NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2022

by | Jan 21, 2022 | Rumors | 46 comments

Could the Oilers target a Stars goalie? Will the Blackhawks shop Marc-Andre Fleury? How many teams could have an interest in Jakob Chychrun and John Klingberg? Could the Canucks shop J.T. Miller soon? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Edmonton Oilers are looking at all options around the NHL to address their goaltending issues. They’ve kicked tires on Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Joonas Korpisalo, who’s an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The Oilers also internally discussed the Dallas Stars’ Anton Khudobin but the extra year on this contract at $3.33 million makes him less appealing. Stars goalie Braden Holtby could be more interesting as he’s a UFA at the season’s end. However, the real question is whether any of these options are better than Mikko Koskinen for the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No. No, they’re not. That doesn’t mean the Oilers might not acquire one of them in the hope they’ll provide some sort of upgrade. Khudobin did carry the Stars to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final but really struggled this season and wound up demoted to the minors. Holtby’s play has improved this season but his best days remain well behind him. Korpisalo failed to seize the starter’s job after Sergei Bobrovsky left town which is why the Jackets signed Elvis Merzlikins to a five-year extension.

Darren Dreger noted Chicago Blackhawks netminder Marc-Andre Fleury has also come up in the rumor mill but he’s not a fit in Edmonton for salary-cap reasons. When asked about trade possibilities, Fleury said he’s not thinking about that now as he’s trying to help the Blackhawks reach the playoffs.

Dreger expects there will be contract extension talks between the two sides. He also points out there’s an agreement with the Hawks that Fleury isn’t going anywhere unless he asks for a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury might consider a trade if the Blackhawks fail to gain ground in the standings over the next six weeks. His $7 million cap hit and 10-team no-trade clause probably keep him away from Edmonton. Some have linked him to the Colorado Avalanche and Washington Capitals. There’s even talk of a reunion with the Pittsburgh Penguins despite Tristan Jarry’s solid play this season. Whether he ends up with one of those clubs or heads elsewhere remains to be determined.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).


SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussed potential landing spots for Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. They suggested the Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues as possibilities.

Both of them felt the Florida Panthers could be in on Chychrun, citing management’s ongoing efforts to build up their blueline. They felt the Panthers need one more big piece on their defense corps. Marek believes the Coyotes would want Spencer Knight, Anton Lundell and a first-round pick in return but Friedman felt that’s the price to be paid if they’re going all-in this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers GM Bill Zito has to consider if it’s worthwhile giving up that much of his club’s future to pursue the Stanley Cup this season. Granted, this move wouldn’t be for a rental player. The 23-year-old Chychrun is under contract for three more seasons who led all defensemen in goals last season.

The first-round pick is easy to part with given the Panthers’ depth and position in the standings. Giving up Knight would be tough but perhaps necessary with Sergei Bobrovsky carrying an almost untradable contract for four more seasons. Moving Lundell, who’s enjoying a solid rookie campaign, could be a bridge too far for Zito.

THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman and Saad Yousef recently examined potential trade destinations for Dallas Stars pending UFA defenseman John Klingberg. Their three contenders are the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and Carolina Hurricanes, with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs as dark horses.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks, Kings and Predators have the cap space and depth in promising young players to dangle for Klingberg if they wish to go that route. The Hurricanes showed a willingness to make big deadline deals, acquiring Vincent Trocheck and Brady Skjei two years ago. Their lack of cap space, however, would require some creativity to make the dollars fit.

The Penguins and Leafs are pressed for cap space. Both could stand pat or opt for more cost-effective options by the deadline. I’m not ruling out the possibility one of them swings a three-team deal to land someone like Klingberg. However, there’s no certainty they or the Hurricanes can find a third club to broker the deal given how many clubs have limited cap space this season.


THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli saying he could see a scenario where the Vancouver Canucks trade J.T. Miller soon, perhaps before they officially hire a new general manager.

Drance, however, is skeptical of that scenario becoming reality. While sources told him there are teams interested in Miller, the Canucks can afford to wait because he’s under contract through next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drance also acknowledged the Canucks will have to make a decision about Miller’s future in Vancouver. Unless a rival club is willing to make an offer too good to refuse by the trade deadline, Canucks management could wait until the offseason to move Miller when teams have more cap room and willingness to pursue players of his caliber.

That should also be a decision that should involve the new general manager. Otherwise, team president Jim Rutherford shouldn’t waste everyone’s time hiring a GM if he’s going to make all the decisions himself.


