NHL Rumor Mill – October 2, 2021

by | Oct 2, 2021 | Rumors | 52 comments

Looking ahead at how much the Bruins’ Charlie McAvoy will get on his next contract and the latest on the Blue Jackets’ Joonas Korpisalo in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently reported Charlie McAvoy is putting his focus on this season but the 23-year-old Bruins defenseman knows he’s got a big payday coming. A restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer, he’s in the final season of a three-year deal with an annual average value of $4.9 million.

Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (NHL Images).

McAvoy took note of the comparable defensemen who signed lucrative long-term contracts this summer. He said they were well-deserved and he was happy for them.

Those blueliners include the Dallas Stars’ Miro Heiskanen (eight years, $8.45 million AAV), the Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar (six years, $9 million). the Edmonton Oilers’ Darnell (eight years, $9.25 million) and the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski (six years, $9.58 million).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McAvoy is going to get a big raise on a long-term contract coming off his bridge deal. Murphy believes he’ll come into negotiations with a minimum $9 million as his starting point.

McAvoy’s new deal will take a big bite out of the Bruins’ cap space for 2022-23. Cap Friendly shows them with a projected $60.9 million committed to 18 players with Patrice Bergeron slated to become an unrestricted free agent and Jake DeBrusk also a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

With the cap rising by $1 million for next season to $82 million, McAvoy’s new contract could affect other negotiations. It could also impact whatever plans the Bruins could have to address roster weaknesses via trades or free agency.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger recently reported Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo claims he’s not bothered by the club signing teammate and fellow netminder Elvis Merzlikins to a long-term extension.

It was super because I had no idea about that,” said Korpisalo. “It’s business. But frankly, I don’t give a (expletive) what happened. I’m still going to do me. It’s still the same team, still the same guys. It’s good to be here and I’m going to push with everything I can.”

The two goaltenders maintain a good relationship but Hedger feels Korpisalo’s days with the Jackets are numbered. Both want to be starters but the Blue Jackets have committed long-term to Merzlikins, though management and the coaching staff insist the caliber of their play will determine playing time this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Korpisalo is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Even if he outplays Merzlikins this season I don’t see the Jackets retaining him if they’re out of playoff contention by the March trade deadline. If anything, a strong performance by Korpisalo will make him more enticing to rival clubs seeking an upgrade between the pipes.


  1. If McAvoy goes for anything more than 9 million cut him loose. Greedy punk

    • If there’s one thing Boston has done well is make players take a bit less money. Guess we’ll find out about McAvoy

      • You do remember Chiarelli

    • Thank you Mr. Jacobs.

    • Did you get picked on as a child Rick?

      • Actually I boxed and played hockey I also taught martial arts on the east coast for a couple of years so in answer to your question if they were smart they didn’t. I don’t even know why I’m responding to you Ray we don’t really ever see anything eye to eye. Chuck can’t just walk into Boston and start commanding an outrageous salary, Charlie’s good but he’s never gonna be Orr or Bourque.

      • Likely won’t be Orr or Bourque Rick. But a very good player in a different era.
        The reason I asked the question is the punk comment on a guy who by all accounts, is a great team mate and a good guy. Perhaps a future captain.
        If his agent and Sweeney agree on a contract you don’t like, why does that make him a punk?
        Harsh comment as I assume you don’t know him?
        Most guys I know that can handle themselves don’t talk like that. Guys who can’t do.

      • So you definitely were picked on as a kid Rick.

  2. The way i understand it in Boston, no one gets more than the capt at 6.85m.

    So how is this going to work out? looks messy to me.

    The worst part is none of the comparibles should be making that kind of money yet. None have proven anything but they are good young players but what have they won.

    Have any of them pushed there team to a stanley cup?

    Nurse and Werenski contracts are the worst in the league, neither is going to be close to earning that money but because dougie hamilton signed a 9m contract now everyone deserves that.

    what a joke league this turning into.

