NHL Rumor Mill – January 27, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – January 27, 2021

Vince Dunn’s days with the St. Louis Blues could be numbered plus the latest on the Leafs, Canadiens and Ducks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DUNN COULD BE DONE IN ST. LOUIS

TSN: Frank Seravalli last night reported Vince Dunn could be on the move. The St. Louis Blues have engaged in conversations with many clubs regarding the 24-year-old defenseman, who signed a one-year, $1.875 million contract last year. Seravalli said there was a belief Dunn would be traded during training camp, adding the blueliner was expected to be a healthy scratch in last night’s game.

SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman noted Dunn was taken off the Blues second power-play unit during Tuesday’s practice. While the defenseman has had a rough start his talent is respected. Friedman also indicated the Blues had a lot of trade talk about him during the summer. It’s believed they’re seeking a first-rounder in return.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dunn was a healthy scratch from last night’s win over the Vegas Golden Knights. That could indicate a trade could be in the works. Whatever the reason behind Dunn’s struggles this season he should still draw lots of interest in the trade market.

A skilled mobile blueliner, Dunn was once considered a promising part of the Blues defense corps. He’s tallied 23-or-more points in each of his first three seasons, including a 35-point performance during his sophomore campaign.

MORE TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman repeated his report from last Saturday claiming the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking for forwards with Joe Thornton and Nick Robertson sidelined by injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are already pressed for salary cap space so they’ll have to do a dollar-for-dollar swap if they’re looking to significantly boost their injury-depleted forward lines.

He also repeated his report that Montreal Canadiens defenseman Victor Mete is having trouble cracking the Habs’ deep blueline corps.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens haven’t assigned Mete to their taxi squad because a rival club will likely pluck him off waivers. They probably prefer hanging on to him for now in case injuries strike their blueline. Still, they could trade him for the right offer.

Friedman reports the Anaheim Ducks are looking for scoring.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s understandable as they enter today sitting dead-last with a goals-for per game average of 1.71. They were reportedly among the clubs interested in Pierre-Luc Dubois and Patrik Laine before they were swapped for each other last Saturday. No word as to who else they’re interested in or what they’re prepared to offer.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2021

Are the Flyers in the market for a defenseman? What does the Jets’ acquisition of Pierre-Luc Dubois mean for Paul Stastny? What’s the latest on the Ducks? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor believes the Philadelphia Flyers aren’t going to rush into the trade market to address their recent struggles. Two-way center Sean Couturier is sidelined while the defense is bereft of puck-moving blueliners beyond Ivan Provorv and Travis Sanheim.

O’Connor points out it is only two weeks into the season and the only players on the trade market are those demanding to be moved or those who’ve been available for months because of bad contracts or poor fits with their current teams.

Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That last blurb is probably aimed at recent speculation tying the Flyers to Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle and Detroit Red Wings blueliner Danny DeKeyser. Philadelphia rearguard and South Florida native Shayne Gostisbehere were linked to Yandle but O’Connor indicates the Flyers intend to use him in the lineup once he’s off the COVID-19 protocol list.

SPORTSNET: In the wake of the Winnipeg Jets shipping Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic to Columbus for center Pierre-Luc Dubois last Saturday, Luke Fox is curious about where the Jets and current second-line center Paul Stastny go from here.

The Jets brought back Stastny last fall in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights. He’s beloved by teammates and the coaching staff but the 35-year-old center becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Fox wonders if Stastny will take a pay cut to stay with the Jets as a No. 3 center or try to find a second-line center role elsewhere via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stastny’s had a long and production NHL career but he’s also at the age when skills and speed inevitably erode. If he has a decent performance this season he might be wise to consider sticking with the Jets. I doubt many teams will be in the market for a center turning 36 in December seeking second-line work.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens points out Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray attempted to acquire Justin Faulk, Kasperi Kapanen and Pierre-Luc Dubois over the past 18 months. He was also linked to Patrik Laine before the winger was shipped to Columbus. Fairly or not, it could reflect poorly on Murray’s ability to close a big trade.

Stephens wonders if the asking price for Dubois was top prospect Trevor Zegras. If so, Murray might be proven right not to part with Zegras or promising defenseman Jamie Drysdale. He doubts the Ducks GM could’ve put together a sufficient package to land Laine.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks are at a point right now where they’ll have to gut it out with what they’ve got this season and hope for the best.

Stephens also pointed out the Ducks lack sufficient cap space to part with inexpensive assets to land expensive, established young talent. Trading away Zegras and/or Drysdale would’ve been gutting the pieces necessary for their long-overdue rebuild. They also lack suitable talent to do a dollar-for-dollar swap that could improve their roster.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2021

Are the Flyers looking at Keith Yandle or Danny DeKeyser? Should the Leafs use Travis Dermott as a trade chip for a forward? Should the Avalanche upgrade their goaltending? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

FLYERS LINKED TO YANDLE, DEKEYSER

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports there’s been some trade chatter regarding Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and Florida Panthers blueliner Keith Yandle since last fall’s NHL Draft.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (NHL Images).

