NHL Rumor Mill – February 28, 2022

by | Feb 28, 2022 | Rumors | 49 comments

Should the Leafs make a pitch for Marc-Andre Fleury? Which depth players could be the missing piece for Stanley Cup contenders? Could the Rangers add a Sabres defenseman by the trade deadline? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes the Maple Leafs could be among several clubs (Edmonton, Boston, Washington, Colorado) lining up looking to acquire Marc-Andre Fleury from the Chicago Blackhawks. The 37-year-old goaltender wouldn’t mind getting traded to a contending team.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

Simmons expressed concern over Leafs starter Jack Campbell’s recent struggles between the pipes. He’s also dismissive of Petr Mrazek being ready to go if Campbell cannot regain his dominant first-half form, calling him a “bottom-half NHL goalie” who the Carolina Hurricanes let walk for nothing last summer.

Fleury carries an expensive $7 million cap hit this season. The Leafs placed defenseman Jake Muzzin on long-term injury reserve but they’d have to do some maneuvering to bring in the Blackhawks goalie. Nevertheless, Simmons doesn’t see any better alternatives.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury would bring stability and plenty of playoff experience to the Leafs; crease. However, he has a 10-team no-trade clause and it’s possible the Leafs are on it.

If they’re not, it’ll take considerable salary-cap gymnastics by Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas to land Fleury. Dubas reportedly won’t hold Muzzin out of the lineup if he’s healthy enough to return to the Leafs’ lineup before the end of the season.


DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli recently listed five depth players who could help a club win the Stanley Cup as Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow did for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Montreal Canadiens’ Artturi Lehkonen topped the list, followed by Chicago’s Brandon Hagel, Columbus’ Alexandre Texier, Arizona’s Lawson Crouse and San Jose’s Noah Gregor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens don’t have to move Lehkonen by the March 21 trade deadline as he’s a restricted free agent this summer. However, he has arbitration rights and is a year away from becoming eligible for unrestricted free agent status. If he’s only seeking a one-year extension, the Canadiens could ship him out for the right offer by the deadline.

Hagel’s drawn lots of interest because of his age (23), two-way play and affordable $1.5 million annual cap hit over the next two seasons. It’s those factors, however, that could keep him with the Blackhawks, especially if they intend to rebuild after this season. I don’t doubt they’re getting offers for Hagel but it could take a significant one to tempt them into moving him.

Texier’s trade value could be hampered by a recent report indicating he’s still several weeks away from returning from an injured finger. Meanwhile, GOPHNX.com’s Craig Morgan has Crouse on his “no-trade list”, citing his size, two-way play, strong skating and he’s on career highs in almost every statistical category.

Gregor could be available though he hasn’t surfaced in many trade rumors regarding the Sharks. The 23-year-old winger is on a one-year, $750K contract and becomes a restricted free agent this summer.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggested Colin Miller as a possible blueline depth acquisition for the Rangers. The 29-year-old played two seasons under Rangers coach Gerard Gallant with the Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those were also Miller’s best NHL seasons. He lacks no-trade protection and carries a $3.875 million cap hit for this season.


  1. Whats Toronto got to lose
    The pond hockey performance is PROOF , there is a huge problem in goal for the Leafs
    Add a Chara, A Braun out of Phillie…. Just 2 examples , other than Fleury or Valarmov
    At least there is something at the end of the tunnel …
    This is very doable in my opinion , and a FIX to their dilemma ..
    Hopefully their management team will be pro-active

    • There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, but in regard to the future, Dubas may opt to build more tunnel.

      • JZ

        LOL… liked (well …. found it very humorous ) the line re : building more tunnel

        Hoping that tunnel does not get expansion approval

    • Ryan Graves is on my Leafs deadline day wish list.

      Not sure what he would cost. A first? A first and a B-level prostpect? More?

      6’5″ LHD that can play both sides and a year remaining at $3.2M.

