NHL Rumor Mill – February 19, 2022

by | Feb 19, 2022 | Rumors | 41 comments

Check out the latest on the Canadiens and recent rumblings about J.T. Miller and Alexandar Georgiev in today’s NHL rumor mill.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Earlier this week, Pat Hickey reported the Canadiens defense corps is in line for a major overhaul. No one expects sidelined captain Shea Weber to play again, the club is getting offers for pending UFA Ben Chiarot, Jeff Petry could be moved if the right deal can be found while pending UFA Brett Kulak could also be shopped at the March 21 trade deadline.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot (NHL Images).

On Wednesday, NHL insider Pierre LeBrun told TSN690 (stick tap to NHL Watcher) the Canadiens have a list of players they wish to move and a list of those they want to keep. He believes Brendan Gallagher and Josh Anderson are on the “do not move” list because a team needs competitive players even when undergoing a rebuild. Mike Hoffman, Jonathan Drouin, Christian Dvorak and Artturi Lehkonen are on the “would like to move” list but that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll be traded.

LeBrun also believes the Canadiens covet some of the New York Rangers prospects while the Habs have some players to fill the Rangers’ needs. With 12 picks already in this year’s draft, the Canadiens could prefer returns of prospects over draft picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens VP of hockey operations Jeff Gorton was the Rangers general manager until last May. Most of their current prospects were chosen by him so it’s not surprising he wouldn’t mind landing one or two of them. Whether or not he’ll be successful and which ones he might get remains to be seen.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Mike Stephens notes recent reports linking the Toronto Maple Leafs to Chiarot. However, his near-league-worst overlying numbers plus the Canadiens asking price of a first-round pick should send the Leafs looking elsewhere to bolster their blueline. Stephens suggested the New Jersey Devils’ Damon Severson, Philadelphia Flyers’ Justin Braun and Winnipeg Jets’ Dylan DeMelo could be better options.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber cites a report by RDS claiming the Canadiens reached out to the Capitals regarding goaltender Ilya Samsonov. The 24-year-old Samsonov has struggled at times with consistency but has played better of late. The Capitals are believed in the market to upgrade their goaltending and their forward lines as well. They’ve been linked to the Vancouver Canucks and Seattle Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are expected to be among the prime sellers leading up to the March 21 trade deadline. UFAs such as Chiarot and Kulak are the most likely to go as they’ll be the easiest to move. The same goes for Lehkonen, who’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and a year away from UFA eligibility. Struggling players with term on their contracts (Petry, Hoffman, Drouin, Dvorak) could be tougher to ship out during the season.

The Habs’ interest in Samsonov could be a desire to bring in a younger NHL goalie who has the potential to perhaps take over for Carey Price if he’s traded or ends up on permanent LTIR. I think the Capitals prefer hanging onto Samsonov given his youth and potential.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported Thursday the Vancouver Canucks might not be in any hurry to move J.T. Miller, who’s signed through 2022-23. Canucks management doesn’t buy into the notion that the 28-year-old center’s trade value would be higher now than in the offseason. They could also sign him to a contract extension this summer so all options are all the table. Clubs interested in Miller, such as the New York Rangers, must step up if they hope to pry him away from the Canucks.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty believes the return the Montreal Canadiens received for Tyler Toffoli from the Calgary Flames (2022 first-round pick, 2024 fifth-rounder, bottom-six forward Tyler Pitlick and prospect forward Emil Heineman) sets the market price for Miller. He believes it would cost the Bruins a first-rounder, an additional pick, winger Jake DeBrusk and Jack Studnicka to land the Canucks forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All due respect to Haggs but I think it’ll take more than what the Canadiens got for Toffoli to land Miller, specifically the type of NHL player and prospect. I also doubt his suggested return would bring the Canucks center to the Bruins, especially considering the Rangers have the cap space and the depth in prospects and young players to outbid them.

Yes, the Canucks could trade Miller by the March 21 trade deadline if a club makes an impressive bid. However, that might not be out there during this season. While there are exceptions, the overwhelming majority of deadline moves tend to involve pending free agents on non-playoff clubs shipped to contenders as rentals.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev’s career has stalled as Igor Shesterkin took over as their full-time starter. The 26-year-old struggled last season and got off to a poor start to this one, though he played well filling in for Shesterkin when he was sidelined by a groin injury in December.

Since then, Georgiev’s numbers have declined, prompting Brooks to suggest any of his upcoming starts could be his last with the Rangers. With Georgiev a restricted free agent this summer who could become unrestricted if the Blueshirts don’t qualify his rights, the upcoming trade deadline could be their last chance to get something in return.

