NHL Rumor Mill – May 26, 2022

by | May 26, 2022 | Rumors | 35 comments

Could the Panthers try to trade Sergei Bobrovsky? Can the Canucks afford Brock Boeser? Which LA Kings could become trade candidates? Are the Senators still willing to trade their 2022 first-round pick? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NHL WATCHER: On a recent “32 Thoughts” podcast, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suspected the Florida Panthers tried hard to trade Sergei Bobrovsky during the season or lay the groundwork to do so. He doesn’t know if it’s possible to move the goaltender but he heard the Panthers really worked on it to see if it was possible.

Florida Panther goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good luck with that. Bobrovsky, 33, carries a $10 million annual salary-cap hit through 2025-26. He also has a full no-movement clause until 2024-25 when the no-trade portion is modified to a 16-team no-trade list.

The only way I see this happening is for the Panthers to retain between $3 million to $5 million of that annual cap hit. That’s assuming Bobrovsky is willing to accept a trade. If he does, it’ll be to a limited number of clubs.

Anything can happen, of course, but I wouldn’t hold my breath anticipating a Bobrovsky trade this summer.


VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson reports Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford dismissed speculation his club would have to trade Brock Boeser or negotiate off his $7.5 million qualifying offer. Rutherford indicated they can afford to fit the 25-year-old winger’s QO within their budget for 2022-23. “We are definitely not pressured to trade him for financial reasons,” he said.

Simpson said that doesn’t suggest the Canucks will qualify Boeser by the July 11 deadline or that any decisions have been reached about the winger’s future in Vancouver. Rutherford said they’ll see how things work out and see if a fair deal can be reached for Boeser and the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. His performance was below expectations this season in part because of injuries and concern over his father’s battle with dementia. The two sides could require arbitration to resolve the issue but I daresay they’ll try to avoid that possibility.

Cap Friendly indicates the Canucks have $69.4 million invested in just 13 players for 2022-23. If necessary, they can exceed the $82.5 million cap by $3.5 million with all-but-retired Micheal Ferland on long-term injury reserve.

Nevertheless, fitting in Boeser’s $7.5 million qualifying offer could mean Rutherford ends up shipping out a salaried player to free up cap space. Maybe he parts with J.T. Miller ($5.25 million cap hit) if the two sides fail to agree to a contract extension. Perhaps he puts Bo Horvat or Conor Garland on the trade block. Maybe he tries to move defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

On the other hand, he and Boeser could agree to a new contract at a lower cap hit than his qualifying offer. Depending on how much of a reduction it is, Rutherford might not have to employ a drastic measure like moving Miller or Horvat.


THE ATHLETIC: Lisa Dillman included Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo and Sean Durzi on her list of potential Los Angeles Kings trade candidates. She also didn’t rule out the possibility of general manager Rob Blake listening to trade offers for Quinton Byfield or Arthur Kaliyev but doubted either guy will be moved.

There’s been speculation Blake might consider using his 2022 first-round pick to add an experienced player to the roster. However, Dillman doesn’t see him going that route, pointing out the Kings prefer to hang onto their high draft picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blake was rumored to be interested in Arizona Coyotes blueliner Jakob Chychrun this season. He has the depth in promising young players and prospects to make a decent offer and the cap space to take on his $4.6 million cap hit.

The Coyotes reportedly want a first-round pick as part of the return. Maybe Blake decides to part with his pick (which sits outside the top-16) if it’ll bring Chychrun to Los Angeles.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion told TSN 1200 is willing to move his 2022 first-round pick if it’ll fetch an impact player to help the club. He’d like to add a top-four defenseman and some depth up front, though the latter could be addressed internally. Dorion also indicated he’s not interested in acquiring a player who could depart via the UFA market in a year or two.