  1. Panthers have no 1st rd pick this year. So would have to come from their top prospects to make any big deal and maybe next years 1st

  2. The fact that Holland is even considering Khudobin should be enough to get him fired.

    What a joke he is. $5M a year to make the Oilers worse. Thanks Kenny!

  3. I feel that Holland is just about to step on a landmine here. He’s basically being forced by fans and media to make a goaltending move. Unless he can pry Fleury loose the other options are just moves to quell the uprising. He’s in a bad spot with players that have more or less quit on every level of management. There’s going to be blood in the streets at seasons end….once again

    • That’s how I see it too Isotopes.
      That is what Chiarelli did, how did that go for all involved. Chia got fired 2 days after signing Kosikinen to the over priced ticket.

      Holland will hate to do it, and may even wait another week or so, but if a starting goaltender doesn’t come available (it won’t) Tippett will get the bullet.

      Still think he waits until Smith comes back and plays a couple first, but this is getting to ugly and he will have to do something to try and change the mindset.

      That means coach, or usually has in the past when talented teams slide like this.

      Just what the Oil need, another head coach.

      Having said all that, I wouldn’t dig the Oilers grave just yet. They need to start listening, acting, and talking like Mr Nurse.

      Oh yeah, some saves would help.

      • Tippet won’t get the bullet because Ken Holland has never fired a coach.

        The only hope is that Tippett is turfed when Holland is turfed this summer.

      • Well Garth, how was it going before Holland and Tippett got here?
        Careful what you wish for.

      • No matter how you slice it, SMITH should be the backup, koskinen needs a fresh start and Holland should pursue a young (proven) goalie immediately! Swayman, Georgiev, 1 of ottawas up and coming, even Lindgren / Husso / Binnington (take your pick!!) from St.Louis come to mind. What is Holland waiting for – to fall out of playoff contention or something??!!? If that’s the case then Connor and Leon need to ask to be traded pronto!!

    • Holland had the opportunity to get a quality goaltender for zero assets as a UFA. He chose to gamble by not paying the extra year on a deal for Markstrom and blew it.

      Instead of addressing their needs at goalie and defence he signed a 39 year old injury prone goalie and two of the worst defensive defencemen in the NHL..Ceci and Barrie

      • Maybe many of the ufa’s didn’t want to join the sideshow in Edmonton or preferred to live elseehere.

  4. if i’m an Oilers fan I want both Holland & Tippet gone … Jim Rutherford left the cupboard bare and the Pens in salary cap hell but he knew how to build around superstars and won back to back … he was the guy for the job but it’s too late now … and now Holland wants to bring Kane into an already fractured room …

  5. Weren’t the Oilers in first place overall for the first couple months of the year? By know means do I think they are the best team in the league but teams have peaks and valleys some longer than others I wouldn’t do something stupid just to make a move if can improve absolutely do it.

    • Bruins will help you out. Will give you debrusk and Swayman. And you give us your 1st unprotected and. Jesse P

      • Now that is an interesting trade proposal Mrbruin4.

      • Ray. Glad you liked it. Would solve issues for both parties in a win win type deal

      • Wouldn’t trade Swayman he may be the Bruins best goalie right now.

      • Mind blown

  6. AZ is fielding calls on their goalies too, hard to believe but look at Veggie’s numbers and on that team? Quite a few teams hurting for goalies maybe GMBA moves a goalie too.

  7. Watched that Oiler fiasco last night. That D core is as bad as their goaltending. If they think Kane would save their season they’re delusional.

    • 9.5 for Darnell Nurse….. absolutely bruuuuuutal signing. A truckload of loot for a pylon that on a real team is #3 or 4 at best.

      • “9.5 for Darnell Nurse….. absolutely bruuuuuutal signing.”

        Yeah, that’s that is, at best their third worst D contract.

        THREE MORE YEARS Cody Ceci after this one is done.

      • It’s tough. Probably feels like a second 10 game losing streak in one season.

      • Garth, Cody Ceci was done when Ottawa packaged him off to Toronto.

      • Hi George

        Ceci fit in well last year paired with Matheson…. Very good complement to each other

      • Yeah George. He was a legit number 4-5 d man in pitt. Unfortunately edm paid for the 4 part instead of the 5.

  8. The only problem with whatever move the Oil make with regards to a goalie is that they have to get MK’s cap hit off the books to make that happen, so he will have to be included in the deal. Since the Stars already have 3-4 goalies, they don’t need another one.

