NHL Rumor Mill – June 3, 2022

by | Jun 3, 2022 | Rumors | 23 comments

The Hurricanes hope to retain some key free agents, the possibility of some RFAs not receiving qualifying offers, plus updates on Jack Campbell and David Perron in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NHL.COM: Kurt Dusterberg reports Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell hopes to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent forwards Vincent Trocheck and Nino Niederreiter. Meanwhile, head coach Rod Brind’Amour hopes restricted free agent defenseman Tony DeAngelo also returns.

Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal indicated he’s not thinking about a contract extension this summer, preferring to play out the final season of his contract before determining his future. Waddell indicated they want Staal to play as long as he feels like doing so.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports DeAngelo would love to stay with the Hurricanes. He said he believes everyone in the organization knows that and believes they want him back, expressing appreciation for the trust they put in him following his troubled final season with the New York Rangers.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo (NHL Images).

DeAngelo, 26, has arbitration rights and is a year away from becoming eligible for unrestricted free agent status. Waddell indicated there’s interest in signing him to a multi-year contract.

Alexander’s colleague Luck DeCock believes the Hurricanes need an upgrade in pure scoring skill. He suggested parting ways with forward Martin Necas, who regressed during this season and bringing in a scoring winger to replace him via trade or free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waddell called signing Trocheck a priority. That increases the likelihood he won’t become available in this summer’s UFA market. It will depend on whether the two sides can reach an agreement before free agency begins on July 13.

Trocheck tends to be a streaky scorer but he would draw plenty of interest if he tests the market. Vancouver Hockey Now’s Rob Simpson daydreamed about Vancouver signing him but there’s no indication that’s the direction Canucks management intends to take.

DeAngelo made the most of his opportunity with the Hurricanes. While both sides are pleased with how this season turned out, arriving at a suitable deal could be a challenge.

Cap Friendly indicates the Hurricanes have $19.4 million in cap space with 14 players under contract next season. Parting ways with Necas won’t free up additional cap space as he’s a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract.

Trocheck earned an annual average value of $4.725 million while Niederreiter’s was $5.25 million. It could cost a combined $12 million to retain them. DeAngelo, meanwhile, could seek a return to the $4.8 million annually he was earning with the Rangers before agreeing to a one-year, $1 million contract with the Hurricanes for this season. Re-signing that trio won’t leave much room to add a scoring forward.


SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman suggested limited salary-cap space among NHL teams could lead to some of them not bothering to qualify the rights of some arbitration-eligible RFAs.

Some worth watching include Carolina’s Ethan Bear, Dallas’ Denis Gurianov, Pittsburgh’s Kasperi Kapanen, Chicago’s Dylan Strome and New Jersey’s Miles Wood and Pavel Zacha. He also noted there was speculation that Ondrej Kase could depart Toronto but believes talks are underway between the winger and the Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those players could bolster the depth of talent in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market. There’s no certainty, of course, that most or all of them will hit the open market. Still, it could be worthwhile as Friedman suggested to keep an eye on their respective contract negotiations.

Speaking of RFAs, Friedman believes the Leafs will qualify defenseman Rasmus Sandin’s rights. However, they have a logjam on the left side of their blueline. He pointed out that their cap situation doesn’t afford Sandin contract room.

Meanwhile, there haven’t been any contract talks between the Leafs and goaltender Jack Campbell for months and anything previously discussed is no longer relevant. His agent said there’s been no material contract conversation since the end of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Leafs will get something done with Campbell because there aren’t many suitable replacement options in this summer’s trade and UFA markets. The best free-agent options are Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper and Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury and there’s no certainty either guy can be wooed to Toronto.

As for Sandin, he’ll obviously be more affordable to sign than Campbell. Given the priority given to the latter, however, they could end up shopping Sandin if they can’t free up sufficient cap dollars to re-sign him. However, I think Leafs management will try to free up cap room by trying to move out veterans like Petr Mrazek and Wayne Simmonds, though peddling either guy won’t be easy.

