NHL Rumor Mill – March 2, 2022

by | Mar 2, 2022 | Rumors | 38 comments

Check out the latest Blackhawks speculation plus updates on Jake DeBrusk, Claude Giroux, John Klingberg and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers suggested Kyle Davidson, the Chicago Blackhawks’ new full-time general manager, should attempt to craft a trade package that will help the club gain a first-round pick in this year’s draft. The Hawks traded their first-rounder to the Columbus Blue Jackets last summer in the Seth Jones trade.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

Trade candidates could include free agents such as Marc-Andre Fleury, Dominik Kubalik, Calvin de Haan, Ryan Carpenter and Dylan Strome. Of these, only Fleury could fetch a first-rounder but goalies are difficult to trade. In Fleury’s case, the Blackhawks intend to honor the promise made by former GM Stan Bowman giving the netminder total control over whether and where he goes.

Davidson’s intent to rebuild also raises questions over the futures of long-time Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Both have a year remaining on their contracts. Will one or both be re-signed and if so, will they be on long- or short-term deals?

DAILY FACEOFF: Matt Larkin also weighed in on those factors. He thinks Davidson should try to convince Kane, who’s still a star, to stick with the rebuilding club as they try to build around Jones, Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Chris Johnston reports it sounds like Fleury might not be inclined to move by the trade deadline and seems to be leaning toward finishing the season in Chicago. The 37-year-old goalie could change his mind if a Stanley Cup contender comes calling. If he prefers to stay, however, it will rob the Blackhawks of a valuable bargaining chip leading up to the March 21 trade deadline.

There’s been some speculation suggesting the Blackhawks could listen to offers for Alex DeBrincat. However, I’m in agreement with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, who said he’d be surprised if the Hawks traded the 24-year-old scoring winger. They need a player like him to build around.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports agent Rick Valette, who represents Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk, said his client’s trade demand made back in November still stands. Valette also said he’s spoken with other clubs (with the Bruins’ permission) to let them know they’re willing to negotiate a contract extension if it will facilitate a trade.

DeBrusk, 25, is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. LeBrun said interested clubs are concerned about the $4.4 million qualifying offer it would take to retain his rights after this season. He speculates perhaps an agreement on an extension at a cheaper price might send everyone home happy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk’s performance has improved in recent games after being moved up to the club’s top line in what was considered an attempt by management to showcase him for a trade. That may have improved his trade value but could also make him valuable to the Bruins as they push to secure a playoff berth. They could decide to retain him if they don’t get any suitable offers now and then try to trade him in the offseason.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux has yet to tell management he’s ready to waive his no-movement clause. LeBrun believes things could pick up next week. He indicated the Flyers have told teams Giroux could arguably be the most impactful player at this year’s trade deadline. That means it could be expensive to acquire him, perhaps a first-round, a young player, and a prospect or two assets of higher quality.

Darren Dreger reports Rasmus Ristolainen’s fate could be decided as early as this week. There will be contract talks between his agent and Flyers management but he could be shopped if the contract doesn’t make sense for the Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers can set that high price for Giroux and they might get it. However, the closer we get to the deadline the more they risk driving interested parties toward other cheaper options. Whatever return the Flyers get isn’t going to make their fans happy. It’ll be a big win if they can get a first-rounder, a quality prospect and a promising young player.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the San Jose Sharks are “taking its run at keeping Tomas Hertl.

Friedman sees Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg landing with the Seattle Kraken either at the trade deadline or as a free agent this summer.

Florida Panthers center Noel Acciari could be an under-the-radar name to watch as the trade deadline approaches.


  1. With DeBrusk willing to negotiate a new deal with new team before hand will likely increase the chance he is moved by the deadline for a decent return

    • The fact Debrusk is willing to take less to leave Boston is telling.

      Debrusk should be moved trade deadline. With that said Sweeney should only do so if he is getting a fair deal in return.

