NHL Rumor Mill – January 27, 2022

by | Jan 27, 2022 | Rumors | 59 comments

Could the Canucks make a significant move like trading J.T. Miller? Will the Flyers commence a rebuild by trading Claude Giroux? What’s the latest on Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Evander Kane? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli and Scott Burnside discussed what could be next for the Vancouver Canucks after hiring Patrik Allvin as their new general manager and Emilie Castonguay as assistant GM. They believe the top priority is figuring out what to do with J.T. Miller. The 28-year-old center leads the Canucks with 40 points and is signed through 2022-23 with an annual cap hit of $5.25 million.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Seravalli reports the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers (Miller’s former team) have expressed interest. While Miller has enjoyed his time in Vancouver, he could be open to returning to an American team.

Burnside felt an extension with Miller might be possible if he wants to be part of the Canucks’ process over the next four or five years. If not, that extra year on his current contract could fetch a first-round pick, a high-end prospect and a mix of later-round picks.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers’ preference is to re-sign second-line center Ryan Strome but Miller could be a potential replacement. The Canucks asking price is said to be astronomical but Brooks believes it could drop as the trade deadline approaches if the Canucks fall completely out of the playoff race by then.

Brooks envisions Miller playing right wing with Mika Zibanejad or Strome during this season and taking over as second-line center next season if Strome departs as a free agent. He also wondered if the Canucks will take a serious offseason run at acquiring Rangers winger Alexis Lafreniere, who was a client of Canucks assistant GM Castonguay when she was a player agent.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss believes the Bruins should pursue Miller despite the steep asking price as he would fill their need for a reliable second-line center. He doesn’t feel they should dangle top prospect Fabian Lysell but shouldn’t be afraid to dangle any of their other prospects while they’re in “win-now” mode.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Miller speculation has resurfaced because the Canucks finally have their new management team in place. The assumption is they could trade him because Rutherford will make the decisions on trades involving their core players based on his reputation as a wheeler dealer.

Miller could be shopped if the Canucks fall out of contention by the trade deadline. However, Rutherford indicated he’ll provide input but Allvin will handle the day-to-day operations and will be the key decision-maker. While they could get a solid return for Miller before the trade deadline, the Canucks can also wait until the offseason to peddle him if he doesn’t fit into their long-range plans.

If the Canucks do put Miller on the trade block by the deadline, I believe the Rangers would be better positioned to acquire him than the Bruins, Flames or Wild. They have plenty of salary-cap space and a lot of promising young talent to draw upon for trade bait.


THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Giana Han reports Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher will be having discussions with Claude Giroux to determine their 34-year-old captain’s future with the club. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and holds a full no-movement clause. Fletcher intends to leave the decision up to Giroux whether he’ll waive it to accept a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux will reportedly be discussing his future with his agent next month, perhaps as early as next weekend’s All-Star Game.

Fletcher also indicated he’s looking to aggressively retool his roster rather than engage in a rebuild. The Flyers GM is not sure what moves he’ll make by the trade deadline but indicated “everything’s on the table.” He believes his club needs two or three players to complement the strong core he believes they have when they’re healthy. Despite the injury woes, he felt the club hasn’t played up to expectations and needs more top-end talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some might scoff at Fletcher’s unwillingness to stage a rebuild but he can also look at other teams that have successfully retooled and enjoyed a quick turnaround in their fortunes. The Nashville Predators are the most notable recent example. They weren’t considered a playoff contender entering this season but are among the top teams in the Western Conference. Whether Fletcher can achieve similar results remains to be seen.


THE SCORE: cites The Athletic’s Josh Yohe reporting Evgeni Malkin is willing to accept a pay cut to remain with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His agents have reportedly spoken with Penguins management about a new contract. Malkin’s current cap hit is $9.5 million but he would be pleased with a multi-year deal earning less than teammate Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million AAV).

Kris Letang, meanwhile, believes he’s playing well enough to earn a raise over his $7.25 million annual average value. Yohe reports the Penguins are willing to sign him to a short-term deal with the possibility of a raise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on how short-term those deals could be, how much of a pay cut Malkin will accept and how much of a raise Letang is seeking. Crosby is signed through 2024-25. Those two could prefer three-year deals so they can finish their careers as Penguins with their captain.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reporting there’s a strong sense the Oilers will sign free-agent winger Evander Kane. He’s been skating for over a week in Vancouver and could be ready for games as early as this weekend depending on the outcome of the league’s investigation into whether he violated AHL COVID protocols. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes cites sources saying it’s down to two teams for Kane but the Oilers appear the likeliest destination.