Moving Georgiev would mean finding a suitable backup. Brooks suggested Detroit’s Thomas Greiss or Vancouver’s Jaroslav Halak, though the latter is on injured reserve.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting Georgiev could be an option for the Golden Knights if starter Robin Lehner remains sidelined by a suspected shoulder injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t rule out the possibility of Georgiev getting traded provided the Rangers ensure they have a suitable replacement in hand in case Shesterkin gets injured again. Greiss could be a better option than Halak, who has a no-movement clause while Greiss lacks no-trade protection. Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo could also be an option. If Rangers GM Chris Drury doesn’t believe they’ll do a better job, he’ll hang onto Georgiev.


  1. Greis’s has played very well recently, and was largely responsible for wins over Philly and the NYR’s. His save percentage in those games was .945, and he stopped many high danger chances in both. Although his age does not lead one to think he will be anyone’s long term solution as a starter, he may well be on the radar of not only the Rangers, but also the Leafs, Capitols, Oilers, Penguins, and Golden Knights.

    • Bidding war to come soon for Greiss! he could snag the Wings a nice prospect!

      • Serious question. When is the last time a back up goalie brought back a significant value in trade?

      • Chrisms, that would open a whole new debate as to what constitutes a back-up and when does a back-up morph into a starter. 🙂

        In any event, the Blues got 3rd and 4th round picks from Montreal for Jake Allen, while Jaroslav Halak was involved in a clutch of trades bring back varying returns. First he was dealt from Montreal to St. Louis for prospects C Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. Then from St. Louis to Buffalo along with Chris Stewart, William Carrier, a 2015 1st rounder and a conditional 3rd rounder for Ryan Miller and Steve Ott. Although dressed for 1 game with Buffalo, he never played a game there and was sent to Washington with a 3rd round pick for Michael Neuvirth and Rastislav Klesla. Then from Wash to NYI for a 4th rounder

      • Wow. Ok. Nice research/memory. Not sure it helps though. If the Allen deal is comparable then a third and fourth sounds reasonable for greiss

      • For a 36 y/o career back-up UFA currently costing $3.6 mil off the cap, if Yzerman was offered a 34d and 4th he should take it and run.

      • Craig Anderson, although turning 41 in May, is a fitness freak and, currently with Buffalo and costing just $750,000 off the cap and also a UFA at season’s end. is posting better numbers than Greiss with a 2.60gaa and 0.917 save % over 10 games played compared to 3.17gaa and 0.902 save % over 18 games. And I suppose, given the standings, Detroit can be said to be better defensively overall than is Buffalo.

      • Chrisms–on the other hand (this is strictly from memory), Calgary was interested in Fleury before the Vegas expansion draft but backed off when the Pens asked for a number 2.

  2. From the Canadiens “like to move” list, Dvorak is probably only one Rangers might be interested in. Not now but in off season as affordable 2C. . He’s 2 1/2 years younger than Strome and has a reasonable 3 more years left at 4.4m. Doubtful Strome can be signed for that price and term. As far as Rangers need? Suzuki! But I doubt Gorton moves him.

    • I would overpay for Suzuki as a Ranger fan but centers like that do not grow on trees and I assume the Habs have no desire to move him.
      Dvorak is lateral move from Strome too.
      Georgie to Vegas for Roy would be ideal for me

      • ds. Dvorak is younger and could probably put up same or better numbers as Strome. It’s a lateral move only if Stromes next contract is for 3 years and under 5m per. Don’t see that happening. As I said, I don’t see Habs trading Suzuki (except maybe for Laf) A good chance they end up with top pick in draft and add another young stud center. Zero chance of Roy(750k) for Gorgiev. (2.4m)

      • I don’t think that Georgie is an upgrade over Brossoit.

    • Dvorak is nowhere close to Strome. In fact Strome has better numbers than Suzuki and will cost less than 8.5 million. Please don’t give me the Strome has better wingers angle either. A position of strength for Montreal us actually there wingers. There weakness as has been the case for years is centre depth. A lateral move for Strome would in fact be Suzuki but why in the world would the Rangers trade for an 8.5 million 2nd line centre whose only good for around 60 points a year when Strome can put up the same production for less.

