Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 13, 2022

by | Feb 13, 2022 | Rumors | 44 comments

Could the Canucks pursue Pavel Zacha? What’s the latest on Ben Chiarot, Tyler Toffoli and Nick Ritchie? Which Red Wings could become trade candidates? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek believes the Vancouver Canucks could have an interest in Pavel Zacha. The 24-year-old New Jersey Devils forward is a restricted free agent this summer and is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. The Devils carry talented young centers such as Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes and Dawson Mercer, leaving general manager Tom Fitzgerald with a decision to make about where Zacha fits in.

New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha is a former first-round pick who didn’t blossom into a star as expected but has become an effective secondary forward who can play center or wing. Fitzgerald could consider moving Zacha if signing him to a long-term extension proves costly or if the forward no longer fits into the Devils’ plans going forward.

Elliotte Friedman wondered if interest in Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot will soon pick up. The St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames are all reportedly interested in the 30-year-old blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman noted Chiarot left the game yesterday and wondered if that might spur more interest in what he called “an already popular player.” The thought here is those clubs might want to acquire him before he suffers an injury with the Habs.

Friedman also touched briefly on teams having an interest in Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli. The versatile forward carries an affordable contract beyond this season but the Habs could be reluctant to part with him unless he asks for a trade.

Friedman reports the Toronto Maple Leafs are working on a trade for Nick Ritchie, who’s currently toiling with their AHL affiliate. He has a year remaining on his contract. If the Leafs were to buy him out it would count as $300K again next season’s cap so they might not wish to retain more than that if an interested club asked them to absorb part of his $2.5 million cap hit. It’s believed there is some traction around the league in finding Ritchie a new NHL home.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman indicated Ritchie hasn’t requested a trade. The Leafs obviously want to shed as much cap space as possible before the March 21 trade deadline. It’ll be interesting to see what it takes to convince a rival club to take him off their hands.


MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan considers defenseman Nick Leddy the Detroit Red Wings’ most viable trade candidate followed perhaps by forward Vladislav Namestnikov. Both are due to become UFAs this summer. Namestnikov is having a good season but the Wings could move him to make room for younger players like Joe Veleno and Jonatan Berggren.

Khan expects defenseman Marc Staal to be re-signed. Thomas Greiss, Danny DeKeyser, Sam Gagner, Troy Stecher and Carter Rowney are also in the final year of their contracts but aren’t likely to draw much interest in the trade market.


  1. Regarding Nick Ritchie … you signed him and you are stuck with him. Horrible move, akin to Boston signing Foligno.

    • Swap the 2 back to each other

    • Dubas is going to have to give away another draft pick to move Ritchie.

      Stupid is as stupid does.

      • Don’t let the good moves cloud your opinion Ron. Bunting, Kase, you know, like that.

      • Don’t forget how well Dubas was able to ice a top tier team after making such costly errors with the cap and players that are at a majority of being under 25 and still not peaked.
        How’s your team doing Ed and Ron? You both seem to think you know more than most….you’re not gonna be shy now are ya?

      • Not sure why you two feel its neccessary to turn someone elses posts into a personal attack nor why Lyle allows it to continue.

      • That’s because they weren’t a “personal attack”.

    • Come on guys, Lord knows I’ve contributed my share of Leafs criticisms, but when I look at the overall standings I see they sit 7th in a 32-team league, just 7 pts back of 1st overall over the same number of games played, and are a healthy +38.

      They also have 3 games in hand on each of TB and Pitt, 2 in hand on each of NYR and Fla, and 1 on Carolina.

      Looking down the overall standings, I see at least 12 teams that would give their eye-teeth to be in the Leafs position right now – perceived “weak spots” and all.

  2. Zacha fits the Rangers needs who lack center depth.

    • ahh hit return early…

      but Zacha fits many teams looking for center depth. cost might be too high for the Devils to trade with their rival

      • Zacha and a 3rd for Kaapo, no problem!

      • @ Johnny…
        How about Kratsov straight …..

      • Rangers have a Zacha. They call him Chytil.

  3. Re Ritchie… “it would count as $300K again next season’s cap”….. however it would cost $1.1 M in 23/24

    I don’t see takers (this season) at $2.2 M ($2.5 – $0.3 M) …. To me , the Ritchie move likely in summer

    • Yeah, Marner will be the “sweetener” LOL

    • I agree Pengy…the only way to get someone to take him is to add sweeteners, and that applies during and after the season.

