NHL Rumor Mill – May 20, 2022

by | May 20, 2022 | Rumors | 40 comments

John Klingberg’s hope to re-sign with the Stars plus some recent Penguins speculation in today’s NHL rumor roundup.


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reported John Klingberg and Stars general manager Jim Nill have left the door open for his return with the club. The 29-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (NHL Images).

On Tuesday, Klingberg said he’s always wanted to stay in Dallas and his side is trying to come up with ways to get it done. Nill said both sides know where they sit and he intends to remain in touch.

DeFranks observed both sides have been at an impasse this season, prompting Klingberg to publicly express his frustration in January and sparking trade speculation. The Stars are burdened by expensive, long-term contracts for aging stars Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. They don’t want to get locked into another deal with a long term and a high cap hit. Klingberg, however, seeks the security of a long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg turns 30 this summer, meaning the Stars probably aren’t interested in anything over four years. Cap Friendly indicates they also have almost $18 million tied up in three defensemen in Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell and Ryan Suter.

Last November, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported Klingberg was believed to be seeking between $7.75 million and $8.5 million. Unless he’s willing to accept a four-year deal worth around $6 million per season, he’ll likely hit the open market on July 13.

The Stars also have other contracts to sort out. Goaltender Jake Oettinger and winger Jason Robertson are due for significant raises coming off their entry-level deals. Winger Denis Gurianov is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. They’ll also need a reliable backup for Oettinger with Braden Holtby and Scott Wedgewood due for UFA status this summer.


TRIBLIVE.COM: Chris Adamski wondered if the Pittsburgh Penguins will bring back Kaspari Kapanen after he struggled throughout this season. The 25-year-old winger is slated to become a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights.

Adamski also reports Rickard Rakell would be interested in returning with the Penguins. The 29-year-old winger is due to become a UFA in July. He didn’t wow anyone statistically during his brief period with the Penguins following a late-season trade from the Anaheim Ducks. However, he showed enough to suggest he could be a top-six winger capable of establishing chemistry with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kapanen was a speedy, promising (if inconsistent) winger during his two full seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He showed some potential in 2020-21 with 30 points in 40 games but managed just 32 points in 79 games this season. The Penguins could try to trade him as he doesn’t seem a good fit in head coach Mike Sullivan’s system.

The Penguins’ management could have an interest in bringing back Rakell. However, that’s going to depend upon what he’s seeking on his next contract and what happens with franchise stars Malkin and Kris Letang, who are also eligible for UFA status this summer.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski looked at several Penguins who could get shopped this summer if there’s a need to shed salary for other moves or signings. Jason Zucker, Marcus Pettersson and Mike Matheson were among the most notable given their salaries. John Marino, Brian Dumoulin, Teddy Blueger and Brock McGinn were also listed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zucker, Pettersson and Matheson have frequently surfaced in the Penguins’ rumor mill as cost-cutting candidates. Zucker’s injury history and $5.5 million cap hit will make him tough to move. Pettersson’s inconsistent play and $4.025 million cap hit are also problematic. Matheson’s play improved this season but the four years at $4.875 million per season could be a sticking point.

Injuries have also become an issue for Dumoulin. Marino was seen as a promising top-four defenseman but his stock seemed to tumble this season. Blueger and McGinn each earn less than $3 million.


  1. Buy out Zucker while he is healthy . No team is taking him even adding plus plus. Keep the defence including Letang . You never have enough

    Rakell Rakell can’t play enough games. Been that way for a number of years . Good finisher but a Bandaid

    • If you attach a first to it some one will take Zucker. But I think that is what new management will not do. So Buyout makes sense.

