NHL Rumor Mill – April 20, 2022

by | Apr 20, 2022 | Rumors | 11 comments

Can the Wild find a way to re-sign Kevin Fiala? Can the Leafs afford to retain Ilya Mikheyev? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani reports Kevin Fiala’s bet on himself last summer by signing a one-year, $5.1 million contract with the Minnesota Wild should pay off handsomely with a new lucrative deal following this season. Whether it’s with the Wild or another club remains to be seen.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala (NHL Images).

Fiala has taken his game to a higher level this season with a career-best performance of 30 goals, 45 assists and 75 points in 76 games. The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights and could seek between $7 million and $8 million annually.

The Wild, however, face a significant salary-cap crunch for 2022-23 as last summer’s buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter will eat up over $12.7 million in cap space next season, followed by $14.7 million in dead cap space for 2023-24 and 2024-25. It’ll be nearly impossible for the Wild to retain Fiala under those financial constraints.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo also believes it’s “damn near impossible to find a way that Fiala won’t be jettisoned this offseason.” Nevertheless, he felt they must find a way or they’ll end up regretting it. Russo suggested trading oft-injured defenseman Matt Dumba, but he’s one of the team’s leaders and is well-regarded by Wild general manager Bill Guerin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe Guerin will ship out Dumba, though his $6 million cap hit through next season and 10-team no-trade list will complicate such efforts. Perhaps the Wild GM will surprise us by coming up with something creative to create the necessary cap space to keep Fiala in the fold.

Otherwise, this will be Fiala’s final season with the Wild. They’ll either trade him to a club willing to pay him whatever he wants before the arbitration filing period. Perhaps he’ll do a sign-and-trade to a club willing to take on his new contract. Fiala’s play this season ensures he’ll have considerable value in this summer’s trade market, which should translate into a solid (and affordable) return of promising talent for the Wild.


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently mused over the potential cost for the Toronto Maple Leafs to re-sign Ilya Mikheyev. A versatile hard-working forward, the 27-year-old can hang among the top six or boost the bottom six of a contender. He has 18 goals and 28 points in 48 games this season.

Mikheyev is completing a two-year contract with a $1.645 million annual cap hit and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in July. Fox speculates he could get between $4 million and $5 million annually on the open market.

Despite making a trade request last summer, Mikheyev’s agent said his client was more frustrated with his own play and wasn’t unhappy with the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Mikheyev’s willing to accept under $4 million to remain in Toronto, it’s unlikely he’ll be back with the Leafs next season. Cap Friendly shows them with over $73 million tied up in 15 active players for next season with goaltender Jack Campbell also eligible for UFA status and RFA defenseman Rasmus Sandin due for a raise coming out of his entry-level deal.


  1. I seriously hope the Wild do figure out a way to keep him. Otherwise Pierre “Proudest Moment” Dorion is going to break the bank for this guy who really doesn’t deserve it. Scoring is up – WAY up – this year with a bunch of dudes having inexplicable career years….after a bunch of down ones. 5.1 is exactly what he should be making especially for the 48 point season he’s going to have next year.

    • Trade Fiala to the Krack for Donato, a 1st, and Joey Daccord. Good for their cap and a goalie for the future.

      • Wild might want Soucy coming back in the deal

        Krakken certainly should be interested; and have the assets

  2. I agree… nigh impossible for Wild to re-up Fiala

    If they can’t do a sign and trade; or just trade… they are vulnerable for an OS

    As long as the AAV < $8.2 M… compensation is 1st, 2nd, 3rd…. what rebuilding team … or building (Krakken) wouldn’t be interested in Fiala for a 1st, 2nd, 3rd?

    • 1st 2nd 3rd for fiala? pass

      Giving up the assets to get him on top of a contract that age well, nope.

      There will be interest in him for sure but buyer beware, feels like the same ole same. Guy has his best season when its a contract year then gets comfortable once signed.

      Feels like the same for gaudreau, that conteact will be crap in two after signed.

  3. I wonder if Buffalo is on Dumba’s no trade list. Adams is looking for a right shot D to pair with Power. Wild need cap space .Have no idea what cost would be.

    • When Kaner comes to Buffalo, Dumba will allow them to trade him there too.
      Jokiharju + a 3rd would do it.

  4. Fiala sounds like something you would take for a dysfunctional disorder

    Good player but not $8m good
    Rossi will step in at an entry level and contribute . Boldy will have a full year. Fiala won’t be with the Wild in almost any circumstance.

    Same with Mikheyev . A winger with good speed not so good finish in relation to his opportunities created . Not getting $5m from the Leafs

  5. LOL Luke Fox….I want what you’re smoking! Can someone make the case for paying a player who hasn’t scored even 50 pts in a season, including if you pro-rate this one between $4-5m? He makes $1.65m now and considering Kerfoot being a 50pt player at best makes $3.5m so with inflation Mikheyev shouldn’t get over $3.5m but I can see just over $3M at most. Maybe some other team will pony up over four especially if he plays a major role in the teams success in the post season.

    • Ron he would be an islanders type of player, i could see the add tp NY not sure about 3m though.

      Stone hands players dont get 4+m, unless maybe he goes to arizona on a overpay.