NHL Rumor Mill – March 9, 2022

by | Mar 9, 2022 | Rumors | 49 comments

Check out the latest on Shea Weber, Jakob Chychrun, Tomas Hertl, Claude Giroux, Semyon Varlamov and P.K. Subban plus updates on the Ducks and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports several capologists responded to his recent musting about whether it would make sense for the Minnesota Wild to acquire Shea Weber’s contract from the Montreal Canadiens. The capologists don’t believe the Wild would do it as it would prevent them from accruing cap space, robbing them of flexibility. They also pointed out that a team cannot acquire a player on long-term injury reserve without activating him first, something few teams (like the Wild) can afford to do.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Weber’s LTIR contract would only be suitable for low-spending teams looking for a creative way to reach the salary-cap floor, not for those bumping against the cap ceiling seeking a way to exceed it.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports eight teams are “seriously” pursuing Jakob Chychrun. Based on the Arizona Coyotes’ high asking price for the 23-year-old defenseman, it could come down to the March 21 trade deadline. The primary suitors include the Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ asking price is reportedly a first-round draft pick, a top prospect and a good young NHL player. Bear in mind some of these clubs (Blues, Hurricanes, Panthers) have limited salary-cap space so they’ll have to send some salary back to the Coyotes or make a separate cost-cutting deal to make the dollars work.

Chychrun is also signed through 2024-25 so there’s no rush on the Coyotes’ part to move him at the trade deadline. They can wait until the offseason if they don’t get any suitable offers over the next couple of weeks.

Pierre LeBrun reports teams have been calling the San Jose Sharks about Tomas Hertl but they’re still trying to sign the 28-year-old pending unrestricted free agent. However, he speculates they could attempt to move him if there’s no progress in contract talks seven days from now. Teams have also called about penalty-killing defenseman Jake Middleton.

Dreger also reports there’s lots of interest in Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Hagel given his play and affordable contract. However, there’s no guarantee he’ll be moved as he could have a place in the Blackhawks rebuild. Dreger said the asking price could be a first-round pick and something else.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers put the likelihood of Hagel getting moved at the trade deadline at one percent.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek is willing to test the trade market on pending unrestricted free agents such as Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Rickard Rakell and Nic Deslauriers. It doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be traded as there’s a little more wiggle room with Lindholm. Winger Max Comtois could also be available after struggling through this season.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli moved Lindholm to No. 2 on his trade targets list. The Florida Panthers are believed among several teams said to be interested in the 28-year-old Ducks defenseman.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Ducks have opened contract talks with Lindholm but not yet with Manson. Some believe management wants to see how negotiations go with Lindholm and if they fall through they could try to sign Manson before the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much could also depend on where the Ducks are in the standings. They’re currently four points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Verbeek could be more inclined to become a seller if they don’t gain ground before the trade deadline. Nevertheless, he’s indicated he doesn’t want to lose those guys to free agency for nothing, so he could move them regardless of where his club sits in the playoff race.


SPORTSNET: Rumors suggesting sidelined Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram wanted a fresh start elsewhere have been denied.

There’s increased interest in New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who has a year remaining on his contract with a $5 million cap hit and a no-trade clause that covers half the league. Friedman doesn’t see the Edmonton Oilers as a destination.

Don’t count out the St. Louis Blues as a suitor for the Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux, who’s been linked to the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are bumping against the $81.5 million salary-cap ceiling. They’ll have to get creative to take on the remainder of Giroux’s $8.275 million cap hit.

No evidence the Winnipeg Jets have pivoted and tried to re-sign Andrew Copp. The Boston Bruins and the Avalanche are believed among the interested parties.

It will be tough for the New Jersey Devils to move P.K. Subban’s $9 million cap hit. However, his actual cash to him is $2 million. With most of that already paid out, Friedman wondered if it would make sense for the Devils to terminate his contract and let him sign elsewhere for similar money. He said he hasn’t run that idea by the league yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be interesting to learn the league’s response. I daresay it would be considered salary cap circumvention rather than Subban violating the terms of his deal, which is the reason behind the San Jose Sharks terminating Evander Kane’s contract earlier this season.


  1. I don’t understand why bad teams trying to rebuild would want to trade away their young players. Especially a young defenceman?

    • I asked the same question a few weeks back when Chychrun’s name popped up. Some wondered if he secretly asked for a trade and Arizona was weighing return options.
      Outside of that, it makes no sense to me why they would try to move him.

