NHL Rumor Mill – July 12, 2022

by | Jul 12, 2022 | Rumors | 79 comments

Suggested destinations for Evgeni Malkin plus the latest on Patrick Kane, Johnny Gaudreau, Brent Burns, Jack Campbell and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Josh Beneteau lists the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks among six potential destinations for Evgeni Malkin when he goes to market on July 13 as a free agent. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals could be other options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Malkin wants to accept less than what the Pittsburgh Penguins are reportedly offering (three years, $6 million annually), I don’t see most of those clubs as realistic options. As per Cap Friendly, the Lightning and Flyers are maxed out, the Canucks have around $2 million in cap room and the Kings $4 million. They’re not a fit unless they shed salary to accommodate him.

The Capitals have $8.9 million available but they must also acquire two new goaltenders after trading away Vitek Vanecek and not qualifying Ilya Samsonov’s rights. They could get some wiggle room if Nicklas Backstrom ($9.2 million) go on LTIR to start the season as he recovers from hip surgery but they must be cap compliant if he returns to action.

With over $10 million in cap space, the Rangers could afford Malkin as a second-line center. As I said earlier, however, unless Malkin agrees to less than what the Penguins were offering, he may not be a fit on Broadway.

A club with plentiful cap space, such as the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings, can afford to pitch a deal that might be enticing to Malkin. I also wouldn’t rule out the Carolina Hurricanes if they part ways with Vincent Trocheck.


SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman speculated the Colorado Avalanche could become a suitor for Patrick Kane if the Chicago Blackhawks winger were to request a trade this summer. Friedman said the Avs were among the teams that inquired into the availability of the 33-year-old Kane prior to the March trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Scott Powers doesn’t think Kane or teammate Jonathan Toews have spoken to Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson about their futures yet. If either one requests a trade, Powers believes they’ve got about a week to let Davidson know if they want to be moved before the start of the season.

If Kane wants out he’d probably prefer getting dealt to a contender as a rental player rather than go to a rebuilding team. However, his $10.5 million cap hit for 2022-23 and full no-movement clause are serious impediments. Powers believes the Blackhawks could prefer to wait until the trade deadline to retain half of his cap hit before moving him. That’s likely when it would be more comfortable to contenders as well.


CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports the Flames could be trying to figure out how to reshape their roster if superstar left winger Johnny Gaudreau departs via free agency. If he leaves, it could also affect the club’s efforts to sign restricted free agent winger Matthew Tkachuk to a long-term contract. Gilbertson wonders if the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils or Seattle Kraken could come calling if Gaudreau hits the market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Philly Hockey Now’s Sam Carchidi cites a source close to the Gaudreau camp raising doubt over whether the Flyers can afford him. They could gain some cap relief if Ryan Ellis goes on LTIR but that could get tricky if Ellis returns at some point. The Flyers were also rumored looking into trading winger James van Riemsdyk ($7 million) but there doesn’t seem to be much interest.

The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz wondered if Gaudreau could be a fit with the New York Islanders. With over $11 million in cap space, they could free up more by trying to trade Anthony Beauvillier and/or goaltender Semyon Varlamov. However, they also must re-sign defenseman Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov, and I doubt they can clear sufficient room to pay Gaudreau over $10 million annually on a seven-year deal.

Meanwhile, the Kraken are flush with cap space and could make a big splash in the UFA market. Whether Gaudreau wants to play for a club that is probably another two or three years away from becoming playoff contenders is another matter.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng reports new Sharks GM Mike Grier didn’t shut down speculation his club could look into trading Brent Burns. Peng cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying several clubs have called Grier to inquire about the status of the 37-year-old defenseman. The Sharks GM indicated he would understand if Burns wanted to join a Stanley Cup contender.

