NHL Rumor Mill – March 21, 2022

by | Mar 21, 2022 | Rumors | 45 comments

The Trade Deadline is 3 pm ET today. Check out the latest in this morning’s NHL rumor mill.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With so many notable names already moved in recent days, there’s not much in terms of rumors involving noteworthy trade candidates. Here’s a quick roundup of this morning’s speculation.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes the Boston Bruins will look at acquiring a forward before today’s trade deadline. Targets could include the Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Max Domi, the Vancouver Canucks’ J.T. Miller and the New Jersey Devils’ Pavel Zacha.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed the Canucks are unlikely to move Miller today. Anything can happen, of course, but the extra year on his contract means they could keep him and perhaps try to sign him this summer to a contract extension.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reports the Flyers are getting lots of calls on defenseman Justin Braun. Winger James van Riemsdyk could also be available as he has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $7 million.

Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Braun seems more likely to move than van Riemsdyk considering the latter’s cap hit. Braun is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and carries an affordable $1.8 million annual average value.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers are believed to be interested in Jets forward Andrew Copp. Meanwhile, talk around Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell seems to have quieted. Rangers GM Chris Drury could also bring in a defenseman. Options could include the Chicago Blackhawks Calvin de Haan, Montreal Canadiens Brett Kulak, the Flyers’ Justin Braun and the Buffalo Sabres’ Colin Miller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek has made good on his vow to trade his pending UFAs rather than risk losing them for nothing this summer to free agency. He already shipped out Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson. I expect Rakell will be on the move before today’s deadline.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma ponders the trade possibilities for several Canucks. They appear willing to remain patient with pending restricted free agent Brock Boeser while Conor Garland’s speed and reasonable contract still make him a good fit in Vancouver. Pending UFAs Tyler Motte and Luke Schenn are more likely to move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser could be moved today but I think that’s more likely an offseason move if they can’t reach an agreement on a contract. Garland is reportedly drawing lots of interest but I think it’ll take a significant offer (first-round pick?) to pry him away from the Canucks.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports the Los Angeles Kings have expressed interest in Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen and defensemen Jeff Petry and Brett Kulak. The Edmonton Oilers have also been linked to Kulak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry’s $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 and his 15-team no-trade clause could make him difficult to move today. That could be an offseason transaction.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins believes the Oilers would like to add a defenseman. His suggested options include the Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy, the Ottawa Senators’ Nick Holden, and the Canadiens’ Brett Kulak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leavins also included the New Jersey Devils’ Ryan Graves on his list but I don’t believe he’s available.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks goaltender James Reimer is garnering some interest.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Nick Leddy could be the next Red Wing to depart before today’s deadline. Vladislav Namestnikov and Marc Staal could also be available.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: It appears the Capitals will continue to make calls for a goaltender and a middle-six forward.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames could add an affordable defenseman. Targets could include the Flyers’ Justin Braun, the Canadiens’ Brett Kulak, the Kraken’s Carson Soucy, the Sabres’ Colin Miller, the Red Wings Marc Staal and the New York Islanders’ Zdeno Chara.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Chara going anywhere today. It seems like he’s willing to finish the season with the Isles.


  1. It will be interesting to see if Sweeney can add a min forward who can score and a little meanness would be good too

    • The toughness …. Been blowing that horn since October

  2. Kyle Dubas has delivered only 1/3 of changes that is needed for Toronto to go beyond 1st round. Now he needs to complete the other 2/3. Trade Liiligren and Muzzin for Soucey and Braun. This will give some what solid D core that has bit of sandpaper.



    A lot better than what we used to have.. Dermott, Muzzin and Liiligren. Hoping Dubas come through by 3pm today.

    In Auston Mathews We Trust

    Go Leafs Go

    • I think the defence is solid now. Especially with a healthy Muzzin. The only other need to fill is a 1a or 1b goalie.
      Then they could always make a surprise splash with a Nylander deal.
      We shall see!

      • A splash with a Nylander deal

        Oh My

        We would all be happy fans !

      • @yes guy

        Please make the surprise a reality

    • Lilligren and Muzzin for Soucy & Braun??? Just when I think I have seen it all. wow

    • Lol

  3. I can’t see how Sweeney can add another forward without trading away either Lohrei or Lysell. I’ve seen both, Lohrei is every bit as valuable as Lysell. Mason’s gonna be a very good nhl defenseman. He’s got excellent speed, lots of grit and he can get downright nasty, good defensively. Vancouvers gm says The only time he’s seen the kind of speed Lysell brings to the table has been Bure or Mcdavid.

