NHL Rumor Mill – April 4, 2022

by | Apr 4, 2022 | Rumors | 53 comments

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill, more trade chatter about Canadiens goalie Carey Price plus more speculation about Bruce Boudreau’s future as coach of the Canucks.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico wondered if the Canadiens would trade Carey Price if the 34-year-old goaltender returned to play this season and proved healthy enough to continue his career. He cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman making that speculation during a recent “32 Thoughts” podcast, suggesting there’s a chance Price could be playing elsewhere next season.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).

D’Amico observed Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes saying Price’s return this season depends on his health. The veteran netminder remains sidelined recovering from knee surgery last July. During a January press conference, Price was adamant about remaining with the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have 13 games remaining in their schedule, with their final game on April 29. That doesn’t leave much time for Price to return to game shape and be in suitable condition to play a few games before the end of this season. If he hasn’t returned to full practice with his teammates by mid-month, he probably won’t be getting in any games before the end of this month.

D’Amico noted Price waived his no-movement clause during last summer’s Seattle Expansion Draft. He did so in order for the Canadiens to protect Jake Allen in last summer’s expansion draft. He and then-Habs general manager Marc Bergevin correctly assumed the Kraken didn’t want to be saddled with his $10.5 million annual average value through 2025-26.

Price could waive his NMC for the right club this summer but moving him won’t be easy. It’s unlikely a potential suitor would agree to take on his full cap hit unless the Canadiens took back a toxic contract or two to balance it out.

The more likely scenario would see the Canadiens retaining 50 percent of his cap hit to facilitate a trade. Even a three-team deal spreading the cap hit around would still involve the Habs retaining half of his salary given that’s been the benchmark for similar recent deals.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma believes Vancouver Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau’s ability to get the most out of veterans such as J.T. Miller and youngster stars like Elias Pettersson “should be applauded and rewarded”. The Canucks have an option year on Boudreau’s contract but he also has the option to walk away.

Kuzma pointed out that Miller has come to appreciate Boudreau. If the Canucks intend on extending Miller’s contract, it would make sense to keep their head coach in the fold.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller is enjoying a career-best 82-point performance this season. He might be more inclined to remain a Canuck beyond 2022-23 if Boudreau stays on as their bench boss.


  1. It’s interesting that Price is adamant about staying in MTL. It seem that his wife, and presumably himself, were excited about the possibilities of playing in Seattle, which would have been close to home for both of them. I have always liked Price, but Angela Price’s hints on her social media seem to have rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way.

    I wish Carey nothing but the best no matter what. It feels like a return may be less likely than retirement at this point though. I wish him all the best.

    • I don’t see retirement in Prices future. Counting this year, he has 44.25 million of actual dollars owed. Not counting this year about 33 million.

      I don’t know anybody walking away from that kind of money. Certainly not to help out the organization.

  2. If that’s Petterssons best then the Canucks got scammed by Peteys agent.

    • He has been pretty good after new years and Bruce isnt using him right as a LW with Horvat. If Miller is happy, then I can guarantee that EP isnt

  3. For Sale or Trade:

    34 year old over rated goalie
    Always injured
    Currently in league substance abuse program
    Salary 10 million per year

    No reasonable offer refused.

    Why would anybody give up anything of value for Carey Price?

    • They wouldn’t.

      I doubt they’d give up anything of value for him even at 50% retained.

      MON’s only chance is to show that he is healthy and productive, and they haven’t even been able to get to that point.

      Zero trade value. Correction – less than zero trade value.

    • Price spent a month (October) in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program for substance abuse. He’s no longer in the program as you claim, Ron, and hasn’t been for months.

      There’s no denying Price is aging with an injury history and an expensive contract. You’re entitled to your opinion of him as “over rated”.

      • Hey! Welcome…he’s a bit and hard to stomach but pops out from time to time with hot takes on things with an alternative view to reality.

    • Hi Ron,

      At this stage your right, Even if the Habs retain 50% of his Huge $10. Million Dollar salary ❗️
      thats $5.mill for a Goaltender that may not be able to be a #1 Goaltender again…due to his health and off ice problems he has had….