    • kind of like Jim Rutherford handing John Marino a 4 million dollar a year deal after one promising rookie season … only to see him regress last season …

    • Krejci was $7.25

      I don’t believe McAvoy is worth $9m or more

      leads me to ponder what would he bring back in a trade?

      Who needs a D, that has a C not named Eichel?

      Have to wonder what will Adam Fox be looking for next season.

      • Ah Cappy…..the voice of reason. No way Charlie is worth 9 Million. Start at 9 Million?!?! it better end at 9 million. Come on What the h is going here?!?! Chuck needs to suck it in even though I disagree he will be the highest paid bruin but I think 7 or 8 mill is reasonable.

    • I think they would look at percentage for starters. However I dont think he is worth 9, but 8-8,5 on a long term deal sounds fair

  3. “It was super because I had no idea about that,” said Korpisalo

    say what?

  4. Also of note in the Jackets’ goalie situation is that Elvis’ new contract ends at the same time that Daniil Tarasov should be ready to take over as the starting goalie.

  5. B’s imo will pay McAvoy similar to the other top D men in the league. He is their #1-2 guy, and there’s no one else in the B’s pipeline. Challenging times for B’s these days.

  6. You have to wonder at what point does the NHL redress the issue of a players worth or value.

    Is the goal of a team is to compete for and win a Stanley Cup or to pay players in anticipation of competing.

    The Makar, Hughes, Jones etc who have never won a thing and in effect handicap their teams like Matthews and Marner fill which goal?

    Something to consider as younger players become more important to their teams they are also more easily replaceable by the next crop.

    Almost every year some players are drafted that can replace these players demanding huge money, the proof being the number of players coming off ELC players demanding and signing obscene contracts.

    There are rare generational players who are head and hands superior to the rest and can deserve to be paid as such.

    Radical proposal to consider that CBA’s in sport operate more like “real life” unions and have a built in pay scale that forces teams to draft, develop, PAY, and fight for the Stanley Cup.

    • HF30, you played the game right? Tender I believe, so kind of I guess.
      Matthews, Makar, Jones make big $, correct. Do they handicap their team? No. How good would be the Leafs be without Matthews?
      Not having him would handicap them more. Not Having McAvoy would totally hurt the B’s.

      If you remember in your playing days, the team with the best players usually wins.

      I think the older guys get squeezed and we will see a shrinking middle class of players, or the % of the cap spent on the average players on a roster goes down.
      Young guys know they are entering their prime and paying them for their best years 23-29, kind of makes sense.
      You want to pay for what they will do, not for what they have done. And we know as players age (past 30) they generally get less effective.

      The agents and the players are just getting smarter.

      • Ray Bark,

        You have a tendency to take a comment, misconstrue it and then gallop off, not to mention throw a lot of personal assumptions on the wall……tossing in a “guess” here and there.

        Do you think my post implied that players like Matthews, Makar, Jones and McAvoy handicap their teams?

        Good job using your pedantry to deflect and take off in a different direction.

        I am open to discuss the essential point of my comment not your misdirection of it, or your feigned misunderstanding.

      • Well, Ray, another Sh&&&y response by Habfan30, the most imperious poster this site is inflicted with. And at one point he said that his lack of civility was unintentional. Not sure why you bother with him, but that is up to you. His last post to me ended up with “nyah nyah nyah pooh pooh.” No, I am not making that up.

        Now to your comment: we don’t know how good Toronto would be without Matthews but surely it is an error to dismiss the possibility that a more balanced roster would make for a more competitive Leafs team.

        And surely a more competitive (balanced) team has a better chance of winning than resting one’s hopes on a few high priced players. The Leafs are the classic example of what happens when too much is devoted to too few players. Look at what happened to them when Tavares got hurt. Look at the Hawks. Or what happened to the Kings.

