NHL Rumor Mill – June 6, 2022

by | Jun 6, 2022 | Rumors | 53 comments

More speculation about Jack Campbell’s future with the Leafs plus the latest on the Bruins in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Chris Johnston recently expressed his uncertainty over whether Jack Campbell will return with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 30-year-old goaltender is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (NHL Images).

The Leafs know what the Campbell camp seeks on his next contract since negotiations first started last fall. He apparently wants $5 million per season but the Leafs haven’t been able to meet that. A three-year deal could get it done. However, the Leafs could be in the market for two goaltenders if Campbell goes to market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A couple of days following Johnston’s report on May 31, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported hearing there hadn’t been any contract conversations for months between the two sides and anything that had been discussed was no longer relevant. Campbell’s agent told Friedman there hadn’t been any material contract conversations since the end of the regular season.

On the one hand, there are those who point out that Campbell still hasn’t proven he can handle the full-time rigors of a starting goaltender. They often cite the drop-off in his play after the first two months of this season and his inconsistency after returning from a rib injury.

However, there aren’t many decent options available via free agency or the trade market. The best potential UFA is Marc-Andre Fleury but there’s no certainty the 37-year-old netminder would be willing to play for the Leafs. His age would also be a concern.

Pickings are also slim in the trade market. There have been some suggestions of the New York Islanders peddling Semyon Varlamov but he carries a $5 million cap hit and a 16-team no-trade list. John Gibson might be available if he doesn’t want to be part of the Anaheim Ducks’ rebuilding project but his annual average value is $6.4 million through 2026-27 and a 10-team no-trade list.

If the Leafs can’t afford $5 million for Campbell, they probably can’t afford it for Varlamov or over $6 million for Gibson. If they’re unwilling to pay Campbell that much, there are no assurances Varlamov or Gibson would accept a trade to Toronto.

Don’t assume the Isles or Ducks would retain salary. The Islanders have cap space issues of their own this summer while the Ducks probably wouldn’t want to carry a retained salary for the next five seasons.


THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes the Boston Bruins should still try to trade a defenseman this offseason despite Charlie McAvoy’s six-month post-shoulder surgery absence.

Shinzawa speculates a rival general manager could approach Bruins GM Don Sweeney about Matt Grzelcyk or Mike Reilly. If Sweeney can move either blueliner for futures, it would provide the Bruins with much-needed cap space as well as draft picks.

Those freed-up cap dollars could help them convince Patrice Bergeron and/or David Krejci to return next season. If not, perhaps it could be used to pursue a trade for a center such as Mark Scheifele if he and the Winnipeg Jets decide to part ways.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Grzelcyk is also recovering from shoulder surgery and it could take five months until he returns to action. Reilly recently went under the knife to repair a right-ankle tendon but his recovery timeline is three months.

I won’t rule out the possibility of either or both blueliners getting traded this summer. However, the odds of moving them would be better if they were healthy.


  1. Lyle
    I agree with you that it has become much harder for bruins to move Reilly or Griz because of their injuries it will cost them in what they would receive in return as well. Sweeney will have his hands full getting cap relief and some new blood

    • Gryz isn’t going anywhere. His BFF is Sweeney’s son.

      • Not to mention 73 college pal

      • Wonderful

      • On a positive note, Cassidy has been relieved of his duties.
        I now fully expect Bergy and DK46 to return to the fold.

  2. Campbell should test the market. Like Kyle said, not much out there this year, and with Campbell being 30 years old and the fact that he has been kinda screwed around at the NHL level (mostly his younger years by the Stars), this could be his only “real” chance to sign a good contract. He needs to take advantage of the situation.

    • Sorry Lyle, obviously, not KYLE, (stupid auto-correct)

      • Lyle, I’m surprised you didn’t take the opportunity to respond “no worries Habsfan” for a morning chuckle 🙂

    • In Boston it sounds likethe inmates are running the assylum.Butch will have a nice gig waiting in Vegas!

  3. I don’t understand the speculation on Campbell, in this market he should easily get $5M/3 years. Why would you give a hometown discount to the richest team? His agent should be fired if he does not get that from someone.
    Reilly or Griz, when healthy how good are they? Second pairing good?

    • redmonsters, I agree. The old adage “numbers don’t lie” is never more applicable than when you dissect what’s facing Dubas in solving the team’s pending goaltending situation. As matters now stand he has $74,443,116 committed to these 17 players: 10Fs (Matthews, Tavares, Marner, Nylander, Kerfoot, Kampf, Bunting, Simmonds, Abruzzese, Clifford) – 5D (Rielly, Muzzin, Brodie, Holl, Giordano) 2G – Mrazek & Kallgren

      Without moving one ore more of the above, he has $7,544,354 to sign 7.

