NHL Rumor Mill – May 24, 2022

by | May 24, 2022 | Rumors | 32 comments

A look at the Panthers’ potential offseason plans plus the latest on the Islanders and Blackhawks in today’s NHL rumor mill.


ESPN.COM: Kristen Shilton previews the Florida Panthers’ potential offseason plans after being swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning from the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The first will be deciding if Andrew Brunette becomes their full-time head coach or is replaced. Brunette took over on an interim basis in October after Joel Quenneville stepped down. He’s a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year after guiding the Panthers to their first-ever Presidents’ Trophy with the NHL’s best record and their first playoff series victory since 1996 with their first round elimination of the Washington Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brunette’s done enough to earn the job full-time. However, general manager Bill Zito could be tempted into hiring a better-experienced bench boss like Barry Trotz, John Tortorella, Alain Vigneault, Rick Bowness or Paul Maurice. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Florida Panthers forward Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

Shilton also felt the Panthers will have to replace Claude Giroux and Ben Chiarot. They acquired the duo before this year’s trade deadline. Both are unrestricted free agents this summer and it’s unlikely they’ll re-sign long-term with the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap space will be an issue for the Panthers. According to Cap Friendly, they have $78.6 million invested in 16 players for 2022-23. That includes over $6.5 million in dead cap space due to the buyouts of Keith Yandle and Scott Darling.

In addition to Giroux and Chiarot, Joe Thornton and Mason Marchment are also eligible for UFA status in July. The 42-year-old Thornton is facing retirement and won’t be back. Marchment, however, blossomed into a reliable middle-six forward this season. The 27-year-old winger would be more affordable and worthwhile to retain.

Philly Hockey Now’s Sam Carchidi wonders what the future holds for Giroux. He was a great fit with the Panthers but will be expensive to sign. Carchidi pondered whether Giroux might return to the cap-strapped Flyers or perhaps return to his hometown of Ottawa and sign with the Senators.

The latter theory, by the way, was based on a rumor out of Ottawa that depended on whether Giroux won the Stanley Cup with the Panthers. It could also be applied to the Flyers. Both scenarios could be dashed if playing for a contender becomes the determining factor in where he decides to continue his NHL playing career.

Shilton expects Zito will spend the summer upgrading the Panthers’ blueline. She also believes it’ll be on whoever is their coach next season to improve their forwards’ defensive game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barry Trotz could certainly improve the Panthers’ team defense. Food for thought.

As for improving the defense corps, that could take dollar-for-dollar trades considering how little cap room Zito has to work with for next season. Maybe he tries to move forward Patric Hornqvist ($5.3 million cap hit) to a club that isn’t on his eight-team no-trade list. Perhaps Zito shops a forward lacking no-trade protection like Sam Bennett ($4.425 million) or Anthony Duclair ($3 million).


THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz was asked about the futures of New York Islanders forwards Oliver Wahlstrom, Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey.

Kurz felt the Islanders still believe Wahlstrom can develop into a top-six forward despite his struggles this season. However, he sees Beauvillier as a possible trade chip to bring in a more consistent winger or a left-shot defenseman to pair with Noah Dobson.

Bailey, meanwhile, could still attract interest in the trade market though the winger’s $5 million salary-cap hit is a bit inflated. His contract has just two years remaining which makes it more palatable. Clubs with depth issues at forward, such as the Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers or Calgary Flames, could use someone with Bailey’s experience and two-way skills.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wahlstrom won’t be going anywhere as the Isles will want to see if his performance improves under new head coach Lane Lambert. Beauvillier, 24, has shown the potential to be a more reliable top-six scorer. He’s under contract for two more years but teams could balk at his $4.125 million annual average value.

Bailey lacks no-trade protection but his age (32) and that $5 million cap hit could make him difficult to move. I don’t see him as a fit cap-wise with Flames, Oilers and Stars given the limited room they’ll have once they’re done signing their key free agents this summer. Still, there could be other clubs with the cap space seeking someone with his skills.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Charlie Roumeliotis recently reports Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson is interested in acquiring a first-round pick in this year’s draft. The Blackhawks’ 2022 first-rounder belongs to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of last summer’s Seth Jones trade.

The Blackhawks don’t have many players who could fetch a first-rounder. Someone will have to step up with a big offer for Davidson to consider shopping winger Alex DeBrincat. The only way Patrick Kane gets moves is if he requests a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roumeliotis suggested Connor Murphy as a “maybe” in that category. His long injury history, however, hurts his trade value.


  1. Giroux will want to sign with a team that’ll have a chance at the Cup. That leaves Ottawa and Philly out. Boston May be the best fit. Especially if Bergeron retires.

    • G should’ve went to Colorado if he wanted to win a cup.

      Personally dont want him back on the Flyers, we dont have the cap space and he will want to play for a contender.

  2. Duclair a healthy scratch. A couple of times. Not a good sign. Good luck at moving Hornqvist . I would focus on Chariot and Marchment to resign

    Bailey left unprotected to Seattle. Could be had reasonably . Calgary maybe and only if Johnny moves on.

    • yeah duclair a healthy scratch in 2 games. interesting.he had a decent season and seemed a good fit.barkov pulled a disappearing act.

  3. George Richards at FHN also suggested there are whispers Q may return to the Florida bench with Bruno either moving back to an assistant role or the front office.

    I’m guessing that Hornqvist and Acciari are likely gone. That could free up enough money to resign Giroux to a one-year deal though it would have to be somewhat team-friendly.