    The Oil have to make a move – ANY move – in net. It can be a lateral move or a risky move but they have to make it. Just by making a move, the Oilers win and it will buy them time. At least show their fanbase they are trying.

    Really surprised Tippett hasn’t been fired yet.

    How bout:
    Oilers: MK and a 3rd rd
    Sens: Forsberg (with half retained). Maybe plus a player (lots of Left D…Josh Brown? MDZ? Gaudette?) also with half retained?

    Just the goalie swap would free up approx. $3 million in cap space. Then the Oil can do something like include Mike Smith in a deal for a longer term goalie option.

    Just a thought.

    • John G – Forsberg is the only goalie in Ottawa playing with any consistency right now with some of their young tenders in the system still a year or two away, so I seriously doubt they’d want any part of 33 y/o Koskinen and a 3rd (draft picks they have plenty of) while relinquishing a package like that, never mind holding back portions of the cap hits.

    • Why the hell would Otttawa even give this a second of thought?

  9. Holland basically gave Chychrun to Arizona for taking Datsyuk’s contract so Holland could sign Nielsen. Glad he is in Edmonton. And yes, it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth still.

  10. Kane’s issues have been well documented so not going there. If I’m Holland I do sign him for several reasons.
    1. No cost in draft picks or prospects
    2. He is a very good player that should be motivated to show up every night
    3. His toughness might drag some of the other roster players to be more involved
    4. His presence gives the other players in the dressing room a time out from the media circus. He’s going to be the new toy for the media to play with
    5. The team has to do something to shake the tree soon. Very soon

    • Signing a problem player to a team that has won two in 15 is not a solution. It is simply flailing desperately. Kane addresses NONE of the Oilers’ issues. Is he going to play goal? Is he going to be a top-four D? Then there is NO point in signing him.

      Tell the truth: are you a Flames fan? Because that’s the only reasonable explanation for hoping the Oilers sign Kane.

    • Hi Isotopes


      I’ve posted many times…. Very low risk signing…. Per TSN, SN, ESPN…. there was discussion around a potential $1.5 M (annual) contract…. That’s pro-rated and there is escrow…. If they sign him in next week… cash risk then max of ~ $925 K…. that’s chump change to Katz

      Cap risk…. only $420 K …. As $1.08 M can be buried

      So… $925 K cash and $420 K Cap vs what he can deliver on ice….. sign him

      The Oil is on the verge of missing the playoffs

      Kane certainly does not guarantee they get in but certainly may give them some boost and perhaps enough to right the ship

      Oil still needs to address goaltending

      • @Pengy

        I usually agree with your posts.

        I can’t really agree with your assertion that EDM needs to address their goaltending.

        They seriously need to address their entire team defensive structure. Until their two star forwards start to have even an inkling of defensive responsibility the Oilers will go nowhere.

      • Hi Daryl

        Sorry if my post inferred that addressing the goaltending would solve everything

        Certainly not my intent and definitively not the case

        That said; I do believe that addressing the goalie situation is easier than trying to address multiple players AND trading one player is easier; AND IMHO ; an upgrade in goal just might bring confidence (and effective play) back to the Oil

        I’d still take the gamble on Kane though

  11. Spector reveals in this Rumor Mill edition

    1.None of the readily available goalie options are
    better than Mikko Koskinen for the Oilers.
    2.The Panthers giving up Knight would be tough
    but perhaps necessary with Sergei
    Bobrovsky carrying an almost untradable
    contract for four more seasons.

    Perhaps, it would be best for the Oilers to look for a solution to their goalie problem, rather than attempting to allay it. What could they offer the Panthers for Knight?

    I’m assuming that Knight is as good as advertised, though his numbers look much like Koskinen’s.

  12. Not a Flames fan Garth haha. Imo anytime you can add a top 3 forward) and on this team he’s really close to that) you do it. The team is a tire fire right now. Sure they could trade assets for what you mentioned but they just flat out can’t afford it. I’d give him a 2 year offer at 4 million. If he plays great this year you have an asset. If he doesn’t you bury him for year 2. The risk reward is to much to pass on.

  13. Only 7 teams are at the halfway mark.

    Lots of hockey to be played and most teams every other night.

    Key injury could be hard to over come.

    No panic but don’t be to passive.