      Virtually all of that will disappear with the re-upping of his 4 RFAs: Engvall 15g 20a 35 pts in 78 gp coming off a $1,250,000 cap hit; Kase – 14g 13a 27 pts in 50gp also coming off a $1,250,000 cap hit; Liljegren – 5g 18a 23 pts and a +15 coming off a cap hit of $863,333; and Sandin – 5g 11a 16 pts in 51gp and a +9 coming off a cap hit of $864,167. Collectively, that’s an expiring cap total of $4,357,500. So, it’s fairly obvious their new collective total will be at – and maybe even slightly higher – than what Dubas has left in the kitty. And he still has 3 roster spots to fill

      And we haven’t even considered his 4 UFAs which include Campbell of course: 29 y/o RW Colin Blackwell $725,000) – 10g 10a 20 pts in 58 gp with Seattle & Toronto; 27 y/o F Ilya Mikheyev ($1,645,000) – 21g 11a 32 pts in 53gp, 28 y/o RD Ilya Lyubushkin ($1,350,000) – 2g 13a 15 pts in 77 gp with Arizona & Toronto; G Jack Campbell ($1,650,000) – 2.64gaa 0.904 save %.

      Bottom line – he can’t re-up Campbell unless a big-ticket player is dealt. Even dealing Kerfoot ($3.5 mil) and Holl ($2 mil) – both with 1 year to go before reaching UFA status – wouldn’t be enough. And, when and if any trades are made, there can’t be big salary coming back.

      As Yul Brynner said often in The King And I “it’s a puzzlement” and might well be THE single most interesting thing to see unwinding in the off-season.

      • Thanks George for the informative feedback. I have to believe Dubas has to be all in this year – another failure and he should be gone. That said, Dubas is in a mind frame of “damn the future”, some teams could get some useful futures for “helping out” Dubas.

      • Trading Willy and Mrazek for Gibson (retain $.5M) would certainly help. Some say that Trono i on Gibby’s no-trade list.

      • That’s assuming Anaheim wants any part of Mrazek. Which I seriously doubt. 30 years old with 2 years to go at a cap hit $3.8 mil per and, with a better team in front of him than would be the case in Anaheim – but still sporting a mediocre 3.34gaa and save % of 0.888.

        Anaheim needs offense, yes, and Nylander would certainly help in that regard. But improving your offense while severely depleting your defense is hardly the way to go.

        And with the way the Leafs go through goalies, I could see why Gibson has them on his no-go list – if true.

      • Oh, come on George! Cap space, smape space. The Leafs’ continued failure, as their brain trust declared after another playoff loss, means nothing. It’s just a scratch:


      • LOL. Love that Monty Python film. And “cap space smape space” is right up there with “draft schmaft”

        And before anyone interjects with “they’ll just walk away from all or some of those RFAs and use the money saved to add to the kitty and trade Kerfoot and Holl, thereby adding their cap hits to the total – and then re-sign Campbell” – they’d still need to find someone good enough to assume the roster spot(s) of those allowed to walk or dealt – and their prospect pool isn’t exactly brimming with top-notch candidates.

        Unless I’m overlooking something glaringly obvious, I Just don’t see how they can fill out the roster to the full 23 without dealing one of the core players. Mind you, Dubas could still pull a TB and latch onto one of those LTIR monster cap hits and go through that method.

        Like I say, it’s going to be fascinating to watch and see how he goes about it.

      • Hey LJ, sorry buddy but I hate to point out the fact of how much worse your team, the Habs are cap wise, especially if you want to compare them to the Leafs.

        If you want to comment about a team you clearly know very little about other than what you pick up in echo chambers, use facts like George does…even though he sometimes omits things (I think sometimes on purpose and others as an honest omission). If you care to research, you’ll find that there are about 10 teams in cap hell, about 10 that are where the Leafs are, and about or less than 10 that have space but that’s all.

        You know, it only takes a minute to look something up and make an informed comment and absolutely no time and effort at all to leave a misinformed lazy one.

      • Ron: I am well aware that the Habs have significant cap issues, including the LTIR issues with Weber and Price.

        The big difference is that it is not the Habs who continue to insist, year after year, playoff loss after playoff loss, that the master plan is solid, viable, and just needs tinkering by adding aging and unproductive veterans.

        No other team, in the face of repeated failure, takes the position the Leafs do.

        Which is entirely my point, and in support of the commentary that George started with by aptly pointing out the lunacy of the Leaf brain trust.

        There is nothing lazy or misinformed about it, and denial and defensiveness on your part doesn’t change things.

