NHL Rumor Mill – June 28, 2022

by | Jun 28, 2022 | Rumors | 33 comments

Check out the latest Oilers and Leafs speculation plus an update on Ethan Bear in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Mark Spector was asked which goaltender Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland might target in this summer’s free-agent market. He believes he’ll choose a cheaper, less proven goalie than an expensive free-agent question mark.

Spector said sources tell him Marc-Andre Fleury chooses not to play in Edmonton. He anticipates the Oilers’ free-agent targets will be St. Louis’ Ville Husso and Toronto’s Jack Campbell. He envisions a tandem of Campbell and Stuart Skinner.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie (NHL Images).

Asked which players could be cost-cutting trade candidates, Skinner listed Zack Kassian ($3.2 million), Warren Foegele ($2.75 million) and Tyson Barrie ($4.5 million). He also included restricted free agent Jesse Puljujarvi depending on his pay raise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers face considerable uncertainty between the pipes for next season. Mikko Koskinen is off to Switzerland while aging Mike Smith could be considering retirement. Even if Smith returns to complete the final season of his contract, they still need a more reliable starter.

Campbell and Husso have shown promise as starters but question marks hover over both. Campbell struggled over the second half of last season with the Maple Leafs, which was his first full campaign as a starter. Husso had a solid regular season with the Blues when Jordan Binnington struggled but gave way to Binnington in the playoffs.

Of those cost-cutting trade candidates, Barrie could attract the most attention. He’s a skilled puck-moving defenseman who could draw interest in the trade market. VancouverHockeyNow’s Rob Simpson believes he’d be a good addition to the Canucks.


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas still has to deal with restricted free agents Rasmus Sandin, Pierre Engvall and Ondrej Kase after re-signing Timothy Liljegren on Monday.

Koshan wonders how the Liljegren signing affects Justin Holl’s future with the Leafs. While he carries an affordable $2 million cap hit for next season, re-signing Sandin is a priority. He also anticipates trade-deadline pickup Ilya Lyubushkin will hit the open market on July 13.

With less than $7 million in cap space, Dubas must figure out his goaltending. He also needs to bolster his defense and forward lines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen what Dubas has in store to find the cap space to address those needs. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if Holl gets traded (despite his 10-team no-trade list) in a cost-cutting deal to free up space for Sandin’s new contract.


CANUCKS ARMY: Lachlan Irvine cites CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reporting the Vancouver Canucks have had early discussions with Ethan Bear. The restricted free agent defenseman was given permission by the Carolina Hurricanes to speak with other clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dhaliwal said it’s too early to tell how far those talks go between the Canucks and Bear. He could fit their need for younger, affordable talent, especially on their blueline.


  1. I don’t see Foegele going anywhere this season. The development of Bouchard has made Barrie expendable. I have heard that Kassian may be bought out this offseason, which would free up $2.5 million. Puljujarvi was on Mark Spector’s trash list the majority of last season. It’s no surprise to see his name on Spector’s list with no mention of Yamamoto.
    One thing that will help the Oilers and their cap will be Holloway and Broberg who should make the Oilers roster on their ELCs.

    • Depends who they sign for a tender and how much they spend I suppose KevJam.

      I think Broberg will be penciled in, it’s time for him to get NHL reps and has outgrown Bakersfield.
      Holloway gets a look, but might not be ready? That wrist surgery cost him more than half the year. Mid season for sure, but needs to play lots of minutes IMO. If he does, I think it makes Foegele expendable, and you play him with Macleod on 3rd line?

      Easier to trade Foegele than Kassian I think, not sure either will be easy to move.

      We should know what Smith plans to do pretty soon here, that makes a difference in the cap as well.

      • Foegele was part of the improved bottom 6 forward group from the season previous. If you trade Foegele who are you going to replace him with that is better?
        I’m thinking McLeod between Foegele and Holloway with Ryan on the 4th line.

      • 🍁Edmonton Oilers players could be cost-cutting trade candidates, in this order

        1) Zack Kassian ($3.2 million),
        could be traded with Jesse Puljujarvi to a team thats in a re build or a contender with cap space like the Carolina or Arizona or CBJ….