      This summer in August he is 35 yrs old….
      He will be a $10. million dollar back up Goaltender in Montreal untill the end of the contract

  4. Boudreau will almost assuredly be back behind the Canucks bench next season – at least to start anyway.

    When he was signed on Dec 5,2021 they had a record of 25 8 15 2 for 18 pts and a points % of .360 – dead last in the Pacific, scoring 60 while giving up 80 for an overall -20 differential.

    In the 45 gp since then they’ve gone 24 13 8 for 56 pts for a points % of .622, scoring 138 and giving up 122 for an overall +16 differential.

    Unfortunately, the early hole they dug for themselves is simply too much to overcome in order to get to the last WC slot.

    Right now they sit 5th in the Pacific 8 back of Vegas with a game in hand. With 11 games left, Vegas would need 10 pts to get to 92 – the general consensus for a playoff spot – and to do that, they could still stumble along at a .455 % pace. Vancouver, on the others hand, would need to play at a .622 % pace over their last 12 games to get there, and that just so happens to be the % pace they’ve been on under Boudreau.

    • George, did you typo the 92 pts as the amount likely needed to get in?
      I would set the over/under at 96.

      Vegas has gotten hot when they needed to. Oil fans were actually rooting for the “Nucks” last night which is rare.

      Will be interesting to see if they get in, and if they do if they get healthy. Wouldn’t want to play them in the first round if I was Calgary.

      I think COL beats em anyway, but far from a sure thing if Vegas has all their guys back.

      • Ray, I was sort of basing it upon the points % played by the teams still in the hunt for the 2 Wild Card slots in the West since Feb 1 and using that to calculate what they might finish with in terms of final points

        Dal 26 16 9 1 33 75 77 .635
        Van 25 12 9 4 28 85 80 .560
        Nas 22 12 10 0 24 83 68 .546
        Veg 24 12 11 1 25 66 65 .521
        Win 26 12 11 3 27 95 92 .519

        If 96 is indeed the number needed, then Winnipeg and Vancouver are toast

        Pts % Since Feb Pts Req % Req
        Nas 82 .546 14 .500
        Dal 81 .635 15 .536
        Veg 82 .521 14 .636
        Win 76 .519 20 .833
        Van 74 .560 22 .917

        That’s why I figured 92 as I just don’t see Vegas suddenly turning a .521 pace into .636

      • George, I think you’re calculating PTS % literally. As in Vegas averages .521 pts per game played. When in reality they have 82 pts in 71 games, which is a 1.154 pts per game played. At that rate it is a little over 95 pts. IMO they will do better than that.

        WTF the .521 represents? Not sure. Is .521 a % of possible points? That doesn’t work either.

        Maybe Lyle knows the math.

      • Ray, the calculation of .521 is the % pace at which they’ve been since Feb 1. In that span they’ve played 24 games and out of a possible 48 points they’ve earned 25 based upon a 12 11 1 record – and that calculates to a .521 pace in just over 2 months worth of games.

        In comparison, the top team in the West since Feb 1 has been Calgary who have played 28 games in that span, and out of a possible 56 points they have earned 40 based upon a 19 7 and 2 record – which works out to a .714 points % pace.

        That’s more or less the way baseball does it and using the % is better than actual points gained during a season since teams can have upwards of 5 or 6 games played differentials at various times.

      • I doubt Vegas gets in, 2 teams from central will

    • The Canucks are all but mathematically done. There are three teams (Stars, Knights, and Jets) between them and a playoff spot.

  5. I don’t follow the Flyers. Do they still believe in Carter Hart? His numbers are average or much worse over the past couple of years, but he’s young, so I honestly have no idea: do people still think he’s their goalie of the future?

    If not, as a team that’s had sub-par goaltending for seemingly ever, would they take a flyer (pun intended) on Price, if they also got to unload a bad contract?

    To PHI: Price
    To MTL: Hart + van Riemsdyk

    I say this because I don’t think the Habs are fully convinced that Primeau is their goalie of the future. He might be, but I don’t think it’s a lock by any stretch.

