NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2022

by | Jun 27, 2022 | Rumors | 61 comments

What next for the Avalanche and Lightning following the Stanley Cup Final? What’s the latest on the Islanders and Sabres? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski and Kristen Shilton looked at what the offseason could hold for the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning following the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic has some notable free agents to deal with, starting with forwards Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin. Both are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 13 and are coming off strong regular-season and playoff performances.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper, winger Andre Burakovsky and defenseman Josh Manson could receive lucrative offers from other clubs in the upcoming free-agent market. Trade deadline acquisition Artturi Lehkonen is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from UFA eligibility.

Hanging over all of his is the knowledge that superstar center Nathan MacKinnon is a year away from UFA eligibility. Sakic must manage his future cap space carefully and might have to get creative if they hope to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche have a solid core next season in MacKinnon, Cale Makar, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, Samuel Girard and Bowen Byram. However, maintaining their supporting cast could be challenging.

Cap Friendly shows the Avalanche with over $25 million in salary cap space with 14 players under contract for 2022-23. They’re enough room to re-sign Kadri, Nichushkin, Kuemper and Manson but it will eat up most of that cap space as well as bite deeply into their available space for 2023-24 when MacKinnon will be due for a big raise on a long-term deal.

Sakic might keep one of those key UFAs. It could be Kadri to ensure their depth at center but he could price himself out of their market. It could be Kuemper to maintain their solid goalie tandem with Pavel Francouz. I don’t think Burakovsky and Manson will be back.

My guess is Nichushkin is the most likely to return. Sakic took a chance on him after the Dallas Stars bought him out and he found his game with the Avs. He’s completing a two-year deal worth $2.5 million per season and should be the more affordable to retain.

The Lightning’s decisions start with pending UFAs Ondrej Palat, Nick Paul and Jan Rutta. They’re up against the salary cap once again with 19 players under contract for next season. That makes a major roster overhaul unlikely.

Like Sakic, GM Julien BriseBois will have to use some creativity to maximize his bargaining power. He’ll need to decide if he’s happy with the club’s current depth, especially on the blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: BriseBois has proven skillful at finding inventive ways to maintain a championship roster. That ability will once again be put to the test.

The Lightning will get some wiggle room with Brent Seabrook ($6.875 million) on permanent long-term injury reserve. Still, it’s unlikely BriseBois be able to bring back all three of those UFAs. I expect BriseBois will put his efforts into signing Palat.


THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently pondered the possibility of the New York Islanders shopping Anthony Beauvillier for help on their blueline. While the 25-year-old winger’s development has stalled, he’s still young enough to improve. He also carries a reasonable $4.15 million annual cap hit for the next two seasons and lacks no-trade protection.

Zdeno Chara, Andy Greene, Sebastian Aho and Grant Hutton have likely played their final games for the Islanders. There are questions over whether those in the system, such as Robin Salo and Samuel Bolduc, are ready to move up.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun could be a trade target. Most Isles fans polled by Kurz would be fine with bundling Beauvillier with their first-round pick (13th overall) in this year’s draft for Chychrun, though Kurz believes the Coyotes would want a prospect included in the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders aren’t the only team expected to have an interest in Chychrun. However, the Coyotes have set a very high asking price. Beauvillier, a first and a prospect might not be enough to land him. I suspect GM Lou Lamoriello will explore more affordable options if he uses the winger as trade bait for a blueliner.


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington doesn’t see the Sabres using their plentiful salary-cap space to pursue a big-ticket UFA like Johnny Gaudreau, Evgeni Malkin or Kris Letang. He also doesn’t see them pursuing Marc-Andre Fleury to bolster their goaltending depth if Craig Anderson decides he’s not returning.

He doesn’t see the Sabres being interested in Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper. Toronto’s Jack Campbell might want a deal of three or four years and the Sabres aren’t interested in that type of term. He also believes St. Louis’ Ville Husso will want dollars and term that the Sabres aren’t interested in handing out.

Harrington advocates pursuing Braden Holtby to share the goalie duties and mentor promising Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen, suggesting they offer up a two-year, $8 million deal. It would also help the Sabres reach the $61 million salary-cap minimum.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see who the Sabres bring in to share the goalie duties with Luukkonen if Anderson hangs up his pads. The focus seems to remain on building up with their younger players, though I do see them adding affordable veterans to provide depth and leadership for next season.


