NHL Rumor Mill – July 4, 2022

by | Jul 4, 2022 | Rumors | 54 comments

Should the Islanders pursue Johnny Gaudreau? What’s the latest on Jakob Chychrun? Could the Blackhawks have an interest in Petr Mrazek or Matt Murray? What’s the latest on the Oilers, Golden Knights and Sabres? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks made the case for the New York Islanders to sign Johnny Gaudreau if the Calgary Flames left winger hits the open market on July 13. He acknowledged it would be an expensive undertaking but suggested general manager Lou Lamoriello should shed a combination of Semyon Varlamov, Josh Bailey and Anthony Beauvillier to do it.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders need a high-scoring winger to skate alongside playmaking center Mathew Barzal. However, it’s unlikely Lamoriello will set his sights on such an expensive target as Gaudreau.

Lamoriello seems unwilling to move Varlamov. Bailey could be a cost-cutting candidate while Beauvillier becomes a trade chip to add a forward or defenseman. However, I don’t see them being part of a grand plan to land a blue-chip free agent like Gaudreau.


GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan reports Arizona Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said not much has changed on the Jakob Chychrun trade front. He’s still willing to entertain offers but for now, he expects the 24-year-old defenseman will be returning with the Coyotes for 2022-23.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, no one’s made an offer that would entice Armstrong to part with Chychrun. That could change this week leading up to the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal on Thursday and Friday.

If not, Armstrong seems content to have Chychrun in the lineup for the ’22-’23 campaign. The blueliner is under contract through 2024-25 with an affordable $4.6 million annual average value and lacks no-trade protection for the coming season.


THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers believe the Chicago Blackhawks could begin to address their goaltending this week. They anticipate GM Kyle Davidson could contact the Toronto Maple Leafs about Petr Mrazek or the Ottawa Senators regarding Matt Murray. He might be willing to take on one of them in exchange for draft picks and/or prospects.

Mrazek carries a $3.8 million annual salary-cap hit for the next two seasons. Murray is signed through 2023-24 with an AAV of $6.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Davidson will likely ask for a sweetener like a draft pick and/or prospect to be packaged with Mrazek or Murray. He also won’t part with a high draft pick or prospect to do this favor for the Leafs or Senators.


THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Nugent-Bowman reports the Edmonton Oilers are still awaiting answers from Mike Smith and Duncan Keith before free agency begins next week. Both players have a year remaining on their contracts and there’s talk they could retire. Given Smith’s injuries, it appears more likely he’ll go on long-term injury reserve for next season than retire.

Nugent-Bowman also reports winger Jesse Puljujarvi hasn’t requested a trade. It sounds as though he’d like to return with the Oilers as a top-six winger. The Oilers could ask the restricted free agent to start the season on their third line and see if he can work his way higher in the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My guess is Smith goes on LTIR, Keith returns to finish his contract, and Puljujarvi gets traded.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps acknowledged recent trade speculation swirling about Golden Knights defenseman Nic Hague. He believes it wouldn’t be a bad thing to move him in a cost-cutting deal given their blueline depth, allowing the Golden Knights to recoup some assets in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most pundits I’ve read on the subject believe moving Hague isn’t an option at this point. However, the Golden Knights might not have much choice if they can’t find other ways to reduce their payroll before 2022-23.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports the Sabres signing goaltender Craig Anderson last week to a one-year deal doesn’t mean they’re done seeking help between the pipes. He anticipates they’ll sign or trade for a netminder while allowing Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen more time to develop.

Harrington doesn’t expect they’ll pursue notable UFAs such as St. Louis’ Ville Husso or Toronto’s Jack Campbell. Free-agent targets could include Dallas’ Braden Holtby, Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith or Winnipeg’s Eric Comrie. Trade options could be the Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, San Jose’s James Reimer or the New York Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted earlier, the Isles seem unwilling to move Varlamov. I think the Sharks intend to retain Reimer for the coming season. Georgiev could be a good addition if they’re looking beyond 2022-23.


  1. Happy 4th of July to all! Next up the draft! Unfortunately for the past decade the highlight of the Devil’s season….

  2. McDonaugh deal interesting . Definitely shed some salary for the Bolts. I guess Palat will be resigned

    I see Gaudreau in Philly or Jersey before the Island. Although Lou not afraid of landing a big ticket . Just ask Kovalchuk if he has any:thing left of of his $100 mil

    • Could Johnny Hockey get two years in Buffalo for 10 million a season?

      And I see John Klingberg there. Paired with Rasmus Dahlin.