      • Generally, I agree. I wonder, though, if Arizona feels they will not be good enough by the time he is a UFA to keep him. In which case, tradeding him now (or this off season) for assets is a better move. With the time to build a new arena and get enough cash to make a serious contract offer also playing into it.

      • I have my theory about that. He is not producing as much as last year and maybe the Coyote’s GM is taking advantage of his current value to trade him thinking he might have played a little over his head last year… Just saying. Maybe he knows something we don’t know

  2. Boston is one of the teams reported to be interested in Middleton. I don’t know this player other then reading he has some nasty and good defensively. has size 6’3″ 210lbs also and rfa, sound like a Sweeney type of deal, plus it would allow old Rick Middleton fans to dust off their sweaters.

    You would have to think at some point something has to give in San Jose:

    Couture 32yrs old 5yr $8m
    Burns 37yrs old 3yrs $8m
    Vlasic 34yrs old 4yrs $7m
    Karllson 31yrs old 5yrs $11.5m

    seem like a lot of age, term and Dollars and basically can’t be moved. Burns and Couture have a 3 team trade list.

    • Caper

      The Bruins are in a weird spot. They have a full complement of NHL D right now, just traded for Callahan (I assume because they will be able to sign), then have Vaak, Achan (very much like Krug), and a stud in the wings in Lorhei.

      But they will do nothing in the playoffs if they do not get bigger and meaner come the playoffs.

      I still like the Bruins trying to get Chara back and taking over Cliffton’s spot. He is a plus player on a bad Islanders team. This allows them possible have the assets to pro sue a 2nd line center.

  3. “They (capologists) also pointed out that a team cannot acquire a player on long-term injury reserve without activating him first …”

    THAT I did not know. Makes a huge difference in who can afford to diddle the system – leaving out teams like the Wild, Vegas, etc.

    • Could be an off season move for the Wild when they can go over the cap by 10% .put Weber back on ltir before season starts

    • George O.–That capologists’ statement statement is questionable if only because it is a contradiction in terms. Saying that a team cannot acquire a player without activating him first is saying that a team can activate a player it has yet to acquire. Wouldn’t the Canadiens be the team that would have to activate Weber before trading him?

      That the Wild would lose cap flexibility also perplexes me. Recognizing your adeptness in such matters, I asked you about the possibility of the Wild offsetting their Suter and Parise dead cap space by acquiring Weber’s contract the day before Friedman came up with the idea. Your calculations of what would be Wild’s financial gain seemed indisputable. Have numbers learned to lie?

      • Francis S, that wording isn’t mine – I quote it from Lyle’s blurb above. I suppose, looking at it again, it’s just a poor choice of wording, meant rather to say, if a team is closer to the cap than the total cap hit of the player sought, they’d need to have at least that amount of cap space available to conclude the deal, and THEN get the benefit of the cap hit by placing him on the LTIR.

        As someone has pointed out either in this thread or the other one, the Wild – according to CapFriendly, are currently sitting on just enough cap space at this moment to obtain Weber, briefly include him on their total cap hit, and then reap the benefit of adding his $8 mil hit to their reserve by placing him on THEIR LTIR.

        Maybe Lyle can elaborate on his opening blurb wording.

      • Here’s what Friedman wrote: “A lot of feedback to our podcast bit about Shea Weber’s contract and whether or not it would make sense for Minnesota. The answer, according to several capologists consulted for this blog, is no — and don’t expect the Wild to do it. “You do not want to be in long-term injury, over the cap, for years and years,” one said. “There’s nothing good about that.” It prevents you from accruing space, robs you of flexibility. (I didn’t realize you can’t trade for a player on LTIR without activating him first. That would be problematic for most.) There is also the question of whether or not Minnesota could put together a full roster before putting Weber’s contract on long-term at the start of the season. So, what seemed like a creative idea was anything but that.”

      • Thanks Lyle. So this wording – “(I didn’t realize you can’t trade for a player on LTIR without activating him first. That would be problematic for most.)” is from Friedman’s blog – which underscores Francis S query, how can you activate someone you don’t yet legally have through trade?

      • George, what Friedman could be referring to is a team lacking sufficient salary-cap space to start the season in order to activate him before putting him on LTIR. That’s why it could be difficult for a club like the Wild that has over $71 million invested in 16 players for 2022-23 and the concern over whether they could put together a full roster before putting Weber on LTIR. I trust the capologists, they do this for a living and know the ins and outs better than we do. The point about it not being worthwhile to be on LTIR for years is well taken given the lack of cap flexibility it would provide, which explains why the Canadiens reportedly want to trade Weber’s contract, which still has four years remaining on it. A budget club like the Arizona Coyotes, on the other hand, wouldn’t have to put Weber on LTIR as they’ll want his cap hit counting toward reaching the cap floor.

