NHL Rumor Mill – July 2, 2022

by | Jul 2, 2022 | Rumors | 65 comments

Check out the latest on Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin, Filip Forsberg, Johnny Gaudreau, Alex DeBrincat, Jack Campbell and more, plus some contract buyout candidates in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussed the latest trade and free-agent speculation during their latest “32 Thoughts” podcast.

Regarding Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, Friedman said teams have told him there’s a path toward a deal between the club and the pending unrestricted free agent. He also indicated the same for the Nashville Predators and pending UFA winger Filip Forsberg.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins were reportedly offering Letang a three-year contract while he sought a five-year deal said to be between $8 million and $9 million annually. Perhaps that path is a three-year contract at around $8.25 million? We’ll see.

Friedman suggested an eight-year deal at $8.5 million annually for Forsberg. There’s speculation the holdup could be the winger seeking a no-trade clause, which the Predators as a rule tend to avoid.

Friedman doesn’t think the Penguins are getting close to a deal with Evgeni Malkin.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: Recent reports out of Pittsburgh say the same thing, though there’s talk the Penguins will shift their focus to Malkin once they sort out how much it’ll cost to retain Letang. It will also depend on how much of a pay cut Malkin is willing to accept to stay in Pittsburgh.

Turning to Johnny Gaudreau, Friedman said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Calgary Flames offered him an eight-year contract worth around $9.5 million. He believes the Flames are willing to be flexible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported Thursday that Gaudreau hasn’t reached a decision yet. He suspects the winger will keep the Flames in the loop but wants to see what offers he’ll get on the open market.

Friedman also elaborated on a recent rumor he’d heard about an offer the Chicago Blackhawks received for Alex DeBrincat. He said it was a reasonably high first-round pick plus another first-round pick and a prospect. However, it wasn’t enough to get the deal done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets, Buffalo Sabres, Anaheim Ducks, Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes have multiple picks in the first round of this year’s draft. Maybe one of those teams made that pitch for DeBrincat. Discuss!

Regarding his report of the Tampa Bay Lightning looking into shopping Ryan McDonagh, Friedman believes the St. Louis Blues could be among the suitors. He thinks the 32-year-old defenseman would be a good addition to their blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, he would, but his $6.75 million cap hit wouldn’t be when Cap Friendly shows them with just over $9 million in cap space and 18 players under contract for 2022-23. They must re-sign or replace pending UFA goaltender Ville Husso plus they’re keen to retain UFA winger David Perron. Unless Blues GM Doug Armstrong intends on shedding salary, he’ll have to pass on an opportunity to acquire McDonagh.

Friedman mused over the possibility of the Edmonton Oilers signing Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmonton pundits believe Oilers GM Ken Holland intends to go goalie-shopping after speaking with Mike Smith in the near future. He’ll need a starter if Smith retires or spends next season on their long-term injury reserve list.

Recent speculation out of Toronto claims the Leafs and Campbell aren’t close to a deal. He could see a multi-year deal worth over $5 million per season, which the Leafs currently can’t afford unless they dump some salary. I expect the Oilers will be among those lining up to speak with Campbell’s agent if the netminder is available on July 13.

Speaking of the Leafs, Friedman doesn’t see them acquiring goalie John Gibson from the Anaheim Ducks. They had previous talks with former Ducks GM Bob Murray without success. Friedman doesn’t see that changing with Pat Verbeek now in charge in Anaheim.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gibson recently denied rumors claiming he would welcome a trade. He carries a $6.4 million cap hit through 2026-27 and a 10-team no-trade list. The Leafs could be on that list.

Finally, Friedman wonders if the New Jersey Devils will attempt to sign Blues goalie Ville Husso if he hits the open market on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landing a reliable starting goalie is among the priorities for Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he’s among the general managers putting in calls to Husso’s agent on July 13.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic topped Mike Stephens’ recent list of potential contract buyout candidates. The buyout window opened on July 1 and runs until 5 pm ET on July 12.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks are still without a full-time replacement for general manager Doug Wilson. Still, it didn’t stop them from axing Bob Boughner as head coach on July 1.

I doubt they’ll find any takers for Vlasic in the trade market given his hefty contract and the decline in his play. We can’t rule out a buyout before July 12.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Duncan Keith and winger Zack Kassian are also on Stephens’ list, as well as Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek and Ottawa Senators netminder Matt Murray.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports out of Edmonton suggest Kassian is a more likely buyout candidate than Keith, whose experience and leadership are still prized by Oilers management. They need to shed some salary to bolster their goaltending.

