NHL Rumor Mill – May 17, 2022

by | May 17, 2022 | Rumors | 43 comments

Will the Wild re-sign winger Kevin Fiala and who will be their starting goalie next season? What’s next for the Golden Knights? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani listed Kevin Fiala’s contract situation and sorting out the starting goaltender position among the five things he believes Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin needs to address this summer. He also expects late-season acquisition Jacob Middleton will be re-signed but the restricted free agent defenseman will require a big raise.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo also considers Fiala’s contract status and choosing between goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Cam Talbot to be among Guerin’s offseason priorities. The 25-year-old Fiala is due for a big raise following his 85-point season but his poor performance against the St. Louis Blues in the first round could affect his negotiations with the Wild GM.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala (NHL Images).

The Wild’s limited salary-cap space also complicates Fiala’s contract negotiations. If Guerin decides to trade him, Russo noted the Ottawa Senators have long had an interest in the winger while the New Jersey Devils are seeking an impact forward.

Fleury, meanwhile, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Russo pointed out Guerin has a long history with the goaltender going back to 2009 when they were teammates on the Pittsburgh Penguins. He could bring back the Fleury-Talbot tandem for another season or trade Talbot and bring in a more affordable backup.

If promising Calen Addison is ready to play next season, Russo suggested they could shop a defenseman like Matt Dumba or Dmitry Kulikov. Forward Tyson Jost could also be a trade candidate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanging over the Wild’s offseason plans is the salary-cap crunch they’ll face over the next three seasons because of last summer’s buyout of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. NBC Sports’ James O’Brien has the breakdown of its effect on their cap payroll. It could also force them to part ways with Fiala, Talbot or Dumba.

Following his playoff struggles, Fiala isn’t sure what the future holds. “There’s no other answer other than, ‘We’ll see’,” he said. “I don’t know.” Guerin could reach an agreement with the winger’s camp on a new contract, but it wouldn’t be shocking if he trades him this summer.

As for the goaltenders, Russo recently suggested Guerin must repair the relationship with Talbot after he was benched for all but one playoff game or trade him this summer. Following the Wild’s elimination by the Blues, Mizutani reported Talbot isn’t holding a grudge and wants to stick with the team. He also noted Fleury’s interest in re-signing with the Wild if the price is right.

That limited cap room for next season means someone – Fiala, Fleury, Talbot or Dumba – won’t be returning with the Wild. It’s shaping up to be an interesting summer for the Wild.


VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Prior to the Golden Knights’ sacking head coach Pete DeBoer, Owen Krepps examined some of the important questions facing the club in the offseason.

He wondered who the starting goaltender will be after Robin Lehner’s inconsistent, injury-riddled performance this season. Late-season call-up Logan Thompson’s solid play raised eyebrows, leading Krepps to wonder if Thompson will back up Leher next season or take over as the starter with Laurent Brossoit or someone else in the backup role.

Krepps also wondered how Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon will free up much-needed salary-cap space for next season. He could attempt to trade Evgenii Dadonov again, or try to peddle Lehner, Alec Martinez or William Karlsson. They also risk losing long-time Golden Knight winger Reilly Smith to unrestricted free agency in July.

THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger suggested Max Pacioretty could also become a salary-cap casualty. He remains the Golden Knights’ best pure scorer and his trade value could be done following an injury-plagued season. Nevertheless, they’ve shown they’re not shy about unloading expensive contracts for little-to-no value in return, and shedding his $7 million cap hit would free up a lot of room.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner, Pacioretty, Karlsson, Dadonov and Martinez each earn $5 million or more per season. Pacioretty, Karlsson and Dadonov each have 10-team no-trade lists, Martinez has a 12-team no-trade list and Lehner has an eight-team no-trade list. It’s going to take considerable skill on McCrimmon’s part to find a suitable trade partner for one of them given the flattened salary cap for next season and the high number of teams with cap issues of their own.


  1. Wild could swap Dumba for WNylander+ a D prospect.
    FLip Fiala to OTT or NJ for another kid or 2.

    Fiala will help a team on the wing but the Wild cant give him a raise over the 5mil he was already making

    • If Toronto had a decent defensive prospect he’d be on their roster. Leafs prospect pool is devoid of talent.

    • Evolving Hockey puts Fiala’s next contract at 9.444×8, if his rep’s go off that Minny can’t afford that IMO.