Friedman speculated the Dallas Stars could be a destination as they’re about to lose blueliner John Klingberg to free agency. Peng suggested the Carolina Hurricanes as an option after they traded away Tony DeAngelo. He believes the Sharks would have to retain part of Burns’ $8 million cap hit to make a deal work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burns is signed through 2024-25 so Grier could be reluctant to retain part of his cap hit over that period. Still, he might not have much choice if the hirsute blueliner wants out. It could also be worthwhile if the Sharks can get a solid return. Burns also has a three-team trade list but might expand it to join a contender.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples wonders if the Toronto Maple Leafs’ inability to sign Jack Campbell could lead to the pending UFA goaltender signing with the Oilers. He cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggesting the Oilers as the front-runners for Campbell’s services.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I would’ve considered Darcy Kuemper as a better option for the Oilers but he would prove more expensive to sign than Campbell due to his Stanley Cup win this season. If the Oilers aren’t interested in Campbell the Washington Capitals certainly will be. So could the New Jersey Devils.


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks recently examined what’s on the offseason “to-do list” for Stars GM Jim Mill. Find a top-four defenseman to replace the departing John Klingberg and adding a scoring forward are among his priorities, along with fending off possible offer sheets for goalie Jake Oettinger and re-signing scoring star Jason Robertson.

NEW YORK POST: Mollie Walker reports the Rangers could be in the market for a backup goaltender for Igor Shesterkin. They’re also trying to find a trade partner for defenseman Patrik Nemeth ahead of a possible buyout.


  1. why would Malkin, at 36, go to a rebuilding team like DET.
    I think he’s headed to Carolina

    • I was only pointing that out as an example if he was more concerned about the money.

    • As a Habs fan, I hope he is Mike. The ‘Canes have a lot of cap space but need to spend on their D, and have decisions to make about Trochek and Nieterreiter. I will be very surprised – and pleased – if they saddle themselves with Malkin for the next several years.

      • Have a feeling that Klingberg will land in Carolina

      • @starsfan
        yes seems the obvious fit. they need PP help and RHD

      • Carolina is having trouble signing Trochek and Nieterreiter becuase they don’t want to give too much term to 29 year olds. KIngberg seems like a good fit, but it would be contrary to what they have been saying if they sign him to the 7 year term he is reportedly asking for. Trading for Ghost or Chychrun would be more of a normal Carolina move.

      • Trochek will sign in Pittsburgh or Detroit

    • Perhaps because he grew up a Red Wings fan, And has stated numerous times that he wouldn’t mind finishing his career there in Detroit.

  2. 55, 33, and 41.

    Those are the number of games that Malkin has played the last three years.

    Of the three teams Josh Beneteau lists as possible spots for Malkin, only the Rangers have sufficient cap space. I doubt the on the rise Rangers believe an aging and often injured Malkin will get them to the next level.

    • LJ. Malkin in those 3 shortened seasons he had 144 points in 129 games. He had 6 points in the 7 playoff games vs Rangers. Chytil had 9 points in 20 games. That said, unless Malkin does a 1 or 2 year deal at 6m per (not happening) he won’t be in NY. Excluding guys they got at deadline, Rangers were a playoff team. Only guy leaving from pre deadline roster is Strome. If Him and Copp are both out, I’d like to see them bring back Motte and maybe Vatrano.

  3. Hirsute.
    Thank you, Lyle. Now I am going to have to work that into some writing or conversation.
    Stick tap to you!

  4. Lyle, I just don’t see the speculation on Malkin or Kane going to Broadway…the numbers are just too apparent as stacked against that from being possible. $10.2M and just 16 players signed…buyout of Nemeth moves it to $11.7M and having to sign 7 players to get to 22 minimum. Word is Copp and Strome are hitting the open market…Copp wants too much money, Strome wants too much term. There’s no other pieces to move to make the space…even if they sign NHL minimum or ELCs to fill the other 5 spaces…Kakko is a 2x$2.5M leaves less than $5M to sign a 2C. At this point it’s just wishful hedging.

    • Oh, I agree, Maddo. Don’t see it unless they’re shedding salary to make room for either guy.

  5. I think the most likely destinations for Malkin are Washington, Calgary (Depending on how “Johnny hockey” shakes out), and the NYIs.

