NHL Rumor Mill – February 9, 2022

by | Feb 9, 2022 | Rumors | 32 comments

Latest speculation over Golden Knights trade candidates as Jack Eichel’s debut gets closer, more talk of the Avalanche as a destination for Claude Giroux, plus updates on the Flames, Canucks and Blue Jackets in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports a source suggesting Jack Eichel could make his debut with the Vegas Golden Knights within the next couple of weeks. The 25-year-old center has been recovering from neck surgery since his acquisition from the Buffalo Sabres in November. He believes they’ll have to make a trade or two to clear sufficient salary-cap space when Eichel comes off long-term injury reserve.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Danny Webster lists forwards Reilly Smith and Evgenii Dadonov and goaltender Laurent Brossoit as possible trade candidates. If defenseman Alec Martinez remains on LTIR they would have to move $4.3 million in cap space. Smith and Dadonov each carry annual cap hits of $5 million. Moving one of them could do the trick.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps cites Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussing possible Vegas trade options. Friedman suggested Smith and Mattias Janmark while Marek proposed William Karlsson.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not the first time we’ve heard Smith, Dadonov or Brossoit bandied about as trade options. Janmark is a pending UFA carrying a $2 million cap hit while Karlsson carries a $5.9 million cap hit through 2026-27 with a 10-team no-trade clause. Dadonov also has no-trade protection.

Of these, Smith would be the easiest to trade. He’s got a $5 million cap hit but lacks no-trade protection and would have considerable value in the trade market among playoff contenders looking for scoring. The Golden Knights could be reluctant to part with him but might not have much choice if they can’t find takers for the other candidates.


THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling NHL Network that he considers the Colorado Avalanche as a perfect fit for Claude Giroux. The 34-year-old Philadelphia Flyers captain is an unrestricted free agent this summer and there’s growing conjecture over whether he’ll waive his no-movement clause at the trade deadline.

Given Giroux’s $8.25 million cap hit, Friedman suggested a possible three-way trade involving a club with salary-cap space willing to absorb part of the Flyers forward’s cap hit. He pointed to teams like the Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils. The Arizona Coyotes have two retained salaries but can only have three.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman’s been hammering the “Giroux to the Avalanche” drum for a while now. Whether that three-way deal materializes remains to be seen but we shouldn’t dismiss the possibility.

Any club picking up part of Giroux’s cap hit will only be doing so for the remainder of this season. The Coyotes could do it seeing how it’s only short term. It’ll depend, of course, on what they get as a sweetener to make the deal happen.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving could be in the market for secondary scoring before the March 21 trade deadline. He also thinks the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens could be trade partners to address that need. A lot of the top contenders are seeking defensemen, which could give the Flames an edge in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe they’ll have an interest in Reilly Smith if the Golden Knights attempt to move him to clear cap space for Jack Eichel? Stay tuned…

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance reports Jaroslav Halak’s next game with the Vancouver Canucks will trigger a $1.25 million performance bonus in his contract. He also has a $250K performance bonus if he maintains a save percentage of .905 or higher this season. Those bonuses would count against the Canucks 2022-23 payroll because they’re using long-term injury reserve to exceed this season’s $81.5 million salary cap.

Assuming Halak agrees to waive his no-movement clause before March 21, the Canucks could negotiate with an acquiring club to have them pay his games-played bonus as part of the deal since it has to be paid within 30 days of the conclusion of the season. The other option is to clear enough cap space so that Halak’s bonuses count against this year’s cap payroll.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It might be easier to make a cost-cutting deal or two (J.T. Miller? Brock Boeser? Tanner Pearson? Conor Garland?) to free up cap space than to find a club willing to take on Halak’s bonus. Not playing Halak isn’t an option as team president Jim Rutherford said his contract has no bearing on whether he plays or not. Injuries could also force him into the lineup.

Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen could be busy at this year’s trade deadline. Pending UFA forward Max Domi is expected to be shopped and it seems center Jack Roslovic could be had for the right price.

The Jackets have been shopping goaltender Joonas Korpisalo for some time but his play hasn’t done much to boost his trade value. They could listen to offers for forward Gustav Nyquist but might have to retain part of his $5.5 million cap hit through 2022-23.


  1. With all due respect to Friedman, don’t expect the Senators to get involved as a 3rd team to accommodate the move of Giroux to Colorado by taking on $$ in exchange for some mid-range prospect who wouldn’t even crack their own top 20 prospects. Not going to happen.