    • Hopefully Sweeney holds onto these two. Not much else to trade unfortunately. Debrusk and a second for someone.

    • Not trading either top prospect and will get at least one forward. Bet on it

      • From the keyboard of Fluto Shinzawa
        The Bruins are not done dealing. Help up front is next.

  4. Sitting here sipping my extra large cup of BRC ( Freedom Choice ) with my Bruins wish list in hand … Broken Record but here it goes ….. Wouldn’t mind seeing them bring in another Dman with toughness and plays with a edge plus who can clean up the D zone …a winger/center type who can help out in the scoring dept …. A tough big body at wing who can protect their Star players during the playoffs … 3 players but don’t think the B’s have the assets to get all 3 done … should be interesting day or not

    • I don’t see Boston landing any more big names, but I can see them looking at depth players for those roles.

      Middleton from SJ fits the tough D-Man mold and shouldn’t cost too much.

      Seems a lot of teams are targeting Copp for that Center/Wing depth. Might be a good fit but could bidding war could drive up the cost?

      Kyle Clifford is a big, tough kid who could be had on the waiver wire today…

  5. SOP

    U Though the Giordano trade was a good trade..

    Boston got a 28 year old in his prime, and Boston basically gave up a first instead of second , remaining assets are equal.

    This trade will come back and haunt the Leafs down the road..
    2 seconds and a third for a 38 year old…

    Gilmour – 7 th rounder
    Messier – 3rd rounder
    Brett Hull= 6 th or 7 th rounder
    Luc Robataille – undrafted
    Jari Kurri – 4 th round
    Federov – 4th round
    N. Lidstrom – 3rd round
    Alfredsson – 6th round
    Zetterberg – 8th round
    Theo Fleury – 8th round

    These are late picks, not second rounders,
    there are so, so many examples, if the scouts do their true diligence

    • Toronto has had some good luck with older players. Thornton, Marleau, Simmonds , oh wait!

      But in all seriousness, the draft picks you’re showing are the exception, not the rule. A 1st round pick is almost a coin flip when it comes to NHL success (not of becoming a superstar, I mean a career as a 3rd-4th liner).

      So imagine the odds of finding those type of players in the 3rd, 4th , 7th round?

      For every example you find of a Lidstrom, Gilmour etc. there are 500 examples of higher picks / 1st, 2nd gone wrong.

      Is Giordano the answer to Torontos prayers? Doubtful. But we’ll see I guess.

      • @cpt obvious

        I get your pt

        Last year , a 1st and a 4 th for

        Kadri trade


        Dubais is not the guy to take the Leafs to promise land

    • I guess the same could be said about the lightning. Two 1st for a player, Hagel (6th round pick) that is one season into scoring 20 goals with 22.1% shooting percentage. We’ll see how that works out.

      • I think The Hagel trades was one of the better trades so far. Even when his shooting % goes down and if his production goes down they have a player locked up for 2 more years at 1.5 per.

        They don’t exactly need any more guys that put up 20+ goals. They do need cost controlled players. Tampa’s window won’t remain open much longer. And those 2-1st round picks sure as hell aren’t going to make a difference for aging players like Hedman, Stamkos, Mcdonagh etc.

        This was definitely not a deal I would say made a lot of sense for most teams. But for Tampa specifically, it makes perfect sense.

    • @ Ken

      That list you made shows that scouting kids to play a man’s game is as much fuelled by luck as it is by “due diligence”.

      Obviously nobody knew what those kids would be as pros or they’d all be first round picks.

      It’s quite possible that Dubas tried to get Lindholm but he was unwilling to sign an extension to play in Toronto.

      • @Daryl
        True enough

        The core 4 will have to be re adjusted ..
        Leafs can’t balance out the team
        The blue line in is a disaster

        Signing Tavares at the time , there was no thought process to this regard

        Tampa – well managed and extremely well coached

        Florida – Zito !!!

        Boston – people knock Sweeney , I don’t get it ..
        I think he has done an ideal job
        Casper is ideal as well

        Toronto brass needs to observe this …

  6. DeBrusk,Studs,Reilly, Frederic,Clifton … just tossing these names out there, let’s see if any of these go in trades today

    • Joe
      I don’t think they will move Frederick just starting to come into his own

    • Captain. Your saying a player under contract @$1.5 million for a couple years. Is a 10-20 goal scorer is worth two 1st round picks.

      • To a team like Tampa? Absolutely. For Arizona, Montreal, Etc. Absolutely not.

        Again, Hagel is a capable guy. More importantly, he’s cost controlled.

