NHL Rumor Mill – February 21, 2022

by | Feb 21, 2022 | Rumors | 29 comments

Will the Lightning or Wild make moves at the trade deadline? Which Sharks could become trade candidates? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith recently examined whether the Tampa Bay Lightning will make any moves by the March 21 trade deadline. General manager Julien BriseBois indicated nothing was off the table if a move could be made to improve their chances of winning the Stanley Cup for the third straight year.

Complicating things, however, is the fact that the Lightning has no cap space for this season and very little for next season. Making additions would mean subtracting someone from their roster and they’ve already got some very good value contracts. They also like the additions they made last summer in Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Corey Perry and Zach Bogosian.

If BriseBois makes a move, Smith believes it’ll be for depth players along the lines of his acquisitions of Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow two years ago. He thinks the Bolts GM would part with multiple high picks if it means landing an impact player, especially one who could become a replacement for pending unrestricted free agent winger Ondrej Palat.

Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: BriseBois could be a buyer if one or more of his players carrying a significant cap hit winds up on long-term injury reserve for the remainder of the regular season. While that worked to their advantage last season when Nikita Kucherov missed the entire 2020-21 regular season recovering from hip surgery, they might not get a similar opportunity again. If he makes an addition, it’ll be an affordable depth player. The Lightning still has a very talented roster that could make a run for a third Cup.

Pierre LeBrun last week reported Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin is remaining patient and examining his options as the trade deadline approaches. He’d prefer to retain his draft picks because he’s still building up the club’s prospect pipeline. His club’s lofty position in the Western Conference standings also allows him to take time to evaluate his roster’s needs.

Guerin downplayed the notion his club needs depth at center. He’s also reluctant to tinker too much with the Wild’s tight team chemistry. It’s possible he trades for a depth forward than a high-end piece like Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux, Dallas’ Joe Pavelski or San Jose’s Tomas Hertl.

The Wild GM also has to keep in mind the cap constraints he faces after this season as a result of buying out Zach Parise and Ryan Suter last summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d still keep an eye on the Wild, especially if they start to wobble over the next few weeks. Still, there won’t be much reason to make a big addition if they continue playing well leading up to March 21.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Sheng Peng examines which San Jose Sharks players could become trade candidates (besides Tomas Hertl) if the club becomes a seller by the March trade deadline. They could include Andrew Cogliano, Nick Bonino, James Reimer, Matt Nieto and Alexander Barabanov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Peng spoke with two NHL scouts and a league executive about the possible returns for those players. It appears they would fetch third-to-fifth-round picks. Bonino, Nieto and Reimer each have a year remaining on their contracts.


  1. Any news on the Kane grievance? I would think that could impact what SJ does with Hertl.

    • A date has yet to be set for a hearing by an independent arbiter.

      • Thanks Lyle. I can’t see SJ trading Hertl if they have the cap space. Hertl seems happy there and Even more now with Kane gone.

  2. I like the Toronto Ritchie and Flames Toffoli trades …suited and early . Last minute equals overpay.
    Any possibility Chariot stays ? The Habs surely need defence …and don’t call me Shirley

    • Been wondering about that Chiarot situation for a while now SilverSeven. Seems to me that if he is dealt it’s solely due to a tight cap situation further complicated by a host of RFAs to sign.

      The guy only turns 31 in May and is huge at 6’3″ 235 lbs, and the only thing standing in the way of retaining him is, how much more than the current $3.5 mil cap hit are he and his agent going to seek?

      Yes, they’ll get cap relief from the Weber injury and who knows with Price. But even then, if they don’t unload one or two of Hoffman, Armia, Byron and Petry, they’re just going to have to accept the best offer they receive – and they should draw interest from several teams.

      What do the Habs fans see happening?

      • Joel Armia may head back to Tampa..?
        The GM likes him and if he can get cap space
        that would be a fit..? for a 3rd rd pick or prospect for JA….?…. with his stanley Cup experience there maybe other teams may be intrested close to the dead line to booster there 3rd line….❓

        This year there will be lots of Salary dumping Via trades i think,
        Lots of GM’s due to the salary cap staying flat they need to be very carfulle.

        Draft picks for Cap Space are the new trade dead line currency $$ 🤔

      • The whole Chiarot situation is secondary to what the situation is with Edmundson.

        At this point, Petry is in a fog, Savard is injured, Edmundson might need back surgery, Chiarot is the one experienced D, coming off a good contract and UFA.

        It isn’t as if he’ll garner a 1st rounder or prospect to replace him next year.

        He’s needed for another 2 years till Romanov, Norlinder, Harris, Struble come of age.

      • Chiarot hasn’t said he wants to leave Montreal, or that he’s unhappy, or what he wants in a contract.

    • Ahahaha young ones won’t get this one 😉 From everything I read here (I am close to Montreal) Chiarot will be a goner, he doesn’t want to stay either

  3. Going off topic here, but I read yesterday in Simmons column in the Toronto Sun that MAF wants to go to Boston. Anybody read anything elsewhere about this? Sounds interesting to me. I know Simmons is wrong a lot more than he’s right, but he does pull a tidbit out of his a#* once in a while that ends up being true.
    I can picture it. Ulmark waives to go to Chicago, a few other pieces, maybe Foligno (waste of a signing), Debrusk, Hagel, draft picks. HMM….
    Intelligent replies only…so RWM…, keep scrolling!

