NHL Rumor Mill – February 3, 2022

by | Feb 3, 2022 | Rumors | 38 comments

Will the Canucks trade J.T. Miller or Conor Garland? What’s the latest Canadiens and Jets speculation? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma believes whether to trade or keep J.T. Miller is the biggest question facing the Vancouver Canucks’ new management. The 28-year-old forward is their leading scorer and is signed through 2022-23 with a palatable $5.25 million salary-cap hit. If he’s extended, it could be a long-term deal worth over $7 million per season.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

The versatile Miller is also drawing plenty of interest in the NHL trade market. He could be the first chip to play in a retool, rebuild or refresh of the roster. The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins are believed among the clubs linked to Miller.

Canucks president Jim Rutherford wants those trade offers early because his trade leverage could diminish if his club falters over the next month. Kuzma believes Rutherford could get a first-round pick, prime prospect and a center for Miller right now.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL pro scout telling him the Canucks love the Bruins’ top prospect Fabian Lysell. He believes that’s what it could take for them to acquire Conor Garland from Vancouver. The Bruins had an interest in Garland last summer before he was shipped to the Canucks by the Arizona Coyotes.

Murphy also noted the rumors tying the Bruins to Miller. He believes Lysell would also have to be part of the return for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford and his management staff aren’t under pressure to move Miller or Garland before the trade deadline. With both players under contract for next season, they have the luxury of waiting until the offseason if they don’t receive any suitable offers by deadline day.

However, they’ll seriously listen if the Bruins pitch Lysell as part of an offer for Miller or Garland. The Bruins prospect is enjoying a solid rookie season with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, leading them with 13 goals in 26 games and is tied for their points lead with 32.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski wonders if Jeff Petry might be a good fit with the Penguins. He notes the 34-year-old Canadiens defenseman wants out of Montreal and is in the first year of a four-year contract with an annual average value of $6.25 million.

Colleague Jimmy Murphy reports the Canadiens’ asking price is a second-round pick and a top prospect. Kingerski suggests Petry could help improve the right side of the Penguins’ blueline as well as provide insurance in case Kris Letang departs this summer as a free agent. He proposed offering up their second-rounder and young defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens might listen to that offer, especially if they don’t have to retain salary or toss in a sweetener to get it done. Joseph, 22, was a fine puck-moving defenseman during his junior days with the Charlottetown Islanders and still has the potential to become a top-four NHL blueliner.

Cap Friendly indicates the Penguins will have $4 million in deadline cap space, enough to take on Petry’s remaining cap hit for this season. That’s assuming the Penguins aren’t on his no-trade list and they can fit Petry and Letang on their roster for next season, especially as they’ve also got Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust to re-sign or replace.

Of course, this is mere spitballing by Kingerski and myself. The Penguins could be considering different options leading up to the March 21 trade deadline while the Canadiens could get better offers from another NHL club.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli speculated winger Artturi Lehkonen could fetch a first-round pick if he and the Canadiens part ways. He said there are teams that view him as this year’s version of Blake Coleman or Barclay Goodrow, who helped the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau believes changes are coming for the struggling Winnipeg Jets as they’ve failed to improve since Paul Maurice stepped down as head coach in December. Their defense has failed to make up for an offense that’s gone dry while goaltender Connor Hellebucyk isn’t his usual dominant self this season.

Proteau wonders if general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is the right person to be making the decisions that could bring about change. They’ve got over $71 million invested in 12 players for next season with Paul Stastny and Andrew Copp due to become unrestricted free agents while Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kristian Vesalainen are among their slew of restricted free agents.

The Jets have some talented players to hang onto. However, they need to determine what parts of their core they should consider shopping in the trade market.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre observed Jets center Mark Scheifele hasn’t been the same since getting suspended from last year’s playoffs for running Montreal Canadiens forward Jake Evans. He’s been a shell of himself this season, appearing disengaged and disinterested. Pierre-Luc Dubois has outplayed him this season and will get a significant raise this summer.

McIntyre wondered if a change of scenery might be in the best interest of Scheifele and the Jets. He’s two years away from becoming an unrestricted free agent and could still fetch a handsome return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Scheifele would certainly shake up the Jets roster and he would bring in a significant return. However, The Athletic’s Murat Ates doesn’t believe they should trade him simply because of one sub-par season.

Cheveldayoff could share Ates’ opinion about Scheifele. Nevertheless, he’ll have to do something in the offseason. He doesn’t have to blow up the roster but changes are needed for a club that’s been slowly declining since reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2018.