        How are 2 late 1st round draft picks helping Tampa? Even if they could crack the lineup , they’d have a cost higher than Hagel. But the odds of those 2 picks finding their way to the NHL in the next 3 years is about zero.

        So how do they help keep Tampas window open? Simple answer, they don’t.

        When Tampa’s window starts to close, they’ll have no issues recouping 1st round picks. Until then, they have to be all in.

        A lot of people (including myself) questioned a 1st for Goodrow. That worked out pretty good for Tampa.

        There are far worse deal made already that make less sense for the teams involved in giving up assets.

        Let’s remember, all bs aside. Tampa is still the team to beat, until they’re not!

    • @ Ken

      I know you don’t want to hear it and it’s not an excuse but whether people want to
      agree with it or not TB has a couple advantages to signing players.

      They definitely have an advantage with players paying considerably less taxes. TB players can also love relatively anonymously in FLA. Also…who wouldn’t want to go to work in shorts and sandals…

      Every GM in the league has made mistakes. Agree that the Kadri trade was a bad return for a player we didn’t need. Tavares wasn’t necessary but he’s been a point per game player since he signed.

  7. Dubas….PLEASE…. no more UFAs for futures

    Read the room… do you really believe you can beat Bolts AND Cats AND Canes AND Avs….. Pssssst….Ed says “Delusional”

    Bruins are just 2 points behind , and there are 2 games H2H…. Bruins have been playing well

    One could argue that Leafs finishing in #1WC spot has a higher probability than Leafs beating Bolts first round…. maybe that’s the plan…. Hoping for a cross-over and feeling better about beating Canes, the Rangers or Pens….. do I hear Ed again…..”Delusional”

    The moves need to be done in the summer…. Move away from 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds; strengthen the back end…. build for the true Cup Window (June ‘23, June ‘24) when Cats have $6.6 M in dead Cap next year; Bruins uncertain re top line C future (as at now) and Bolts at the brim of Cap, cupboard bare; and before AM leaves (1/7/24)

    • @Pengy
      In total agreement

      • “ Read the room… do you really believe you can beat Bolts AND Cats AND Canes AND Avs….. Pssssst….Ed says “Delusional”

        And as I say, you guys never won or played right? We played to beat the odds, news flash, the odds are always against you. You do what you can to beat those odds. Are the odds heavily stacked against you, well in the east, oh yeah! This year I’m expecting an all out war for the playoffs in the east.

    • Matthews is a beast! He isn’t going anywhere!

      • Hi Yes Guy

        Your first sentence…. 100% agree

        Your second sentence….. very likely (not 100%) that he does NOT move….. for the next 27 Months and 10 days

        27 Months and 11 days…. I’ve got to think the odds he is still a Leaf…..

        A) If Leafs do NOT get to SCF in ‘23 or ‘24….. equal to odds maybe that a certain QB unretires for the 8th time to return to TBay?

        B) If Leafs get to SCF in one of ‘’23 or ‘24; but don’t get SC…. maybe 5% chance he stays

        C) Leafs win a Cup in ‘23 and/or ‘24…. 1 in 3 chance

        No trip to SCF in ‘23 AND Leafs NOT in 1st in East at TDL ‘24…. With what was thrown out in trades over the last few days….. perhaps Leafs get blown away with a trade offer on the (then) pending UFA AM… and move him then….. low probability f that happening…. But NOT impossible

      • Auston Mathews is the GOAT. No one comes close to him, not even the great one. If Mathews played in the eighties, he could easily score 100+ goals every season. Auston will take the Leafs to the promise land.

      • Hello Yes Guy

        Austin Mathews will be back home in AZ as a UFA for the Start of the 2024/5 Season 100%…..👍

        He is back there Every chance he gets, his New house he build, his Family his Friends they are all there and the new Rink will be ready…😎

      • Hi Mike

        AM great… absolutely.

        GOAT…. AM not close to a young (turned 74 the other day) Parry sound lad born Robert… known as Bobby

        Also , as at now….. not as good as Mario or Wayne

        AM keeps it up; stays in League until mid 30’s…. He will certainly be considered in top 4 (maybe top 3)

        Can’t see him getting to Bobby level

        Even growing up with all my friends … all of us wanting to play forward (most of us Centre) for the Leafs…. When playing road hockey… we all imagined our “fantastic” dekes , shots, moves to be us emulating #4

        He was absolutely something else

    • if he does nothing and they lose first round this year he is out of a job. Why should he care about the future if he is no longer with the organizaition ?
      perhaps the best thing that could happen to the Leafs is that they exit early , Dubas and the front office are ousted and a couple of the top 4 are moved to balance the team ….just my opinion

  8. Gio will add compete and leadership . Apparently in tremendous shape . Too bad he is 38 but will help round out that core when Muzzin returns .

