NHL Rumor Mill – January 19, 2022

by | Jan 19, 2022 | Rumors | 41 comments

With a new general manager in place, what roster changes could be coming for the Canadiens? What’s the latest on Claude Giroux, Jakob Chychrun and John Klingberg? Will the Rangers and Leafs make moves at the deadline? Read on to find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman wondered what other changes are coming for the Montreal Canadiens now that they’ve hired Kent Hughes as their new general manager. He’s like to know how Hughes’ hiring will affect their amateur scouting department, which current roster players are untouchable and if there have been any conversations with the core players over who wants to stay or go?

DAILY FACEOFF: Mike McKenna and Tyler Yaremchuk discussed the Canadiens options for some of their free agents. They agree pending UFA defenseman Ben Chiarot could fetch a nice return. Yaremchuk felt restricted free agent forward Artturi Lehkonen could also get something decent at the trade deadline while UFAs Cedric Paquette and Brent Kulak could get a lower pick.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot (NHL Images).

If the Canadiens want to kickstart their rebuild they will have to do more than just trade pending free agents. Yaremchuk suggested trading someone like Jake Allen or perhaps a bigger piece. McKenna wondered if they could make a hockey trade involving Carey Price or Jonathan Drouin to bring in some much-needed defense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the March 21 trade deadline just over two months away there’s still plenty of time for Hughes and Hockey Ops VP Jeff Gorton to start fielding trade offers or shopping players who don’t fit into their long-term plans or those who want to leave. Moving the pending free agents is the easy part, trying to move those with expensive contracts like Price and Drouin might have to wait until the offseason when teams usually have more cap space and a willingness to take on players with term remaining on their deals.

As for their amateur scouting department, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gorton has already begun laying the groundwork for changes there. He’ll work in tandem with Hughes to bring in the people they need before the draft in July.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun observed Claude Giroux’s name has floated around the rumor mill but the Philadelphia Flyers have not spoken to rival clubs about moving their captain. Management hasn’t spoken to the 34-year-old center about waiving his no-movement clause nor has he approached them about getting traded.

LeBrun points out the March 21 trade deadline is nine weeks away and there’s still plenty of time for the slumping Flyers to improve their fortunes. However, he acknowledged that trade discussion between management and Giroux could take place if they remain out of playoff contention. With his no-movement clause, he’ll control his fate as the deadline approaches.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. There’s no rush to move Giroux on the Flyers’ part right now. Let’s see where they’re at once the calendar flips to March.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there are teams that believe the Florida Panthers are interested in Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. It’s an “all-in” year for the Panthers.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan addressed a recent comment by Friedman suggesting if the Coyotes trade Chychrun it’ll be to an Eastern Conference team. He doesn’t think that’s accurate, doubting the Coyotes would limit their trade options when trying to secure the best deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong could prefer trading Chychrun to an Eastern team so his club would only have to face the blueliner once or twice per season. Nevertheless, I concur with Morgan that Armstrong likely won’t spurn a pitch from a western club that meets his asking price of a good young NHL player, a high draft pick and a top prospect.

The Dallas Stars have stepped up efforts to trade defenseman John Klingberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Several playoff contenders could pursue him as a rental player. The Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings have been speculated as potential suitors.

Friedman wonders if the Columbus Blue Jackets will consider it worthy of their resources for now and down the road to sign winger Patrik Laine to a hefty contract extension. The 23-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a decision that might have to wait until the offseason for an answer.

Rasmus Ristolainen could be worth watching. Friedman wondered if the Flyers pending UFA defenseman will consider testing the market this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Depending on the outcome of this season, the Flyers could make that decision for him. Perhaps there will be a change in management if they miss the postseason.

The New York Rangers could be stealthy near the trade deadline. He also said the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t against clearing cap space to prepare for a deadline addition.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers GM Chris Drury has plenty of salary-cap space and lots of promising young assets within their system to dangle as trade bait if he wishes. I wouldn’t be shocked if he made one or two significant moves to load up for the playoffs.


  1. Can definitely see NYR making 1 significant trade.

    LHD most preferred but if Strome is a goner via trade or walks that could mean a top 6 vet F coming in.

    Miller would look good in the line up but pricey.

    Interesting to see who’ll pull the trigger soonest. B’s like to add but Debrusk isn’t enough to fetch a need. Sweeney does not much & don’t expect him to start impressing anyone soon.

    • Bruins need a puck-carrying defenseman badly. Sweeney moves super slowly even when it is crystal clear that this is an urgent need. He will wait too long as usual and other teams will jump in and acquire the Dallas and Arizona defensemen and Sweeney will get the scraps.

      • Charlie Grizzzzz and Achan are puck moving defenseman Boston needs a big strong guy like Charlie Manson son.

