NHL Rumor Mill – May 5, 2022

by | May 5, 2022 | Rumors | 14 comments

Do Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews fit into the Blackhawks’ rebuild process? What could be in store this summer for the Islanders and Kraken? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Phil Thompson reported Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson cleared up any ambiguity about a fast rebuild for his club. He didn’t put a timeline on it but suggested it could take at least three-to-five years.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

Long-time Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews recently remarked they saw no reason the club couldn’t turn things around within a year or two. With a year remaining on their respective contracts, they have no choice but to go along with Davidson’s plans unless they agree to waive their no-movement clauses and ask to be traded.

Davidson believes Kane and Toews have a place in the club’s plans and made his expectations clear to both during their exit interviews.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis reported Davidson also said those conversations were healthy and productive and he’s pleased with how they went. It’s believed the Blackhawks GM intends to keep his two aging stars in the loop regarding the club’s direction.

Whether that silences the trade speculation about those two (especially Kane) that surfaced in the final weeks of the regular season remains to be seen.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently examined the New York Islanders’ offseason priorities.

Finding a high-end winger for first-line center Mathew Barzal topped his list. He advocated the cap-strapped Islanders pull off some “salary-cap gymnastics” to pursue Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau, Nashville’s Filip Forsberg or Florida’s Claude Giroux if they become available in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Isles with $70.2 million invested in 18 active players for 2022-23 with Noah Dobson as their only notable free agent to re-sign. General manager Lou Lamoriello would have to shed considerable salary to free up space to make a serious offer for Gaudreau, Forsberg or Giroux.

Gaudreau could seek $10 million annually if he hits the open market while Forsberg could come in around $8 million. Giroux is 34 and would be more affordable but a lot could depend on how well the Panthers do in this postseason.

Kurz also suggested the Isles need to sort out their goalie tandem. Semyon Varlamov made it clear he was happy not being moved at the March trade deadline. However, it remains to be seen if he’s willing to take a back seat next season to Ilya Sorokin.

If not, perhaps the Isles should attempt to trade Varlamov and the remaining year on his contract this summer. He carries a $5 million cap hit plus a 16-team no-trade clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was talk of teams calling the Islanders about Varlamov. Given general manager Lou Lamoriello’s secretive nature, we have no idea if those calls were seriously entertained or even took place.

Moving Varlamov and his cap hit would make it easier for Lamoriello to pursue a top-six winger for Barzal’s line. Sorokin has proven himself as an NHL starter but he and Varlamov work well together as a tandem. Lamoriello could be reluctant to break that up for next season.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Geoff Baker reports Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis intends to see more goal-scoring for his club in the offseason via free agency. He’ll be looking for someone who can play in their top-six or top-nine. Francis also mentioned he could seek a blueline upgrade, especially for someone who is offensively inclined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken has the cap space to invest in a scoring winger or a puck-moving defenseman this summer if they’re willing to spend toward the cap. They have $59.6 million committed to 14 players next season with no expensive core players to re-sign.

Francis was able to woo Philipp Grubauer and Jaden Schwartz to Seattle in last summer’s UFA market. I wouldn’t discount the possibility of him landing another notable free-agent player.


  1. Hawks, do ya wanna do a rebuild? Just trade Seth Jones before his NMC kicks in this July! Kane and Toews will demand to be traded then! LOL

  2. The Krack should go after Riley Smith, if available, and pick up a vet off a cap-strapped team that can score. Willie Nylander, Patches or Daddy from VGK, Patrick Kane, Horvath, JT, or maybe Boeser. Petry or Letang or even Chariot for the blueline.

  3. With Lou running he show, expect the unexpected where the Islanders are concerned this off-season.

    With 18 players committed to at a cap hit of $70,244,167, he has $ 12,255,833 to sign 5, with just 2 RFAs to re-up: winger Kieffer Bellows and RD Noah Dobson. Bellows (6g – 10 pts in 45gp – 82 game projections of 11g 24a 35 pts) is coming off an ELC of $750,000 and if Lamoriello feels he can improve on that output he’ll likely get a 3-year bridge at a modest increase to $1.25 per. That would leave him just over $11 mil to sign 4.

    Dobson, however, is a vastly different story. A RD coming off an ELC of $894,167, he posted 13g 38a 51 pts and just a -3 over 80gp. With Pelech (6 more years), Pulock (7 more years) and Mayfield (not a UFA until after next season), he should get a very good contract in or around $6 mil per, leaving Lou with about $5 mil to sign 3.

