NHL Rumor Mill – April 9, 2022

by | Apr 9, 2022 | Rumors | 10 comments

In today’s NHL rumor mill, more speculation linking Claude Giroux to the Senators, questions about possible offseason moves by the Red Wings and Lars Eller’s future with the Capitals.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Ian Mendes was asked if Kevin Fiala or Claude Giroux would be easier for the Ottawa Senators to obtain in the offseason. He believes it could be Giroux, as the Florida Panthers forward is slated to become an unrestricted free agent whereas the Minnesota Wild winger is a restricted free agent.

Florida Panthers forward Claude Giroux (NHL Images)

Mendes noted Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reported the 34-year-old Giroux is doing some homework on the Senators and their situation in Ottawa. If the former Flyers captain can win a Stanley Cup with the Panthers, it could nudge him toward signing with his hometown club.

Fiala, meanwhile, would prove expensive to acquire via trade and to sign as he also has arbitration rights and is in line for a significant raise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The uncertainty over the Senators’ ownership situation following the recent death of Eugene Melnyk could affect the club’s efforts to attract free-agent talent. No one knows yet whether Melnyk’s heirs will maintain control of the franchise or sell to another ownership group willing to keep the club in Ottawa.

As for Giroux, I don’t rule out the possibility of him coming home to Ottawa. Nevertheless, it’s not a certainty that’s what he wants to do or that the Senators would be interested in signing him. If the Panthers fail to win the Cup and they’re unable to re-sign Giroux, he could opt to sign with a contender for next season.

THE ATHLETIC: Max Bultman was recently asked by a reader if the entire Detroit Red Wings core had to be remade (except for Moritz Seider). He suggested Filip Hronek could be a good trade candidate if management wanted to shake things up and get a solid return. However, he could prove difficult to replace, making it more worthwhile to keep the 24-year-old defenseman unless someone’s willing to make a big offer for him.

Asked about the future of winger Filip Zadina, Bultman suggested a possible coaching change by the Wings could factor into their decision to keep or trade him. Ultimately, it comes down to their evaluation of the former first-round pick and whether they feel they’ve done all they can to tap into his potential.

Bultman also doesn’t expect Wings general manager Steve Yzerman to pursue a big-ticket UFA such as John Klingberg this summer. A good second-line center option via free agency could be Carolina’s Vincent Trocheck, who wouldn’t break the bank or be a signing that goes over five years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what Yzerman does this summer. He’s been building patiently with promising youth over the past three years. Nevertheless, the Wings are at a point where he could attempt to accelerate the process via trade or free agency. Then again, he could also decide a coaching change would be more beneficial.

THE ATHLETIC: Tarik El-Bashir was asked if the Washington Capitals might part with center Lars Eller in the offseason. He doesn’t consider it a slam dunk but didn’t rule it out if the Capitals decide to shed some salary and free up a roster spot for promising Connor McMichael. Eller, 32, has a year remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $3.5 million.


  1. Yzerman should sign Forsberg who will help that top 6 and spread the scoring right awat

    • Trocheck would be a better option.

      • Someone might pay Trocheck like a #1 center and #19 is not going to overpay a 28+ year old with an injury history.

        @Kronwalled But good points on Forsberg being in a crowded field of wingers

        As a Ranger fan who instantly loves Copp’s 2 way game I can see Yzerman paying him more to be the 2C in Detroit than the Rangers can pay him. Larkin+Copp combo can handle both ends of the ice and still produce

    • Unless Forsberg is going to play center, Trocheck makes more sense. Wings have plenty of wingers with more prospects coming. What they don’t have is top 6 center prospects unless one overachieves his potential. Unless they win the lottery and get Shane Wright (not going to happen), Trocheck should be a target this summer as this is the Wings biggest weakness. Pius Suter is not a 2nd line center unless he has someone like Patrick Kane driving play on the line.

      The other holes they have is left defense. Klingberg is a RD and the Wings are set there with Seider, Hronek and Lindstrom. Unless Yzerman plans to trade Hronek or Lindstrom, Klingberg doesn’t make much sense. Wings do have Simon Edvinsson, Albert Johansson and William Wallinder who were all top 5 in SHL points for U21 players (along with 6’8 winger Elmer Soderblom who was #1). So the Wings do have some LD prospects coming that might push to make the team next season.

      If the Wings can fill that 2nd line center position and the LD with quality defensemen, they should be able to compete for a playoff spot…if not then they will continue to struggle to be a playoff team. Changing the coaching staff is a must also.

      • Soderblom is a forward, but you are correct about the LD situation. We also have plethora of d-men in the system including McIsaac, Sebrango, Viro, Cotton, Tuomisto and Buium who are all young and developing. Good possibility that one or 2 of these on top of the ones you listed make the NHL. Centers are what we really lack in development so Trocheck would be a great signing if we can convince him of the Wings being on the right path in the rebuild.

  2. The question the senators need to ask is Should they try to sign Giroux and then ask if they can get him signed.

    There are a lot of high end prospects on the cusp of blossoming in the sens organization, who does he take ice time from? Is the next year or two of solid play from a 35yo worth more than investing the time and squandering the energy of a 22yo who will be relied on before long?

    Step back from the feel good homecoming story and sign a depth veteran or two for a million each, save the cap space and ice time from Giroux for the RFAs.

    • Very valid points made. I do feel that if Ottawa feels they are one, maybe two players away from a legit playoff push then adding Giroux makes sense. Being wary of course of term and dollars. Giroux is still a top five faceoff man and decent points producer that can add depth, defensive, penalty killing and offensive abilities.

      3 yrs x 6 million is what I would offer.

      • Giroux would also be a very good fit in Colorado if Kadri signs elsewhere.

      • Ron i agree that Giroux would make sense in Colorado if they don’t keep Kadri. I also think Giroux may work for a year or 2 in Ottawa, however, they have a lot of talent there that are up and coming and almost think it would be a waste to fill one of those center spots with Giroux even though he would be a good mentor for the club. Curious what George’s thoughts are on Giroux coming to Ottawa.

  3. Regarding Giroux and the Panthers….
    if they dont win the cup but come close….❓

    I Think Giroux will sign a Cap freindly contract for 2-3 years down in Florida and maybe Ben Chiarot or Hagg will to if they want to win a cup…?
    Ottawa are 3-4 years away from being close to a cup contender!

    Panthers biggest down side or Challenge is….
    The buy out Hit of $5.Million they have to pay
    Keith Yandle next year, unless they can trade it with a mid round pick and prospect.
    They only have one 2nd round pick left from all there trades for the next 3 draft years 2022, 2023 & 2024…….⁉️