Sunday NHL Rumor Mill – June 5, 2022

by | Jun 5, 2022 | Rumors | 18 comments

The Blackhawks could test this summer’s trade market, what a Kevin Fiala-to-Islanders trade might look like, and some Canadiens’ speculation in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Chicago Blackhawks could be a team to watch over the next few weeks in the trade market.

Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Seth Jones are off the table given their no-move clauses. However, management is testing the market for anyone on their roster that other teams are willing to ask about.

Friedman said another general manager compared this to when they moved Brandon Hagel before the trade deadline. “Can you make them an offer that makes them want to seriously think about it?”

Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That report could make Blackhawks fans nervous about Alex DeBrincat’s future in Chicago. He’s a year away from becoming a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, carries a $6.4 million cap hit and lacks no-trade protection. The 24-year-old winger also set a career-high in points this season with 78 and matched his career-high of 41 goals.

Of everyone on the Blackhawks roster who could be available, DeBrincat is the guy who’ll garner the most interest and fetch the best return. However, the rebuilding Hawks won’t just give him away. The asking price will consist of at least a first-round pick and either a top prospect or a good young (and affordable) NHL player.

Any club acquiring him should ensure they have the cap space to sign him to a big raise after this season. Another 40-goal performance will push his value up into the $9 million per season range.


THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently mused over what it might cost the New York Islanders to make a pitch for Kevin Fiala. The Minnesota Wild winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights coming off a one-year, $5.1 million contract. The Wild could have difficulty signing him because of their limited salary-cap space for next season.

Kurz believes any potential trade for Fiala would have to start with the Isles’ first-round pick in either this year’s draft or next year’s. He also believes they’d have to throw in a young player or prospect. He rules out Anthony Beauvillier because of his $4.15 million cap hit but suggested Oliver Wahlstrom as an alternative. If the Islanders don’t want to part with their first-round pick, perhaps a prospect such as Aatu Raty might push the deal over the finish line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind that Kurz is merely speculating here. There’s no indication the Islanders are interested in Fiala, especially with the secretive Lou Lamoriello as their general manager. Nevertheless, this provides at least some idea of what it might take to acquire him. The Wild can’t afford to take back much salary in a Fiala deal.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently reported Joel Armia’s performance for Finland in the World Championships has generated some trade buzz about the Canadiens winger.

Armia was said to be a popular name in the market leading up to the March trade deadline. He has three years remaining on his contract with a $3.4 million cap hit, which could mean the Canadiens take back a smaller contract in order to get a draft pick in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes made no secret of his intention to free up some salary-cap space this summer by shopping a veteran or two. Armia could be among his cost-cutting trade candidates.

Murphy also wondered if Ethan Bear might be a fit with the Canadiens. The 24-year-old Carolina Hurricanes defenseman is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.

Bear saw action in 58 regular-season games with the Hurricanes but was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculated the blueliner might not want to return, though a lot depends on what happens with fellow RFA Tony DeAngelo and pending UFA Ian Cole this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t rule out an interest in Bear if he’s available by the Canadiens. He could be among several affordable young options Hughes could be seeking this summer for his blueline. Murphy’s source cited Bear’s conditioning as an issue, which could hurt his trade value.


  1. Hawk would be smart to shop DeBrincat , prompting Kane to wanna bolt for greener pastures! trading Kane would go very well for the rebuild!
    And Jones has a 1o team no trade list til July, doe he not? Then his NMC kicks in.

    • Johnny Z, Chicago could undoubtedly get what they want for DeBrincat if, indeed, they seek to trade him.

      As for Jones, he might be more than willing to waive his 10-team no-trade list (depending upon the team wanting him) if it becomes clear Chicago is embarking upon a full-blown rebuild. Same with Kane and Toews, although those $10.5 mil cap hits with a year to go before becoming UFAs may be a barrier. They are both still very impactful players – but not many teams – if any – they’d be willing to join have that sort of cap room without some major adjustments of their own.

  2. Fiala is not going to the Isles. he is going to s rebuilding team or a bubble team that has some cap space to sign him. Maybe the Hawks get in on him??Dach could be what the Wild would want!

    • Fiala is exactly what the isles need. Why would he not be a possibility there? Especially if they plan to sign Barzal long term.

