NHL Rumor Mill – May 31, 2022

by | May 31, 2022 | Rumors | 45 comments

More speculation over whether the Oilers can afford to retain Evander Kane, some potential trade destinations for Kevin Fiala and the latest on the Leafs in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET/THE EDMONTON JOURNAL: Mark Spector and Jim Matheson wonder if the Oilers can afford to re-sign Evander Kane after this season.

Edmonton Oilers winger Evander Kane (NHL.com).

Signed in January by the Oilers as a free agent to a one-year, $2.1 million contract after the San Jose Sharks terminated his previous deal, the 30-year-old Kane had 22 goals and 39 points in 43 regular-season games and 12 goals in as many postseason contests thus far.

Asked during a recent press conference about re-signing Kane, Oilers general manager Ken Holland said he can sign anybody but someone else would have to go.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Oilers with just $7.1 million in cap space for 2022-23 with 15 players under contract. Restricted free agents Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto need new contracts, UFA goaltender MIkko Koskinen must be replaced and pending UFA defensemen Brett Kulak and Kris Russell must be re-signed or replaced.

As I’ve mentioned before, the outcome of Kane’s grievance with the Sharks over his contract termination could determine how much it could cost the Oilers to keep him. His previous contract was worth $7 million annually. If the arbitrator’s ruling goes in Kane’s favor and he gets, say, $5 million annually, perhaps he’ll give the Oilers a break and agree to a multi-year deal worth between $2 million and $3 million.

Kane’s off-ice financial problems are well-documented and he could seek the biggest contract he can find to pay off his creditors. On the other hand, the chance to ride shotgun on Connor McDavid’s line in Edmonton for the next four years could be a strong incentive to accept a lesser deal.


THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo and Harman Dayal recently examined the trade market for Kevin Fiala. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights coming off a one-year, $5.1 million contract and due for a big raise following his career-best 85-point performance. However, Wild’s limited cap space for 2022-23 could see him get traded if they can’t afford to keep him.

Looking at recent trades involving comparable players such as Florida’s Sam Reinhart, Russo and Dayal believe the Wild’s asking price would involve a first-round pick and a quality prospect. Clubs with potential interest could include the Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild general manager Bill Guerin could attempt to make a cost-cutting trade to free up the necessary cap room to re-sign Fiala. Failing that, he’ll have no choice but to shop the winger, whose production this season significantly boosts his trade value. A first-rounder would likely be the centerpiece of the return along with a top prospect or a good, young (and affordable) NHL-ready player.

Those clubs mentioned by Russo and Dayal are all in need of a top-six scoring winger. The Senators reportedly had a prior interest in Fiala. They could try again if they believe they can get him signed to a reasonable long-term deal.


THE ATHLETIC: Jonas Siegel and James Mirtle are uncertain over whether Jack Campbell and Jake Muzzin will return with the Toronto Maple Leafs next season. Campbell is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July while they recently suggested Muzzin as a possible cost-cutting candidate.

Campbell loves playing in Toronto but the thin market for goaltenders this summer could make it difficult for the cap-strapped Leafs to outbid other clubs, like the New Jersey Devils, for his services. Moving Muzzin, meanwhile, would remove some key elements that he brings to their defense corps.

Justin Holl, Alex Kerfoot, Wayne Simmonds, Colin Blackwell and Ilya Lyubushkin are others the Leafs could part ways with this summer. Simmonds, Holl and Kerfoot are signed through next season while the others are pending UFAs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Campbell and the Leafs will reach an agreement on a new contract. If they don’t, GM Kyle Dubas could try to land Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper, Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury or St. Louis’ Ville Husso via free agency.

Muzzin has two more years left on his contract with an annual cap hit of $5.625 million and a full no-trade clause. He could waive it if asked to do so depending on the destinations but I don’t think that’s going to happen. The Leafs will ride it out with him for another season and see how things shake out after that.


  1. Simmonds. Has 1 yr left on his contract. 900k . Doubt he moves Leafs will have some juggling to do as most other teams in top 1/2 of league. The cap makes sure it happens

    • Fixed regarding Simmonds. Thanks!