    NYR’s? Unless they are offering a lot less than Pittsburgh, I don’t see it 10 million to add a backup and 5 additional roster players. They’re deep in talks with Copp who’s reportedly seeking 5-5.5 per. And that complicates their cap situation. How do they pay Malkin more? The answer is they probably don’t.

    • I was just going to ask the same question. If the Rangers can’t afford Strome or Copp, how can they afford Malkin?

  6. Kane and Toews, might be better to wait until TDL to see where they want to go. As the cap hit will be smaller and they’ll have a better on idea of who the contenders are.

    I believe Kane will bring more of a return then Toews but both could bring a 1st round pick, plus more.

    If i’m Chicago i want to trade them now and hope the teams they go to fall out of the playoff picture.

    It is Kane and Toews who hold them cards.

    • New Slogans for The Blackhawks:

      “Blowin’ It For Beddard”
      “Crashing For Conner”
      “Collapsing For Conner”
      “The Blackhawks, Icing a team…well, because we have to.”
      “The Blackhawks, because someone needs to be more embarrassing to the NHL than the Coyote’s”

      • I like the last slogan, Starsfan, but that’s a little long for the Tee-shirt.

      • Nah. If they’re intent on tanking it’s to get a shot at Fantelli – not Bedard.

    • Kane maybe, but I don’t think Toews would fetch a 1st round pick at this point even if the Blackhawks retained 50%. He’s not as effective as he once was. Kane will also be difficult to trade due to his salary, but he’s still a high-level player.

      • I’m with you East Van. No way someone gives up a first for Toews.

  7. Burns or Petry to Dallas, until 2025…. hard pass on both. I think I’d rather try to talk Zubov into coming out of retirement. But, Jim Nill has a history of signing, past their prime D men over the years. And none have worked out so well. Gonchar, Pollack, Pysyk, Sekera, Oduya, Methot, Hamuis… am i forgetting anyone?

    • Burns to NYI so he will have to get rid of this hideous beard and maybe Lou will force hime to see a dentist

  8. LA has a few more RFAs to sign. so, I highly doubt Malkin signs there.

    Valardi, Anderson, Durzi … these are players they’ve been developing for a while. It’d be a shame to let them go.

    I’d like to see LA re-sign Stecher too. He did good for them since acquiring him.

  9. If Malkin was offered 3 years at $6M from Pittsburgh he should sign it in a heartbeat. Those numbers are a thank you gift for previous service and not representative of what he will likely deliver over the next three years.

    • Chris, if Malkin gets what the Pens offerred on he open market, I will be surprised. I can see $6M, but not 3 years, he hasn’t aged as well as some others like Letang.

      Agree he should have taken, so now when he circles back, they may have tested the market themselves and spent the $ elsewhere. What else are they supposed to do? Can’t sit around and wait.

      He may have made an emotional decision, or he has a bad agent.

      • Or he has an emotionally bad agent

    • Brian Burke confirmed the Penguins offered Malkin a 4 year deal. Rumor – the numbers : 4 years 24.4 million (6.1 million per season).

  10. Is there enough cap space in the league for these guys to get anything close to what they want? The goalies and d-men are likely to get paid, due to supply and demand, but I can’t help but think there will be some disappointed forwards.

    • And some bargain hunting GM’s fikshun. Team like the Oil have some decent scoring options that can increase their value taking a 1-2 year deal in EDM and getting some time on the wing with McDavid or Draisaitl.

      Middle class is getting squeezed in the NHL.

      • Seriously. If you’re a GM with cap space, this is the free agent class for you. Sucks to be Vegas, haha.

    • couldn’t agree more fikshun. Everyone wants to play for a contender, the contenders don’t have space.
      No one wants to play for the bottom dwellers, who are all weaponizing their cap.
      I just don’t see how players are expecting to get what they ‘feel’ they are worth. I do expect game breakers like Johnny G to get paid but the role players are in for a nasty surprise.

