Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 2, 2022

by | Jan 2, 2022 | Rumors | 43 comments

In the first Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup of 2022: a prediction that Patrik Laine will be traded again, a potentially complicated trade deadline lies ahead, and the Panthers could covet Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot.


SPORTSNET: In his recent three bold NHL predictions for 2022, Luke Fox speculated the Columbus Blue Jackets could trade Patrik Laine at some point this year. The 23-year-old winger got off to a hot start to this season but was sidelined by an oblique muscle injury and the tragic death of his father

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine (NHL Images).

Laine will be completing his one-year, $7.5 million contract, becoming a restricted free agent with salary arbitration this summer. Fox doubted he’ll commit to a long-term deal with a club that’s been sheddings assets for draft picks and prospects and are still a long way from contention. He believes Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen won’t run the risk of Laine inking another one-year deal and departing in 2023 as an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Jackets decide to trade Laine that move likely happens in the offseason, probably around the NHL draft weekend. While the Finnish sniper has had a couple of difficult seasons largely due to injuries, he remains a legitimate scoring threat who should return to his high-scoring ways when healthy.

The cost of Laine’s next contract and his injury history will affect his trade value. Nevertheless, teams will still line up to make bids if the Jackets signal their intent to move him. They could still get a decent return for Laine.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek believes the number of teams with interim general managers or those still seeking GMs will have an effect upon this year’s trade deadline (March 21). The Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks fall into that category. Meanwhile, San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson is on medical leave.

Interim general managers like those in Chicago and Anaheim don’t have established trading records. It’s difficult to know if they’ll be aggressive in the trade market or take a more conservative approach.

Other factors also come into play. The Ducks are playing better than expected and might not be sellers by the deadline. Jim Rutherford, the Canucks new president of hockey operations, isn’t afraid to make deals but he could wait to see if the club’s improvement under head coach Bruce Boudreau is for real.

Jeff Gorton, the Montreal Canadiens new executive VP of hockey operations, also has an established trade record. However, he’s still trying to figure out his team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duhatschek also observed none of the potential sellers appear to be in any rush to make deals right now. That will likely change as the deadline nears.

The Canucks and Ducks won’t be sellers if they’re in the thick of the playoff hunt by March 21. Indeed, they could become buyers to provide a little more depth to their lineups for the postseason.

The Blackhawks and Canadiens will attempt to shed the pending UFAs they can’t or won’t re-sign this summer. The latter should have a new GM in place by then but they’ll be working in tandem with Gorton.

As for the Sharks, Duhatschek observed they have a significant potential trade chip in Tomas Hertl. Should they decide to move him, assistant GM Joe Will will likely be in contact with Wilson before pulling the trigger on a deal.


RDS: Pierre LeBrun reports the Florida Panthers have held internal discussions regarding the possibility of acquiring Ben Chiarot from the Montreal Canadiens. The 30-year-old defenseman is drawing plenty of interest among playoff contenders. LeBrun believes the Panthers will make a pitch but they won’t be the only ones.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Media consensus suggests Chiarot could fetch a first-round draft pick for the Canadiens. The Panthers, however, traded their 2022 first-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres as part of the Sam Reinhart deal.

The Panthers could offer up their 2023 pick or perhaps package a couple of prospects for Chiarot. Their limited cap space will also make it difficult to absorb his $3.5 million cap hit but they could add a sweetener to convince the Habs to pick up part of his salary or perhaps get creative with a three-team deal to spread his cap hit around.


  1. I’m not sure that trading Laine at the draft will build up more than Zucker , Petterson and a 2nd?

    I can’t imagine Columbus passing on that deal. I’m positive it’s already on the table.

    • O

      Speaking for my friends in Columbus–PASS


      • utterly ridiculous homer one sided proposal … from a pens fan

      • Captain Obvious, your humor (I thought was directed at Pengy) well it wasn’t Obvious to others based on the comments.

      • You could hit some people over the head with a brick and it wouldn’t be obvious.

        What’s odd is, this proposal has been used for about every player out there (Eichel, Tarasenko, JT Miller, Chychrun and it didn’t draw that kind of response / ire from Ed?

        I guess it’s sounds better from a Pens fan than it does from me?

      • Speaking for all of Pittsburgh we dont need a lazy,moody, inconsistent over paid player ee have Malkin for that.

        Hatd pass on Lazy laine.

      • Penguins win a wild one at home 8 – 5 over the Sharks…bit sloppy but we havent played in two weeks..
        Rust back after missing 6 games hat trick think he knows the emergence of rodrigues makes him moveable Rodrigues also had a hat trick..