Gostisbehere is a South Florida native while Yandle surfaced in recent trade speculation. An NHL source told Murphy this rumor has “more than legs” to it, suggesting the Flyers could “eat some money there” and would be better with Yandle.

Murphy said Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher could be active in the trade market sooner rather than later. He also said the Flyers are scouting Detroit Red Wings rearguard Danny DeKeyser.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have stumbled out of the gate this season. They’ve struggled defensively, giving up 35.5 shots-against per game with a bloated 3.50 goals-against per game and a sickly penalty-kill percentage of 63.6. Having Selke Trophy winner Sean Couturier and top-four defenseman Philippe Myers sidelined by injuries doesn’t help.

Gostisbehere’s been a fixture in the trade rumor mill for some time so it wouldn’t be shocking if the Flyers traded him this season. However, I don’t see Yandle or DeKeyser as a fit with the Flyers.

Yandle, 34, is a skilled puck-moving blueliner but he’s not renowned for his defensive play. He carries an annual average value of $6.35 million through 2022-23 with a full no-movement clause. The 31-year-old DeKeyser, meanwhile, missed most of last season recovering from back surgery. His annual cap hit is $5 million through next season with a 10-team no-trade list.

SHOULD THE LEAFS DERMOTT FOR A FORWARD?

THE ATHLETIC: Jonas Siegel acknowledged Saturday’s report by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman claiming the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to improve their forward depth with Joe Thornton and Nick Robertson sidelined by injuries.

Siegel wondered if the Leafs might draw upon their apparent surplus of defensemen. He suggested Travis Dermott as the likely trade candidate citing his limited ice time this season.

That could be a risky move, as Dermott could be worth retaining in case injuries strike the defense corps. Trading him would also leave the Leafs having to expose another defenseman at this summer’s expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs could keep an eye on the waiver wire at this point rather than make a trade. Nevertheless, they could consider making a trade if the concern over the forward depth adversely affects their performance. Dermott does seem the most likely trade chip if they intend to deal from their roster.

SHOULD THE AVALANCHE UPGRADE BETWEEN THE PIPES?

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers recently suggested the Colorado Avalanche’s goaltending remains shaky entering this season. He feels it hasn’t improved over last season. Pavel Francouz is sidelined, forcing them to go with inexperienced backups for starter Philipp Grubauer. He feels the Avalanche might have to shop around for help if Francouz’s absence is longer than expected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be a situation worth monitoring. Francouz missed his third straight game on Sunday. As long as Grubauer remains healthy they’ll likely wait for Francouz to heal up and return. However, they could be forced into the trade market if Grubauer struggles or gets hurt.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 24, 2021

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 24, 2021

The latest on the Canadiens’ Phillip Danault and Victor Mete, some blueline trade targets for the Penguins and the Maple Leafs are looking for help at forward. Check out the details in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

DANAULT AND METE

LA PRESSE: Mathias Brunet last week reported Phillip Danault rejected a six-year, $30 million contract offer from the Montreal Canadiens. The 27-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Montreal Canadiens center Phillip Danault (NHL Images).

The Habs are said to be willing to increase their offer by a few hundred thousand dollars annually but received no counter-offers from the Danault camp. His agent, Stephane Fiset, declined to comment.

Brunet indicated Danault is happy in Montreal and wants to continue his career with the Canadiens. Sources indicate the gap between the two sides isn’t that large but seems to hang on the duration of the deal. Some speak of a five-year contract, others a six-year deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens’ offer would be worth an annual average value of $5 million. The Danault camp might try to push that to between $5.5 million and $6 million annually.

Cap Friendly shows the Canadiens with over $65.9 million committed to 15 players for 2021-22 with Tomas Tatar and Joel Armia also due to become UFAs this summer. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Victor Mete and Artturi Lehkonen are their notable restricted free agents.

There seems a willingness on both sides to get a deal done. However, the flattened salary cap for next season and the rise of young centers like Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki could affect those negotiations.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Victor Mete can’t get into the lineup on a deep Canadiens roster. The club won’t assign the 22-year-old defenseman to their taxi squad because a rival team could claim him off waivers. Friedman believes some teams will be keeping an eye on this situation to see what progresses.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens probably don’t want to shop Mete just yet. Several NHL teams have already seen their roster depth depleted by injuries and the Habs would prefer avoiding that situation. Nevertheless, they could trade Mete if the right offer came along or if push comes to shove and they have no choice but to put him on waivers.

DEFENSE TRADE TARGETS FOR THE PENGUINS

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski looked at several possible trade targets for the Pittsburgh Penguins to address their injury-depleted defense corps. One could be Minnesota Wild blueliner Carson Soucy. Another could be Detroit Red Wings rearguard Danny DeKeyser.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kingerski listed five defensemen but those two caught my eye. He noted the Wild now have seven defensemen with their recent addition of Ian Cole. Soucy, 26, carries an affordable $2.75 million AAV through 2022-23. He’s currently seeing third-pairing minutes with Cole so the Wild might not be keen to move him.

DeKeyser, 30, missed most of last season due to back surgery. He carries a $5 million AAV through next season and has a 10-team no-trade list. The Wings might be reluctant to move DeKeyser at this point in the season but could change their minds if they sink to the bottom of the standings again. That might not happen until later in the season but the Penguins need immediate help on their blueline.