    • Hi Caper

      Very true

      Positioning in West is very much TBD; with realistically only Yotes and Krakken out already; one might argue also re BlackHawks

      In the East… it is very difficult to imagine any of the current non playoff teams getting in… and the extreme outside of possibilities is a major collapse by one of the teams currently in; with an associated major surge by Wings; or Jackets or Isles…. Odds are stacked against it right now… so 8 Eastern teams right now are more likely with their “sell” thinking caps on

      Effectively 10 or 11 true sellers before mid point of the season….. wow

  14. Tippet from Florida looked pretty good last night. I would offer him and a first for Chychrun . No more
    Oil could have had Holtby probably a couple 3 times. From Lloyd. Won a Vezina in 2015. Better than current tandem. Looked like Barrie got hurt late. That is not going to help the current spiral. Christ Vancouver is ahead of them now in the standings

  15. Re Oil getting the Flower

    Note…. Koski would have to go the other way

    Note 2…. The Flower can only be traded (w/o his consent) to 21 teams ; Koski (w/o consent) …. To 15 teams….. so Note 2 just might stop any trade in it’s tracks

    If both waive and/or have the other team on their “available” lists…

    Suggestion of

    Koski + 1st (Lotto protected) for

    The Flower (50% retained ) and 3rd

    Re destinations for The Flower….I’m doubting (and hoping) that he does NOT have Caps on his list

    Hawks have picked up (slightly) things lately…. But still 6 teams to bypass to get in…. So trading him would get them something…. And retention of 50% almost a must

    Panthers need to be “all in “ this year ($6.6 M in dead cap next year)

    Knight has a bright future but not doing well this year; and Bobo has been good but has had a couple of streaks of poor play (which could tilt the outcome of a series….

    Knight; Vatrano, Nuutivara , Accairi, 2nd ‘23 … for

    The Flower and DeHaan (both at 50% retained)

    Very big bold move and many assets; AND giving up futures for 2 UFAs…Extremely Extremely unlikely

    What may be better (and easier)…. Instead of Zito swinging for and overpaying for , the big fish …. Chychryn…. pay much less for a stable (but sturdy) second pairing option…. Soucy …. 1 more year left at very affordable $2.8 M…. 6-7-13 and + 8 (31 GP) on 29th placed Krakken. He’s a big lad that can skate and has a high hockey IQ; then possibly fit in a UFA goalie in case Bobo goes down AND if Knight continues to struggle this year

    Panthers are the real deal…. Just the addition of Soucy shores up everything except for the risk associated with a Bobo injury and/or Bobo collapse

    • Accairi Is on. Long term and a fa so no value Vatrano also FA so unless Chicago is flipping no value in their rebuild. That would probably move the 2nd to a 1st. And panthers do not have one this year. But they should be all in this year for sure

      • Hi Mr Bruin4

        Yes, I knew re Accairi and Vatrano as UFAs and Accairi LTIR (now but expected back by season end)… was using them as examples to balance Cap

        Too many assets as I said so it won’t fly anyway

        Knight’s potential is very big…. Just not doing well this year… how much others value his future value is TBD

        He was 13th overall 2 years ago; had very good numbers last year with BC; Panthers; and World Jrs ; is on ELC; only 20…. So he alone should definitely be worth much much more than a first (if Panthers had 1… they don’t)

        I still think best move for Panthers is Soucy (much cheaper than Chychryn , and value in trade [compared to what needs to be given up vs overall upgrade on D] is much more viable/fair/lucrative; now and in long run)

        It’s 3 assets min for Chykryn (sp?) and they are asking for 1st, Knight, Lindell … Chykryn very good; but that doesn’t guarantee a cup

        Soucy cheaper on Cap next year; and reasonably close in overall improvement

        Comes down to what Francis asks for Soucy; if in fact Zito even puts the call in

        Panthers already one of Cup favs…. strengthening D moves needle even higher

  16. Oilers should

    to PHI: 1st, prospect, Turris & Koskinen plus something

    to EDM: Giroux (50% retained) & Jones (to battle with Smith)

  17. cup contender D squad? Cody Ceci, Tyson Barrie, Kris Russell, 38 year old Duncan Keith

    I like Nurse but not for that salary hit

    They could have Dryden in goal but with that D no chance

    • Always wanted to see the Nurse in a Bruins uniform but the price will be huge to get him & pay him

  18. Bruins usually tight lipped about their injuries and to say BM is out already for the Saturday game could be a issue going forward ….. saw a Sway/DeBrusk/ & Reilly mention in a trade to the Oilers who knows if true

  19. J.T. Miller would be an interesting pickup for the Avalanche. Not sure who would go the other way – Burakovsky makes similar money. Kadri will be UFA after this year and will get paid, so this is probably his last year in Denver. The Avs could use another center who can win faceoffs both for a playoff run and for next year if Kadri is gone.