NHL Rumor Mill – April 28, 2022

by | Apr 28, 2022 | Rumors | 16 comments

How will missing the playoffs affect the Golden Knights’ offseason plans? What’s the latest on the Jets and Canucks? Find out in today’s edition of the NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman wondered what the repercussions will be for the Vegas Golden Knights after missing the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (NHL Images).

He also mused over what it could mean for Robin Lehner after head coach Peter DeBoer seemed to criticize the oft-injured goaltender when he observed a number of his teammates were also playing hurt and giving their best.

Friedman indicated we’ve yet to hear from Lehner, general manager Kelly McCrimmon, team owner Bill Foley or the other Golden Knights players. He wondered where everyone stands, suggesting the possibility this gets “more flammable” before it calms down. Lehner is under contract with the Golden Knights for three more seasons.

THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger also wondered what the offseason holds in store for the Golden Knights. He pointed out that injuries to core players Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty were a contributing factor to the club’s struggles this season.

The club’s lack of identity could also be an issue despite their star-studded roster. DeBoer has always preferred a defense-first mentality but most of their biggest roster additions fly in the face of that strategy. They’ve also struggled to score in big moments.

The uprooting of many of their original core players from their 2017-18 Cup Finalist roster also played a part. Granger suggested the constant push to upgrade may have burdened the club with additional pressure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights will have to make some offseason moves to trim payroll.

Cap Friendly shows the Golden Knights have over $83.8 million invested in 18 active roster players for 2022-23 with pending UFA winger Reilly Smith as their most notable free agent this summer. What other factors will be involved in their summer plans remain to be seen.

Lehner’s situation is an interesting one. He was frequently sidelined but the club downplayed the severity of his injuries. He’s undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery but before that he was reportedly unhappy over being pulled from a recent game after the first period with the score tied at one. DeBoer said the move was made to shift the momentum in his club’s favor but there appears to be a rift growing between the two that could prove costly to one of them.


Friedman repeated his Saturday report where he suggested Pierre-Luc Dubois’ contract talks with the Winnipeg Jets could be worth watching. He wondered if the 23-year-old center has “a long-term vision.” Friedman pointed out the Jets prefer term and have locked up some good contracts that way. He wondered what will happen if Dubois is unwilling to do that.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien also pondered the Jets’ potential offseason plans to address the issues that derailed them this season, most notably their defensive play. He wondered if the right coach might help them find the right balance of improving their defense without stifling their skilled forwards.

Making additions won’t be easy as they’ve got $16.2 million in cap room. A big chunk of that could be taking up re-signing Dubois and perhaps bringing back pending UFA center Paul Stastny on another 35-plus (bonus-laden) contract.

There aren’t many answers for the Jets in this summer’s UFA market. They could attempt to pursue defenseman John Klingberg or center Nazem Kadri but both will be expensive to sign. Claude Giroux’s two-way style could help if his asking price isn’t too steep.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend on whether Kevin Cheveldayoff returns as general manager and how much pressure he might receive from ownership to shake things up. Perhaps a new head coach will be able to address the Jets’ defensive woes. Maybe it requires trading a core player like Mark Scheifele to free up the cap space to add a skilled defenseman to bolster the blueline.

I believe the Jets’ front office will do all it can to sign Dubois to a long-term deal but it could cost as much as $8 million annually. If he only wants a two-year deal that brings him up to UFA eligibility, they might have to consider shopping him.


SPORTSNET: Iain MacIntyre reports J.T. Miller’s future will dominate the Vancouver Canucks’ offseason. The 29-year-old center is enjoying a career-best 97-point performance. He’s under contract for one more season with an annual salary-cap hit of $5.25 million.

Miller said he wants to win with his friends in Vancouver, suggesting his play this season is indicative of what’s to come. However, MacIntyre noted his age, potential UFA value next summer and the Canucks’ cap crunch could bring a trade instead of a contract extension.

Friedman, meanwhile, believes extending the contract of captain Bo Horvat this summer is as big a priority for the Canucks as Miller and Brock Boeser.

THE ATHLETIC: Harman Dayal believes Boeser’s subpar performance this season could force the Canucks to make a difficult choice. It will cost them $7.5 million to qualify his rights, meaning they invest big money in a player whose production is less certain than it was a year ago or attempt to trade him while his value is likely to be at an all-time low.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the Canucks cap situation, it wouldn’t be surprising if they sign Miller to a lucrative contract extension if they see him as someone worth building around. Doing so, however, could mean a cost-cutting move or trading a restricted free agent such as Boeser.

Horvat’s situation will also be worth monitoring. His annual average value ($5.5 million) is slightly higher than Miller’s but he won’t cost as much as the latter to re-sign. Nevertheless, it will be as high as around $7.5 million. The cost of new contracts for Horvat and Miller could ensure Boeser’s departure this summer.

The long-term futures of Miller and Horvat could also depend on whether management brings back Bruce Boudreau as head coach. The Canucks responded very well under his guidance, rallying from the bottom of the division standings to staying in the playoff race until the final week of the season.