    • LOL a young goalie for a used up one.

      Paddy that wont ever happen!!

      Harts numbers are down because philly doesnt know how to play team defense. Both our goalies if you check are having decents seasons its the guys in front of them forgetting there job.

    • Paddy are you going to give us your 1st this year and 2 2nd next?

      • Like I say, having not watched, I only see Hart’s numbers, which aren’t good. But as you say, that may be reflection of the team. That’s why I asked what Philly thought of him.

        Plus, we’d take JVR at $7M – that’s a pretty good sweetener!

      • Paddy. Even if he was the price of a few years ago, the second he got to Philly he would implode. It’s a curse that Philly shall never have sustained solid goaltending ever again.

  6. With all the uncertainty surrounding Price with regards to both his physical AND mental health, his age (he turns 35 in August), and the fact he carries a $10.5 mil per cap hit for 4 more years by which time he’ll be 39 – why would ANY GM entertain the thought of dealing for him?

    Based on what? His past records? Even if he does manage to come back and play a game or 2 before the end of the season – so what? He’s done that repeatedly over the past few seasons, but it doesn’t last before he’s out again for some reason. That’s worth taking him on even if the Habs withhold half the cap??

    The man was great in his day, but come ON.

    • So one heck of a bad contract or not? Take in mind what the player did for you to earn that contract and how he performed in his possession and if you put any weight to that and what options you had available or could develop.

      • Not sure what is your point there Ron

      • As a very learned poster once said on this very page:


      • Ron get back to your book full of pictures and let the adults speak.

        George I was just pontificating on the merit of a contract that is deemed bad and the conditions MB was under when he handed out that bad contract….was it justified or not and if not, under those conditions what would be best, both player and team?

    • Have to agree, George. The most any Habs fan can realistically hope for is that Price can play a couple of years as back up.

      Most Habs fans knew Bergevin overpaid for Price in 2017 because of his importance to a mediocre team, and the fact that Price was thinking about signing elsewhere. But now, that is one of several long term contracts that Bergevin has saddled the Habs with.

      • amen LJ!

  7. Price needs to get in a couple of games BEFORE the end of the season. A 2-3 game conditioning stint at Laval would even suffice to assess his value going forth. If he does well, try to trade him to Seattle for 1 of their 3 goalies and Price going at 1/2 salary.

    • Of course there would be some adjustment to this trade depending on which goalie goes East

  8. Above comment regarding carter hart
    Trade for price ?????

    Wow !

    Great , talented future elite goaltender , IMO
    Love to have him in Toronto !!

    Phillie is in a bad place right now
    GM – Fletcher – No comparison to his dad
    Hextall did damage during his tenure
    They even traded their mascot

    • That’s fair, Ken! Like I say, I only see Hart’s numbers, which are not impressive, but I do not have any bead on whether or not he still looks like he will be a star one day. I obviously threw in the JVR contract as the sweetener from Philly’s side, but totally understood if that’s not enough. It was more based on whether the Flyers have soured on Hart as their future #1 at all.

  9. Price was voted best goalie in the league by the NHLPA three years in a row before last year.

    Price for all intents and purposes carried the Habs on his back to the SCF last year.

    To say he is washed up and great in his day ignores the past two years playoffs.

    The guy hasn’t played all year so we don’t know where he stands at the moment, everything else is conjecture, wishful thinking or conjecture.

    • 2nd conjecture = schadenfreude

    • Surely you will concede that as he would start next season at 35 after being off for a year there is not a lot of room for optimism.

      Let’s look at it this way: if Price’s current contract ended this season, what would he get in $ and term for a new one?

      • It’s a great question! And I think 4x$5.25M would have a few teams biting, maybe even one or two pretty hard. Lots of goalies are currently playing until 40, few with Price’s pedigree or big game reputation.

        E.g. if Oilers goalies flame out in the playoffs, as is totally plausibe, I could easily see them thinking Price may be the answer during McDavid & Draisaitl’s prime; at the very least worth the risk.

