NHL Rumor Mill – March 4, 2022

by | Mar 4, 2022 | Rumors | 31 comments

Check out the latest on J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, Conor Garland, Mark Scheifele, Jeff Petry and Michael Del Zotto in an all- Canadian team edition of the NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager Laurence Gilman scouted two recent Vancouver Canucks games largely to watch J.T. Miller. The Leafs are among several teams linked to the 28-year-old center but LeBrun believes they were doing due diligence. He also believes the Canucks aren’t that interested in moving Miller unless a team steps up to acquire him.

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

Darren Dreger said only a handful of clubs have expressed an interest in Miller, likely because of the Canucks preference to hang onto him when he has another year remaining on his contract. The New York Rangers would like to acquire him. They’re also linked to the Anaheim Ducks’ Rickard Rakell and the Montreal Canadiens’ Ben Chiarot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller doesn’t appear too concerned about the trade rumors. Vancouver Hockey Now’s Rob Simpson reports the Canucks star isn’t paying much attention to it, saying he has no reason to believe he’ll be traded unless his agent or management approach him about it. Based on his comments, it’s apparent that the discussion hasn’t happened yet.

Chris Johnston reports the Canucks’ asking price for Brock Boeser and Conor Garland is believed to be slightly more modest. Teams have been in contact with the Canucks over that. While still on the fringe of the playoff race, they are getting closer to making some decisions. They could be more likely to move one or both, perhaps for players rather than draft picks or future assets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser is due for a significant raise this summer as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who will cost the Canucks $7.5 million just to qualify his rights. Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford indicated he’s seeking salary-cap flexibility, which could also assure a Boeser trade.

Garland, meanwhile, is in the first season of a five-year deal with an annual average value of $4.95 million. The 25-year-old carries a reasonable cap hit but could become part of Rutherford’s cost-cutting measures.


THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates recently addressed trade speculation from his readers regarding Mark Scheifele’s future with the Winnipeg Jets. One of them mentioned Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli speculating this season could be the 28-year-old center’s last with the Jets.

Ates doesn’t think it’s a certainty this is Scheifele’s last season in Winnipeg but doesn’t rule it out. He’s got two more seasons left on his contract, meaning a decision on his future will have to be reached by the end of next year at the latest. If they were to trade Scheifele, Ates believes they need to get the best center available in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scheifele won’t be moved before this season’s trade deadline. However, I think management needs to seriously consider making some changes to the Jets’ core. This team peaked three years ago and is only getting slowly worse, not better. They don’t need a massive rebuild but retooling by moving someone like Scheifele could be worth consideration.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico cites TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reporting the Canadiens still intend to trade Jeff Petry should a team step up with a suitable offer. It might be difficult to move the 34-year-old defenseman’s $6.25 million cap hit before the trade deadline but there will be no shortage of suitors with salary-cap flexibility in the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rumors have linked Petry to the Philadelphia Flyers. They already have a 30-something mobile right-side defenseman with a $6.25 million cap hit in Ryan Ellis. I’m well aware of his injury woes this season but he’s still considered a big part of their future plans. Acquiring Petry makes no sense for the Flyers unless Ellis goes permanently on long-term injury reserve.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators defenseman Michael Del Zotto could be on the move before the trade deadline. Del Zotto, 31, is currently skating with the Senators’ AHL affiliate in Belleville. General manager Pierre Dorion is getting calls from some teams seeking a veteran defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are the eighth NHL club for the well-traveled Del Zotto. He could draw some interest from a contender seeking an affordable depth defenseman. He won’t fetch much of a return, perhaps a late-round draft pick.


  1. Wouldn’t be shocked if Doug Armstrong circles back to Del Zotto for a 2nd time (similar to Stanley Cup year). Army has been wanting to add depth on LD and has VERY limited cap space to do it–Del Zotto would be an inexpensive option. Armstrong often seems to make deals for previous Blues.

    • ps.

      I would MUCH prefer adding Chychrun!!

      My offer of a 2023 1st, Perunovich, Kostin, Scandella is still on the table.