      • Makes sense now. Basically, I guess, it’s all part of an elaborate formula for diddling the cap system. Do other cap sports leagues allow this much manipulation?

    • George–While trusting in the capability of the capologist, the fact that we are still speculating about the meaning of Friedman’s statement allows for the possibility that Friedman could have misunderstood the capologist.

      I can easily accept that the capologist meant that the Wild may be lacking sufficient salary-cap space to start the season in order to activate Weber before putting him on LTIR, and I can easily accept Friedman’s explanation that he was unaware that those things are required to occur in a prescribed order. Nevertheless, Friedman must have had some reason for singling out the Wild as the team that could benefit from acquiring Weber, and what separates the Wild from all other teams is the burden of their huge buyout cost.

      Friedman must have seen a way that the Wild could mitigate the burden of that cost by acquiring Weber’s contract. If he was wrong about that too, maybe he needs to do some remedial studying or, at least, some extenuating before feeding us any more of his creative ideas.

  4. Read last night that Varlamov won’t waive his M-NTC (16 no trade team list) to go to Edmonton.

    It doesn’t say if there was an offer or not.

    • Picturing that conversation. Varli, you can go to place the will remind you of Siberia in terms of the weather and you’ll face 40 shots a night from about 10 feet out. You’ll only see the faces of your forwards during intermissions and scrimmages because they don’t backcheck at all. What do you think?


  5. I keep reading about how teams have a desire to acquire someone like Webers LTIR money to improve their team cap number.

    Can someone explain to me how having LTIR money improves your cap number? Does it increase it for teams?

    • Agree! I understand how a team needing to reach the cap floor might want his contract, but how would this help a team like Minnesotta or someone else already near the cap. How does adding him and puting him on LTIR help the rest of the cap a team has available?

    • GC if you read George O comment above, you initially have to have the cap space available to acquire the player:

      Once acquire you then can place the player on Ltir and you are allowed to success the cap by that players cap space.

      As i understand it (i can be totally wrong)

      Team has $8m in cap space acquires a player that going to go on ltir who’s cap hit is $8m

      now the team is at the cap ceiling places said player on ltir.

      Now they regain their $8m in cap space

      plus they are allowed to go over by the amount of the ltir player cap hit which is $8m

      in short the $8m ltir gave them $16m in cap space.

      But they must have the available cap space to acquire said player first.

      However i could be totally wrong.

      • Hi Caper

        I think you’ve got it except the “ 8m ltir gave them $16m in cap space.”…. It gave them just $8 M in space…. But the flex to exceed the ceiling by $8 M… player still counts $8 M , offset by $8 M LTIR

        Yotes… need to get to floor next year…. Weber counting closing in on $8 M….. goes a long way

        No way per yesterday’s talk, should Habs be “giving” assets to help the Yotes …. Yotes would need to “pay” for that privilege by sending the assets the other way

        Also… Habs currently “own” that nigh $8 M in LTIR flex …. and are reimbursed for Weber’s pay from ins. Co.

        Giving that up , plus assets to do it ??????

      • SO essentially there is no team going for the cup this current year that would be able to pick up Weber, activate him, then LTIR him to gain space.

        I still don’t see the benefit of a team doing this unless it is someone trying to get to the cap floor without actually paying the players salary IE Yotes.

        If the cap is 80 mill and you can go to 88 mill based on the LTIR player, are you still only paying your team a total of 80 mill because the other 8 mill is on LTIR?

      • I think Caper is right and the LTR will technically give the team acquiring Weber contracts 16M in cap space given that once the player contract is put on LTR the salary do not count against the salary cap anymore and it also allows the team go over the cap by the same amount. At least that’s my understanding of the LTR loophole

      • I don’t think that’s how it works Sam, although I don’t know for sure.
        It definitely wouldn’t be the spirit of the rule.
        The way I understand – the intent of the rule is to allow teams to replace an injured player. So if you trade for that cap hit of $7M, it gets added first, then removed. So basically a wash.
        Now I suppose there can be a benefit as some teams have done it like the Clarkson deal in TOR.

        How that helped? I have no clue, but can’t fathom you get an extra $7M in cap space, over and above the salary you just acquired.

        Link is the jist of the rule.


      • Ray, that’s what i use to think until last year with Tampa and if there players came back off ltir they would’ve been over $90m.