    • Why would Dumba be worth more than WN? To me its the other way around

      • Nylander may well be the one dealt in order for the Leafs to free up cap space to re-sign Campbell and their RFAs (and that’s the ONLY reason he’d be dealt) – but it can’t be one-for-one if the one coming back costs almost as much (Dumba – $6 mil and Chychrun $4.6 mil).

        Purely from the Leafs perspective, his trade would be solely to free up needed space. And if not him, it would have to be a combination of two other players totaling about the same amount, and with NM/NY clauses all over the place the only viable candidates would be Kerfoot $3.5) and Mrazek ($3.8). Kerfoot they could probably find a taker – but good luck moving Mrazek.

  2. TRADE FIALA!!! He will fetch many affordable pieces that are most needed now! Besides, Fiala is a big headache to negotiate with.
    Fiala to NJ for #2 OA, Sharangovich, Kevin Bahl

    • generous , I would think Guerin would bite on that if it was offered. I think the Kings are another team that could be in the mix on Fiala , they have a stable of young prospects that could be bundled. The key is Minnesota needs prospects or players on ELC’s to keep the cost down.

    • That would be a complete overpay. Teams know Wild are up against it so why would you bail out another team with that offer?

      • Regardless, a 1st, an NHLer, and a prospect is an expected return for a young 85 pt producer!! The 1st is high at 2 OA, but the other 2 are lower than average for a scorer like Fiala.

      • The 2nd overall pick in the draft is not simply a 1st RD pick.
        The best players in the NHL come in the top 3 of the draft, and it is also way less likely to be a dud.

        If Fiala cost a fortune to sign his return goes down.

        Bahl could still become a shut down type D man as well, big D take a while.

        If the 2 OA pick was offered on it’s own Fiala would already be a Devil IMO.

    • Johnny not sure what you smoked this morning but your way off on value.

      2 overall= no way
      shar= no way hes a better player than fiala
      bahl= he’s ther next d man up so no way.

      In short wth man. At least try to put out a reasonable offer.

  3. The Golden Knights will be going into their 6th season in the NHL with their 3rd head coach in franchise history. What coach of quality is going to want to go there with the way they go through coaches?

    • According to a 2020 article by Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight, an NHL coach’s average tenure is just 2.4 years.

    • I agree….it looks to me that McPhee & McCrimmon are throwing coaches under the bus to cover for their own roster/cap mismanagement.

      • Vegas need to rid themselves of the 2 Mickeys!

    • See Edmonton

  4. That is not going to happen johnny Z. No way NJ – or anyone else – gives up that much for a winger who’s been in the league for 6 years, 5 of which produced modest results before registering this sudden increase in production.

    He may well be a late bloomer to such lofty heights – but he could also be a one-and-done (he wouldn’t be the first). But to risk a 2nd overall in the hope of the former? I don’t think so.

    Besides, it’s not like the Wild can play coy here. They simply can’t take that route as, absolutely in the position of MUST moving out some big ticket items, he will likely fall into a “salary dump” category. And teams know that.

    If you think they can hold him back for offers along the line you suggest, tell us how you see them doing that without going WAY over the cap limit, given their monumental upcoming dead cap space.

    • George, you have the bet perspective here, and am willing to amend my value on Fiala. I still think Fiala for #2 OA would be VERY advantageous for NJ.
      NJ has a willingness to move #2 OA for a star winger that could play on Jack’s wing. However, #2 OA is not going to get it done, so adding a Good prospect or another winger is required. I know Zacha is available but I don’t think that gets it done alone.
      Maybe: #2 OA + Zacha + a 3rd will work.

    • this reminds me of Jason Blake several years ago. fantastic season on contract year, got the fat contract and never lived up to it. So many others the same. I would offer a slight increase on a bridge with incentives; or wait for someone to offer the world or an offer sheet signing.

      • Jonathan CheeChoo is another.

  5. Minnesota (before Guerin), Vegas and Toronto. All perfect examples of cap mismanagement. All wrecked their cap by chasing the shiney new toy on the market (Suter, Parise, Tavares, Patches, Lehner, Stone etc).

    Instead of building a team they all went for the flash and glitter. It cost Fletcher his job in Minny. How long until ownership in Vegas and Toronto realize their management teams (McPhee & Macrimmon, Shanahasnoplan and Scooby Dubas) are incompetent and make the necessary changes in order to compete for a Cup?

    • Ron, part of the problem in Toronto is that there is no one individual owner who can step in and make immediate decision … MLSE it boils down to a committee representing Rogers Communication and Bell, chaired by Tannenbaum, and whenever major changes are considered they have to have the consensus of all involved.

