NHL Rumor Mill – February 4, 2022

by | Feb 4, 2022 | Rumors | 53 comments

Will the Flyers trade Claude Giroux? What are the latest Blues clues? Can the Avalanche afford to re-sign Nazem Kadri? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I underwent surgery on Thursday to repair tendon damage in my right wrist. I will attempt to provide daily updates to the site as usual during my 10-14 day convalescence but my usual comments on notable headlines and trade/free agent rumors could be shorter and fewer. Some of you will probably be thankful for that (insert wink emoji here). Anyway, please bear with me if uploads are a little later than usual over the next week or two.

Now, on to today’s rumors…


PHILLY.COM: Giana Han, Olivia Reiner and Gus Elvin recently broke down the Philadelphia Flyers roster. In their opinion, this club needs to do more than retool its roster but that could depend on what happens with captain Claude Giroux.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

Giroux is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The 34-year-old carries a full no-movement clause. Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher recently said it’s Giroux’s decision whether he wants to stay or go by the March 21 trade deadline.

A life-long Flyer, Giroux has indicated in the past his desire to finish his career in Philadelphia. Given the club’s current plight, however, the opportunity to play for a Stanley Cup contender could be hard to pass up. The Flyers would likely recoup a first-round pick and a top prospect for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux will draw lots of interest from playoff contenders if he agrees to waive his NMC before March 21. Daily Faceoff’s Mike McKenna suggested he could help the Calgary Flames as a second- or third-line center.

The club’s untouchables include goaltender Carter Hart, 21-year-olds Joel Farabee and Cam York, and veterans Sean Couturier and Ryan Ellis. Likely to return are Cam Atkinson, Scott Laughton, James van Riemsdyk and Kevin Hayes.

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, Travis Sanheim and Oskar Lindblom have had ups and downs over the past two seasons. They’re signed beyond this season and while they could be traded their youth and potential suggests they’ll be retained.


THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford was asked if St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko still wants to be traded in a recent mailbag segment. His understanding of the situation is it will be addressed in the offseason. It’s believed his request still stands but it makes little sense trading him now as he and the team are playing well.

Rutherford was also asked about the trade market for defensemen. He indicated the Blues have scouted Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot and Anaheim Ducks blueliner Hampus Lindholm. They’ve also faced Seattle Kraken rearguard Mark Giordano twice this season. Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun is also available but will be expensive to acquire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko’s not going anywhere this season unless things go very wrong for the winger and the Blues before the trade deadline. It’ll be easier to move him this summer if he still wants to go because his actual salary for next season is $5.5 million.

Any attempt to acquire Chychrun could depend upon whether Tarasenko will still be with the Blues next season. The Coyotes winger carries an affordable $4.6 million annual cap hit but it could prove a tight fit squeezing him into their cap payroll if Tarasenko is still around.


NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien wondered if the Colorado Avalanche will sign Nazem Kadri to a new contract before he becomes eligible for unrestricted free agent status this summer. The 31-year-old center is enjoying a career-best season thus far, sitting tied with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for third place in the NHL scoring race with 60 points in 41 games.

O’Brien points out the Avalanche has over $26 million in cap space for next season. While they could squeeze in a big raise for him, they also have long-term considerations such as re-signing superstar Nathan MacKinnon before his contract expires in 2023. He expects Kadri will seek a big raise, pointing out he recently changed agents.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri will seek much more than the current $4.5 million annual cap hit on his current contract. Given his age, the Avs won’t want to pay too much or for too long. He’s likely going to hit the open market if his asking price is north of $6 million annually for more than four years.


  1. Wishing you a swift and complete recovery, be well Lyle!

  2. Lyle,

    Best thoughts for a speedy recovery.

  3. Kadri putting up those numbers is sure to ask for North of $6M; and at 31… I’d think he’d want 5 years

    It will come down to wether he’ll take a “hometown” (current team) discount to stay with a contender

    More or less a Cap flattening expected…. and Mac K will be looking to get close to $12 M per (maybe more??)… can re-up this summer… next contract to start fall ‘23

    Note: EJ $6 M off the books after ‘22/‘23

    • Man I remember when UFA status was 31 years of age and players got these contracts on mass. I hate the salary cap, he is a top 20 forward flat out. I really like him in Philly that team needs to reset more than anyone else in the east. Kadri will get his money and earn it!