  6. Why would Panthers be interested in Giroux …. Panthers are set offensively…. Great team… only possibly need a tweak on D and a back up in case Bobo goes down… they don’t need to blow the bank in upgrades

    Re Chychrun to Cats…. The asking (and it will be a bidding war) is too much for what he would bring in overall increase (Cup percentage) to cats. Soucy would come cheaper, cost less (in trade, cap and cash) and is outperforming Chychrun this year….

    82 game paces this year….

    Soucy…. 14-14-28 and PLUS 20 (leaps and bounds the best on his team)

    Chychrun… 9-25-34 and MINUS 42 ( worst by far in team and one of the worst in the league in MINUS)

    Yotes (winning percentage wise) a slightly better team than Krakken

    Next year Cats are hit with $6.6 M in dead cap (Tandle/Darling)… Soucy’s Cap hit $2.75 M vs $4.6 M for Chychrun

    Better move IMHO, for Cats…. acquire Soucy and Anton Forsberg…. total acquisition cost (in trade and cash and Cap) cheaper than acquiring Chychrun; team much better with ( + Soucy and + Forsberg ) vs (just + Chychrun)

    Doing nothing and Panthers are cup contenders… + Soucy and + Forsberg …. gives them an excellent chance of beating Bolts and Canes and a pretty fair chance v Avs

    • The Wild currently have over 8 million cap space so they can take on Weber contract right now.move to ltir when they need to.
      Habs could trade his contract in off-season to a lot of other teams because they are able to be 10% over the cap at that time

    • P,

      Your “Soucy Crush” is ooozing again today!

      Does this mean that you have had a permanent “break-up” with Parayko??


      • Hi IP


        Still love Parayko..,. Blues won’t be moving him though

        Soucy may not have Parayko’s upside but is well worth his Cap hit and more

    • @ Pengy…looks like the Penguins are going to be tweak and making small adds. There will b no big game hunting.

      The Penguins are a good team. We have beaten Tampa two of three, we lost to Florida two of three (all were close) we lost twice to Carolina both by one goal.

      Two great small under the radar adds would be
      center Vladislav Namestnikov… 14 goals, strong skater, good defensively, good skill level

      Robert Hagg
      UFA 26,
      $1.6 million
      great third pairing LHD to put with Fiesty Friedman who has played well

      I’m hearing they have made it know they will move a LHD and lots of clubs need that…..whether it id Petersson or Matheson both having good years. Matheson’s value is hogh right now nd he is only 27..

      • Hi BnG

        I also don’t think Pens need to go too big …. Just not in the cards…. Cup is a long shot…. aim should be to be able to beat Rangers and Canes in a series; then hope for s slew of injuries to eitger Bolts or Cats

        If Shesterkin plays the way he can…. Pens just might get ousted (again) first round

        I had not heard Pens were looking at moving an LD…. Hard to see in-season …. Not sure which contender would be interested or a transition team looking to next year for an LD with term

        I’d rather go after Schenn (850K this year and next) and/or DelZ (50% retained…. So $1M)

        Each replace a guy on the roster so most Net Cap hit would be Del Z replacing League min…. So max net increae $250 K

        Freidman doing great…. But somehow Sully is blind to CR and he’ll send Freidman to the press bix when Matheson returns

        Matheson-Freidman would be much better

        In case DeSmith falters by TDL…. Forsberg (Sens)

        These are low cost small tweaks

        Pens Need a winger for Gino…. do NOT say JZ…. That has not worked

        Here is where HexBurkie might part with futures if player (winger) coming in has term

        Not many out there for the taking that fit the criteria and that Pens can afford

        HexBurkie will do something; and I’ve really no read on what they might do… they seem to be seriously keeping a lid on their direction

    • @ Pengy…looks like the Penguins are going to be tweak and making small adds. There will b no big game hunting.

      The Penguins are a good team. We have beaten Tampa two of three, we lost to Florida two of three (all were close) we lost twice to Carolina both by one goal.

      Two great small under the radar adds would be
      center Vladislav Namestnikov… 14 goals, strong skater, good defensively, good skill level

      Robert Hagg
      UFA 26,
      $1.6 million
      great third pairing LHD to put with Fiesty Friedman who has played well

      I’m hearing they have made it know they will move a LHD and lots of clubs need that…..whether it id Petersson or Matheson both having good years. Matheson’s value is high right now nd he is only 27..

      • Deja Vu ?