Friedman believes the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators will be worth watching as they have their first-round picks in play for talent with a lot of team control.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, a player with more than a year remaining on their contract.

He also doesn’t expect St. Louis Blues winger David Perron will hit the open market on July 13.


  1. Scooby Dubas best hurry up and get Soupy signed.

    Leafs cant afford to let their All Star Vezina candidate walk.

    • Is there anyone better out there that he can afford to sign without cutting significantly elsewhere?

      • George,

        Doesnt matter who they sign to play behind that turnstile defence.

  2. I like Friedman, but to throw out such a simplistic statement as “first-round picks in play for talent with a lot of team control” is simply not an original thought. These GMs have to maximize their assets. What might have been useful reporting is who those targets might be and why that team might make them available for those picks. For the life of me, why would a GM trade away a known, cost certainty, valuable commodity for a chance at a prospect a year or two away from perhaps adding value.

  3. Lyle, above you say “the Hurricanes have $19.4 million invested in 14 players this season. ”

    Actually, they have $63,011,917 invested in 14 – the other amount is what they have left to sign 9

    Their 4 RFAs (Bear, Lorentz, Necas and DeAngelo) accounted cumulatively for $4,588,333 off the cap so if all are re-upped you’re looking at something north of $10 mil – especially when factoring in DeAngelo who, after being as high as $4.8 with the Rangers, only cost Carolina $1 mil off the cap this past season.

    That would leave them under $8 mil to sign 5 and wouldn’t be enough to re-sign the two UFAs they want to keep (Niedereiter – coming off $5,250,000 – and Trochek – coming off $4,750,000).

    Adding mud to the water is the news that Jake Gardiner has been cleared to resume his career and, with one more year to go at a cap hit of $4,050,000 before becoming a UFA, that would reduce what they have to spend on 8 players to $15,325.563.

    Clearly, they are going to have to move some big ticket items, and/or walk away from some of their RFAs if they wish to do all of the above

    • Gardiner + Necas + Skjei for Zadina, Walman
      Canes cut just under $9M
      Wings get a dependable LD
      Both Necas and Zadina get fresh starts.
      Wings can buy out or bury $1M of Jake’s pay

      • Skjei is at the low end of dependable. Necas doesn’t add any more than Zadina. Detroit passes. We want more than that to take Gardiner off of Carolinas hands.

    • What is Niederreiter’s worth? Big 2 way winger. 5.25 seems like high end of scale for him. But1-he will not resign for less and 2-on the open market he gets what?

      • ds, as you say, big guy (6’2″ 218lbs), skates well, only turns 30 in September and is durable (since his first full season in 2013, has missed only a handful of games over that stretch. Just had a season of 24g 20a 44 pts in 75gp and was a +29. On the open market he’ll get at least his expiring $5.25, probably on a 3-year deal. Carolina can’t afford that unless they make significant moves elsewhere – and in that scenario do they wind up robbing Peter to pay Paul?

      • @George
        And I believe his lack of playoff stats was due to him being on the shutdown line where overall that line did shine.

        Not sure Canes can fit a 24-30 goal UFA that will cost less either. But I think they would keep VinTro over Nino if comes to it.

  4. Darnell Nurse at 9.5 million for the next 8 seasons. That contract isnt going to age well.

    Brutal performance.

    • I do not get to watch Edmonton much but whenever they come to Jersey I love to see them. I was shocked at the signing. Nurse seems to be a decent, albeit not great Dman. Why would a team constantly in or near cap trouble do that. Just seemed dumb. OR, have my viewings been incorrect?

      • You got it redmonsters “a decent, albeit not great Dman” sums him up exactly. Certainly not worthy of being the 7th biggest cap hit among all NHL D.

        Offensively, over 477 career NHL games, again he’s “decent” – averaging 9g 24a 33 pts over 82 gp. He’s also a career +38. For that you pay in the $6.5 range.