  2. Counting this season, Kane had 4 years left on deal in SJ totaling 22 mil. I’m not sure what he’ll get from arbitration, but I don’t see him taking 2-3 mil per in next deal. At 30 years old I’d say he’s looking to cash in big on his performance.

    • If he could behave himself, FLA would be awesome with Kane there! Trade Hornqvist and Duclair in a package for a pick, re-sign Mamim, Marchment,
      Sign Kane to $5-6.5M……maybe? ……

      • Duclair and Hornqvist make 8.3 combined. How does that help Edmonton?

        And do you think Florida forks over 2 players for an UFA?

      • Captain Obvious, to be fair I think what Johnny Z is suggesting is that Florida trade Hornqvist and Duclair somewhere (other than Edmonton) – probably in two different deals if it were to be done – just to clear the cap space to sign Kane as a UFA.

      • Thank you, George, I guess I have to be more obvious for the Capitan….LOL
        But yeah, sign Kane as a UFA, trade Horny and Duclair together for a pick, Duclair is the sweetener…… but that may be a problem because of $8.3M can only go to about 4-6 teams w/o salary going the other way, so it would be easier in separate deals. But no one is going to take Horny for a 7th……and FLA is nearly out of any good picks unless they go to 2025……wow

      • Of course, while trading Duclair (31g 27a 58 pts in 74 gp) and costing just $3 mil off the cap for 2 more seasons wouldn’t be a problem, finding a taker for soon-to-be 36 y/o Hornqvist (11g 17a 28 pts in 65 gp), who costs $5.3 mil for 1 more year is something else. And with 2 RFAs to re-up and little with which to do it, they couldn’t hold back any of Hornqvist’s cap hit to make it happen.

        And that doesn’t even taken into account some of their pending UFAs they can’t possibly re-sign unless they clear big-time cap, such as Marchment, Giroux, Chiarot, Hagg and Lindbohm – the last 3 all D-men.

        So, no way Kane winds up there.

      • Totally misunderstood all that. But either way, not sure I’d give up Duclair for Kane. Directly or indirectly.

    • Agreed. No matter what happens with his grievance, Kane will be looking for a big payday on his next contract. He won’t be taking a discount deal. He’ll probably sign a long term big money contract and then once again do something to make the team that signs him regret it.

    • Agree Slick

      He WAS owed $26 M for his final 4 years from Sharks

      He rec’d only a total of ~$0.9 M gross this year from Oil ($750 Sal pro-rated 1/2 season plus SB)

      If Lyle’s number of $5M Arb award is true

      1. if Arb award only for final 3 years…. Kane out $10.1 M gross
      2. If they include this year; credit given to what Oil paid…. So $4.1; then 3 @ $5M from Sharks….Kane out $6M(Gross)

      Just make right (even out what he would have gotten staying with Sharks) and assuming # 1 ; he’d need 3 years @ $3.4 M

      If it is # 2….. 3 @ $2M

      *Note above is gross; net (take home) pay is less in Alta than Cal; so net loss bigger

      Look at open market….. and the play he has demonstrated this year (and NOTE , I do realize who he is playing with)…., the big , fast, gritty fwd had an 82 G pace of 43 Gs, 75 points; and in these playoffs , not only has he more than a Pt per game; he’s averaging a goal per game!!!!!That certainly boosts his value tremendously on the open market

      I’m sure he’d have a preference for staying on McD’s wing; and if t course although he has had zero off ice issues since joining Oil; there is still likely the lingering thoughts (in other GMs minds) of his past

      Lets say the Arb award is as #2 above….

      Oil fair offer IMHO…..

      5 years……

      League min in Sal each year; $14 M in SB spread out over 1st 3 years; full NMC

      To Kane in Gross $ terms ; compared to what he would have got from Sharks (note Gross not net) had he stayed; is akin to an extension (beyond SJ contract) of 2 years @ $4M

      Oil get a very productive; big ; speedy; rugged top line forward for 5 @ $3.6 M on Cap and if things go south….