    • Well, Ottawa’s GM has spoken. Move along, Mr Sakic. Give your free pick or prospect to a team that doesn’t already have a stacked, Stanley Cup-worthy team.

      Buh bye.

      • No, what he said was “keep your late round middle-range pick and your perpetual prospect while we build a contender the proper way …. see ya Joe”

      • And the reason I say that is because, this coming off-season Dorion has to re-up RFAs Norris, Formenton, Brannstrom, Mete, Gambrell, Gaudette, Bishop (currently accounting for just over $6.6 mil off the cap) and UFAs Nick Paul and Anton Forsberg (currently accounting for $2,250,000 off the cap, to go along with $2.2 mil still to come off for buyouts Ryan and Phaneuf.

        That $11,500,000 in total for the above will climb substantially taking a huge chunk out of that reserve, and next year he has RFAs Stutzle, Pinto and Kastelic as well as UFAs Connor Brown and Artem Zub to re-sign. So the last thing he needs is to encumber himself with $$ for someone helping another team with all to show for it is some so-called insignificant prospect.

  2. I wonder if VGK and NYR would find a trade with swapping Martinez for Nemeth? VGK cuts $2.75M and retains Defense depth! Rangers get a big upgrade with Martinez and if his Cap hit is too much to manage next year, they can trade him to more teams as his trade clause widens from 16 to 20 teas this summer!

    • I think Vegas will want more since Nemeth isnt even playing for the Rangers, so I think a trade of Martinez is more likely to a team that isnt sending cap back

    • I still believe Vegas needs Martinez+Smith for this run.
      Dadonov moved and a mix of Patchs/Stone in the IR on and off might be enough cap help.Not sure they can move Stephenson either with Eichel’s uncertainty

    • I don’t think NY could give Nemeth away, never mind gain from it.

      Nemeth will cost NY to get rid of that contract. Probably a 3rd if they’re lucky. That man is garbage.

      • “ Can’t see Knights accepting Nemeth in trade and even if they did; more would be needed IMHO”

        So lopsided trades only work for Pittsburgh? I guess GMs don’t have the same love for other teams or desire to see them win as much as they do Pittsburgh?

        Please keep this sentiment in mind when you’re peddling Zucker, Pettersson, Desmith and Ruhwedal.

      • How much are you charging pengy for the space cap? Any other units available?

    • Hi JZ

      Can’t see Knights accepting Nemeth in trade and even if they did; more would be needed IMHO

      Rangers right in the thick of the race for 1st in Metro and certainly Martinez improves them (when he is back and healthy)

      Where do you see Martinez (with healthy return) fitting on the Rangers LD depth…. Certainly Miller and Lingren just due to their youth, have a greater long term value to Rangers…. But how do you see Martinez fitting in pairings-wise with Miller and Lindgren also in the line-up?

      If Rangers were to move on Martinez I would think it would be picks or equivalent and no roster going over… Rangers have the space this year… next year needs to be considered (Martinez has term; and Rangers must re-up some RFAs and perhaps a UFA )

      I’ll leave it up to the Rangers fans here to determine the interest and potential value…. But just for arguments sake…. Whatever they give to Knights for Martinez; Knights can use part (or all) of it as a “sweetener” to move Dando or Janmark to another team (thus keeping Smith)

      Knights have been fairing ok without Martinez and Eichel in should give a boost in offensive time zone (overall less pressure on D than currently)… so losing Martinez is not critical to Knights

      Martinez and either Dando or Janmark out…. Clears enough for Eichel return (if it’s Dando…. More than enough…. So actually provides for potential UFA acquisition Cap room) and room to spare

  3. I dont see Vegas sending RS to Calgary since they might play them is the PS. But it would be a good fit

  4. Greatgonzo, sorry for late reply i was only on the site once yesterday.

    Regarding my trade proposal; correct if Boston made such a trade they have very little left to go after the key names you mentioned up front.

    I would trade for Andrew Copp or Paul Stastny out of Winnipeg if the Jets are out of the playoff race.

    If Boston could make the trade for less great but Arizona not giving him away.

    Here is how i look at it:

    Chychrum is 6’2″ 210lbs ld under contract for another 3 seasons at $4.6m

    Your talking top 2 at worst top4 dman you gotta not only pay for the player but pay for the caphit.

    Dumping Moore and his $2.75 and Debrusk $3.675 that $6.425 moving off the cap.

    You just added a top 2/4 dman and saved $1.825 in your salary cap.

    Could also look at it this way adding a $7.5 m dman at $4.6m save you $2.9m in cap space.

    yes i’m putting more emphasis on D.

