NHL Rumor Mill – March 23, 2022

by | Mar 23, 2022 | Rumors | 36 comments

The 2022 trade deadline may be history but the trade and free agent rumors roll on. Check out the latest on the Canucks, what the offseason could hold for the Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk, and what’s ahead for the Blue Jackets in today’s NHL rumor mill.


VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Following the trade deadline, Rob Simpson was critical of the trade rumors surrounding Canucks scoring leader J.T. Miller for the past two months, calling them “asinine”. He also heaped scorn on the Conor Garland trade speculation, pointing out he’s 26-years-old and under contract for the next four years at an annual salary-cap hit of $4.95 million.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston also took note of Miller, Garland and winger Brock Boeser staying put despite weeks of trade conjecture. He speculates high-profile trades could still take place in the offseason, even if the leverage for those players won’t be as high as it was this past weekend. If any significant changes take place, Johnston believes it’ll be through trades.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen reminded us the Canucks weren’t facing pressure to move those three players. Miller has another year remaining on his contract, Garland has four more and Boeser is a restricted free agent in July. However, he shares Johnston’s view that any major moves to clear cap space or shake up the roster will take place this summer.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser still seems the most likely of the three to be moved. He will cost the Canucks’ $7.5 million to qualify his rights plus he’s also eligible for salary arbitration. Boeser could be on the move if the Canucks fail to shed salary elsewhere. Meanwhile, Miller’s agent is reportedly willing to meet with management this summer to discuss a contract extension.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty believes the Bruins signed Jake DeBrusk to a two-year, $8 million contract extension to make the 25-year-old winger a more tradeable commodity before Monday’s trade deadline. He indicates they were interested in winger Rickard Rakell before the Anaheim Ducks shipped him to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but doesn’t know if DeBrusk would’ve been part of the deal.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports DeBrusk’s agent was disappointed his client wasn’t moved before the deadline. While the Bruins felt they were better off retaining the winger, LeBrun speculates they could revisit attempts to trade him in the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun’s colleague Fluto Shinzawa believes it’s up to DeBrusk to determine his fate after this season. If he doesn’t improve over the remainder of the season it will depress his trade value by the July draft, which is the next waypoint in the trade market. A better effort by DeBrusk would boost his trade value and make him easier to move this summer.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen suggested bigger moves could be in store for his club in the offseason compared to their limited activity at the trade deadline. He indicated he’ll be in the market for a player who can have an impact right away.

Another big move will be attempting to sign winger Patrik Laine to a contract extension. The 23-year-old winger is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. Sources told Portzline that initials discussions have begun between the two sides.


  1. Brock Boeser and Laine.Two fine players. But what you get from them compared to what I think they will sign for will be a complete overpay. And if traded, for another team to give up assets to get them, just to then overpay for them seems criminal for a GM to do. I can’t wait to watch this unfold…

    • I cant see anybody trading assets for Boeser then having to give him a 7.5 million Qualifying Offer.

      – injury prone
      – lack of speed
      – defensive liability

      Going to be hard for the Canucks to keep him as well.
      Pettersson- 7.3 million
      OEL- 7.2 million
      Hughes- 7.8 million
      Myers- 6 million
      Horvat- 5.5 million
      Miller-5.2 million
      Demko- 5 million
      Garland- 4.9 million
      Pearson – 3.2 million

      52.1 million on 9 players with Miller and Horvat on expiring contracts after next season with increases sure to come. 52.1 million leaves only
      29 million or so to complete the roster. Myers and OEL contracts are deadweight and will cost picks or prospects to unload.

      Benning left this team in a mess, its up to the new management team to try and find speed, assets and cap room. Not an easy task.

