NHL Rumor Mill – April 8, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 8, 2021

Last night’s Kyle Palmieri trade shakes up TSN’s trade bait list. Check out the latest on Mike Hoffman, Taylor Hall, Nick Foligno and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: St. Louis Blues winger Mike Hoffman moves into third on the NHL trade-bait list after the New Jersey Devils traded Kyle Palmieri last night to the New York Islanders.

St. Louis Blues winger Mike Hoffman (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman was a healthy scratch from last night’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. Blues coach Craig Berube said that move was made to insert Sammy Blais into the lineup. Trade speculation about the winger will ramp up if he’s scratched from the Blues’ next two games before Monday’s trade deadline.

Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall remains the top forward on the trade-bait list.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites NHL insider Doug MacLean telling CHED radio host Reid Wilkins he’s heard the Oilers are interested in Hall, who spent his first six NHL seasons in Edmonton until traded to the Devils in 2016.

MacLean said his “reasonable source” indicated the Oilers were looking at a deal that has Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins under contract for next season for a combined $12 million.

Staples believes the Oilers would have to trade a forward such as Zack Kassian or James Neal to free up the salary-cap dollars necessary to acquire Hall or move out a goalie like Mikko Koskinen. The Oilers’ first-round pick would also have to be included in the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What MacLean’s source seems to be suggesting is the Oilers are looking at getting ahead of the free-agent market by acquiring and signing Hall, who (like Nugent-Hopkins) is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

I don’t see how the Oilers can afford to acquire Hall at the trade deadline. They’re maxed out at the cap and have $2.3 million in long-term injury reserve money remaining. They also don’t have any picks in the second, third- and fifth rounds of this year’s draft so I don’t believe general manager Ken Holland will part with this year’s first, or next year’s for that matter. I also don’t see a trade market for Kassian or Neal.

Anything’s possible, of course, and if Holland could pull this off without giving up a first-round pick it’ll be an impressive feat. I just don’t believe we’ll see Hall coming to Edmonton at the trade deadline.

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno sits at No. 4 on the list.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen won’t trade Foligno without the captain’s approval. The 32-year-old forward has a 10-team no-trade list and it sounds like he’d be open to a move but only for the right situation. The Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs and Minnesota Wild could be among his suitors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I had my doubts that Foligno would be traded but this report changed my mind. He could be moved by the deadline if Kekalainen first receives a suitable offer and Foligno is willing to accept it, especially if it comes from one of the teams on his no-trade list.

Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton remains at No. 9.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall isn’t putting much stock into Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying he can see the Pittsburgh Penguins having an interest in Laughton. While Penguins general manager (and former Flyers GM) Ron Hextall knows Laughton’s value and could be interested, Hall believes the Flyers’ asking price could be quite high.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Mike DeFabo reports Hextall is in the market for a big, physical forward, preferably an experienced center. Laughton could fit the bill but, as Hall pointed out, the Flyers will set an expensive price for him.

DeFabo notes the Penguins have few tradeable assets plus there’s also the salary crunch to contend with. He anticipates Hextall could instead acquire a bottom-six forward if he makes a move at all.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson moves up into tenth on the list.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy wonders if the Bruins and Anaheim Ducks are talking trade again. The two clubs have a recent history of deals before the trade deadline.

Boston assistant GM John Ferguson Jr has been scouting the California-based teams. Murphy isn’t sure the Bruins are looking at Manson but they have had inquired about the blueliner in the past. The Ducks’ asking price, however, could be high.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murphy also reported the Bruins were among the clubs interested in Kyle Palmieri before he was shipped last night to the New York Islanders, with one of the trade scenarios involving Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. The source couldn’t confirm if the Bruins said no to that.

The Bruins do need blueline help. If a suitable deal for a scoring winger isn’t available perhaps GM Don Sweeney shifts his focus to a defenseman like Manson. The asking price, however, is reportedly a first-round pick and a top prospect.

Blues defenseman Vince Dunn and center Tyler Bozak sit 13th and 18th respectively on the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie wonders if the Montreal Canadiens could pursue Dunn or Bozak. With Brendan Gallagher going on LTIR, they have sufficient salary-cap wiggle room to make another addition before the trade deadline. Adding a top-four defenseman is a bigger need for the Habs than a bottom-six center.