  1. As an unabashed Penguin fan, I sincerely hope that the Flyers allow Chuck Fletcher to keep making the personnel decisions, that’s one less team to worry about …

    Extending Jeff Carter was a really nice move, he has found the fountain of youth … So I guess keeping Malkin & Letang takes precedence over Bryan Rust who is playing himself into a huge lucrative contract and out of town … wrong move.

    • Ed–Alexander Nylander has 6 goals and 4 assists in 11 AHL games as a Pen. Is he thinking he might be Rust’s replacement?

    • Brilliant commentary

    • Hopefully the pens can get rid of zucker somehow. 5 million from him hurts pretty bad. Plus what we gave up. Not sure what Rutherford was thinking there.

      Hopefully Rust stays in Pgh, I think they can give him what Guentzle got, figure something out. Zucker deal really got us nothing, maybe that’s why Rutherford is gone. But he did a he’ll of a job when here.

      Guess they have some defense talent coming up as well as Sam poulin, who will put up around 40pts his first season.

  2. Laf for Miller???? That would indeed be interesting!

    • In a way it makes sense, NYR has to many LW both on the team and as prospects. Throw in a good RD prospect and a first its a done deal

      • Canucks want Braden Schneider in whatever deal they make with the Rags.

        The dream would be Lafreniere and Schneider.

      • Most Canucks fans would accept Schneider+1st as a good start

      • I like Miller, and again I think Gorton was an absolute idiot to send Mcdonagh and Miller to Tampa for the return they got.

        Both players should NEVER have been moved in the same deal.

        I also think Miller would be a great fit in NY right now.

        But zero chance they give up Laffrienere, Schneider and a 1st. Or even Laffrienere, Lundkvist and a 1st. Even if Vancouver holds 50% that is a gross overpayment.

        Side note, I’ve read today from a couple of different sources that NY’s supposed interest in Chychrun is being grossly overblown.

        Ny cannot afford Chychrun past this year without moving a pretty significant contract.

        Also reading NY and Stromes camp deep in discussion on an extension. Depending how that goes, NY will more than likely be looking to add short term depth move rather than A Miller , Chychrun etc.

        If Strome signs for 6 per, that leaves NY with about 6 million to fill out 5-6 players and a backup goaltender.

      • No way Rangers move Schneider unless its in a deal for a legit young center.

        Rangers loaded with prospects with good NHL potential.

      • But isn’t Miller primarily a LW? And wouldn’t it be kind of dumb to trade away your #1 overall pick for the guy you traded away for peanuts? And then playing him in his off wing because you don’t think Laf can play there?

      • Miller has been used more as a C this year and last than as a LW. NYR want him if they think they are contenders *this year*. He’s great on face offs, scores clutch goals, hits, and offers all the intangibles you could ask for… leadership, energy, etc.

        I agree Lafr and Schneider seems excessive, but Schneider is behind Fox and Trouba, and Lafr probably won’t be an impact player for another two years.

        So, it’s a timing thing. Do the Rangers truly want to go all in for this year and next?

      • Rutherford/Allvin can also remind Drury that there’s cap room to fit JT Miller in Div rival Pittsburgh to help extend Crosby/Malkin.

        Late 1st+Schneider+young roster player … for a guy thats been point per game and 55% on faceoffs and still signed for 2yrs on a $5m cap hit is VERY fair…

      • I want my curtains: Aren’t Horvat and Pettersson their top 2 centers? I don’t see Van retaining salary and I sure don’t see Rangers sweetening the deal just to get retention for 1 year. If you figure McDonaugh on his own was good enough to bring back the 1st round pick plus one of those prospects they got from Tampa (Hajek/Howden). Then NY basically threw in Miller for one of the prospects and the 2nd round pick. Tampa/Van got beat years of Miller. Ny should NOT compound that bad trade by dealing top prospects for 1 1/2 years of the soon to be 30 year old. Chychrun makes less, is 6 years younger, and LD is more of a need than LW

      • Slick,

        Miller is a center, not a left winger. He’s taken 500+ face offs this year. Unless another center is getting tossed from every face off, that’s a lot of face offs for a lw.

        Nemeth is absolute garbage. But does NY need a Chychrun on the 3rd pair? Sounds expensive and long term.

