NHL Rumor Mill – July 27, 2022

by | Jul 27, 2022 | Rumors | 23 comments

Could the Canucks trade J.T. Miller to the Islanders for a top-four, right-side defenseman? Could Matthew Tkachuk’s new deal affect the Sharks’ contract talks with Timo Meier? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma mused over whether the New York Islanders might offer up defenseman Noah Dobson to the Vancouver Canucks as part of a package for J.T. Miller. He pointed out the Canucks’ former management had an interest in the 22-year-old Dobson stretching back to his junior days.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

The Islanders have $11 million in cap space. Dobson is a restricted free agent whose 51-point performance last season could put him in line for a raise comparable to that of Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin’s two-year contract.

Dahlin will earn $5.8 million in actual salary this coming season and $7.2 million in 2023-24. That could prove too expensive for the Isles if Dobson seeks a similar deal, especially with Mathew Barzal due for a new contract next summer.

Miller, 29, is in the final season of his contract with an affordable $5.25 million cap hit. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and could cost $8 million annually on his next contract.

There were reports during the draft that the Islanders had an interest in Miller. However, Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford denied having any trade discussions about him with the Isles.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks seem reluctant to part with Miller. His agent recently said there’s a pathway toward his client signing a long-term extension but I daresay it’s a very expensive one.

Dobson, 22, would have to be part of the Canucks’ asking price if the Islanders were interested in Miller. The Summerside, PEI native would bring some much-needed skilled depth to the right side of their blueline.

Whether Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello is willing to part with Dobson, however, is another matter. Recent reports suggest he could be kicking tires on UFA center Nazem Kadri.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited The Mercury News’ Curtis Pashelka musing over what effect Matthew Tkachuk’s new deal with the Florida Panthers will have on the Sharks’ contract talks with Timo Meier.

Tkachuk, 24, signed an eight-year, $76 million contract with the Panthers on Friday. Pashelka observed the former Flames winger has 285 points since 2018-19 while the 25-year-old Meier had 222. He wondered if Tkachuk’s new deal would serve as a blueprint for the Sharks winger if he has a “monster year” in the coming NHL season, perhaps earning $1 million less per season than Tkachuk’s $9.5 million average annual value.

Meier is entering the final season of a four-year deal with an AAV of $6 million but an actual salary of $10 million, which is what it’ll cost the Sharks to qualify his rights. If the two sides fail to work out a suitable contract extension, Peng wondered if Meier might fetch a return comparable to what the Flames got from the Panthers for Tkachuk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier’s future in San Jose will depend upon whether he buys into the club’s direction under new general manager Mike Grier. If the club is engaging in a long rebuild, he could be reluctant to ink a long-term deal, forcing Grier to peddle him in the trade market.

Meier is a skilled offensive winger but doesn’t play the same physical style as Tkachuk. He could bolster his stock with a career-best performance in this coming season, raising the cost of signing him but also boosting his value in the trade market. Still, I doubt he’d land two players comparable to Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar.


  1. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello? Had to laugh out loud…memories.

  2. No way I would trade Dobson for Miller. He is young and will get better. Wait till next year when Miller is a free agent or sign Kadri for free. But with Lou probably nothing gets done. He takes the summer off he likes bingo. He should retire.

    • “… he likes bingo.” What, exactly , do you mean by that?

      • Dont think Pete knows how Lou does his signings.

        Pete he signs players during the summer he just doesn’t release info on the signings until he has them all complete.

        Meaning that if the Isles need to sign five players and 4 are singed and the fifth is working on a contract no info will be released until the fifth player is signed.

  3. The Isles would be absolutely crazy to trade Dobson. He’s not just “skilled depth” on D. He will be a top tier NHL D-man before too long.
    The Isles would be better off signing Kadri and moving Nelson to wing. Obviously, signing Kadri and re-signing Dobson and Romanov would put the Isles over the cap by a bit but they have some contracts they should be able to clear out.
    I have no doubt that Dobson will someday join Richards in the PEI Sports Hall of Fame. Sorry Lyle, I couldn’t resist.

    • Sign Kadri & move Barzal to wing. Free him up from some responsibilities. He’s a face off liability & tends to drift off defensively. Keep Nelly & Lee together- 60+ G’s – balanced attack.

  4. Trading Dobson would be a bigger mistake than when they traded Devon Toews to the Avalanche. There is no way they should get rid of him. Any Islanders fan would pass on that. They could have had Tarasenko last year for a package including Beauvillier and Mayfield and Lou would not do it. Kadri will eventually re sign with Colorado when they clear the cap space and the Islanders will have another off-season without getting another Winger to help put the puck in the net and we’ll go into next season with the same group of forwards.