      • With Giroux off the books+Risto+Jones they might have cap space but Farabee+Couturier new deals kick in. We see if Kadri follows the $ or signs with a contender. Flyers need more than just adding Kadri who yes would be an instant fan fav

      • Kadri is playing exceptional hockey at the moment. But top 20 forward in the NHL?

        Over the last 2 years he ranks 25th in scoring (60 of those 92 points coming this year).

        Going back 3 years he falls outside the top 50. I don’t think he makes the top 20 in anyones book.

    • @ Pengy….Hey check this deal out I think it helps both clubs out..

      To Vancouver RW 25 Kaspari Kapanen UFA $ 3.2 million Plus a third round pick.

      To Pittsburgh C 26 Tyler Motte $1.25 UFA
      RHD 32 Luke Schenn $850,000

      Rutherford loves Kapanen game and he needs a change of scenery

      Penguins get a good physical, net front presence center in Tyler Motte (Carter can stay with Malkin)

      Penguins also get that steady, physical, stay at home RHD for our third pairing and we save $ 1 million..

      works for both teams…

      • With all the love Rutherford has for Pittsburgh players, he’s surely in for a very rewarding Valentine’s Day!

        Here’s to hoping he’s not diabetic! His Valentines box will be overflowing!

      • Hi BNG

        Certainly would love to see Schenn on Pens instead of CR

        Big improvement

        Motte would be just a depth add…. Not really giving much at all to Pens. Pens already have several depth players better than Mott

        The deal is overpay by PENS IMHO (wouldn’t have to give up the 3rd for sure)

        If they are trading with ‘Nucks…. Schenn plus Halak should be the “package” targets

        HexBurkie needs to call Jimbo and ask what it will take

        If Jimbo says Zucker…. Take it and run

        Zucker certainly not anywhere near what Miller brings…. But Zucker on ‘Nucks; allows Jimbo to move Miller and get a good haul for him

        Looks like ‘Nucks are longshot for playoffs this year….

        With the trade

        Zucker in for Miller (this year and next)

        Halak replaced by Martin

        Schenn replaced by Keeper OR Juulsen OR Bowey OR Woo

        and ‘Nucks save in long term cap and cash AND get a first , young roster, and prospect (what media has proposed for Miller)

        Pens send down DeSmith and CR; replaced by Halak and Schenn; and even with Halak’s PB added to Cap hit; save Cap space

        Note: Halak has to approve the trade though

    • Pengy..did you see my proposal Vancouver Pittsburgh?

      To Vancouver 25 kaspari kapanen ufa $3.2 plus chad rudwhedel
      Or a 4th round pick

      To Pittsburgh. Tyler motte 26. ufa $1.25 plus. luke schenn 32 ufa $850,000

  4. Wishing you a rapid, smooth recovery to full health Lyle

  5. “Damaged goods” Tarasenko: 40 points in 40 games. On pace for another 30 goal season. A lot of teams kicking themselves.

    • Yes he would have looked good in a spoked B.

    • I guess the criticisms of the medical procedures surrounding his 3 different shoulder injuries was misplaced?

      • George. I’d say Tarasenkos criticism of 1st 2 procedures by team doctors was well placed. 3rd surgery done by someone outside the organization seems to have corrected problem.

      • Slick62 – see the link I posted below and the excerpt from it that indicates the 3 surgeries were NOT for the same issue.

    • Hindsight is a wonderful thing, when it works out in your favor. But let’s not pretend for one second it couldn’t have gone the other way.

      He missed the better part of two seasons. He’s 30 years old (multiple shoulder surgeries) and was carrying a two year contract @ 7.5 per cap hit.

      Seattle passed at zero cost. So I don’t think GMs are tossing on their pillows at night wondering “what if”.

      Imagine giving up assets and it went the other way? I’d imagine that would have gms tossing on their pillows!

