NHL Rumor Mill – April 14, 2022

by | Apr 14, 2022 | Rumors | 24 comments

In today’s NHL rumor, a look at this summer’s free-agent goaltending market plus a possible conundrum between the pipes for the Canadiens.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun considers the Minnesota Wild’s Marc-Andre Fleury, Colorado Avalanche’s Darcy Kuemper, St. Louis Blues’ Ville Husso and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jack Campbell as the top tier of UFA goalies this summer. All four could improve their value with solid performances in the upcoming playoffs.

Sources indicated the Wild would like to keep Fleury despite their limited salary-cap space for 2022-23 but there’ve been no discussions yet. LeBrun said the Blues aren’t giving up on struggling starter Jordan Binnington and believed Husso will be heading to free agency in July.

There haven’t been many contract discussions between Avalanche management and Kuemper’s camp. The Avs offered a one-year extension last summer but it was rejected by his agent.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (NHL Images).

Campbell had a strong start to this season but struggled and was sidelined in the second half. His agent said it was status quo on the contract front.

Teams that could be in the market for a starter this summer could include the Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres. The Leafs and Avs could also seek help in goal if their respective starters hit the open market in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury, Kuemper, Husso and Campbell will draw considerable interest if they hit the UFA market on July 13. It will be interesting to see how their value is affected by their performances in the 2022 playoffs and whether they stay with their current clubs or test the market.


THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun pondered whether Carey Price wants to continue his playing career and if it would be with the Montreal Canadiens. If he wants to join a Cup contender, the Canadiens would have to absorb part of his $10.5 million cap hit to make it happen.

LeBrun also wondered if clubs come calling for Jake Allen. The Canadiens backup has a year left on his contract with an affordable $2.875 million cap hit. He was playing well until suffering a season-ending groin injury.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico also weighed in on the potential offseason goalie conundrum facing the Canadiens. He cited RDS’ Francois Gagnon indicating it’s a complex question given the 34-year-old Price’s contract, injury history and stated intent to play in Montreal for the long term. He also holds a full no-movement clause.

Should Price agree to accept a trade, D’Amico believes they’ll need to find a long-term replacement. UFA options could include Ville Husso or Darcy Kuemper.

LeBrun’s fellow TSN insider, Darren Dreger, said Allen was a much sought-after asset leading up to last month’s trade deadline. D’Amico pointed to the improved play of Samuel Montembeault, suggesting the Canadiens could opt for a more affordable backup and put Allen on the trade block.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price’s age, hefty contract, NMC and his long list of injuries make him seemingly untradeable but it could be folly to assume it won’t happen. That being said, the Canadiens would have to retain between $4 million and $5.25 million of his cap hit to make his contract palatable to interested parties. His movement clause would also complicate matters by limiting potential trade suitors.

Allen would be much easier for the Canadiens to trade. However, that depends on whether management sees the 25-year-old Montembeault as a reliable backup for Price, who has a good working relationship with Allen.

Montembeault is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights coming off a one-year, $750K contract. He would be an affordable re-signing for the Habs at a cap rate lower than Allen’s.


  1. Re LeBrun “ LeBrun pondered whether Carey Price wants to continue his playing career”….hard to think that a player is considering walking away from $31 M + still due on his contract

    Interested in change of venue, maybe… B-bye to over $31M, is hard to fathom

    Re the Flower returning to Wild… IMHO, also a stretch

    Wild with $13 M, $15 M, $15M in dead Cap over next 3 years, will definitely not be contenders ….

    IF the Flower decides to play on…. I’d think he’d want security (NMC… uprooting young fam , per The Flower , has been very taxing) and a contract worth not retiring ($2M , 1 year not cutting it) and likely a contender

    So, IMHO… MAF donning a Wild uni in 22-23, is a longshot

    Kuemper, yes… many interested

    Campbell… if his numbers continue per his averages since Dec… I’m not confident that their will be bidding wars for him

    If Leafs are out in 1st round… and the odds are fair on that…. and Campbell has a couple of rough outings during that series….. That also will detract from any potential bidding war

    • Dearest Pengy,

      You have chosen to avoid discussing the “Husso situation” altogether.

      I wish Pierre LeBrun would ask this Blues fan if “I’ve given up” on struggling Binnington!

      Maybe Binnington would look good in a Penguin crest….

      • Hi IP

        Hoping you didn’t get too much snow

        My bad… yes Husso is going to get many calls… but it is hard to think Blues let him walk

        Binnington… with 5 more years @ $6M against the Cap, currently @ save percentage of 901…. Hard to “sell” him…. Retention a must

        Do I think he’d benefit from change of scenery… yep… but no team is taking him w/o serious retention and/or bad contract coming over

        What’s your offer (on Binnington) and to who?

      • Well Pengy,

        No snow, but 40mph wind–not golfing weather!

        Regarding Binnington–Armstrong hates/refuses to retain $$$s.

        I would try to do something with Arizona or Buffalo again (if they’ve forgiven him for the O’Reilly trade)!? Tage Thompson has turned into a pretty darn good “consolation prize” for the Sabres. If the Blues could get rid of the contract for a mid round pick (4th/5th) that would be good.

        Surprisingly, I might even consider a Matt Murray for Jordan Binnington trade with Ottawa!? Change of scenery for both.

      • A change of scenery isn’t helping Murray stay healthy. A can of pringles would stand a better chance to stay healthy in net.

        I think to move a 5 million per contract with 5 years remaining will cost more than a 4th or 5th.

        A lot more.

      • My bad, 6 million for 5 more years.

