NHL Rumor Mill – January 15, 2022

by | Jan 15, 2022 | Rumors | 15 comments

Check out the latest on the Rangers and Canadiens in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple recently examined some potential external options for the New York Rangers to bolster their top six and their third defense pairing.

Possible top-six trade targets could include San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl, Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel, Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski, Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux, Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk and Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith.

Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The availability of Hertl, Pavelski and Rakell could depend upon where their respective clubs are in the NHL standings approaching the March 21 trade deadline. Giroux has a full no-movement clause and it’s uncertain what he intends to do as the Flyers continue to struggle.

DeBrusk requested a trade in late November but there haven’t been any takers yet. Smith could be shopped by the Golden Knights as a cost-cutting measure to make room for Jack Eichel’s debut next month.

To boost the third line, Staple suggested Montreal Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen, though he noted the latter has had preliminary contract talks with the Habs. Other options included Ottawa Senators center Chris Tierney, Arizona Coyotes forward Travis Boyd, and Seattle Kraken forward Calle Jarnkrok or former Ranger Colin Blackwell.

Turning to defensemen, Staple believes the asking price for Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun and Montreal’s Ben Chiarot could be too expensive. Seattle’s Mark Giordano won’t be as expensive but still won’t be a cheap rental. Nevertheless, he could fill a need for the Rangers. Other options include Seattle’s Carson Soucy, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Calvin de Haan, Philadelphia’s Justin Braun, the Buffalo Sabres’ Colin Miller or Detroit Red Wings’ (and former Rangers) Marc Staal or Nick Holden.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Staple isn’t saying the Rangers are pursuing the aforementioned players or have them on any potential wish list. Nevertheless, they have the cap space and depth in prospects and promising young players to make competitive bids for one or two of them.

Smith is most often mentioned as a possible rental target given he previously played for Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant when the latter was the Golden Knights’ bench boss. It wouldn’t be surprising if he joins the Blueshirts sometime next month.

SPORTSNET/TSN: Eric Engels reports the Montreal Canadiens search for a new general manager could be resolved in the coming days. He’s heard Daniel Briere and Mathieu Darche are among the three finalists for the job.

Meanwhile, Pierre LeBrun reports the Canadiens are believed to have circled back to player agent Kent Hughes this week after he wasn’t part of their initial interviews. He includes Hughes among the top 3-4 candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lovers of chaos will be disappointed Patrick Roy doesn’t appear to be among the final candidates, though he was among those initially interviewed for the position. The bottom line is the best candidate will be the one who can work best with hockey ops executive VP Jeff Gorton. I’m leaning toward Darche given his experience with the Tampa Bay Lightning but Hughes could also be a good fit given his experience as an agent.

TVA SPORTS: Yvon Pedneault took note of John Klingberg no longer being in the good graces of Dallas Stars management in his contract year. He suggested the Canadiens offer up Jeff Petry for Klingberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg is four years younger than the 34-year-old Petry, who has three more years left on his contract worth an annual cap hit of $6.25 million. Solely on that basis, Stars GM Jim Nill will never make that trade.


  1. Wow. On that note I’ll up the offer for klingburg to Mike matheson.

  2. Knights need to keep Smith

    If Patches and/or Martinez are coming off LTIR before playoffs for sure ; AND so is Eichel…. It’s Dando that needs to be moved

    Smith plays very well for the team and has great chemistry with his linemates

    • Pengy. If all are back, Vegas may need to move 2 salaries.

    • Pengy..good add for Penguins defense former flyer current Sabre Robert Hagg

      26 LHD andi know everyone says u need a righty lefty defensive oair..you dont if your good you can player either side.

      He is physical good dman size and Ufa @$1.6 and hextall likes him..could easily resign him..

      What we give them not sure

  3. PAvelski as 3c makes sense for NYR
    Move Chytil or Laf to 2rw

  4. Jeff Petry is an anomaly in that his game consistently improved as he got older making his contract very team friendly.

    This season has been a disaster for him as part of the total collapse.

    One can say he fell off the cliff or this season is the outlier but I wonder how much he’s impacted by not having his family living in Montreal with him this year.

    Klinberg is another of those players who has been a loyal soldier with a good contract who is facing poor timing for a new contract.

    Yesterday’s price is not today’s price despite Fat Joe’s intention with that declaration.

    • This quote from Petry in a recent Gazette article:

      “You look at a normal off-season, going to the finals normally would end in June and you’re going to mid-July (last season) and then getting about six weeks off,” Petry said Tuesday. “With that little break you need to let your body recover and heal.

      But, at the same time, you have to get ready for the start of a new year and that’s a short period to do so. So I think it does have a factor on how prepared we were to come into the year and not completely recovered, refreshed and ready to start.”

      • Meanwhile, the back-to-back champion Tampa Bay Lightning are once again among the league’s best in the standings despite the absence of top forward Nikita Kucherov for 32 games to a lower-body injury. Depth in experienced talent is everything

  5. I’d like 2 say that the Habs have lots of quality players once they r all back n the lineup! I think they need a new coach like the Canucks did with Boudreau. I believe the Habs will find the chemistry they r missing once they have a real bench boss like Babcock or Paul Maurice!!!! Grab one of them while they r still available please so the team can start playing like they can!!!

    • I strongly agree with you with regards to the Habs coaching situation. I just don’t think this guy is an NHL level coach.

      • Not saying I like Ducharme. But this guy led his team to the Stanley Cup finals last year. And this year, at one point, his team had 31 players (including the AL replacements) on the injury list. I’m just not sure he got a fair situation to work with this year.

  6. Dallas is going to wait until the last moment to trade anyone off their team until they find out if they are playoff bound in order to recapture some revenue imo. but,…………………………..I Just wanted to make a suggestion for “the all star game” and was thinking instead of hosting a skills competition or all star game why not catch up to the schedule by allowing the teams to play three on three progressing to a shootout if necssesary to decide an outcome for games lost. It still has an entertainment value and probably way more people would watch it so there would be at least some revenue that can be shared rather than trying to play catch up to the schedule/revenue angle which seems to be aa cluster puck.

  7. Brierre runs Rangers affiliate in ECHL. Would guess he’s already got a working relationship with Gorton. “
    Chychrun too expensive.” Giving up young assets that might never crack lineup for a proven 23 year old shouldn’t be considered expensive. Schneider had a pretty good debut with NY the other night. Still about 2 months for Rangers to see what they have on defense. Outside of Chychrun, I’d pass on other D mentioned. Maybe Arizona can package Chychrun with Kessel in a deal to NY.

    • Briere runs the Flyers ECHL affiliate, not the Rangers

  8. 90 total hits today Nas/Bos game …nice game to watch better game to win….. joke Marchand isn’t a AS