        They’d need to move a bigger contract than Nemeth to make it work beyond this year.

        They’re better off getting a more suitable , short term option on the left side.

      • Why not throw Neil yakupov, kappa kappo in the mix too- looks like all 3 going to be busts. Rangers suck and won’t get throw the first round. Penguins will light them up If not the pens, definitely the hurricanes. Doesn’t, matter what they do, they are not a contender. Philly is just hilarious. When did they win the cup last? Not sure if any of us were born yet or will still be alive by the next time they win.

  3. If letang raise and malkins pay cut equal out then good deal.

    • Was thinking the same thing Chrisms

      Currently combined $16.8M

      Give them identical 3 @ $8M; Sid has 3 more years left…. They play full careers together and the 3 retire as Pens

      Can’t see Pens affording Rusty next year

      E-Rod gets a raise

      JZ must move come summer

      A must by TDL…. Upgrade 3RD, and if Domingue not back and/or not playing at level needed… upgrade back-up

      • Pengy you and Chrisms have the right idea. I think you are too high at $ 8 million for both. I would go
        3 years @ $ 6 million for Letang
        3 years @ $ 7 million for Malkin

        $ 13 million combined saves us $3.8 million. As far as Rust goes he is a good value trade chip to get something we need.
        ( A Lawson Crouse,
        a Jonas Korpisalo,
        a Rikard Rakell,
        a Jack Roslovic
        a Mark Giordano
        a Josh Manson
        a John Klinberg

        or someone we really need because we can’t afford Rust next year)..E-rod can play that spot.

      • Hi BNG

        For sure Tanger gets a raise, and he just might end up a Hab

        His play this year has earned him a raise; and there is no way he’d accept $6 M

        I’m hoping the two can be signed for a total of $16 M per🙏🤞🙏🤞🙏🤞

        Yes Rusty will be gone

        Hopefully they move out $5.5 M( JZ)

        With the Carter signing… to me it indicates that HexBurkie truly want to keep both Tanger and Gino

        E-Rod a must to stay…. Will get a raise

        Heinen must be re-upped

        Like your forward ideas

        Unfortunately I can’t see Pens affording Klinger or Manson or Gio; just not n the cards for Pens

        If they (HexBurkie) feel for next year, P-O J can slot in 3LD (I think he can) then possibly they move Matheson permanently up with Marino and trade Petterrsson for space and asset to trade for; or trade directly for; a 3RD

        Under no circumstance should they re-up Ruhweedel…. Criminal if they do

        Unfortunately RDs arr in bigger demand…. So it will likely cost and Pens might overpay

        Affordable UFA 3RD options (note: all substantially better than CR):

        Strahlman (note 35+ contract)

        Back up UFA options

        Would live MAF…. But affordable….

        Spencer Martin

  4. Bruins fans

    IF …. big IF… somehow they could get Foligno to waive his NMC and big IF (big IF) Sharks would accept him in the deal….

    What is the additional offer (onto Foligno) to get Hertl @ 50%?
    Is it 1st (‘22) and Lysell ? More ?? Less?

    IF Girioux waives and is willing to play for Bruins; and Fletcher holds 50%…. What is the offer from Bruins?

    • Curious why you are picking Foligno? Because he has been a pylon and hurt all year?

      Based on play i assume the SJ would want derusk, a Dman and pick or prospect.

      • Hi Great Gonzo


        Might they go DeBrusk and Lysell?

        Re why Foligno….My post above was cut/paste from yesterday (where a few Bruins fans were dumping on Foligno and wanting him gone)… just reposted here today as no one responded yesterday

        As a Leafs and Pens fan I certainly wouldn’t want Hertl on Bruins

      • Foligno has been a huge bust for bruins. Maybe buyout coming next year Hurt all the time. Was swing and a miss by Sweeney. Should be 13th forward but can’t at the salary

      • Gotcha, I try to read comments everyday but some how work got in my way yesterday.

        Those fans are delusional if they think they can just get rid of Foligno after his start for anything relevant.

        Debrusk has played real well for the last while they should have no issue trading him if he still wants out. I also think lots of teams will in quire about Steen based on his play.

    • Hertl will re-sign w/Sharks if Kane deal is made to be a low cap hit for 8-10 yrs. or another such deal. Sharks cannot do a retool w/o Hertl. If Hertl goes there will be a mass exodus….