        By zero coincidence, that would be his remaining contract with 50% retained, which the Habs would definitely do.

      • And few with his recent medical maladies. Don’t forget that. Is a GM dealing for him supposed to believe that these medical issues won’t continue to occur?

      • I can’t see anybody trading for Price until next years TDL at the earliest. Need a way bigger sample size to see if he can handle the rigors of being a starter.
        And no, it won’t be for $10M, I wouldn’t for $5M for that term.
        Yes Price can carry a team for a stretch, or at least he has in the very recent past.
        But 35 and coming of a major injury and 4 more years are all you need to consider.
        You don’t recover from injuries better as you age, other way around.

        Would like to see an example of a 35 yr old tender with a similar injury history, being worth that type of $ for 4 years.

        Price has had a very good career, but he is human and injuries and age don’t mix well on us normal humans, let alone professional athletes.

      • LJ – please don’t use logic.

  10. ” Carey Price was a full participant at practice and Eric Engels of Sportsnet suggests that the star goaltender could potentially make his debut in the next few games. Next Monday at home against the Winnipeg Jets seems a likely possibility for Price to make his season debut after a very tumultuous year, though there is no indication yet from the team when he’ll be back in the crease.”

    Hmm , now we may know what Price can do!

  11. And few with his recent medical maladies. Don’t forget that. Is a GM dealing for him supposed to believe that these medical issues won’t continue to occur?

  12. Anderson has a home in Buffalo and Mike Smith in Edmonton . 40 and counting. How old is Fleury .? IF Price can play he will somewhere . If not in Montreal it would take a third team to make a deal happen and at around
    $3 m annually there will be a list of suitors . Line forms to the right

    • But at what stage would a rival GM be reasonably satisfied that he’s past the frequent trips to the IR? Taking him on blind faith without any appreciable level of “show me” – even at 50% retained – would take gonads the size of basketballs! I don’t care what his pedigree says. All great players have outstanding resumes – but all of them do eventually reach the end of the line.

      Heck, Matt Murray would be less of a financial risk – and he’s won two cups – something Price has never done.

    • I would counter on Smith and Anderson that both have missed significant time to injury this year, and both earn considerably less with less term and both were healthier than Price has been at that point in their careers.

      Fluery has been very healthy actually, can see him getting decent deal, but will be short term as well. 2 years max IMO. I can see him going year at a time, his choice.

  13. R.I.P. Mike Bossy.

    The best pure goal scorer I ever saw. 9 straight 50+ goal seasons, 573 career goals in only 10 season.

    Others may have more goals but none did it with the consistency and style of Mike Bossy.

  14. Vancouver plays Vegas twice on 6th 12th one of them will be toasted.
    Jets have the Death Valley trip through Florida Carolina and Rangers. They are toast. Can see much of a change as to who is in for the west

  15. Mike Bossy was a pure as they come. Big smoker . After his playing career would during kids conditioning camps he would go out for a butley in the parking lot with his skates still on !
    On one timers He always professed shoot where the goalie was not to the open side

    • I can remember watching between period interviews on HNIC with Lafleur chugging down darts during the interviewi.

  16. I feel what some of the people were saying here was that to get out from under Price you’ll probably have to take back the same amount of garbage or give picks.

    Like….the Sens will take Price. And Montreal can have Murray, and Zaitsev (bonus UN paid) heck, Maybe MDZ too.

    • There ya go.

  17. As a Leafs fan I’d be happy to see a one sided deal for Price. Not that it would happen but:
    Mrazek for Price at 50% retained, and Mtl putting out for a third team to take another 50%.

    Leafs dump Mrazek’s 3.5M and get Price at about 2.625M, but would likely get some LTIR along the way.

    Leafs would be relying on Campbell as the starter but split starts with Price until one or the other (maybe both) is inevitably injured. This is when they slowly groom their young goalie prospects. The hope would be to have Campbell or Price healthy and hot for the playoffs.

  18. Desperate Man:

    Jordan Binnington, Marco Scandella, Klim Kostin, and Scott Perunovich


    Carey Price to the Blues

    • Never will be that desperate