  1. The Bobrovsky seems silly. He will have to approve the trade before 24/25. He will only approve to a contender, with cap space in a state with no state taxes. Vegas? They have enough goalie issues. Dallas and Nashville, I think they are set. That leave TB, so ummm no. They are stuck with that contract for a few years.
    No way Boeser makes that $7.5M QO money anywhere.

    • Bob to Chicago (Retain $4M) for Kubalik and Arvid Söderblom
      Or Bob (retain half) to Washington for Samsonov, 2023 2nd
      Not ideal but can be done

    • Red,
      Bobrovsky and his wife spend much of off season with Panarin and his fiancé. Maybe he’d consider being across river from his best friend? Devils have cap space. Also, weren’t there rumors of NJ having interest in Boeser? Good fit there, but I think Van signs him

      • The thing is Bob is not going to take the paycut (paying state taxes after trade) to help Florida out. And I cannot blame him, they signed that contract too.
        Boeser not worth the assets to acquire and the salary he will demand once traded (he will have the acquiring team in the hole if they don’t sign him).

      • Bob to NJ, good luck in getting Bob’s OK…….
        If Bob would waive his NMC to a rebuilding club, it would have happened by now. It might be like Cory Sneider 2.0!
        Say Bob wanted to go to NJ…what would it take?
        Bob (retain $4M; Cory’s pay 2.0) for Zacha + NYI 4th

    • If they no qualify him he is free to sign were he wants So Nuks gave to sign or trade before hand or lose for zip

  2. Why would the Kings go thru all those years of building a young talent pool just to blow it up? This sounds like a bunch of bs to me. Yeah, maybe a draft pick and 1 minor leaguer but, with these kids on the roster they made the playoffs (minus Doughty and Walker no less) … Blake is building a sustainable contender.

    • The Kings need to add some size with toughness to their second and/or third pairing defence. Without Doughty in the lineup, the Oilers were able to take advantage of their young undersized defence on the forecheck. Nobody is saying to blow it up, just using a position where they have an abundance to fill a position of weakness.

  3. Boeser is a tricky one, good player but if you sign him to anything over 6mil it as an overpay.

    Maybe they could work out a 6×6 deal beyond that i would QO and then trade him.

    • Martinez for a 4th would fill a hole at LD

  4. I said it to George i will say it again,

    7th OA + Docker

    I like TK But Philly needs to realize we are going no where with this current group or any bandaids they think they can get on UFA market.

    • I think Ottawa says “Hard no.” to that offer.

    • Who is TK?

      • I believe it’s Travis Konecny. I just figured out that Docker is Jacob Bernard-Docker. I spent like 10 minutes trying to find a Docker on Ottawa’s roster. I missed the hyphenated name.

      • Ray he’s referencing Philly; I’m guessing Travis Konecny. I wouldn’t give up the 7th overall for him.

  5. I haven’t followed the Canucks much since I moved out east but it seems to me that they would be better off retaining Boeser (reestablish his potential) and Miller (continue his production). All signs point to Ekman-Larsson riding-out that contract in Vancouver. They should at least explore the market valuations on Horvat and Garland moving either or both will allow for long-term retention of other key players. A rebuild on the fly is what they need… I think. I’d be interested to hear what the Canucks fans think.

    • Conor Garland, Martin Spencer, and a 2023 2nd to NJ for #2 OA + Zacha + NJ 5th
      Van picks Cooley or Slafkovsky

      • JZ, if VCR like those 2 guys in the draft they will keep the #2 pick.
        Better than 50% chance they are both gone by #5 according to the mock drafts I have looked at.

      • Are you high? That’s the dumbest offer ever

      • Can someone please remind me when the last time a #1-2 overall were intentionally traded?

    • I’m not a Canucks fan, but I do see them a lot. The last couple of seasons the Canucks remind me of the Oilers of 2009 to 2015. Lots of young skilled players without size and physicality and weak defensively, ie. easy to play against. the only difference is this Canucks team has a true number 1 strong-established goalie.
      In the 2016 offseason, the Oilers added Larsson and Lucic. They also added Maroon at the 2015 TDL and traded for Kassian in the 2015 offseason. The Oilers went from last place in the Western Conference in the 2015/16 season to 4th in the Western Conference and only 2 points from first in the Pacific Division in the 2016/17 season.
      IMO these are the types of players that the Canucks need to add.