    • Girioux would be a nice add for the Bruins and if he can bring RASMUS RISTOLAINEN ( copy paste ) with him all the better just what the doctor ordered but there’s two problems with this …. Cap space can’t handle it and even bigger problem is Sweeney won’t make a trade like this it’s to complicated for him

    • If Foligno went. A 1st And studnicka. Or Frederick

  5. Excellent low risk move for Oil to acquire Kane

    Would love that move by Leafs or Pens

    • Yeah, as an Oilers fan I’m a little torn on this. He is the perfect player that the Oilers need in their top 6. By putting Kane in the top 6 then the Oilers can put Nuge as the third line centre, two birds with one stone.
      That being said, it’s Evander Kane. We all know what that means.

      • Hi KevJam

        Very low risk, with potential high reward

        Per TSN, SN, ESPN…. They’re surmising $1.5 M (pro-rated and escrow…. That’s ~ $925 K cash)…. Of which $1.08 M can be buried if he doesn’t work out…. So real Cap risk is but $420 K

        Upside…. He brings grit, speed,production

        He has everything to prove… he should be on pristine behaviour to earn a lucrative multi-year contract come summer

        I was hoping HexBurkie or Dubai would have made the move

      • I do understand that it is low risk and in giving second chances, but my big issue with Kane is this is his fourth chance at least. That is why I’m torn with it.
        “he should be on pristine behaviour” Wasn’t that said after he went to Buffalo? and then again when he went to San Jose?
        I don’t know, maybe now after all the stuff he went through this offseason with his ex-wife, debt, and gambling issues it might have woken up. I guess we’ll find out.

      • Ya KevJam we will find out, and I have the same take on it as you do. Hi on ice game is exactly what they need.
        1 year, OK, and if he were ever to get it together you would think now would be the time. But I have thought that before about him. And here we are again.

        Pengy, he may want a multi year deal, but my guess will be a series of 1 year deals for the medium term with bonus attached and linked to not just performance but off ice conditions as well.

        At least that is what I would do, or go sign somebody else if he wants a multi year deal.

      • Hi KevJam

        Big difference now is that he has no contract this summer…. He MUST prove himself

        Re the recent “escapades”; both of his Spouse’s claims were investigated and concluded as unfounded; as was betting on Sharks games

        Covid fake card…. Absolute bonehead move…. No ifs ands or buts

        Re recent trip and crossing border….outcome TBD…. might find out today

        To me it’s not at all re giving him another chance

        It’s a pure business move…. Invest in $925 K; risk only $420 K Cap…. For the opportunity to bring grit , size, speed, and 30 G talent to the roster

        If Oil need to walk away from this… Katz loses $925 K (he is loaded, that’s chump change) if they have to bury him and not even have him show up to Condors

        They give up ZERO assets to acquire him; and he just may be catalyst to get them above the WC cut line again

        Downside is minuscule ; upside… back in race… get in playoffs…. Playoff gate revenues

        I’d make this move for sure

      • Thanks guys. I just hope it works out. If not then I guess the Oilers really don’t lose anything but some of Katz’s money. LOL

  6. Just like Chychrun being available, I don’t understand why the Canucks will want to trade Miller. The guy is only 28, and this offseason they were supposedly in a position to be making the playoffs. With the struggles that their younger players are having, do they really want to be trading their most consistent and best forward? Who is only 28 years old?
    As an Oilers fan I would love them to do it, but as a hockey fan I just don’t understand it.

    • Stranger still… Jimbo …. He likes to glean the prospect cupboard for the “here and now” and not the other way round

      From a practical and pragmatic perspective…. It opens the door to a bidding war… if the offer is too good to be true, take it; can always refuse and keep him

      The equivalent of 3 firsts for Chychrun IMVHO…. too steep

    • Yeah, Laf for Miller is what some will propose because Laf’s connection to Canucks assistant GM Castonguay. SHE WILL REEL HIM IN!!! LOL

      Chychrun is too expensive but will happen because of his age, potential and many GM’s wanting shiny new faces. LA and NYR have the pieces and could afford to over-pay for him.

