NHL Rumor Mill – March 29, 2022

by | Mar 29, 2022 | Rumors | 20 comments

In today’s NHL rumor mill: Brock Boeser’s complicated contract situation, the potential cost of J.T. Miller’s next contract, and the possibility of Joona Korpisalo staying with the Blue Jackets.


THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston recently reported on Brock Boeser’s challenging contract situation with the Vancouver Canucks. The 25-year-old winger is in the final year of a three-year contract and is due a $7.5 million qualifying offer, resulting in his name frequently surfacing in trade rumors leading up to last Monday’s trade deadline.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

The deadline may be past but Johnston believes Boeser’s contract status will remain a talking point. The Canucks can qualify his rights or file for arbitration hoping to reduce that $7.5 million by 15 percent to $6.375 million. If they don’t qualify his rights he would become an unrestricted free agent.

So far, there’s no progress in contract talks between the two sides.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s contract situation will be closely watched if he and the Canucks haven’t worked out a new deal before the offseason.

The decline in his production this season further complicates things as he hasn’t produced at a level that would warrant $7.5 million next season. Nevertheless, Boeser’s agent can point to the hefty raises Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes received from the Canucks last summer to justify the qualifying offer.

Johnston suggested the Canucks may have looked into trading Boeser leading up to the trade deadline but potential trade partners would’ve wanted to talk contract with him before agreeing to acquire him. That will likely be the same issue if they attempt to peddle him in this summer’s trade market.

CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reported Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes the next contract for Canucks center J.T. Miller “is going to be in the Mika Zibanejad area.” That’s an annual average value of $8.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller is signed through 2022-23 with an annual cap hit of $5.25 million. He’ll be 30 years old when he becomes eligible next summer for unrestricted free agent status and will turn 31 in the first season of his next contract.

$8.5 million annually is a lot of money to invest in a player who will be entering an age bracket where performance eventually declines. Perhaps the Canucks front office will agree to pay something close to that on a four-year deal but I suspect the Miller camp will want something closer to eight years.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline speculated we shouldn’t be surprised if Joonas Korpisalo re-signs with the Columbus Blue Jackets this summer as a UFA. The 27-year-old goaltender was the subject of frequent trade rumors over the past two years. However, the goalie market became flooded with free agents while Korpisalo’s game began a slow slide.

Korpisalo recently underwent season-ending hip surgery, which may have affected his performance this season. Portzline said there’s word the Blue Jackets would offer him a one-way contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Korpisalo could get a fresh start elsewhere but Portzline suggests there’s no guarantee he’ll find it after this season. If the Jackets are willing to bring him back I can see him returning on an affordable one- or two-year deal.


  1. Boeser is a perimeter player. No physicality, no defensive awareness and doesnt provide enough offence to justify a 7.5 million qualifying offer.

    Miller has had a great season, no disputing that. Offering 8 years would be ludicrous however. Something in the 3-5 year range would be much better.

    Canucks will have Ekman Larsons anchor deal at 7.5 million for years to come. Another Benning fail. Keeping Roussel and Erikssons contracts would have freed up almost 10 million after this season, instead theyre stuck with OELs deal.

    Anything Vancouver does will all be for naught unless Pettersson starts earning his contract.

    Canucks should have moved Miller at the deadline when he had maximum value. Holding on to him with the notion of grabbing a playoff spot was an unwise decision IMHO.

    Demko and Hughes should be the only untouchables on the Canucks roster.

    • @RJ
      Good post

      • Yeah, it sums up the situation well. A bit over 2 months ago I really though Vancouver could maybe surge their way into a firm playoff position.

        Up to Jan 31 they had been stumbling along at a .511 % pace after 45gp with a record of 20 19 6 46 pts with 113gf 122ga.

        Beginning Feb 1 to date, they’ve upped that to a .595 % pace, going 12 8 3 27 pts 80gf 73ga.

        Unfortunately, even if their maintained that over the final 14 games they’d wind up with 90 – putting them 6 back of what is generally seen (96 pts) as necessary for a playoff spot. To get there, however, they need to play at an .821 % pace the rest of the way.

    • Ron, I agree with some of your comments but disagree on a few others, or have some added thoughts. Here’s my two cents as a Canucks fan.

      I would add Pettersson to Demko and Hughes as untouchables. But that’s it. Pettersson was still suffering effects of a wrist injury early in the season but has looked dominant at times in 2022. No concerns from me about him living up to his current contract.

      I agree that signing Miller long-term would be a mistake. But he’s got another year on his current contract so it’s fine that they didn’t trade him at the deadline. Better not to lower the asking price if the demand’s not there. Might be more buyers after the season ends.

      Boeser is a legit top-6 winger and a better offensive/defensive support player than you suggest. But the team needs to be realistic with him and his contract demands.

      I agree on OEL/Roussel/Eriksson. It was a terrible trade for the medium and long term. (Clever for short-term cap management as it protected Canucks from an offer sheet to Pettersson or Hughes, but Benning doesn’t get credit for that because he was responsible for putting the team in that cap position).

