NHL Rumor Mill – March 31, 2022

by | Mar 31, 2022 | Rumors | 11 comments

How much could it cost for the Canucks to re-sign J.T. Miller? How will Alex Goligoski’s new contract affect the Wild’s salary-cap payroll for 2022-23? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma suggested it could cost the Vancouver Canucks an annual average value of $8 million over five or six years to sign J.T. Miller to a contract extension. He considers that to be the going rate and term against comparable players such as the New York Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad and the San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Miller, 29, has one year remaining on his current contract with a $5.25 million cap hit. Kuzma believes the Canucks cannot allow their catalyst on and off the ice to test the 2023 free-agent market.

Doing so, however, will require some creativity by Canucks management to free up sufficient cap space for 2023. Winger Brock Boeser is a restricted free agent this summer who is due a $7.5 million qualifying offer while captain Bo Horvat is also slated to become a UFA in 2023.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That creativity could involve shopping Boeser this summer if they cannot reach an agreement on a new contract. It could also involve trading players signed beyond 2023-24 such as Conor Garland ($4.95 million AAV) or Tanner Pearson (3.25 million).

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien pointed out the Minnesota Wild’s signing defenseman Alex Goligoski to a two-year contract extension worth $2 million per season leaves the club with less salary-cap wiggle room for next season.

The Wild’s buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter last year will eat up a big chunk of their cap space for 2022-23. They now have six defensemen under contract for next season with promising Calen Addison waiting in the wings.

Goligoski’s signing prompted O’Brien to wonder if blueliner Matt Dumba’s days with the Wild could be numbered. He also speculated they could be forced to trade the rights of winger Kevin Fiala, who is slated to become a restricted free agent this summer. In addition, O’Brien pondered whether recent additions Marc-Andre Fleury and Jacob Middleton will be playoff rentals or if the Wild will try to bring them back this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild will be a team to monitor during this summer. The additions of Fleury and Middleton could be general manager Bill Guerin going for it this season because he knows cap constraints could hamper the Wild’s progress in 2022-23. That could also involve moving parting ways with Fiala and with Dumba, who is slated to become a UFA following next season.


  1. Whoever signs Brock Boeser to a contract approaching 7.5/year is going to have buyers remorse. Secondary scoring and no defense from my few viewings.

    • Agree. Lack of speed, poor checking/defensive game. Injury prone and not a top tier point/goal producer.

  2. Not entirely sure of what the final numbers will be for JT but it will probably be a little more than Burundi’s gross national product. Going to be a ridiculous amount for a guy who’s 30.

    • I like JT as a player, but going 6x$8M for a player turning 30 is nuts.
      Over the next 1/2 decade we are going to see a ton of teams with significant salary cap tied up in players that are 35+ years old. That’s generally not a recipe for success.

      • but what is Kadri going to get this summer?
        similar production this year and Kadri is 31.

      • May seem nuts to us to go down that long-term road with players in their early 30s … but these players are, after all, big points producers so perhaps some GMs see a good run at a cup at some point early in their new deals and will worry about the long-term consequences – and how to handle it – later.

      • GM are expecting the cap to grow significantly in the next 5-6 years.

        By then 8milli might not be as bad as people think.

        As far as Boeser, it’s a qualifying offer, Brock might accept less than this, just like Kotkaniemi did 😉

      • Ya, that’s the calculation they make George, not like they don’t know player performance declines in the early/mid 30’s.
        They have all the data and could probably tell you the exact % by age historically.

        Problem is, you let them go and you either lose a key piece and get worse or try to replace with a UFA, who you will overpay for anyway. This is why almost every competitive team tries to keep their guys.

        I know some on here make comments on GM’s and call them idiots etc, fact is the vast majority of them are far from it. Simply making calculated decisions with a bunch of variables that are difficult or impossible to predict. Like injuries. Not an easy gig, but that’s why it pays so well.

  3. Love to see the Sharks grab back Middleton if the Wild let’s him go after the playoffs.

    • Hi Rock

      Due to their massive deadcap …. Wild (as at now) has 6 spots to fill and only $8 M to do it…. And Fiala ($5.1 M) will be seeking a raise

      If they re-sign Fiala…. Hard to see them re-upping Middleton

      • Fiala is the latest rumor de jour here in Ottawa – indications are that a tentative deal has been struck to take effect in the off-season as more or less a salary dump – the Wild figure this is their best chance for the next 3 or 4 years at least and wanted him on the roster for the playoffs.

        No indication – or rumor – who goes the other way, but you can bet if the rumor has teeth it’s a top prospect still on ELC and a solid draft pick.