  7. Caulfield for Lafreniere, straight up one for one.

  8. Barrie for Klingberg
    Zadina and a 3rd for Soucy
    DeBrusk + 2nd for Gio (if DeBrusk signs a 1 yr deal well below QO) or 2nd and Studnicka
    Chiriot to the Leafs
    Samsonov to Oil, MAF (at $3.5M) Oiler’s 2023 2nd to Caps, Yamamoto to Hawks, Caps 2nd +Fucale to Hawks
    These are trades that make sense, in that they would be good for all teams involved, but probably will not happen. LOL

    • Why would Debrusk. Sign a 1 year for less if team does not qualify he is free to sign anywhere he wants for the term he wants. He could discount $ for term to the team of his choice. Giordano would help bruins for this year but only if they get another ctr in my opinion

  9. Isn’t Barrie and Klingberg the same type of d-man? Why would either team make that trade?
    I don’t think Samsonov is an upgrade on Skinner.
    Oilers trading Yamonoto opens a hole in their top six.

    • Barrie is under a reasonable contract for 3 more years. Klingberg is better on D, and can be let go after this season to better help the Oil’s cap.

      • Okay, thanks. That part does make sense on the Oilers side of things.

      • No debating Klingberg is better, but Holland isn’t convinced this is an all in year, or at least his comments have suggested that.

        I do like the idea of moving Barrie as Bouchard has proven very capable on the PP when Barrie was out, and is more reliable defensively.

        If I moved him it would be a for a D-first type with some term and is physical. Not gonna get a star, but a mid range guy like Savard in MTL. Similar deals and term and I have heard some Hab fans say they would like a puck mover.

        Need to replace Larsson’s steady play and physical, bordering on nasty, game. They miss that guy.

      • Yeah, a replacement for Larsson is the type the Oilers really need in one of their top 4.
        LoweTide on TSN1260 has been saying that Niemelainen and/or Samorukov can be that guy.
        How is out there that is available that the Oilers can afford to require?

    Laf + 3rd for J.T. Miller
    Kaapo + K.Miller + Kravtsov for Chychrun
    Book it Danno! LOL!

    • I could only hope the Rangers are that foolish, but no one is that dumb.

    • As a pens fan I hope the rangers don’t do that. That would really dampen hopes of a last cup with our core. Rate to see trades posted that actually have good value for both parties

    • Does this mean the rebuild is finished?

  11. Heard. Rumours of. Chytl. For. Debrusk. But who knows. I still think Debrusk gets packaged in a bigger deal that help bruins get either top 4 LD or 2nd line ctr

    • Well Mrbruin4, he is younger and further from UFA, so that is a plus. Can play C, but B’s need a 2C, not a guy like Chytil, unless they think he can develop into one. His statistical history, going way back to Jr in Czechia, suggests he isn’t going to bring the offence.

      Does it help the B’s this year? Nope. Longer term, ya because more cost control I suppose.

      Don’t hate it, but agree if it is all about this year, doesn’t move the needle in the right direction.

      • I would agree Ray Bark. A trade like this if can’t pkg and get a 2ctr and or LD. If Sweeney cannot get either of these deals. He probably will just add something more affordable without mortgaging the future too much. I hope he can🍺

  12. Have you watched a Canucks game without J.T. ? In the line up Brutal.
    I would not move him.
    Calgary needs secondary scoring but I doubt Vancouver would consider any trades with them

    EKane’s other team must be VGK . He can double his signing bonus playing slots and Texas Hold’em

    • Rumor in Edmonton is the Caps were the other team in on Kane.
      A radio guy in Edmonton with good sources said his # will be 91 if the league doesn’t suspend him and he could be ready to play by Sunday if given green light right away.

      • Brilliant commentary

  13. There has been some buzz around NY and Columbus maybe making a deal. Drury travelled with team and watched Jackets game last night along with coaches. NY brought up some guys from AHL. Chytil and Nemeth combined make 4.8 mil. Next year. I’d say they’re 2 trades that should happen as both can be replaced with guys on elc’s.

  14. If the Jets become sellers … Scheifele and Morissey for JT Miller, Quinn Hughes and a first.

  15. The Rangers have $71.4M in 16 player contracts for next season. That leaves only 10.6M in cap space to sign 7 players including Strome or replacement, a Kakko bridge deal, a backup goaltender along with 2 other forwards and 2 defensemen.

    It’s highly likely that Strome does the reported 2yrs $9M extension with a hometown discount. Miller is looking at $7-8M a year beyond 2023…where does that cap space come from.

    Or…assuming they trade Chytil and Nemeth they would have $15.4M to sign 9 players. Realistically while the speculation is juicy it’s incredibly infeasible.

    The only way any of that Miller stuff occurs is a 3rd team getting involved that takes 50% or more of Miller’s cap hit…but still there’s no big cap offset beyond 2023 that signs Miller and $7-8M beyond 2023.