Others who’ve moved up or debuted on the list include Calgary Flames goaltender David Rittich (15), Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nikita Zadorov (17), Dallas Stars blueliner Jamie Oleksiak, Blue Jackets rearguard Michael Del Zotto (30) and Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (38).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think the Blackhawks will trade Zadorov while they’re still jockeying for a playoff spot in the Discover Central Division. The Jackets aren’t facing pressure to trade Merzlikins. He has another season left on his contract and is exempt from this summer’s expansion draft.

Dropping on the list is Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger (22) and Flames center Derek Ryan (33).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Driedger’s played very well backing up erratic Panthers starter Sergei Bobrovsky. Trading him while they battling the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Central wouldn’t be a wise decision.










Trade Candidates Unlikely To Move At 2021 NHL Trade Deadline

Trade Candidates Unlikely To Move At 2021 NHL Trade Deadline

 










NHL Rumor Mill – April 3, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 3, 2021

Who could the Islanders be targeting in the trade market? Could Sam Bennett become available as the Flames fade? What’s the latest on the Leafs and Oilers? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

ARE HALL, PALMIERI ON THE ISLANDERS’ TRADE LIST?

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple believes Taylor Hall could be among those on the New York Islanders list approaching the April 12 trade deadline as they seek a replacement for sidelined captain Anders Lee.

Staple doubts the 29-year-old Buffalo Sabres winger is at the top of the Isles wish list. General manager Lou Lamoriello is unwilling to pay the reported asking price of a first-round pick.

Kyle Palmieri is still the best fit in Staple’s estimation. However, teams like the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and perhaps the Toronto Maple Leafs could also pursue the 30-year-old New Jersey Devils winger, potentially driving up the Devils’ asking price.

New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri could be among the New York Islanders’ trade list (NHL Images).

Staple also noted Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno and Los Angeles Kings winger Dustin Brown have also been connected to the Islanders in the rumor mill. Foligno is a pending UFA who could end up re-signing with the Jackets while the Kings could hang onto Brown if they remain in playoff contention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello holds his cards close to the vest but he’s also made his share of bold moves over the years. He could land Hall if the Sabres lower the asking price but I think he’d prefer Palmieri as his style of play fits better into Isles coach Barry Trotz’s system.

I don’t see Foligno or Brown going anywhere. It wouldn’t surprise me if Foligno signs a contract extension with the Jackets. Brown has another season remaining on his contract with a seven-team no-trade list. I don’t think the Kings are really feeling any pressure to move their former captain. That doesn’t mean they won’t listen to offers but trading him isn’t among their priorities.

As for what Lamoriello might offer up, Newsday’s Andrew Gross suggested young forward Kieffer Bellows as a potential trade candidate.

BENNETT COULD DRAW TRADE INTEREST AS FLAMES FADE

SPORTSNET: Eric Francis believes plenty of teams could line up to make a pitch for forward Sam Bennett as the Calgary Flames playoff hopes fade. Earlier this season, Bennett’s agent told Elliotte Friedman his client would welcome a change of scenery. Francis feels the 25-year-old forward’s versatility and previous postseason performance could attract more attention in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Calgary GM Brad Treliving could make Bennett’s trade wish come true by next Monday at 3 pm ET. The Flames have dropped seven of their last nine and sit six points behind the fourth-place Montreal Canadiens in the Scotia North Division. The end of the regular season is just over five weeks away and the Canadiens hold five games in hand.

LEAFS CALLED SABRES ABOUT ULLMARK

WGR 550: During an April 1 appearance on “The Instigators” with Andrew Peters and Craig Rivet, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Toronto Maple Leafs spoke with the Buffalo Sabres regarding goaltender Linus Ullmark.