  4. I will pay for the plane ticket to get Bailey off the island. Please take him. He is so overrated. Ok I will buy dinner also. He always passes the puck could be a open net on a breakaway he will stop and pass the puck back to someone. Lost my voice many times yelling shoot the puck Bailey.Maybe he goes to Toronto with his best buddy pajama boy.

    • Pete …Were you surprised the Islanders let Trotz go ?

  5. Although I fully support Quenneville’s removal as the FLA coach, I find myself wondering if he might have done a better job in the playoffs than Brunette did. Cooper is the best coach in hockey, but maybe Quenneville might have a response that Brunette didn’t.

    • So my theory is that inexperienced coaches can make crucial mistakes, even small enough, to give an edge to a more experienced coach. Brunette and Keefe both made these types of mistakes with Jon Cooper.

      Just saying. Both Florida and Toronto have high octane offense but Barry Trotz would complete both teams defensively.

  6. “Brunette’s done enough to earn the job full-time.”

    Well, that’s not really for anyone who isn’t Florida’s GM to say.

    Keep in mind that Brunette wasn’t Zito’s choice for head coach, he was Quenneville’s assistant. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Florida wants him as the head coach.

    • the players at the stripclub might have just cost Brunette his job

  7. He got out coached by cooper no way they keep him as Head coach. This team is built to win now so they need a win now coach.


    Those are the two they should focus on, Hell sign both of them and make a coaching staff that can compete with Tampa.

  8. For the Flyers its,

    Trotz(in there dreams)
    Q(not sure if he can even coach)

    For me it’s Monty, fire Fletcher and Promote Briere to GM.

    • You are getting Torts! Book it!

    • If Davidson has a dream about trading DeBrincat for a first round pick he should be fired. DeBrincat will be a 50 goal scorer. Look at the last 10 years of what the Hawks drafted in the first rounds? A big bunch of nothing. They need new scouts.

  9. Trotz can teach a team to defend better, but it’s up to the GM to assemble a group of 18 with sufficient want-to to win.
    Trivia for the future; Bob played both sides in a sweep of president’s cup winners, Bolts by Columbus three years ago, and Florida by Bolts last night. Might be a first.

  10. Watching teams like Tampa Bay and the Avalanche annihilate their opponents really shows how far some teams (like my Flyers) are from being legitimate Cup contenders.

    Light years…..

    • Yeah Ron it isn’t pretty in Flytown atm, and with this clown at the helm were are doomed.

      Only hope is a decent coach, and maybe they still stink and fletcher gets fired, because at that point its on him and not the coach.

      • Ron I am right there with you being a Wings fan. I still don’t see Detroit starting a contention window for at least 4 more years. Thinking another lottery year next year and bubble team the following and then the window will start to open. As far as your Flyers, i thought they were much closer but then they fired Hex and things have seemed to kind of go off the rails.

  11. Giroux signs in Colorado when Kadri bolts the highest bidder, which could be Dallas. Actually Dallas could attract either one….

    • good point. Dallas with Kadri is a good fit except those two massive aging contracts of Benn +Seguin.
      Radulov+Bishop=Kadri contract needs?

      Good thing they signed Ryan Suter …. terrible term.
      No way to add a top 6 forward AND resign Klingberg

  12. What happened to the PANTHERS…!!!!!!

    wow swept and TAMPA didn’t have Brayden Point at all

    They were so dominant all year.

  13. Dubas won’t do this but they have the money to bring in both Trotz and Maurice as assistants.

    Or send a more powerful message. Hire Trotz as head coach demote Keefe to assistant and strip Tavares of the captaincy.

    If he’s crazy enough he’ll bri g back Kadri.

  14. If Dubas wants to revise history he can find a way to bring in Kadri and have him play alongside Kerfoot. 😂

  15. Trotz is going to Winnipeg. Book it. The question is does Scheifele stay or do they move on. I heard a rumour Vancouver would move JT Miller to Rangers but they would ask for Lafreniere. I would move Scheifele to the Rangers for Lafreniere and Braden Schneider. Would even add a roster D man if it helped. Any takers?

  16. Re “Bill Zito could be tempted into hiring a better-experienced bench boss like Barry Trotz, John Tortorella, Alain Vigneault, Rick Bowness or Paul Maurice.”…..

    Torts to be considered for coaching Cats next year?

    Zito is a very bright GM

    No way he does that unthinkable move

    Stay retired Torts

    • Trotz should be #1 on that list

      • No challenge on that

        Trotz # 1 in list

        Torts…. Should NOT be on list

  17. I would love to see Trotz in Detroit but really cannot see that happening, going to bet Tampa’s AHL coach or someone from the European ranks since Labert took the Islanders job. Of the retreads out there other than Trotz, Maurice is the only one I think could help the Wings, the rest are just hot garbage and what happened in Chicago I wouldn’t want Q anywhere near Seider, Raymond and the rest of the Wings Blue Chips coming on board.

    • I wouldn’t wish Maurice on anyone. A snake oil salesman who will cost you years you’ll never make up.

  18. I should have added, Babcock to Florida!

  19. Debrincat is a buyer beware… the guy played his career with Kane. I wouldn’t even give Chicago a first rounder for that guy.

    He has one utility: shoot the puck. He’s not a good two way player, not a penalty killer, doesn’t bring much presence to the team, needs a playmaker to play with, and needs to be babysat.

    Yeah, he can score 40 goals if you align all of the stars for him. Not worth it. Let Chicago keep him and see if they can win with him.