicago and maybe a couple more. If they want one or two more kicks at the can than will have to trade first round picks and prospects to move forward. I believe if Rask signs and is in form they can make a run this year but would need to win most games 2-1.

    • I don’t disagree Obe. The issue is trying to balance things so you can be competitive as much as possible. Sometimes that means tearing it down to have a more competitive team with the least amount of headaches. You are correct about Bergeron his game is built on intelligence of the game so he should have longevity which is why his value is really high right now. If you wait a few years when the body is just no longer capable regardless or the brain then he won’t get you the same return. Same goes with Marchand and his value. If you just trade away the pics and prospects like you say to take 1 or 2 more really long shots at the cup then you will be bottom dwellers for a much longer time. The 2023 draft has 2 potential franchise players. If I’m a team like Boston I would have to keep that in the back of my mind. Not to mention the huge haul that both Bergeron and Marchand would get you. Great players with manageable cap hits that can truly put a contender over the top. Boston’s rebuild can be quick and you can always resign Bergeron as a u.f.a. and Marchand when he becomes available again. Heck done properly and with a little luck, Boston could be right back in contention by then.

      • Bergeron is a pending ufa. Your huge haul may not be as huge as you’d think.

  6. I agree but to me if your blowing it up than really blow it up that includes Bergeron Marchand Hall and maybe even Pasta it if he wants to stay than build around him Charlie and Swayman. I believe Fabian will be a stud along with defenseman Lohrei and I have high hopes for Studnicka.

    • Boston won’t be blowing up anything even if they wanted to. Bergevin and Marchand have played whole careers in Boston. 1 has a full nmc and other has 3 team trade list. Not sure there’s a team that has cap space for either or if they’d agree to trade. Hall also has a full nmc as well as a 6mcap hit.

  7. Captain Obvious..Again Vladdy Tarasenko rumors are circling again..

    The ones you said were non existent ?

    He and coach Berube just dont get along..

    Like i said Tarasenko will be moved as well as bet on a Canucks Penguins trade of some kind..

    Not saying Miller but Boudreau is coach now he loved zucker in Minnesota and Rutherford is now president of hockey OPS who moved heaven and earth to get Zucker to Pittsburgh..just saying.

    We will see

    • Someone surfacing in the rumor mill means next to nothing. Vincent Lecavalier was subject to weekly rumors 8 minutes after he was drafted.

      Not sure why you’re doing a happy / victory dance about a rumor. It’s a rumor.

      Again (as you do so often) you’re misquoting what I said. What I said was, Tarasenko has basically made nice with St. Louis and said he’s put the trade request behind him. That, is a fact. Not a rumor.

      Who in their right mind would say a player wont end up in a rumor mill?

      “ He wondered if the relationship between the winger and the club can be repaired and also point out a trade might not work out well for him.”

      “SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent speculation suggested Taranseko still wants to be traded. Maybe playing through this season with Barbashev and Buchnevich and the ongoing support from Blues fans will give him reason to reconsider.”

      What in that says a trade is even remotely close?

      As far as a Bet on a Pens / St.Louis deal, if you’re talking Tarasenko, you’d better come up with some better names and pieces than Zucker / Rust and the usual suspects you often do.

      Either way, I’ll take that bet all day long.

      St.Louis is NOT trading Tarasenko for leftover / under achieving garbage.

      • See your own article you posted..hopefully playing with Barbeshev and Buchevich will make him RECONSIDER..

        They arent signing him long term at what he is making us when the coach abd player dont get along..long term cant see Vladdy there

      • So “maybe he’ll reconsider “ is somehow less meaningful than “maybe he’ll get traded”?

        They don’t have to worry about re-signing him right now. He has a year and a half left on his current deal.

        As long as he’s finding chemistry with his line mates, scoring and blues are in the hunt, I’m gonna go with he ain’t going anywhere. Unless there is a trade that makes sense. They’re not in any hurry to move him , obviously.

        He certainly isn’t going anywhere for a lesser player or a combination of lesser players as long as the blues are in the playoff picture.

        Even if the Blues completely fall apart, they won’t be in any hurry to move him. Why would they? They have until next years deadline to do so.

      • Agree with zucker. But I’d rather have rust than taresenko.

  8. If the Bruin’s do decide to “blow it up” then the first move is to fire Sweeney and bring in a legit NHL GM to do the rebuilding…. Sweeney has ruined this team and is incapable of building a winner.

  9. As a long time bruins fan this team is struggling the failure to find a second line center and some defence that can move bodies in front of net is the biggest concern.Coyle has played good but not a second line center hall still can’t drive a line .The signing of ullmark was good but you need defence in front of him I like him good goalie but in retrospect should have stayed with vladar and swayman and signed some dmen , gryzlyck got schooled in playoffs last year and Riley just not big enough should have went after savard from tampa in my opinion.If bergeron retires after this season they ARe in huge trouble.Sweeny should be working the phones only untouchable is Marchand bergeron pasta in my opinion.

    • Thinking the B’s should go after Chariot and maybe Zadorov. Chariot would be better but might prove expensive for a rental, but they could see if he is up so signing a new contract before the season is up if he seems to be working out. Zadorov would cost them DeBrusk, and could be a stop gap, his toughness is the only reason to get him. But these might be moves that can be implemented sooner than the TDL…possibly.

  10. I find it funny all the crap people say about Sweeney. He was 1 gm from winning cup in 2019. If key players were not playing hurt they probably win His Nash trade was the perfect trade his goal was to sign him to extension but he got Mellon head No fault of his. Backes. Would have been ok too if. Coach used him correctly. Only did on 1st year of his deal. Only reason bruins are not higher up is 46 left. If he stayed they would be near top of league Hindsight is always 2020. Have a merry Christmas. And hope we get to see more hockey in new year