        2) Tyson Barrie ($4.5 million).
        with Bouchard taking his spot on the PP he has become expandable
        A Trade with NYI, or Seattle for a big tough RD man like local boy Sucey or The Habs for RW Anderson …

        3) Jesse Puljujarvi
        depending on his pay raise. i still think he is getting moved we need to shake up the RW in the top Six and he needs a fresh start, he will get scooped up CBJ, Cans, to reunite with his jr line mates

        4)Warren Foegele ($2.75 million)
        i dont think we move him he was getting better with young McLeod between Foegele and Holloway could be a very nice 3rd line for next season

        5) Re; Mike Smith I Wish would just retire he is done❗️

        6) Re; Duncan keith he will be back next year he is not giving up $5.5 M

        7) Re; Broberg
        He looking like he needs 3-6 more months in Bakersfield and then put him with Duncan Keith for training

        8) Dylan Hollaway
        He is ready for the NHL, 6.ft1 & 210lb he will work well on the 3rd line with McLeod and Foegele

        if they can move the 1,2,3, they will have just under $9.M plus there 7.3 M in cap space and mike smiths $2.2M so just over $18M

        Top Priority’s
        1) Goaltender in Husso or Cambell $4.5 to $5.5M❓

        2) Re Sign Kane if they can work out a team frendly deal $4.5-$5.M, they may have to go 4 year contract to get him

        3) A Physical RW, maybe its a swap with the habs for Anderson for Jesse Puljujarvi and
        A Zack Kassian…❓
        or a one for one with Tyson Barrie as they are intrested in him…

    • Curious about Broberg. I remember thinking he was a great pick for the Oil when he was drafted.

      • What I am curious about is your curtains?
        Perhaps not the venue for that story!

        Broberg is coming along and getting seasoned. Kind of matches his scouting report: Elite skater, 6′ 3″, has offence in his game, but not an elite offensive D man.

        I think the plan is he can become an top end defender with his size and skating, and chips in offence better than most. Kind of like Nurse, not quite as big or physical, but an even better skater, and Nurse can move.

        When you see him live, his skating is obvious. Hopefully the brain keeps up with his feet as he gets reps.

  2. Leafs most pressing need is goaltending. Nuff said.

  3. Leafs most pressing need is goaltending! Nuff said!

    • So, why did you say it twice? 🙂 Couldn’t resists – and just kidding Steven. Most of us have had double posts – Pengy’s famous for it!

      • Funny George! I was thinking my first one didn’t post lol

      • I live for deja vu

      • Not a great list George.

  4. The Scooby Dubas School of Cap Management.

    • Great concept Ron!

  5. Holl has a no trade? No wonder the leafs are a tire fire.

    • Well, Hammer, it is a modified one of 10 teams. There’s likely a team out there not on his list of “no-go” that might have room for a big, veteran (he has played over 200 NHL games) stay-at-home type D (who has been a solid + D for the Leafs the past 3 seasons, who can be part of their 5/6 pairing and can move up when needed for short terms for one season (he’s a UFA after next season).

      The problem is, his cap hit is a quite modest $2 mil and that alone won’t be sufficient couple with what they have left in the kitty to re-up their other RFAs AND re-sign UFA Campbell (or any other comparable goalie).

      He’s just one small part of the solution after which they would then need to find someone to take his place on the roster and play just as well for the same amount – or less.

  6. Leaf’s most pressing need is Cap Space

    • Richard, the Bolts grit and drive compel me to tip my hat to them. Impressive will to win by the core, even as they were clearly running on fumes.

      Much of the team will remain intact as you know, but I wonder if they will continue to play their style of hockey given the speed gap between them, the Avs, and the inevitable copy cat approach other teams use when a new team wins the Cup.


      • https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/lightning-reveal-long-list-of-injuries-players-dealt-with-in-playoffs/sn-amp/

        Running on fumes or just decimated by injuries?

        Some are going to say “injuries are an excuse”

        But having this kind of laundry list of injuries is going to make ANY team look like they’re on fumes.

        Kucherov, Cirelli, Pointe, Mcdonagh, Perry, Hagel, Paul, Bellemare?

        And no mention yet that I’ve seen, but something was clearly wrong with Hedman.

        I don’t see many teams getting to game 6 of the SCF’s with this many important injuries.

        What a gutsy group!

      • CO, the oxycontin was making the rounds in the Avs dressing room as well.

        My question was about whether the Bolts will alter their style of play and be more geared towards speed. But Richard doesn’t want to play today, it seems.

      • Having players banged up is one thing. Having 3-4 top 6 forwards out or playing with pretty severe injuries is another. 7 forwards and definitely one top 4 dman (more than likely 2) is just crazy.

        If you have that kinda depth to call up and easily replace players, you probably wouldn’t ever have to spend much more than league minimum on any player.

        Nobody is overcoming those type of injuries. Nobody.

        Hey, it injuries happen. Usually not to this extent but they happen.

        Not taking away from Colorado. Giving series props to this organization for getting that far.

    • It’s the sky is falling season, folks. Get your tickets now. Summer time special.