  3. Maybe the Sabers want Ullmark back….get on it Sweeney … Bruins don’t need a part time $5 million per backup goalie they need a vet goalie to teach Sway ….saved $$$$ better spent on a center or a winger

    • Never liked the signing, wish Sweeney just let Vladar and Swayman fight out the starting job. Would have saved cap space for the 2C they should have been after.
      Could Ullmark fetch a second round pick maybe.
      Package him Debrusk and Reilly to Edmonton.

      • Guys wishful thinking. Ullmark has full NMC. He wanted it for this very reason Earliest he will be traded is next year when his NMC becomes a 16 team ntc

      • Well, hindsight is pretty easy, so let’s look back.

        So you guys think the Bruins should have started last season with a rookie with 10 NHL starts in Swayman, and a guy who had 5 NHL starts and a career .866 save % on a very good defensive team and looked rattled half the time? Wasn’t gonna happen, and if they tried to send Vladar down after signing a tender, he likely get’s claimed.

        IMO you are throwing you best tender prospect under the bus by putting the weight of a perennial playoff team on his shoulders.

        Would like to see an example of any playoff team, ever doing that in the history of the NHL.

        By the way both guys started the same amount of games last year so wouldn’t say Ullmark was the backup. Their #’s are really close as well, Ullmark’s being better in some metrics, Swayman’s in others.

        Both better than average NHL tender. The Oilers would take Ullmark all day, and unless he has family reasons for staying in NE USA, he would probably go there. But I don’t think the Bruins want to trade him until Swayman establishes himself as an NHL starter, and that means more than 50 games.

      • So you would like to see the Bruins start the year off missing McAvoy, Marchand, Greyz and no answers at center and not have Swayman and Ullmark? So trade Ullmark and bring in who you back up Swayman? What if Swayman goes down?! Season over!

    • There was a pretty good idea what they had with Sway he played in 41 games 2021-22 season and in 5 playoff games and his #’s were in line reg season and playoffs so they kind a knew what they had,I’m just saying Sweeney didn’t have to go out and sign a 5 million per goalie and on top of it give him a NMC when could’ve sign a vet goalie for a lot less ……aren’t trades always about hindsight …..Sweeney had a bad offseason last year with his FA signings and trades

      • I got my years mixed up Ray …pass on me

      • Joe , Rays okay in small doses, but Sweeney might have bitten off more than he can chew. i don’t any confidence in this clown.On the trade front I would rather have Lawson Crouse over Kadri any day of the week he’ 6 years younger big as a house, skates well for a big guy, good near the net, hits hard & is a good fighter, kind of in the mold of Neely( no I ‘m not saying he’s as good as Neely,) but don’t forget Neely was just an average player with the Canucks before he came to Boston. Sweeney’s gonna have to be a Wizard to pull off what needs to be done to make the bruins a contender for the cup. If he can’t, he better double bubble, double trouble himself out of beantown cause both he and Neely will be fired in the new year.

      • RWM

        English please. Not Spanglish metaphors of nothingness Sweeney just resigned not going anywhere in near future Common sense. But then again it is no longer common

    • Sabres don’t want Ullmark back at what Boston paid him.

      You would have to retain salary and even then were looking some where else 1st

  4. For better or for worse Matt Murray is the starter for the Senators when the seasons opens in the hope that that the nagging – and always different – injuries are a thing of the past. There is no way they deal with – with sweeteners – anywhere.

    They have little choice in following this path – to do otherwise would then leave them in the same boat as several teams – looking for a starting goalie. Forsberg is excellent at what he does – back-up – but he starts to show cracks when used in the # 1 role. Gustavsson has been too inconsistent at the both the NHL and AHL levels and needs to improve in that regard over the course of a fill AHL season.

    Big Mads Sogaard will also benefit from another year in Belleville and if he continues to develop he could be in the NHL full time the season after next. By then, Murray will either have shown that he can play a full season with decent stats – and therefore more desirable as a trade option – OR, if not, he then becomes a candidate for buy-out.

    Which is why I’d be very surprised to see Colin White bought out this year – potentially putting then in a 2-man dead cap space for several seasons – not as bad as the situation faced by Minnesota, mind you, but bad enough when you have a few more top prospects coming up for RFA negotiations.

  5. Spec if not Johnny Hockey then who? The has not been an elite one two combo with isles for years. Yet every times names come people shoot them down and no one provides an alternative

    • Isles 22: I’m not shooting down Gaudreau to the Isles to be a jerk. I’m merely pointing out the difficulty in achieving Brooks’ proposal. There’s no indication Lamoriello wants to move Varlamov. Moving Bailey is easier said than done. Beauvillier should have trade value but moving his $4 million cap hit obviously won’t clear enough room. Finally, we don’t know if Gaudreau is keen to sign with the Isles.

