NHL Rumor Mill – May 12, 2022

by | May 12, 2022 | Rumors | 12 comments

Could the Canucks attempt to trade Oliver Ekman-Larsson? Are they laying the groundwork for a potential offer sheet? Could Ducks winger Max Comtois hit the trade block this summer? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


DAILY HIVE: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating the Vancouver Canucks could attempt to trade Oliver Ekman-Larsson. During a recent interview with CHEK TV’s Don Taylor and Rick Dhaliwal, Friedman said he anticipated the Canucks will be “a very aggressive team” in the offseason. He thinks they’ve looked around to see if there’s a market for the 30-year-old defenseman.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks’ previous management acquired Ekman-Larsson last summer. Daily Hive’s Rob Williams pointed out the blueliner played well defensively this season, sitting second among the Canucks in ice time. However, his 29 points were his lowest during a full 82-game schedule.

Williams also noted that moving Ekman-Larsson’s contract could be a herculean task. The Canucks carry $7.26 million of his $8.25 million annual salary-cap hit with the Arizona Coyotes picking up the rest.

Ekman-Larsson is signed through 2026-27 and still carries a full no-movement clause. Even if he agreed to waive that clause to go to a club of his choosing, his cap hit and the remaining term of his contract will be tough to move with the salary cap rising by only $1 million to $82.5 million for 2022-23.

I’m not saying it can’t happen. However, it will take some salesmanship on the part of Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin and president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford to pull it off.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek recently suggested the Canucks could also be laying the groundwork for a potential offer sheet this summer. He pointed out the Canucks got back their own third-round draft pick in this year’s draft from the Ottawa Senators in the Travis Hamonic trade.

Marek pointed out that successfully signing a restricted free agent to an offer sheet this summer worth between $4.1 million and $6.1 million would require giving up their own first and third rounders as compensation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marek said he’s not sure if the Canucks will play the offer sheet game this summer but commended them on “getting as many weapons together as possible.” Going that route would also mean shedding some salary, which might in part explain the Ekman-Larsson speculation.

This could be worth monitoring when the free-agent market opens on July 13. Offer sheets are rare and only two players in the salary-cap era (the latest being Jesperi Kotkaniemi) have been successfully signed away. Nevertheless, we can’t rule out that possibility if the Canucks can dump some salary beforehand.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens recently reports Max Comtois’ disappointing season with the Anaheim Ducks saw his name pop up in trade rumors. There was some thought that the 23-year-old winger might benefit from a change of scenery.

Comtois, however, hopes to stay put. He lacks a no-trade clause and acknowledged it is up to management to decide. Still, he said he likes the team and hopes to help this rebuilding club succeed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Comtois led the low-scoring Ducks with 16 goals and 33 points in last season’s COVID-shortened campaign. He got off to a slow start to this season before being sidelined for six weeks by a hand injury and struggled to regain his form following his return.

New general manager Pat Verbeek could still see Comtois as an important part of his roster rebuild. He’s signed through next season with an affordable $2.037 million cap hit. Still, Verbeek showed his willingness to wheel and deal before the trade deadline. He could consider Comtois as a potential trade chip this summer.


  1. Where would OEL go?? How much salary would the Nucks have to retain? Contenders do not have the room for him, would he go to a team in the bottom half of the league? I doubt it. And besides he has 5 more years! OEL would have to modify his NMC so they could trade him in his last 2 years and Vancouver would have to retain at least $1.5M!!!

    • And why would a team in the bottom half want him in the first place? They’re all re-building to varying degrees and so it’s highly doubtful an “offensive” D-man. 7 years removed from his best offensive contributions, who is also a career -104 and who’ll be 36 y/o when his $7 mil + deal expires. is going to make any difference to their fortunes.

    • Yep….hard to believe that there is any market for OEL.

    • This OEL chatter is WAY overblown. It all stems from a fairly innocuous comment by Elliott Friedman, “I just think that the Canucks have tried to look around to see if there’s a market there, at all.” That sounds perfectly normal. Of course they would unload that boat anchor contract, but no one will be interested and even if they found a partner, OEL wouldn’t likely accept it.

      This was a dumb acquisition last year and Nucks are stuck with it. Fwiw, OEL played pretty well for them last year, just not $7m well.

      • “just not $7m well” … and right there you nailed the crux of the situation I Want My Curtains Back.

        It’s somewhat similar to situations brought up in that post yesterday by someone calling himself Barry Trotz who suggested Nashville strike while the iron is hot and deal Johansen and Duchene, to take advantage of their “bounce back” seasons for 1st round picks and/or players that could contribute “for the next 10 years.”

        To which I responded – late – I don’t think there are any teams out there who will relinquish a # 1 pick for a player costing $8 mil off the cap (one with 3 years to go and the other with 4 – and in the case of the latter, Duchene will turn 35 in that last year), who both had their high-water marks years ago (7 and 8 years in the case of Johansen) in the hope that either will suddenly return to their best years on the basis of one resurgent season.

      • George
        I bet Sweeney can work a deal with preds. For. Johansen 2 .5 mil retained Lauzon and a 3rd for Coyle and Griz Wishful thinking 🤔

    • Remember a few years ago when Tor was trading their first overall pick to Arz for OEL and Dylan Strohm?

  2. The pick that Vancouver got back from Ottawa is a 2022 pick.

    The 2022 draft happens before free agency starts, how are they going to use a 2022 pick as part of the offer sheet price AFTER the 2022 draft has already happened, and the pick has already been used.

    • Cap Freindly sez they have a 1st a 2nd and a 3rd 2023 picks + other picks, which would make the Nucks eligible to OS in ALL salary categories

  3. The Ducks jettisoned a lot by the trade deadline Lindholm Rakkel Manson. Getzlaf retired plus other roster spots moved on. I would be careful on Comtois and he could be a Sam Bennett. Young players can get derailed. He is more likely to rebound and could score 30 next year

  4. mr bruin 4, Johansen and Duchene are both “chumps”. I’d rather have Coyle over those two guys any day. GO AVS!!!!!!!!!

    • My pick to win it all tommyboy. Just too deep and excellent goaltending.