  1. GeorgeO, what do you think Nic Paul will get on the open market?

    Played solid and had a couple of strong games. Consistency seems to be the key.

    • caper, he turned down a $10.4 mil deal over 4 years ($2. 6 per) before being dealt for Mathieu Joseph and a 2024 4th round pick.

      I thought that was a decent offer for a Grade A plugger LW (he’ll never be a consistent 20-goal scorer – his high-water mark as a pro is 16 goals in the AHL) who wasn’t going to replace Tkachuk or Formenton at LW on the top 2 lines.

      He is, however, an ideal 3rd line LW who can fill in over short terms on the top 2, has learned to use his big 6′ 3″225 lb) body to his advantage on the forecheck and is adept at killing penalties.

      Having said that, I will be very surprised if he’s offered $3 mil (or more) over 4 years. I doubt it’ll be Ottawa. Joseph is quite capable of filling in that role for now on the 3rd line with Ridley Greig and Egor Sokolov pushing hard for a job there at t raining camp.

      • 2.5 for five to stay in Tampa

      • That could work Richard. That extra year over Dorion’s offer would certainly be in his area.

  2. Sweeney needs to dig in hard and go after some of these free agents (Kadri) ( Josh Manson). But it is Sweeney, so Sweeney will be Sweeney & we’ll most likely end up with Hal Gill or Karson Kuhlman. or worse Mr Bruin as coach.

    • Sure. With Monopoly money. He has to shed $$ to sign 37. 🥸

      • Cut ties with Foligno, trade if willing Ullmark and package him with DeBrusk … I hope there’s a plan …PB isn’t coming back just to pass time and I’m sure he talked to the Bruins about the Plan ..

    • Unlikely Rick, Kadri will want over $8M and I would bet he gets it. Maybe he signs for a little less to stay in COL, or they give him more term than they would want.

      No room at the inn for a guys with that ticket. Copp or Troceheck seem like a maybe they could get, but again still need to shed significant $, and DeBrusk being traded along with a Foligno buyout won’t be enough.

      Maybe he finds a taker to take 1 year of Foligno, but that will cost them something decent as well.

      We’ll see soon enough.

      • George O…Where does Kadri end up?

        I say just gyessing on money, term, age, recent heroics, type of player and city/team fit.

        1. Philadelphia
        2. New Jersey
        3. Washington

        There are others I’m sure but looking at teams that want to make a splash/fit/city culture…..I mean Torts and Philly sounds like a match right?

        Some team will over pay for this great season and not look at his career averages 50 / 60 points and his age 31

      • Washington is an interesting idea for Kadri B&G

      • I gotta agree with Ray, blackngold. With Backstrom out, possibly long term, they are going to need a C. And if he wound up centering Ovechkin he could repeat this past season.

      • You should join Mr. Blewit in the Debbie Downer fan club. If Sweiney just stands pat. The bruins are dog doo.

    • So whose head is about to explode : Bruins sign GM Sweeney to multi-year extension

      • RWM

        Bruins Need $$ cap space To sign players this is not fantasy league. Can’t just sign players Come on wise up Of course they want to upgrade but easier said then done in the real world

  3. ‘Cap Friendly shows the Avalanche with over $25 million in salary cap space with 14 players under contract for 2022-23. They’re enough room to re-sign Kadri, Nichushkin, Kuemper and Manson but it will eat up most of that cap space as well as bite deeply into their available space for 2023-24 when MacKinnon will be due for a big raise on a long-term deal.’
    Yes, sign them all, and don’t hand out overly restrictive clauses in their contracts. Then decide who goes after next season…..then obtain LTIR contracts or trade several players to make room for MacKinnon’s contract….
    I propose that as they sign them that they trade Girard for as a salary dump, and really gauge the market for what Rantanen would go for. He is their costliest player and would bring back a huge package and also give them much more flexibility in cap management.
    Example: Rantanen for NJ #2 OA, Sharangovich, Bahl and a 2023 2nd
    This would give a boost to their prospect supply and give a huge amount of flexibility for other moves.