Friedman indicated the Leafs were doing due diligence and merely inquiring as to the Sabres’ plans for Ullmark. He doesn’t think the Sabres’ asking price would be a first-round pick but does believe the netminder would have some value in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This came about as a result of Leafs starter Frederik Andersen remaining sidelined by a lower-body injury until at least next week. Ullmark is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said he doesn’t believe the Leafs are panicked over Andersen’s status and didn’t have a sense they were calling other teams. Like Friedman, however, he acknowledged that could change if Andersen is sidelined longer than expected.

LATEST OILERS SPECULATION

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector wondered if Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland can find the right fit for his roster before the trade deadline when he’s already maxed out at the $81.5 million salary cap. His lack of second, third and fifth-round picks in this year’s draft also limits his buying power.

A third-line center and a top-six left winger as the Oilers’ primary needs. Spector suggested Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening, Vancouver Canucks center Brandon Sutter and Ottawa Senators winger Ryan Dzingel as trade targets.

Montreal Canadiens winger Tomas Tatar would be a good fit but that hinges on the Canadiens’ playoff fortunes. He also doesn’t see Canucks winger Tanner Pearson as much better than what the Oilers already have. His suggested trade asset includes Caleb Jones or Ethan Bear if the price is right.

THE ATHLETIC: Jonathan Willis also mentioned Glendening and Sutter as well as Vancouver’s Travis Boyd and Calgary’s Derek Ryan as his proposed trade targets. He considers Ryan as best-suited to address the Oilers’ needs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whoever Holland pursues in the trade market it’ll have to be dollar-in, dollar-out. That means giving up a current roster player in a one-for-one swap or shipping out a player to another club in a separate move to clear cap space for the intended target.

I don’t see the Canadiens moving Tatar while they’re in the thick of the Scotia North playoff chase. Pearson is currently sidelined but could return to action later this month. However, the current outbreak of COVID-19 among the Canucks likely takes him and Sutter out of the equation.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 1, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 1, 2021

No April Fool’s pranks here as we examine the latest notable changes to TSN’s trade-bait list in the NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Frank Seravalli moved Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard into the top spot on his NHL Trade Bait List. Savard’s teammate, Nick Foligno, also moved up two spots into fourth on the list as the Blue Jackets struggled to remain in playoff contention in the Discover Central Division.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The next week or so should determine if the Jackets become sellers by the April 12 trade deadline. Savard seems more likely to move than Foligno as it’s believed the Jackets hope to sign their captain to an extension before free agency opens in July.

Mattias Ekholm, who sat for weeks atop the board, slid to sixth while teammate Mikael Granlund dropped from third to seventh as the Nashville Predators surge into a playoff spot in the Central.

Seravalli doesn’t believe Predators general manager David Poile has pulled his players from the board but he could prefer giving his club the opportunity to prove they’re playoff-worthy before the trade deadline. Granlund was believed to be a primary target for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who could be forced to consider other forward options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators’ recent improvement is also bad news for teams like the Boston Bruins who may have had an eye on Ekholm or Granlund. Like the Leafs, they could end up having to find other trade targets.

Granlund’s status as a pending UFA makes him a more likely trade candidate than Ekholm, who has a year remaining on his contract. The Predators’ rumored asking price of three assets for Ekholm (including a first-round pick and a top prospect) would’ve also turned off some potential suitors.

New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri moved up into the second spot on the board ahead of Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall. Palmieri’s $4.65 million cap hit would be easier to move than Hall’s $8 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres could agree to absorb up to half of Hall’s cap hit if it would facilitate a trade that fetches a healthy return including a first-round pick.

NBC Sports Boston’s Nick Goss recently made the case for the Bruins to pursue Palmieri, citing his five 20-plus goal seasons and his improved production in recent games. The winger is a pending UFA and it’s been reported contract talks have stalled between his reps and Devils management.

The Athletic’s Corey Masisak observed Palmieri’s been linked to the Bruins, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier remains at No. 5. Increased interest in Bernier’s teammate Luke Glendening moved the Wings center into the ninth spot on the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Contenders seeking checking line depth are drawn to Glendening’s faceoff skills and penalty-killing experience. It’s believed Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland could have an eye on the pending UFA center.