      It’s one thing to say, “Hey, Lamoriello should trade these three guys to free up cap space to sign the best player available in this summer’s UFA market.” The reality, however, is quite different.

      Lamoriello has limited cap room to go big-game hunting this summer. He’ll have to get very creative to pull it off. I just don’t see Brooks’ vision as a possibility.

      • Lyle, bringing reality into the equation would eliminate about 75% of the trade proposals that pop up in here regularly.

      • The only moves Lou made last summer was letting Eberle go and replacing him with a mix of Parise and giving Wahlstrom more ice time. neither were fuel to Barzal’s game.
        As a Ranger fan I am fine if he does not make any moves to help his young center

        Varlamov has a no no movement clause and they seem to like the Russian tandem in net.

        In hindsight I still do not understand his back to back GM of the year awards. And I think he is an alltime GM great. just won those awards for???

      • George, 75%? You feeling generous today?

      • 🙂 Yeah, I also figured 75% was easier to defend.

      • Lyle, I did not think you were trying to be a jerk about anything. I realize that there are limitations. It is just everyone knows the isles need scoring. Sooner or later something has to give.

    • I struggle with Barzal and “elite” in the same sentence.

      Barzal is a hell of a good player, but he’s an average 62 points per year. He could develop to be an elite guy, but as of today he’s about 2 notches down from that guy.

    • Isles. I think most of Larry Brooks suggestions get shot down.

  6. Rumor was JG turned down 8yrs at $9.5 from Calgary. If any truth to that; doesn’t it just mean he wants out of Calgary?

    That would be 7yrs @ $10.85 per

    I did not realize Johnny will be 29yrs old in August. Johnny being on the smaller size 5’9″ 165lbs; who ever signs him, the last few years will not age well.

    Max would be 5yrs. He’ll get his 7yrs.

    • I don’t think Johnny has out right turned down the offer. Sounds like he is still mulling it over. (Although not looking good)
      I disagree about the contract not aging well. The reason is Johnny doesn’t take a pounding, has always skated well and stays in excellent condition. I think just the opposite it will age very well. That and the fact the cap will rise significantly in the next 5 years.

      As I mentioned in a previous post I hope the Flames stick to their guns and don’t go higher than 9.5. My reasoning is he is a dynamic player in the regular season and elevates his line mates game. Unfortunately because of his size he cannot maintain that productivity in the playoffs.
      If he leaves Calgary the fans of his new team will love him because he is such a dynamic and exciting player, just don’t expect that type of play to carry into the playoffs.

      • Flamefan, I agree with the assessment that Guadreau’s size limits his playoff effectiveness. Which is why I have to wonder why the Flames should tie up 9 million plus in such a player? And then possibly forfeit Mangiapane and or take themselves out of the running for another UFA option.

      • Heh. Maybe he and his agent are looking at the math and what happens when he, Tkachuk and Mangiapane are finalized and the probability that Calgary will be spending 52% of their cap on 6 players – putting them into the same roster merry-go-round faced by several other teams with annual the problem of try to flesh out a 23-man competitive roster.

      • Kind of agree Flamesfan, he may just be taking the time to make a decision.

        If he turns this down and goes to the market, I would have to think the Flames have to go to the market as well so not left without a replacement.

        Big decision for him and his agent, I wouldn’t want to bet he gets better than what the Flames are offering.

        He says he luvs Calgary, and easy place to luv, great city to live in. But all players say that.

      • Hey George, it is a real conundrum when your top players come up for renewal. The problem is teams cannot be on a never ending rebuild phase, at sometime they have to make a decision to keep their top players.
        Ottawa have gone through this and decided not to keep its top players which kinda worked out except you are now going into your 6th season of not being in the playoffs. Don’t know what’s worse being on a 10 year rebuild or keeping top players and playing in the playoffs every year.

      • Agree there’s no perfect solution Flamefan … and, yes, Ottawa will soon approach that stage where the contracts of Tkachuk, Chabot, Batherson, Stutzle, Formenton and, eventually, Sanderson are going to add up to a healthy chunk of whatever cap limit is in place at the time. I just hope it can be closer to where those of TB and Colorado were when winning their cups … more like the 44% to 46% range … which afforded them $6 to $7 mil more to spend than those who exceeded 50% on 6 players.