        Trade chip valuable piece rust to acquire a player maybe a right handed defensemen.

    • I didn’t realize it was Aprils Fools Day … you are kidding right?

      a 23 yr old sniper for a 29 yr old forward who can’t score, a bottom 6 d-man and a 2nd rounder?

      while at the “table” i’m sure JK threw up a little bit in his mouth after Hexy proposed that gem … wow

      • Woosh!
        Fantastic. What are you, like 4’9″. Everything just soars over your head.

      • First of all, I’m not a pens fan. Second, it was “obviously “ meant in humor because every player that is rumored to be available always has Zucker and or Debrusk attached in 20 proposals a day here.

        Have you read this site once in the last 4 months?

        Lighten up there buddy.

      • That’s about right shore,

        Could I have been more deliberate with that one? Lmao.

        If I was serious, I would have said Columbus needs to hold 50%, involve another team that holds 50%. 😃

      • Not sure why you didn’t add height, weight and age to the aforementioned players. Cap hit as well, I suppose.

      • you two should go on the stage, you guys are really funny … try the veal folks, I’ll be here for two weeks …

        lame attempt at humor and the boston guy who likes Orr and Park is even lamer …

      • iowa prince also thought your proposal was legit, and not a lame attempt at humor where is your ire directed at him? chump

      • Somebody get Ed a jacket. He must be cold with that thin skin.

      • Iowa prince also didn’t fall off a cliff about it, did he?

        If I ever do go on stage, I’ll be hoping for an Audience that sarcasm and humor don’t fly over their heads with such ease.

        For every 50 times Zucker has been in a proposal (about every day and 1/2) I’ve made this sarcastic suggestion, sometimes preemptively to just get it out of the way.

        Feeling “utterly ridiculous” yet? Or do you need 8-9 other people to explain sarcasm and humor to you?

    • Penguins dont need Laine and we certainly aren’t trading with Columbus in the same division .that is Obvious….

      • Within the last calendar year, Columbus has made 3 trades within their division with 3 separate teams.

        Lazy Laine? Pittsburgh hiding a few better 23 year old wingers somewhere nobody knows about?

        If you honestly feel Laine isn’t worth a look, (I’m pretty sure Pittsburgh wouldn’t feel the same) please never again mention the possibility of Zucker going anywhere.

        Because of Laine isn’t worth a look, No chance in hell someone thinks Zucker would be.

  2. Bruins need better players

    • Bruins need smarter fans and a 2nd line center

      • Boom! Roasted!

  3. I think the Jackets will try and make a deal with the kings.
    I am only speculating because I have not seen the Kings play this year but it would make sense the Jackets would ask for Turcotte + another player or a draft pick

    • Yep, they could ask for it, but they would not get it. Laine would be rental player for a team making a run. Kings is just trying to get to the post season.

    • Correct-to-mundo! Kings have the young center prospects that most every team will want back in a trade and Laine has mentioned he would like to be on the left coast.
      Turcotte, Iafollo (some salary back) and a 2nd should do it. May have to be a summer time deal tho.

  4. Rutherford has already said he won’t be making any major moves as the Canucks “are not in that cycle at this time.”
    But as always, any GM will tell you if a deal falls into his lap, things could change.

  5. Bit of a stretch but Bailey & Wahlstrom to CMB for Laine?

    • & Bolduc to CMB

      • No

  6. No one is trading for Laine without knowing that he will sign long term. And he will only go to a team that is good. Canes would be a good fit

  7. Hertl may not be the only potential significant trade chip the Sharks have. Evander Kane’s 8 points in 5 games with the Barracuda is a big step toward getting him back in the rumor mill. With teams finally having had time to assess themselves, there will be some that see him as the difference between “going deep” in the playoffs and taking a swig from the Cup. They’ll worry later about what might happen later.

  8. Hertl may not be the only potential significant trade chip the Sharks have. Evander Kane’s 8 points in 5 games with the Barracuda is a big step toward getting him back in the rumor mill. With teams finally having had time to assess themselves, there will be some that see him as the difference between “going deep” in the playoffs and taking a swig from the Cup. They’ll worry later about what might happen later.

  9. Captain Obvious. The Penguins have 0 intrest in Lazy Laine.. if he was such a superstar Winnipeg would have never let the 23 year old go..they did its obvious he isnt worth $7.5

    Sorry you lose this debate. Penguins dont need him. There may have bern some minor trafes in the division no one is helping my Penguins

    Flyers hell no, Capitals hell no, islanders not a chance, rangers nope, devils doubt it. Hurticanes arent hoing to help the surging Penguins.