  1. Sounds like an expensive offseason for the Nucks.

    But, they’re trending in the right direction.

  2. Knights still in Cap Hell next year

    Can McCrimmon get Adams drunk enough to … mmmm…. say… keep the picks; keep the 3rd you owe us…. We’ll give you the healthy Jack back…. we get Krebs and Tuch back…. 🤪🤓LOL


    HJ + 1st + Martinez+ Lechyshyn + Dugan

    For Power and Krebs


  3. Knights still in Cap Hell next year

    Can McCrimmon get Adams drunk enough to … mmmm…. say… keep the picks; keep the 3rd you owe us…. We’ll give you the healthy Jack back…. we get Krebs and Tuch back…. 🤪🤓LOL


    HJ + 1st + Martinez+ Lechyshyn + Dugan

    For Power and Krebs


  4. OMG, the sky’s falling…Vegas missed the playoffs. They’ll be back next year and all will be well. A healthy team and some adjustments being made and they’ll be back in the playoffs

    All I can say is thank you to the teams that made it 99.5% possible that my Sabres get pick 16 in this years draft.

  5. I wonder if Maurice wants to gamble being the coach for Vegas?

    They most likely will look for a new coach unless Lehner asks for a trade. ( I know he struggles a bit with that almost skitzoness) so, maybe it’s time for a goalie swap too. Just don’t know what team would want Lehner with his injuries and spotlights. I feel almost sorry for him cause he seems to want to blow up and rocks the boat to make waves but i do not pity Vegas in the slightest and like most Carma came back and bit them in the dice.

    The Jets are in bad imo as they look around and see teams building up and surpassing the Jets play shoulllll give them the nod to reset almost.I don’t know if their fans are willing to be patient but maybe it is time to trade Scheif, (I’d say to Philly because they also should be in a mini rebuild state and could give a good mixture of what the jets might be seeking (like a Risto) ( he is no buff,..but the west is tough so they need that imo) even Dubois (montreal could give up some good draft picks for him) work the team around Connor and get a new coach or even maybe Chevy can pass odd the torch and take a break himself. Jets need new trail lines imo and need some freshy fresh.

    • ds, I agree the West is tough and has been for more than a decade. I am surprised sometimes at Winnepeg, they used to scare me no end when they played the Avalanche, especially when “Big Buff” was in the lineup! They have a lot of talent up front even despite Laine moving along. I expected more from them this year as opposed to Nashville. Times change I guess. The Central is a tough division and that was the case even when the Avalanche weren’t good. GO AVS!!!!!!

      • Sorry, should be DJ!

      • Vegas is in a nightmare with there cap situation, too many not listening to the coach. DeBoer doesn’t seem to have a clue how to win when it matters. Eichel only getting 1 point in last 6 games in a push for the playoffs really hurt after giving up so much to get him.

  6. I don’t know why people keep bringing Boeser’s 7.5m rights as the only possible contract option between the 2 sides.

    Reminds me of Kotkaniemi when people kept saying his 6m contract was way too much… look at what he signed for!!

    Same for Boeser, he would probably accept a 6×5.5milli instead of 1×7.5 and risking getting less on the next contract. Look at Keven Labanc and his 1x1milli

    • Comparing Kotkaniemi to Boeser is apples to oranges. He was coming off his entry-level contract. The Hurricanes grossly overpaid him on a one-year offer sheet to pry him away from the Canadiens with the understanding he would get a long-term contract for a lower annual average value afterward. He also wasn’t in the same class skill-wise as Boeser.

      I’ll be very surprised if Boeser agrees to a contract extension worth less than his qualifying offer, which was his actual salary for this season. He’s not coming off an ELC but instead is completing a three-year bridge deal with arbitration rights.

      • I disagree. Yes the situation between KK is a little different, he’s not as good, but he is also paid less right?

        They both can say no to long term extension… they are both worth less than the value of the contract…

        They both won’t get that in the market …

        no way in the world Boeser gets a 7.5m long term deal. The question is will he bet on himself and bet himself out of town.

  7. Jets gave up Laine and Roslovic just to bring in PLD. Seriously doubt they trade him. I don’t see Schiefele back.
    Not long after aquiring Eichel I brought up the possibility that Vegas would miss playoffs. Injuries plus constant juggling of players on ltir. Add to that the Dadonov trade fiasco. Wouldn’t be surprised to see them try and bring back Fleury and trading Lehner.

    • MAF sez “HELL NO!!!”

  8. Glad to see Vegas miss the post season. They were literally handed the Silver Chalice.Most expansion teams have to wait years to make the playoffs, the Knights not only made the post season they made the finals…..ridiculous.

    • Brian Burke might say, “Vegas model my a**” … I know where he’s gonna get work after Pitt!

    • The difference Rick was that the Vegas franchise cost $500M to join the league.
      Nobody in the right mind pays that to suck for a decade. At least.

      Blame the other owners, they wanted the $.