    • @Gordie
      Strome cant be moved with the lack of centers on the team. Even if that means they cant resign him this summer.

      • ds. Rangers have centers. The problem is they’re mostly guys that fit into bottom 6 roles. I like what I’ve seen from Baron and hope they give him a long look. Good size and surprisingly decent speed.
        I think Strome finishes season as 2C. I’d like to see them go for Chychrun and then move Nemeth.

  2. The question is can Philly recoup the 1st and 2nd they spent to get Risto plus whatever the Sabres get for Hagg at the TDL.

  3. Are you Flyer fans happy with Chuck Fletcher? A first rounder for Rasmus Ristolainen whose metrics hover near the bottom and can walk after this year? wow … trading for an injury prone Ryan Ellis? Hanging onto to guys who skate like they’re in quicksand like JVR and Hayes? One bad move after another …

    • I give Fletcher credit for making big moves. As he said, the team won’t improve by bringing back the same players. The moves just haven’t worked out.

    • Ed,

      Not a fan of Fletcher at all. Flyers look slow and uninterested most nights and have ever since they folded up the Canadiens in the Bubble Cup playoffs.

      IMHO, its time to can Fletcher and Yeo. Hire someone to gut the roster and start over yet again.

      Anyone not named Hart or Provorov should be on the table.

  4. Ray Bark I have to give you some props, you were beating the Drum of Phillip Danault last year, I only seen him as a defensive specialist.

    In LA he has 10g 22pts and his usual strong +/- with +13

    His career high is 13 goals, on his way to smash that. Maybe it was the Claude Julien affect.

    While im there i might as well add his cap hit of 5.5 is very reasonable.

    • The Danault line, even though his wingers have changed throughout the year, has been LAs most consistent line, not Kopitars.

      I liked the signing at the time and love it early on.

    • Danault had 22 points in 38 games. That works out to 47 points per 82 games. The thing with Danault is that he provides strong defensive play but his offense is not top line. He’ll get 45 points or so per season. Is that worth $5.5m AAV? Maybe

      • Howard, both Bob Gainey and Claude Provost were two of the best all-time two-way Fs whose career annual averages were in the 40 to 45 pts range.

        And I think it’s safe to say both were monumental in many of the Habs’ cups during the course of their careers.

      • Howard, both Bob Gainey and Claude Provost were among the very best all-time 2-way Fs whose careers averaged out to the 40 to 45 point range.

        The Russians once called Gainey the best all-around player they ever encountered, and Bobby Hull and Chicago would have been thrilled to see Provost playing somewhere other than Montreal.

        I think it’s safe to say that both were as instrumental in many of the Habs cup wins as the likes of Lafleur or Cournoyer, Beliveau etc.

      • Danault is no Gainey and nowhere near Provost.

        Provost 1005 games/254 Goals/ .25 gpg
        Gainey 1160 games/239 Goals/ .21 gpg
        Danault 430 games/65 Goals/ .15 gpg

        Neither Provost or Gainey were close to being among the highest paid players on the team.

        Danault is a good player but over hyped and over paid.

      • I think it was a very good comparison George. Especially Gainey as I recall getting pretty sick of that guy watching the Habs beat my Bruins in the playoffs again.

        Nice stat cherry pick HF30. Danault is right between the 2 of them in pts per game, and it is without a doubt a lower scoring league than during Gainey’s career.

        I think set up guys are as valuable as goal scorers, and often the driver of the line.

        Thornton or Heatley? Thornton or Cheecho? Not saying Danault has the offence of Jumbo, but you get my point. Wasn’t as good defensively either.

        Danault – Under hyped, paid about right as a UFA signing, which is always a premium.

      • Well,the resident expert on anything and everything Habs disagrees. As usual. Of course neither Gainey nor Provost were the highest paid at their times – but they were getting very good money in the context of the times. Nor is Danault the highest paid player on his team … but he’s worth every damned nickel he gets.

      • George, I like Danault and he’s a solid player. But you cannot compare him to Provost or Gainey. Those guys were every bit as good at the defensive side of the game as Gretzky and Lemieux were on offense. Heck, the league came up with a new trophy because of Gainey. Danault is good, but not in the Gainey category.

    • Would make a good Bruin wouldn’t he Caper? Can’t blame him for choosing LA though, quality vets, excellent prospects, decent cap situation, great weather, ocean, mountains, great golf, pretty girls…..

  5. D men rentals starting to look kinda flooded

    Chyc. Not a rental

    And that’s just now. A couple more top 4 options could be added. Sucks for the sellers.