      Buyout after 3 years of playing

      Yr 4 and 5 cap hit of $3M; dead Cap 2 years @ $0.3 M

      Buyout after 4 years

      Yr 5 Cap hit of $3N; Yr 6 dead Cap $0.3 M

      If he goes to market… I could envision a few 1 @ $7M offers…. If Arb award as #2 above…. He’s $1M gross overall ahead; and can sign another contract with anybody after a year

      5 @ $3.6 M is fair offer…. All pending Arb award

  3. You know what the Sens should do – is use the pick and draft someone. Bring up the D they have drafted and developed. But they won’t. So rather than trading for the soon-to-be-overpaid Fiala, lets see if we can convince Minnesota to keep him, by taking Matt Dumba off their hands. He has a no move, but maybe, just maybe he says yes.

    Just the 7th overall pick. Maybe a small sweatener.

    • A compulsive gambling addict taking a discount?

      I wouldn’t bet on that.

      Regardless of the arbitration outcome, this man is in serious financial hell. Bankruptcy, lawsuits, etc. 27 million in debt and 6 active lawsuits against him.

      Unless Mcdavid is going settle that debt and lawsuits for him, I wouldn’t hold my breath thinking he’s taking a discount.

      If by some miracle he does, the man is even dumber than originally thought.

      • You have to wonder what his agent Dan Milstein thinks about hanging onto him as a client!

      • The GM who takes him gets both a person and a hockey player. I’d imagine for many the personal history represents an unacceptable risk. The circumstances that brought him to Edmonton are different than pricing him in as a key to your team for a longer term. I wish him well, and if all parties agree, it might be worthwhile to continue the personal healing taking place in Edmonton; playing where he is valued and doing well may be good medicine. Similar vibes to Tony DeAngelo. If one is finally in that slot where the demons recede, playing well (even if for a bit less) may be life changing.
        It is always the hope that people who have personal problems(as indeed we all do) , but are blessed with talent, can find healing and redemption in the game they love: hockey does them no favors if it treats them as pieces of meat in a market. As we often only realize when thing go terribly wrong, hockey players are people too.

      • All that’s well and good, but positive vibes , personal redemption won’t pay off his staggering debt.

        As far as the NHL not doing them any favors, I completely disagree.

        The player provide a service, the teams provide a very nice paycheck. The NHL and other sports offer help assistance etc. Its on the player if they don’t take it.

        At the end of the day, nobody owes anybody anything. I feel the same way about John Doe working a normal job. You provide a service / labor / skill, the company pays you a price that you agreed upon. End of story. They don’t owe you anything above or beyond that and vice versa.

        Athletes in general are pretty Irresponsible people. Hence why so many are completely broke within years of their retirement.

        If you’re uneducated and can barley handle the fiscal responsibility of balancing a checkbook, you should probably look into a financial adviser. It’s not on the NHL to handle your money or gambling addiction.

      • Captain O: There is a wide variety of ways employers threat their employees, as should be the case in a free society. Some managers believe as you do, and do well. Some believe that if they ask more than just ‘time clock hours’ from their employees, they should also give more; some of these also do well. Some would call this, rather than surface considerations, diversity. But, in the case of sports, personal failures reflect so badly on the league as a whole that I’ve concluded that good business and good stewardship coincide; but there is nothing whatsoever wrong with your position which I see as fully defensible. There are probably 32 shades of gray here.

      • I don’t think it’s just athletes. The same thing happens to the vast majority of lottery winners.

        Most people, even educated (outside of financial type degrees) do not understand how to manage that type of money.

        That being said, it needs to be on the individual to understand that this is out of their realm. In some cases , some simple math should probably be applied.

        If you have 10 million dollars at 20-30 years old, knowing that the income pipeline isn’t infinite, you probably shouldn’t be buying 7 million dollar homes, paying off women, procreating at every stop you make, gambling, buying 300k cars etc.

        I’m not talking about being able to successfully invest, I’m talking about simple math.

        Where is the personal responsibility? Where is the family guiding decisions?

        The NHL could offer all the help in the world. You aren’t going to change a person with these type of addictive personalities. They have to find their own way.

    • Dark G, I like that idea – taking Dumba ($6 mil with 1 year to go before becoming a UFA) – for the 7th pick plus, say, Lassi Thompson or Bernard-Docker.

      A projected D of Chabot, Dumba. Zub, Holden, Zaitsev, Sanderson and Brannstrom – deal RFA Mete and start with Hamonic and del Zotto in Belleville

    • Wait…. Wernt you the professor of proper posting placement?

