NHL Rumor Mill – November 23, 2021

by | Nov 23, 2021 | Rumors | 23 comments

Could the struggling Canucks trade J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser? Are the Wild interested in one of them? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

CANUCKS ARMY: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman indicating tension is really high among the Vancouver Canucks organization. “Everybody’s looking around at everybody else and saying, ‘okay, we’re waiting for something to happen.’ Is it going to be an executive? Is it going to be a coach or is it going to be a player? Who’s it going to be,” he said.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Friedman also observed there are agents calling the Canucks trying to figure out who’s getting moved if anyone. He also said he’s heard from a couple of teams that saying they can tell the Canucks are trying to be careful to avoid making a move that could hurt them for decades.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports the Minnesota Wild have contacted the Canucks expressing interest in J.T. Miller. He speculates the Wild would likely dangle winger Kevin Fiala, who’s on an expiring contract and has managed just three goals this season despite 58 shots.

Fiala could regain his scoring touch with a change of scenery but Kuzma believes the Wild must sweeten the deal if they hope to land Miller. He suggested big winger Jordan Greenway but felt he’d be better suited to a fourth-line role rather than skating alongside Elias Pettersson. He’s also on an expiring contract worth $2.1 million this season, which could be difficult for the cap-strapped Canucks to absorb.

Kuzma thinks a logical ask by the Canucks in any trade would be a high draft pick. They shipped their 2022 second-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes in the offseason. Kuzma wondered if Fiala and a second-rounder would be enough for Miller or would it take another pick to close the deal. He also suggested the Wild could be just fishing in hope of landing a player who can help them get out of a tough division and make noise in the playoffs.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson reports NHL executives will tell you Brock Boeser has been “out there” since the offseason but the trade talk has heated up in recent days. Simpson wondered if that knowledge might be contributing to the 24-year-old winger’s woeful production of late.

Simpson noted Canucks general manager Jim Benning didn’t rule out the possibility of trades during his media availability last week. It appears there’s interest in Boeser but it won’t be easy finding a trade partner with sufficient cap space and a glut of defensemen. He also cited a source saying Elias Pettersson wouldn’t be happy if Boeser was traded. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are a hot mess and show no sign of significant improvement. Team owner Francesco Aquilini met with Benning last week but apparently, no changes were in the offing as Aquilini intended to remain patient.

The takeaway from that suggests Benning and head coach Travis Green are safe for now. That could mean a shakeup trade could be coming if the Canucks’ fortunes don’t improve soon.

Fiala is a scoring winger but consistency has long been an issue with his production. The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. His $5.1 million cap hit this season is comparable to Miller’s $5.25 million and would be a little more affordable than Boeser’s $5.875 million. Greenway is also an RFA with arbitration rights next summer.

If Miller or Boeser are available I would expect Benning will be getting some interest from clubs other than the Wild. Given his uneven trade record, however, Canucks fans will be understandably nervous about his ability to land a solid return for either guy.


  1. I might take a chance on J.T. First of all I don’t think he would cost you a Number one pick like Hertl secondly he’s got good speed,& size, can score goals and is not afraid of rough play . he’s a better choice at centre than Coyle

  2. If Wild make any big moves …. It has to be with the mindset of this year only…. Starting next year…. Almost $13M, then two years of almost $15 M in dead cap space…. Hard to consider that they can construct a playoff deep run team in 22/23 – 24/25 with all that Dead Cap space.

    Is it possible…. Yes….. probable ……. No

    Strong team this year, but tough Div.

    I like the idea (for Wild) re acquisition of Miller…. But that is then $5.3 M also on next year’s severely crimped Cap budget

    It may be more prudent to look solely at UFAs

  3. what a mess for the Canucks. Benning’s contract expires after this season. If the ownership doesn’t want to keep him (ie doesn’t have confidence in him) then how can they allow him to be the guy to tear down the team (trade away it’s best players and rebuild) ?
    They should start by firing Green, the Hawks seemed to turn it around after firing Colliton, maybe a change will wake up the Canucks’ best players

    • If Benning is a lame duck GM, who would he be allowed to hire to replace Green?

  4. I mentioned Boeser the other day when subject was about Rangers looking at forwards. Would be a nice fit on top line with Zib and Kreider. Perhaps they can send Nemeth other way to help fit a new deal for Boeser next year. Rangers still have Kravtsov and Hajek they’re looking to deal. I don’t think Van can afford to sign Boeser.