  2. I would find a way to keep Boeser if I were the Canucks. Sure, his numbers are down this year but they’re hardly awful. At his age, it’s more than likely he’ll bounce back.

  3. What are the Jets doing with Dubois contract. I am sure he habs will pay whatever is necessary to sign him.

    • Max, you mentioned this yesterday. Where are Habs getting cap space to “pay whatever”? Can’t see Jets trading him after what they gave up. I think Scheifele would be traded before him. If I’m Jets, I’m keeping both.

    • Dubois is an RFA coming off a $5 mil per cap hit – with 25g 25a 50 pts in 66 gp – and on pace for a seasonal 31g 31a 62pts – the Jets are going to find it difficult to clear enough cap space to meet his new demands – which are going to be closer to $8mil per.

      The Habs are in even worse shape when it comes to the cap – they couldn’t afford that much without some really major deletions.

      • Holy cow George, $8M for a 60pt player? Aren’t you one of the nylander is way over paid camp? He got $6.9m after putting up back to back to back 60pt seasons and looking like he’s gonna do it again.

        Different players I get that, they play different styles but no one player is flawless. Again it’s a matter of what you value and how much you think you can win with said player on your team. I don’t believe any GM thinks one guy will carry the team to success, that’s more fan fantasy than anything else. In a game where most goals wins, you need guys that can help with that and a bigger plus if said player can help deter the other team from scoring.
        Me personally I like players that are balanced (as best as one could hope to be) but some of those players I think are regarded as boring and in some cases over paid.

      • LOL Ron, I didn’t say I’d give him that – but I bet that’s what he and his agent are thinking at the outset of negotiations.

        Whatever they settle on, it’s going to have to be substantially higher than the $5 mil given to him in the last negotiation go-round. If not $8 mil, certainly somewhere closer to $7 than $6.

        And he and his agent have already established themselves to be hard-nosed negotiators.

        And for the record, the only criticism I’ve posted re the Nylander deal was that Dubas should have played hard-ball, considering the other contracts he had to work around.

        Having said that, Nylander, with his point production, is worth every dime, unlike some with with substantially bigger cap hits sprinkled around the league. I have also said, many times, that if Dubas was to ever go back on his promise not to trade him, and move him for the sake of cap space, I would love to see Dorion get into the trade-negotiation mix.

      • Put me in the Dubois is more valuable than Nylander camp.
        If Nylander gets back to playing responsibly he has real value too, just saying a big physical C who can skate and produce is really flippin valuable. Even more so in playoffs to George’s point.
        Pay the man, trim somewhere else to make it work.

      • The Jets will easily sign PLD to a 8×8 deal. Stastny’s cap hit alone covers close to half that space, let alone Sanford’s 2 mil.

  4. Maz this is the main question that all Jet fans want answered.
    Only a long term deal allows the team to make some big decisions this summer. The team cannot allow him to sign a short term deal he has to be locked up.
    I see a player that has some rough edges still to be filed down but the foundation is so solid. I see him as an even better asset in the playoffs with his size and strength.
    Hopefully we Jet fans get to see it this year

  5. Boeser conversation reminds me of Kotkaniemi discussion last year. No, he wasn’t worth 6m, but Canes basically bought his rights with offer sheet. His new deal makes more sense. Only time will tell how it pans out. Not saying Boeser gets an offer sheet, but I think he’ll end up with a reasonable AAV over 6-8 years. Has never played a full season but, has a 1.2 goals per 60.

  6. Tom Wilson will get his one day and I don’t mean another suspension . Plays like a mouse when he plays Reeves and Lucic and played like a bully against the Canes last night. The word Puke comes to mind. Carolina needs some toughness
    RIP Eugene..end of an era . What happens now with Senators ownership

    • Silver Seven, Melnyk most certainly had a Will. Did he have children ? I don’t have a clue. Let’s let this go for now, out of respect.
      (no disrespect meant ; just saying, the Man just died)

      • Patrick – see the Headlines thread – hashed out there to some degree … his eldest daughter apparently takes control (does that make her the first ever female NHL franchise owner?).

    • Lars Eller is the POS to injure a player with 1.8 seconds left in the game which is another low ball Caps game, and Eller is a Rat anyway if KK com’s to fight him he turtles or cry’s for Wilson.

  7. It’s not just for Miller…>95% of these 7+ yr contracts on players 26+ either 2 yr to UFA or a UFA will be bad contracts in a few years.

    Most players drop significantly from 32yr old and older.

    They need to limit the resigning to like 4 or 5 yrs ( if Age is 27 or younger)

  8. ya….late bloomers like JT Miller make me warry. Like the Rangers with Chris Kreider. This season is almost like “found money”. There was no way they could have predicted he’d be a 50 goal guy at 30. That contract isn’t so terribly structured. I doubt the Rangers mind paying those bonuses for this kind of work.

    I’m also thinking the Canucks should have traded Miller. Some fool would have paid them in picks and prospects.