      • I would suggest there are other reasons the Oil started winning KevJam.

        McDavid came back from missing half his rookie season prior, and Draisaitl and Nurse kept developing.
        Will give you the Larsson one.

        Lucic was useless when he was here and happy to have him on the ice for Calgary. His toughness is a non factor as is Kassian’s in the series. Both are non factors overall “when the going gets tough”.
        Lucic vs EDM. 0 goals, 0 assists, -1.
        Sutter, as tough a player as there was come playoff time, is giving his banger 8 minutes night. That’s how valuable he sees Lucic.

        Tough guys are over rated come playoff time. Everybody hits, the question is can you still produce when the intensity ramps up. Still going to the front of the net? That’s who wins. Oil are learning how to do that, all the way through the lineup. Amongst other things like not over reacting to adversity like the 120′ goal against to tie game 4.

        Starting with McDavid. He is dishing them out and taking them to make plays. Look at Kane’s empty net goal last game, McDavid made the play happen and took a solid hit to do it.

        That’s toughness come playoff time. IMO.

        Speech over.

      • Lucic may not have been the best example, but he wasn’t that bad in his first season with the Oilers. Kassian and Maroon type players, especially back in 2016/17, not only did they play tough, but they also were able to skate and had decent hands. IMO it’s no coincidence that the season after the Lightning got swept by Columbus they added Maroon and Coleman types and then went on to win their first Stanley Cup. Lucic now isn’t a good addition to anytime, especially in the playoff, but back 6 years ago he did add some value.
        Teams still need those big tough players who can skate and have decent hands to succeed in today’s NHL. They create space for the more skilled players.
        Kane is a good example for this year’s Oilers.

      • I’m not saying that the Canucks need Lucic, Kassian, or Maroon of today, but those types from 6 years ago. Nurse’s development is another good example for the Oilers. McDavid has picked up his physical play in these playoffs which is a big part of the Oilers success so far. Again, the addition of Kane is huge.
        These types of players are who the Canucks are missing from their roster. Who in their forward group scares anyone with their physical play?

      • That’s all fair KevJam.
        Agree on Larsson, Maroon, Coleman and players like them.
        And can’t argue the success of TB after adding guys like them. And Paul this year, liked that trade when it happened, and said it on here.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is you need everybody to play that way on the roster, especially and most importantly, your best players.

        Coleman and Maroon are good at what they do, and consistently bring it. But if McDavid, Hyman, Draisaitl, Kane and the other guys who get paid to produce goals don’t buy in, you’re done. It all starts with them, because if you can’t score more than the other guys, it doesn’t matter how physical you are. You’re still going home.

        The old saying is true – your best players need to be your best players.

      • Agreed.
        FYI, Flames and Oilers hits by their top line players so far in the playoffs.
        McDavid – 35
        Kane – 53
        Draisaitl – 6 (also playing injured)
        Gaudreau – 1
        Tkachuk – 13
        Lindholm – 24
        Kane Leads the Oilers in hits.
        Lewis Leads the Flames with 35 hits.
        Skill plus physicality will beat plain skill the majority of the time.

      • It works on the Bolts because Maroon is not McGoon, he plays smart, and he brinds it in concert with his line, but also Kilorn, and Palat, and Cirelli, and Paul(prior Coleman) and Stamkos, and when necessary will give you an assist or a goal; not frequently, but consistantly. His personal record of 14 series in a row is probably tops on the entire cap era? Trivia but not trivial. One of those team guys who is definitely worth more on a team than his “combine” skills would suggest as an individual.

      • Ray, you missed goaltending, that who wins.

      • Oh yeah, that part Caper.
        True that.

