NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz and Post-2021 Trade Deadline Talk

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IApril 17, 2021

NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz and Post-2021 Trade Deadline Talk

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    The buildup to the NHL trade deadline is always an eventful time of year for the league's 31 teams. Even if a team doesn't complete any deals, that doesn't mean they didn't try to swing one or two, as there are always plenty of discussions being had.

    There are also a ton of rumors circulating around the NHL. While some end up being true and coming to fruition, others don't. But it gives plenty for fans and experts to speculate about until the deadline arrives.

    Before this year's trade deadline, numerous notable deals took place. And reports are still coming out about how talks and discussions unfolded. 

    Here's some of the latest post-deadline buzz from around the NHL.

Canucks Knew Gaudette Wanted Fresh Start

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    Peter Power/Associated Press

    Adam Gaudette's four-year tenure with the Vancouver Canucks came to an end Monday, as the 24-year-old center was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. And it appears it was a move that likely wasn't a surprise to Gaudette.

    Gaudette had seven points (four goals and three assists) in 33 games for Vancouver this season. He tested positive for COVID-19 amid the Canucks' outbreak, which has led to them not playing a game since March 24. And according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, it was known before that that Gaudette wanted to head to a new team.

    "As his role didn’t grow with the Canucks, the organization knew he wanted a fresh start. So, I think this was coming even before the COVID outbreak," Friedman wrote. "Was he traded because his exposure was at the heart of it? I can’t say that, but I do believe the situation exacerbated tensions."

    Chicago may not have been the only team that had interest in Gaudette, per Friedman, as the Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators also scouted him earlier in the season. However, the Blackhawks acquired him ahead of the trade deadline, sending forward Matthew Highmore to the Canucks.

    Now, Gaudette will look to have success in Chicago after recording 52 points (21 goals and 31 assists) in 153 games over his first four NHL seasons in Vancouver.

A 'Surprise' That Carter Went to Pittsburgh?

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    While Jeff Carter had played for three teams over his first 15 NHL seasons, he had found a long-term home with the Los Angeles Kings, as the 2020-21 campaign marked his 10th season with the team. And the 36-year-old center was still contributing for the Kings.

    However, Carter is now out of Los Angeles, as he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday. That wasn't the first time that a team had tried to acquire Carter from the Kings, though. Friedman reported that Carter "declined at least two previous opportunities over the past couple of seasons," with the Arizona Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers having expressed prior interest.

    But Carter left for Pittsburgh, and Friedman noted that "there was some surprise he accepted this one." 

    Carter had 19 points (eight goals and 11 assists) in 40 games for Los Angeles this season. He made his Pittsburgh debut on Thursday, taking two shots in a shootout loss to Philadelphia.

Avalanche Inquired About Potential Rittich Trade

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    Peter Power/Associated Press

    Several goaltenders were on the move ahead of Monday's trade deadline. Among them were David Rittich, who was traded from the Calgary Flames to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Devan Dubnyk, who was dealt from the San Jose Sharks to the Colorado Avalanche.

    However, there could have been another way for things to go down. According to Friedman, Colorado "looked into" Rittich, before it ended up trading for Dubnyk. While it's not clear why the Avalanche didn't end up acquiring Rittich, that could have impacted where numerous goaltenders were dealt at the deadline.

    Rittich had spent his first five NHL seasons in Calgary, and he's gotten off to a good start since joining Toronto. Through two games, he has a .911 save percentage and 2.28 goals-against average.

    Meanwhile, Dubnyk, a 12-year NHL veteran, made his Colorado debut on Wednesday, recording 31 saves and allowing three goals in a win over the St. Louis Blues.

    So, considering how Rittich and Dubnyk are faring with their new teams, perhaps it's good for both the Maple Leafs and Avalanche that these were the trades that took place.