NHL Rumor Mill – April 1, 2022

by | Apr 1, 2022 | Rumors | 6 comments

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill, a look at some potential offseason trade candidates for the Flyers plus the latest on Phil Kessel and Craig Anderson.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Charlie O’Connor was asked if the Philadelphia Flyers could attempt to offload James van Riemsdyk in order to shed some salary this summer. He noted the club needs to free up cap space to make additions in the offseason, pointing out the 32-year-old winger is a $7 million player whose production has regressed.

Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk (NHL Images).

Finding takers for van Riemsdyk won’t be easy. The Flyers could be forced to add a sweetener to make him more enticing in the trade market. It might be easier if they retain half of his salary though it means only saving $3.5 million. A contract buyout won’t clear the full $7 million from their books next season.

Cam Atkinson could be a sell-high trade option given his bounce-back performance this season. However, O’Connor senses the Flyers could prefer retaining him. Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov or Travis Sanheim could also be cost-cutting options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk has one year left on his contract. So does the 26-year-old Sanheim at $4.675 million. Konecny, 25, is signed through 2024-25 with an annual average value of $5.5 million while the 25-year-old Provorov carries a $6.75 million AAV for three more seasons.

As O’Connor observed, those younger players would have more trade value than van Riemsdyk. Depending on this summer’s trade market, those guys probably won’t have to be packaged with someone else or have salary retained to move them.

That’s not to suggest van Riemsdyk can’t be moved this summer. He lacks no-trade protection and will carry an actual salary of $4 million next season after the Flyers pay his $1 million signing bonus. A club seeking to reach the cap floor next season could have an interest in him, provided the Flyers include a draft pick or a prospect in the deal.

SPORTSNET: In his recent “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman reported the Nashville Predators were among the teams interested in Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel at the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the Predators will revisit their interest in Kessel this summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent? The 34-year-old winger should prove to be an affordable signing at this stage in his career.

Friedman also reported the Buffalo Sabres would like to bring back 40-year-old goaltender Craig Anderson for 2022-23. The club is willing to wait on his timetable and see how he feels after this season.


  1. Hmmm…. now Konecny is someone I could see Ottawa inquiring about.

    Ottawa will take JVR, Konecny.
    Phlyers will get MDZ, Ottawa’s protected 1st in 23.

    • MDZ was only worth something at the deadline. You need to add more and possibly keep MDZ.

  2. Dark G, they had their chance at him in his draft year in 2015 when they had two picks in round 1 – taking Chabot was a good choice – but when it came time to pick again at # 21 they chose, instead, to go with Colin White and Konecny went 3 picks later to Philadelphia.

    Before I comment further – who the heck is MDZ – drawing a blank. Zaitzev?

    • Michael Del Zotto

  3. Flyers should have lots of cap to play with. No Giroux for $8m to start
    Do not trade your rostered youth. Prospects and picks are often neither here nor there

  4. Ahhh, right … completely forgot about him.

    Konecny costs $5.5 off the cap while Van Rymsdyk is a $7 mil hit with one year to go – that’s $12.5 mil coming in and just $2 mil going out – at a time when they have to negotiate new deals for RFAs Norris, Formenton, Gambrell, Joseph, Mete and Brannstrom (assuming they keep them all) and right now their cumulative cap hit is $6,570,333.

    Norris and Formenton will get the biggest boosts but even then when you add them all up, that’s going to be somewhere north of $10 mil – add that to the $10.5 for Konecny and Van Rymsdyk and that is going to eat deeply into any cap reserve they have.

    I prefer to see of those Fiala rumors hold water and, if so, I’d much prefer to see him added to the right side mix.