    • Hi Caper

      It would equal 7 @ $10.85 gross…. But looking at takehome…

      8 @ $9.5 M…. Has take home of ~ $40 M (over term) in Cgy

      If he went to any of the 6 tax free state franchises…

      Signing 7 @ $9 M also nets $40 M take home over the term…. Then he can sign (after 6 complete seasons) a re-up for that de facto “8th “ season and reap more

      Take home figures above cite GavinGroup

      Also…. What was the offer from flames comprised of (SB vs Sal split); as SBs have zero escrow clawback

      Could also be “close” on a Flames deal; but his “reported” rejection of 8 @ $9.5 M may have been a rejection of contract as it is structured vs actual Cap hit

      Will be interesting 9 days

      • Pengy, good points.
        How a contract is structured can be pivotal in a player saying yeah or nay

      • Torts will be having Johnny blocking shots by Thanksgiving or benching him.
        Doesn’t happen too often but a sign and trade could be in order. At least Flames could garner some form of a return.

        You can’t count on young goalies. Even the good ones. Although a fan Swayman could have a season set back. Look at Binnington for a recent example. My favourite is the Net Detective

      • Agree S7, doesn’t seem like a Torts kind of player, but didn’t seem like a Sutter one either. But they are different coaches.

        Some more young goalie examples of struggling after 1st year off the top of my head: Hart, Carey, Penny, Raycroft etc etc.

  7. Mrazek + Nylander+ Sandin + 2023 3rd for DeBrincat

    • Johnny, I think the Hawks will want a lot more than that

      • OK, Mrazek + Nylander+ Sandin + 2022 1st for DeBrincat

      • Or, Mrazek + Sandin to Detroit for a 5th

    • Hi JZ

      Leafs are already in Cap hell spending 1/2 if Cap on 4 Fwds

      WW out of top 4 ; Debrincat in saves ~ $600 K Cap this year; but for 23/24 onwards…. DeBrincat will be due a big raise…. Leafs then at > 50% Cap on top 4 fwds….. same old same old

      Leafs have no problems with scoring

      Back end overall needs to be the focus

      • Not true. All teams can use offense. The Leafs defense was pretty close to a complete turn around. The Pk was top ten and despite having the goalies they did, they still were top 1/3rd.

        Leafs need scoring depth up front as we saw from this year’s playoff. No one scored expect the ones we all except to. Sometimes it’s hard to see that when you’re so focused on other issues that all good teams have to deal with.

    • Johnny Z

      Kyle Davidson wants equivalent of 4 1st round picks for Alex DeBrincat.

      Sorry but there’s no way Davidson accepts that offer, Mrazek has little to no value Sandin is grossly over-valued. Only Nylander and the 1st remotely has value.

    • I wouldn’t trade Nylander for DeBrincat straight up.

      • With you there 100%. I keep saying, the ONLY reason Nylander gets dealt is to clear cap space in order to shore up where needed most (goal and D). Trading him for DeBrincat flies against all logic in that regard. If management ever did decide to sacrifice Nylander for $$ space what comes back would HAVE to be a high pick (or picks) + a top prospect. Nothing else makes sense in light of the cap issues.

      • That be a mistake

  8. Gaudreau to Philly makes a ton of sense, especially if they can move JvR. He’s owed 4mil after bonus payout and lacks ntc. Perfect for a team with cap space if sweetener added. Gaudreau grew up in South Jersey area that is Flyers fans. Played at BC with Hayes.

    • you think he wants to skate for Torts? I know he had his best season with Sutter…. but

    • Sign & trade. A signed 8 year deal with gaudreau to cap cap hit down to Philly for JVR, 5th OA & Tippett. Philly get their guy, Gaudreau gets what he wants & Flames get some value for their franchise player. Just an idea.

      • Why would Philly Trade for him, if he doesn’t take the Flames offer we can get him for free.

        Lol your offer is a joke, rights for players maybe get a 3rd pick.

  9. As an Isles fan can’t see paying big bucks for JG. He is great but at 29 for a long-term contract? I would like to raid the Avalanche free agents. get either Nish or Burk. I do think Varly will be traded Sorokin is the real deal don’t need Varly who at 5 mill is not bad. I can see Toronto going for him. Bailey will be gone and as for Beau I would like to keep him but if they trade him, it better be for a defenseman. So, there will be moves made by Grandpa Lou. And the 13 pick probably goes also. Thoughts?

  10. Considering that L.A. got Fiala for a 1st and Faber, I wouldn’t go much higher on the asking price for Debrincat.

    • Sjpp, you really can’t compare Debrincat, whom the Hawks really don’t have to trade – and shouldn’t trade in my opinion – with Fiala, whom the Wild had to trade because they’re in cap hell.

  11. Debrusk rescinded his trade request.
    I’ll say it again, good move removing cASSidy.

    • Sure starting to seem that way SOP.
      Still surprised, but hard to argue.

  12. I would not trade for Nylander until the build rinks with no corners. So much skill great skater but plays scared very scared.