The Penguins could be among those clubs Friedman said were keeping an eye on Victor Mete’s situation in Montreal.

LEAFS LOOKING FOR FORWARDS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman noted Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Nick Robertson (knee) and Joe Thornton (fractured rib) are sidelined with long-term injuries while center Auston Matthews (upper body) is listed as day-to-day. While the Leafs have a lot of forwards, Friedman believes they’re looking around to add or upgrade up front.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are already pressed for cap space and are already moving players in and out of their taxi squad on a regular basis to stay cap compliant. Robertson and Thornton are on long-term injury reserve but their combined salaries ($1.52 million) won’t free up much to make a significant addition. That might require a dollar-for-dollar swap.










Blue Jacket Ship Dubois to Jets For Laine and Roslovic in NHL Blockbuster

Blue Jacket Ship Dubois to Jets For Laine and Roslovic in NHL Blockbuster

 










NHL Rumor Mill – January 23, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – January 23, 2021

The latest on the Columbus Blue Jackets’ efforts to trade Pierre-Luc Dubois in today’s NHL rumor mill.

**UPDATE**

 

 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman was among several pundits last night reporting on the Columbus Blue Jackets’ efforts to trade Pierre-Luc Dubois.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are aggressively shopping Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

General manager Jarmo Kekalainen is reportedly aggressively shopping the 22-year-old center after he was benched for most of Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Friedman speculates a deal could come as early as Saturday morning

Sources claim the Winnipeg Jets are offering up a package that includes forward Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic, a Columbus native who’s currently unsigned. The Anaheim Ducks are believed to have increased their offer while the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens are said to be among the suitors. Friedman reports it’s not believed the Canadiens are willing to include center Nick Suzuki in their offer.

Friedman’s colleague Chris Johnston tweeted the Jets are believed to have the best offer on the table. The Blue Jackets are continuing to gauge the market to see if they’ll get better offers.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports it’s unclear if Dubois will be enough to land Laine and Roslovic or if the Jackets will have to sweeten the pot. The Jets are said to be in the market for a defenseman. Laine is a restricted free agent this summer and getting him to agree to a long-term extension will be a concern for the Jackets. Portzline speculates it could cost around $2 million annually to sign Roslovic.

It’s unknown what the Ducks and Canadiens are offering. Portzline believes the Jackets would be interested in top prospects such as the Ducks’ Trevor Zegras or the Canadiens’ Cole Caufield.

In a recent mailbag segment, Lisa Dillman was asked if the Los Angeles Kings should pursue Dubois. She feels there’s no trade fit between the Kings and Blue Jackets, pointing out the Jackets will want a player in return who gives them some version of what Dubois gives them. Promising young Kings prospects like Alex Turcotte and Quinton Byfield have yet to play an AHL game, let alone an NHL contest.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: George Richards believes the Panthers should get into the bidding for Dubois. He could fill the second-line center role behind Aleksander Barkov, giving the Panthers a solid one-two punch down the middle. Panthers general manager Bill Zito is former assistant GM of the Blue Jackets and knows Dubois and Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen well. Richards doubts a package of draft picks and prospects will get it done because the Jackets aren’t in rebuild mode.

TSN: The Panthers are among Frank Seravalli’s list of seven teams that don’t have an interest in Dubois or the assets to acquire him. The Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights are the others.

Seravalli wondered if the Canadiens would part with Jesperi Kotkaniemi to land Dubois. His colleague, Pierre LeBrun, listed the Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals and Arizona Coyotes reached out to the Jackets.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty reports the Bruins are not among the clubs pursuing Dubois.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch believes as many as 20 teams have reached out to Kekalainen about Dubois. However, he doubts the Senators are among them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois could be traded to one of the aforementioned teams by the time you read this. On the other hand, this could drag on throughout the weekend or perhaps longer. It’ll be interesting to see what the deal looks like when it finally goes down.

Kekalainen wants to trade Dubois as soon as possible. The center’s benching on Thursday created a festering situation that threatens to worsen if left unaddressed. Nevertheless, he’s not going to just give him away. He’ll want a return that provides immediate help to his struggling roster.

Many of the teams linked to Dubois could merely be doing due diligence. They’re understandably interested in the two-way center but could quickly back away once they learn about the asking price. Still, one of them could surprise with a last-minute offer that meets the Jackets’ requirements.

That return could come from the Jets if Laine and Roslovic are part of a package deal but the Jets will certainly want more than Dubois in return. A defenseman might have to be included in that package.

The Canadiens have been linked to Dubois for some time with speculation suggesting Suzuki or Kotkaniemi will have to be part of the package. Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin could be reluctant to part with either promising youngster especially given their roles in the Habs’ strong start to this season.

I’m not sure what the Ducks could offer up besides Zegras to the Blue Jackets. Maybe GM Bob Murray packages Zegras with another young forward like Sam Steel, Max Comtois or Max Jones.

The Flames already seem set with Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan as their top-two centers. They may have to part with one of them or perhaps a winger like Johnny Gaudreau to make this work.