NHL Rumor Mill – January 13, 2022

by | Jan 13, 2022 | Rumors | 28 comments

Check out which clubs aren’t expected to pursue Evander Kane, plus an update on John Klingberg and the Red Wings approach to this year’s trade deadline in today’s NHL rumor mill.


Former San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

THE ATHLETIC’s Joe Smith tweeted yesterday the Tampa Bay Lightning considered signing Evander Kane but decided on Tuesday to pull out of the running. In his latest Lightning column, Smith reported general manager Julien BriseBois didn’t elaborate but said in general it’s a club’s job to conduct due diligence on a player to determine if he’s the right fit.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports we shouldn’t expect to sign Kane suiting up with the Bruins anytime soon. Sources say at most the club made an inquiry but Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said general manager Don Sweeney hasn’t consulted him about signing the former San Jose Sharks winger.

TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos believes the Edmonton Oilers’ interest in Kane is a sign of GM Ken Holland’s desperation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning are riding high in the standings with very strong roster chemistry among their players. The Bruins are surging of late and also possess a solid roster core. Neither club has a dire need for a power forward, especially one with Kane’s well-documented issues.

Meanwhile, the Oilers are free-falling in the standings leaving Holland willing to consider any option that might reverse that skid. I don’t know if he’s feeling any heat from his bosses. However, the bloom is definitely off the rose for Oilers fans upset over his stewardship of their club over the past couple of seasons.


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently examined whether Evander Kane or Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg would be good fits with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He rules out the former Sharks winger given the Leafs’ limited salary-cap space and the possibility of Kane disrupting a tightly-bonded dressing room.

Klingberg, on the other hand, is a more intriguing possibility. Should the Stars shop him, it might be worth the Leafs’ while if they can accrue sufficient cap space by the trade deadline. He pointed out GM Kyle Dubas’ willingness to spend big and get creative to secure a trade target.

Fox suspects the Stars asking price could be a first-round pick plus much more. He envisions the Leafs pursuing a more affordable stay-at-home option for their blueline.

Rory Boylen, meanwhile, examined what it could cost a club to acquire Klingberg and the cost of a contract extension. He suggested a first-round pick and a top prospect plus more if Klingberg’s agent can work out a contract extension with an acquiring team. Boylen pointed out the Klingberg camp seeks an eight-year extension with the Stars worth an annual average value of $7.875 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think we can rule out the Leafs as a destination for Klingberg. Cap Friendly indicates they’re already pressed for cap space and they might not be able to come up with enough accrued cap space by the trade deadline to take on his current contract. With a projected $76 million invested in 15 players for 2022-23 and Jack Campbell and Rasmus Sandin among their notable free agents, they can’t afford to sign Klingberg.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman said he doesn’t see his club being aggressive in the trade market leading up to the March 21 trade deadline or in this summer’s free-agent market. His decisions regarding the trade deadline will depend on where his club sits in the standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings improved play this season has sparked some conjecture over whether Yzerman will attempt to shore up his roster at the trade deadline to help them secure a playoff spot. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility if they’re holding a postseason berth by March 21. Yzerman has also shown he’s unafraid to make bold trades, shipping Anthony Mantha to Washington at last year’s deadline and acquiring Alex Nedeljkovic last summer from Carolina.


  1. “I wouldn’t rule out the possibility if they’re holding a postseason berth by March 21.”

    Yzerman is going to spend assets in a year his team shouldn’t make the playoffs? For what? To lose 4-1 in the first round rather than being swept?

    Give me a break.

    • “Yzerman indicated where the team is in the standings at the March 21 trade deadline will determine what decisions they make.”

      And remember, he’s made big moves in the recent past that caught everyone by surprise. I’m not saying he’s going to give away long-term assets for rentals but it wouldn’t surprise me if he brought in a player who could help his club now and beyond this season.

      Why the assumption they’ll get beaten 4-1 in the opening round of a playoff series? Upsets happen, sometimes by promising clubs on their way up (hello there, 2018-19 Carolina Hurricanes).

      • Lyle, surely Garth’s point should not be taken so literally. The chances of the Wings advancing from the first round are slim, and slimmer yet of going any further than that. The only deal that makes sense for the Wings is one that has a carry forward benefit beyond this year.

      • “The only deal that makes sense for the Wings is one that has a carry forward benefit beyond this year.”

        Which was what I said in my reply to Garth.