The Leafs could buy out Mrazek if they can’t find a trade partner for him before July 12. As for Murray, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported this week that the Sens aren’t likely to go that route.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen had Senators forward Colin White and Florida Panthers winger Patric Hornqvist on his list of buyout candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch indicated White could indeed be bought out by the Senators. The Panthers could do the same if they can’t find a club to take him off their hands in the trade market.


  1. A DeBrincat rumor was that the Hawks ask was the equivalent of 4 1wt round picks! I think 3 would be fair because of his QO next year.

    • 4 1st’s

    • Debriincat’s barely over 4 ft a 1st should sufficient if someone gives up 4 first rounders for this guy he needs to be fired!

      • The great RWM has spoken. Someone call up the Blackhawks and tell them to bury DeBrincat in the AHL despite all the success he’s already had.

  2. Lyle (and all),

    I’m hoping that Friedman is not correct regarding McDonagh and the Blues. I just don’t think that the 4 years remaining on his big contract will end well….

    I like everthing that he would provide for the Blues except for 33 years old @ 6.75 million.


    • iowa prince: He’s just speculating. He believes McDonagh would be the type of defenseman Armstrong and Berube would like on their blueline. As I observed, that’s not going to happen unless Armstrong clears cap space for McDonagh’s cap hit. I don’t see the Lightning retaining any of McDonagh’s salary considering the reason they want to trade him is to clear that cap hit from their books.

    • The Blues gave the Avs a battle. Add McDonagh next season would be smart

      The Blues forward depth is good… who can they lose and be ok?

      • Vladimir is the answer! (shutters)

  3. Buyout White! Then someone can sign him on a $2.5 M x 1 show me deal!

    • If Letang was to leave, maybe the Pens could trade one of Petterson/Dumoulin/Marino in another deal and bring in McDonagh and Barrie to replace them.

      • Possible Marino maybe on the move to Vancouver for winger Conner garland..alot depends on letang.

        Peterson will get moved soon

        Barrie maybe mcdonough has a huge price tag and he is older.

  4. Still hoping McDonagh comes to Detroit for a pick and a B prospect. He will be a good TDL deal for someone in a couple years! …..Maybe back to Tampa!

    • No….no. McDonagh + a high pick with $2M retained for a 7th rounder in 2023.

  5. Why would McDonagh leave Tampa? Full ntc. Only place I see him agreeing to would be Minnesota, but there’s no way after buying out Suter they bring in another past prime player with a huge cap hit until he’s 36. I’d put Killorn as the most likely trade option (or buyout) after signing Paul long term. Would allow them to sign Palat and fill out roster.

  6. Before all the hype around Calgary about Johnny I thought 9.5m would be the number. Hopefully the Flames hold the line at that price. Any thing higher is an over pay.
    It is possible NJ could give him more but they should be careful with their roster construction as they will have a lot of small forwards which don’t translate into playoff success.

    Johnny is a very dynamic player but I noticed he still struggled in the playoffs when the checking is tight and the lack of space nullifies his game.

    Another player the Flames better be careful with is Tkachuk. I always thought he would be a perfect playoff performer but just the opposite. He fails to raise his game and his lack of speed is very noticeable. Seems like he struggles to keep up. The fact it will be a tough negotiation with him I would almost like to see him traded. The problem is this years draft class according to the experts is a weak one in comparison to next year. Next years class is supposed to be one of the strongest classes in recent memory.

  7. I wouldn’t rule out the Jackets trying to get DeBrincat, since Jarmo has proven to be full of surprises. That said, there’s been nothing in local media suggesting any interest in DeBrincat and the expectation is that the Jackets intend to keep both first round picks to accelerate the retool (or is it a rebuild, this week).

    • DeBrincat for Laine? Naaaaaaaaaaah. Just musing.

  8. Keith buyout by Oil seems farfetched

    I’m not sure how the recapture penalty goes…. From CapFriendly:

    Buyout Caphit would only save $1M this year and dead Cap $500 K next year… diddly squat

    Ray had suggested that there was scuttlebutt rd trade to Yotes; Yotes buyout; then re-sign with Oil

    If that were true…. Huge benefit to Yotes…. Cash cost total only $1M but gain valuable Cap hits (low cash high Cap hit to reach Cap floor) of $4.5 M this year and $0.5 M next year

    Benefit to Keith…, loses $500 K gross cash; but signing back with Oil even at league min… he gains overall $250 K gross

    Oil benefit from getting Keith to play another year but drop his Cap hit from $5.5 M to $0.75 M

    Not sure if this is happening…. Ray…. Updates?