        It would seem that the facts he was drafted 7th overall in 2013 and is big at 6’4″ 221 lbs has some convinced he HAS to be one of the Top 10 Dmen in the league. But here’s an assessment by one Oilers fan who goes to the heart of the matter when it comes to his on-ice decision-making. Either he gets rid of those tendencies or they have a budding albatross contract on their hands.


      • Here’s a list of the Top 20 cap hits for NHL D-men – it stands out right away who, among them, are nowhere near worthy of the cap hits while a few, in comparison, stand out as bargains

        Erik Karlsson SJ- $11.5
        Drew Doughty L.A. – $11
        Zach Werenski Clb – $9,583,333
        Seth Jones Chi – $9.5
        Charles McAvoy Bos – $9.5
        Adam Fox NYR – $9.5
        Darnell Nurse Edm – $9,250,000
        Roman Josi Nash – $9,059,000
        Dougie Hamilton NJ – $9
        Cale Makar Col – $9
        Alex Pietrangelo Veg – $8.8
        Miro Heiskanen Dal – $8,450,000
        Oliver Ekman-Larsson Van – $8,250,000
        Thomas Chabot Ott – $8
        John Carlson Wash $8
        Brett Burns SJ – $8
        Jacob Trouba NYR – $8
        Victor Hedman TB – $7,875,000
        Shea Weber Mtl – $7,857,143
        Quinn Hughes Van – $7,850,000

      • lol George

        looking at that list i would contend that none are earning there money except maybe Hedman.

        A few of the young ones may earn there pay shortly. Fox, Makar,Chabot, but none are worth the price tag. Once Dman started to make 9.5 average for young dman the cap is out the window. These teams will find it hard in a few years with these contracts.

      • can’t disagree mp – and here you have 2 teams coughing up significant %s of their caps on 2 D who, collectively, are not worth what it costs off the cap to keep them

        SJ with $19.5 mil and Vancouver with $16.1 mil

      • Fox is still on his elc. His cap hit of 9.5 doesn’t kick in until next year.

        The reigning Norris winner, and guy who is tied for 3rd in points in this years playoffs isn’t worth 9.5?

        I’d take Fox, Macavoy , Makar, Josi, over any d-man making 5-6-7 per all day long.

        Curious, how have these young guys not “earned it “ yet? No cup?

        If that’s the case, almost every player in the league is overpaid. Mcdavid , Draisaitl, Mathews, Tavares, Eichel haven’t won anything.

        Doughty has cups making 11 per, Karlsson, Butns?

        Yeah, I’ll take those 23-24 year old guys rather than anchors that are 30+ all day.

    • He’s been hurt, Ron. We’ll probably find out after the playoffs how serious the injury is. Not justifying his game, just saying wait and see.

    • Yeah Ron when that contract was signed it was a head scratcher.

      I guess they said because he plays top pairing mins he deserves to be paid top pairing money, however this guy isnt worth a dollar over 6mil.

      On any other team hes a 3-4 dman and they dont get paid 9.5mil.

    • D. Nurse may be a $5m defenceman for the Oilers but never, ever a $9m defenseman. Was that Ken Holland who signed him? If yes, what a splash to make! 31 other GM’s had to be laughing when they read the news on that one.

  5. Kappy QO is only $90K over league min…. Why not qualify him

    Thanks f hr and d not worth the extra $90 K (over a league min player) come fall…. Bury him in WBS

    He’s certainly not worth this year’s cap…. But $840 K…. Come on

    If Bear and Strime are not given QOs…. Pens should talk to their agents the minute UFA window opens

    • Pengy…

      Let Heinen, Kapanen, De Smith, Boyle and Malkin walk and you have $ 15.8 million to invest in younger, better,
      and tougher players.

      Trocheck Zadorov Rakell $17 million gets you these three plus cap goes up a million