        Speaking of goaltending:
        Anybody think Smith would have the 4th best SV% in the playoffs so far?
        Tied for 2nd best SV% of the tenders still playing, Vas at .932 and Smith at .931.

        Smith outplaying Markstrom by a mile?

        Binnington bouncing back?
        Raanta at .931 playing every game?

        Goaltending is voodoo. Other than Vas.

  6. Chariot on the Kings sounds like a match. He check the box off for size and can play 2nd pairing mins.

  7. Re Potential Bobo trade and your comment Lyle …”Good luck with that. “…. Ditto to the nth degree

    Re Jimbo and his QO quandary with Boeser… here is a great solution…

    To Jimbo, his beloved Zucker. To Pens , Boeser, with a HexBurlie firm promise/agreement that Pens will in no way, give Boeser a QO. Thus making Boeser a UFA… Jimbo free to sign him then. Pens free up $5.5 M in Cap.

    Re Garioch on Dorian “willing to move his 2022 first-round pick if it’ll fetch an impact player to help the club.”… I’ll say it again….

    To Sabres … 1st (‘22); Sanderson; Pinto; and a prospect
    To Sens…Power

    Sens with 55+ minutes of EVERY game having one of Power OR Chabot on the ice… and for at least the next 6 years….certainly moves the needle tremendously for Sens

    Adams, yes giving up a franchise player…. But effectively getting 3 firsts (Pinto went 32nd overall) AND a prospect…. Note Sanderson was 5th OA

    Even if Adams plays hardball and demands prospect be Boucher (10th overall) … counter with

    1st (‘22); Sanderson; Pinto; Boucher for

    Power and lowest (of 3 owned) 2nds in ‘23

    That offer still worth it IMHO

    • Seems pretty realistic, why wouldn’t Buffalo trade Powers after 8 games?

      And why wouldn’t the Sens give all that up?

      And why wouldn’t Vancouver take that headache on for making an rfa to a ufa? Sounds like a plan!

      Thanks for saying it again.

      It usually takes 8-250 times of repeating yourself to make it believable. Each time you post some unrealistic nonsense, it just gains more and more momentum.

      Keep up the good work!

  8. RE: teams and how players play on them. Gourde Coleman Goodrow all got paid for good in-season numbers and two great cup runs. They have all given 100% for their new teams so far as I can tell, and have value (with some regrettable injuries, a random factor for everyone), but they were better together, and in the rotation the Bolts put up, than they’ve shown elsewhere. Caution to GM’s; sometimes it seems like we’re evaluating fantasy teams but there is clearly a difference between the teams on the ice and the numbers. Avs-St Louis may yet go to the Avs, and yes, St Louis scored a bunch, but they also seem to show that elusive ‘heart of a champion thing’ that all GM’s are trying to build team chemistry for. The magic trade seems to happen less often than something like the signing of a modest cost veteran that adds want-to, scoring, mentoring, and commitment, even to a veteran group; ?Perry to the Bolts? or choosing a coach that adds virtue to a group ?MSL to the HABS?. There are half a dozen teams than should be scouring the rosters of cap challenged winners for those pieces that complete the puzzle.
    Building a fantasy team to challange for the President’s trophy has certainly produced mixed results.

  9. Comments have been reenabled. My apologies for the downtime.

  10. Tom Wilson seems like the best example of that big power guy who hits, fights and has hands.

    Garrioch, as usual, parroted what was actually a live radio interview.

    At the end of the day, I can honestly see Dorion just drafting the best player. The prices for the people he’s looking at are probably going to be the 7th++ and I don’t blame him for holding firm. We have drafted. We have developed. We have OVER cooked the D men we are so hell bent on trading for. Bring up JBD, bring up Thompson. The critical factor here is taking away DJ. Smith’s favorite toy Zaitsev. Somehow only the fans can see what a liability he is. The puck is a hand grenade to this guy. He has to go.