      • Not sure, George, that the RFAs will all be re-signed. Pretty sure that Mikheyev will hit the open market.
        I think Campbell will be a priority but he may be gone as well.
        Interesting summer ahead for the Leafs.

      • The RFAs may not all be re-signed, BCLeafFan – but they have to find – and pay – suitable replacements for those they don’t – including their production – and they have nothing of that ilk in their system. As for Mikheyev, he’s a UFA and again, if they don’t re-sign him who do they get to replace him that can score 21g at a cheaper price?

        As you say, interesting summer indeed.

      • LJ what do you mean by this:

        “ The big difference is that it is not the Habs who continue to insist, year after year, playoff loss after playoff loss, that the master plan is solid, viable, and just needs tinkering by adding aging and unproductive veterans.

        No other team, in the face of repeated failure, takes the position the Leafs do.

        Which is entirely my point,”

        Ok a few things…your team is picking first overall this year? My team was among the top teams and the two time cup champs who needed 7 games to eliminate them whereas they swept the top seed team the panthers in four. So my point is the Habs don’t insist on that because they can’t. My team your a lot closer, period. I think until the team wins a cup they have work to be done and shouldn’t be content with the status quo. You should be good and continue looking to improve.

        The whole repeated failure thing is something that is a bit of a blown expectations thing for some? I think fans often feel they know more (raising their expectations) than the people whose job it is… really makes me laugh especially when you consider how much more they know about any given situation than any fan could ever know about.
        You know?

      • I agree Ron, pro hockey people know more than us – all of us ;-). I’ve said that many times here over the past several years.

        The purpose of this site is to exchange opinions. I am happy to hear what you think the Leafs should do and not do ….

        But a few things are undeniable: The purpose of a pro sports team is to win the championship. And, if you keep trying the same approach and failing, you should change your approach.

  4. Toronto has already traded away the Bobby Orr of the KHL. And now they’re going to let this year’s Vezina winner just walk away?

    In all seriousness, how is Toronto supposed to find any stability with a musical chairs goalie situation?

    It may be time to consider that the problem isn’t in the goaltender. It may be having about 1/2 the cap locked up on 4 forwards and lack of defense?

    If they do turn in a different direction in the net, who is taking the blame of the 3rd consecutive goaltender in 3 years that “didn’t work”?

    • Disagree re defence, CO. One of the Leafs strengths now imo.
      Let’s say they trade Nylander. How do they upgrade their goaltending? Sign Campbell to a long term contract? Trade – for whom? Free agents?
      Hope there’s an answer because I think Jack Campbell is gone.

      • I don’t think they can upgrade. I’m making the case to re-sign Campbell.

        But, there is an underlying issue somewhere with Toronto. Bottom 6, defense. Something that is only going to get cured by either trading a big contract or hoping the cap jumps significantly the year after next.

        This 1 million jump isn’t going to help.

  5. No money left in the till for the Leafs to resign their All Star Vezina candidate goalie.

    Still need to find another 40 year old slow broken down has been league minimum stiff to replace sure fire Hall of Famer Jason Spezza on the 4th line.

    Welcome to the Scooby Dubas School of Cap Management.

  6. 2nd overall pick to Ana for 22nd overall pick and Gibson

    • Hard no. Gibson is aging, declining stats, league average S% last 3 years, and $6.4 million for next 5 years. He is good albeit aging goalie, so no way do Devs trade 2OA to move down to 22. My opinion anyway.

      • They get their goalie who could rebound on a better defensive team. Still get a 1st round pick. Number two overall this year isn’t a sure fire star.

        I thought it was a reasonable trade as I think nj fans wouldn’t like it but neither would ducks fans.

  7. 🍁
    Jack Campbell Should test the UFA Market,
    The Toronto Maple Leafs Need to Trade one of there big 3…. $11.M players…❓
    if not its going to be the same old same old yet again Next season,They need Depth as we all know

    It has not worked over the past 5-6 playoff Runs with 1st round exits, 2022 was there best showing in 6 years

    The 30-year-old Cambell will be a unrestricted free agent on July 13…. He will have Lots of Team’s willing to pay him $5.M, So the leafs beter get it sorted out soon, $5M is not crazy for a starter ⁉️
    $33.M is for 3 players on a cash straped team

    in Canada alone,
    The Habs, Sen, Oilers All need starters in net,

    in the US,
    NJD, Wings,Buffalo, Arizona,Chicago, San Jose,
    all need starters in net
    untill they trade salary they will go no where

    We will all be chatting about this next year after the leafs Clean House with there Upper Managment😂

    • As far as Detroit goes, I am not at all sure that Campbell is an upgrade over Ned. Campbell is so hot and cold – just as Ned is. Does anyone here think that Campbell’s stats would be any better than Ned’s if he had played the entire season behind the Wing’s D in 2021/2022 ?

