Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 20, 2022

by | Feb 20, 2022 | Rumors | 45 comments

Check out the latest on Ben Chiarot, Brandon Hagel and Artem Zub plus a look at the Islanders’ trade options in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports hearing there’s “a lot going on” regarding Ben Chiarot. He believes the St. Louis Blues are among the clubs interested in the 31-year-old Montreal Canadiens defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarot is sidelined until later this week with a minor injury. It’s believed the Canadiens want to move him as soon as possible rather than risk him suffering a more serious injury in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline.

The Blues are among several teams he’s been linked to in the rumor mill, including the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers. Most insiders believe he could fetch a first-round pick for the Canadiens. Perhaps we’ll learn later this week where he’ll be going and what the Habs will actually get for him.

THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus acknowledged recent trade rumors claiming the Chicago Blackhawks are getting calls about Brandon Hagel. However, he cites a team source saying the 23-year-old winger isn’t going anywhere. Blackhawks management understands what they have in Hagel, who’s constantly improving and carries an affordable $1.5 million annual cap hit over the next two seasons.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Hagel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve said before about Hagel, I don’t doubt the Blackhawks are getting calls about him but that doesn’t mean they’re going to move him. It would take a significant offer to pry him out of Chicago. Hagel should play a key role in their long-term plans.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch shoots down a rumor claiming the Senators will move Artem Zub before the March 21 trade deadline. “There hasn’t even been any discussion. I’m not sure where that social media rumor circulated from Saturday, but it’s not happening,” said Garrioch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zub is a bargain for the Senators, signed through 2022-23 with a $2.5 million annual cap hit. He has 14 points in 48 games with a plus-minus of plus-five with the Senators, logging first-pairing minutes (21:37) and sitting fifth among their skaters in shorthanded ice time per game (2:12) while leading them with 88 blocked shots.


THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently examined which players could become trade candidates should the New York Islanders become sellers by the March 21 deadline. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov could potentially net them a decent asset or two. However, he’s signed through 2022-23 and moving him out could have an adverse effect upon starter Ilya Sorokin.

Attention will be paid to pending unrestricted free agents such as Cal Clutterbuck, Zach Parise, Andy Greene and Zdeno Chara. Of the four, the 34-year-old Clutterbuck could draw the most interest in the trade market. Despite Chara’s age (45), he could appeal to more teams than the 39-year-old Greene as a bottom-pairing defenseman.

The Islanders could also listen to offers for Kyle Palmieri and Josh Bailey. However, they’re both signed beyond this season and carry $5 million cap hits. One source doubts there’s much of a market for Palmieri, who was on the decline when the Isles acquired him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello saddled himself with Palmieri’s contract, which could prove very difficult to move. The 32-year-old Bailey’s production has been steadily declining since his career-high 71-point campaign in 2017-18. Yes, the reduced number of games brought about by COVID -19 over the past two years contributed to that but that decline will still affect his trade value.

Clutterbuck should draw some interest from clubs seeking a gritty checking-line energy forward. Chara, Parise and Greene have had fine NHL careers but they’re now well past their primes and probably won’t be that enticing to playoff contenders.


  1. That “rumor” regarding Artyem Zub being dealt by Ottawa is a classic example of someone’s wishful-thinking getting into the general stream of legitimate rumors ferreted out by legitimate pundits. In my view, Zub is fast becoming the best all-round D-man on the roster – and that includes Chabot.

    • And if anyone was curious as to where that “rumour” originated … I’ll give you 3 guesses (and the first two won’t count).

      Here’s the source, “wondering” if Ottawa would be interested in a pick, Holl and a “decent” prospect. Give me a freaking break

      • Yes George….strange wonderings going on at that site….like yesterday when Jr. wrote that Shesterkin may not be in the NYR’s future plans, offering no logic, reasoning, or sources. Sometimes, I guess there isn’t enough going on to write about, so you start making stuff up.

      • Chabot reminds me of a young Kris Letang .. that’s right, a turnover machine who can skate.

      • George, that is one of the issues of TSN and Sportsnet being based in Toronto. They bill themselves as national sports news organizations but in reality they cater to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
        I would like to see both networks move their base of operations out of Toronto to a non NHL city like Regina or Halifax. I firmly believe we would get more balanced coverage.
        Local Toronto outlets can go crazy on the leafs without the rest of Canada having to endure their dribble.

