NHL Rumor Mill – April 21, 2022

by | Apr 21, 2022 | Rumors | 17 comments

Could this be Brendan Gallagher’s final season with the Canadiens? Will the Ducks shop John Gibson this summer? Should the Flyers trade Travis Konecny and/or Travis Sanheim? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan wondered if Brendan Gallagher is playing his final games with the Canadiens. A lot of offseason changes are expected under first-year general manager Kent Hughes following one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher (NHL Images).

Cowan speculates Hughes would probably like to shed the final five seasons of Gallagher’s six-year, $39 million contract with its $6.5 million annual average value. He also thinks the 29-year-old winger might not mind being shipped to a team with a better chance of winning the Stanley Cup in the near future.

Looking at possible destinations, Cowan suggested reuniting Gallagher with former linemate Phillip Danault with the Los Angeles Kings. He noted they’ll garner some cap space with 37-year-old winger Dustin Brown completing the final season of his eight-year, $47 million deal. Cowan also pointed out that former Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin (who signed Gallagher to his current contract) is now a senior advisor to Kings GM Rob Blake.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: Anything’s possible and I don’t dismiss the idea that the Kings aren’t on Gallagher’s six-team no-trade list. And yes, Bergevin could make the case to Blake to acquire the gritty Canadiens winger to help the Kings in their quest to return to perennial Stanley Cup contender status.

However, Gallagher’s contract remains a significant obstacle despite the Kings’ projected $21 million in cap space for next season as per Cap Friendly.

Part of their cap room will be taken up by signing restricted free agent winger (and 34-goal scorer) Adrian Kempe to a nice raise on a long-term deal. A big chunk of it could be sued to add one or two experienced defensemen to take some of the burden off blueline stalwart Drew Doughty, especially with Alexander Edler and Olli Maatta becoming UFAs and unlikely to be brought back.

That could mean pursuing John Klingberg when the free-agent market opens on July 13. Perhaps they’ll revisit their interest in Arizona Coyotes rearguard Jakob Chychrun via the trade market.

Another playoff contender with cap space could be willing to take Gallagher off the Canadiens’ hands. However, his injury history and the remaining years on that deal could mean the Habs have to retain part of his cap hit to facilitate a deal.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Eric Stephens was asked if the Anaheim Ducks are listening to trade offers for John Gibson. He indicated he would not say that the Ducks are actively shopping the 28-year-old goaltender.

Stephens believes Ducks GM Pat Verbeek will keep an ear open in case he’s blown away by an offer. Verbeek will also need to determine how much of this rebuild Gibson is willing to ride out.

Asked about possible trade destinations, Stephens suggested the Pittsburgh Penguins if Gibson wanted to return home and current Penguins starter Tristan Jarry struggles again in the playoffs. However, the Ducks would have to take back a contract so the Penguins can make cap space to address pending free agents Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Bryan Rust.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stephens takes pains to point out he’s merely spitballing regarding his suggested destination of Pittsburgh for Gibson. The Penguins wouldn’t be the only playoff contender that would have an interest in him if he hits this summer’s trade block.

For now, we don’t know what Gibson wants to do. His situation will be worth monitoring this summer. He could ask to be moved or stick around for another season to see what direction the rebuild takes. Maybe Verbeek gets an offer for him that’s too good to refuse.


NBC SPORTS: In a scathing critique of Chuck Fletcher’s management of the Philadelphia Flyers, James O’Brien believes the general manager should learn from his recent mistakes and not ship out Travis Sanheim or Travis Konecny.

O’Brien considers the 26-year-old Sanheim as the sort of steady and underrated defenseman in his playing prime that the Flyers have been trying to get. If they’re determined to trade Konecny, he advises against doing it now while his stock is at an all-time low.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers are among a handful of teams (hello there, Canadiens and Coyotes) enduring a “season from hell”. Fletcher’s faced considerable criticism from pundits and fans but ownership is sticking with him for another season.

Sanheim and Konecny have surfaced in trade speculation, especially the latter. Whether they still have futures with the Flyers depends on whatever moves Fletcher has in store for the offseason. That picture should become clearer once the playoffs end in June and the calendar flips to July.