    In the 2010-2011 regular season David Krejci was Boston top point getter finished 42nd overall with 62pts.

    Goaltending, strong D and systems won oh and can’t forget the physical brand of hockey the Bruins brought help win the cup.

    • I like you see great value in Chychrum. I get where you are coming from in that regard.

      The pros to getting Chychrum (in your deal) is get rid of Moore $$$, unload debrusk, have a good dman for more years if the yotes would go for it with the other prospects.

      Downside is there is not a lot left to trade for major F upgrade. Not saying anyone really wants what the Bruins have to offer anyways.

      I would still look into bringing Chara back assuming the Islanders stay out of the playoff picture.

    • That is a solid argument Caper, well said.
      Speaking of Krecji, if his season is over by March 21 (I think that is the right date), maybe, just maybe….
      Although still not sold on Chychrun, you make a good case.

      • I thought I read krecji already kiboshed any return to nhl.

    • GG don’t disagree with you on the prospects not much in the cupboard.

      from a physical standpoint i like Chara, but i’m not sure i want him back; imo he’s a liability but solid guy good on the pk. playing more physical this year then he has in the pass several.

  5. Re trades and retention (on to-through)…. Last few $’s (not Cap) retentions (pro-rated for balance of season and accounting for escrow):

    Last year:

    Janmark (by Sharks) ~ $155 K cash outlay…. rec’d 2022 5th (Knight’s)

    Foligno (by Sharks) ~ $375 K cash outlay … rec’d Leafs 4th (121st – Cordwell)

    Savard (by Wings) ~ $275 K cash outlay …. rec’d Lightning’s 4th (128th— Demek)

    Lehner (by Leafs) ~ $380 K cash outlay …. Rec’d a 5th from Knight’s (153rd …Puutio)

    So with Giroux at TDL (after likely Phi retention of 50%)… another 50% of that retained (so 25% …. by ???? in to-through) at TDL ….. after escrow accounted for…. to through team would be paying out cash somewhere in the $250 K – $260 K range …. So likely a 4th (in the 120’s # for pick)

    Re other potential to-throughs (if 50% retained by current team and 50% of that [thus 25%]) … at TDL pro-rated after escrow; to-through team would be paying (cash outlay)….

    Klinger….. ~ $500 K – $520 K (Final team gets him at annualized cap hit of ~ $1.1 M)

    Gio…. ~ $420 K – $440 K (Final team Ann. Cap… ~$ 1.7 M )

    Chairot…. ~ $155K – $160 K (Final team Ann. Cap… ~$ 0.9 M)

    **Hertl ….. ~ $220 K – $230 K (Final team Ann. Cap… ~$ 1.4 M)

    *Kessel …. only ~$50 – $60 K (Final team Ann. Cap… ~$ 1.7M )

    **Manson ….. ~ $280 K – $290 K (Final team Ann. Cap… ~$ 1 M)

    PK ….. ~ $125 K – $130 K (Final team Ann. Cap… ~$ 2.25 M)

    *Assumes 50% retention by Yotes (and they can only retain on 1 more contract)

    **Assumes Sharks and Ducks don’t keep Hertl and Manson as “own” rentals

  6. Re Knights and Cap…

    Per CF… now showing 23 players non IR/LTIR…. Totalling $74.8 M (see totals of top 3 sections in CF chart)

    This worst case…. Eichel and Martinez up (on Cap not LTIR) …. so + $15.3; but have to replace 2 (can’t go over 23 man roster)…. @ min of $750 K each (League min)… so that’s net +$13.8 M…. Total $88.6 M …. $7.1 M over (and that’s worst case)

    So that’s possibly moving:

    ***Dando + Janmark

    *Smith + Janmark

    **Martinez + Janmark

    *Easiest move, but Smith integral to team production IMHO

    **2nd easiest move and biggest return (IMHO…. Due to Martinez)

    ***Best move for team but Dando has some protection (can block 10 teams) AND Knights would have to sweeten any deal for another team to take Dando (for next year as well)

    6 weeks to TDL …. Per Le Brun… Eichel “COULD POSSIBLY return in a couple of weeks” (my interpretation of that [“ COULD POSSIBLY”] when he said it; was that 2 weeks is the earliest”

    They also mentioned that the expectation was Eichel would be available before Martinez

    So 2 weeks “reprieve/breathing room” anyway; to work the phones

    If in 2 weeks (as at about 8 weeks left in the season) Martinez still a ways away from return…. MacCrimmon might gamble with just moving Janmark then; and wait just before TDL to see how things go (any $5 M or greater Cap hit that then goes on LTIR just before TDL… basically carries them to playoffs (I believe LTIR rules are minimum of 24 days/10 games)

    Martinez still on LTIR, Eichel in, Janmark traded; replacing 2 league mins…..23 man Cap hit just ~ $500 K over… manageable

    Basically comes down to Eichel and Martinez progress

    • If a team trades for a player on LTIR how does that work for cap relief for the acquiring team?