      • Can’t argue that Ed … except to say that D-men who are on the ice a lot and handle the puck a lot do tend to be high up on the turnover stat – and that includes Letang

      • @Flamefan Sportnet and bell own the leafs so why would it matter where they are located. Not to mention like it or not Toronto and Montreal are Canada’s sports teams. It just fact. Even just reasently when the leafs played Calgary you can hear the cheating when the leafs scored. I know it’s not a popular fact but it is a fact. Montreal and Toronto are Canada’s teams. They are the most valuable Canadian sports franchises for a reason.

      • Flamefan: correct on problem, missed on solution.

        It is not merely where TSN and Sportsnet are based, it is their catering to Toronto. The thinking is, Toronto has as many people as Montreal and Vancouver combined, so this is a rich source of advertising revenue to cater to. Which is an unpalatable truth. These organizations could be based in Flin Flon and they’d still pretzel themselves boosting the Leafs.

        And then there is the undeniable “we’re Toronto, we’re special” thinking. How, how, could anyone not be a Leaf fan, a Canada’s team fan.

      • What the heck – so “They are the most valuable Canadian sports franchises for a reason.”

        To which I say “so what?” What does that have to do with balanced coverage? In Canada TV shows don’t employ a rating system, so who cares if viewers in Montreal and Toronto don’t like balanced coverage? And when it comes to an outlet like CBC – isn’t that paid for by taxes of all Canadians?

      • @ George it’s because they are the most popular team. Most like and most hated so why play let’s say an Ottawa game when you can get double the viewers with a leafs game Again George you may not like it but that is a fact. Also again. Rogers owns sportsnet which own the leafs. Why would they not play and cover the team they own. If you want other coverage go to another site. If you owned the Senators would you promote the jets. Even with that like I said if own a business you’re going to show and cover the team people want to see the most and that’s the leafs and Canadians. They have to pay for teams like Ottawa because nobody cares. Just the way it is. By the way that’s not my opinion it’s all fact. Would be bad business to show an Ottawa game when there’s a leafs game on.

      • Gents, I think you missed my point.
        I didn’t say not cover the leafs, they should still broadcast as many games as possible.
        What I am saying is if they were outside of Toronto they would look at Toronto as just another team in Canada verses being in Toronto they are trapped in the Toronto bubble and become fans instead of reporters.

        I would think their goal should be to grow viewer ship and grow their properties not funnel everyone into just one team reducing the value of the rest of their properties.

        Take the NFL they get it. They dont have their focus on the NY teams because they know the overall value would shrink and spend time growing all the markets increasing the overall value to the point it is so dominant you hardly know NY is one of the biggest markets in the world.

      • Fair enough points on Rogers, Bell etc, What the heck – but what about the state broadcaster – i.e., the venerable CBC that sucks about a billion a year from ALL taxpayers?

  2. Boston sell…selllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!

    • Best move Sweeney can make is to do nothing they are poised for a long run Swayman is a stud and Marchand will return even more determined. Pasta needs to shoot more and stop trying to beat everyone one on one and Coyle needs to realize how good he is. In a 7 game series my money is on ostensibly Strong all day every day.

      • If the Bruins get the Leafs in the 1st round we know what will happen. If its Tampa, Florida or Carolina can they match lines….?

        Playoff seem a given and yes I would just move Debrusk and go as-is

      • Boston have Major Trouble moving the puck out there zone…. Last night was there First point from a d/man in 8 games…❓WoW

        There PP is also horrible they miss an offensive day man, like K Krug on the back end, that need to be there first move of maybe 3?

        Boston also need a 2nd line centre and a scoring winger…. if they want to get anywhere this year
        if not they are out in the first round unless they play the Leafs…😂

        Jake De-bust is worth Nothing as he will need a qualifying just over $4. Mill… thats if someone wants to keep him next season if he is traded this season ❓ so thats not going to happen so boston is stuck with him….❗️🙈

      • Have you been sniffing the airplane glue again Obe? For a minute there I thought I was reading Aesop’s fables.

    • No way in hell with the Bruins in a playoff spot do the Bruins sell! You are dreaming, so I’d just give it up. Lots of fans think they should blow it up and restock their prospects. Unfortunately Jacobs would never allow that, even if it is the most logical and obvious solution.