  7. No way the Canucks are in on Barrie. He’s terrible in his own end, his cap hit doesn’t fit, and they already have Hughes as their Powerplay QB,

    • 100% agree. The Canucks’ primary need is a top-four defensively reliable RD. That’s not Barrie.

  8. EDM :
    Kassian + Mike Smith

    OTT :
    Matt Murray (-50% $)

    Make it happen Dorion…

    • I think Murray to St louis makes more sense, Ottawa retains 2,5 and gets Scandella while Murray is 1B to Binnington

    • Kassian + Pulvi for Schmidt ($1M retained)

    • No way Dorion makes that deal Banger.

      If he wanted a 40 year old goalie he’d offer Craig Anderson a deal – a fitness freak whose joints don’t creak audibly.

      And where the heck would they play Kassian? They’re looking for a younger RW with term who can score. They have better goal-scorers than Kassian in their system now who aren’t even considered as a 2nd line RW.

  9. Oil right now sitting with 8/6/1(F/D/G) plus Klefbom signed for 22/23

    If Klefbom remains LTIR…. Only $11.3 M to sign 6/1/1(F/D/G)

    If Keith retires (fairly likely) even w/o the bonus Cap hit (Chi) ; Smith retires (pending decision) and Kassian bought out…. That’s closing in on $20 M to sign 7/2/2 ….that’s pretty fair flexibility

    RFAs: McLeod, JP, Yammo
    UFAs they “should” re-up: Kane, Kulak, Arch

    I still say from that point:

    1. Flip Yammo and Ryan for Soucy
    2. Bring up Holliday and Skinner
    3. Re-up McLeod, JP, Arch
    4. Sign 2 depth UFA Fwds (or promote from Bakersfield)

    That leaves just shy of $10 M to sign Kane and a Starter

    Need more????…..

    Move Barrie, sign PK… that nets a minimum of another $3M in Cap space

    Of course loads of moving parts…. But there is a viable path…. Keith retirement a must…. Secretly Offer him a consulting position if he agrees to retire

    He’s out only $815 K take-home(per Gavin Group) if retires (note: gruelling 82 games plus playoffs, finishing next season [if he doesn’t retire] just shy of his 40th B-day!!; and playing at 39…. Any injury could last past the season and affect his “retirement years”)

    • Hey Pengy, reports in these parts is Keith enjoyed his season last year. Had his son at the rink with him often which is why he wanted to be out west.
      He had a solid year on the ice as well. He just costs a bit much on the cap for his age and play.

      But to your point about not much actual $ owed to him, and idea floating around is the Oil trade him to ARI and they buy him out. He then signs back in EDM for less. Cap Friendly has him owed $1.5M, buyout cost $1M in actual dollars.


      What that would cost the Oil as far as an asset goes, likely not too much.

      • Now you got me thinking Ray

        If Avs willing to do a deal like that…. Why not talk to Pens

        Sid to Yotes; buyout; re-sign with Pens

        Yotes cash outlay is $1M per * 6, but get Cap Hits of:

        $6.7 M

        $6.7 M

        $6.7 M




        Sid is only due $9 M cash (3 @ $3M)….

        HexBurkie sign him at:

        22/23 $8,787,000 SB; Sal $1,878,787

        23/24…. Sal $1,878,787

        24/25…. Sal $1,878,787

        Sid gains over $5.4 M gross; Pens Cap hit for Sid drops from $8.7 M * 3 to

        $4,807,787 per (Cap savings of almost $3.9 M per)

        Win win win

        Happening???…. Highly doubt it…. But it would be great!!!

    • Hi Ray

      Hadn’t heard the Yotes deal before

      If that is true and he wants to play…. Trade to Yotes; buyout; then he signs back with Oil at League min…. He actually gains $250 K gross so about $140 K net; Oil save $4.75 M Cap ; 750 K Cash to get same player

      Yotes …. Who absolutely would benefit from every Cap hit that is greater than cash outlay (cheapest way to cap floor) ; would get a massive boon….

      Cash outlay 22/23…$500 K… to earn $4.5 M Cap hit

      23/24…. Cap hit and cash are same at $500 K

      Huge benefit to Yotes…. They should be ponying up something to Oil to get it done

      Yotes loaded with picks (7 in first 45 this year)

      Oil don’t have any 2nd, 3rd or 4th round picks

      Fair deal….

      Keith and Oil’s 5th rounder (in ‘23)for

      Yotes latest ‘22 2nd rounder (45th overall)

      The $4.75 M Cap savings would go a long way towards Kane

      Again; above is only IF he doesn’t retire…. Retiring obviously benefits Oil more