      This could be just what they need for a deep run…assuming Campbell can get back to his pre-shutdown form.

    • Leafs know the real season starts soon, so they’re ready to bow out as quick as possible.

  2. Bruins have no interest in MAF. Swayman is 3rd in sv% and 4th in GAA. Maybe he can play 2line ctr 🥸

  3. Now that the bruins have landed the blue liner they needed in Mike Callahan they need to focus on the second line center they need. Although with Sweeney in charge we’ll most likely end up with someone like Karson Kuhlman. Howe did this idiot ever get a job in the nhl

    • Jacobs said your phone was busy when he called you 1st

      • lmao

    • Mr Bruin
      Leafs have a premium second line center for you , Lol
      Make a 911 call to Dubas

      • Ok. Will give you Reilly. Haula. And Foligno 😁

  4. If Marc-Andre Fleury the Chicago Blackhawks. The 37-year-old goaltender is getting traded to a contending team…?

    if its his first choice….❓ he is going home to the Pittsburg Penguins

    Where he wont go is to the Washington Caps🤮

    there is an outside chance he go’s back to

    Sorry Maple Leaf fans….
    No he is not going to Toronto, The Crazy leafs fans they would have 4 starting goalteners all making $11 million if they could🤔
    and still not get it done

  5. Leafs are in on everyone Miller Fleury Claude what they really need is some players who know how to skate backwards and understand defense first. Bruins are in great shape stay the course don’t trade first and just keep winning.

    • What a dope, the bruins if they don’t make any moves will be out in the first round. Patrice will be retired next year. Thank God you’re not running the team.

      • They should be buyers as well as sellers.Their 7th seed is well set up not to be caught by CBJ.I know they have some players with NMC andNTC contracts but anyone with the exception of 73,1 is not an untouchable.They cannot let 37 walk out the door and get nothing for him like Krug and Krecji before him.

  6. Fleury wants to go to a contender, which rules out the leafs.

    Ownership needs to prevent Scooby from trading their first overall pick so that the new GM they hire in the summer can start a new rebuild.

  7. i’m seeing articles stating the Avalanche are thinking of trading Francouz before the trade deadline.If that’s true, I wouldn’t mind, he’s a little shaky with his rebound control and angles it appears watching him? he’s a good goaltender and teammate but I could see packaging him with someone else: Jost/ or Girard. To the Blackhawks for MAF/Hagel; however, see that the Blackhawks love Hagel. So, who knows? As good as the Avalanche are, they really are careless with the puck and it could cost them in the playoffs. Girard is really bad at turning the puck over, he’s small and get’s pushed around too easily but he’s tremendous offensively. What do you do? GO AVS!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Seems reasonable. With 50% retained.

  9. One game in February!! Big deal. Again, who’s listening to Simmonds. Leafs don’t need Fleury. Leafs have the best player in the league.

    • McDavid got traded to the leafs???

      • My bad. The best one dimensional player in the league would be McDavid.

    • we will see come playoffs. Mathews doesnt like the rough stuff and folds like a cheap lawn chair every year. It amazes how so called experts(leaf fans) cant get this through their heads, the only person AM ever bullied around was the female security guard a few summers ago.

      • He’s definitely the best goal scorer in the league. Just ahead of Ovie. Check back in 15 years after he breaks the all time goal scoring record.
        I’d break the bank for him as soon as he’s available as a FA.
        I’d take Willy Nylander as soon as he’s up, as well.

      • Don’t need to be an expert to see Matthews this year has taken another step to being the best all around player in the NHL.

      • He’s not the best all around player yet, but he is certainly trending that way. He’d make a fine Bruin. A fine Bruin indeed!