      • Bruins are a flawed team. Sweeney needs to go. He never replaced Krug and even back to Boychuk who was also not replaced- I am not sure if Sweeney was the GM or assistant to Chirelli but the good old boys including Neely need a house-cleaning. They need so much that it is easier to list what they have that is good-Marchand, Bergeron for now, Pasternak, Hall, McAvoy ,and Swayman with Lysell.The rest are interchangeable. If you are not a Bruins fan, watching them get out of their own zone is laughable.

    • Rick you are last person I take hockey especially Bruin advice from you know zip or even maybe less Ive read your posts. Bruins are the perfect playoff team just need health and Swayman to be real good and confident. Power play with Bergeron Marchand Pasta Hall and Charlie are you kidding no better talent in league. Not many teams have their playoff experience and things get very tight in playoffs. Stop trading first round picks for crap like Toronto did with Foligno it never helps instead draft talent. Boston in a 7 game series I’m not betting against them not even close enjoy your popcorn.

  3. As fans we have a tendency to over value our teams players when it comes to trades and belittle other teams players at the same time, admittedly I’m as guilty as others.

    Case in point is Toffoli, a fan favourite in Montreal who some feel was given away in the trade with Calgary.

    The guy is playing on the 3rd line over there, that’s the value they assign to him for now at least and what they traded for.

    Fans expecting “more” need to be realistic.

    • Gorton cut his teeth in scouting so he really wanted that first rounder in a deep draft that he received. He’ll get another first for Chiarot and maybe a pick or two if he can unload Petry. It will take time to straighten this mess out, as he will need to figure out what to do with Price. And then address the goalie situation.

      • Would Price be open to Arizona?

        No media coverage and lack of league marketing on national TV games. He helps AZ get to the floor easily and no real contender can fit him under their cap.

        AZ need some to find a way to get back to the floor after all their UFS do not get resigned.

        Price gets a quiet transition till AZ holds half his salary Andy trades him to a contenders if he wants.

        MTL takes what from AZ?

      • I hate crosby you mean what does Montreal pay Arizona to take 10.5 million for the next 4 years off there hands. It would be a lot as Arizona can’t afford it.

      • @whattheheck

        Think AZ would not need much take Price on. They do have to reach the cap floor. Better this than paying their current roster again to reach the cap floor no? LOL

        Price can rehab and Ben flipped to contender for additional assets. May garner a first or two by retaining 50% cap especially if he regains his form.

        Mtl can take back a Scott Edgewood and Nick Ritchie .

        This knee both teams would win a season Mtl clears cap and ARZ need to hit the cap floor for next season.

        Good off season move IMO.

      • I hate crosby the same argument gets made every year by people like you about Arizona needing to reach the cap floor yet every year there are no issues. There are way cheaper options then Price to achieve that and a lot of team that would pay to unload those contracts. You used Ritchie as an example but this year the salary is a wash so they only have 2.5 million for 1 year. Price even at half retained would be over 5 million for 4 more years. Again 4 more years. Montreal would need to pay a fortune for Arizona to take that cap on. Montreal will be looking for a Contender who for some reason think Price will put them over the top because of all the cups Price has won. A bottom team will not want to be saddled with that cap hit even at half retained. Not happening ever.

    • I don’t think that’s “the value they’ve assigned him”.
      That’s just where they’re placing him in the middle of a hot streak. We all know what Toffoli is, and that’s a top six forward. Sutter knows exactly what TT is, and his value to a deep, playoff bound team.
      I don’t think the Habs got fair value for Toffoli, but they weren’t robbed blind either.
      Can’t win em all.

    • This is still a topic? Here is an excerpt from a recent Andrew Berkshire column in the Gazette on Toffoli’s value. Offered as food for thought:

      “The return for Toffoli; Calgary’s conditional first round draft pick in 2022, Emil Heineman, Calgary’s fifth round draft pick in 2024, and Tyler Pitlick, is fine, but not great. Heineman is an interesting prospect who has drawn comparisons with Jesse Ylonen, but with more upside and a significantly better shot.

      What’s most interesting about this move is what it says about the plan that Hughes and Gorton are executing, because if you plan to be a playoff team in the next couple of seasons, you don’t trade a player like Toffoli.

      “I threw out the idea that Toffoli is a legitimate first-line forward recently and got some pushback based on his career numbers, but I think the issue with that comes from a lot of folks not realizing that the biggest gap in offensive production in the NHL is between first-liners.

