NHL Rumors: Bruins, Panthers, Blues, Oilers, Blue Jackets, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers have made a trade which opens up the door for the Panthers to go shopping before the trade deadline. Meanwhile, there are questions as to what the Boston Bruins will do before the April 12th deadline, as one of the rumored targets in Kyle Palmieri is off the board and has gone to the New York Islanders. Amazingly, the Edmonton Oilers are being connected to Taylor Hall and there’s more talk about a Nick Foligno trade out of Columbus.

Panthers Ready to Swing For Fences?

According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun a trade between the Panthers and Blackhawks is now complete and it’s Brett Connolly, Riley Stillman and Henrik Borgstrom plus a 7th Rd pick going to Chicago in exchange for Lucas Carlsson and Lucas Wallmark. He adds, “Connolly has 2 more yrs at $3.5M AAV. Florida freeing up cap space as part of this. Hawks using their cap space to net 2 young players.”

What’s interesting about all this is that the Panthers were already a team that might make some noise prior to Monday’s deadline thanks to cap space that was cleared up with the Aaron Ekblad injury. Moving Connolly’s money suggests the team will really try to make a splash and could land one of the bigger fish on the trade market. The question will be, do they go for a defenseman or a forward?

Bruins In Limbo?

There’s a lot of discussion about what the Boston Bruins will do. They could be big players this season at the deadline and they could stand pat. With nagging injuries to Tuukka Rask, Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy and a real need for secondary scoring, it makes sense the Bruins would try to add.

At the same time, no one really seems to know what this team is capable of. They could be a group that gets bounced in the first round of the playoffs quite easily or makes it through a couple of rounds and contends. They are top line heavy and badly need some more production out of players like Jake DeBrusk and Craig Smith, but it’s not clear if they’ll get it.

There was talk they were in on Kyle Palmieri before he was traded to the New York Islanders and perhaps there’s something to chatter involving Taylor Hall. All that said, don’t be surprised if the Bruins do very little.

Blues Scratch Hoffman

Mike Hoffman was a healthy scratch from last night’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights and that has sparked a lot of trade talk. Blues coach Craig Berube said that move was made to insert Sammy Blais into the lineup but most people believe St. Louis is working on a deal after reports were that GM Doug Armstrong said he’d be open to moving pending UFAs.

“Reasonable Source” Says Oilers in on Taylor Hall

We discussed this in our Edmonton Oilers news and rumors post yesterday, but just to provide a quick update here, Edmonton Journal scribe David Staples cites NHL insider Doug MacLean telling CHED radio host Reid Wilkins he’s heard the Oilers are interested in Hall.

Taylor Hall Buffalo Sabres
Taylor Hall, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While it seems unrealistic that the Oilers can make the money work, MacLean said his “reasonable source” indicated the Oilers were looking at a deal that has Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins both under contract with the Oilers for next season, and at no more than $12 million combined. In other words, if these discussions are happening, it’s a trade and sign scenario where Hall takes around $5.5 – $6 million.

As Staples points out, money would have to go back to Buffalo, which means moving a forward likeZack Kassian or James Neal, possibly a goalie like Mikko Koskinen. The Oilers’ first-round pick would also have to be included in the deal.

In other Oilers news, the games against Vancouver on April 12th and 14th have been postponed and it doesn’t look like replacement games will be scheduled. The Oilers will have some time off after Thursday’s matchup against the Ottawa Senators.

Blue Jackets Want Foligno’s Approval for Trade

While the player has a 10-team modified no-move clause in his contract, Aaron Portzline of The Athetlic is reporting that a deal to send forward Nick Foligno out of Columbus is more complicated than that. Portzline reports Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen won’t trade Foligno without the captain’s approval and it has to be a want situation from Foligno’s side.

Buffalo Sabres Linus Ullmark Columbus Blue Jackets Nick Foligno
Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark is screened by Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

The 32-year-old is likely open to moving to a handful of destinations. Portzline writes:

Colorado, Toronto, Minnesota and the New York Islanders are believed to be interested in Foligno, but there will likely be other suitors, too. A trade to the Wild would allow Foligno to play with his brother, Marcus Foligno, who’s currently out of the lineup with an injury.

source – Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen won’t trade Nick Foligno without captain’s approval’ – Aaron Portzline – The Athletic – 04/07/2021

Portzline also notes, that a source indicated to The Athletic Foligno would be open to re-signing with the Blue Jackets in the summer as an unrestricted free agent after he’s had a kick at the Stanley Cup with another club.

Jeff Svoboda of the Blue Jackets media team notes that defenseman Michael Del Zotto hopes that he can remain in Columbus. Del Zotto said, “I’ve enjoyed my time here. … I’d like to stay and I’ve made that very clear along the way here.”

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