    • Zucker is absolutely movable on the last year of his deal… though tough at 5.5. But at 4? Pens wouldn’t have to add. But they wouldn’t get much either

  2. Late yesterday Tom Simon posted a very interesting bit of information in response to fikshun’s contention that, next year, the cap floor would be a little over $70 mil and that Arizona would have to spend $21 mil to reach the floor:

    “Tom Simon on May 20, 2022 at 1:31 am
    Cap floor next season is actually $61 million, so the Coyotes don’t have so far to go to reach it. Alex Meruelo has a gambling licence (read: licence to print money) from the state of Arizona, but that licence requires him to operate a major-league sports franchise in the state. The Coyotes aren’t relocating unless they lose more money than the gambling operation stands to earn.”

    If the floor is, indeed, $61 mil, the Coyotes won’t need to be taking on any toxic contracts as has been suggested by some pundits.

    CapFriendly shows them committed to these 17 players at a cap hit of $49,315,834, leaving $33,194,166 to sign 6: Fs: Keller, Schmaltz, Ladd, Ritchie, McBain, Smith, O’Brien, Boyd, Carcone, Keleman – D: Chychrun, Gostisbehere, Moser, Soderstrom, Kolyachonok, Mayo – G: Vejmelka (they also have Little $5,291,667) and Timmins ($850,000) on LTIR and $990,000 tied up in dead cap for Ekman-Larsson)

    But with ELC types like McBain ($883,750), Smith ($883,750), Kelemen ($817.500) and Soderstrom ($863,333) probably headed back to the AHL for more seasoning, it’s more like $36,632,499 to sign 10.

    They have 5 RFAs to re-up (Crouse, Fischer, Hayton, Capobianco and Dineen) currently costing a combined $4,952,500 off the cap. Given the modest NHL seasons each had all 5 will likely sign bridge deals costing a combined $9.5 mil, so now they’d have $58,616,834 committed to 18, leaving $27,133,499 to sign 5. They clearly have to find and sign another goaltender, and may re-up one or two of their 8 UFAs: Kessell, Eriksson, Roussel, Beagle, Galchenyuk, Imama, Stralman, Sateri which would easily bring them to the cap floor.

    Bottom line: they won’t be the dumping ground for toxic contracts some suggest unless what comes with them are prime assets.

  3. Regardng the Penguins, anyone not named Crosby, Guentzel and Jarry is available.

    • Ed,

      No Penguins fan here but I will say Guentzel is a definite keeper. Under rated for sure.

    • ED feel the same way about my Flyers except almost everyone is available.

      If the price is right both teams should sell and gain assets.

      Flyers need a sniper, after that, defense and a coach that has the respect of the players.

    • I’ll never understand the selfishness behind statements like this.

      “Build around a 34 year old (will be 35 to start next year) center, A 27 year old winger (will be 28 to start the season) and a 28 year old goalie”

      What’s left to “trade”? The rights to Malkin, Letang, Rust, Rackell, Rodrigues?

      That should net 4th-7th round picks. Good luck with that rebuild! Crosby would be totally wasted in his final years!

      Beyond the players mentioned, they have nothing of value. Good luck getting someone to take Zucker off your hands. Never mind getting anything in return.

      Saying that out loud, I like your idea more and more!

      • Captain Obvious— The Penguins should and will retool around Crosby who was brilliant this year. 90 points, unstoppable in the playoffs, and voted best OVERALL 2OOFT PLAYER IN THE GAME ALONG WITH PATRICE BERFERON0 by his peers this years. Not fastest, strongest, most offensive, fastest skater, BEST OVERALL

        The Penguins will have $29 million in cap space this summer. Malkin and Rust are gone and that is ok…that’s is $14 million.

        There are some strong players that will be UFAS or that you can acquire.

        Also moving Marcus Petersson and Jason Zucker is another $9.6 million. Arizona will take Zucker who when healthy is a solid player and was good against the Rangers will help Coyotes get to the cap floor without a long term commitment.. A 5th round pick clear the money.

        Letang will be the mystery….

        You act like 27 and 28 is old.. that’s stupid.
        So unless you are 22 to 26 forget it..cmon Obvious

      • 27 and 28 are old when you’re talking about a 5 year rebuild (if you’re lucky enough and have assets to do so that quickly).

