NHL Rumor Mill – February 26, 2022

by | Feb 26, 2022 | Rumors | 49 comments

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


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reported a league source said the New York Rangers contacted the Nashville Predators about Filip Forsberg. Sources say the Predators still hope to sign the 27-year-old winger to a contract extension before the March 21 trade deadline. Staple considers Forsberg a high-cost rental who would also be expensive to re-sign.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

Staple also recently examined several potential trade targets for the Rangers. Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell and Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Copp appear the more realistic. He also considered defenseman Andy Greene an intriguing option if New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello waves the white flag on the season.

Staple cites sources saying the Rangers might not be as enamored of Vancouver Canucks forwards Brock Boeser and Conor Garland as they are of former Blueshirt J.T. Miller. Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel has been available for weeks but could be a last resort before the deadline if the Rangers still seek a top-six right winger by that point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Curious the Rangers would look into Forsberg when they’re already deep on the left side. It doesn’t hurt to conduct due diligence. Landing someone like Rakell or Copp seems more realistic if their respective teams fall further out of playoff contention over the next couple of weeks.

The Canucks don’t seem keen on moving Miller but that could change if someone made a substantial pitch. He’d be a good fit with the Rangers because he can play right wing or center, the latter being important for the Blueshirts if they fail to sign pending free-agent center Ryan Strome.


GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan recently listed which Arizona Coyotes players he considers potential trade chips. Topping the list is Jakob Chychrun, who’s been the subject of trade chatter for two months.

Morgan said the Coyotes have yet to receive an offer for the 23-year-old defenseman that would improve their roster. He reminds us the Coyotes aren’t looking to move Chychrun and don’t have to move him considering he’s under contract through 2024-25 with an affordable $4.6 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong confirmed other clubs have expressed interest in Chychrun. He said he had to do his job and listen to offers. “But at this point in time, he’s a Coyote and we love him being a Coyote, and I guess that’s all I can say on that,” he said.

In other words, he’s willing to entertain offers but it’ll take a big offer to tempt him into parting with the young blueliner.

Morgan also said the Coyotes’ asking price for Phil Kessel is a second-round pick but that offer hasn’t materialized. They might have to settle for a third-rounder for the pending UFA winger.

Others on Morgan’s list include forwards Johan Larsson (who could return from injury by the trade deadline), Jay Beagle and Christian Fischer and defenseman Anton Stralman.


THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus consider goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and forwards Dominik Kubalik and Ryan Carpenter among their proposed trade chips for the Chicago Blackhawks. Defensemen Calvin de Haan and Erik Gustafsson were also in that group.

Winger Brandon Hagel has come up in trade rumors thanks to his solid play and affordable contract. However, they consider him among their long shots to be traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hagel isn’t untouchable and I’m sure Blackhawks interim GM Kyle Davidson is keeping his options open. Nevertheless, all reports out of Chicago indicate he’s either not going anywhere or it could take a lucrative trade offer to tempt the Blackhawks into moving him.

I believe the Blackhawks will retain Hagel. He’s 23, carries a $1.5 million annual cap hit through 2023-24 and could be a core part of their rebuild/retool going forward.


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan weighed in on the Maple Leafs placing defenseman Jake Muzzin on long-term injury reserve and how that could help them bolster their roster leading up to the trade deadline. While the move would allow the Leafs to exceed the salary cap by the equivalent of Muzzin’s $5.625 million cap hit, they must be certain he won’t be back for the remainder of the regular season.

If the Leafs use the LTIR savings to add a player or two and Muzzin returns before the end of the regular season, they’ll have to shed salary to ensure they’re cap compliant.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I know I’ve touched on this earlier this week but I feel it’s worth repeating. With Muzzin sidelined by another suspected concussion, there’s no timeline for determining when he’ll be able to return to the lineup. It could be three days, three weeks or three months.

Trying to shed salary after the trade deadline isn’t impossible but it’s very difficult to do. They must ensure they’re not handcuffing themselves cap-wise between March 21 and the end of the regular season on April 29.