  4. After yesterday’s performance, Stevie will be listening to pleas from Kenny on what he will give the Wings for Greiss! LOL

  5. Nick Ritchie’s contract will be tough to trade. You have to think Dubas wants to free up cap space to trade for a defenceman.

  6. Campbell and Mrazek
    Leafs have a real problem between the pipes
    Can you move Mrazek ?
    Free up cap , or is this impossible , too much going the other way ..
    Talking about teams entertaining , signing MAF, Leafs should make this a priority
    Picking up a defenseman from the Islanders or New Jersey isn’t a major hurdle , but is mandatory
    Picking up a starting goalie ; however is a MAJOR hurdle
    Campbell an all star and consideration for Vezina is absurd !!
    If Toronto doesn’t attend to the netminder situation , Boston will overtake them in the standings
    Toronto will be a wildcard
    Another 1st round exit
    Irregardless , board of directors will finally step in during the off season
    Enough of of the Shanaplan

    • Playing behind the Toronto defense and putting up the numbers he has, Campbell is without a doubt an ALL-STAR !!!!!!! Won’t last forever but he has been awesome this season! Imagine what he would do with a team that can actually put 6 NHL level defensemen on the ice!!!! As a team they are +38. Their best defenseman are only in plus (13 at best) because they play together with Mathews and Marner who do nothing but score goals.

      • Campbell was very good at the start of the season but has been pretty average, not bad, for at least a month, dont you agree?

      • you nailed it. our defense is at best below average. got to get rid of them all. maybe keep Reilly. i have said it before and i say it again, they need defensemen that actually play defense. Radko Gudas, Edmunson, Ristolainen and Ben Chirot. These guys will lead the Leafs to the Stanley Cup Finals. Not Sandin, Lilijgren, Dermott, Holl and Muzzin. Too small, Too slow, Too injury prone.

    • @ Ken

      Its been awhile since i ve posted here on a regular basis …but I wanted to chime in today as Iam totally on board with you on the Fleury trade for Leafs .

      Ive been pounding this for 2 years now ..If you take the final 4 teams all of them usually have the top 4 Goalies in the league at the time of the Conference finals MOST TIMES ….

      While Iam a Campbell supporter not sure he is a Cup contending goalie and or winner especially with this D fence …I was a big supporter with PENGY to get Muzzin back in the day but he has been a disappointment to me …him and Holl are HORRIBLE ….together and Leafs get no secondary scoring from the Blueline either and this is hurting them all around cant keep it out of the net nor contribute …

      I am not saying Fleury is a saviour here ..but if they expect to get through a first round against the Panther Bolts or Bs …they need a goalie like Fleury ..if they dont make this the priority they are exactly where you saty they will be IMO as well….

      Just look at the goalies that have stolen games against Leafs this year Demko Markstrom Velmaki …putting up 40 to 50 stops to win 1 goal games …

      Leafs are STILL the same team they always have been …and never addressed long term.

      Terrible D after top 2
      Suspect Goaltending
      Soft in the bottom 6
      No blueline scoring or shut down D men
      Secondary scoring is inconsistent

      They have tried to bubble gum patch work this but it hasn’t worked and will be exposed closer to the playoffs and in the playoffs for sure …teams all ready talk about it in pre scouting now !

      If you try and trade for Fleury though you have to try and re sign him for 2 more years …IMO and get the terrible signing of Mrazek off the books as well…

      I know they will need to be creative as they are in a corner with the cap with Marner Matthews Tavares Nylander but as you see in Edmonton can heave the best 2 players in the world but if your goalie is suspect and doesn’t have any quality experience or a stud


      Take care have a good day ..Cheers

      Enjoy the BOWL

      • Top 4 goalies is a stretch(more like top 8), but the reasoning is sound, without good to great goaltending you dont get to Conf final and Campbell is a 10-20 goalie, tops.

    • Ken, relax Toronto has a good team and their goaltending is not the weak spot of your team.
      The biggest hurdle the leafs will face is if they have to play Tampa in the first round.

      • Just another comment, the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence but there is a reason Fleury never gets to be the #1 goalie in the playoffs. It’s because he folds like a cheap tent.
        Be careful what you wish for.