    • That’s an interesting question for a retired computer programmer. My quick answer is: probably not. Essentially, players seem to generally deteriorate faster that their contracts in the current environment, and the situation has been really bad with the flat cap for a couple of years. The “league cap” we compare to the ‘desired money’ has to take into account teams limited to less than the actual cap, retained cap, and dead money. Wonder if cap friendly has enough info to estimate the surplus of asks over availabilities???

  11. I feel like Malkin is qoing to be quietly courted by the Bruins. The colours even match.

  12. Malkin should go to the KHL along with every other Russian hockey player.

  13. George,

    So what’s next?

    Am i going to go 2 for 2 with Ottawa getting gibson next.

    Getting the Cat for what everyone is saying for a steal and cap that off with Gibby and you got a playoff team for sure, and could possibly surprise similiar to what NY did this year.

    • I will somehow get a 40oz of your favourite booze to you if Dorion ever worked out a deal for Gibson (which, if it ever did go down, would almost certainly include Gustavsson going the other way + whatever else it takes).

    • Been a while since I posted, but try to read the thread a few times a week. I’m a big Sens fan and this is what has been in the rumour mill locally.

      1) With all the freed money in buying out Colin White and trading most of Matt Murray’s contract, Claude Giroux sounds more and more likely to sign here. He is from the Ottawa area and is building a house here. My guess is Ottawa would go to US$6.5-$7M/year on a 3 or 4 year deal. Numbers are purely my speculation as I haven’t heard anything on exact numbers.

      2) Ottawa really needs a legit top 4 RD to play with Chabot or Sanderson long term. Zub is only signed for one more year and I think Ottawa will try to extend him this summer. The name coming up a lot as a trade target is MacKenzie Weagar on Florida. Very good top 4 RD with only one year left on his deal before UFA. Florida needs to save long term cap for Huberdeau extension and they likely can’t afford Weagar after this year. Florida also traded away a ton of futures at the trade deadline and Ottawa has lots of prospects/picks available to trade. As an added bonus, Weagar is from Ottawa.

      3) It’s looking like Connor Brown is going to be traded very soon. He is a good 2-way forward on a great cap hit this year and he wants to test UFA after next season. Ottawa doesn’t want to wait until the deadline like they did with Mark Stone and others, and would likely use the assets gained in such a trade (1st round pick plus a decent prospect/young player) to get a top 4 RD.

      4) Ottawa would really like to dump Zaitsev’s contract. They have already paid this year’s US$2M signing bonus and the term is only two more years. The owed cash is less than the cap hit of US$4.5M/year on the remaining term, so Arizona or Chicago could be interested with a good sweetener. Zaitsev has a M-NTC and hopefully that doesn’t cause any complications.

      • Van- That is a great assumption with Girioux and basically it has the same kind of writing on the wall that Murray to Toronto did (Matts’ goalie coach hired in leafland) (claudes house being built in Ottawa)

        I bet George wouldn’t bet on this and send you booze for this Giroux prediction or me for pointing it out but I could handle even a mini bar bottle. 😉

      • DJ: I wouldn’t bet my house on Giroux signing here either. 😉 “More and more likely” doesn’t mean it will happen as Giroux will have multiple options. I would have considered it unlikely to not possible without the White buyout and, in particular, Murray getting traded with only 25% retention. Now I think it is at least a coin flip.

        Part of Connor Brown moving is that also frees up another US$4M in salary for Ottawa to spend. It looks like they have lots of cap space, but they are a budget team and have to sign Norris to an expensive extension this year and have Joseph and Formenton to work out too. They need to keep room for the Stutzle and Sanderson (assuming he’s as good as advertised) in the next couple years too.

        As an aside, I have no idea what Ottawa was thinking buying out Bobby Ryan two years ago. It saved some money at the time and he was vastly overpaid, but they were going to suck anyway and he was a serviceable forward that was well liked on the team. Now is when they need the money with all of the key entry level contracts ending and they are eating up nearly US$2M this year and next in dead cap/expense on Ryan’s buyout.