  10. The Flower on Leafs would be nice…. But I don’t think that moves the needle enough to get out of ATL , let alone East , then they still have to beat Avs (likely)…. and even at 1/2 retained…. $3.5 M in space needed (can’t count on Muzzin space… if he returns… Leafs must be Cap compliant)…. and futures (prospect/pick) needed n trade; depleting futures and still likely a loss in ATL semis , and almost definitely in ATL Div finals

    would love MAF on Pens… very low prop

    Caps.. per most media…. Already been nixed; not a contender; why would MAF change his mind

    Edmonton will certainly make a call… on MAF’s blocked list???

    Bruins will make a call… and certainly would strengthen things

    Avs…. that move would take them from likely Cup fav to Cup fav… they already have a fantastic team

    • If Fleury was dealt at the deadline, they wouldn’t need 3.5 in cap space with 50% retained. That’s not using pro rated cap space.

      Any team acquiring him would only need 1.75 million (approximately) in cap space at the deadline. Toronto shows about 4.5 million deadline space. But I believe that’s assuming Muzzin doesn’t return.

      • I dont think MAF will go to toronto…❓
        Leafs are in on everbody including the Zamboni driver!
        Top choices for MAF, are with good team that can go far in the playoff that needs a tender to help carry load.

        in the East
        #1 Pens,

        in the West
        #2 Vegas if R.L. is still hurt,
        #3 Colorado,

        The rest of the teams are long shots at making it who dont have a very good #1 goaltender,⁉️
        I’m leaning towards the west at this point✔️

      • Hi CO,

        Actually much less than 1.75 in “real” proportionate Cap space— most teams will have ~ 1/4 season left at TDL….retained 50%, then 1/4 year— so “real” cap space is ~ 900K’ish

        The 4.5 M in deadline Cap space is annualized Cap and does include Muzzin on LTIR so it is a mirage

        Easiest way to look at is on CF— as at now— Leafs showing 23 (full roster) players above (not on LTIR) for an annualized Cap of ~ $76.1 M (total of top 3 sections) ; adding Phil K hit….$77.3 (effectively $4.2 M in annualized space).

        If Muzzin comes back, replacing even league min (net ~ 4.8 back on roster) that’s short on annualized Cap, not surplus.

        Unfortunately they don’t allow Cap space to be “banked”…. Pens would have had a ton of space for when Gino was off.

        The net effect is that Muzzin back, the space is very very tight… MAF in at a proportionate $900 K would need to be offset by something (roster player(s) at close to the same proportionate $900 K (which is then someone, or a couple of players, north of $3M as an annual rate)…

        Sorry for the confusion…. I just find it easier looking it at annual hits….as player in has to replace a player out; and the player out is also going to have 1/4 year left… so annual look at Cap is what I was referring to

        Can you imagine what Pens could do with the “banked” Cap space (if it were allowed, dang) from just Gino… he missed 36 Games… that is effectively a $4.2 M annual Cap hit…. and were that banked —-$4.2 M raw at TDL would mean about $16 M in annual Cap hits

        Would love it…. but it just ain’t so

      • HI Williew

        agree that Leafs a long shot

        MAF on Avs…. scary team

        Yep Lehner is down… and Knights are in that bubble territory now

        Not sure he’d want to go back after they jettisoned him… he has trade protection against 10 teams; and it appears that Caps are one of the 10

        He’d want to go to a contender and I’m sure he’d use his list strategically to block potential suitors that he didn’t want to go to (cite Caps)

    • Of all the contending teams there are 3 teams that could use MAF.

      Leafs, Oilers and Caps. They are all teams that could use him to start.

      Then there are 2 teams that could use him as insurance, and that is the Pens and Avs, with possibly the wild on that list.

      No other team IMO makes sense, not even the Bruins. WHat are they going to send swayman to the minors again? or send Ullmark back in the trade?

      • Hi GG

        Caps could certainly use him… but if media reports are correct (many many reporting); he already nixed a trade to Caps…. can’t possibly see him changing his mind

        Not sure if he has Leafs on his “available list”… but that would definitely benfit Leafs…. what goes out to allow for the space?