        Crosby best player? All around? I don’t think so. And he certainly isn’t going to get better than he is today 2-5 years into a rebuild.

        Nobody is taking Zucker without a sweetener or retention. You’re dreaming.

        Who are they trading to speed the rebuild along? Don’t say Zucker Pettersson

      • BlacknGold, I bet here and now that Arizona says a firm “no thanks” to Zucker. They don’t need him to or any other castoff to reach the cap floor. See above.

        I doubt anyone else wants him either.

      • Captain Obvious—It is ok if you don’t think so all the players in the NHL voted him and Bergeron the best overall 200 foot players in the game….they know just a little bit more than we do so because they play against him.

        Who is better overall ? Not Mc David who 7 years in to his career is an offensive dynamo, great talent, but doesn’t block shots, not great on face offs, and his defensive game is well average.

        Matthews maybe someday soon he is trending that way for sure..

        McKinnon again an offensive dynamo, fast skater, but defense, blocking shots etc. ehhh

        Players are playing better, playing at an elite level, playing much longer, like Kane, Crosby Ovechkin, and more. Training Nutrition is so much better today..

        A 4 /5 year contract is nothing for a 27/28 year old..

        The Penguins will have $29 million or possibly more depending on Malkin/ Letang/Rust

      • Who is the best player we can agree to disagree.

        When you start using 34 year olds as examples of playing “longer” you’re really losing me.

        Players are playing shorter careers today than 10-20 years ago, not longer.

        Players commonly player into their late 30s-early 40s back then. It’s pretty uncommon today.

    • Not even the wonder kid Kapanan?

      • Toronto may come calling again.

  4. Klingberg will get more on the open market than the Stars will pay him. Plus, his offensive upside is not worth his defensive shortcomings. It’s time for Miro to quarterback the power play and bring Thomas Harley up full time.
    With Radulov and Klingberg off the books, (over 12m) that should be plenty to sign Robertson and Oettinger and still have a bit left to resign Raffl who was the Stars most responsible player all season.
    Gurianov needs a change of scenery…he looks like a defeated player that the coaching staff has lost confidence in. Send him somewhere that team plays fast and for a less defensive minded system and he’ll thrive.

    • Klingberg is a perfect replacement for Letang if he Bolts to Montreal or somewhere else.

      Klingberg just turned 30 is 5 years younger, has a better shot, and will run the power play better.

      Now Klingberg is Letang lite but still a really good player…4 years @ $ 7 or $ 7.5 works. He will still be younger than Letang at the end of a 4 year deal and Letang will be 39.. so???

      Letang wants $ 8 million per for 3 or 5 years. While he just may have had his best overall season…too muchmoney

  5. I guess now that they can’t pitch Huawei anymore the cash drawer is a little lite.
    Maybe Hnic shouldn’t just chase the cash for once and get back a little integrity

  6. Gotta resign letang. Malkin. Try to move one of the ld and bring up poj. Bye bye kap. Maybe carter retires? Rust will be gone. Sad. Rakell was a good fit… depends on cost. Zucker kept if rakell and rust both leave otherwise move even if retaining some salary. Resign heiny if he isn’t wowed and overpaid by another.

    Easy job for hextall or replacement huh?

    • Letang wants 4 years at $7M
      Malkin wants 3 x $7.5M
      Rust walks, sign Rakell at $4M, ign Roddy, Heinen, trade Kap
      I wonder if Stevie would take Matheson. Maybe for Fabri? Zadina might be available?

      • Of the three I’d hate to lose him the most but he might oddly have the most value (which isn’t a ton).

    • “Please take back this 6.2 million dollars”, said no nhl player ever.

      One of these things that gets talked about a lot. But never really happens. Wishful retirement cap relief.

      Kevin Klein is the only player I can think of that has left with $$$ on the table.

      I don’t see Carter going anywhere.

      • Where you get 6.2?