      • What the heck. What the actual heck? Suzuki is 22. Do your homework. He doesn’t make 8.5 mil. He has same amount of goals as Strome and just 6 less assists. Considering he’s playing on a depleted, historically bad team and Strome skates next to Panarin, it’s nowhere near a lateral move. Strome will be 29 when he inks next deal. He’s never scored 20 goals. Never will. Suzuki will be 23 when extension kicks in. I’m willing to bet that he only gets better as he hits his prime years. That 7.8M cap hit will be considered a bargain in a few years

      • No slick it won’t. Look at what is considered a standard number 1 centers production by the time they were 22 and have had 3 years in the NHL. He’s 22 not 18 he’s been given too line minutes including number 1 power play time and hasn’t shown anything beyond being a second line centre. An example of a number 1 center who got an 8.5 million dollar contract is Sebastion Aho. When he was 22 he was already averaging a point per game and had a 38 goal season. Suzuki is basically the same as he was last year and only marginally better than he was his first year, and that’s because he’s playing more now and getting more power play time than his first year. Suzuki has been given every chance to be the top guy. Strome is number 2 in NY. It’s not like Strome is 40. At this time he’s every bit as good as Suzuki and will probably be for the next few years. He’ll cost less and produce the same. Not to mention Suzuki’s horrid defensive play. Compare there plus minus. Before you say it’s because Montreal is so bad remember that they made the playoffs the previous 2 year and the Rangers didn’t. You may not like it but facts are facts. Opinions are Opinions only.

      • Just as an even better example Slick when Strome was 21 he had 17 goals, 50 points and was a plus 22 as a second line center on the Islanders. He’s every bit the player Suzuki is, was and ever will be.

      • I agree,

        First Dvorak is a downgrade from Strome. Outside of hypotheticals of “he could put up the same or better numbers” , what do you base that on?

        He basically puts up half of Stromes production. Are we hoping for the same results as Strome? That he suddenly just turns it around at 26 years old? That seems a bit of a stretch, no?

        What the heck,

        I too am tired of hearing how Strome only produces because of Panarin. That is just been debunked 100 times over. Panarin has NEVER had better numbers than he had with Strome. For whatever reason, they just click. Panarin is actually on record this year talking about how HE struggled when they were separated for a few games.

        Suzuki, NY can’t afford him next year and beyond without moving a heavy contract. Also can’t imagine Montreal looking to move out anyone that young with what’s going on there.

      • If you think Suzuki is a lateral move for Strome, you’re out to lunch.

        You’re saying Suzuki is a bad defensive player? Based on what? You can cherry pick any stat this year for Montreal and I don’t think any of their players are going to shine based on advanced stats or any metric. The team is an absolute tire fire… Honestly there’s so much nonsense in your post I’m not sure if its even worth the reply.

        Now, Strome is a good player in his own right, and I believe he’s underrated to a degree but what does he command on a new deal in the offseason? If he’s locked in to a deal that pays him like a 2C… Good luck with that. His value is his offensive ability and chemistry with Bread. Honestly don’t see teams lining up for his services. Suzuki on the other hand, if made available, I’d guarantee interest based on potential alone.

        Also the argument that Strome has better wingers is in FACT quite valid. He’s playing with one of, it not the best wingers in the game today… Terrible take. Lateral move he says, what a joke.

        For reference, I’m not a fan of either team – Just hockey.

  3. Lyle, do I detect that you feel the Habs didn’t get full value for Toffoli?

    • I might be wrong but I read it like it’s gonna take more than what the habs got for Toffoli for anyone that wants Miller.

    • No, I believe Miller has greater value in this market and should fetch a better return.

      • Thanks, Rona and Lyle.

  4. Gorgiev: as a Ranger fan who’s not a complete homer, I’ve never been too confide in him, although he does seem to do better when playing regularly. Just not happening in NY as long as Shesty is healthy. I’d swap him straight up for either Greis or Halak. Rangers still have Kincaid as an experienced back up. Garland one of a few promising prospects Gorgiev could be part of a package at deadline.

    • Slick, I have no more faith in Georgie than you do, and would want something different for Greiss.

  5. How long before Ron Francis is fired in Seattle?
    His performance and prep for the expansion draft was terrible, hiring of Hakstol was another blunder.
    He had so many opportunities to select good players that he could have moved at the deadline but the only player he has is Giordano. Teams don’t want any of Seattle’s players.
    His strategy of cap space is king but even with cap space Seattle is never mentioned as a 3rd team in player movements. I think it is because Frances is paralyzed when it comes to making any trades.

    It’s a good thing Seattle is an awesome sports town but Francis performance so far is disastrous.
    The difference between Vegas and Seattle is quite a stark contrast in process. Vegas is the blueprint for success Seattle is the blueprint for failure.

    • That’s a good question re Francis, FlameFan. That is a pretty dismal collection. He MIGHT get someone to take UFAs Jarnkrok and Johansson as cheap depth Fs heading down the stretch – but the returns – whether he’s looking for prospects or picks – would be negligible in the overall scheme of things.