      Say a team was to trade for Johnny Boychuck from Buffalo. His remaining cap hit is $2.3M. Can the acquiring team that’s capped out immediately put him on LTIR and use that $2.3M to trade for somebody else?

      • Hi Daryl

        I believe it is a null Cap exercise

        Boychuck cap hit goes to receiving team in full; and that team concurrently gets the identical cap relief while he is on LTIR

        Acquiring team would not need to put him on LTIR , as he is already on it

        IF Boychuck comes off LTIR…they lose the LTIR Cap relief and all remaining cap hit (for Boychuck) ) goes against the 81.5 M cap limit

      • Just trade Nolan or Howden for Boychuk’s LTIR contract, Cap is solved (circumvented) LOL

      • Hi JZ

        Boychuck to any team will have zeroCap advantage…. His Cap hit counts and team gets equal Cap relief (while on LTIR)…. so no increase or decrease to Cap space

  7. I incorrectly stated to another poster here (Pengy?) a week or so ago that Halak’s bonus would impact the timing of any potential trade because the Canucks would incur the bonus as soon as he played his next game. As Spector notes, Drance now reports that the contract allows flexibility in when the bonus is paid, so another team could potentially take on the bonus even after Halak’s triggered it.

    The consequence of this is that Halak’s on the block right up to the trade deadline. My understanding is that the bonus would normally count for this year’s cap, but in the Canucks’ case it will count against next year’s cap because they are in IR overage. Halak might be relatively more attractive to a team with non-IR cap space this year, or a team with cap flexibility next year.

    I was trying to figure out whether Edmonton was in the second category since Koskinen’s $4.5 m will come off the books. They’ll need to re-sign Puljujarvi and Yamamoto so maybe not (I assume they can replace Turris at around the same cost, and have no idea what they’ll do with E. Kane).

  8. Ducharme fired

    • Great 1st move. That guy couldn’t coach Rick’s sisters, kids peewee team.

      • Not if they’re hoping for the 1st overall pick in this year’s draft…

        If St. Louis inspires them to play better and win some games it reduces their chance to finish dead last and have the biggest opportunity to draft 1st overall.

  9. Martinez was skating with Vegas before going into Covid protocols. His injury was a facial laceration. I’m guessing he’s healed, and definately should be playing before long. Unless he claims psychological issues.

  10. East Van Fan, I’ve been wondering what Holland will do as well, for some time now. In the off-season he’s committed to 14 (McDavid, Draisaitl, Hyman, Nigent-Hopkins, Kassian, Foegele, Shore, Nurse, Keith, Barrie, Ceci, Bouchard, Smith) – leaving him with$7,139,538 to sign 9 to get to a 23-man roster (if that’s what he intends to do – he could try function with 21 or 22 but that’s always dicey).

    He still has a year to go on Klefbom’s $4,167,000 cap hit as an LTIR option – unless there’s a miraculous recovery). However, he also loses $3,411,667 in dead cap for the buyouts of Neal and Sekeram as well as $750,000 held back on the Lucic deal – so $4,161,667 he can’t use for 1 more year).

    His 6 RFAs to re-up (Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, McLeod, Perlini, Benson, Lagesson) account for $6,409,167 this year, so that will eat up that $7,139,538 – and then some!

    So if he intends to try and lure Kane back, there are going to have to be major moves to pay whatever he’ll be seeking over the $2,109,696 he’s costing now off the cap.

    To me, that situation in Edmonton is going to be among the most interesting to watch – if not THE most interesting – in the off season.

    I know the usual response is – “oh, they always find a way …” which is true enough – but in their case – no matter how you slice it – a couple of big contracts will have to go.

    • Looking more closely they really don’t have much space next year. Nurse jumps to $9.25 m (!) and Keith is still on the books at $5.5 m (!). And they will still need a starting goaltender.

      Hard to see how they keep E. Kane, or make it work even without him. Maybe they can dump Keith and Kassian.

  11. Then there’s this …. David Krejci returning to Bruins? Former star doesn’t rule out March reunion

  12. wondering does rask retiring raise boston available cap or does it stay the same