Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 22, 2022

by | May 22, 2022 | Rumors | 13 comments

In the Sunday NHL rumor roundup, a collection of the latest Canucks speculation, the latest coaching rumors plus updates on the Stars and Devils.


THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal recently reported the Vancouver Canucks were thought to be ready to restart contract talks this past week with Brock Boeser’s representatives. They have sufficient salary-cap flexibility to tender a $7.5 million qualifying offer to Boeser by the July 11 deadline to retain his rights.

They feel the Canucks are unlikely to take Boeser to arbitration and could qualify him if a compromise isn’t reached beforehand. It’s believed that’s something the winger’s camp prefers as well. It could be a short-term extension, perhaps for three years and below the $7.5 million qualifier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s annual cap hit on his current deal is $5.875 million. He’s going to seek a significant raise, especially after seeing what teammates Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes got last season. Granted, their raises came from the previous management but Boeser’s within his rights to seek a big pay bump. It probably won’t reach $7.5 million but it could be close to $7 million.

Team sources also doused reports suggesting Oliver Ekman-Larsson could be shopped in a cost-cutting move this summer. While the club may have done some due diligence on his trade value, they remain impressed with Ekman-Larsson as a player and a person.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekman-Larsson’s big cap hit ($7.26 million) through 2026-27 plus his full no-movement clause would’ve made him difficult to move during an offseason when the salary cap is rising by just $1 million.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma believes J.T. Miller will draw plenty of trade interest if the Canucks cannot free up sufficient cap space to sign the 29-year-old center to a contract extension. He drew plenty of interest in this season’s trade market from the New York Rangers but Kuzma believes his career-best 99-point performance this season will draw a number of suitors attracted to his versatility.

If the Rangers still want Miller, Kuzma speculates the Canucks would want 2020 first-overall pick Alexis Lafreniere as part of the return. His former agent is Canucks assistant general manager Emilie Castonguay.

Re-signing Miller will be expensive. Kuzma cited the Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad and the San Jose Sharks’ Tomas Hertl as comparables. Both were making similar to Miller’s current cap hit ($5.5 million) before signing lucrative long-term deals. Zibanejad’s is for eight years and $68 million while Hertl’s is also for eight years and is worth $65.1 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Either decision comes with risk for the Canucks. Trade Miller and the return might not pan out as hoped for their long-term plans. Sign him for over $8 million annually on an eight-year deal and it could become a drain on their cap space that grows burdensome as his skill decline in the final years of the deal.

The Rangers could revisit their interest in Miller but that will depend on whether they get pending UFAs Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp signed before July 13. They could also consider more affordable options on long-term deals in the trade market, such as the Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Scheifele if he becomes available.


SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman provided an update on Barry Trotz as the former New York Islanders head coach is drawing interest from teams seeking a new bench boss. He will meet with the Philadelphia Flyers this week. Marek believes the Flyers want to be thorough in assessing their coaching candidates. The Winnipeg Jets also met with Trotz while the Vegas Golden Knights and Detroit Red Wings could also be among his suitors.

The Dallas Stars could circle back to Rick Tocchet as a coaching candidate to replace Rick Bowness, who stepped down earlier this week. They had spoken with Tocchet earlier this season but couldn’t reach an agreement. They could also have an interest in the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires’ Marc Savard.

Speaking of the Stars, Marek believes they’d like to sign center Roope Hintz to a contract extension this summer. That could mean moving out a body. There could also be some clarity soon regarding the future of pending UFA defenseman John Klingberg.

Friedman reports the New Jersey Devils are considering all their options for the offseason. That could include shopping their first-round pick (second overall) in this year’s draft. He believes they should soon have a list of players that they would be interested in acquiring in exchange for that pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this month, Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald stated he’d like to bring in an established player to complement his core of young forwards. He’s likely seeking a top-six winger to skate alongside Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier. Fitzgerald could also seek a starting goaltender given Mackenzie Blackwood’s ongoing injury and consistency problems.


  1. The Devils need player that can score. I do not think Fitz should trade the pick for a winger on a contract the other team deems “expensive”. It would be difficult to get even value on a swap of 2OA and a reasonably priced winger. If he trades the pick I think it would be for a move down and a winger with known cost. Hopefully Fitz doesn’t make a mistake here, he has some young players coming up who are going to want to be paid as well, Should be interesting.

    • Red. Based on what’s been written today, Boeser would be good pick up for 2OA.
      As a Ranger fan, Sriry should consider moving Laf for 2OA, or preferably 1OA. No way I’d trade him for Miller. I like Laf, but with Kreider and Panarin licked in for a few years, it might make sense to explore a draft day trade if they can get an nhl ready center. I don’t see Strome back.

      • I don’t think laf gets either of those picks. He is either a slow adapter or his ceiling is not as high as the potential ceiling of those picks.

      • 5×5 ice time this playoff Lafy has been as good as Kreider or Panarin who both doing all their damage on the powerplay during the playoffs so far

        I trade Kreider for Scheifle this offseason or in a few years you have 2 35 year old left wingers eating up too much cap space

        Lafy has 19 even strength goals. if he takes Kreiders spot on the PP he might hit 35 total

      • Boeser would need something added to get 2OA because:
        1) He is not worth his QO, he would have to accept a 2-3 yr deal at a lower salary first
        2) Nucks are in cap hell so NJ should take advantage of this and get a good pick or a b prospect to come with Brock

    • Fitz wants Bertuzzi! Yawl know it! He will help protect your smallish centers!

  2. Nylander to NJ for 2OA works for me.but add Sandin and Mzarek from leafs and McLeod from NJ
    It would be better if Nylander could be extended beforehand but because he can’t yet I added Sandin to the trade offer.

    • Did you see what happened in Jersey this year? 7 goalies used. All injured at one point. No way they touch Mzarek – Fitz would lose his job.

    • nylander for 2nd overall pick is absurd

      that is giving up a top pick on rookie deal,

      for a pretty big contract who plays scared in the playoffs.

  3. Slick, thanks for the feedback. As you already know chances Devs/Rangers trading like that is about zero percent. I like Boeser, but Wild are in a trap with salary cap so really a gift from god giving them 2OA for him. I was thinking a trade that helps both teams. For example, SJ has some cap issues and are aging. What about Meier and 11OA for 2OA and Sharangovich (or equivalent). Thoughts?

  4. The Stars next coach needs to be someone that is somewhere between Bownes (who you’d go have a beer with) and Tortorella (who you’d spit in his beer)…pretty big field, I know….is it too early to bring back Jim Montgomery?

    • How about giving Willie another try? Lol

      • Kenny h and his stache to the rescue’