      Pro-rating everyone who has played 20 per cent of each season of Toffoli’s career to 82 games, the pro-rated cutoff on a first line right winger’s point production over 82 games has varied between 47 and 50 points. Following his rookie season, Toffoli has hit that mark or above six out of his last seven seasons, with his two best seasons coming in Montreal.

      He’s not a premier first-line forward, but overall very few wingers are. And on top of Toffoli’s fringe to mid-level top-line offensive production, he’s an excellent defensive player who has a solid impact on his linemates’ offence. To put it simply, he’s not empty calories.

      With two years left at just US$4.5M, you don’t trade that kind of player unless the plan is go into a rebuild, as opposed to a reset.”

  4. For all the naysayers that said Dubas wouldn’t be able to unload Ritchie…

    The get back a versatile forward and good defensive RHD for Ritchie and a lottery pick.

    • But he signed him in the first place …

      • @Ed van Impe

        Ritchie had a decent season last year in BOS. Dubas turned a UFA signing into a decent depth forward and a good defensive RHD. The salaries involved are nearly equal.

        I assume you’re a Flyers fan so wouldn’t be too loud about the miscues of another team’s GM

      • He is definitely a flyers fan

      • He also signed Bunting and Kampf and Kase, Ed.
        Good moves there.

    • Some of us just under-estimated the garbage dump administered by incompetents that masks as the Arizona Coyotes

      • @George O

        Apparently there was a lot of interest in Ritchie as a UFA last summer.

        Plenty of incompetence at the GM level league wide. No team is immune to it and some teams have it in abundance.

        OTT is in a good position to gain picks/prospects at this years deadline. Dorion is on record saying he’s hopeful this is their last year as sellers at the deadline.

    • And they dump the versatile foward on waivers and end up paying Ritchie and a conditional 2ndd or 3rd round draft pick for Lyubushkin ? Okay…

  5. Bailey could be worth a flyers on. Sorokin is the clear #1 so Varlamov should be moved. I would package them both for a couple of picks and prospects and look for a back up in the off season.

  6. Like to see the Bruins add Ryan Graves…Luke Schenn & Mark Martin or a Nicolas Deslauriers …. A 2nd line center is going to cost them to much in terms of assets going back

    • After giving the B’s a long hard look I’m afraid even picking up two solid pieces might not be enough. Sweeney”s moved too slowly and his free agent blunders have to rank right up there with his 2015 draft choices even If Swayman’ gets hot and stays that way there are so many really good teams The decks stacked against them

  7. Emergence of Newhook how about

    To MTL: Girard, Jost & prospect Barron
    To COL: Chiarot (50% retained) and Anderson

    COL get some two big bodies and Josh’s Anderson is dollar and term friendly for additional runs. Chiarot can also get resigned with COL having cap space to play with with this summer if they Dont resign BURAKOVSKY OR KADRI.

    COL also has a young D in Byram to replace Girard. And dollars to re up CHairot

    MTL gets young assets to rebuild with as Jost and Girard are young.

    • Byram has a serious concussion problem. To the point he said “I can’t play and feel like this”

      Hasn’t played a game since January 10th.

      That would be a huge gamble on Colorados part. Don’t see this trade happening. Girard is on a great deal, and term and he’s 23.

      Chiriot is a MAJOR downgrade from Girard. I’d be hanging up the phone on this deal.

      • I read that about Byram but do you not think by next season he will be ready?

        Agreed Chiarot is not as good as Girard but Anderson is better than Jost. Mtl need offensive admen on the back end especially since zpetry is aging.

      • Again I hate crosby you have to factor in cap hit. Anderson is overpaid for his production so how is Colorado supposed to afford that for many years to come. Kadri is expected to get 6 million as a free agent why would you not just keep him instead of Anderson. Way more production out of Kadri and he’s a center to boot. If Anderson was to be a UFA then yep you make the trade but how does he fit when Mackinnon’s contract comes due. He’s going to get over 10 million per year. You don’t seem to factor in the length of the contract with the cap hit in your trade proposals. No disrespect intended just an observation.

  8. LA is approaching a deal for Chychrun, centered around Valardi. I would be leery of his back issues!

  9. Sorry I missed this yesterday. I don’t think the Isles get a whole lot for Chara but would be surprised if they aren’t able to move him. He’s still competitive and feisty.

    Would love to see them move on from Clutterbuck and Parise. They have a bunch of internal options that could use the ice time.