      • Good to hear IP

        Originally the forecasted snow dump map seemed to show parts of Iowa (as well as Minn and Southern Manitoba and NW Ontario)… so glad you got passed by

        Caper et al not so lucky

        Mid April…. Liar Liar Pants on Fire

        Can’t see any team eating the Binnington contract for mid round picks

        Murray for Binnington… hard to see Dorian make that move…. Murray oft injured yes, but only 2 more years… Binnington 5 years

        Agree there has been reticence on retention for Blues… but logic just may overcome the natural reticence

  2. “ Should Price agree to accept a trade, D’Amico believes they’ll need to find a long-term replacement. UFA options could include Ville Husso or Darcy Kuemper.”

    So either way, Montreal will essentially be paying 10.5 million + for a starter. No chance Price gets traded anywhere without 50% retained. Assuming someone like Kuemper signs at 5 per, that’s 10.5 with 50% retained on Price.

    Why not just keep Price? Is Montreal under some sort of delusional thought that they are a different goaltender away from not being in the cellar?

    • Hey there no place for this logical thinking!!!

  3. I think a lot of clarity on Price will come from his return to play. If things go south in the game, the reason why will be key. If he gets injured I can see him going on LTIR a la Weber. If he just shows rust, I see him taking the summer and trying to come back next year for training camp. If he feels things went south because his body just did not have it, retirement comes into play. Either way, his return will clear a lot up….

    • “Yes, I’ll leave 31 million dollars on the table. “

      Said no NHL player ever.

      Price won’t be the 1st to do so.

      I could see why from a fan perspective you’d hope this would happen. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      Montreal will be dealing with at least 50% of this contract for the entire term. And I think that in reality, that’s the best you can hope for from Price.

      • I wouldn’t trade for Price at 50% retained either Captain.
        I wouldn’t take a guy coming off his second significant injury who will turn 35 this off season for 4 more years at $5.25M for free.

        The only way I do it is if I was starting a full rebuild and got multiple good picks/prospects to do it.

        He was outstanding in last years playoffs, but when you look at how he has played over the last 4 seasons he has been more meh, than good.
        Carey Price is now a streaky tender with an injury history who will be 35 next year. Closer to Mike Smith than Vasilevskiy.

        What’s that worth?

        $2M max on a short term deal seems about right.


    • Habsfan1: fair comments but I would add:

      Even if Price comes back this season, plays well and doesn’t get hurt again the question that hangs over Habs management is: will he get hurt again? Really, the question is: given his injury history, WHEN will he get hurt again?

      That so, trading Allen and hoping Montembeault will be sufficient insurance would be folly. IMO, the Habs’ most reliable goalie is Allen. He stays.

  4. Carey Price has 4 more years on his contract with a caphit of $10.5 per year.

    His actual dollars the next 4 years:


    Next season he has a signing bonus of $6.75 not sure when signing bonus is paid his contract was sign on July 2nd is that the date?

    Meaning next season after his signing bonus his salary will be $1m for the season.

    After the 2022-2023 signing bonus paid his average salary would be $6.12

    The biggest issue would be the cap hit. I don’t see Price retiring and leaving $31.25m on the table.

    • With LTIR being a thing, NO NHL PLAYER WILL EVER RETIRE!!!! they will just go on LTIR and earn their money.

    • Hi Caper


      $6.1 M per cash not as much an issue as $10.5 M Cap

      As I said above…He is not waiving b-bye to $31 M +

      50% retention (after SB paid)…. So just a hair over $3M per cash, and $5.25 M per Cap…. For 4 years… who are the potential suitors?

      This will come down to (1) if he returns in next 2 weeks ; (2) and if he returns… what type of performance he displays

      Habs only have 8 games left… earliest return possible is Fri when they host Isles…. So maybe max 5 games ?? to “showcase”???

      No return by EOS… “suitors” have more unanswered questions to weigh

      • Pengy, if Price is to get moved i don’t think it happens until that $6.75 signing bonus is paid.

        Price has to show he can play as you stated, then who are the suitors and where would Price waive to go to.

        I was thinking potentially Seattle but they have Grubauer 5yrs at $5.9 Grubauer has a 10 ten no trade list.

        Straight up trade and Habs throw in a 1st round pick.

        Carey Price is a better goalie if healthy and for how long. But i believe you have to pay for that cap space.

  5. Price if healthy and with at least three mil held would have several suitors. Might even get an ok return. Certainly not what most Montreal fans would want but habs wouldn’t have to sweeten the pot.

    • Chrism there is alot of risk factors when talking Price.

      But, it only takes one and Price gets to decide the one.

      • I’m officially putting a best poster ever bet down now. If he is healthy enough and goes to market price will have multiple suitors lined up for him. It will require some salary held but no sweetener. It will not require 50 percent.

        Come on fools. Bet with me.

    • Who that Price will waive to go to can afford him?

      And any chance Price waives to go to a team like Arizona? I’d bet money that answer is no.

      There isn’t one competitive team out there taking Price at 7.5 nor would they fetch a fair return if by some miracle they could actually find that team.

      But curiously, who is the team you see fitting him on at 7.5? Every team I see either can’t afford him , and or don’t need him. The teams that could afford him, Detroit, Anaheim, NJ, Arizona he isn’t waiving to go to.

      I think I found the perfect home for Price. Montreal!

  6. Price will get traded to Vegas. They’ll just have to juggle more guys on and off ltir. They’ll figure it out. League won’t do anything.

    • So true. Teams have figured out cap circumvention – sign an older player for too much term knowing you can just put them on LTIR – like catch an allergy. Its a disgrace, but Bettman supports it – no integrity. Look at LV – they put three players on LTIR yesterday and Stone recovers/activated same time and they just clear cap. Its a joke.

  7. Why wouldn’t the Bruins not want Nicolas Deslauriers on their roster for the playoffs ….crazy stuff ….. little late to the party but Geez Louise