      • Well, I posted under “submit a comment” not “reply”.

        But thanks for playing!

  4. The NHLPA would have have something to say. How could a $7m player accept $3m . Not happening on that basis alone. McDavid or no McDavid factor Kane has to start at $5m

    Holl and Kerfoot will have to move on. Campbell a must to resign

  5. Exactly CO, he is content at the moment since he is in the thick of a playoff run. Once he gets back to California and has some free time…look out !

    He could careless about playing with McDavid. He will want the most scratch. Wherever that may be. EV will be 31 when next season starts. What will he get and for how many years?
    That’s the kicker !

  6. To all South of the Border

    Belated Happy Memorial Day

    • Pengy, I don’t think they observe Memorial Day in Mexico. J/K

  7. If I’m Bruins and Jake wants out I move him and a D man and sign Kane I think Marchand could control him. If I’m Toronto I trade Nylander and sign Kane now in both cases the player coming back would need to be young and on an ELC.Leafs and Bruins need the size.

    • Hi Obe

      Re Kane on Leafs….Nylander moved…. I’m good with that if it nets at least $2M Cap space (not likely)

      If it won’t save $2M in Cap (again… it won’t) then Leafs still @ 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds…. back to square 1

      As you are suggesting Bruins move DeBrusk and a Dman to free up and acquire Kane…..

      Pens should boot Zucker; move a D-Man…. If Gino & Tanger re-upped (@ max combined $15 M)….

      This looks great




      Blueger Zoho *Kappy

      ? ?(2 WBS grads…. Nylander? Legare? O’Connor?)

      *QO only $840…. Can they convince him to be a checking forward…. Leafs had him do that at times and he fit in well

      Tanger Matheson

      Marino Petterson

      Freidman P-O J

      Psyk (UFA plays RD and RW)


      Moved… Zucker, Dumo, McG

      Zucker ($2M retained)
      Dumo easier to move
      McG …. Tough to move

    • The Bruins need centers not wings.The Bruins are probably worried about who controls Marchand with Bergie maybe retiring.This guy is like Dangelo,a cancer,one that you don t want on your team.You would be hard pressed for anyone in San Jose to stand up for Kane,same with Dangelo and the Rangers.

  8. instead of re-signing Campbell, I wonder if the Leafs deal Nylander to ANA for John Gibson

    • Why on earth would Anaheim do that? Yes, they need offense but there are other ways of obtaining that without moving a very good goalie who only turns 29 in July and has a cap hit of just $6.4 per for 5 more years. Especially when they don’t have anyone else ready to step in and so would then need to go out and find another goalie to take his place.

      • They could sign Jack for $5M x 4 to replace Gibby, or if Washington signs him, trade for Sammy or VV.

    • I would also ask The Jets to see if they are in a rebuild mode and want to give up Helly for Nylander, Sandin and a 2022 1st.

  9. Muzzin and his history of injury and concussions and contract makes his trade value very limited.

    Jack Campbell? Easily replaced by any number of career backups, pylons and or sieves. Brian Elliott is UFA and could be had for another Scooby Dubas Maple Leafs league minimum one year deal.

    • Elliot is UFA NEXT SUMMER. And the Leafs need to sign Campbell for less than $5M and for about 3yrs.Tell JT, AM and MM to contribute to endless gifts and encouragement to Jack to get this done! LOL

    • LOL Ron. While I have my own “thing” about the Leafs, it’s no secret you despise them.

      In my case – as I have stated many times – it isn’t the players but, rather, the so-called “national” (and in one case part of the state broadcaster supported by ALL Canadians at an annual stipend of one and quarter BILLION dollars) – sports outlets whose panels and commentators don’t even bother to hide their Toronto bias. So I agree with you there 100%.

      As for Spezza, yes his stature took on new lofty dimensions in the media as soon as he opted to sign with the Leafs rather than accept the offer from Ottawa (couldn’t blame him since, at the time, Leafs prospect in terms of a cup were a whole lot better than those of the Senators). But that wasn’t his fault and, as I posted yesterday, when he was with the Senators he, along with Heatley and Alfredsson, formed one of the THE most potent lines in NHL history.