    You lose this debate too.

    • Again, considering Columbus has traded with 3 different teams in their own division in the last 14 months, I’m not sure why you’re claiming victory.

      The entire Laine proposal was made in jest, so okay, you win that debate?

      Lmao. You just seem to claim victory, in things you haven’t won? Bizarre way of trying to be right but okay, I guess?

      Jest aside, Penguins wouldn’t close the door to Laine. C’mon! They traded for and signed Zucker who you think has value, and make every excuse as to why he does, but Laine doesn’t?

      Laine wanted out of Winnipeg, Winnipeg in return for Laine got a much needed center.

      Dance that victory dance of things that have yet to happen! This isn’t the 1st time! Lmao

      • Again those trades weren’t with the Penguins were they?


        ASfor as zu ket goes that was Rutherford and he is gone, that trade wasn’t with in the division now was it

        Hextall/ Burke ha e a specific type of player in isnt Laine..they wont even snif that sorry

      • So Columbus, a non playoff team has no fear of trading with Philly or Carolina, but draws the line with Pittsburgh?

        That seems a bit suspect no?

  10. What really sucks with this site is certain folks who seem to exist only to troll posters here. I only wonder if certain folks voluntarily create new accounts or does Lyle ban them and they come back with new email and user name.

    • Good question?

    • Dude a trade between Columbus and Pittsburgh isnt happening especially for over priced Laine.

      We have contracts for Malkin Rust and Letang coming up…plus as you often state we dont have the assests so you dont make sense..0 interest in Laine.

      Rather wait and take a chance on Hertl or Gaudreau if they make free agency

    • Just so we’re clear moving forward. You have the assets for Chychrun, Tarasenko Miller, and so on.

      But not for Laine who “is overrated”?
      Hmmmm? This seems a bit odd , no?

      You can’t have it both ways.

  11. What’s most distressing here isn’t Van Imp not recognizing that Obvious was speaking with tongue in cheek, but that so many that post here have picked up another poster’s relentless slandering of two Penguins players and have run with it without checking facts.

    Believe it or not, Zucker and Pettersson are not archetypes of failed players.

    Zucker’s been a disappointment, though playing hurt a lot since becoming a Penguin, but he had scored 20 or more goals in five of the six seasons before last–with point totals to match.

    Supposedly, the Penguins would have trouble giving away Pettersson, even while every team would love to have Chychrun, but how well does hChychrun’s 7 points and minus-29 stand up to Pettersson’s 9 points and plus-9?

    • I’ve fully understand What Zucker is, he’s going on year 3 removed from 20 goals. He’s closer to his 18 point season than he is 20 goal season. Could that change? Maybe?

      I also understand what Pettersson is. He’s a middle pairing guy on a team not exactly loaded on d. On a lot of other teams he’s a 3rd pairing guy.

      Chychrun is on a awful team. He’s young, talented with a ton of potential. Not rear view mirror potential, or what he used to be, but actual potential.
      Last year he put up 41 points, which is 7 points shy of Petterssons career totals.

      I’m wouldn’t even come close to the supposed ask for Chychrun, but I’d be quicker to roll the dice on him than the other two players combined.

      My biggest thing with Zucker, and I mean just can’t wrap my head around it, is seeing him as a primary piece to a rebuilding team or team looking to upgrade. Or as a player that gets you an upgrade. He’s 30 years old!

      Is Zucker a guy that can be traded? Absolutely. Worse players have been in the past.

      But you’re looking at a bad contract for bad contract trade. Neither team involved will be getting an upgrade. Outside of the good ole “change of scenery “ actually working.

      • You’re aware, but a quick check of would tell you not fully. Zucker’s last 20-goal season was 2019-2020, which he split between the Wild and Pens. And speaking of horrible teams, you might also be interested in knowing that Pettersson in usually teamed with Chad -Ruhwedel, who’s second in scurrility in the cast of Penguins villains presented here only to the infamous Jack Johnson.

        As far as your assessment of Chycrun goes, I’m not saying that he’s less valuable than Pettersson. My gripe is against people who jump on a train simply because it comes by the station most often. Nevertheless, I would wonder if you’re not underrating Pettersson and overating Chychrun, if for no other reason than that Chycrun’s minus-55 in 315 games, while Pettersson is plus-48 in 249.

      • And you never post anything just critique others and well never admit maybe you’re not always right…

        Thats obvious…

        i agree with you Zucker is more of a complimentary piece…but he is 29 almost 30 and still has good years left and is valuable to some teams that need some speed and skill.

        but you act like he is garbage. He is not.