      • all good takes Van , also hearing de Haan name out there , he grew up about 5 km from the Canadian Tire center in Carp. He would slot in as a 5-6-7 dman. The one guy I think they should target as a UFA is Deslauriers , some protection for the young guns. Other teams will think tiwce about cheap shots at Stutzle, Sanderson, Batherson, Norris etc if is he is in the line up. Tkachuk can focus on playing and not policing.

      • Fergy22: I like the idea of getting Deslauriers. Wouldn’t be too expensive and they could use some depth on the third and fourth lines. Deslauriers, Watson and Parker Kelly would be a handful for other teams to deal with.

        I heard about de Haan, but don’t see the fit since he is at best a 4D. That would leave no spot for Brannstrom or other young D with Holden already on the third pair. You want room for injuries, but Brannstrom would have to clear waivers this year and would surely be picked up. Ottawa should be able to get a draft pick or another “disappointing” first round pick for Brannstrom if they didn’t want him anymore. I still think Brannstrom could be a good depth defensemen (4-6D) and am leery of giving him away since he would be cheap to extend right now. If Brannstrom was in a package for a top 4 RD like Weegar, I’d be all over that.

      • Van, I like your takes above – interestingly I just posted along the same lines in a response to Pengy on the other thread … Dorion isn’t done yet

      • George O: I hadn’t been reading through the headlines comments and just went through them. It looks like we have heard the same things with respect to Ottawa. Agree that Dorion isn’t done yet and haven’t been this excited about the Sens since they lost Game 7 in the conference finals to Pittsburgh.

  14. Any team who gives Malkin more than 3mil per will regret it.

    He doesnt seem like he has the fire anymore, more like going thru the motions to make a paycheck but not really caring too much.

    • He’s likely to be the odd man out, & paid in rubles.
      Unless he fires his agent and returns to Pitt with his tail between his legs.

    • Still a point per game player this past season. If that is a player just going thru the motions to make a paycheck, i will gladly take him in Detroit. We have plenty of players that play hard but can’t even come close to kind of production. I would rather overpay Malkin for 3 years than overpay Kadri or Trocheck for 5+ years. Yzerman is a GM that likes to keep most UFAs short term so Malkin is likely the best option for term and production.

  15. Burns has a ranch in Texas and a friend in Joe Pavelski. Wouldn’t be surprised if Dallas isn’t on his three team list.
    With some retention he is a good replacement for Klingberg. Rarely injured (played all 82 games last season as he has in 6 out of the last 8 years) and still an impactful player.

  16. Jim Rutherford:

    Our goal is to get younger, faster and create some cap space.

    If he meant that then Malkins is off the table in Vancouver.

  17. I think if washington slaps Backy on the LITR it should give them enough to sign a goalie and maybe get Malkin a little less than what everyone if figuiring (say 5.5 for 4 years) as my prediction that Malkin signs in washigton and gives them a little deal just to slap Pittsburgh in the face (even if they don’t care if Malkin signs eleswhere)

    • Malkin wants 4 years and a chance to win. Says the money is not important. So who locks him up for 4 years?
      I wouldn’t.

    • Backstrom caught the Kane-Kuchy flu and will not be available til the play-offs. Malkin would be a good add and if he goes down (likely), Backstrom will have a miraculous recovery.

      • JZ haha trying to get in on a George bottle bet too? This again is a wild but a good prediction that I wouldn’t bet against either. good one!

      • DJ, it would have to be coffee. I do not partake in bottled spirits.

      • What if they come in cans?

  18. Seth Jones. He wants to stay in Chicago for the torture?

    surprised no chatter

    • I think the lack of chatter on Seth Jones is his horrid contract. Jones has a NMC, the term is 8 years and the dollars are too much. Chicago is a tire fire, but even they don’t want to eat salary for 8 years.

    • Who want’s a Seth Jones contract???

  19. Correct me if Im wrong ….

    Did Dubas just trade an injury prone 3.8 million dollar backup goalie and a 1st rounder away to create cap room and replace him with an injury prone 4.6 million dollar backup goalie?