    • Hypothetically: Bill Armstrong gets offers for a Chychrun and Crouse package. $6.2M cap hit

      Bruins offer Zorbil, DeBrusk, Reilly plus their 2022 first and secound round picks. $7.4M cap hit

      Capitals offer Mantha, Chowlowski, Sprong plus their 2022 first round pick and 2023 first round pick. $7.3M cap hit.

      Panthers off Montour, Duclair, Juolevi plus 2023 first and second round picks. $7.25M cap hit.

      Rangers offer Lindgren, Chytil, Blais plus their 2022 first and second round picks. $6.8M cap hit.

      Flames offer Mangiapane, Zadorov, Valimaki plus their 2022 first and second round picks. $7.675M cap hit.

      Which does he take?

      • Cliff, I would take the Rangers offer.
        Lindgren is good and on a good deal, same age a Chychrun.
        Which makes me ask again, why is ARI testing the trade market for Chychrun who is only 23 and on the “great contract”? Did he ask for a trade?

        Do they think he doesn’t see the game well enough?

        Either way, it would make me think you can get for less than his ask. Not sure the Rangers would even say yes to that offer. I dunno, don’t watch any Coyotes games.

        Just seems weird.

      • I have serious doubts NY has any interest in breaking up Lindren and Fox.

        They’ve formed arguably one of, if not the best pairing in the league over the last couple of years. Why mess with that?

        I’m sure they’d love to have a stronger partner for Trouba, but I’m not so sure Chychrun is that guy.

      • Doubt any of them. I believe the driver of this deal is to replace Jake with cheaper options. I doubt they want much salary back.

      • Chychrun will be a Blue

      • Zito is hot on the trail , replace Duclair with Owen Tippett

      • Cliff,

        You clearly do not watch very many Flame games.
        I wouldn’t trade Mangiapane straight up for Chychrun and Crouse never mind adding the others.
        Valimaki is young and will be a top 4 Defenseman so that negates him from the equation.

        You can have Zadorov and two seconds thats all I would offer.

        If Arizona doesn’t like it too bad

      • To NYR: Chychrun and Kessel (50% retained) 8M total cap hit
        To Arizona: Lundkvist, Nemeth, Chytil , Gautier and 1st round pick.

  6. Why are people still talking about teams being interested in Carey Price? It’s likely he won’t even play this season considering his recent setback.

    • 10 million per season
      Always injured.
      Over rated, over hyped.
      Substance abuse/mental health issues.

      Good luck moving Price anywhere.

      • You forgot the part where he won the olympic gold medal and the World cup of hockey gold medal. oh, and he just backstopped a team to the SCF.
        Price can be moved with salary retention and rather easily at that.

      • Price has a full NMC. Put that with his poor mental health. Poor physical health. His age and 10 mil cap hit. He won’t be moved anytime soon. Maybe in off season with. Little return to habs

  7. Hmm the Sens can throw J.Brown, and Victor Mete into the “please take them” defense trade bin. We don’t need anything back.

    Also, I wonder if Anton Forsberg might be a good fit in Edmonton. He’s been “consistent” for the Sens. And consistently good. He doesn’t really fit into their plans here. And wouldn’t cost much at all.

    Lets hope this message doesn’t go into the black hole with yesterday’s eh George?

    Good to see you back.

    • Heh. Thanks Dark G. Yeah, they’ll soon need to address what is a looming log-jam at the D and C positions, with both Pinto and White due back in March and top pick LD Jake Sanderson set to join them that same month.

      At LD they’ll have Chabot, Holden, Sanderson, Mete, Heatherington while at RD they’ll have Zub, Zaitzev, Thompson, Bernard-Docker, Guenette (getting great reviews in Belleville) and Brannstrom.

      At C they’ll have Norris, Stutzle (who seems to be settling in there nicely), Pinto, White, Tierney, Gambrell and Gaudette.

  8. George & Dark G,

    Lots of players, unfortunately the only teams they can beat are the Alberta teams. (which hurts me to say that)

  9. Lindgren was Fox’s D partner in college Probably why he is in the NHL in the first place

    Kilinberg gone. Not convinced Chychrun moves at all.

    Claude is God

    • SilverSeven. Fix went to Harvard. Lindgren went to Minnesota.

    • Rathbone was partnered with Fox.

  10. With regard to the Rangers, while they may have a load of cap space at the deadline, they have $10.6M in space for next season and they only have 16 players signed…so do then math on how much you can buy beyond a rental and re-sign Kakko, sign a backup goaltender, 3 forwards and and another defenseman to get to the roster minimum.

    • Kaako hasn’t earned much of a raise.

      Miller retain 2.5m

      • I like Miller, but NY essentially pays 3-1st round draft picks for Miller and takes on Schenn?

        No thanks on that.

        That’s more than Eichel returned.