      • That’s crazy

    • DelSaster.

      • Ron, although there’s no way he was getting any further games at the NHL level with Ottawa (where he has played 10 with 2g 4a 6 pts – but was a -9), he has performed well in the AHL where he’s played 20 games with 9g 13a 22 pts and is a 4.

        At this stage of a long career, any team that sees a use for him will confine that use to pure depth … in other words, to step in for a game or two on the 5/6 pairing to spell some minor nagging injury – but certainly not for any extended period on a regular shift. And he does come cheap at $875,000 per cap hit with 1 year to go.

        The return would be negligible.

  2. Saw Garland play the other night. Don’t know why I thought he was a left shot. Vancouver is only 4 points behind Vegas. Just like Schiefele, none of those guys need to be moved before deadline. Seravali reported if any of them gets traded, Boeser is the most likely. Really don’t see Rangers being interested in Chiarot. They gave Nemeth a 3 year deal to be that guy and it turns out he was having big issues with post Covid symptoms. He says he’s fine now. Not saying he’s better than Chiarot but why give up assets for a position that’s not as much a need as RW?

    • I don’t like the rangers chances with Nemeth. But with 32 million in cap space why couldn’t NY add Kessel, Chiarot +?

      Hypothetically, and I mean 100% hypothetically. NY could add Mcdavid, Mathews, and Hedman at the deadline. ( obviously that’s not going to happen but you get what I’m saying) nobody blow a gasket. I’m musing.

      I don’t think Kessels catching more than a 2nd. And is Chiarot getting much more than a 1st?

      Ny could definitely afford to give away picks at this point. And they may not need to move a single asset other than picks for both of these players.

      And since both are pending UFAs, it really isn’t hurting anything next year outside of the draft.

      Do you see NYs overall defense being able to get by the 1st or 2nd round? Or not getting more production out of the bottom 6?

      I just don’t see it.

      IMO, NY could skip on a top 6 RW and concentrate on adding elsewhere. But with that kind of cap space and assets, they could literally address all of their needs.

      Laffrienere seems to be finding his grove on the top line and Kakko should be back before the deadline.

      • Kakko had a whopping 5 goals, 9 assists in 37 games before injury. I’m much more comfortable with Nemeth back at full strength and Jones than giving up a 1st for someone that isn’t a huge upgrade over what NY has. They need scoring. Strome has 12 goals playing with one of the top play drivers in league. I’m astounded they havnt already traded for Kessel

      • Kessel has 6 goals? One more than kakko. Nys top lines are producing just fine, even with a rotating door at RW.

        So while I see the need for RW depth, I’m not sure that adding Kessel to Strome and Panarin who are more playmakers than goal scorers helps?

        Somebody needs to shoot the puck.

        But you honestly believe Chiarot isn’t a massive upgrade over Nemeth?

        Nemeth at full strength anywhere near Chiarot imo.

        The left side generally outside of Lindren isn’t exactly something I’d be comfortable with going into the playoffs.

        Miller needs to remember he’s not a right winger, or be moved to right wing.

      • The ask for Kessel was reportedly a mid round pick. And they’d retain cap. I don’t watch Chiarot regularly, and I’m not saying he wouldn’t be an upgrade of some sort. Just not enough of need to give up a 1st. Honestly, I’d be happy going with Jones the rest of the way. BTW, Rangers are near bottom of the league in 5v5 scoring. Totally agree on Scheifele. Hoping Jets fall off in standings and they start selling.

      • I would even include Laffrienere the more I think about it, or Othmann to land Scheifele.

        Othmann, Lundkvist ++.

        Othmann is absolutely tearing it up, but he’s yet other left winger on his way to further complicate the logjam at LW.

    • I think as long as Vancouver has a chance at a playoff spot its highly unlikely they move Miller unless they get a cant refuse type of offer.
      Im sure theyd like to move Boeser but his 7.5 qualifying offer, lack of speed, defence and injury history will make that difficult.

      At this point the only untouchables on the Canucks roster (IMHO) should be Hughes, Demko and Miller.