      • Captain Obvious…I know Pengy talks about Rutherford loving this player and that player but he truly likes Kapanens game.

        He traded for him and gave up a lot just like he gave up a lot for Zucker.

        He gave up a first round pick which was 15 th overall, Filip Hallander and Evan Rodriques to acquire him so..he likes his game.

        Kapanen is a young talented young forward and is what Rutherford is trying to do..

      • Well that worked out because Rodrigues ended up back in Pittsburgh.

        Do you think he’d take a mulligan on that deal today in hindsight? I do.

        Kapenen isn’t bad, but I’m not so sure a GM pulls the trigger on a bad deal twice who’s name isn’t Lou Lamoriello.

        Lou will have great interest when he’s 38 and on his last legs. Maybe there’s a deal there?

  6. Feel better big guy! While I read every day I don’t say thank enough, what’s a Canadian supposed to do in February other than stress over the Oilers and Leafs.

  7. Get well Lyle

  8. Here’s to hoping Lyle has a Tarasenko like recovery.

    Not the first 3 like recovery, just the last one.

    • Ya CO, once again the player went his own way with the surgery.
      This time after team directed one failed, twice.

      Don’t blame him for wanting to move on.

      • Ray, you have to wonder – judging by this article and the excerpt shown – if his initial demands made through the media did not stem from sheer frustration at not being able to perform.


        “It was a long period without playing hockey, but most important, we needed to get it fixed and get it done and get it healthy again,” Tarasenko told stlouisblues.com. “The doctors in Vail, Colorado did a great job, the Blues doctors did a great job, everybody was on the same page. We worked a lot and I’m finally able to play… The three surgeries is in the past, there is some speculation still, but it was a different injury, not the same injury three times. Now it’s healthy, I feel strong and ready to come back and can’t wait until I step on the ice.”

      • Thanks George, I made an assumption it was the same injury.
        3 separate injuries is crazy bad luck or what?

  9. I’ve been beach walking in Florida to avoid a bit of Iowa winter.

    Lyle, I would encourage a Florida beach walk to assist in healing a right wrist as well—speedy healing and recovery.

    Doug Armstrong is being especially quiet. I sense he is ready to “pounce”—expect the unexpected!

    I certainly feel the Blues need a top 4 upgrade on defense , and maybe shed Scandella’s contract.

    • IP/FBb

      Sending out my jealous thoughts telepathically

      I do believe Army will make a move; I am not convinced it will necessarily be a major move (is that what you were referring to re “pounce”)

  10. Victor Hedman was overheard bragging that Spector’s injury makes him the favorite to win the Hardest Shot competition.

    A poster here claimed the injury is the result of Spector taking too many shots at him.

    • LOL

  11. My wish list for the Bruins no doubt it won’t happen .. cap won’t allow it and probably don’t have the assets to get it done

    LD…. DeHaan
    Winger … Lawson Crouse
    Center JT Miller

    • You could get Dehaan no problem but the other two Bruins dont have the assets to acquire.

      Plus arizona stated they wont trade Crouse.

  12. Seeing talk that the Bruins have to offer up in a trade or trades

    1st rd 2022 pick…..
    Studnicka and Vaakanainen

    I would toss Reilly,Frederic & Moore into that group

    • Hi Joe,

      Of the available Bruins assets you mention only the 1st pick and possible Frederic have any real value.

    • In other words not much.

    • Here is my list of prospects with value best to lowest :

      1 – Swayman (rather keep him)
      2 – Lysell
      3 – Lohrei
      4 1st RD Pick
      5 – Vaakanainen

      DeBrusk is overpaid, his QA is worse, but is still a quality NHL player, so has more value to the B’s for this year than trading him. See if he is open to an extension with another team at a lower AAV for a couple years in the off season.

      If not he walks I suppose.

      • I would assume Debrusk gone by deadline. Most likely in a trade package

  13. Bruins fans need a serious change of coffee to get some perspective.

    1st round pick is projected to be in the 20’s, not a top 10 with value.

    DeBrusk has been talked to death, overpaid, underperforming, if he isn’t qualified he becomes UFA at 1/3 the cost.