      And you know what they say about an ugly camel – it’s a horse designed by a committee

      • Looking at it from the Toronto media perspective (and here I include not just the Sun, Star and Globe & Mail hockey writers but the so-called Toronto-based “national” sports outlets including the CBC), the opinions are already surfacing – and divided – on what – if any – changes need t be made at the top (including one who thinks Keefe should be fired and Trotz hired).

        In the 8 years since Shanahan began his Shanaplan and hired Dubas – eventually making him full-time GM in 2018 – the Leafs have made the playoffs the past 6, losing – as well know -/ in the 1st round every time.

        On the surface that would suggest monumental failure on the part of the Shanaplan, now heading into its 9th year, despite some impressive seasonal records.

        But when you look at it in detail, in 4 of the 6 they went the full 7 games and in the play-in year in 2020 they went the full 5 against Columbus. Only in 2017 did they lose in less than the max when Washington beat them 4 games to 2.

        Overall, their playoff record in those 6 years against Washington, Boston twice, Columbus, Montreal and TB is 16 and 23, scoring 103 goals while relinquishing 120. At 2 stages Kadri and Andersen were deemed to be the weak links and both were moved – while overlooking the primary culprit – a so-so defensive corps.

        They also went to OT 10 times over those years with a 3 and 7 record. Again, from my recollection, in the end it was primarily defensive gaffes that did them in.

        At what point does Tannenbaum and the “committee” step in and say enough with the next year – the obvious fundamental changes must be made? And if Shanahan and Dubas refuse to see this it will probably lead to more disappointment.

      • George,

        Brian Hayes on Overdrive summed it up perfectly:

        The Leafs have built a Dynasty of Losing.

        Harsh, but accurate.

  6. Bergeron, Barkov and Lindholm nominated for the Selke.

    Bbbbut Luke Fox and all the “insiders” at LeafsNet and the TorontoSportsNetwork said Auston Matthews was going to win it due to his outstanding 200ft game. Last time I saw Mr 60 he was tripping over the redline and watching as the Lightning walked in to score the winning goal.

    Please dont tell me the HNIC panel, LeafsNet and the TorontoSportsNetwork were wrong about Backup Jack winning the Vezina or MORRgan Reilly winning the Norris too.

    These awards are starting to look as fixed as the playoffs.

    Right Luke?

    200ft game, what a joke.

    • I just had a look. Spezza was the only regular centre who had fewer defensive zone starts than Matthews. I wonder just how much time he spent in the defensive zone compared to the offensive zone.

  7. Multiple posts about vegas “mismanaging the cap”. How do? Their cap wizardry was incredible to watch. To secure the players they did in the cap system took smarts and guts.

    • Yeah, right – and how did that turn out?

      They have 0 cap space – in fact are half a mil over – have 4 RFAs to re-up with just 18 committed to for next season – a goalie who’s costing them $5 mil per for 3 more years and who’s perpetually injured – no valid backup – a “star” (Mark Stone) with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel costing $9.5 mil for 5 more years and who’ll be 35 when it expires – another perpetually injured “star” in Pacioretty, costing $7 mil for 1 more year. a D-man, Pietrangelo, costing $8 mil for 5 more years when he turns 38, a F, Karlsson, who scored 43 goals in their inaugural year, was eventually rewarded with a $5,9 mil deal which has 5 more years to run while his production has fallen to 24, 15, 14 and 12.

      Brilliant cap management .

      • Agreed George,

        But don’t leave out Eichel!

        Brilliant circumvention. That landed them a 10 million dollar player that had 25 points in 34 games. Has been injury prone his entire career. Has never played a single playoff game, and is a bit of a whiner. “Bit” being generous.

        For Tuch, who had 38 points in 50 games. Krebs, a 1st and a 2nd.

      • I thought about including him Captain Obvious – but I thought, let’s give him a full summer and then a complete training camp with whatever linemates they have projected for him next season.

        There are a LOT of fingers-crossed in Vegas that’s for certain.

      • And after last season so you really believe they won’t find a way to work around those issues?

      • Do I think that Vegas will be allowed to continue to constantly circumvent the cap? No.

        Should they do so, the larger markets need to be screaming to do away with the cap all together.

      • Well, OK Chrisms … just go through their roster and review what they have committed – who they need to sign – what they do with their goaltending and speculate how and where they will “work around those issues.” Rather than put faith in a management structure that fires a coach who guided them – massive injuries, overbloated contracts and all – to within 5 pts of finishing in the top 8.

        Then we can hash out the pros and cons as we see it. Otherwise, why not just assume the premise that all these teams with similar – and even worse – cap problems will “work it out.” Wouldn’t that provide scintillating arguments?

