NHL Rumor Mill – January 1, 2022

by | Jan 1, 2022 | Rumors | 22 comments

Some recent predictions for the Flames plus the latest on Jake DeBrusk in the first NHL rumor mill of 2022.


TSN: Salim Valji made six predictions for the Calgary Flames in 2022. Among them was his belief general manager Brad Treliving will be active at the March 21 trade deadline by bringing in at least one significant player.

This season could be the Flames’ best opportunity to stage a deep playoff run before having to deal with the effect upon the salary cap of re-signing free agents such as Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington.

One possibility could be bringing back defenseman Mark Giordano, who was selected by the Seattle Kraken during last summer’s expansion draft. Treliving could attempt to acquire a forward with term on his contract such as Montreal Canadiens winger Tyler Toffoli.

Given the Flames’ limited salary-cap space, they’ll have to ship out a contract or two to make those additions. Defenseman Nikita Zadorov and winger Dillon Dube could be expendable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Treliving made several significant trade acquisitions in the past, bringing in Dougie Hamilton, Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm and Milan Lucic. However, those moves took place in the offseason. He’s yet to make a major in-season addition via the trade market, preferring depth moves over bigger ones. It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll roll the dice this time around.

Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan (NHL Images).

Sportsnet’s Eric Francis believes the Flames will trade for a top defenseman like Giordano or someone else. He pointed out they’ll have to be prepared to pay a high price to bring back their former captain as a number of playoff contenders will also be interested.

Valji also believes the Flames will part ways with center Sean Monahan by buying him out or trading him. The 27-year-old center hasn’t been the same since undergoing hip surgery in the spring. He’s signed through 2022-23 with an annual average value of $6.375 million and a 10-team no-trade list. They’ll need the cap space to re-sign their key free agents.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Monahan is more likely to occur in the offseason. Even then, it won’t be easy. The decline in his performance over the past couple of seasons hurts his trade value. It could mean retaining half of his cap hit, taking back a toxic contract in return, or attempting to broker a three-team trade to spread around his cap hit at the cost of a quality draft pick or prospect.

A buyout could be the way to go here. Cap Friendly indicates it would cost $2.375 million against the Flames cap in 2022-23 and $2 million the following season.

In other predictions, Valji believes Gaudreau will depart via free agency this summer, Tkachuk signs a three-year deal worth $9.5 million annually and they’ll make a strong pitch via free agency for Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see those predictions for Gaudreau and Tkachuk taking place. However, I don’t think Treliving will convince Kadri to sign with the Flames. Valji observed the center invoked his no-movement clause to block a trade from Toronto to Calgary in 2019. I think Kadri sees his future elsewhere if he hits the open market this summer.


THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes the return of the taxi squad until February gives the Boston Bruins a better opportunity to honor Jake DeBrusk’s trade request. GM Don Sweeney hasn’t found an offer to his liking, with the 24-year-old winger’s market value said to be a similarly dissatisfied player to a mid-round draft pick.

Shinzawa speculates the Bruins could be forced to accept that draft pick if they hope to move DeBrusk and clear sufficient salary-cap space for Tuukka Rask. It’s believed they intend to bring back the free-agent goaltender later this month as he progresses in his recovery from offseason hip surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could depend on how much it’ll cost the Bruins to sign Rask to what’s expected to be a low-cost, prorated one-year contract. They currently have around $2 million in projected cap space.


  1. Kessel 50% retained for Debrusk and pick?

    CGY can call ARZ about taking Monohan if they’d need cap space. They have the room especially after this year.

    • Kessel. Will never be a Bruin again.

  2. Jake debrusk for Sean Monaghan 2 million retained
    Or Dylan Strome straight up
    Or Yamamoto. With 500k retained on debrusk. But may end up in a larger pkg type deal closer to deadline

    • How about getting a pick-moving defenseman like the Ghost from Arizona instead of Kessel.

      • I think ghost is same as Reilly. And or. Gryz Find a way to get. Chic. Would be perfect with Charlie

  3. The Bruins are not 1 or 2 small deals away from beating Tampa, Florida or Carolina in a 7 game series.

    Trade Bergeron to a contender with the best package and resign him in July.

    • They would never trade 37 unless he requested such a move and he never would

    • Yeah right! Trade Bergeron to NYI for Kappo, and a3rd. Then re-sign him in the summer for 2x$5M. LOL

  4. Bruins aren’t even close to contending, this talk about them making moves to get there is laughable … they need a new GM first and foremost .. those 3 first rounders than never panned out sealed his fate …

    • Ed. They said that about St. Louis. In 2019. And look what happened. Same for habs last year. Once you get in the dance anything can happen a lucky or unlucky bounce and injures. Usually decides who wins a top seed almost always is knocked out in rd 1. Are bruins a fave. Hell no.

  5. Kadri said he invoked his NMC to stop the trade to Calgary because he wanted to stay in Toronto. He said it had nothing to do with Calgary. He might have just been playing nice, but I don’t think you can count Calgary out if they do decide to make a pitch

  6. Gaudreau is a tough call. I guess it will depend on his salary demand specific with Calgary. We will see if he moves. Agreed Monahan traded in off season or a buy out.
    Flames tend to acquire players for term and not rental. TD should be interesting again this year

  7. It might work out but this is ugly



  8. Riley, Debrusk, and 2023 unprotected 1st for Chychrun. Then trade Haula and a 3rd for Monahan ($3M retained)

    • There is no chance ARZ even remotely considers that trade.
      DeBrusk has a value of a mid round pick. Maybe a 2nd? Reilly isn’t a good offensive or defensive defenceman…#5 or #6 on a good team. His value is likely a 3rd round pick.
      1st round pick from BOS would likely be #12-24 overall…a lottery pick.

      There is no chance ARZ trades a cost controlled young D-man for that package.

    • Monahan with 3 million retained for that Johnny, give your head a shake.

  9. Or Monahan($2M retained), Dube and a 2nd for Rasmusen ad Stephens. Even with retention, Calgary clears over $2M for other moves (Gio) and gets younger. I don’ think this will quite fit Stevie’s agenda, but he gets a place holder at C (SM) and a young reclamation project that plays C and a 2nd in a deep draft.

    • Johnny, you must not make very many deals. If I was to counter using your philosophy how about Pasternak 3 million retained for Pitlick and a 3rd

  10. If Rask is going to cost over 2 mill don’t bring him back, he’s a choker and only plays well when he feeling up to it. Don’t spend a lot of cash on this guy C’s sake. Don’t you idiots ever learn?!? God I want to see Sweeney gone after this season.

    • Tuuka. Is one the better goalies in the league period. Saying otherwise. Is nonsense

  11. Monahan is only 27. I don’t know what his issues are this season but his trade value is definitely down. Calgary should probably wait until he’s fully back from hip issues and they’ve sorted out Gaudreau future.

    • Agreed Slick, Monahan has been battling injuries for the last couple of years.

      He has scored 30+ 3 times and 20+ every year but last year.

      He is playing the power play and skating much better than the last couple of years but playing on the 4th line with plugs like Lewis and Richardson are not enhancing his production or his confidence. If he can string together a few good games his confidence will return and the nonsense of a buy out should stop.