    • 1. Malkin Gone Florida $9.5 M
      2. Kappy Gone traded $3.2 M – to Vancouver Rutherford
      3. Rust $3.5 MGone too much
      4. Zucker $5.5M traded to Arizona help them hit cap floor no long term commitment for a low pick
      4. Petersson $4.1 M moved traded Detroit
      4. Letang $7.5 M gone too much Montreal wants $8 mill
      5. DeSmith #1.25 M gone need a better back up
      6. Boyle $750,000gone nice story
      7. Dominque $750,000 nice story gone

      $31.3 million freed up and the salary cap goes up $1 million==

      resign Rakell
      resign Rodriques
      keep Heinen

  7. Not to much this year for UFA d/men that can get you points there are two that stand out

    For Dallas Stars,
    John Klingberg RD, 47 pts & 29 yrs Old, will get more on the open market… Most offencive d/men are getting $8.M to $9.M Range… ❓
    and there are not many O/D avalable at pressent for July 2022.
    The Pens,
    That bring it to Kris Letang RD, 68 points 35 years old great points he is still a very good and could cost teams less that Klingberg maybe in the +$6-7.M Range…. for 2-3 years more….. he may take a home team discount and if MAF is also going back sid may have to do some fancy talking to his buddy’s….⁉️

    • You got that right Williew – and most of the D UFAs are OLD. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the average age of UFA Ds is considerably higher than that for any other position. Too bad these various sites showing the UFA list don’t provide that data.

      • Hi George,
        yes not to much for good offencive d/men this year in the UFA class, lots of older d/men
        32yrs old ++ but not point producers that are over payed bye silly GM’s

        Like Habs d/man Jeff Petry from montreal @ 34 yrs old and making $6.250,000 for 4 more years after this one

        There has been some chatter in Edmonton🍁 about RD man Tyson Barrie possibly being avalable after the season… he is 30 yrs old and make a reasonable $4.5 M for 2 more years after this 2022 season
        Young RD man Bouchard has overtaken him as the RD point producer, We know this was going to happen, but it happen sooner thasn expected..
        the Oilers were looking at Local Alberta Boy D/man Carson Sucey from Seattle….
        Seattle have been roumerd to be looking for an offencive d/man……🤔

      • George O…..Zucker had a good stretch when he returned from injury. Zhe was also really good, fast and aggressive vs the Rangers.
        Arizona will need to take on the some contracts to get to the cap floor.
        Zucker is a speedy winger and if healthy could help a struggling offensive team..especially help clayton keller.

        We may have to add a sweetener but Arizona needs speed, a new college areana,.and some speed

    • Klingberg signs in Seattle for $7.5 x 7!

      • Klingberg signs in Pittsburgh for $ 7.5 X 5 replaces Letang

      • Seattle is in a Re build,
        i dont see them spending $7.5M on John Klinberg (48) points ……⁉️
        There are lots of D/men out there getting 40 points and making between $4 & $5.M

        I dont see the Penguins spending $7.5 on Klinberg for someone getting 21 point Less than A
        Kris Letang (68) points as his replacement…⁉️

  8. Re Pens

    Kappy back at current rate…. Not a chance…. But per CapFriendly the Last QO needs only be $840 K…. Might as well qualify him…. Only $90 K over league min… and then an asset that could be traded. No QO… Pens get Zip

    Tanger and Gino combined Cap now $16.8 M; many in media seem to indicate Gino looking at 3 years; Tanger 4…. and many numbers thrown out there but it seems clear Gino willing to take a haircut and even if Tanger wants a raise; more than offset by expected Gino haircut

    New ownership…. Buckets O’Dough…. Just me… but I’m guessing “re-tool” preferred over “re-build”

    If they can get Tanger/Gino for $15 M or less …. Do it

    That’s minimum of $1.8 M saved; and Cap going up by a $1M…. use whatever portion of that to retain on Zucker….jettison him with retention… no sweetener… note just one year left

    No matter what… Rusty unfortunately gone…. Pens just can’t fit him in…. Re-up with Rakell

    Carter extension seems to be back-firing…. Can’t buy him out as he is a 35+ contract

    Matheson absolutely must stay

    Time to move Dumo… love him but he has faltered substantially this year

    Pettersson… above said “inconsistent”…. I argue that Dumo was far more inconsistent…. And Pettersson had some very strong games in the last 6 weeks. Pettersson was only a healthy scratch because Sully is completely blind on Ruhweedel. Pettersson plays very well with Marino.