  1. Re Petry on Pens

    Certainly would be an upgrade but I just can’t see them fitting him in

    The $4M in DL Cap space is artificial as Zucker is LTIR…. It looks like he’d be back before year end; meaning acquisition of Petry and even with Zucker buried (can only bury $1.08 M) Pens considerably over theCap

    Petry certainly won’t be put at 1RD this year; and I’d be lying if I thought Sully would permanently move Marino to 3RD

    If that was the case…. Over $6 M for 3RD (Petry in CR out) is a stretch

    Would love Petry on Pens…. But I think it is a long stretch

    If Pens do get him…. Tanger is almost impossible to re-sign…. Artificially sending a signal to the team core … we favour Petry over Tanger …. Not good

    Pens 100% need an upgrade at 3RD…. but much less expensive options are out there

    The other thing is that Pens should definitely not give up P-O J…. I see him in at 3LD next year; moving up Matheson; trading Pettersson…. Freeing up $3M+ in Cap space

    • Pretty good summation. Unless matheson or petterson move I can’t see it. A second and matheson might be a fair deal for both.

      Of course it’s kingurski. Used to do a nice radio show but pretty out to lunch on his pens predictions over the years.

      • Agree Chrisms

        Sometimes Kingerski hits it right… more oft’ (lately) wrong

  2. Fabian Lysell is considered Boston top prospect; he was also label the fastest skater in his draft glass; his biggest weakness was reported to be his shot.

    I don’t know how well he’ll develop in the NHL or if he does at all.

    I don’t see Boston as a realistic cup contender; yes if the add a second line center helps but with that defense its not going far.

    Better off holding onto your number 1 asset and have him develop to help lead the future.

    • As a Bruins fan I love trades but not for either of these two forwards. Lysell could be another Barzell or Pastrnak. The Bruins are not blessed with many other top prospects. This would be a desperation move for a team trying to get into the playoffs-the Bruins are a lock at the 4th place position with no clubs they can catch ahead of them and no one behind them to threaten them. Trade for a less expensive puck-moving defenseman. Lysell as PART of a package-no way!

  3. Jeff Petry? To Pittsburgh? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO Pens have plenty of geezers already …

    Guess I’m a little early, expecting Bruin fanboy trade proposals like Chiarot, Caufield, Romanov, Anderson, Drouin, Gallagher & Carey Price for John Klinberg …

    • Good one, Ed. Keep em coming.
      How about one about minorities or women in sports?

      • He still thinks your proposal wasn’t partially tongue in cheek.

      • It was fairly obvious wasn’t it? I need to work on my delivery, I suppose.
        LJ missed it to, and he’s generally on top of his game. That pickleball remark stung a little.

      • Nice SOP.
        Pickleball is crossing the line, I understand why it would cause an emotional response.

  4. I like Lehkonen but he’s one of those players who always leaves you expecting more. He’s the type of player who’s good enough that you don’t want to lose him for nothing but not that good that he’s a difference maker.

    As he showed during last years playoffs, he’s a valuable bottom 6 forward on a contending team. Does a lot of things well but his offense is limited. The Habs won’t be a contending team for a few years.

    Lehkonen can be a UFA in July, 2023. I expect that there will be a team offering more money and term than the Habs. If they can get a 1st for him, do it.

  5. RE: Petry to PIT

    Kingerski made a good effort in his article but didn’t take the Habs’ needs into considerations when suggesting Joseph. MTL’s deepest prospect position is LD. They are after scoring forwards or right-handed defensemen, preferably ready to make the jump and contribute at the NHL level.

    • Thinking Petry would be a better option for the Pens this summer, if Letang does not come down on his contract demands.

      • It would be an interesting buy low opportunity for the pens if tanger leaves. And it’s possible tanger leaves for the habs.

        Man I hope tanger just resigns.

      • Agree JZ

        I still think (and hope) Tanger re-ups

        If so… Petry fit (at his Cap hit) just isn’t there IMHO

        Now Tanger signing elsewhere (if he does… more than likely Habs)…. and again I hope that he doesn’t…. Then yes Petry in at cheaper Cap is a worthwhile look

  6. Scheifele is trade bait?!?!?!?! NYR, Boston and the Wild would immediately be interested. But I imagine that the price would be similar to JT’s….EXPENSIVE!! NYR would have the edge as they have cap space and assets to spare.
    Kaako, Kravtsov and a 2nd should do it though!