Seravalli added Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger at No. 12 and Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton at No. 16. The Panthers signing top prospect Spencer Knight could give them the flexibility to move Driedger as he’s is a potential expansion draft target. The Flyers, meanwhile, face a decision with pending UFA Laughton, who’s a versatile two-way forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Panthers will trade Driedger while they’re jockeying with Tampa Bay and Carolina for the top spot in the Discover Central Division. They can always wait and trade him in the offseason before the expansion draft. As promising as Knight is, he has no NHL experience right now. Laughton’s future in Philadelphia could depend upon where the Flyers are in the standing by the trade deadline.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn, Calgary Flames forward Sam Bennett and Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen rejoined the board after sliding off it a week ago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The struggling Blues could turn into sellers if they drop out of contention by the deadline but I still think GM Doug Armstrong sees himself as a buyer.

Armstrong could attempt to use Dunn as a trade chip to add a scoring forward. A restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. He carries a $1.875 million cap hit and surfaced in trade rumors earlier this season following a stretch of poor play.

Bennett could hit the block if the Flames fail to gain ground in the Scotia North Standings. His agent raised eyebrows around the league in late January by claiming his client wouldn’t object to a change of scenery. He could soon get his wish.

The Canucks would probably love to move Virtanen but his poor performance combined hurts his trade value. So does his contract, for while he carries a $2.55 million cap hit next season he’ll earn $3.4 million in actual salary.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 29, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – March 29, 2021

With the April 12 trade deadline two weeks away, here’s a look at the latest on the Bruins, Blue Jackets and Jets in the NHL Rumor Mill.

BRUINS NEED A SCORING WINGER

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney is once again in pursuit of a top-nine right-winger. “They need a forward,” one NHL source told Shinzawa. “For now and for the future. What’s your second line look like if you don’t?”

Could the Boston Bruins attempt to acquire New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri? (NHL Images)

Shinzawa suggested New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri would be a leading candidate. He has no-trade protection but lives in Massachusetts during the offseason. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer, meaning the Bruins don’t have to worry about protecting him in the expansion draft. They could also sign him to a new contract if he’s interested following the expansion draft.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes Palmieri would make sense for the Bruins. However, he feels it won’t make sense for the Devils if the return is another prospect or a draft pick or two. He believes the Devils need to move past rebuilding and add an established scorer or two.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landing Palmieri might not be easy for the Bruins if the Devils want more than draft picks or prospects. It could cost them struggling (but still promising) winger Jake DeBrusk, who they’re reportedly reluctant to move because they fear he could blossom into a scorer elsewhere.

LATEST BLUE JACKETS SPECULATION

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks thinks Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen owes it to Nick Foligno to move him if the two sides fail to reach an agreement on a contract extension before the trade deadline rather than keep him for a playoff drive. He suggested the Jackets captain could be a good fit on the New York Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks seems to be assuming Foligno would welcome a trade to a playoff contender. That might not be the case. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman thinks trading their captain isn’t something the Jackets want to do. Foligno’s 10-team no-trade clause would also complicate things.

NHL.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Tim Campbell was asked about the probability of the Columbus Blue Jackets trading struggling winger Patrik Laine at the trade deadline. He dismissed that idea, pointing out the Jackets gave up a lot to acquire the winger and won’t give up on him that quickly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine won’t be traded but the Jackets have to get to the root of his (and Max Domi’s) offensive struggles. Part of it is the lack of skilled centers. Part of it could be John Tortorella’s coaching. Complicating matters is Laine’s status as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.

WOULD GOLIGOSKI MAKE SENSE FOR THE JETS?

THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates suggests Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski could give the Winnipeg Jets an opportunity to add an experienced blueliner without giving up high-end futures in return. While Golisgoski’s offensive production is in decline he’s still a capable, big-minute rearguard with a left-handed shot who could serve in a variety of defensive roles.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ates points out Goligoski would be a more affordable acquisition for the Jets than Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm or Columbus’ David Savard. He’s due to become a UFA this summer but his $5.475 million cap hit could be a sticking point.