    • There’s a points system for making the playoffs…how could you argue that a team makes the playoffs when they shouldn’t? Is there some way to cheat and add points?

      Lyle saying he “wouldn’t rule out the possibility” is hardly a promise or an endorsement. Yzerman just might add, particularly if he can get someone like a Chychurn who can be counted on for a few more seasons. There’s something to be said for showing confidence in a young team who has worked hard to improve and adding some pieces before the playoffs, where anything can happen. Should he? I don’t know but I “wouldn’t rule it out” either.

    • welp dudes been right many more times than he has been wrong .. as a outsiders point of view

  2. Can’t see Leaf’s fitting (Cap) in Klinger …. But would be very nice

    Klinger in on Pens…. Also nice…. But won’t be happening

    Habs are going to (IMHO) clear out quite a few at/B4 TDL….

    If Price comes back and is playing up to his last year’s playoff standards …. What is the ++(+?) needed for a Koskinen for Price (@ 50% retained) flip?

    For sure it starts with a 1st…. But how much more?

    Note Koski has some trade protection…. Has he blocked Habs?

    What if somehow Holland traded/acquired and fit in …. Price, Chairot, Kane…. How far does that move the needle on playoff success probability?

    • Pengy–
      Klinberg would be nice especially if Letang isn’t resigned and goes elsewhere. I don’t see either of those happening.

      Letang has been much better, more consistent, better on the turnovers although he still makes a couple blunders like against St. Louis.(last second pass he threw right in front of our on net with seconds left.

      I re-watched the Anaheim game and Malkin was great 2 goals 1 assists and then he had 3 turnovers and one pad pass in the first period…he just can’t help himself.. He had like 7 or 8 for the game…

      I’m a glass full guy to like you said but with Malkin he is too consistent for hope with turnovers…..LOL

      Back up goalie and a third right handed defenseman is what we need. No big deal is coming and when healthy we have enough forward depth

      • Hi BNG

        Agree on needs; but differ on my expectations of Gino going forward

        I only counted 4 turnovers ; and 3 of four were passes that were just off target (which Sid was doing for his first 4-5 games back… just rust on the accuracy of the passes).

        I am really glad to see how well that line was doing

        When all healthy I expect Sid stays with Rusty and Guentz ; Gino Kappy Carter; Blueger centres McG and ZAR

        E-Rod then centering the third line with Heinen on his wing…. If it Zucker that comes back and also plays on third line (he absolutely canNOT be put with Sid or Gino); then I hope Zucker doesn’t start draining ERods production (like he did with Gino)

        Re needs… 3RD… Psyk could easily be had for a 5th, maybe a 6th…. which HexBurkie should be willing to give up

        If it is someone like Miller…Cap $3.9M… Sabres would have to retain 50%…..at TDL after escrow he’d be owed about $1.05 M…. 1/2 that is $525 K…. Adams will want then a 3rd or more… so no deal

        I think you said before that u live in LA … or am I wrong?

        If so…. Are u going to the game tonight?

  3. I doubt that any team will bring Kane on if they have to shed $$ in order to do it. If they’re close to the cap, forget about it! It’ll be a team with young good caliber players/prospects. Thing is, Kane absorbs lot of oxygen in the room.

    • Hi Vincois

      Outside of the pending investigation …. And just looking at the acquisition… per SN, ESPN, TSN…. a deal would likely be in the $1.5 M – $2M

      $2M sal… with escrow pro-rated…. Is gross of ~ $950 K

      But so is League min Sal AND $600 K …. SB… also gross of ~ $950 K for Kane… BUT only $1.35 M in Cap… and in worst case $1.08 M of that can be buried

      Regardless he replaces (at worst) a League min player ($750 K) … so with $1.35 M cap hit… most they need in space is $600 K ($1.35M – $750 K for player replaced)

      So space should not be an issue

      • I recorded it and watched it over.. He went 2 on 4 and lost the puck just inside the Anaheim blue line (instead of pitting the puck in deep) Anaheim went the other way decent scoring chance.

        He had the puck in the corner up the middle pass knocked down lead to pressure and a shot on Jarry, pass along the wall up high near the blue line tried one of the chip pass intercepted another scoring cahnce.

        Last night Penguins give up 5 goals when is the last time that happened..

        It will get worse because he doesn’t learn….hope I’m wrong but we have all seen the turnover dance show before….have to live with it..