  2. Okay, can one of you Bruins fans please explain what the issue is with DeBrusk? Yes, last season was a disappointment. But he scores in one out of every two games he’s played in. Is he a huge defensive liability? Seems like a very serviceable 2nd line gut. Am I just not seeing something? Why is he always in the rumor mill? Yes, he asked for a trade, but he’s on pace for 30+ points again this season. Why has he ALWAYS been a disappointment? (admittedly, I don’t watch many Bruins games)

    • He is a better player than many give him credit for, but his inconsistency is a bit maddening. He really raised expectations when he scored 27 goals on Krejci’s wing a few years ago and has never been able to match that production again for some reason, let alone exceed it as one would expect with maturity and experience.

      Also, though not his fault, every Bruins fan dreams of Barzal, Connor or Chabot with a spoked B on his chest instead of Debrusk. Debrusk didn’t choose where he was drafted, but he’s kinda been treated like an unwanted child because of it.

      The rest of this season and the playoffs will be huge in determining Debrusk’s future.

      • Thanks, seems like the guy can’t win. He’s actually playing well right now and it seems that the fans and media still want him traded. No wonder he wants out.

      • He is playing quite well, despite the slump in scoring since he had the huge streak a few weeks ago.

        Marchand may be the best kind of linemate for someone like Debrusk. I suspect that if he were to coast or take a shift off that he would be getting an earful (and maybe a kiss on the cheek). Regardless what anyone thinks about Marchand, you’ll never accuse him of being lazy.

    • Jake has all the tools size speed great shot but plays scared more so after he took cross check to the face from Kadri. Jake has been spoiled his whole life and needs to understand that playing in NHL is not a given and you need to work hard. Brad said it best when Jake plays involved he plays best. When things not going well most players need to stop complaining about what line they are on and need to look in mirror.

      • “ Jake has been spoiled his whole life ….” Didn’t know you knew the kid growing up. Nothing bets an honest statement.

    • Debrusk asked for the trade in the offseason, came public in November.

      I wonder if the trade request came after July 21st the day Taylor Hall signed his 4yr deal.

      The signing of Hall meant Debrusk would be stuck on the third line and he didn’t see any other way of moving up the line up with Marchand and Hall ahead of him.

      Debrusk has always been inconsistent; however, his play of late has been inspiring, he is using his speed and driving the offense and back to going into the dirty areas.

      I also wonder if the signing for for the Rackell deal that didn’t happen, as a report came out stating that Rackell would only discuss an extension with Anaheim.

      Sweeney wasn’t going to trade Debrusk for a rental and no extension they trade discussions were done.

      Jake is in a great position to succeed playing off wing on the 1st line. Have a good playoff drive up the value and he’ll be able to move on.

      Should add he’s been very professional and by all reports liked by his teammates.

      • Just a quick question, where did you hear Debrusk asked for a trade during the offseason?

    • Yeah I can, DeBrusk has no real hockey sense, not great along the boards, has no real play making ability, isn’t overly physical, disappears for multiple games at a time, not nearly as good as he thinks he is, way overpaid at 4 mil, but has a good shot at times, can be quick and is pretty good on breakaways. I thought he should have been traded after his 27 goal season at his peak, I would have traded him straight up for Kessel, but Arizona probably didn’t think the same even though Kessel is a UFA

      • You don’t score in 50% of your games without some hockey sense. It sounds to me that everyone in Boston wants him to be like Bergeron, Pastarnak, and Marchand…. thats high expectations. Maybe he should go out and lick some faces to endear himself to the hometown crowd?

      • Good thing you’re not a GM lol

  3. Did the Canuks writers give praise for absolutely fleecing Ottawa clown PD by making him actually PAY a pick for a player they couldn’t give away?

    2nd proudest day of his career

    • I cant for the life of me figure out why anyone would trade anything for Hamonic, let alone a 3rd round pick.

      Part time player that is barely adequate in his own end, has no speed on provides zero offence with another year at 3 million on his deal.

      Very puzzling what Dorions thought process was on this.

    • Perhaps, but they then negated that by giving up a 3rd for Dermott. Toronto should have sent assets to Vancouver to get rid of this number 6/7 defenseman.