        Paying one or two players a lot is unavoidable, it seems, but aren’t these players being paid big bucks before delivering? None of Matthews, Makar or Jones have brought the Cup to their teams. Yes, the Lightening have a lot invested in Kucherov, but they also have Stamkos as a cautionary tale.

        To your Bs: I don’t follow them but I wonder, if they lose Bergeron after this year, how does signing McAvoy to big bucks help them stay competitive while reducing their ability to get a true # 1 center?

        And by the way, I see the same flaws in the Habs’ cap management. Price’s contract is going to bite them in a few years

      • Yes I do think you said that, my bad I guess, but when you read it….
        You didn’t say imply it, it says in effect they do.
        I am simply arguing that they would be more handicapped if they didn’t.

        Is that fair?

      • LJ,

        Sophistry is your M.O.
        I did post that YOUR comment to me was the equivalent of “nyah nyah nyah pooh pooh.”

      • Nyah Nyah? You from Scandinavian Canada?

      • And in general the quality of general management and engagement of teams overall with their processes has not. There is nothing wrong with drafting, developing, collecting talent, having some good years, paying the price with some leaner ones, and repeating, except the longer term numbers tell us a few truly mediocre franchises make life easier for most ; a few good ones get to the playoffs most years and make it harder. In a hard salary cap league, organization skills throughout gain importance.

    • Expensive contracts for elite players shouldn’t be an argument as we can all agree the best of anything always costs more than things of lesser quality.
      Where things go wrong and fans do have an argument is when someone gets paid as a star but never has been or will. It’s a poor evaluation by management whether made under pressure or desperation that overpay thus rising the bar unjustly…at least when legitimate stars set the bar, like Nylander’s (highly debated contract) set the bar for young players who can score at a 60+pt pace per season. If you think that’s a bad deal, what about giving $7-8m for a player who scores at a rate about 20pts less?
      Over paying lesser players is what negativity affects the cap more than “overpaying” stars.

      • Someone suggested yesterday a Tkachuk for Nylander deal (to give the Leafs “more grit”), to which I responded “yeah, right” only in the sense that that would add another $1 mil to the Leafs cap.

        But would I trade Tkachuk for Nylander – all things being equal – right now? In a heartbeat.

      • Ron a reference to your statement would be Jeff Skinner.

        He wasn’t worth the $9m when he signed and now Buffalo are handicap with his contract for another 6yrs.

        I remember when there was a ton of media and fan pressure on Buffalo to resign him.

        They said Buffalo didn’t have a choice.

        I would argue They did but made the wrong choice.

    • Ray Bark,
      You can argue whatever you want, it just isn’t my argument.

      I choose not to respond to your pedantry.

      My comment was structural, which I’m pretty sure you understand if you read to the end of my initial comment and the suggestion.

      • You mean the radical idea that the NHL operate as a real union? That is radical, because you want to be able to draft them which in effect ties them to one team, and control their pay without the freedom to work elsewhere in their chosen field.

        It is radical but I left it alone until you brought it up, but since you did – it sounds more like the Red Army team than an NHL one.

      • Ray Bark,

        I never said players would be tied to one team who would control their pay without the freedom to work elsewhere.

        With that being said there is a CBA

        Players are drafted and “belong” to the team for a prescribed number of years.

        The players don’t have the choice of where to play once they sign a contract.

        The number of years before becoming RFA is structured and players can be traded.

        The age at which they become UFA is structured.

        There exists a gradual step by step procedure for players to get more rights by seniority.

        Sound like the Red Army?

        Continue leaving it alone or try being a little bit open minded to the possibilities 🙂

  7. Just like first contracts have parameters so should there be a period coming off your ELC. A defined bridge model involving age and term would solve a lot of problems. Protect the owners from themselves

    Petersson is rumoured to have signed for $7.45m and for three years . Perfect solution.. . Brady T ?

    • Yup – if they can, sign him for 3 years at that amount … and then deal him. Stay the hell away from putting yourself in 3 years in the same situation facing Calgary with his brother, i.e., needing to qualify him next year at $9 mil.