    Other option…. Nudge him to retire…. Loses $1.5 M gross; hire him as development consultant

    Sharks….. complete mess…. Fire coaching and management team…. Potentially buying out Pickles; still have settlement to reach on Kane and the outcome is likely not going to be favourable to them

    …. And even if buyout Pickles…. Still have almost $20 M Cap tied up in 2 D-men (Karlsson and Burns)

    Note… Pickles buyout has remaining Cap hits of $3.7 M; $1.4 m; $4.2 M; $5.2 M; then 4 years of $1.7 M


    • Pengy
      Keith was one of the Oilers most consistent D in their playoff run

      They have to keep him and his presence

      • Hi ds

        Not taking away from his consistency…. But his Cap hit and at 39 ….. AND they need space…. Too much

        If what Ray heard is true…. Trade to Yotes; Yotes buy him out; Oil sign him as a UFA ….. win…win…win

        Ray…. Have you heard anything further on that?

      • Not yet Pengy.
        It does make sense for both parties, so could be a chance?
        My guess is more than one team has approached the Yotes about taking a contract, probably weighing offers, but this one seems tailor made for them.

      • Pengy, Jason Gregor said this on Twitter and it got legs from oiler fans.

      • Gregor is where I heard it too.

      • Thanks Ray and Premier

        If it flies…. GREAT move!!!

        BTW Ray

        Watching Rider/Als right now… great 3rd Quarter

    • Who is pickles?

      • That took me a minute also. Pickles = Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

      • Sorry,,

        Pickles is what Vlasic’s nickname is

    • If Letang does not sign would Burns go to the Pens???? 3 yrs at $8M is the ideal #
      What would the pens give up? I suggest just Petterson, who would cover for the Vlassic buyout.

      • Hi JZ

        still hoping for Tanger to re-up

        Burns can only be traded to 3 teams w/o him waiving his rights…. Not sure if Burns waives for Pens

        That said…. 2 years older than Tanger and although productive; not producing like Tanger did this year:

        Tanger 10-58-68 in 78 GP
        Burns 10-44-54 in 82 GP

        So with that in mind…. If Tanger does not sign and HexBurkie take on Burns at full whack… there is no way Pens are giving up Pettersson straight up….. Sharks would need to add for the benefit of unloading $8 M Cap hit during their re-jig/adjustment phase

        Hill and Burns (full whack) , Coe for

        Dumo and O’Connor

  9. Here’s hoping Sweeney can package Ullmark along with Debrusk Carlo and grab another top centre or d ..that will get the job done. Course Sweeney doing the right thing is about as likely as nailing jello to a hardwood tree. or getting through another passive monotonous post by mr. b….

    • Would have to get Ullmark to waive NMC. I would assume that would be only to a cup contender and they do not give up their top ctr ice men

    • Package all three to the Oilers … get a center and a Dman

      • Offered that up already to get RNH from Edmonton

  10. Something tells me that the offer for DeBrincat came from Arizona. They have 3 first round picks this year. Aside from their own (3rd), they have Carolina’s (27th) and Colorado’s (32nd). It could also be Columbus, who have the 6th (from Chicago ironically) and 12th picks. I doubt it’s from the Habs, personally.

    • JD, my guess is it was from the Kings. They were reportedly very interested in Debrincat before landing Fiala.

      The timelines work that LA could’ve made the offer to Chicago and when they turned it down, Blake moved on to Fiala.

    • DeBrincat has an actual salary of 9m this year. That kind of rules out cash strapped Arizona. If they’re considering trading Chycrun, DeBrincat doesn’t really make sense. They’ll get to floor by taking low cost contracts with high cap hits while aquiring more future assets. Ducks were in playoff contention right up to deadline and chose to move pending ufas. DeBrincat would be a good fit there. They could’ve offered 10th overall plus

  11. The Pens…..

    Tanger needs to be priority. Get him signed; Cap picture clearer; finalize offer for Gino

    Current (well 21/22) combined cap hit of $16.8 M

    Per TSN …. Original Tanger ask is 5 years $8-$9 M… that’s opening ask; knowingly high stance to open negotiations

    Currently offered 3 years

    Give him 4 @ $8.3 M…..

    Owner’s loaded…. $ cash not a big deal….

