NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2022

by | Feb 17, 2022 | Rumors | 38 comments

Check out the latest on the Blackhawks, Rangers and Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Charlie Roumeliotis reports it’s believed the Blackhawks won’t move Marc-Andre Fleury unless he asks to be traded. The 37-year-old goaltender has a 10-team no-trade clause and has surfaced in recent trade rumors, with the latest tying him to his former club, the Vegas Golden Knights. If he does request a trade, they won’t send him somewhere he doesn’t want to go.

Fleury acknowledged if he were to be traded he’d want to play for a Stanley Cup contender. “If…IF…I move, I would love a chance to win,” he said. “That’s what I play for and that’s what I love. It’s still a big if at this point.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One reason is there are not many Cup contenders seeking an upgrade between the pipes. The Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals could use Fleury but they’re not considered among this season’s Cup favorites. There’s also a report the Capitals attempted to acquire him but it’s rumored he rejected the deal. The remainder of his $7 million cap hit for this season is another sticking point. Fleury could end up finishing this season with the Blackhawks.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports sources said Blackhawks interim general manager Kyle Davidson was listening to offers for wingers Alex DeBrincat and Brandon Hagel. He claims there’s considerable interest in Hagel, who is signed through 2023-24 with a $1.5 million annual salary-cap hit. Seravalli suggests Hagel might fetch a first-round pick and a prospect.

THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus reports winger Dominik Kubalik’s struggles this season have him facing an uncertain future with the Blackhawks. The 26-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights but his production is down this season.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope acknowledged Seravalli’s report about Hagel but said a source told him the 23-year-old winger is virtually off the table. Fleury and defenseman Calvin de Haan are the Blackhawks’ biggest trade chips. Kubalik and fellow RFA Dylan Strome have been on the market for months despite persuasive arguments for keeping both.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Davidson might be listening but that doesn’t mean he’s moving DeBrincat or Hagel. Both are young enough to be core players on this rebuilding roster. Unless the gambit here is to piss off long-time leaders Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to the point where they demand a trade in the offseason, it makes little sense to move DeBrincat or Hagel unless the return is significant.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Kubalik and Strome are traded away, though the decline in their respective production means they won’t fetch much of a return for the Blackhawks. Given their arbitration rights, it might not be worth the hassle to keep them.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers interest in Vancouver Canucks forward (and former Ranger) J.T. Miller has been “an open secret” for some time. The versatile Miller can skate at center or right wing. He could prove useful to them beyond this season if they’re unable to re-sign pending UFA center Ryan Strome this summer. However, the Blueshirts probably won’t be able to afford an extension for Miller and would have to seek another top-six center in 2023.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reports the asking price for Miller could be the classic “draft pick/prospect/player”. He wondered if the Rangers could land him by pitching a first-round pick and promising defenseman Nils Lundkvist.

Staple also commented on a recent report by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli saying the Vegas Golden Knights may have reached out to the Rangers about Alexandar Georgiev. However, sources say the Blueshirts haven’t received any real offers yet for the 26-year-old goaltender. He’s slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer and is a year away from UFA eligibility. Parting with Georgiev would leave the Rangers seeking an experienced replacement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what moves Rangers GM Chris Drury makes before the March 21 trade deadline. He’s got plenty of deadline cap space and lots of promising young players/prospects to draw upon for trade bait.

Drury is well-positioned to make a solid bid for Miller but would it be with an eye on keeping him beyond next season or as a short-term measure? Will he pass on Miller and consider other options? We’ll find out soon enough.

I’ll be surprised if they move out Georgiev. He’s not a UFA so they can peddle him in the offseason if he doesn’t fit into their plans. He did a good job filling in for starter Igor Shesterkin when he was sidelined for several games earlier this season. Better to stick with the backup you know down the stretch and into the playoffs.


DAILY FACEOFF/THE ATHLETIC: Scott Burnside and Thomas Drance report Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford and general and general manager Patrik Allvin are both preaching patience, stressing there’s no urgency for the club to make moves before the March 21 trade deadline.

Rutherford said the final decision to make trades rests with Allvin, who indicated he wants to evaluate his club’s performance as they continue to fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal cited Elliotte Friedman noted the Canucks interest in New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha. However, he also said to keep an eye on the Washington Capitals as they need some help up front.