    As for his UFAs, I seriously doubt either of LD Chara ($750,000 – age 45). or LD/RD Greene ($750,000 – age 30), will be brought back as cheap options, while their version of Sebastian Aho (a LD), coming off $725,000 and just 26 y/o with 2g 10a 12 pts in 36gp (82 game projections of 5g 23a 28 pts), could be re-signed at a modest increase of $1.5 per over 3 years.

    Now he has about $3.5 mil to sign 2. So, clearly, something has to happen with signed players in order to clear the necessary cap space to bring in a high-priced ticket.

    The way I look at it is, if Lamoriello wants to take that plunge, the obvious victim has to be Varlamov and his $5 mil per cap hit which has 1 more year to run. With so many teams seeking help between the pipes that should be no problem – but what comes back has to be in the form of picks and/or a good system prospect because, even with that $5 mil freed up, it’s still not enough to bring in a Forsberg or Giroux, let alone a Gaudreau.

    So, one more would have to be dealt. Beauvillier would be my guess with his $4,150,000 per deal running for 2 more years. Just 24, he had 12g 22a 34 pts in 75gp. A notoriously streaky performer, if Lou can find a taker at a modest return, the resulting $9,150,000 out, combing with the $3.5 left over after the above re-signings, gives him approximately $12,650,000 – with 4 position now to fill, including a back-up for Sorokin.

    He also has some very decent prospects in his system who could make the team on ELC deals such as Fs Durandeau, Kouvula and 20 y/o draft pick from Saint John of the Q, William Dufour – 56g 60a 116 pts, and two LDs in Robin Salo and Parker Witherspoon.

  4. As a Stars fan, I’ve been hearing that Seattle is on Klingbergs radar and vice versa… any one else read that? And it seems to make sense…I just hope that if that’s really true that the Stars can trade his rights for a pick.

    • With the rights, don’t they also get to sign for 8 years as opposed to 7 years? Age/term does not matter in this league anymore sign him and when he gets too old he will get an allergy/injury so he can conveniently go on LTIR…

      • The guy turns 30 in August … any GM who signs him for 8 years has you-know-what for brains. Anyway, no one is giving up quality assets for the sake of 1 year, and if he’s intent on playing out the string in Seattle – as is suggested – I’m sure he’s not concerned with that 1 year either.

      • @ George they use that extra year to lower the cap hit. Some players care about the total of the entire contract rather then the yearly salary especially at 30 as you know it’s probably your last big contract. Edmonton tried with Hyman last year but didn’t offer enough for Dubas to byte.

      • I understand that What the heck – but we’re not talking a Grade A two-way D-man here – it’s Klingberg who’d be what? 37/38 at the end of a long contract? Maybe I don’t see enough of Dallas, but he never struck me as a D who strikes fear into anyone. As an offensive D-man he’s been OK with a career 71g 393a 374 pts in 552 gp but a progressive -10. -15, -28 over his past 3 seasons.

        No way I give him 8 years.

  5. I Got a D/man Trade for 🇺🇸Seattle & 🍁Edmonton

    Ron Francis intends for more scoring from his D
    He could seek a blueline upgrade, especially for someone who is offensively inclined….?

    Trade Tyson Barrie for local boy Carson Soucy
    TB has 2 more years at $4.5 M
    CS has 1 more year at $2.75M
    Maybe Seattle throughs in a sweeter,

    Young Bouchard has taken over Barries spot as RD offencive d/manthere was talk of brining local Alberta boy home as we needed size and physical pressence on our RD
    Win Win for both teams…..👍

    • Hi Williew

      Definitely a win fr Oil… good point re Bouch

      I’m a big Soucy fan

      Not 100% convinced GMRF would make the deal…. yes offence in Barry…. but giving up size; age; strength; and at a higher Cap hit…. Might be a deterrent


      • Hi Pengy.

        the part that may work in the Oilers favour is Soucy is a UFA after next season….❓

        Tyson Barrie won’t cost them to much @$4.5 Million for the next few years…. Or if Ron Francis go’s after a
        UFA like John klinberg it may cost them around $9.Million.

        The Seattle Team are in a Re-build Or Building Mode for 3-4 year to be competitive
        it looks like❓
        my guess is the Oiler will move Barrie and bring in some sandpaper on RD at the draft as RD they need some

        The Oilers were also looking at NYI RD man
        Scott Mayfield at the dead line but rain out of time…

    • I like it!👍👍

  6. hopeless.. completely hopeless!!! I turned it off after the third goal, Too old, too slow and not as talented. This one’s over! About the only positive thing to come out of this Sweeney will be gone old lump lump in the front office is history as well. With the exception of Mac get rid of everyone pick up a couple a couple of first rounders rebuild. Get Bigger Faster, And no. 1 get a goalie someone who can stop pucks.