  4. I think if the NHL’s investigation of Kane crossing the border a day or two after testing positive for Covid turns out true, we won’t see Kane play another game this season.

  5. Tyson Barrie for Ullmark

    Boston has Rask & Swayman, Mcdavid & Draisaitl dont need to pass to defensemen. Boston has been lacking that PP dman since Krug left. Win-win

    • They already have that guy, his name is Charlie Mc.

    • I actually like Grzelyck better than Barrie as well G Gonzo. Not as many points but a better D man.

      Ullmark has a full NMC, B’s will keep the 2 vets up and keep Swayman getting lots of games for his development.

      Great guy to have ready if there is an injury.

    • As I said yesterday, Ullmark isn’t an upgrade on Koskinen. The Oilers don’t need another streaky backup goalie.
      If the Oilers trade for a goalie it will be at their starting goalie position, so it will need to be an upgrade on Smith.
      Also, a second pairing d-man who is on the first power-play unit is worth more than a backup goalie.

      • We agree on many things Oilers KevJam, but have to disagree on Ullmark being better than Koskinen, because he is. This year he is, last year he was too, by quite a bit.
        When you look at the last 3 season plus this one, Ullmark is miles ahead of Koskinen, and quite a bit ahead of Smith based on #’s. And played on the worst team in the league during that stretch.

        Nothing to sneeze at IMO, and based on those same #’s is a solid NHL starter all day, and the fact he did most of that with BUF, I would suggest upside for top 1/4 or 1/3 of the league on a good team. Barrie doesn’t get you Ullmark if I was sitting in Sweeney’s chair.

        I’m rooting for him as a B’s fan, so maybe some bias, but his body of work is good.

      • It’s hard to compare backup goalies on two different teams, especially in two different conferences. IMO this is where advanced stats help. Koskinen HDS% is .841 on facing 132 HDSA and making 111 HDS. Ullmark HDS% is .785 on facing 93 HDSA and making 73 HDS.
        This is pretty much why I say Ullmark isn’t an upgrade on Koskinen.

      • Ya, like that stat too KevJam.
        But will defend Ullmark again, that is just this year and Ullmark started slow with his new team. He makes more of the saves that he should than Koskinen, and few of the highlight reel ones.

        Hey, I think Koskinen get trashed more than he deserves because he can be really good for stretches. Was fine last year too. The guy makes some great 5 alarm saves. Always has.

        He just has a tendency for the bad goal which is why his save % is lower. Usually early in the game, and comes in streaks.

        On a bad streak. Having said that my guess is he stays in EDM.

        Smith is hurt again, thumb this time.

  6. Vancouver – Pettersson
    Arizona – Chykrun

    • And I thought I was high

  7. You know, it’s usually the teams you AREN’T hearing about that swoop in and do something big at the trade deadline.

    Like…nobody even remembers there’s a team playing in Winnipeg.

    • Simpson worked in the Capitals and Leafs organizations before becoming a morning host at TSN so I’d say he’s probably got some pretty good connections. I haven’t heard from anyone else yet saying Kane and the Oilers have a deal in place but there was speculation in recent days saying they were close. We know Oilers GM Ken Holland confirmed talking with the Kane camp so it wouldn’t be surprising if they’ve worked out a deal. Perhaps it’s been delayed because of the investigation. We’ll find out soon enough,

  8. Thank you!

  9. Which team will have taken the greatest risk-the team that signs Kane (given that he’s legal), or the team that signed Eichel?

    Kane will make 10% of Eichel’s salary, will cost no assets, and without doubt, is physically able to play. His on-ice contribution will be short-lived but significant and sure. If he turns out to be a mistake, he can be easily undone.

    On the other hand, Eichel potentially is a more rewarding asset than Kane, and for a much longer period. But if he’s unable to be that, he’s a costly mistake that can’t ever be undone.

    Players that are certain difference-makers aren’t commonly available, and teams that stand and wait are serving other teams. I think Kane’s worth a shot.

    The Golden Nights are so adventurous that I’d not be shocked if they were looking at Kane as a replacement for Pacioretty. They could then activate Max for the playoffs. The worst possible case is that his teammates won’t embrace Kane after he scores the winning goal, but I’d bet they would.

  10. Tsn stating. Oil have. Kane signed at around a prorated 1.5 for east of year If this new investigation. Is not season ending

    Ps. Ulmark is a good goalie not a back up 9.19 sv% this yr for career 9.13. On worst team