      • Don’t know how much it has to do with Cassidy who benched him a few times I’m saying some

      • Caper…besides slumping what went wrong for DeBrusk in Boston? He is certainly playing well now on that second line with Taylor Hall.

      • Caper, where did you see that DeBrusk would accept less $ elsewhere?
        Not saying he wouldn’t, not saying he would, I have no idea. Depends on the $ and term I suppose.

        If the B’s don’t find a trade that benefits the team wait til the off season. Especially if he keeps clicking on the top line.

        Jake will be just fine, seemed pretty happy celebrating his hat trick with Bergeron and Marchand the other night.

        Not like he doesn’t understand the drill, he has been in NHL rinks and around NHL teams since he was a kid.

      • I think I heard he will take less than what it will take to qualify him at $4.85 million in the offseason.

      • Problem with young Debrusk is his HIGH Salary for what he is achieving right now in boston❗️

        A qualifing offer of $4.4 million is Way to High for an Very Inconsistant player like him,
        in this very tight Salary Cap world where
        90% of the teams are close to being capped out
        He is a 3rd line winger at $2.5 mill player untill he proves other wise Right….

        Trading him is going to be very hard for boston……⁉️

        Boston do need a good puck moving d/man thats the weakest area watching there last 10 games for the Bruins this season…..🤔

  2. So MAF is going to squash an opportunity for the Hawks to get a 1st. I bet he would change his tune if the Pens came calling!

    • Ya he probably only has 2 or 3 teams where he will change his mind

    • If MAF gets to pick where he goes not so sure they get a first back.
      Didn’t Hall only get a 2nd in a similar scenario?

    • Pens won’t trade a first for a 1b goalie. If Jarry gets a season ender….?

    • Yep it would……He is a Penguin he bleeds black and gold..

      • Blackngold,

        Your 100% Right… MAF would Love to go back to the Penguins and play with All his best Buddy’s…
        that would be his 1st Choice👍

    • The Hawkes should be able to a couple of first-round picks in Kane and Toews deals. Their rebuild will be just fine without trading MAF.

      • Kane, yes. Toews, no. Actually, Kane probably brings more than a first, but Toews is almost untradable, and certainly won’t bring a first, or maybe even a second. And Chicago will most likely need to eat some salary cap to get rid of him.

      • At the trade deadline, lesser players than Toews were traded for a 1st round pick.
        In the offseason I agree, Toews won’t get a 1st round pick.

      • I would still trade MAF sooner than latter..?
        To get a 2nd round pick Or a Very Good prospect for the #1 goaltender avalable right Now ❓

        Who knows if the Hawks retain salary for MAF this year they may get a first round pick……🤔

        Kane could get a 1st Pick and a Good Prospect, and if they retained salary for this year…? for a top playoff team.

        J.Towes im not sure what the market is for him…. Very Very Limited…. ?
        I’m not even sure that they could trade him with a $10 Million dollar contract… ⁉️

        Its i think it a lot like Carry Price Its an other None Movable contract at 4 more years @$$10. MILLION Dollar P.A. after this one and with his Poor Health & age and him at 34-35 years old that going to be Almost Impossible move for the Habs in this tight Cap World we are in……❗️

    • Probably right that he might change his tune if Pens came calling. And just Because Lehner is out..hopefully he doesn’t want to go back to Vegas after their GM stated a couple of weeks ago that he is NOT looking to Fleury for returning back to the Knights.

      Fleury however should really think about seeking GOD STATUS and if the Leafs came calling, he should take that risk because if the Leafs ever did pull it off (Stanley cup) he would have that GOD STATUS forever. God would probably go get a tattoo of a flower to honour him 😉

      • Lehner played last night.

        I think it would be foolish for MAF and Pittsburgh to bring him back as a ufa. Why wouldn’t MAF go somewhere for a better deal (likely his last) where he can start, and why would Pittsburgh waste the money?