    It looks like Seattle’s plan all along was to accumulate picks at the deadline. We will see around 300 eastern exactly how many

    Colin Miller should be scooped

    • Hi SS


      Great add, but at wrong time AND for too much

      Their (Leafs) plan is likely to try and sign him for home-town discount 2 year deal for their Cup runs in ‘23 and ‘24

      This could have been done for free (no assets given up) this summer

      Instead… I would have loved to have seen…

      1) make that signing (Gio) in July, as a UFA…. No assets given up
      2) off-season….use the 2 2nds, Dermott, AND a 1st AND WW …. Utilizing the freed up $8.5 M ((WW & Dermott) Cap….. turn that into a top pairing RHD and a much better goaltender

      Doing 1 and 2 above gives Leafs an excellent shot at a cup in either (both?) ‘23 or ‘24 IMHO

      Don’t get me wrong… I do like Gio…. But in the off season; and with still 2 2nds and Dermott as trade assets in a bigger picture , longer term move

      • @Pengy

        Which team is trading a starting goaltender in your scenario? Or, which UFA goalie are the Leafs targeting?

        Nylander could be used now to upgrade the back end. Again…who are they trading him for? He would be a 1st line RW on a lot of teams. Nylander for Chychrun and Kessel 50% retained?

      • @ Pengy..I am happy with the Penguins adding Rickard Rakell pure shooter and sniper. We were in on Namestnikov and of course that blow hard Eklund from Hockey buzz got me all pumper had we landed both wow.

        Crosby Rust Guentzel
        Malkin Rakell Carter
        Blueger Zucker Rodriques
        Boyle McGinn Heinen

        Extras Kapanen/Pustinen/Nylander

        Nathan Beaulie on defense is ready March 29th… LHD could move to third pair with Freidman..

        your thought?

        Plus Rakell gives us insurance when Rust walks in free Agency this summer.

  9. Pengy. Disagree with the whole window thing. You build a team to go to playoffs and see what happens. Nobody criticizes Tampa because they won, but there was no guarantee of that. You can’t schedule a championship. I’m not a Leaf’s fan, but their core is as good as any. Every team has holes and tries to address before playoffs. Future isn’t guaranteed. Play the games. Ducks threw in towel, but it doesn’t look like other bubble teams are doing same. A lot of teams looking to add some postseason revenue.

    • Hi Slick

      Agree that nothing is guaranteed in playoffs; and yes anything can happen (cite Kings first cup)….

      But… Bolts moves were when they already had a fair shot and their path to the cup was not through 4 of the top 6 favoured teams to win the cup

      I truly believe that Leafs window s in ‘23 and ‘24 now (and only if a bigger move is done off season [away from 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds] )

      Leafs …. To win cup this year ….. are going to have to beat at least one of the FLA teams (high probability of both) AND likely Canes (perhaps Rangers or Pens) AND finally…. the current fav…. Avs

      Watched the opening of trade centre this morning….. all panelists working for the same ownership group as Leafs…..None had Leafs top 5 in probability for a cup this year

      Most had Avs to win it …. I believe all had Bolts, Cats, Avs , Canes in their top 5 ( Flames, Blues, Pens got mentions in top 5); all had Avs AND Bolts top 3

      I absolutely dream, hope, pray, that I’m wrong…. But I have trouble even considering Leafs getting to ECF , let alone SCF this year

      I really think that Bruins over-taking Leafs for 3rd ATL has a higher probability than Leafs beating Bolts first round

      • But Pengy, like you mentioned, nobody saw Vegas going to final. Nor Habs last year. FO isn’t paid to sit in a studio. Tampa went out in 1st round prior to Cup run. Beat 1st place Bruins. And you assumptions on opponents doesn’t leave room for upsets either.

  10. Ok Bruin fans. DeBrusk signed extension. Is he still getting traded? It’s 2 year deal. Does this make him more attractive to other teams?

    • I assume yes he is traded

    • Kind of weird, kind of not.
      Not sure he gets traded by TDL today, but hasn’t rescinded request either.
      If it was a specific team interested, why didn’t they just sign him to the extension like the B’s did with Lindholm?
      Also shows he is pragmatic enough to know another team wasn’t qualifying him at the higher AAV, which many of us on here suggested he would take less for a short extension. Just like KK will in CAR IMO.

      So think he does move on, but maybe not until off season. B’s need goals so can’t trade him until you replace them.