  7. Goalies Movement:

    Mrazek – Edmonton
    Korpisalo – Nashville
    Fleury – Toronto
    Georgiev – Chicago
    Holtby – Stays in Dallas



      I’d much prefer to see the Leafs go after Anton Forsberg from OTT than Fleury from CHI.

      At least the Leafs have a chance at re-signing Forsberg…Fleury is likely to retire at the end of this season.

      • The Bottom Line and Daryl – why would Edmonton want Mrazek who, despite arguably playing behind an overall better D than Edmonton’s – isn’t even marginally better – if better at all – than their current goaltending?

        Koskinen – 32gp 3.05gaa – 0.904 save%
        Smith – 15gp 3.57gaa – 0.891 save%
        Skinner – 12gp 2.62gaa – 0.913 save%

        Mrazek – 15gp 3.28gaa – 0.890 save%

        And forget about acquiring Forsberg from Ottawa. Right now – with Murray in his second home (the IR), he’s the only credible goaltender they have. And they will re-sign him.

        If he doesn’t sign and prefers to test the UFA market the Leafs can then join what would probably be a long list of suitors.

    • Pengy

      Seeing as how the Panthers controlled the crease in front of Jarry last night, Soucy would be a good add. Maybe package a deal to bring Johansson with him. Middleton could also help on the right side. I’d be happy stopping there.

      • Pengy loves Soucy…..

      • Hi Sjpp

        BnG is bang on… I’m a big Soucy fan… would be a great add

        Re Middleton… I’m assuming it is Jacob and not Keaton (both big guys… both Lefties)… I don’t know much about him

        Johannson low cap hit … can play all 3 forward spots… low cap hit…

        Jarnkrok … also an add possible if trading with Krakken)….can also play both wings and C)… better numbers than Johannson this year…. Annual Cap hit just $500 K more

    • So, is the Mendoza line there if you hit one of your five predictions? Not sure why but a blind squirrel came to mind.

  8. This is way over my head, but I’m hoping someone out there can help me with this.

    A player on LTIR like Weber will not count against the cap
    so long as he is not activated and comes back to play.

    A few years back Toronto took back the David Clarkson LTIR contract.

    My question is this: if you acquire these types of contracts what advantage does it give a team with the salary cap?

    Let’s say Toronto we’re to trade for that contract. What would be the benefit of that?

    • Frank, the benefit – as long as he remains on LTIR – would be the use of his $7,857,143 cap hit to acquire a player (or players) to shore up their line-up where needed most.

      But as indicated elsewhere today, a team has to be able to accommodate the cap hit of an LTIR acquisition for as long as it takes to complete the necessary transactions to put him on THEIR LTIR – in other words, a player like that doesn’t just go from one team’s LTIR to the acquiring team’s LTIR. Designed, I suppose, to reduce the temptation to diddle the system.

      Unfortunately for the Leafs – and according to CapFriendly – they currently have just $4,469,166 in cap space, and that’s thanks to Muzzin and his $5,625,000 cap hit being on LTIR. Now it’s reported that he’s back skating and so could return to the lineup sooner than initially expected (or hoped?). And when he does, someone will have to be sent to the Marlies to create enough cap space to accommodate him (no big deal there).

      Unfortunately, where Toronto is concerned –

      • Thanks George,

        Much appreciated.

  9. Murray has been one of the very few mistakes Dorian has made. At the time made sense. I have often wondered do GM s factor in the health history of acquiring players. Or are they hoping they can get through a season . A band aid player is a band aid player.Murray is on that no fly list as well as Nolan Patrick among others

    • Mike Rielly, Erik Gudbranson, Braydon Coburn, Dadonov.

      Not trying to paint him as bad, but they all make gaffes.

  10. If Carolina is talking to Arizona about Chychrun, its about a trade this summer. I believe Chychrun has asked for a trade and Arizona is trying to trade him by the start of next season. They are evaluating the maximum return thats available at the trade deadline vs this summer.

  11. Good question for Pengy !

    Is there any chance Leafs can take on Weber’s contract
    Use the LTIR to their advantage
    Or are they capped, irregardless
    It’s not like they haven’t done this before . Clarkson for example , I think there was someone else ..
    Obvious , they are not going to take advantage of the Muzzin situation ..
    I just don’t know how they make a trade unless they are moving money out , bringing new money in

    • Hi Ken

      The only way I believe they can maneuver Weber on to Leafs (BTW I don’t think they will or should) is in the summer

      I don’t see the advantage right now

      Stranger things have happened though

  12. Thanks for this
    I also just recognized Frank had the same query, interesting, how these thoughts have risen.
    George also gave some light to the matter!