        These type of sentimental deals only happen in the imagination of fans.

        Much better players than MAF have finished their careers without this storybook ending.

    • @johnny Z. MAF is a Penguin through and through…

      The only place I might see him going is Minnesota.

      He is a UFA and will decide in the off season where he wants to finish his career…. I;m betting he goes back to Pittsburgh at a team friendly price to finish off his career and his jersey someday will join Crosby Malkin and Letang’s in the PPG Paints arena rafters.

      Legacy means something..

      • I was talking as a TDL acquisition. If the Pens is the only place he will go, I am sure the Hawks will only as for a 2nd and retain 1/2 of his salary. And if they take back DeSmith in this deal, it might get done! But I think DeSmith is a non-starter. Would a MAF at 1/2 salary for Pettersson work? Then Pitt trades Desmith to NJ for peanuts, literally, LOL.

  3. No way Hextall gives up a #1 for Fleury.

    • I doubt any contender will give a 1st many do not even have their 1st to give

    • Agreed Ed and Johnny yeah your right misinterpreted what you were saying..

  4. Kane yes, Toews, not so sure about that. He has 4 goals and 15 assists in 43 games and a 10.5 cap hit next year.

    Kane I believe Chicago would have to hold 50% to maximize a trade and send him to a contender.

    Toews would probably need to have 50%, and then another 50% to get a deal done.
    I certainly wouldn’t give up a 1st for Toews at 5.75 next year.

    Nobody has the cap space to make a deal for either at full hit. And I don’t see either waving those nmc’s to go to Arizona , Columbus etc.

    • Wrong place, this was a reply to Kevjam.

  5. As stated in Coffee Debrusk alone won’t bring back a Bruin need …..

    • So package him with a roster player and see what happens,no untouchables on the team except,37,63,73,1.

      • You forgot 88. 🥸

      • Everyone has a price even a 27 year old WG

    • Maybe he will….
      DeBrusk wiih 1yr extension (prove it deal) at current cap hit to Detroit for Leddy and Nemestikov both 1/2 salary retained. This only works if DeBrusk is still RFA summer of ’23……otherwise his extension should be 2 x $4.1M
      Boston gets a puck moving LD and valuable player that can play up and down the lines and in all situations.

      • I’m not sure about that one Johnny. I don’t think DeBrusk fits in in Detroit. He won’t replace any wingers on the first two lines, not an upgrade over Vrana, Raymond, Bertuzzi, and probably not Fabbri. And to be honest, I might rather resign Namestnikov for a role on the third line. I could see Yzerman targeting either a LD, or a potential #2C in any trade for those two players, not a winger on the third line.

      • Not sure either of those guys fit in BOS either.
        Nemestikov has the benefit of costing less, but he isn’t a better player than DeBrusk and not even sure where Leddy would play in BOS?
        Not an improvement over Grz or Reilly in the “puck mover” type guy, and can’t play the role Forbort does.

        With Iago, not a good fit.
        I could see both those guys getting moved and getting a return, just won’t be that much IMO.

      • Thanks guys!!

      • @Johnny Z

        Who is giving a 3rd line winger like DeBrusk 2 x $4.1M in a flat cap system?

        He hasn’t been traded for two reasons…he’s very inconsistent and his salary and subsequent qualifying offer is too much money for what he provides.

  6. I agree Ray. Detroit and Boston are probably not trade partners. They both need the same thing up front – a #2C. DeBrusk has more offensive upside than Namestnikov, and is younger. Namestnikov is cheaper, and better defensively. I’m not sure if Detroit gets much of an offer for either player mentioned.

    • Ya, depth guys for a contender Iago. Namestikov for 3rd line and can chip in a few goals, can move up in case of injury. Leddy same thing. Can’t have too many D come playoff time.

      If they don’t plan on keeping them, might as well get something. Draft some project type guys and a tender with what you get back. Might hit.