    • If NJ offered that to Col they would have to consider that deal.

      I still think Bahl is a bust, but the 2OA gets you a solid prospect, Shar would fit into Col speed game.

    • Eric Johnson has 1 year left at 6 mil, that will help with Mackinnon’s raise.

      • Yes, and Dallas might want him if Klinger departs. They might get him for a 3rd!

    • JohnnyZ, signing all those UFAs isn’t going to be that easy. Yes, they have $25,685,000 with which to sign 9. Their 2 RFAs (both with arbitration rights) – Aubé-Kubel and Lehkonen – are coming off a combined $3,375,000 mil cap hit. Even with modest increases you’re looking at around $5 for the pair – now you’re down to just over $20 mil to sign 7.

      Kuemper ($4.5 mil), Manson ($4.2 mil), Nichushkin ($2.5 mil) and Kadri $4.5 mil) are all going to be seeking raises of some sort with their first – and possibly last – crack at UFA status, so that $15.6 mil combined is going to be at or over what they have left, And you still have to sign 3. Nor have we considered Burakovsky ($4.9 mil) who, at just 27 y/o, was a pretty important cog throughout the season and the playoffs.

      • i talked to an av’s scout over the weekend who told me kadri, burka, and manson will be gone for sure…kuemps is wait and see, the russian choo choo is the av’s highest priority…rants might be the new 2c

      • 2001avsattack, if not Kuemper would they go with Francouz as their # 1? If not, who do they bring in that would either not cost them assets to acquire, or get cheaper and be just as good?

        Is there a goalie in their system ready to step in?

      • There was more to what I said then JUST the signing of UFA’s
        Yes, there will be salary dumps as well, Girard or E. Johnson are the most likely.
        And the thing is that the Avs are now a destination for very good vets to consider to sign for discounts. Giroux, Kessel, Malkin, maybe Trocheck, Rackell, Colin Miller (to replace E. Johnson) there are many, many possibilities!

      • I can see them moving Girard as well Johnny, seems redundant with Byram showing as well as he did. He sure was on the ice a lot in the 3rd period last night, and looks really good for a young D man.
        They don’t have other guys like Johnson though, I can see them keeping him. Big guy, still skates good for a big guy and defends well. Solid vet.

        Still need to replace Girard if they move him, just need to go bargain hunting as their top 4 is still really good.

        2001- never thought of Rant as playing C next year, interesting. has he done that for any length of time in the past?

  4. Arz has 3 first round picks in his draft. Why would you think you need 4 ?
    I think the Oilers should look to move Barrie with adders to the island for a package including Varlamov .

    The Avs should try and keep Manson. Jack and Eric J getting long in the tooth . They could also use his aggression . Kadri will prove too expensive . Thank you for your service

    • While you’re probably right re Kadri, Silverseven, he is their 2nd line C behind MacKinnon. So, if they don’t retain him, who becomes their 2nd line C? As a few teams can attest, they don’t grow on trees and so they could be putting themselves into a revolving-door situation while they try to find the ideal fit there from within their system?

      • George i think the longer term plan is for newhook to take that spot.

        Is he ready for it?

      • mp, I doubt it. He’s done nothing to suggest he could be a bon-fide # 2 C. Newhook is 5′ 10 190lbs and has never been what you’d call a prolific goal scorer/points producer. Both MacKinnon and Kadri are 6 footers around 200 lbs each and are known points producers.

        This year he played 71 seasonal games with 13g 20a 33 pts and in 12 playoff games produced 0g 4a. If that’s their plan – good luck.

      • the scout sd the could possibly start with frankie in net and do something during season if need be..aumann is not ready yet..he said this is not the route they want to go bbut its possible if kuemps wants to much..
        rants did play some 2c this season

    • Think they need to add Silver7?
      Barrie is on a fair contract for 2 more years and is a proven point producer and excellent PP guy. Only 30. Not a start defensively, but not brutal either, has improved.

      Varlamov is 34, and only has a year left and is currently a backup. He has played over 50 games in the past, but was also younger. His career #’s are solid though.

      Not saying he is the wrong guy for EDM, just not sure the Oil need to add to Barrie.