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal listed Zacha, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen, Carolina Hurricanes’ forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Toronto Maple Leafs’ defenseman Travis Dermott among several players between 20 and 25 years old that they speculate could be on the Canucks trade radar.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks’ new front office still has five weeks before the trade deadline to evaluate their players and determine who to move and who to keep if they decide to become sellers by March 21. It appears they’re going to give this roster a chance to gain some ground in the standings and see if they have a shot at securing a playoff berth. If they fall out of contention, they could start shipping out some players.

The interest in bringing in younger players indicates they’re looking at a quick turnaround rather than a lengthy rebuild. Shopping Miller could help them land such a player. Whether it would be any of those listed above remains to be seen.


  1. Pierre Lebrun reported yesterday to keep an eye on the Habs and Rangers before the deadline. The Habs have interest in some Ranger prospects and have pieces that Rangers could use. Just saying.

    • Dvorak, Chariot (1/2 salary) for Kravtsov, Kaapo, Lundkvist, Nemeth

      • what are you on?

      • Hahahaha! Good one. 😅

      • LOLOLOL…remove KK from that and swap Dvorak with Anderson and perhaps Drury will agree.

  2. JT Miller for Kotkaniemi and a 2023 1st and 3rd would be an interesting trade!

  3. Kubalik For Debrusk. Change of scenery for both

    • That’s fair tho I feel DeBrusk is the better of the 2. Let’s add Moore and Wagner a 4th then take De’Haan as well

      • Time to get rid of all the spare parts.Boston has a lot of them.

  4. Hate to bring up old topics but just had another look at Toronto’s cap situation again and it is dismal.

    They have 59 million committed to 7 players next year. If the cap goes up by 1m they have just over 22 m for 15 players (roster size of only 22)
    This is no way to build a team. They will have to use a big portion of that 22m to sign a #1 goaltender.

    Sheesh, I don’t get how supposedly smart guys can overlook such basic metrics in team building

    Maybe they will use the Tampa and LV model and devise a sneaky long term injury for Taveras freeing up 11m next year

    • Flamesfan. Probably a good chance doesn’t go up. As that was the amount before Covid attendance reductions started back up

    • Flamefan, not sure where you got commitments to just 7 players as, according to CapFriendly, they are committed to these 14: Matthews, Tavares, Marner, Nylander, Kerfoot, Kampf, Bunting, Simmonds, Muzzin, Rielly, Brodie, Holl, Dermott, Mrazek and, with $1,375,000 in “buried penalty” for Ritchie, and should the cap remain static at $81.5 mil, that leaves them $7,344,384 to sign 9 (to get to 23 – they could opt to cut it off at 22).

      Their 4 RFAs to re-up are Kase, Engvall, Sandin and the just reclaimed Brooks who collectively, cost $4,119,167 off the cap this year. Even modest increases will eat up the bulk of that $7+ mil and, now at 18 players, they still have to deal with UFA goalie Campbell, coming off a cap hit of $1,650,000.

      Either they’ll have to find a real cheap option to combine with Mrazek or a couple of big-ticket players will need to move out.

      I suppose the other UFAs – Spezza and Mikheyev – are toast – unless the former comes back at the minimum.

      • Oh, and before some Leaf fan jumps in taking apoplectic objection to my alleged “fixation” with their team, please note I am merely responding to Flamefan 🙂

      • The 7 top cap hits on the Leafs equal just under 59 million in cap hit (4 forwards and 3 d-men). That is what he’s talking about.

      • Your Right❗️
        They will need to move one of the big 4, more than likly a smart move would be Mitch Marner…. @ $11. PA….. they got $40.0000 million tied up in 4 players that will never work.

        Maybe the light will come on in Toronto and they may get it…🤔 maybe not its Toronto

        Marrner for a TJ Millar trade would be good and TJ. Millar is half the price that would give them more cash to even up there team all round.
        A Mrazek trade would also help them as he is very highly paid back up at $3.4Mill…..❗️⁉️

      • Thanks Kevjam – read it wrong – see that now – mea culpa – 59 mil for 7 – sheesh – hey, I only had one coffee when I read that – but the bottom line remains the same – they need to move some high cap – including Mrazek if they wish to retrain Campbell, never mind re-upping their RFAs

    • Agree their situation isn’t good as Kase and Sandin will want increases.