  1. Yesterday it was reported kessel was available for a 3rd with 1/2 retained. With no bites. ??? Doubt they get a 2nd

    • teams get desperate by the trade deadline, I bet ARZ will get a 2nd rounder for Kessel on deadline day

    • I have no idea why teams wouldn’t byte on Kessel for only a 2nd if half the salary is retained. He was over a point a game player in Pittsburgh. Is a proven playoff performer and he drives a line which very few wingers do. Kessel was put on the 3rd line in Pittsburgh and turned it into probably the most productive line for them especially in the playoffs. Seems like a really low risk gamble for someone with that potential. I get the whole perception because for some reason he got ripped apart in Toronto even though not only did he lead the team in scoring he made his linemates look like real players. Toronto fans and haters should not be the standard for a players value. See Ken’s comments as an example. I would say a great buy low option for the Rangers and a definite upgrade to there second line.

      • PLEASE don’t use that web-invented word “haters”

      • kessel was awesome–agreed–blozak ruined him—and media–bring him back to toronto for 3rd line

  2. Coop is also listed as a LW. He’s also cracked the 30 point mark once in his career. Kessel and Rackell seem the most likely.

    • Copp has primarily played center.

      He had a respectable year last year, and today with 28 points would be ranked 5th among forwards and 6th overall in scoring on the NY roster.

      Would definitely prefer Miller and or Kessel over Copp, but I don’t think he’d be a bad addition by any stretch.

      I think NY will be adding 2-3 pieces at the deadline. Wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see them add Copp and Kessel + Veteran 3rd pairing d-man.

      I can’t imagine NY feels comfortable going into the playoffs with the combinations of Nemeth Schneider. Jones Schneider or Lundqvist on that 3rd pairing.

      I liked the way Jones / Schneider looked against Washington, but that was one game. I Think they need a veteran to play it safe.

      • Schneider and Jones have played a few games together. No have looked better than Lundkvist and Nemeth or any of the other 3rd pairs. If NY is trading for a center, I’d think someone better than Strome. Is Copp really an upgrade over Chytil, Goodrow, Baron, or Rooney? Does NY want to give up assets for another bottom 6 guy that doesn’t move the needle? If Jets become sellers, I’d be inquiring on Schiefele.

      • I would take Copp over Chytil all day.

        Chytil 5 goals 7 assists. 42% in the circle. 245 fo’s taken.

        Copp 12 goals 16 assists 53% in the circle. 546 fo’s taken.

        I dare say he’s an upgrade on that bottom 6 at center over most.

        I wasn’t suggesting Copp be a Strome replacement. Strictly a rental. He’s a pending UFA.

        Ranger top 6 are fine. Could use a top 6 RW. But it’s not the top 6 that should be concerning. That bottom 6 heading down the stretch is a major concern that needs to be addressed.

        They’re not going far unless they get improvement on the bottom 6 production.

      • I’m not a big fan of Chytil either, but I’m not sure I’d move on from him yet. Copp could be a decent rental depending on cost to aquire but, I feel if we can add a scoring RW, and get Kakko back, that’ll push guys down to bottom 6. Hunt was on 2nd line yesterday. Goodrow for a few games before that.

  3. The Yotes are waiting for their 1st big offer for Chychrun—here it is from the Blues:

    2023 1st
    2022 4th
    Scott Perunovich (#1 prospect)
    Klim Kostin (1st rounder)
    Marco Scandella (for cap purpose)

    • That a pretty big offer. I P.

    • He ain’t worth it. Anybody that gives up that much better be getting a young Karlsson. Chychrun is good but not that good.

      • RWM and MrB,

        I’m hoping/betting on him going “from good to great” playing on the Blues. Also a real good contract for a couple more years.

        I AM uncomfortable with the offer just like both of you, and I think I pull the 4th rounder off the table.

        Still too much? Maybe another prospect INSTEAD of Kostin? Bill Armstrong knows all of the Blues prospects—he drafted them!

    • Iowa Prince..I know the Penguins dont seem in our chychrun but they should be..

      What do you think of this deal….