  7. This is the risk any team who isn’t in playoff contention.

    Chariot rumored potentially bring back a 1st round pick.

    Season ending injury or long term injury. Lose most of his value.

    You gamble have teams bidding against each other driving up the price. Or take the best offer sooner.

    I’m a gambler drive up the price.

  8. Zacha will be a hockey trade. Player not living up to his hype but still serviceable… maybe zacha for debrusk, garland, or maybe knights dump salary for him to keep eichel

  9. March 21st is a long way off and it’s been said that Krejci might want to come back and play in the NHL for the end of season and playoffs, and have seen in reports that Sweeney hasn’t talked to him personally at all to see where’s he’s at . Bruins signing Krejci for ROS would really change how they attack the trade deadline … he would be their 2nd line center then maybe they go for a big 2nd or 3rd line winger or maybe bring in two Dmen to really build up their D

    • Joe it isn’t as simple as that; if Boston was to sign Krejci we would have to clear waivers.

      Krejci could make it known that he won’t play anywhere else but that doesn’t necessarily stop a team from putting in a claim.

      • Thought the waiver thing was ONLY after the trade deadline. I could be wrong. and yes someone would claim him for sure…then a trade would have to happen….dicey & ugly.

      • If I was a team with cap space I’d claim him and then ask for a reasonable 4th round pick for him. Free mid round pick.

      • Exactly! Detroit signed Nabokov and lost him to the Isles thru these re-entry waivers!

      • all bruins would have to do is offer a low pic to someone like ariz. to claim 46 and trade to bruins for set mentioned pick

  10. Fleury stands on his head and then serves up a pizza for the game winner series winner chicken dinner

    Campbell’s playoffs will determine his next salary- no pressure
    Greiss could be a clever depth play.

    Nick Ritche done Nick Leddy not so much

    • Hi SS

      Agree on your viewpoints re Greiss andCampbell

      Ritchie…. almost (but not quite) done

      Fleury…. I still would love him on Leafs or Pens (longshot both)

      However…. I humbly disagree re Leddy…. This year Worst performance of his career …. and -25 (poorest on the team)

      I cede the concerns (or minimal confidence in) by many here re +/- in as a reliable reflection of ability

      If the +/- is for a small sample size (few games)…. Not important

      If it is super high or super low but many on your team are in that range….. not important

      BUT…..when you are worst on team and worst on D…. Next worst is Hronek … -16…. But Staal is +10

      Then add that this year is Leddy’s worst year for production…. ANDCap hit $5.5 M….. there should be very little (if any ) interest

      • Leddy will bring a 3rd, the contender will be tradig for a sheltered 3rd pairing guy that is a PP quarterback. They already should already have their top pairings in place.

      • Yeah, but how does Trono get rid of Mrazek??

      • Johnny Z, I suppose the “get rid of Mrazek” question stems from the fact he costs $3.8 mil off the cap for 2 more seasons – quite a chunk for a perceived back-up only type of goalie.

        His stats of 2.95gaa and 0.899 save % aren’t horrible – although they are based on a small sample size of just 9 games played. His career marks aren’t too shabby with a 2.61gaa – 0.910 save % – and that includes a few seasons with a weak Detroit team, as well as several with Carolina when they were in the development stage of their current top-range status.

        Since there are a few teams in the market for a goalie maybe if the Leafs held back $1 mil for each of 2 years a deal could go through. But then who do they use as back-up for Campbell? Woll?

    • Well, there is Fluery and Greiss and Korpi being bandied about. But that is not gonna happen till summer. By then Trono can package Mrazek with Nylander or Marner for a bunch. Then re-sign Campbell and a back-up (Halak? Holtby, Koskinen, Jones????)

  11. I believe the bruins biggest priority isn’t for a centre or a good d their biggest need is for a GOOD Qualified nhl goalie Swayman could be, I mean could be the number one goalie in the future right now he is not. He’s got a ways to go. Ullmark is barley a decent backup. Attention Sweeney, will someone please wake up Rip Van Donny, how does Marc Fluery sound.

    • Pass on the flower. Have bigger needs then a goalie Ullmark has played very well after the 1st month getting comfortable with new team

    • And he gave Ullmark a no trade or a no move or something. Wasn’t the best signing.

      I like the Bruins figuring out how to get Krejci back with Hall, and Zdeno back.