      • If you guys ever figure it out and can come up with a rationale for the acquisition of Hamonick, please let me know.

        I mean, they already HAD their own Hamonick in Del Zotto – and for a helluva lot less cap – and a better one in Josh Brown – again, costing less than Hamonick – who they then dealt away to Boston!

        Those kinds of moves could mark the beginning of the end for Dorion as GM if this blows up in his face.

        As Mark Methot said on Twitter – he’s (Hamonick) a “different kind of bird.”

      • The above – and if it turns out Ottawa is complicit in any way in the Dadonov screw-up – I can see Melnyk stepping in and replacing Dorion.

      • George O, i believe in that tweet Methot also said he doesn’t know him or have played with him.

        His different bird comment was from players he knew who knew him.

      • I’m just shooting from the hip here. Maybe there is an offseason move of Boeser to Ottawa for a very favourable deal?
        Vancouver keeps him for a chance at the playoffs since they aren’t that far out?

  4. any change Laine shakes loose?

  5. Ron if you don’t think Jake was spoiled as a kid your dreaming he had the best equipment played on best teams had best trainers his whole life. He went to best schools went on best trips went to NHL games his whole life met all kind of stars. Compare that to a player who’s parents had to get 2nd mortgage to have their child play on rep teams and to buy good 2nd hand equipment and the NHL is full of those players. I never said spoiled rotten I said spoiled he definitely was it’s time to go to work and become a man.

    • Spot on, I’m sure most if not all former NHLers kids are spoiled rich and have a leg up on all other kids, a lot of politics going on

    • Obe, DeBrusk played in the same minor hockey league that all Alberta kids played in. He just played on the best teams because he was good at it.
      Then got drafted by and played for the Swift Current Broncos in WHL and rode the buses across the western Canada. Like every other JR player who played in that league.

      His dad Louie got 400 games in the NHL and had to fight to stay in the lineup on a nightly basis and only got into 60 games once. Spent time in AHL and IHL well into his career. He still works as he does Oiler games for Sportsnet, so perhaps not the posh lifestyle you portray.

      I have no idea if Louie and his wife spoiled Jake any more than I do any parents I don’t personally know.

      You don’t either.

      Every elite player is spoiled or immature to some extent as the Jr teams and billets look after everything for the kids so they can focus on hockey. They don’t seem to learn accountability for anything other than hockey.

      IMO he saw himself blocked at LW, didn’t like it, asked for a trade, it went public later.

      Not the first guy, not the last, part of the biz. Would prefer he kept it quiet, he likely does now as well.

      If he is holding up his end and working hard, do what you need to I guess. Bruins will to.

      • Well said Ray 100% agree

      • Well said, Ray. Really, Obe?

  6. Starsfan, I wish DeBrusk scored in 50% of his games, then he’d more than be earning his money, he’s scoring in about 25%, and is a minus player to boot. I’ve watched almost all of his 318 games, and he’s invisible in almost 75% of them

    • The kid doesn’t come to the rink to play hockey every night he takes a lot of games off ….the zeros across the board on his game stat line happened often & Im talking about Points ..assist ..goals ..SOG & hits

    • Doesn’t he have 160 care points? I know the math isn’t exact but that is kind of 50%… I’m guessing he doesn’t have a ton of multi-point games… maybe I’m wrong… just seems like everyone is way too tough on him. I would love another guy on the Stars that is pretty consistent with 30-40 points per year.

  7. @George, my sources tell me Dorion believed he had been trading for a hammock.

    • LOL – you may be right!

    • Or perhaps a Harmonica?

      • Well, that’s another thing he can blow

    • Jeff Finger scenario?

      • Well, not quite The En-4Sir. Hammonick only has a year to go at $3 mil – Finger was signed as a UFA to a 4-year deal for $14 mil and spent just 2 seasons with the Leafs before being dumped to the AHL

  8. Gudbrandson part two. Amazing how good Gudbrandson looks in a smarter coached sytem.