    And I can’t see Boston giving up Lysell.

    • Last year the Jets had offence but no defence. This year it doesn’t appear that they have either. Something has to change.

    • I would think it would be more then JT. Bruins should go after. Staz. Probably cost a 2nd rd pic. Maybe a low prospect or young player
      He won’t break the bank and they will still have assets to find the LD

      • Did Schiefele have Covid at any point? Or a concussion?
        His drop off seems strange.

      • It is strange BCLeafFan.
        Did he have Connor on his wing until this year?
        Seems that guy drives the offence these days.
        Plus Wheeler has been out for a big chunk of the season.

        Caper – what’s the deal with Schiefele?

      • That is all the B’s need! Shouldn’t be too bad on the budget either!
        DeBrusk and a2nd for Staz if DeBrusk will sign a 1yr x $3M prove it deal.

      • Maybe you have a chance to snag Stanley as well for a 3rd or Studnicka

      • Why would he Johnny? He gets qualified at 4.4 or he gets to hit ufa and sign with highest bidder. No incentive to sign a prove it deal.

      • I think Johnny was being sarcastic?

      • Ray, i spoke with a few Jet fans, the main problem for Scheifele is PLD. Pierre has assume the role of number 1 C in Winnipeg.

        Scheifele only see Hellebuyck after a win when they skate down to celebrate.

        Some feel he has checked out and playing disinterested.

        With Paul Maurice behind the bench this was Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele team. It’s not anymore.

        A quick glance at the +/- stats, Scheifele is a team worst -12 , Beaulieu -8, Wheeler -4

        Scheifele is a selfish player who likes to score goals but does not back check, even to cover up his own giveaways.

        He isn’t committed to the defensive side of the game.

        Winnipeg needs a lot more out of him if they are going to have any success.
        The Nik Ehlers injury doesn’t help, a very creative hockey player who can generate offense on his own.

      • “Scheifele is a selfish player who likes to score goals but does not back check”
        He back checked Jake Evans into the hospital!! LOL

      • Was he? I’ve seen him post the debrusk prove it stuff before.

    • Braden Schneider and Laferriere would be a start. We could thrown in Copp if it is at trade deadline.

    • No on kaako. Chytil instead

  7. Lehkonen for a first round pick – really ? Take it and run. Bennett last year two seconds. Not a chance and Not in the same class as Goodrow or Coleman

    Jets need something . Very good on paper but looming like no post season this year. Wheeler is the captain and change needs to start there. Not with Scheifele

  8. Hmm that Jets team. What an enigma. The Sens need a good veteran winger to play with Stu. Is there anyone from Winnipeg who needs a change of scenery?

    We have trucks!!!

  9. LOL. And Horns!

    Since Maurice stepped away from coaching in mid-December, the Jets have gone 5 6 2 in the 13 games played, with 9 in that stretch postponed for varying reasons.

    Hard to get any flow with that kind of disrupted schedule, I suppose – but yeah, maybe it’s time to start shaking up the roster a bit. Nothing ventured nothing gained, the things are shaping up.

  10. Scheifele not a Jet is hard to imagine…. Longshot by TDL IMHO

    Would he have a big upswing elsewhere… methinks yes certainly

    Scheifele at 2C on Bruins….. scary thought (say all other Eastern teams)

    Bruins fans,

    Miracle if it ever happened … but if the two roster players going back (for cap reasons) are DeBrusk and Foligno (yes I realize he’d have to waive his NMC…. but this IS a longshot proposal)…. What are the extras that Bruins would need to give…. A lotto protected 1st in ‘22 is a given…. What else ????

    • Pengy, it would cost more than they have to offer if they took Foligno as well.
      Just spit balling
      A first, their best prospect, next best prospect..

      Problem is other teams have better prospects.

      Looking at you NYR

      • True Ray

        Rangers are loaded with assets to make a deal

        If they (Bruins) are only sending DeBrusk… can Bruins reasonably fit in the Cap differential this year and expected in out years?

        I certainly don’t want Scheifele on either Rangers or Bruins

        Another Central Div club or Pac Div club is fine

    • “… but if the two roster players going back (for cap reasons) are DeBrusk and Foligno”

      Which is why this deal NEVER happens.

      • Trade Debrusk. Reilly unprotected 1st and either. Frederick or studnicka

  11. Scheifele hasn’t been the same since the devastating hit put on him by Jake Evans.:p