    • Boeser is pricey too and like Fiala inconsistent.

      • ds. Boeser is a goal scorer. He’s had injury issues to start career, but by no means is he inconsistent. His career goals per 60 ranks 23rd among active players and he really hasn’t hit his prime. ( by comparison, Kreider ranks 33rd and Panarin 43rd)He’s 24 years old and a rfa at end of season. As I said, I’d try to move Nemeth as part of deal. Next year Rangers cap is tight, but starts getting better year after.

      • @slick
        Boeser is super streaky. Zib line needs a disher

    • Why would they take Nemeth who has been average at best? From the Rangers they will want a good defensive prospect and a pick. If they take Nemeth it to balance the cap in the trade

  5. I agree that Boeser is the move here. I also would think that draft picks coming back are most likely. Let’s face it this year is lost and Bennington and Green will not be back imo. So you give the new management some cap room and the ability to hire there own coach. So expect selling at the deadline and an owner limiting Benning’s moves

  6. Sorry Canuck fans but that’s the usual template.

  7. Canucks management is nothing short of a joke and the fact ownership turns up the DJ music to drown out the FireBenning chants is now creating apathy. Fans are beyond angry. They flew 2 banners and the GM STILL has a job

    Benning needs to be gone by like last season. No way can he be the guy to trade Miller.
    Miller is a point per gane player that can win you face-offs, slot up and down the line-up in any role and still has another year left after this. That package should start with a 1st+prospect and perhaps a good youngish player
    Used car salesmen GMs are circling looking to trade Buicks to Benning. Fiala is great but he’s also a diva and needs a new contract and has arb rights

    • Agree on Miller Tyler, if I am Sweeney that call has already been made.
      I think he costs more than Hertl as he is signed for next year as well as being a better player IMO.

      The guys a gamer and wants to win, would fit the B’s needs like a glove.

      What he would cost? That’s a tough one, but lots, plus some $ needs to go back. DeBrusk, ain’t all that, but doesn’t suck either when he plays with some skill. Him and a 1st? B prospect if required?

      If the B’s actually believe they can contend with the addition of a 2C, this would be the guy to target. All day.

    • Canucks need to get a solid d-man plus at least a 2nd for Boeser or Miller.

    • True. It’s like this line made me lol: “Canucks are trying to be careful to avoid making a move that could hurt them for decades.” Really? Now? A little late to the party. Benning should of never had control over this team and ownership is to blame there, no?

      Benning built a team right to the cap ceiling that cannot compete at the level it ought to be and now you’re stuck and hope this isn’t going to enter a state of temporary stopgaps that can run for years and years before they tear it apart and start all over again.

    • Tyler, as I recall Ron Jull has been sounding the horn on dumping ‘Dim Jim” for almost as long as Dubya has been greasing the skids for Sweeney. Seems like more and more have joined the club.

  8. Vancouver is a team that should be doing much better, and is it really Benning causing them to not play to expectation?

    I wonder how much the big off season contracts play into the dysfunction with both fans and players seeing the handcuffs.

    • If you look at the forwards, then yes. Bet their D i terrible. They have 2 no 6 D playing in the top 4 and have trouble passing the puck to the forwards.

  9. Beware of NHL GMs bearing anvils rather than lifesavers.

    The sharks (not the Sharks) are circling.

    • Agreed, that is why ownership needs to make a key decision. Do they keep Benning or do they let Benning replace Green with his choice and potentially trade some assets. I think they need to bounce Benning and let replacement make thos decisions.

      • Anyone that remembers recent history would suggest they should not let Benning make any major decisions, if he is not to be the guy.. the Oilers ownership allowed Chiarelli to continue operating until the last minute, leading to the Koskinen signing… say what you will about it, but the general consensus seems to be he is not worth the value of the contract.

        Example aside, why would it EVER make sense to let someone you aren’t confident in make any major decisions for your organization?

  10. None of the suggestions makes any sense for the Canucks. Not certain Green is the problem, but it is probably time for him to go. Certainly is for Benning, whose record is just not good. Trevor was right. Clean house, let the new management figure out how to rebuild the team.

  11. Bruins need to fix that #2 center position and need to do it quickly and Foligno on the 2 line what’s up with that ? Come on Sweeney