    I believe the new 35+ clause waives Cap hit on retirement if either (1) no SB after year 1; or (2) no front loaded Sal…. So

    4 years Sal each at $5 M; $13 M SB year 1…. $33 M… Cap hit of $8.3 M

    Give Gino 3 years @$3 M sal; $12 M SB…. Cap hit of $7 M

    Combined $15.3 M is $1.5 m less than last year…. @$3M Sal in 2 years…. Gino more likely to retire from NHL (erasing Cap hit to Pens) and finish career at home … for maybe $1M less in sal

    Just a thought

    No matter what… Tanger contract needs to be finalized ASAP

    Then sign Gino; jettison Zucker; move one or more of Dumo(preferred); Pettersson; Marino (if moved…. Need UFA /RD signed; so Marino move not preferred); re-up Rackell and E-Rod

    • You’re shipping a lot of younger players out for a team whose superstars are clearly in decline, Pengy. The term and $ will ensure the Pens are in full decline very shortly …

      • Hi LJ

        Re “You’re shipping a lot of younger players out”.. x

        My post has 2 going:

        Zucker (30)

        and ONE of Dumo; Petterson; Marino

        My preference is for Dumo (almost 31)

        If it wasn’t Dumo ,

        Petterson (26) or Marino (25)

        So my prefference was to ship out a 30 year old and almost 31 year old; with worst case a 30 year old and a 25 year old (and Marino is the one [of the 3] that I believe is important to keep)

    • Dumo is the 2nd best D man after Tang. why move him? that D is the weakness

      • Hi ds

        He WAS Pens 2nd best D-man

        Unfortunately that is no longer the case

        He struggled this year

        Almost 31, 1 year left…. Best move IMHO

    • Pengy…you seem way off here Makkin is almost 85% Gone.

      He isnt taking a discount..

      Zucker im afraid will finish out his final year in Pittsburgh

      Peterson will get moved teams like Seattle Anaheim Kings red wings Sharks could use a younger bigger d man

      Agree resign rakeel e rod

      How you move Marino kapanen and a pick 3rd to Vancouver for connor garland luke schenn you save $2.6 million

      Moving Peterson saves you $4.025 million
      Not resigning malkin is 9.5 you 6.5 to sign vinny trocheck 28 to play second line center you save $3 million more that 5.6 plus a million cap increase you sign erod rakell
      Do t resign heinen boyle or desmith thats almost 4 million..

      We can have a you ger better deeper team

      • I mentioned that trade the other day. How does that help Vancouver? It adds 2 million (at least ) to their cap.

        Why would they add 2 million in cap space for lesser players?

        It just isn’t working. I seriously doubt Vancouver bites on that deal.

      • Hi BnG

        Agree Malkin hinging on leaving; but 85% likliehoid s little high

        If HexBurkie can get Tanger wrapped up in next couple of days; focus by then goes full tilt on Gino

        If they can get Tanger/Gino (21/22 at $16.8 M) for $15.5 M or less… do it

        The deal for Garland and Schenn (two good adds BTW) is very lopsided in favour of ‘Nucks

        Trading Marino is also problematic in that ousting a 2RD…, Freidman not ready to fill

        Best move on D to free up $4M plus…, Dumo

        If Tanger does re-sign….

        Freidman/P-O J

        Moving Zucker is crucial … $5.6 M

        Dumo moved (P-O J called up); Zucker moved (replace by WBS grad) ; Tanger/Gino in at $15.5 M or less…. Those moves save $9 M over the 21/22 hits… great space to re-up Rakell, E-Rod; sign a fair back-up

        Kappy only costs $840 K ($90 K over league min) to qualify… HexBurkie must give him his QO

        Agree don’t bring back Boyle

        Disagree re Heinen… reasonable cost for his production… his QO is only $1.2 M… HexBurkie must give him his QO

    • $7M cap hit for Geno is to much. I’d rather try to sign Kadri (even if it costs a little more) or Trochek and let Geno go.
      I agree that the priority is to get Letang signed. Max. term 3 years.

      Try to move Zucker or buy him out. Cap hit for 2022-23 would be $2,033,334 and for 2023-24 $1,733,334
      I would keep Dumo and Marino and try to trade Petterson.
      I’d also try to re-up Rackell and E-Rod

      • Hi Juss

        I agree on most except for Pettersson

        He plays well with Marino

        Dumo has fallen off; has only 1 year left;easier to move

        Too 4 can be


        Bring P-I J up (definitely ready) and pair him with Friedman

  12. This is for Howard, a carry over from late yesterday.

    You seem to value the Habs’ # 1 pick, presumably Wright, highly. Yet neither he nor anyone else eligible this year are generational talent. Why do you consider trading the pick a non starter – absurd scenarios aside?

    • The 1oa is tradable but with the draft in Montreal it better be for one hell of a return to please the faithful, is PLD that return?

      • So the rumour mongers want us to believe.