      To Pittsburgh Chychrun
      To Arizona Kapanen Marcus Peterson 1st rou dpick this year. A second next year


      • It looks like a trade Pittsburgh give up players that aren’t very useful to Pittsburgh.

        I think this deal gets easily beat by every team out there shopping.

        The ask is supposedly much much higher than spare parts a team no longer finds useful.

        They’re not taking Pettersson. Think POJ, think Poulin +.

  4. I would think the Leafs focus would be on adding a minute eating physical #3 or 4 defenceman or an upgrade in goal before trying to add Miller.

    Torontos issues are from the blueline back and if Dubas fails to improve the roster there it will likely cost him his and Keefes jobs should the Leafs fail to advance come playoff time.

    • RJ,

      Does Marco Scandella meet your criteria, or is he too expensive at over $3 million? Maybe Dermott in return?

    • Why? Why would that cost them their jobs? Are the favored to beat either Florida teams or even Carolina…there’s almost no doubt they will be facing one of these teams.

      Having built a team with its core of stars all under 25 and being a top team for the past few seasons and rebuilding the whole organization from top to bottom something you throw away?

      Is that what you’d expect from your teams owners?

      • I would expect results, playoff results. If the results I expect and am paying for arent there then as the owner Id make changes.

        If the Leafs have a roster of “stars” as you put it then who is responsible for the glaring lack of success?

        The players? The coach? The management team that collected all the “star” players?

        Who do you hold to account? The accountability lies with the one installing the teams approach/systems to the game (Keefe) and the one responsible for assembling the roster (Dubas).

        If youre going to give a pass to the coach and the GM for failure then who do you deem responsible?

        Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

        Per the Toronto Sports Network, Leafsnet and every other media outlet in the GTA the Leafs are the Cup favorite every season. So why wouldnt heads roll at anything less than a Stanley Cup triumph?

        Thank you for your clearly well thought out in depth analysis. Greatly appreciated.

      • I’m filing that under “wish I said that” Ron.

      • Hey George O and Ron Jull, not sure where all the animus comes from when it’s Toronto, but they are a good team and a good organization who plays an unproven non-physical playoff style. True they haven’t won a round but have come close. Imagine if every team played like the islanders – would you even watch hockey? I probably wouldn’t. And if playoff results were the only measure of success then there are 31 failed franchises every year.

    • Ristolainen as a leaf would be amazing

  5. I have said it many times J.T. Miller would be the last Canuck forward I trade unless we are burning it to the ground.
    Could be the long term solution at 2c for the Rangers but it will be very very expensive at this point in time . I think Boeser more likely to be traded by Vancouver.

    • Well said Wawman 93. Some people just can’t stand it when toronto gets more attention and are favored more. I think toronto has a really good team and I hope the additions like Bunting will get us over the hump in playoffs. I would like a trade for a another veteran d like brodie.

  6. Rasmus Ristolainen Would be a nice add for the Bruins not a LD but a player they need on the blue add a Chara to him plus a rugged Winger

    • Joe,

      Crazy to think about but how about a Krug return to the Bruins??

      Krug + Dakota Joshua (rugged?physical)


      DeBrusk + Frederic

      • Krug is to small to be a top pair defensemen.They need a true 2 to play with Mcavoy.We have a clone of Krug in Greyzlk.

      • Krug 6.5 per fir 6 years I’ll pass…. Good regular season is a huge target in the playoffs

    • Would rather Chychrun but Rasmus would be a great addition And If it doesn’t include a number one pick Giordano would be an excellent fit a little bit old but watching him the other night this guy is still a very good defenseman.

    U R BANG ON !!!
    With the defense and goaltender issues
    And YES , I do believe the board of directors will finally step in if there is another early playoff exit

    Craig Button even elaborated on this EXACT Topic !
    His exact words , does Miller play Defense

    Very possible , having to play Tampa or Florida in the 1st Round ..