      • Detroit would do better getting a stop-gap goalie such as Martin Jones, Casey DeSmith, or Holtby at 2 x $2M til their prospects are ready. Even Hellberg on a 1 yr trial would be OK. Maybe they can sign Hellburg on a 2-way deal to add depth.

    • Willie W, while you are right that the Senators probably need a reliable starter, adding Campbell, thanks to the Matt Murray situation, is not an option unfortunately.

      The recently re-signed Anton Forsberg is excellent – in his role – which is that of a back-up. Prolonged use exposes some flaws that are not that prevalent when used sparingly. Gustavsson has struggled at both the NHL and AHL levels, while the giant Sogaard is still at least a season or two away from becoming a regular.

      Screwing up the works is Murray’s cap hit of $6,250,000 with 2 years to go. He’s constantly going on the IR – always for a different reason – and never long enough to reap any benefits from going on LTIR. He is, therefore, untradeable.

      Buying him out is also a problem since, being over 26 yo, said buyout would be 2/3 of his remaining salary so, with $15 million still owed the buyout would be $10 million. – and this would go against the cap, further aggravated by the fact it would be spread out over twice the remaining contract length – or $2.5 mil per for 4 years – while paying his replacement in the $5 mil range.

      Yes, according to CapFriendly they still have a large chunk of cap space, but with 7 RFAs to re-up this summer, including Norris, Formenton, Joseph, Gaudette, Gambrell, Brannstrom and Mete and, next year, Pinto and Stutzle, along with UFAs Connor Brown, Artyem Zub and Nick Holden, that reserve will be whittled down fast.

      And I’m not even considering the possibility of a Giroux joining the team as a UFA, or another RW from a cash-strapped team using this year’s 7th overall pick as compensation (as is being considered).

      No, I think in the circumstances they have no option but to approach training camp with the thought (hope?) that Murray is ready to go – and stays reasonable healthy – for at least one full season.

      So, you see, the Leafs aren’t the only team out there with a goalie quandary.

      • Rutherford seems to love ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ every former or current Penguin player, especially those in decline or struggling. Maybe he’ll put his love for his job aside over his love for Murray?

        Murray to Vancouver for JT Miller and Demko? Vancouver will probably have to add a 1st for the “love factor”. Which you can never short sell nor prove.

        Plus Murray has 2 cups to his name / pedigree. So that alone makes this trade proposal tilted in favor of Vancouver!

      • Heh. We can only hope CaptainObvious. But I ain’t holding my breath!

  8. So here’s my assessment:

    1- Mrazek can’t stop a beach ball. He should be shopped for a salary dump for anyone willing to relieve Toronto of that 3.8 million ridiculous cap hit. Barring that, they might have to add a sweetener.

    2- Campbell need to be signed before he hits the market. He’s 30 but goalies have a longer expiration date so offering him term for a lower cap hit can get it done.

    3- Any viable options in the UFA or trade markets will come in more expensive than what they will have to pay Campbell and there’s no guarantee they’ll perform better. In short, stick with the devil you know.

    4- Need cap space? Unload some dead weight if you can: Mrazek, Holl, Kerfoot (although he has some return via trade value), Simmonds….that’s 10.2 million to shave off right there. And each of these players are replaceable with minimum salary players. None of these players will help you in regular season or playoffs.

    5- Consider selling off some players who are slated for raises if you feel they are replaceable with cheaper options that will give you the same production and value: Liljegren, Sandin, Engvall, Kase.

    6- Strip Tavares of the captaincy at minimum. If he won’t waive his NMC then put him on left wing as he is no longer useful as s center other than face offs. My Aunt Sally can skate faster than him after a gin and tonic.

    7- Do not trade Nylander. Put him on pK to be a threat for shorties and teach him to play defense.

    8- Sign Mikheyev unless he prices himself out of Toronto.

    9- Sign Lyabushkin. He’s s younger and meaner version of Muzzin for one third the cost.

    I can’t think of a 10th at the moment. But let me just conclude by saying that they are gouging us at the pumps.

    • Heh, Frank. Hard to tell if you’re being facetious or serious. If the latter, exactly how do you see Dubas parting ways with, and finding cheaper alternatives – either through trade or the UFA heap – that would match

      Engvall. Kase, Kerfoot and Mikheyev – 55g 109a 164 pts
      Liljegren, Sandin, Holl – 13g 49a 62 pts and combined +38?