      • If only NY had a chance to get their hands on a guy like Miller!

        Meh, they’d probably just trade him away along with their best d-man for future superstars like Hajek, Howden etc.

      • Hey, they got Zibanejad AND a 2nd round pick for Brassard and a 7th rounder. 🙂

      • That is true George.

        That Miller / Mcdonagh deal was just awful.

        All that remains of that deal is Lundkvist and Karl Heriksson.

        In other words, they better hope Lundkvist (who at this point is expendable) either blossoms into a future Norris candidate, or brings back something useful.

  3. This Jets season ticket holder does not agree that the team peaked 3 years ago. I certainly will agree that they are an under performing mystery.
    The core is generally in their prime. Helly has been very average this year.
    I get the feeling that they could pinpoint an issue on this team and turn it around. Will that be this year or next that’s Chevy’s job to figure out.
    One or two main core players or a coaching hire take your pick. Selecting both is most likely right now.
    Impossible for the average fan like myself to project what they do at the deadline this year. The one thing I’m fairly sure of is the plan will be unveiled at the last possible moment. Chevy won’t rush as we all know any decisions until deadline day

  4. When Winnipeg peaked 2018-2019 they had Trouba, Byfuglien, Myers and Chairot on D. none of the 4 are there today. They still have Morrissey who hasn’t been as good since the departure of Trouba.

    Scheifele has a 10 no team trade list, he has a little control.

    He seem to have become a lighting rod for the Jets, with his supporters and non supporters.

    His showmanship after a fight (tussle) with Jake Evans didn’t go over well with some.

    Some days he has 0 interest playing defense and other times he controls the game.

    This was his, Wheeler and Paul Maurice team; Maurice stepped down and there seem to be divide in the room.

    Scheifele is a legit #1 center not sure how you get equal quality back for that in return.

    • As a Ranger fan, outside of Fox, Schneider, Sheterkin, Kreider, Laffrienere, Panarin and Zibanejad I’d go all in on Scheifele.

    • Caper, when you see those 4 D listed like that, it’s kind of surprising they aren’t worse?
      Big Buff was an unexpected retirement and that really hurt them on the ice. The guys was a force with his talent and his physicality.
      I would guess they miss him in the room as well.
      Gonna be interesting with Scheifele, seems to good to trade in a down year.
      B’s and Rags would be looking to get him IMO Captain. Rags have more to offer though.

  5. The Edmonton Oilers Could do with Chychrun to be there #2 LD d-man behind Nurse…❓

    They would need to give up There Top Prospect LD man, The 8th over all pick in 2020 Philip Broberg and a First round pick this year that looks to be around 16th to 20th pick.
    and may be a bottom 6 roster player….⁉️🤔

    • The Oil, likes lots of teams could use Chychrun, but ARI would have a real hard time prying Broberg out of EDM.
      Broberg will not likely be an offensive force in NHL, but is putting up some points in Bakersfield.
      He is 6’3″ tall and can absolutely wheel. Like elite skater, in all directions. So if he keeps figuring it out, and he seems to be, could become an minute munching great defender with some offence. Think Bouwmeester but maybe with better offence.

      Straight up maybe, a now vs future type deal, but can’t see them adding. Depends what they think of Chychrun I suppose.

      That could be a deal that bites you for a decade.

      • Wow,
        Just reviewed capers above
        As per Winnipeg’s previous defense ..
        Any team would be passionate with that fabulous “4”
        How do you mess that up ,
        Wow !

      • @ Ray Bark

        Broberg may be a minute munching defenseman in a few years but Chychrun IS a minute munching defenseman NOW. He’s also signed to a very reasonable cap hit for the next 4 years.
        When Nurse’s overblown salary kicks in next season the Oilers will be in more cap trouble.

        If a 1st and Broberg get the deal done I think EDM has to jump on it. Chychrun is only 23…McDavid and Draisaitl will be close 30 by the time Broberg and the 1st pick are NHL regulars.

      • I’m not sold on Chychrun as a potential top pair D on a good team. Might just be the sheltered getting mostly O zone starts guy he was when he had his big year last year.