      RUS players seem to like playing in the NY area due to the large community, not sure if Varlamov feels the same way or not.

      • Varlamov not enough for Barrie straight up as players.Adders on both sides to make the deal palatable for both sides on positional needs

      • As good a target as any S7

      • Ray Bark..I do think Washington will go hard after Kadri, Miller, and jump on Malkin if he doesn’t’ resign with the Penguins…

        They need to replace Nick Backstrom..

    • Manson should be there no1 priority this off season. He slots perfectly into there defense.

      Kadri would be a want not a need given salary expectations.

      If nish and Bur will resign for cheap to take another run at the cup then go for it. If not there’s plenty of replacements out there for cheap.

      • Agreed…

  5. thinking Palat, Paul and Rutta all re-sign at or just below market value. No FLA state tax is a big perk.
    If Paul is offered 4 yrs x 3 million he should grab it.

    Killorn will be traded to free up some cap space.

    • I’d agree. Paul moved form the outhouse to the penthouse and slots perfectly with the Bolts – if hey offer term that may be more important than money.
      Cooper is the only coach Palat has ever had since he turned pro & he’s played with the same core group for the entire time so he is likely motivated to stay – he’ll get an offer to take him to retirement. Again term over $. Don’t know that Rutta’s special skill of playing with the freewheeling Hedman is that highly valued by the league. This does leave Killer as the odd contract out

      • not sure if Killorn was playing hurt but he looked slow out there. Zero goals in 23 playoff games was not the norm.

  6. Kadris mic drop moment was a great shot at Scooby Dubas and Brenden Shanascam….

    imagine the look on their faces when Kadri lifted the Cup….

    playoff liability..too funny.

    • Khadri’s comment was clear evidence that he hasn’t accepted responsibility for three playoff suspensions that he deserved. How could anyone say he has not been a playoff liability? Are you suggesting the fault lies with Dubas and Shanahan for the suspensions and impact on their playoffs?

      Per my comment on the other headline section, yes, Khadri deserves credit for this year, but is it an abberation? Look at his stats over the past 6 years for a trend line.

      • Couldn’t agree more. Great playoffs but he was the one that crossed the line and put his team down in the playoffs. To put in on Dubas is ridiculous.

      • LJ it’s Kadri no h. I’m glad you have such insight as to say you can clearly see he has no remorse. Personally I’m sure your wrong about that.

        It was great to see Kadri receiving the cup so early in the line. It shows how much he teammates thought of him. Personally since he’s a ufa, I would still want him on my team but no chance of that happening but him being a Habs fan, and growing up with a super fan in his dad, it wouldn’t surprise me he looks into It. It’s a hard take, coming from a championship team to go to a bottom dwelling team plus not to mention the catastrophic situation with their cap and being able to making him fit. He’ll be a great #1 C for them and then can slide down to 2nd or 3rd later in his career and when the Habs prospects are hopefully there to be promoted. I hope he doesn’t leave the Avs.

    • amazing comments today RonO

  7. Colorado Avalanche – 48 points to Stanley Cup Champions in 5 years

    Muskoka Maple Leafs – fans breathlessly awaiting year 9 of the 5 year Shanaplan.

    We can, we will…. just not any time soon, lol.

    • Keep cherry picking, Ron. Right up your alley.
      Congrats to Kadri but he really hurt the Leafs in the playoffs.

    • great thoughts today Ron!

    • Hey ron, since you’re a big fan of the Leafs, how about you use some of your energy and that big powerful brain of yours and see if you can trade Carlton the bear for Griddy, straight up? Ron Jull, god you suck.

  8. Erik Portillo is a huge and tantalizing goalie prospect for the Sabres, although he’s a long-term project who’s chosen the college route.

  9. Buffalo’s first priority should be to weaponize their cap space. They aren’t going anywhere this year and next year’s draft is what it is. Good time to not be very good and gather assets for when they need them later, either on the roster or as trade bait.