    • The Isles made the Toews trade because they had no choice but to clear cap space. They’re not in the same position now. And they have other options.
      I’m skeptical that they could’ve had Tarasenko for Mayfield and Beauvilier. Never saw that reported or speculated last year.
      I don’t see Kadri going back to Colorado. They’re in tough cap position and would have to trade someone like Girard, which they don’t want to do. He can get more term elsewhere which, at his age, is important. Isles may very well pull this off

      • Interesting question Joe and Howard.
        When I look at the Avs roster I see a log jam at left D. with Girard, Toews and Byram. All are too good to be a 3rd pair D and the longer the playoffs went on the better Byram was.

        He played over 25 minutes in the cup clinching game which was slightly less than Toews, and more than Makar. Especially in the 3rd when they were protecting a lead. The kid was outstanding, like best player on the ice good in the final 10.

        Just seems like Girard is a luxury they can’t afford after this season, or a least one of those 3 guys.

        Does that mean sign Kadri? Not sure where they would find the money after this season with Mac needing a new deal. As well as Byram and some others.

        An Avs fan said on here that Rantanen will move into the C spot. If capable, good solution because they need one.

        Appears Kadri is waiting on somebody to clear space to make a decision, or he already has. Maybe COL, maybe Isles, or BOS, or some other team that needs a C.

      • Ray, I don’t see Kadri going to Boston. They don’t have a lot of space, still have Zacha to sign and expect to have Bergeron signed for another year and possibly Krejci. Colorado is more likely, but still doubtful. As you say, need to save room for Mac. Would have to move out Girard and I don’t think they want to do that yet. Byram has only played 69 NHL games, including playoffs, and they likely want to see how he develops next year before they trade Girard.
        The Isles are probably the best bet to give him at least close to the money and term he wants. It’s conceivable That Lou is trying to move out money before announcing the signing. Maybe to prevent another team from swooping in with an offer sheet to Dobson.

  5. Dobson ( and more) for Miller would be a steal for Vancouver.

    22 yr old 50 point dman and more for a 29 yr old (good but not great) winger coming off one year flash in the pan season makes no sense to me.

    Again Vancouver media (like most cities) has overhyped a very good player into “elite” status.

    Id be very surprised if Lou got suckered into making the mentioned deal.

    • Agree with everything you said. But Lou has made some strange signings/trades where he appears to value experience (age) over young potential. That is why I agree he would be crazy to do it, but I am less certain that he won’t do it.

    • Not sure I agree with the good not great winger assessment since he has been very good the last 3 seasons, over a point per game and he can play center. With that said I wouldnt do that trade either and my main reason is the low price on wingers at the moment, also he will be 30 when his next contract kicks in.

  6. 10m a year for Meier,

    Hard pass, he worth about 6-7mil on the open market.

    That will be another anchor contract for SJ if they resign him.

    Best bet is to trade him now for picks and prospects.

    Isles could be an option for Meier.

    • MO, if they dealt Meier now, and he doesn’t become an RFA needing to be qualified at $10 mil until after this coming season, wouldn’t any team taking him now be stuck with that?

      I agree – he is NOT a $10 mil per cap hit player and likely never will be – but perhaps in the range of $6.5-7 over 6 years?

  7. All back to why Lou won GM of the year back to back with limited moves…. the first one sure…the 2nd?

    And why will he not move Varlamov…frees up 5million more and he would of been the option for a few teams #1 goalie. keeping him around for Sorokin sake? Was Romanov brought in because he played in Moscow with Ilya?

    • Guessing that no one to take on that 5mil contract for a backup.

      Maybe if Lou would hold 50% he could make a deal but then who is going to be the backup?

      He needs the varly money for Brazals next deal, so trading him now and using that space would be a mistake.

      • good point on the cap for barzal.

        I take Varlamov over Murray and a few others

      • Varly will be UFA after next year. That’ll open up room for Barzal and others.

  8. MO, if they dealt Meier now, and he doesn’t become an RFA needing to be qualified at $10 mil until after this coming season, wouldn’t any team taking him now be stuck with that?

    I agree – he is NOT a $10 mil per cap hit player and likely never will be – but perhaps in the range of $6.5-7 mil per over 6 years?

  9. Havnt seen any mention of Jake Virtanen today. Was found innocent in his criminal case. Won’t get half the publicity as when he was accused.

    • Virtanen’s case was noted in today’s Morning Coffee Headlines, Slick.

      • Thanks Lyle. Didn’t got online this morning. Missed it.