      • Yes, I agree with Calgary might not wanting to qualify Tkachuk at 9mil but I don’t see that being an issue with Pettersson’s qualifying amount.

        He will get a much larger raise at that point so it wouldn’t be an issue.

    • >>>Protect the owners from themselves

      Why should the players agree to that?
      Why should the fans agree to that?

      “This guy is grossly overpaid” Ok, then. Maybe so. All that means is they’ll have less to spend on the next guy. Use your cap space better. Stop making poor decisions. And stop making the players the scapegoats for your poor decisions.

      • There’s an old adage that fits what you say to a “T” – although I see you’re on the side of the players. And that is “it takes two to tango.”

        This isn’t baseball where there’s no hard cap and they can toss around $100 mil contracts. At some point the players are going to have to realize that those teams who can and DO pay their top 4 or 5 players over 50% of the cap will reach the saturation point and when that day arrives there are going to be a number of very good players finding out that, despite their top-notch performances on the ice, there is simply no room under whatever cap exists at the time.

  8. Always need to compare to others when discussing new contracts, but I feel sorry for some of these GM’s that are forced to match or exceed other dumb contracts handed out by other BAD GM’s…..Where does it end?

  9. I love that everyone just expects Mac to after the most money he can get. He’s involved in the team’s culture created by Bergy Marshy and Pasta. More inclined to try and win than cash in on money. Hall took a pay cut to stay Charle will most likely do the same. 7 to 7.5 mill for 8 yrs

  10. I am very surprised and disappointed it is taking GMs so long to figure out cap management.

    I agree paying top players top money makes sense but paying average players top money is a recipe for disaster but GMs still convince their owners to fork over the cash.

    The Flames could head down that road soon with Gaudreau and Monahan. Johonny is a good player but not an 8 million dollar player.
    Monahan when healthy is a very good center but not a 8 or 9 million dollar player. All GMs talk to the agents and know what their players are looking for in future contracts. If they ask for too much trade them at the deadline to get something and move on without being handcuffed to a poor contract.

    The Bruins seem to be one of the few teams that manage the cap well. I don’t think they will overpay MaAvoy knowing full well they will be heading into a rebuild in a couple of years and may have to trade him for picks .

    • The problem there, FlameFan, is if all GMs finally figure out the pitfalls of cap management as you describe it (and I totally agree with that observation), trading a player at the deadline who is known to be seeking more than they’re actually worth would become even more problematic than it is now (i.e., finding a willing trade partner for a future financial headache).

      You didn’t mention Matthew Tkachuk in y our post – also a good player when you factor in all elements – but since they’ll need to qualify him at $9 mil next year do you see anyone ready to take on his contract at the trade deadline? If they don’t – and Treveling says no to that qualifying offer, does he walk for nothing?

      I suppose there are St. Loo fans who will say he’ll be snapped up so, who knows, maybe one day they’ll have both brothers – at $9 mil+ each.

      • George,

        Treliving overpaid on that second contract especially since he was under team control. I would really like to see GMs dig in and let players sit if they are over asking. There are exceptions to the rule ie McDavid and Matthews if his contract was for 7 years.
        As far as Tkachuk if he can be signed for 7 or 8 years at 9 million that would be fine, but as I suggested a few weeks ago that’s not how the Tkachuks roll (as you are finding out now with Brady)
        He will still be under team control when this contract expires and if they see he is being unrealistic I would suggest they sign him for 1 year and trade him. The Flames could get quite a haul because there are always GMs that only look at the player not contract issue that could destroy their cap situation.

        As a side note I know there are people on this board that think players should get as much as they possibly can. I am more of a fan of my team spending to the limit and spending it wisely to build a championship team, if that means paying some players less so they can have more good players that will win that is the goal.