    Marino had some awful games; really awful…. But they were few in in number… overall his play (and with Pettersson) was good this season. I really think he will do well next year

    PO J absolutely must be brought up next year

    Next year’s D should be

    Freidman/P-O J
    *7th D needs to be anybody not named Ruhweedel

    Try Sid/Guentzel/Rackell as top line

    I’d try Heinen with Gino

    Re-sign E-Rod… 3rd line with Carter…. and hopefully Poulin ready for graduation to fill out 3rd line

    Blueger-McGinn -Kappy (if $1 M or less) on 4th….note Kappy at times was used effectively as a checking line forward when he was a Leaf…. He has great speed… can Sully get him to buy into this as his contribution/niche for Pens?

    13th /14th Fwds…. Grads from WBS…. Zoho? Nylander? Puust? O’Connor? Legare?Borquist?

    The missing piece from above would be a top 6 winger for Gino…. Either a UFA or use whatever Pens get for Dumo (not sure how much that might be) , plus a 1st (‘(22) plus O’Connor…. See what it gets Pens in trade????

    Above to me is retooling

    Out… Zucker 👍👏😁
    Out….. CR ….. finally
    Out ….. Dumo…. 🥲
    Out Rusty … 🥲🥲🥲
    Out Boyle…. I liked his contribution but IMHO…. he needs to retire

    Poulin, P-O J, new top 6/winger; Freidman finally as a regular

    Depth forwards promoted from within …. At least two from…. Zoho, Nylander, Puust, Legare, Borquist

    Just my thoughts

    • Bertuzzi for Matheson + 2023 2nd

      • Not in this lifetime, Penguins don’t have the pieces to get Tyler Bertuzzi out of Detroit. But we will give you Filip Zadina for Jake Guentzel.

      • Hi JZ

        I’m with LR23….tough to Stevie Y moving on that trade as is; and HexBurlie should not be moving Matheson

        Would love Bertuzzi on Pens


        Pens would be very foolish to even consider Guentzel for Zadina

        Now… Oesterle only Lefty under contract as at now

        Dumo and Bertuzzi both have 1 year left under contract

        It would come down to how much extra HexBurkie willing to give up to get Bertuzzi

        I don’t think Detroit is quite there next year for playoffs; but will be the following year

        Flip Bertuzzi for Dumo …. Stevie Y likely asks in the range of

        1st, and young roster, and prospect…. 1st, O’Connor, Puust

        Still unlikely for the trade to transpire

      • Dont want Bertuzzi… That is a big no thanks from Pittsburgh..

    • Pengy…Karma / Justice game 1 Hurricanes beat Rangers in OT.. Ex Penguins Cole scores in OT and that cheap shot Lingrin who knocked out Rakell for all of the Ranger series accidentally tips it past Shesterkin.

      Rangers blanked tonight 2 – 0 great sweep em

      Pittsburgh was the better team, out playing the Rangers 5 on 5, out scoring them 36-28, and having to play with their third string goalie most of the way, lost their number 2 defenseman for the whole series after game 1, and Crosby missed 1/4 of game 5 and all of game 6.

      They have Jarry the whole series and Crosby for the close out game 6 in Pittsburgh the Penguins advance

      • Your “karma” theory already proved wrong last series.

        Pittsburgh was winning that series because Shesterkin waved goodbye to Pittsburgh in their past regular season matchup.

        Perhaps the world doesn’t really revolve around the Pittsburgh Penguins?

        Talk about reaching!

  9. Well its working this series. LOL