  10. Nichushkin is going to get PAID! Best 2 way forward in the playoffs this season.
    Several are projecting a contract at 6+ million AAV

  11. Premier had an excellent point…. EJ @$6M…. I year left; gone in time for Mac K’s big raise

    Mac K is at $6.3 M now…. Even with hometown discount…$10.5 M is absolutely the minimum he’ll get

    I’m sure Sackic would like to resign most of his cutrent UFAs

    EJ buyout…. Saves $4M (less bottom pairing D cost replacement) in Cap ‘22/‘23 but dead Cap of $2M in ‘23/‘24

    Better to retain 50% and replace bottom pairing spot with AHL promotion or a UFA player at or less than $1M…. so minimal to no diff in Cap situation (compared to buyout option) for ‘22/23 but save $2M dead cap for 23/24

    EJ can be traded to 19 teams …

    who would take him at $3M????

    Or …. If there is a team (on his list of 19) that would take him at $1.5 M….

    Avs retain 50%
    Yotes retain 50% of that (25%)
    Final team gets him for $1.5 M cap and cash

    Yotes want Cap hits greater than cash outlay to reach Cap floor at lowest cost; and in addition would likely get two 3rd round picks (or equivalent)… one from Avs one from final team; in the trade

    Avs move $3M in Cap; bring in replacement bottom pair D (AHL promotion of UFA) for $1M or less….frees up at least $2M next year; zero impact 23/24; for the cost of a 3rd

    Final team gets big bottom pairing D-man; SC pedigree for just $750 K over league min; and a 3rd

    Just a thought

    • E Johnson was decent this year an earned his pay. Maybe Av’s trade him to the Stars via another team that retains half his cap for a 3rd. Stars get him for $3M x 1 for another 3rd when Klinger departs. Avs cut $6M in cap for next to nothing.

      • Hi JZ

        No question he did fine; but to me $6M is far too much to pay for a bottom pairing D-Man

        If Avs re-up Manson…..

        Makar, Toews , Manson, Girard, Byram…. All ahead of EJ on depth chart

        Not re-upping Manson…. EJ still bottom pairing

        $6M for 5th or 6th depth-chart Dman ; who will be 35 before the end of next season… too much IMHO

      • Pengy, you really need to read the shole post. Johnson at $3M can be done, but yeah maybe for “future considerations” would be more doable.

    • Pengy…I keep hearing Penguins-Canucks talking, discussing, and feeling some kind of deal will be coming soon.

      I know the two names possibly names coming to Pittsburgh are one of J.T MIller or Connor Garland.

      While Rutherford’s continued pursuit of John Marino seems to be who is going the other way…now parts may be added but that is the basic premise…

      I would do a blockbuster on the notion that Malkin isn’t coming back which seems to be very likely.

      my blockbuster deal would be–

      To Pittsburgh:


      $10.9 to Pittsburgh

      To Vancouver
      Prospect Poulin
      2023 1st round pick

      $ 8.4 to Vancouver

      • Hi BnG

        Under no circumstances should Pens be giving up 2 futures (Poulin and 1st rounder)

        I certainly like the Schenn and Miller acquisition

        Zucker a must to be moved

        Trading Marino is dangerous…. No 2RD….. that is too much of a jump for Freidman

        Pens need to re-sign Tanger

        If they don’t…. Might as well start a rebuild

        PO-J is ready to move up…. Pens have an abundance of LHDs

        Move Dumo

  12. NJ isn’t trading #2 OA. You don’t get the opportunity. I think they’ll having a hard time deciding between jars, cooley, anemic, & /or gautier
    Trade 5/6 OK? teams will hang onto their best UFA’s.

    • NJ will trade for someone that helps them to WIN NOW and in the future. They want an impact player with term.

    • Hi Vincois

      When you say “Trade 5/6 OK? ”…. Is that flipping 2OA for Flyers 5OA or Clb 6OA ; plus asset(s) from either Flyers or Jackets?

  13. I knew Yotes were loaded with early round draft picks but I just looked it up…. They have 7 of first 45 picks….


    Hard to believe they would keep all 5 picks (of 14) between 32nd and 45th

  14. Pengy..I will swap Marino for J.T Miller in a heartbeat.

    1. If Letang is resigned.
    2. Luke Schenn can easily be included in the Miller deal and can play second pairing RHD.
    3. There are some good defenseman out there via free agency not named Manson,

  15. Colorado trades Rantanen to Winnipeg for PLD