    • The problem isn’t paying Gaudreau 8 million, the problem is paying guys like Gudbranson $1.95 million and Zadorov $3.75 million, Lucic $5.25 million. These are the type of overpayments that can really waste your cap space.

  11. George O

    There’s something wrong with system when it turns a fan like you against a player that you have liked from day 1.

    A system that expects loyalty from the fan base yet is repeatedly s**t on by ownership and/or players saying, it isn’t personal, just business.

    We go right back and support them when the dust settles.

    • Some do habfan30 … many in fact … all you need do is look at the Leafs fan base … loyal to a fault despite the Ballard fiasco, lack of playoff success over the past 14 years, despite the current 7-year “re-build.”

      It’s the love of the game. As I’ve stated in here before, I grew up a rabid Habs fan, got to know personally a lot of the Montreal players who came up through the Hull-Ottawa Junior Canadiens when I played football for Wilf Tremblay’s Hull Tigers (a few good stories there – heh). When I was asked after why I switched to the Ottawa Senators, it was simply based on the fact that they became the team representing the city in which I live.

      As for Mr. Melnyk, I don’t think he’s s*&t on anyone. Hell, if he hadn’t come along when he did the franchise would have long since been relocated. But while he is indeed “rich” by the standards of any of us in here, his wealth – part of which comes through fan attendance/merchandise sales, whatever – pales in comparison to many other NHL owners and their franchise income and so he simply cannot (or will not) do what others do when it comes to tossing out the $$$, often seemingly foolishly.

  12. Charlie will sign for a fair price and never count the Bruins out they will be top 5 in the league for years to come first class organization. Stud and Fabian two future stars bad Brad and Pasta are studs young D and future is bright for young goalie Swayman.

  13. Old skin=flint Jacobs proved, once again, the class of the Bruins organization when he laid off all arena employees in the face of Covid shutdown only to be forced by the league to backtrack and put them on 2/3 pay.Bottom class.
    The first class organizations had the staff at 2/3 pay before the league mandate.

    • That’s business they didn’t lock the country down and not allow fans in buildings that was the government. Businesses in town fired thousands to stay open keep their doors open with less than half the customers. Hard to run an NHL franchise with no fans. Bruins have always been class of the league and will continue to be at the top of the standings haters going to hate winners going to win.

  14. Lyle, just ran a quick glance over today’s waivers at CapFriendly and saw this:

    Montreal Canadiens Samuel Montembeault Claimed on waivers by Montreal Canadiens

    Say what? Does this mean that, when a team places a player on waivers, if no one claims him by the time the pick order reaches the position of the team that put him on waivers, they can claim him back? Surely not! Has to be a glitch at CapFriendly, right?

    • George O,

      Samuel Montembeault was claimed off of Florida Panthers, hewas their 3rd goalie.

      • Ahh – thanks – so it was a CapFriendly glitch.

  15. All the news about contract signings and negotiations had me wondering if there was some wisdom in the words of the sports figure who said if he had a team of players playing for new contracts, he’d win a championship every year. That thought prompted me to do a bit of research–not enough to make a conclusiion, but maybe enough to show that further research could prove interesting.

    Do hockey players who had played like warriors begin to play like nobility after signing long-term contracts?

    My casual investigation revealed a number of hockey players who recently had down seasons immediately after signing big, long-term contracts, but not enough to be a preponderance. However, I did learn about what a University of Missouri research group trying to answer that question called a “contract year effect,” where player performance artificially tops out during contract years. They found that the contract year performance boost is real, and they caution team managers and coaches that it might be followed by a post-contract performance crash — a two-year pattern they call the “contract year syndrome.”

    Perhaps, NHL GMs should listen to them. In hockey, where each line and its defensive complement are like different teams, it may be the case that the big team with the best little teams wins, even though the team it plays against has the best players.

    • A great man once told me ” Its hard to be hungry when your full”.

      Words I’ve never forgotten over the years and that ring true for your opining I’d suspect.

      • You are a good king to know that.