      Unfortunately for Toronto Covid struck and the cap didn’t rise. For a team like Toronto this has hurt more then other teams simply because of the timing.

      According to Capfriendly they have $74m ties up in 14 players leaving them with Just over $7 to fill out the roster. Cap goes up $1m then they’ll have $8m

      Campbell alone will eat up a significant part of that. Ritchie has to come off the books some how and Mrazek will have to go if resigning Campbell, at this point, a backup goaltender with a caphit of $3.8 is a luxury Toronto can’t afford.

      Will be interesting to watch.

      • Just read an article about how things have changed in the NFL thanks to the salary cap and it emphasized how important it is now to hit on good young players, players that can start and contribute and not cost the world in salary.
        The Leafs are just one of several NHL teams that need to find, and develop good young talent to remain competitive and stay under the cap.
        I’d say, based on some of the current Leaf prospects, things could be a lot worse. Toronto (and others) will need to move some veterans, the trick will be replacing them with NHL-level prospects.

      • BCLeafFan, while I agree in principle, with so many teams needing to free up cap – and so move some high-ticket items to do so while the cap either remains static or only inches up – it has to be asked – at what point does the law of diminishing returns kick in?

        The cap-rich are obviously aware of this and so can pick-and-choose without any pressure on them to get it done fast. Even so, it could build into a situation where the supply becomes greater than the market to absorb it, and if there aren’t enough viable LTIRs to ease the pressure, we could be seeing more big-buyouts of the type that will cripple Minnesota for the next 3 seasons.

    • Marner for Petrangelo+ Carrier this summer LOL

  5. Take my Kapanan please. Take him.

    • Will swap for Debrusk??

      • I’d be tempted but I think debrusks qualifying offer is like a mil more? If I was pens I’d prefer like a third round pick if I could get it. Open cap space and get an asset. But I’d seriously consider that deal mr bruin.

  6. The Edmonton Oilers have been looking at both NYR goaltenders….
    Igor Shesterkin & backup Georgiev, its more than likly its Georgiev

    There has been lots of NY chatter about moving one and getting a older back up🤔
    The Edmonton oilers have been kicking tires there as the need a younger goaltender who could posibly become the #1 starter as they have two older goaltenders, 35 &40 yrs old.

    • There is zero chance NY is moving Shesterkin.

      • Agree C.O. I can’t imagine who would think they would.

      • Is Georgiev all that?
        Seems decent as a back up but is he actually a viable starter?
        Oiler might as well just keep rolling with Skinner next year. Only costs $750K.

        You could make the case that Shesterkin has been the best tender in the NHL this year. Plus is locked up for a bit on a good contract.

      • Does sound like the Rangers are really in on J.T. Miller…

        He would be a great add for sure..

      • Ray,

        I’d love to see Georgiev gone if that tells you something.

        He can be very good, but he is very inconsistent. I do not see him as a starter.

      • What do you think they the NYR would want in a Trade Or need to help them in a playoff push, ❓
        A 2nd round pick… Or a player like A
        Zack Kassin or Tyson Barrie from the Oilers for Georgiev…⁉️

    • Georgiev + pick for Riley Smith
      Griess + 4th for Kravtsov

      • No to adding a 4th with Greiss for Kravtsov….even up. K is starting to look like he may not be a top 6 guy.

  7. is there a chance Lafrenniere moves to Montreal ?

    • Laf for Caufield + Poehling

    • Laf not going anywhere unless it’s for a proven top 6 center under 25.
      Seravalli reported today teams asking about Boeser. I’d prefer him to JT. Him on RW on Panarins line, I don’t care who center is next year. I think Rangers could move Gorgiev. Then they can take Halak back in any deal with Vancouver. They don’t want to pay that bonus he’s owed. NY has deep pockets. And a deep pool of young goaltender prospects.

      • Halak sez NO! Boeser would be a nice add. But, then there is his QO $7.5M!!!!!… I hope Stevie picks him up in FA when he goes unqualified.

      • Johnny Z. If NY traded for him they’d probably sign him long term to keep AAV down.


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