NHL Rumor Mill – April 16, 2022

by | Apr 16, 2022 | Rumors | 16 comments

In today’s NHL rumor mill, a look at the Ducks’ potential offseason plans and what the future could hold for Coyotes defenseman Anton Stralman and Canucks winger Alex Chiasson.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Eric Stephens was asked about Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek’s plans for the offseason. He observed Verbeek has the assets to make some moves this summer with 14 picks in the first three rounds of the next three NHL drafts. His club also carries $41 million in salary-cap space for next season and must spend to reach the projected $60.8 million cap minimum.

Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek (NHL Images).

Some of that money will go toward re-signing restricted free agents such as Sonny Milano, Isac Lundestrom and Urho Vaakanainen. Verbeek must also ensure he has sufficient long-term cap room to sign Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale and Troy Terry after next season.

Stephens suggested the Calgary Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk, Columbus Blue Jackets’ Patrik Laine and Winnipeg Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois as trade targets. However, he pointed out the high cost of signing those restricted free agents, who could seek short-term deals to take them up to their unrestricted free agent eligibility. Possible UFA targets could include the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ondrej Palat, Vegas Golden Knights’ Reilly Smith and the Colorado Avalanche’s Andre Burakovsky.

Verbeek subsequently acknowledged his salary-cap space and bushel of draft picks heading into this offseason. However, he told Stephens he intends to invest his assets wisely. “I’m not going to do silly deals, if that’s what you’re asking, even though I’ve got lots of cap space.” If he does pursue some UFA talent, he’ll have to sell them on playing for a club rebuilding around a young core.

The Ducks GM might also have to sell John Gibson on his future plans. Having signed an eight-year deal in 2018, the 28-year-old goaltender will have to decide if he wants to remain with a club in transition.

The decision to pick up the option year in head coach Dallas Eakins contract indicates the direction Verbeek is taking the club. Eakins has bought into management’s rebuilding efforts. Bringing him back also provides some stability after two months of changes since Verbeek took over as general manager.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Verbeek was among the busiest general managers leading up to last month’s trade deadline, shipping out pending UFAs Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell and Josh Manson to playoff contenders for draft picks and prospects. More changes will be coming to the Ducks this summer with some additions via trades and/or free agency and perhaps another notable player being shipped out if Gibson should request a trade to a contender.

Verbeek could surprise us by pursuing a big-name player such as Tkachuk in the trade market or his Flames teammate Johnny Gaudreau via free agency. However, I think he’s going to adhere to a more patient approach this summer by adding more experienced depth to the supporting cast to take some of the burdens off his promising young players.


GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan recently reported Anton Stralman’s tenure with the Arizona Coyotes might not end after this season. Sources tell Morgan the club is interested in signing the 35-year-old defenseman, who’s in the final season of a three-year deal with an annual salary-cap hit of $5.5 million.

Management values the experience and leadership skills Stralman brings to their rebuilding roster. The blueliner is in no rush to decide his future but admitted he and his family enjoy living in the Phoenix area.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma recently reported Alex Chiasson’s resurgent performance this season is showing value to the Vancouver Canucks. He could also draw interest in this summer’s UFA market. The 31-year-old winger is making the most out of this season after earning a one-year deal following a training-camp tryout last fall.


  1. Gibson stays whether he wants to move or not. If by slim chance he is available they will get a Kings Ramsom . First second prospect and suspect . The Ducks have traded a lot of pieces . Your not getting it all back in the draft. Getzlaf to retire as well. It coulda be 60% of their roster changed over.

    • Kadri would fit in nicely in Anaheim but they’ll need more of that kind of player to exactly do what verbeek say he’d be looking for. Good hard to play against good player that will push back and take that off all the young stars that will be playing. There’s a few more players but Kadri would be up there for me.

  2. Gibson, Terry and TMF’s 5th for Willy Nylander and Mrazek (TMF retains $1M), Engvall

    • Why would anyone trade an asset for an always injured overpaid goalie (Mrazek) they could have gotten for free on waivers?

    • No possible way the ducks make that trade.

    • Oops forgot to add the Leaf’s pick:
      Gibson, Terry and TML’s 5th for Willy Nylander and Mrazek (TML retains $1M), 2024 2nd, Engvall
      Cap is OK for Leafs, the Ducks are not going anywhere next year so they can let Pter putter there for a year and then buy him out if necessary. And with this trade Toronto can let Campbell go and the Ducks could pick him up, they can outbid anyone with their cap-space, but 3 x $4-4.5M would do it.

      • @Johnny Z All Canadian teams are on John Gibsons no trade list he has a 16 team no trade list currently. He’s not waiving to play in Canada i can guarantee you that.

    • John Gibson has a 16 team no trade list, Pretty sure all 8 Canadian teams are on it. There’s noway Gibson is waiving for Toronto he wants the States only.

      • May I ask where you heard this

  3. Well… at least we know it won’t be a Jarry brain fart that kills the pens in the first round this year.

  4. Just looked at capfriendly and didn’t realize how much work Anaheim has to do this off season.
    Kinda looks to me like they could be a pretty bad team next year.
    They will have lots of cap space but it depends what their long term plan is.

    Using past teams rebuilding timelines it could take any where from 4 to 12 years just to get back to playoff caliber.
    It’s going to be a tough grind for Anaheim.

  5. Kadri could sign with the Ducks.

    He’s pricing himself out of Colorado, but I don’t hear much rumor about him.

    • Nazem Kadri is going to command at least $6,500,000 x 5-6 years, Anaheim is rebuilding and there’s rumors that Verbeek might cut loose both John Gibson and Cam Fowler. So why would he sign an aging Center who’s going to command big money when he’s trying to move out his aging core?

  6. Dubois isn’t going anywhere. No one trades a first line center unless they quit on their team like Eichel or O’Reilly or it’s the Ottawa Senators.

  7. Re Stralman … Arz….” Sources tell Morgan the club is interested in signing the 35-year-old defenseman”….

    Of course they are…. They need to fill a roster…. Who in their right mind wants to come from another team to play “where careers die” to play at least 4 years in front of (max) only 5,000 fans; and virtually no one watching on TV; for a team that will be missing playoffs for another 1/2 decade

  8. As GM of Anaheim, If Vancouver resigns Miller this summer I would see what it would take to get Pettersson because then they need to shed salary.