NHL Rumors: Sabres, Flyers, Panthers, Flames, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, could the Buffalo Sabres be looking at a trade-and-sign deal with Taylor Hall before the deadline? Meanwhile, outside of what placing Shayne Gositisbehere on waivers meant, what else are the Philadelphia Flyers looking at? Edmonton Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid has been fined for an elbow and finally, are the Calgary Flames on the verge of becoming sellers?

Sabres Mulling Over Different Hall Trade Scenarios

As per TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Sabres are considering a variety of options and offers when it comes to potentially trading Hall before the NHL Trade Deadline. GM Kevyn Adams and Hall’s agent, Darren Ferris have spoken and the two sides discussed potential trade options for the 29-year-old left-winger. One option was a “trade and sign” scenario.

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

What this means is that there are teams out there looking at acquiring Hall if, and only if, he’ll stick around and sign an extension. What that extension would be valued at and the length of that extension is unclear, but if a team is going to spend at least a first-round pick on acquiring Hall, they want to know he’s going to be more than a rental.

McDavid Fined for Elbow on Kotkaniemi

The Department of Player Safety for the NHL has announced that McDavid has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for elbowing Jesperi Kotkaniemi. When asked about the hit, McDavid said, “I didn’t think anything of it; it was just a normal night.”

The penalty likely came out of frustration as the Oilers were handed a pretty ugly 4-0 loss at the hands of the Canadiens on Tuesday evening. Many fans are calling foul on the ruling by the league, suggesting if this was any other player the elbow would have been worth a suspension. Others are arguing the hit didn’t start at the head and wasn’t terribly dirty with no injury resulting. They suggest a fine was fair.

Related: Canadiens Must Rely on Role Players During Condensed Schedule

More Moves Coming for the Flyers?

In a follow up to our report that the Flyers waived Shanye Gostisbehere, there are reports the Flyers are planning to make more moves and that the decision on the defenseman is just the first of many items on the team’s to-do list.

Pierre LeBrun reports it’s his understanding the Flyers have had internal discussions about trading for a goaltender and giving Carter Hart a chance to rest, reset his game and get back to his normal self. LeBrun believes Detroit Red Wings netminder Jonathan Bernier is a player the Flyers might be targeting.

Jonathan Bernier Detroit Red Wings
Jonathan Bernier, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Panthers Still Want a Defenseman

As for Gostisbehere, he cleared waivers on Wednesdsay. Frank Seravalli wondered if the Florida Panthers could put in a waiver claim after losing Aaron Ekblad for the season and noted that Panthers general manager Bill Zito isn’t interested in trading picks and/or prospects to acquire what he needs before the deadline.

Gostisbehere would have cost nothing more than cap space, but the Panthers didn’t bite.

Will There Be Big Goaltender Action at the Deadline?

We’ve discussed teams that need goalies this season and it will be interesting to see if there’s more action than normal this season. LeBrun looked at available goaltenders in a recent article for The Athletic and focused on Carolina Hurricanes netminders James Reimer or Alex Nedeljkovic, Columbus Blue Jackets backstops Elvis Merzlikins or Joonas Korpisalo. and what the Arizona Coyotes might do with Darcy Kuemper or Antti Raanta.

He writes that he’s not sure how much action there will be during the season. He explained:

In-season goalie trades are fascinating in large part because most teams try to avoid them … until they’re forced to do one. The majority of GMs I’ve spoken to over the years believe you address your goaltending in the offseason and don’t touch it again.

source – ‘LeBrun: NHL’s goalie carousel could be set in motion ahead of the trade deadline’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 03/29/2021

Flames Finally Ready to Start Selling?

Sportsnet’s Eric Francis suggests it’s starting to become clear that the Flames will be sellers at the trade deadline and figures GM Brad Treliving will be listening to all offers. As for who the team might choose to move, he focused on the unrestricted free agents – David Rittich and Derek Ryan.

David Rittich Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames goalie David Rittich (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

He notes:

“These are two guys that don’t have a future in Calgary most likely. And I think those are guys you want to get something for. David Rittich has been a 1A/1B goalie for several years now. He could be a nice strong addition to a lot of different teams who are in playoff races and want to bolster that position.

Francis adds that he thinks Sam Bennett’s name will shoot to the top of the list if the Flames are out of the postseason conversation. “He would be a great add. He would be the most valuable asset I believe on this team on the open trade market because of his value as a playoff performer,” Francis notes.

Not every player will be available suggests Francis. He adds, “Markstrom and Tanev have basically been rocks. You’ve paid a lot to get them. You’re not moving those guys anywhere.” He also includes Matthew TkachukDillon Dubeand Andrew Mangiapane, up front. He says, “To me, those guys are absolutely untouchable. You build franchises around guys like that.”