    Im a noted Dubas basher but this really makes zero sense to me.

  20. What is going on with Lankinen! He is a FA tomorrow, shy no press on him???

  21. Toronto just trade for Matt Murray and two picks gave up “future considerations.”

    • LJ14 – the “future considerations” were a signed Jason Spezza Leaf’s jersey, a slightly used juicer from the Scotiabank rink and several old Darcy Tucker pezz dispensers… 😉

  22. I was just reading the Johnny hockey was offered 8 years at 10 million each by the Flames. Why wouldn’t he take that? It looks like he wants to go elsewhere? Where, that is the question? The most years others can give is 7 so will he want 12 million per? i can’t see anyone giving that.Where do you think he will go? As an Isles fan I can dream but not 7 for 12 that is crazy.Thoughts???

    • He will only get 7 x $10.5M. NJ could do better than that, but do they really want to? They would have to sign Delauriers to protect their smallish forwards.

    • Johnny playing for the Flyers ?

  23. Jones, Kane and Toews should flee soon or suffer a horrendous year.

  24. Maybe Dorion is freeing up cap space to make the biggest splash of the off season and trade for Mathew Tkachuk!

  25. Clearly Johnny is out of here, the only team that can afford him is NJ.
    I think her takes a big home town discount to go there. I know Philly is closer to his home town but there is no way they have the cap space to sign him.
    I suspect he signs in NJ for 9.5m x 7 years

    • He might circle back to Calgary Flamesfan, agree with Pete, I can’t see him getting a better $ deal than the Flames rumored offer.

      Doesn’t seem like the type of player that helps NJ get over the hump, not sure that player is out there. IMO NJ should stay patient, still plenty of internal growth coming for that team as they have plenty of young guys and some of them will pan out. Including this years 2nd OA.

      They could use a few more saves more than anything.

      • Ray, I agree NJ has a lot of small forwards adding Johnny makes them smaller. As I mentioned many times here, Johnny is lights out in the regular season but is just to small and light to do anything in the playoffs.

        It’s a catch 22 here in Calgary, if the Flames overpay to keep Johnny and Matthew which gives you a very good chance to get into the playoffs, but both those players DO NOT elevate their game once you get there. I have witnessed it every time the Flames made the playoffs with those players. Youwould think Tkachuck would be built for the playoffs but he disappears, mainly because he cannot keep up with the speed of the games. Edmonton skated circles around Calgary in the playoffs as you probably saw.

      • Ya Flamesfan, he sure didn’t do much against the Oil. Speed was an issue for much of the team and some of their big D in particular.

        On the radio the other day they talked about how Woodcroft threw Kane out there against Tkachuk to keep him from causing too much havoc after the whistle and around the crease.

        Maybe that had something to do with it too, who knows.
        Kane would seem to be a good fit in Calgary if they decide they can’t wait for Johnny. On the ice anyway. They have the cap space.

    • Maybe Johnny signs with the Flyers ???

  26. George rumor going around that Talbot is going to Ottawa

    • Done deal.

  27. There you go, George. Talbot is a solid starter for the Sens.

  28. Well, I was just saved from packaging a 40oz of mp’s favorite hootch – and as I figured, if Dorion was adding a goalie Gustavsson was headed the other way. This was clearly a cap dump by the cap-strapped Wild as Gustavsson is less than a quarter if Talbot’s cap. Pretty good 1A and 1B heading into the season. Now for that RD ….. and maybe Giroux tomorrow.

    • Don’t be greedy, George.
      I kind of figured it’d be the Sens and Bruins fighting for the last seat at the dance, but Dorian is making it tough on everyone else in the East, let alone the Bruins.
      Heck of a good GM you guys have there. Interesting to watch him work, without having to run everything past an owner first.

      • True that SOP.
        Agree with all of that.

  29. Johnny Hockey informed Tre that he’s not signing in Cowtown.
    Ouch. Can’t see Matty T sticking around for long. Time for Tre to make some trades for more Swedes.