    It’s so annoying when I get comments on here , with stats , saying how great this team is , and I am not a real Leaf fan
    I am a realist, a frustrated fan without a cup for “55” years

    I am not a fan of Dubais , he has been a hindrance to this team , trading Kadri , major upgrade to Tavares
    Trading a 1st and a 4th for Foligno
    Mrazek signing
    Marchment trade
    List goes on and on
    Procrastination on signing Marner and Matthews
    Marner agreed to sign for 3 mil less a year earlier , 1 million more than Nylander – FACT !

    • Since you used the word fact, you should start with properly spelling the GM’s name right. When you don’t, I and others like me won’t bother replying since we have seen our share of “fans” like you.

    • Hindsight, Ken. Simply Hindsight. He’s done more good than bad.

    • When you pay JT 11m & no cup it’s the problem. Is he good yes but 11m worth never. The domino effect will cost Dubas his job &/or Shanahan if he doesn’t fire him.

      JT’s contract won’t age well tying up so much cap.

  8. Ron Moore

    R U a grammar teacher
    I think there is soccer game on

    Russia vs North Korea , more up your alley

  9. 2021 – 1st round exit against montreal , up 3 games to 1
    2020 – The all mighty Columbus Blue Jackets , 1st round exit
    2019 – Bruins – 1st round exit
    2018 – Bruins -1st round exit
    2017 -Washington -1st round exit
    2016- Washington – 1st round exit !

  10. Ron Jull on February 26, 2022 at 3:13 pm
    I would expect results, playoff results. If the results I expect and am paying for arent there then as the owner Id make changes.

    If the Leafs have a roster of “stars” as you put it then who is responsible for the glaring lack of success?

    The players? The coach? The management team that collected all the “star” players?

    Who do you hold to account? The accountability lies with the one installing the teams approach/systems to the game (Keefe) and the one responsible for assembling the roster (Dubas).

    If youre going to give a pass to the coach and the GM for failure then who do you deem responsible?

    Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    Per the Toronto Sports Network, Leafsnet and every other media outlet in the GTA the Leafs are the Cup favorite every season. So why wouldnt heads roll at anything less than a Stanley Cup triumph?

    Thank you for your clearly well thought out in depth analysis. Greatly appreciated.


  11. Leafs problem in my opinion is they do not have any heart character truculence they are a team that folds when going gets tuff. They need a few more players that hate to lose.

    • Sounds like they need a real captain.

    • Hey Obe, I agree with you completely. For some reason the Toronto’s identity doesn’t include physical play. To me it’s like playing with one hand tied behind your back, especially come playoff time. I think it’s the principal reason Toronto hasn’t won in the playoffs, where obstructing and slowing down the opposition are rarely penalized. I’m pretty sure the final four playoff teams last year were coincidently also the top 4 hitting teams. And if you don’t hit in the regular season you probably aren’t going to hit in the playoffs. And for those who think you need to be big to hit that’s garbage. Hitting is all about technique, balance, speed and timing, not size.

    • I think you’re bang on Obe. That Ken guy reference the teams they lost the playoffs against. But 2016 first year after they finished last. Should they beat Washington. They took a far better Boston team to game 7 twice so is it really an expectation that they win that. The only playoff series they should have one was the Montreal series . He states the issues are goaltending, Nylander and Tavares. Campbell had better numbers then Price in that series, Nylander led the team in scoring and Tavares was hurt and didn’t play more than a couple minutes. Seems like none of those things were the issue. Also Montreal beat Winnipeg and Vegas. Those teams should of beat them as well. It’s not size, toughness or any of that old person hickey garbage. It’s heart and the will to find a way to win no matter what. That comes with age and experience. Tpok Tampa Bay, Washington, St. Louis ect… almost 10 years from the time they started a true rebuild to win their cup. Toronto started in 2016 after drafting Matthews. If they don’t win bor show something real around 2025-2026 I’ll start to worry. People need to relax.