    • LJ sorry for the late response. The Sabbath only ended about 2 hours ago and I just saw your post

      As much as I’d like to get Dubois, I think Wright has the higher ceiling, even if he’s not a generational talent. At this point, the Habs are better off picking Wright and developing him to his potential. There’s also the salary cup to consider. Dubois will undoubtedly want a contract similar to Suzuki. Wright will be on ELC for 3 years. When he’s ready for his next contract, Price’s deal will be near its end.

      • Makes sense, Howard. That and the benefit of seeing how Wright develops and what PLD does in the next two years.

  13. Penguins in my opinion are crazy to sign Kris for any more than 3 years and to me under 8 . Malkin a year at a time if I’m them. Johnny hockey’s contract will be a regret in 3 years no matter what the number they haven’t won anything with him so far great regular season player.

    • Exactly! Might as well sign Klinger to a $7.75 x 7yr deal and vie for Trocheck with a $6.2 x 7yr deal! Pens are still a destination for FA’s! But only for a while!

    • Obe. Completely agree 3 years max on letang, let Malkin go his place in the ppg paints rafters is guarantee

      Forget johnny hockey not worth it good player but no from penguins

    • Letang for 3 years and under $8M would be ok. I hope they don’t pay him more and don’t sign him for 4 or 5 years.
      Signing Klingberg could be plan b.
      I think that the Pens are a destination for free agents as long as Crosby game is elite.

      • Juss Agree Crosby is still elite 90 points, his line unstoppable in that Ranger series..

        I would like to see them sign Vincent Trocheck a Pittsburgh native, 28, good two way player say 4 years @ $6 $ 6.5 let Malkin walk save $ 3 $ 3.5 million, resign Rakell and trade Marino Kapanen for Garland /Schenn save $2.6 million

  14. Captain obvious..this deal has bern discussed already with both teams.

    Canucks want Marino

    Penguins want Garland.

    Bith young players and full a need.
    Yes my trade adds 2.6 million but they will be unloading Miller thats Obvious

    They are kioking to unload Myers thats over $10 million

    Plus they are looki g to unload Tanner Pearson too
    So.. there is all of that.

    • Discussed, and dismissed. Not happening.

      • We will see hot shot.

        Canucks wa t to move Garland

        Rutherford signed marino and wants him

        Its happening

      • Hot shot? Lmao. Old head move.

        Yesterday, you were using this trade as a “salary cap savings for Vancouver “ which I clearly pointed out it wasn’t.

        You keep dreaming of lopsided trades. I’ll put money on this deal not happening. Zero chance your lala land fairytale Garland and Schenn for Marino and Zucker trade is happening. Zero.

    • How about Lafreniere to Montreal? Former 1OA for current.

  15. Captain Hot Shot…Pengy. I said it was a cap savings for Pittsburgh..CO?

    If the Canucks move J. T Miller, Connor Garland, Jason Dickerson, Tanner Pearson which they are doing and they are asking OEL to move his no trade they will be saving money..

    Pengy Captain obvious said this is a bad deal you say it is ..You sid it is lop sided for the Canucks.??

    I think it is fair Garland who they are trying to move and Luke Schenn who would take over at second RHD…

    Marino helps Nucks Garland Helps Penguins..

    Captain hot shot says it ain’t happening… i guess we will see..

    Malkn does look like he is moving on which gives us some flexibility like $9.5 million..LOL..

    • Hi BnG

      I like those players bit it would be lopsided (overpay [by including Marino] by HexBurkie

      Flip Dumo in for Marino in deal ; add O’Connor

      Outside of value… moving Marino leaves precarious hold for Pens at 2RD (Freidman not ready for that)

  16. COVIOUS…I never said Zucker you misread or might have thought I was Pengy.

    I said
    John Marino
    Kaspari Kapanen
    a 2nd round pick (either 2022 or 2023 Nucks choice)

    never said Zucker so please read before you rip me..LOL

    • That’s probably as bad or worse. Why would Vancouver make that deal? To add 2+ million in cap space? They’re not gutting Miller, Garland, etc. my guess is they’ll try to move a player or two, but they’re not gutting themselves to take on lesser players at more cap hit.

      This proposal is beyond far fetched. What next? Miller for Zucker and a 3rd?

      Kapanen in garbage, Marino grossly overrated by Pens fans. Grossly.

      Maybe is some way shape or form Marino is a Canuck, and Garland is a penguin next year.

      But certainly not at the expense of adding cap space and taking on trash in the process.

      Today, Vancouver has 2.1 million in cap space, they’re not wasting that cap space on Kapanen (while still needing to fill out 3-4 roster spots.

      If you’re gonna dream , dream big! But it’s just that, a dream!