        Oil could certainly benefit… are they on his “nix” list?

        Lehner is out, and Knights now on the bubble… they could use MAF…. that would be a stretch to see that happening

        MAF on the already loaded Avs team… ouch

        Another team that could benefit is Panthers—Bobo has been much better this year and has had stretches of very good performances; but he has also hit patches of rough starts.

        …. and Panthers don’t have an effective back up

        If Bobo goes down and/or falters… Panthers could lose a 7 game series even with averaging 5 goals a game.

        Personally , MAF on Leafs or Pens…. I’m happy

  11. Edmundson is in a full contact jersey today which could make things interesting if he lines up with Petry.

  12. Leafs need 2 top 4 D and not MAF

    • One for sure, especially a guy who can stay healthy.

  13. I think the Habs are going to move Allen. He’d be a great fit for the Leafs. Chariot amd Allen for….?

    • Matthews

    • You can keep chariot. No thanks

  14. Too bad both Price and Tavares have NMCs.
    Price and a defenseman to TO for Tavares and maybe a pick.

    Bad contracts. Over the hill players. Change of scenery, different fishbowl to enjoy.

    • I like this trade

  15. Avs need defence depth without Bowen. A 6/7 would suffice for injury purposes and a black ace of sorts.
    They really liked Francouz and I recall couple years back they were on their third stringer . Why move him unless someone wants him as a starter and is willing to pay a premium -Washington

    Not a fan of Fleury . I know the numbers , hall of famer humam highlight reel- yaddia yaddia
    Aside from his first cup against Detroit too many critical mistakes at key times. He would be a backup to most of the teams noted except Washington

  16. TL on February 28, 2022 at 2:23 pm
    we will see come playoffs. Mathews doesnt like the rough stuff and folds like a cheap lawn chair every year. It amazes how so called experts(leaf fans) cant get this through their heads, the only person AM ever bullied around was the female security guard a few summers ago.

    Shoreorrpark on February 28, 2022 at 4:03 pm
    He’s definitely the best goal scorer in the league. Just ahead of Ovie. Check back in 15 years after he breaks the all time goal scoring record.
    I’d break the bank for him as soon as he’s available as a FA.
    I’d take Willy Nylander as soon as he’s up, as well.

    • SOP
      Last line in above statement
      Let’s fulfill this request now vs later
      Nylander to Boston and a prospect or a 1st rounder
      In return , Toronto obtains ?
      Make it a 3 way trade

      Toronto requests a capable D
      capable G
      Perhaps Kessel to replace the vacant RW spot on the second line ..

      All Bruin fans , support SOP and help him fulfill his wish !


      • I’d pay this years 1st, for Nylander. Then I’d slot him in at 2C between Pasta and Hall.
        What a line that would be.

    • Those two not remarks , as per TL and SOP
      I am a huge Matthews fan
      I just copied and pasted their recent posting !

      • SOP
        Leafs are in win now mode
        Leafs need a goalie , a D and a right winger to replace your admiration for Nylander
        Leafs can add a first , Dubais has no problem parting with picks

        A first though for Nylander isn’t going to cut it , U know that


  17. Nylander can’t find a corner wouldn’t want him as a Bruin as for Matthews he definitely can play I’m not a fan of his attitude yet. I do believe he will mature and become more humble he is still young. Matthews am sure shoot the puck I think Laine is similar but doesn’t have anyone to play with. Pasta is another young scorer time will tell on all three.

  18. I think I know what SOP meant as per a 1st
    3 way trade , as I proposed and Boston would obtain 1 of Arizona’s , Buffalo’s, NJ, Phillie , Kracken for Nylander ..

    Fine deal , I accept !

    Notice , I didn’t mention the Habs, – St Louise will guide them up the standings before the end of term ..
    Habs are on the right track , Great choice with new mgmt …, a well respected up beat guy behind the bench