  1. First move the Flyers need to make is to fire Fletcher and Yeo. ASAP, before the draft and before FA begins.

    • Move Yeo out, yes. But for pure entertainment value, Fletcher is way too much fun to watch. LOL

      • Clean house. throw Scott into the mix too. They have had there chance to build a winner and failed.

        Briere as GM
        Montgomery as HC

        not sure who replaces scott but someone who knows hockey not a useless comcast yes man.

  2. I wouldn’t trade Gallagher. I’m convinced that he’s got some good years ahead of him and that he could be a leader of a young team once the mess that Gorton and Hughes inherited is sorted out.

    • I wish I shared your optimism, Howard. Gally is a tasmanian devil not just in character but size and whose style of play is clearly wearing his body down. The good news for you, Howard, is that this and contract make it unlikely he can be traded.

      And for you Lyle, thanks for a proper analysis of Cowan’s ill conceived musings. The only worse writer at the Gazette is that mope Brendan Kelly.

  3. Re Gibson to Pens and “current Penguins starter Tristan Jarry struggles again in the playoffs. “…. Jarry might not get a chance to play in these playoffs to prove/disprove that assertion….. in a boot cast right now…. Can’t see him back before late round 1…. And if it is DeSmith v Shesterkin….Even as a Pens fan, I’d have to think odds seriously favour the expected Vezina winner and (to me) the Hart’s most deserving recipient…. no Jarry; Pens v Blueshirts, Shesterkin healthy…. Blueshirts in 4 …. Not an unreasonable prognostication

    At this point…. Pens should be hoping to face Canes

    If Jarry does not play in playoffs…. No reason at all to bring in Gibson (unless it is Zucker and Ruhweedel straight up for Gibson 👍🙏🤞😁) as Jarry has had an excellent season this year; and has proven himself worthy of continuing as a starter

    • think that was a pipe dream pengy, mo way can pens make that work.

      Ducks would want more than the pens have to give.

      • Hi mp…

        My trade proposal was definitely tongue ‘n cheek…. Not a chance in H-E-double hockey sticks; that Ducks do that deal

        Just a pipe dream for Pens fans

        Pens fans need to seriously buffer their ‘22 playoff expectations with Jarry out

        Pens sans Jarry, might pull an upset of Canes; but serious longshot v Rangers

    • Word here is Sabreland is that Adams covets Gibson, if the Sabres are going to move forward they need to address the goaltending situation and no better time then this off season when they have the draft capital and they could use one of their goalie prospects in a trade mainly thinking it would be Portillo.

      • Some believe all the Canadian teams are on Gibby’s no-trade list….could Buffalo, AZ and one more be the other teams? If it is not NJ, I could see them making a bid.
        Pittsburgh is where Gibby is from, but Jarry is much more affordable and younger.

  4. Flyers need to trade JVR & Akinson not the young guys.

    Jvr we eat half and we can get assets back in a deal.

    Atkinson had a good year this is a sell high moment lets hope the morons dont screw it up.

    Sanheim has shown that if given more opportunity he can turn his game up, those players you dont trade.

    TK is a rollercoaster, but if we trade him it better be for alot(1st, 2nd, prospect)otherwise why make the trade.

  5. I can actually see Toronto being a solid destination for Gibson. It is possible that they could move Nylander in the deal for Gibson. Not sure of the other pieces though.

    • I floated this idea, but someone here said that there was evidence that the Canadian teams where on Gibby’s no-trade list.

    • It was already reported that John Gibson wont waive for any Canadian team, I think hometown Pittsburgh makes the most sense for Gibson. If Pat Verbeek moves him.

  6. Scoring is SO far up this year, so many people are going to get overpaid OR are finally living up to contracts (come on down Matt Duchene and Jonathan Huberdeau)

    But people will break the bank for one good year. I’m terrified about what Pierre Dorion will do with money, and that pick. So many players have feasted on bad goaltending. When was the last time we had this many 100+ point players??

  7. Are you saying Huberdeau hasn’t lived up to his contract before this season? He averaged over a point per game winning n 1st 4 seasons of contract that pays him an average of 5.9 mil. 75 points per season, with 2 Covid shortened seasons.

    • I thought I read he was in the top 5 point producers over the last 5 years or something like that