        Maybe he will be, maybe he won’t. I dunno, not sure anybody does other than a pro who is scouting him at length.

        He’s playing better of late but wasn’t very good at all playing tough minutes most of this season. Brutal actually. Last 5 games minutes are down, results are better.

        He has had a tendency to make the glaring error.

        Their are 2 possible reasons the Yotes are “testing the trade market” AKA looking to trade him – He asked for a trade, or they don’t think he is all that. Either way, reduces his value. What other reason is there for a 23 yr old great D man on a great deal?

        Straight up? I get go for it now argument, but I would suggest Oil not quite ready yet, but fine I get it, still plenty of risk with Broberg too.

        Broberg and their first? No way I make that deal for a 2nd pair D man, which is all he is until he proves he isn’t. Starting to enter his prime right now and so far that is all he is. How much better is he gonna get?

        Too much hype around this guy IMO.

  6. Daryl I think your right about Chychrun and the time line, him and nurse would be 2 Great 1&2 L.D. d/men👍

    In Edmonton We all think Broberg need’s 1.5 to 2 years in Bakersfield to mature and develop his skill set in the AHL.

    Lots of media and kevin Low at xmas time said he see’s a young and maybe ever better potential than A Jay Bouwmeester….🤔😀
    this kid can Skate all night and dose have some offince in him, you see glimpses of it to come
    personaly i would rather keep him but you cant have your Cake & eat it too❗️

    Im not sure what else the oil could offer them to get it done…. maybe last years 1st pick
    Xavier Bourgault, C, Shawinigan Cataractes
    who looks like a dandy of a Centre He is Ripping in up in the Q🍁 this year…..

    Maybe a diffrent package like a
    Tyson Barrie and this years 1st pick and a Xavier Bourgault & the Oilers, Or a Yamamoto & 1st round pick in 2022
    those 3 Pieces…..thoughts…❓❓

    The oil really need to fix there d, and off Course Goaltending thats there No 1 Problem that will get fixed in the off season when MK salary that Peter Cirelli gave him $4.5😭 Mill salary is going to be gone at last
    ( Worst GM in Oilers History)

    Hopfully Mike Smith Calls it a day and Anounces his Retirement as he is One and Done….
    The Oilers dont need two Old Washed up Back Ups…. at best we need a Starter in net the whole leauge know this one…….

    Last but not lease Stu Skinner is ready for a full time back up next year he is actully ready now but they need to fix fix the D First…..

    • @ Ray Bark

      Can’t argue with your reasoning about why ARZ is thinking about trading him…although I do wonder if all the financial turmoils surrounding that team has an effect on the younger players?

      $4.6M is a pretty good salary for a 2nd pair D-man.


      Holland really handcuffed the team when he signed Barrie and Ceci and traded for Keith.

      Barrie and Ceci have never been good defensively. Keith has too many miles on him.

      EDM really needs their two star forwards to buy in defensively too. They’ve been better with the new coach but still need to tighten things up.

      • Keith and Ceci are both paid to much but have been pretty good. Holland had to do something or would have been a tire fire.
        Barrie should be moved, if they can.

        The part about their 2 star forwards is bang on, McDavid has made good progress under Woodcroft, Draisaitl needs to get it going in that department.

  7. Chychrun had a nice trajectory .
    -24 and no offence so far this year is a big red flag and somewhat alarming . Only 300 games though. I am thinking would excel as a 3 with both special teams. Pedigree . All of hockey not just the NHL really value.
    I would take a chance first and two other assets. Which team ? Bout to find out

  8. @ Ray Bark
    Just trade Barrie (+ a 4th ?) for Klingberg
    Klingberg skates into FA, the Oil gets more cap this summer, and Dallas gets cost certainty for a couple more years

    • Love reading uninformed opinions. Sadly I come here less and less as the ads are making it too hard to read the site and navigate especially on my phone.

      • Azhockeynut. So you took the time and effort to navigate through the site and that’s the comment you came up with? Good Grief!