      Looks like he completely ignored the blue print created by Vegas in putting his expansion team together and, like expansions of old, they’ll be floundering for a few years.

    • FlameFan–I can give you Spector’s opinion on the reason for the difference, since he answered my question regarding that some weeks ago. Spector felt that the league’s GMs had become smarter after learning from their mistakes in the Vegas expansion draft. He thought also that Vegas had the advantage of having a better goalie available to them.

      • I agree with some of those reasons but again, that doesn’t explain passing on some very good players and selecting Hakstol to coach this team.
        I have never been impressed with him but in true NHL fashion they love to recycle coaches

      • FlameFan–You reminded me by mentioning it, Spector also said that Gerard Gallant was a better coach.

  6. Who to say the Rangers might find the price too high for Jt . Although if it’s Sweeney by the time every other team is done we’ll most likely end up with someone like Ogie Olgilthorpe.

    • Eichel book it🥸

    • Rick W Murray…..nah, Oglethorpe was deported back to his home country of Canada, but they refused to accept him…

  7. The Oilers have kicked tire on NYR back up goaltender, Alex Georgiev…🤔

    The Edmonton Oilers need a younger goaltender to take over from Mike Smith for the 2023-2024 season

    Mikko is a back up who can play well for 2-3 games, and is a UFA at the end of this season 2022.
    could be a trade there with there teams⁉️

  8. Trade Alert
    Chychrun and Kessel to Toronto for Nylander and Dermot and a pick + RItchie
    Wishful thinking , but I think this is a doable trade
    Leafs need help now and think they are win mode :
    Kessel is a proven playoff performer , not the player he once was
    The floater – Nylander is an elite level talent going the other way
    Somebody can let Dubais know , he won’t figure this out for himself
    The cap fits well

    • Man am I ever glad you’re not a GM Glen. Actually I wish you were a gm as long as it’s not the GM of a team I like. I love Chychrun but he plays the same side as Reilly and Muzzin. Reilly is the number 1 pp guy in Toronto so I can only imagine Chychrun ‘s numbers dropping dramatically. Only way Chychrun works is if the trade Muzzin. The leafs are weak on the right side. The left they have Reilly, Muzzin and Sandin. The leafs also have the 5th best gaa average in the league so they only need depth guys. The perception that they have a bad defense and goaltending is just wrong. They’re main issue in my opinion is they lack the killer instinct. They seem to never finish off the team in the playoffs when it matters. They let Montreal back in, They had Boston on the ropes multiple times and lost to them ect… That comes with maturity and experience. See Tampa Bay, Washington, St Louis ect… as examples. Teams like Colorado and Carolina as still trying to figure it out as well.

      • As per what the heck
        I would gladly trade Muzzin
        Not a fan of him either
        5 mil/year , slow and an outside problem , concussion!
        I think there is another issue , guy has a 5 cent head
        Shanahan has mentioned , they lack the killer instinct
        I still feel their defense is soft and goaltending questionable !
        Leafs has over “50” shots each fane, against Calgary and Vancouver , dramatically outshot the opposition and lost both games .
        Game tonight against St . Louis , Campbell let’s the second shot enter the net ..
        It’s another short playoff, 1st round exit , unless something drastic takes place, in way of a trade that is significant !!!

      • Nice to have an opinion Ken but facts are facts. The leafs are 5th in gaa which means they are great defensively and Campbell is in the top 5 of pretty much every goaltending category so your opinion means squat. They are also near the top in penalty killing. They are near the top in the least amount of shots given up per game. They are near the top in puck possession and the list goes on. Defense and goaltending are not there issue. In fact Campbell had better stats then Price did in the playoffs last year. Goaltending and defense is not why we lost in the playoffs. By the way Nylander was our top point getter in that series as well so be careful who you get rid of. But I’m sure your opinion is more accurate then the facts so keep making your trades just not as the gm of teams I like please.

  9. What the heck
    Campbell’s stats are earlier in the year , not recent as his numbers have dramatically dropped off
    1.92 gaa, recent 4. 38
    .868 vs 931 earlier in the year
    Nylander is fine , but extremely “streaky”’. 2 goals tonight , for example , but Campbell can’t stop a beach ball …
    Trade Campbell for MAF , Chicago can swallow the cap
    5 goals allowed already , allowed for Jack in the box, Campbell
    Now , I have to switch the channel
    Enough is Enough !

  10. Swayman May be best goalie in league right now kid is so good will be a stud for next 10 years wow

  11. I think we have to check with Rick Murray , as per Swayman

  12. I think we have to check with Rick Murray , as per Swayman

    No light at the end of the tunnel , for Leafs , as per their goaltending issues

    Bon voyage Dubais !’