      Campbell? I got a feeling that he is just one more among quite a few who wilted at times under the constant media focus and pressure that comes with trying to get two large monkeys off their backs – 18 years without a playoff series win and, of course, 55 years without a cup. You have to think Frederik Anderssen did judging by his performance in Carolina (they might have won that series had he not been injured), and so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Campbell wind up somewhere where he’s not under the microscope and turn in some top level stats.

      LeafsNation, in many ways, can be their own worst enemy.

  10. Jason Spezza retired. Did anyone outside of Toronto even notice? Or care?

    Another never did anything never won anything Maple Leafs Legend created by Luke Fox and the rest of the Leaf ballwashing crews at LeafsNet and the TorontoSportsNetwork.


    • Another rough night, Ron? Take care.

    • I wonder if the Leafs go for Sam Gagner to replace Spezza.

    • Spezza had a long career. All or almost all of it in the NHL. Imo, very newsworthy. You’ll be shocked to learn I’m not a leafs fan.

  11. 🍁 Regarding Evander Kane,
    He has fit well into the Edmonton Oilers organization
    and playing with 2 of the top Centres in the league

    Can see him taking a lesser contract at $3.5-$4.M PA Range to make it work in Edmonton ?
    With the birth of his son this month they could make edmonton home as he semes very happy here and has fit right in with the team⁉️

    Regarding Cap Space
    The Oilers have $7.2M in curent space and Oscar Klefbom $4.2 for next season if he can come back to play its TBA…❓

    But its a bit of an unknown at pressent🤔

    if Kelfbom dose Not come back…..
    The Oilers will have $11.4 Million in cap space,
    They will not need to sign Brent Kulak…. But if they do sign Kulak it will be for $2M PA for the 3rd paring LD man spot, he can move between the 2nd & 3rd pairings, at the end of next season 2023/4
    When Duncan Keith will retire at 39 yrs old and his $5.4M contrace will come of the books

    They also are still paying James Neal $2.M if they can trade that with a good prospect
    ( thats been mentioned previously )
    that could put them up to $13.4 Range in cap space..?
    with the above about of cap space would leave about
    $2.2M -$2.4M in space

    There has also been chatter about Mike Smith Retiring possibly…?

    Top Priority’s in July
    1) Sign a starting Goaltender from the UFA list
    in the $4M to $5.M range

    2) Sign Evander Kane in the $4.M range..
    depending on what happens with his case.

    3) Sign LD man Kulak if Kelfbom cant come back $2M

    4) lots of players on the Farm in Bako are ready to make the oilers in the 2023 season, the Top 4 are

    -Big Winger Dylan Hollaway who can play all 3 forward positions

    -Carter Savoie LW Shooter could make the team also

    2 LD men Phillip Broberg & big Markus Niemeläinen
    We seen them both this year, they may not be ready for full time in 2023/4 season but who know one of them maybe the 7th d/man….?

    July will be a very intresting month for the Oilers & Fans

    • Williew, I don’t think you can trade a bought out contract.

  12. I feel that there’s a need that the Bruins need to get bigger,tougher,quicker to the puck and improve the D … where have I heard that before ? I know at every end of the season presser that Sweeney has had since 2015

  13. I just won a lotto for a 100k . I think I will take less for my current employment status , said no one ever

    All accounts have Klefbom’s career as over. His contract will be traded

    • That’s not quite a perfect analogy (there’s actually no such thing of course).
      If an appropriate salary for your job is $100k and you won a settlement from an employer paying you $60k per year for the next several years would you consider working for a $60k salary for a company you really enjoy working for in a place that your family wants to stay? Also for a company that took a chance on you when another had cast you aside?
      I’m not saying this is actually the case with Kane, or that he will be willing to take a little less to stay in EDM but I wouldn’t rule it out.

      I’d be happy to see him on my Bruins but if I’m a GM I’m not offering him more than a 1 year contract.

      • Hi Double Minor,
        I think the Oilers will offer him 3 or 4 year deal
        now he has setled down with the girlferind & and his new baby boy…..⁉️

        He will be looking for term on his contract…. and he has fit in real well in Edmonton with the team
        i think its going to be around the $3-$4 mill PA ….