    • this sounds a bit far fetched. But maybe a package could happen. I can’t see Ullmark waiving to go to Chi-town.

      MAF (1/2 retained), Kubilik (1/2 retained), and Dehaan(1/2 retained) for DeBrusk, Ullmark (1M retained), and a 1st
      But Ullmark has a full NMC for 2 years….

      • Does chigago have any other players with salary retained?

      • I think that’s even more fetched than Bruins fan proposal. Why on earth does Chicago hold all that retention, while taking back players underperforming with full hits? I mean 1 million on Ulmark only?

    • @Bruinsfan

      Is BOS main need in net? Not sure MAF moves tte needle much in BOS. It’s been said that they need help at 2C and LD.

      Aside from their 1st pick and Fabian Lysell what assets are attractive to other teams…and don’t say DeBrusk.

      • All you guys that say someone like DeBrusk jsut need to look at what Sam Bennett has done since leaving CGY. I am not saying he worth a first round pick, but he has scored over 20 goals already (close to 30) and bennett had not and look at him now.

        The one player I would not trade is Lohrei of all the prospects available.

        And the Bruins do not need MAF at all. Sawyman is the man for them. What the Bruins need is size, especially on the back end, and a 2C.

      • Definitely not their main need, but if a guy like Fleury says he wants to be on your team, you should at least look into it. I think he’s a better short term solution, where Ulmark is more long term which is what Chicago needs. Swayman is the Bruins long term solution.
        Like I said, I really don’t think the rumor is true, but it’s interesting. Should be a few assets that Chicago finds desirable.

      • Not totally crazy Brunsfan, as CHI does need a tender longer term, so they get an asset in Ullmark that helps them. Debrusk moving helps the $ work and maybe CHI thinks they can resign him for a more reasonable 2 yr deal. B’s would let them talk prior.
        B’s would need more back, but guys like De Hann can be had.

        All kinds of options if they get into it and creative. Having said that tough to ask Ullmark to waive right after signing him and giving him a NMC, but if he wants to start next year, CHI seems like a place he would.

  4. Chrisms, other than the $750,108 retained on Maatta, which ends this season, they also show at CapFriendly, $2,375,000 in “buried penalty” for Brett Connolly which has one more year to run.

    • Yeah, that means they could retain salary on only two more as 3 is the limit.

      • Interesting. Arizona took on a bunch of soon to be ufa contracts to gain draft picks. Now they’ll probably look to flip at deadline but are already retaining salary on Kuemper and OEL. Will be hard to get rid of.

    • 🤙

    • @GreatGonzo

      Any GM that trades for DeBrusk as a RFA with arbitration rights will have to qualify him with contract at $4.05M…if they don’t qualify him he becomes a UFA much like Ritchie and Kase at the end of last season.

      What GM in their right mind is going to trade for a 3rd line winger with 16 points and carries a $3.65M cap hit?

      Let’s take two former Bruins that have underperformed in the past couple seasons….DeBrusk and Nick Ritchie.

      Dubas identified that Ritchie wasn’t a fit in Toronto and turned him into a depth forward that can play all 3 forward positions and a stay at home RHD. If DeBrusk is in such demand why couldn’t Sweeney parlay him into a similar package? It’s very likely because his contract is not a good value this year and is an unknown for next year…hence limited trade value.
      As I’ve said before the best thing they will get by trading DeBrusk is cap space. A 3rd line winger with 16 points should max out at $1.5M/season

  5. Hopefully Dubais isn’t done , although I am not a fan
    The Leafs second pairing on defence is a disaster .
    Can their new edition help ?
    Muzzin is big time over rated , although I think Keefe believes in him …
    I would put Muzzin in the Nick Ritchie category , as per George’s comments quite awhile ago
    Slow , Slower , Stop !
    Not sure if I am sold on their goaltending , either

  6. Boston just humiliated Colorado game wasn’t close ended 5-1 I and a lot of people had Avalanche in. Up final. Swayman was solid Pasta shot the puck and Hall looked like he did his MVP year. Bruins don’t need to do anything hold the line great team. Marchand will take them up another notch next week wow they are solid.

    • Until this year, I was not a believer in Colorado. But are we basing the fall of Colorado and the rise of Boston on 1 game?

    • B’s hung one on them pretty good, but COL was a tired team and looked like it. Kind of like the Oil last night with a bunch of games in a short stretch.
      But hey, still not a push over by any means and the B’s played well.

      COL may have to get some guys like Goodrow and Coleman as mentioned above if it doesn’t pan out this year. Not many teams I would take over them in the west.

  7. Boston and Colorado will not meet up

  8. Boston has to eliminate the Leafs in 5 and then fall flat to a Florida team! It is a given! LOL!

  9. Leafs looked horrible tonight could have been 8-2 no heart no character need some grit trade one of their floaters for some truculence. Never said fall of Colorado I’m still very high on them I just said Boston embarrassed them tonight without Bad Brad.