      • Hey George we go through this every year since Marner was signed or Tavares was….either way, forever.

        So every year they pull it off such as this past season…bumping against the cap while recording one of their best seasons team and players. So that’s a good sign. Should I expect the same? No. I would like to but luck is random and they lucked out even when they missed…(see Ritchie trade to the Yotes) I do see where they can make changes and maybe not be too bad after.
        I do suspect some of the AHLers will get a fair shake this year and expect some to be traded for assets. The goalie situation isn’t terrible because I think most would agree that they would rather have Mrázek over say, Murray. Also they signed up that NCAA goalie who was pretty pretty good so i wonder if there was signing condition meant some NHL games. They also have some quality cost controlled young and older players that have value and explore trading such as Kerfoot who’s a good player but Toronto has players that bring a similar game and is really more a luxury than need. The team has a few like clones such as Mikheyev, Kaše, and Engvall all play the similar game they need to keep only one. I know your thinking if we cut away here and there, who’s gonna fill the holes? This year thankfully there will be a lot of RFAs that won’t be qualified thus becoming a ufa. We are talking lower range cap hits with likely short terms too. Some won’t be but I’m sure they have an eye on a few and remember, we are shopping for guys you shouldn’t expect more than 15 goals if that. You’re looking for guys to round out your team, not be a savior.

        As in years past, I don’t think the cap is as much as an issue as we think it is and like I’ve mentioned before, Toronto is more in a cap crunch than hell…They are still a great team that’s lacking something in the form of a player or two and a lack of experience which by now they should know all they need to on losing.

    • And the problem, of course, is point #4. All the other GM’s know that those players under contract that you wish to dump can be replaced with minimum contract players, and won’t be missed in the regular season or the playoffs. Getting rid of them and their salaries will be really tough.

  9. Campbell’s agent …Overhardt …no deal Lucile . At least that has been his M.O and track record with Hall O’Reilly among others.

    I like Forsberg a lot. Good save percentage held the fort almost the entire second half. Team plays for him Should be the starter. At least until Murray gets a hangnail

  10. Sandin and Liljegren are worth min salaries at best at this point in their careers. Useful as cheap options until they expect their salaries doubled. You can find experienced UFAs to be 6th, 7th or 8th defensemen.

    Kerfoot is versatile but at 3.5 has more value as a salary dump and some trade value that could help keep Mikheyev if the latter’s ask is reasonable.

    Holl can be replaced and is not worth 2 million.

    Kase is fiesty but can’t stay healthy so unless he’s coming back on the cheap they’ll cut him loose.

    Simmonds can be replaced by Knies or Douglas from the minors.

    So overall there is sense to eliminating one of the high priced players but the only one I think should be out is Tavares. He can no longer make players on his line better. You don’t pay a player 11 million so that other players making a fraction of what he makes are responsible to make him better.

    • I’m not trolling, but has Tavares ever make players around him better?

      His entire NY islander career consisted of “if they can just find Tavares a winger that could help”?

      He had success with a couple of players . Okposo and a guy who’s name escapes me at the moment. A player they traded away, drawing a blank here. But anyway, it was always the copied and pasted comment about Tavares needing a winger.

      • @Willie W

        I think they will move on from Holl and Muzzin instead of moving one of their high end forwards. There is $7.625M in salary.
        Luybushkin can be re-signed for about $1.75-2M and Sandin and Liljegren will get a bridge at $1.25-1.5M each.

        There will be UFA defencemen available that can provide what Muzzin does for a fraction of the cost.

        A team may pay Campbell $5M a season the question is…how much of a difference is Campbell skill wise to a goalie like Scott Wedgewood or Eric Comrie? Those two goalies are also career back-ups looking for a shot at a starters job.

      • Tavares and Franz Nielsson played well together. But I am of the opinion that signing Tavares was a huge mistake, and solved a problem that Toronto didn’t have, and has hindered them from solving the problems they do have.

      • Matt Moulson or something like that, I think.

  11. Leafs should trade Marner to Detroit for Moritz Seider not sure Detroit does that but need to move big contract for stud young guy.

    • Well, bottom line … we’ll find out soon enough once the cup is awarded and when the dust settles prior to training camp chances are all or most of us will be saying something along the lines of “huh … never thought of that …” or “damn … didn’t think he could accomplish that”

    • Nope….Detroit doesn’t do that trade.

  12. Campbell will be a Devil, take that to the bank

    • Have you been talking to Dubya? If so, his bank is empty. Drained with Eichel.

  13. Scooby Dooby Dubas….


  14. Bruce Cassidy fired? That is ridiculous. He’s a very good coach. Much respect Bruce. He’ll be a great asset on any team.