  3. Can you really see a Habs Canes deal happening with what has gone on over the last couple of years ?

    Debrincat has a gift in the sense he shoots bb’s. So far very durable and also posses elite pp ability. His next deal falls when Kane\Toews is up. Likely swapping one $10m for another one $10m .
    What changed from a year ago on Jones? Doubt they want to move him . Turned heaven and hell to get him

    • Different Habs management now, SilverSeven. You’re also forgetting the Canadiens acquired Joel Edmundson’s signing rights from the Hurricanes in Sept. 2020, over a year after the Habs’ failed attempt to sign Aho to an offer sheet.

      As per the famous line from The Godfather: “It’s not personal, it’s strictly business.”

  4. I don’t see Chicago trading Debrincat. Strome was the guy in rumors all last season.Maybe try to move Tyler Johnson. Maybe buyout. Agree trading Jones makes no sense, adding they brought in his brother as well. I don’t see Kane or Toews going anywhere in off season but, depending on how season goes, they could be 2 of the biggest names come deadline date.

  5. I can see Kane having trade value, still a high point producer. I cant see anyone making a move for Toewes though, hot at that salary.

    • Chicago is a team with money so they can easily retain 50% with only next season on their contracts for Kane and Toews to make a deal happen if the return is worth it. At just over 5 million cap hit and even less at the deadline, it shouldn’t be too hard for most teams to be able to fit one of them under the cap. The Hawks should also have the cap flexibility to take a contract back if need be to make things easier.

      Obviously Kane would be more sought after but there would still be teams after Toews for veteran depth up the middle for a playoff run.

  6. Probably not at $10.5 mil Ron. I agree. But you know, he only turned 34 in April – so not ancient if on a short-term (2 yr?) deal when he becomes a UFA after next season. And, since turning 30, he’s averaged 21g 36a 57 pts while, except for this season when the whole team went south, being a consistent + player.

    No, 57 pts per is not what you want to pay that sort of coin for – but if the Hawks held back, say, $4.5 mil for that one year, there might be a team looking for the sort of veteran presence the Habs enjoyed last season with Perry – and which TB is enjoying right now.

    Chicago – like Pittsburgh – is at that juncture where they have to decide where practicality must take precedence over “sentimentality.” As Lyle says elsewhere today – nothing personal – it’s a business.

  7. Why would the Hawks want to trade a young player like DeBrincat?
    Even if they’re going into a rebuild it’s very difficult to draft or acquire a 40G scorer. There’s no guarantee that the players, picks, or prospects would amount to anything in the NHL. Better off keeping the known commodity as he’s still only 24 years old.
    They would be far better off trying to convince Toews and Kane to waive their NMC as they’re in the twilight of their careers. Even if it means eating 50% of their salaries and taking back another salary to make it happen.
    I’m thinking Patrick Kane would look great in a Canes’ jersey. They need elite goal scoring…

    • Daryl, folks (including me) were also saying the same thing about trading Hagel. (“Why would they want to trade a young player like him on a good contract, etc”) And yet, Davidson moved him for two promising players and two conditionals firsts. If someone steps up with a big offer for DeBrincat, it sounds like Davidson would consider it.

  8. I be a little leary of signing any player who had a career year in the 2021 2022 season

    This isn’t to say I wouldn’t sign or trade for them, but I would garner my expectations and set the price accordingly.

    They’re going to some overpayment.

  9. I am not sure about Armia being traded for in the off season. He has shown that he is a playoff/tournament performer… but (as Habs fans will tell you) not a regular season performer. I think a legit Cup contender should take a long look at him, at the trade deadline. With the cap the way it is, I’d hold off until into the season before reaching out for him.

    • Why on earth would the Habs want Ethan Bear, a mediocre D, when they have a lot of young prospects to develop, one or two who are likely ready to play this year?

      Murphy must have started celebrating St. Patty’s day early.

  10. I want the Bruins to do absolutely nothing this offseason ….make the moves next offseason when a lot of cap space will be available

    • So Les who is playing 1st & 2nd line center?

      Who is going to replace march for half the season?

      Think its been proven that the current roster can make the playoffs then do absolutely nothing.

      Better to rebuild thru draft and trade some of the vets with value for picks.

  11. I think Ethan Bear coming back to Canada is a good thing. And since MTL is in a rebuild there’ll be less pressure.