  12. What the Heck
    We had this conversation before
    Here we go again ….
    Ask any Bruin fan what happened , as per the previous Boston – Toronto series
    Toronto Choked !
    U forgot to mention the Columbus – Toronto series – They were out coached … Torts there a blanket over them , a system and disciplined play
    Ask anyone what their opinion is on here , regarding Nylander and Tavares ..
    Both over paid , Nylander is a floater , Tavares – Slow, slower, Stop , a. boat anchor .. They are in quick sand with his albatross contract !
    Stop with previous stats – Campbell has tanked in the last couple of months , showing he is not a capable starting goaltender .Please move on ….
    U R out of your league with your comments …
    U really think the Leafs are going to get out of the first round this year ..
    I repeated Ron Jull’s literature ..
    Read it !!
    Digest It !!!
    Very, Very Informative

    • Columbus wasn’t the playoffs. Don’t let facts hurt you though. Boston was by far a better team and were supposed to win those series. Same for Washington. That’s an absolute fact Ron. Another fact is that Campbell had a better save percentage and GAA then Price did in the first playoff round so again fact that he wasn’t why Toronto lost. Nylander was also the leading point getter from both teams in that series another fact he wasn’t why they lost. Tavares was hurt early in the first game so again another fact that he wasn’t why the leafs lost. So please go watch another team. You’re the Rick of the leafs. You should join him and cheat for Boston. You obviously don’t know your hockey at all or you just like to ignore actual facts to give your clearly outdated and out of touch opinion. Like Obsay facts are facts. Opinions are just Opinions.

      • Who’s talking about Campbells , Tavares , Nylander , as per their performances against Montreal .

        You have a serious learning disability !!

        I am talking about Nylander , Tavares , Campbell in general .Tavares got hurt early in the Montreal series , he wasn’t a contributor , u don’t think everyone knows this. U r an absolute “moron!”
        I still think Nylander would be elite trade bait, maybe , maybe not , not likely to be traded , I think Dubas promised him he wouldn’t trade him?
        Tavares , U R stuck with , no body is going. To touch that contact within a 10 ft pole
        Think of all of the elite centres in this league , not making the money – Tavares makes .
        Leafs are too top heavy – 4 players making half of their cap , mind boggling .
        The core will have to be broken up, this is a given

        Now , what the heck , go put on your Tavares – Toronto Maple Leaf pyjamas , have a dish of warm milk and enjoy tonight’s hockey game – Leafs are up 7- 1

        Keep your opinions to yourself , U keep talking about facts , U R not even relating the pertinent facts to which I am portraying …

        I would love to meet you in person , you absolute imbecile , illiterate garbage can !!!

        I don’t want to hear u on here anymore in regards to me .
        U R a distant memory , a pea brain , a nuisance to society , I could just imagine !!!

      • Yep you know someone realizes they lost the argument when they get to name calling. I guess you’re not even reading your own posts. You state over and over again that goaltending, Nylander and Tavares are why we can’t win yet I clearly and with absolute fact prove that they are not why we lose in the playoffs. You shouldn’t
        comment at all let alone respond to my posts. You also sound really angry maybe it’s the leafs doing that to you so you should really change teams. Can I suggest the Bruins. You can start the grumpy league with Rick.

  13. Correction : As per what the heck
    The last thing I would want to do is meet you in person !!
    I had a weak moment ..
    Bad enough , having to hear you on here…
    Error , on my part , that’s a given
    U R the last person I would ever want to even talk about , let alone meet
    As per your last blurp, U mentioned , facts are facts ,
    Your delusional facts ! Columbus wasn’t in the playoffs ????
    Indeed they were – 2020
    U R not worth communicating with , an ABSOLUTE JOKE

    • You think the play in round in 2020 was the playoffs. Yep I’m delusional. Can someone please explain to Ken how the 2020 play in round worked and how it was to qualify to make the playoffs and was in fact not the playoffs apparently I can’t get through to him.

  14. OMG – Perfect handle for you !!

    U have a serious problem !
    Do you take medication !

    Delusional !!
    Crazy Person !!

    • Ken doll is the new TROLL. Lose an argument? Yes? Throw some insults.

      Ken’s points aren’t worth reading unless you think the same old recycled trash and non facts interest you or like being chastised by a person with a child mentality.