    Studnicka and Vaakanainen are beasts that who is interested in?

    Mike Reilly, the prize LD signed to a $3 million contract, you guys were warned about his brain cramps, but hey he skates well.

    I ust don’t get coming on here almost daily with the same list as if repeating it makes it more likely.

    • Really??

      Debrusk has value to say he doesn’t is just Dumb. Same for Vak and Studs. And if trading for a1st. Bruins pick would be highly regarded as it will be projected to be higher then say someone like NYR Toronto pit TB Teams below them not likely to be coughing up 1st rd pick for a small chance to the dance

    • Looks like you really weighed the pros and cons on this Habby or at least tried to put them in chronological order, when I read this this afternoon I very nearly dropped my lah lah on my foo foo. Well with six days off Look for Sweeney to move his inaction to a new level incompetency. Never has one done so little yet got paid so much for absolutely nothing. I can’t stand this guy.

    • Coming from a Hab fan really lol

      • Yes. and I assume
        Drouin. 6g
        Hoffman 7g
        Dvorak 7g
        Gallagher 4 g

        Are with less then. Debrusk as they all make more$ and score the same or less 😎

      • Eye-opening comparisons Mrbruin4 … and, I suspect, all 4 with more ice time on average than DeBrusk

      • Yep, DeBrusk isn’t the first player to struggle for a bit.
        Question for you Mrbruin4, would you trade a quality asset for either of those 4 guys at their current cap hit and contract?

        I would pass on all except maybe Dvorak, without a not great contract going back.

    • Yet you would trade DeBrusk for any of Drouin, Hoffman, Dvorak or Gallagher in a heartbeat and Hughes would hang up the phone laughing at the suggestion.

      You guys complain daily about the very same guys you expect to trade away for upgrades.

      • Well, I wouldn’t touch Hoffman with the proverbial 10-foot pole – and like you indicated you warned Bruins fans about Reilly’s game, I warned about adding Hoffman to your roster.

        Drouin would be on about par with DeBrusk in expected return. Dvorak would be a nice add for any team seeking offense (and paired with the right linemates), while Gallagher, I think, is finally showing the wear and tear that comes with a small guy playing that aggressive style.

        But, hey, all that’s just my opinion.

      • Instead of you saying what I would do HF30, I will tell you what I would do.
        Dvorak is the only one one that list I would trade DeBrusk for, but the B’s already have a better 3C than him, so likely wouldn’t happen.

        Gallagher is a better player but the term on that contract for that amount is a killer, hard pass.

      • George,
        You might be missing my point so I’ll try again.

        Let’s take Drouin for example, fans complain that he doesn’t do enough, gets points but not enough, plays soft, doesn’t backcheck but they don’t regularly want to trade him with the expectation of getting an upgrade.

        I happen to see Drouin differently, I’m happy with Hoffman, we and others have differing opinions.

        There Sens fans here aside from you and you guys don’t dump on your players AND then expect big returns.

        These Bruin fans are delusional

      • No is the simple answer. Devorak. The best of the lot. Value wise

    • Aside from the Habs having a monumentally terrible year, missing more man-games than any other club, including the two starting goalies, each of the players mentioned have played less games and have more points than Boston’s favourite son DeBrusk…..who is so good you guys have spent the last two years complaining about him.

      More importantly neither I nor any other Hab fans have been expressing disappointment with any particular players and at the same suggesting daily to trade him for an upgrade.

      • This was an interesting post. So… who are better fans? The ones expecting better than reality returns…. Or the ones who refuse to acknowledge reality about their players so they don’t bother proposing trade proposals?

        Both are exceptional fanboy traits. So who is the better fan?

      • Hab. I never said big return. I said Debrusk he would be packaged in a bigger trade. Wouldn’t trade debrusk for any of the players I mentioned except devorak though I like Gallagher. But not the contract I also said he has value. Not zero like you say. There is a reason habs stink and will for years it is called MB. Overrated gm locked up all these guys on contracts they will not be able to live up to. Same as chia did to. Bruins

  14. Plot twist,

    Lyle signs with Tampa and should be healthy again by the 1st playoff round.

    • Nice