      • The nhl already said they don’t have any issues with the vegas Tampa model or whatever you want to call it. At least during current cba that business model is the new norm. And I expect a healthy vegas team will be quite competitive. And the piece or two they have to move for cap reasons will actually have some value so they won’t have to give away anyone.

      • “And the piece or two they have to move for cap reasons will actually have some value so they won’t have to give away anyone.”

        Such as? And if the piece or two they have to move to clear cap space are productive (they’d have to be otherwise why would anyone take them at their lofty cap hits?), who replaces their production/ability since they can’t take any substantive cap hits back? And why would any other team do Vegas any favours? Nor can it be ELCs from their system since they’re ranked in the bottom half with none considered ready to move up and become productive.

      • I don’t actually have those answers George. But I do believe the gm has done too good a job to date to question his off season before it’s even really got going.

  8. George, I like your take on the Leafs as a (w)hole. (I could not resist.) But you left out how you would address their defense issue.
    Trading Muzzin would be great, but he has a NMC and is not going anywhere till at least next summer when his M-NTC only restricts him from going to 10 teams. I think they need to trade 1 of their top paid forwards for a proven D. Would AZ accept a Nylander for Chychrun trade? A lot of fans would be up in arms about this, but it is a cap cut and those savings are necessary to move forward with other signings as Lubby, Sandin, and Lilligren. There are other cuts and trades/signings needed, but this would be a big improvement.

    • Addressing it now Johnny Z can only happen if they move one of the core contracts.

      The point is, and based on the well-proven adage that you build a winner from the back-end out and down the middle, that should have started the year they opened the vault for Tavares, rather than go down that unnecessary $11 mil offensive road, complete with NM provisions.

      They obtained the first piece in Andersen at the cost of the 30th overall pick and their 2017 2nd round pick, gave him a 5-year deal, and then let him walk as a UFA after many were blaming him for playoff losses, along with Kadri who would have been better in the middle at half the cost of Tavares, but whose “lack of discipline” and suspensions cost them 2 series – as they saw it, rather than the real culprit – defensive lapses.

      Two scapegoats gone – and nothing changed. Now they have Brodie for 2 more years with a NT clause, Giordano out the door because they don’t have the cap if only Nylander is dealt since anything saved there will go to Campbell – unless they choose to keep the sieve, Mrazek and his $3.8 mil hit (good luck trading that). Holl with a M-NTC and Muzzen, a NTC with 2 more years at $5.6 mil and 3 speeds – slow, slower and stop, and who’ll be 35 at the end and certainly no faster.

      Would Arizona go for Nylander for Chychrun – very likely they would, but I think that would be a gross over-payment for Chychrun – he’s not THAT good. If Dubas does change his mind and decides to move Nylander, there will be better offers than that. But unfortunately, trading Nylander is necessary to free up cap space to sign Campbell (or another goalie of equal or better ability and therefore costly), so nothing costing anything substantial off the cap can come back.

      To do that, they’d need to move Nylander and another sizeable contract.

      It’s going to be an interesting summer in Trawna and food for lots of discussions in here 🙂

      • Yeah, I hear ya George,….let me amend that trade:
        Chychrun + Cane’s 1st for Nylander + 2023 3rd
        Trono takes the apx. $2.4M to help sign Campbell.

        OR going back to an earlier thought:
        Nylander + Mrazek (retain $1.8M) for NJ’s 2 OA + Zacha Much more savings there (over $7M) but there is Petr’s NTC

      • George,

        I know we had this discussion earlier in the year. When is the last time a #1 or #2 overall being intentionally traded?

        If I’m not mistaken, it hasn’t happened in the cap era. I wouldn’t hold by breath for that now Johnny Z.

      • Yeah, hey C O and Geo….Thanks for the feedback. I need to be able to learn about trade values and your input is very helpful. But the NJ GM has said he could very well trade #2 OA and some have suspected that Zacha would go with that pick.

  9. Johnny Z, if NJ did trade the # 2 overall the decision to do so would probably be based on the fact – purely as an example – that a team such as Philadelphia (5th), Columbus (6th) or Ottawa (7th) really covets a player likely gone before their turn comes up and so are prepared to offer NJ their pick plus a player or two from their system that NJ sees as immediately helping their team at the NHL level (i.e., not prospects or future picks).

    But if that did happen – and similar type deals have been made before – I just don’t think it has ever gone down using the 1st or 2nd pick overall – at least not in the modern Cap era.