Cap Friendly indicates the Jets do have over $3.5 million in LTIR space remaining and Goligoski has over $1.9 million in salary still to be paid. They can fit him in but could seek more cap flexibility by asking the Coyotes to pick up part of his cap hit.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 25, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – March 25, 2021

A look at several noteworthy names on TSN’s updated trade bait list plus updates on the Penguins and Flyers in today’s NHL rumor mill.

ANALYSIS OF TSN’S UPDATED TRADE-BAIT LIST

TSN: Mattias Ekholm remains atop the updated trade-bait list. Pierre LeBrun recently reported the Nashville Predators seek three assets (including a first-round pick and a top prospect) for the 30-year-old defenseman.

Meanwhile, winger Mikael Granlund rises to No. 3 as Frank Seravalli reported he’s the Toronto Maple Leafs’ primary target ahead of the April 12 trade deadline. Seravalli also pointed out the Predators’ recent surge in the standings have them in wait-and-see mode.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No mention of Nashville blueliner Ryan Ellis on TSN’s list. The Athletic’s Adam Vingan observed Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wondering if Ellis might be available. Vingan weighed the pros and cons of trading either defenseman. He also pointed out the Preds are under no obligation to do so given their recent improvement in the standings and the term remaining on both rearguard’s contracts.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski rose to No. 8 on the list as Darren Dreger reported Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong could look at making changes at the deadline or in the offseason.

Arizona Coyotes winger Conor Garland (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No mention of Coyotes winger Conor Garland on this list. A recent report by Elliotte Freidman speculating over Garland’s availability has BostonHockeyNow’s Joe Haggerty and NBC Sports Boston’s Nick Goss suggesting the winger would be a good trade target for the Bruins.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard sits No. 2 on the list with teammate Nick Foligno at No. 6. New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri remains at No. 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pierre LeBrun, in his column for The Athletic, suggested Foligno or Palmieri could be targeted by New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello if they become available. He and Elliotte Friedman both reported the Bue Jackets could be reluctant to part with Foligno. With the Jackets back in the playoff race they could also retain Savard. It remains to be seen, meanwhile, whether the Devils will trade or re-sign Palmieri.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier remains No. 5 and San Jose Sharks netminder Devan Dubnyk sits at No. 16.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Washington listed Bernier and Dubnyk among possible goalie trade targets for the Washington Capitals. Others include Buffalo’s Carter Hutton, Arizona’s Antti Raanta, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and Calgary’s David Rittich.

Given the Capitals’ limited cap space, any deal they make will be dollar-in, dollar-out. I rule out Rinne because of his no-movement clause and desire to finish his career with the Predators. I don’t see the Flames moving Rittich as long as they have a shot at a playoff spot.

Ottawa Senators winger Ryan Dzingel rose to No. 11.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch considers it doubtful Dzingel will get traded. He feels teams will be more interested in getting blueline help before the deadline, suggesting Braydon Coburn, Mike Reilly and Erik Gudbranson could be targeted by playoff clubs.

Buffalo Sabres center Eric Staal remains at No. 18.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal carries a 10-team no-trade list but it’s believed he could be willing to waive it to go to a contender. However, The Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski recently reported Sabres GM Kevyn Adams hasn’t asked Staal about it. Maybe Adams is waiting until the deadline draws closer. Then again, maybe no one’s called the Sabres about the 36-year-old center.

UPDATES ON THE PENGUINS AND FLYERS

THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe reports Brian Burke, the Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations, dismisses speculation this year’s trade deadline could be a quiet one around the league, suggesting business could soon pick up. He said general manager Ron Hextall is working the phones as they’ll try to add at the trade deadline if they can. Burke indicated he and Hextall would like to bring some size to their roster.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reports Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher took accountability for his club’s struggles this season. He cited his inability to replace retired defenseman Matt Niskanen as a significant factor. Fletcher said he’s not looking at selling right now, adding the trade market is very quiet. He indicated he’s willing to upgrade his team if a deal makes sense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins are rising in the standings, emboldening their front office to try to augment their lineup at the trade deadline. The Flyers, meanwhile, could go either way, which explains Fletcher’s position. They’re still in the playoff chase but must gain ground over the next couple of weeks for their GM to consider investing futures for immediate help.