NHL Rumor Mill – August 18, 2022

by | Aug 18, 2022 | Rumors | 45 comments

Speculation persists linking the Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun to the Senators plus the latest on J.T. Miller and Rasmus Sandin in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE WALLY AND METHOT SHOW: Brent Wallace reported earlier this week that he’s been told the Ottawa Senators remain in pursuit of Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. “There have been talks this week,” tweeted Wallace, who indicated the Coyotes’ asking price remains “two 1st round picks and a high-end prospect plus Arizona would also take (Nikita) Zaitsev.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

TSN’s Shawn Simpson reported the Coyotes asking price for Chychrun was huge at the trade deadline and at the draft. He’s sure other teams are interested in the 24-year-old Coyotes blueliner but everyone knows “Ottawa wants the player, and the player would prefer the Sens.” Simpson believes the Senators should offer nothing more than “a top D prospect, a 1st and a 2nd.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s worth remembering why the Coyotes are setting such a high asking price.

There’s plenty of interest in Chychrun despite his injury history. Teams look at what he’s capable of when healthy, as well as his youth and reasonable $4.6 million annual salary-cap hit through 2024-25, and see him as a good fit.

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong is rebuilding his roster. He’s got a valuable trade chip in Chychrun but he’s under no pressure to move the blueliner. Chychrun has three more seasons on his contract at an affordable cap hit. There’s no indication he’s requested a trade. Even if he did, he still must go out and perform to the best of his ability with the Coyotes until a club steps up to meet Armstrong’s price.

The Coyotes’ asking for Zaitsev is to replace Chychrun on the blueline and on their cap payroll. That’s assuming, of course, that they aren’t on his 10-team no-trade list. Trading Chychrun would put them under this season’s $61 million cap minimum.

Zaitsev has a $4.5 million average annual value through 2023-24, though in actual salary he’ll earn $2.5 million this season as the Senators already paid his $2 million signing bonus for this season. That’s much more palatable for the Coyotes.

As for those draft picks, the Coyotes possess nine picks between rounds two and four in 2024 and four second-rounders in 2025. However, they have just one first-round pick in each of the next three rounds and just one extra third-rounder in 2023. Armstrong would prefer a couple of extra firsts.

It’s possible Chychrun gets traded before the coming season begins in October. The Senators could be his destination. But unless Armstrong lowers his price or a team steps up to meet the current one, don’t be surprised if Chychrun’s suiting up with the Coyotes on opening night.


CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal recently reported player agent Brian Bartlett isn’t concerned about how big a story it could be for client J.T. Miller to report to Vancouver Canucks training camp without a contract extension. He claims the 29-year-old center is looking forward to camp next month and doesn’t believe his client’s contract will be a distraction.

The two sides haven’t discussed a new contract since the draft in Montreal last month. The Canucks haven’t given Bartlett permission to speak with other teams about an extension. He indicated he hasn’t spoken to Miller about cutting off contract talks with the Canucks once the regular season begins but doesn’t rule out the possibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Based on comments made to the media earlier this summer by Miller and Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford, it doesn’t appear that the two sides will reach an agreement before the season begins. While Miller would like to stay and management wants to keep him, both sides seem resigned that this season will be his last in Vancouver.

Dhaliwal also reported agent Darren Ferris has been granted permission by the Canucks to talk to other teams about a trade for client Michael DiPietro. A source told Dhaliwal there is interest in the 23-year-old goaltender and there is a deal that could make sense for the Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Could that interested club be the Vegas Golden Knights? They could be in the market for an affordable goaltender after losing Robin Lehner for the coming season due to hip surgery.


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox reports contract talks aren’t going anywhere between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Rasmus Sandin. Agent Lewis Gross said he can’t answer why talks are at a standstill for his client.

Leafs GM Kyle Dubas declined to comment other than to indicate via text that negotiating contracts through the media “do not create resolutions to private matters.” Fox indicates factors such as money, term and Sandin’s role with the Leafs are in play here. It’s believed the Leafs have offered him a deal similar to teammate Timothy Liljegren’s two-year, $2.8 million bridge contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fox also pointed out the Leafs have limited salary-cap space right now. They’ll have to create some cap space if they hope to get Sandin under contract before the start of the coming season.


  1. I doubt Zaitsev will accept trade to yotes. But if he did sens could toss in a 1st. And former 1st. Batherson. Wouldn’t do much more then that if I was in their shoes

  2. Oops meant Brannstrom not Batherson. 😞

    • Whew. Was about to jump all over that proposal until I saw the clarification.

      I’ve been saying all along in here that, IF a deal ever went down, Zaitzev would have to be part of any package simply to keep Arizona above the cap floor. Would he waive that part of his no-trade list if Arizona was on it? I think he would. What other choice would he have? Stay in Russia? Play in Belleville?

      But I really think that point is moot because, if Armstrong holds firm to his two 1st Round picks, Dorion would be crucified if he forked that over PLUS a prospect and a roster player.

      I really doubt the Chychrun to Ottawa rumour is going anywhere – at this time.

      • I think it could work if a third team needing to dump some salary got involved.
        Perhaps one of the first round picks headed to Phoenix comes from a cap-strapped club along with whoever they want to dump and Ottawa sends that team a second or third round pick.

        As a Boston fan I think I’d rather trade Foligno and a 1st for a 2nd than lose Craig Smith (who would certainly be traded below value). That’s just one example I’m sure

      • George, I seriously doubt ANY GM is going to risk his job by giving Armstrong what he wants for someone who has yet to play a full season. It’s not like Armstrong’s listening to offers for Gretzky.

      • Zaitsev should totally make the move to Arizona – saves on the taxes alone.

        Taking Zaitsev and his contract is worth a 2nd alone.

        I’m okay with Formenton, Zaitsev, a D prospect (JBD or Branny) and 1st plus maybe a 3rd for JC and another player (Crouse?)

        But, I hate to point this out, JC is not a true RD.

      • Johnny G, yeah, the fact he is a left shot playing RD hasn’t escaped me … but that hasn’t been uncommon over the years in the NHL – in fact, some coaches prefer it that way. Same with F. Rocket Richard played his whole career at RW – and he was a left shot. Probably scored half his goals off the backhand.

  3. When George first heard Chychrun possibly coming over to the sens he very nearly dropped his lah lah on his foo foo. I think if that happens Boston the odd team out of the playoffs.

    Seeing many Boston on line reports, Craig Smith looks like he’s a goner, Sweeney manning the helm on this one so we’re guaranteed another David Backes in return.

    Also not overly impressed with Fabian Lysell 1g 4 assists 5 games not bad, but I’ve watched every game world juniors I expected a bit better, no David p here but will be a good nhl player. Seems to be easy to knock off his skates. Sure he had some good rushes maybe one a game, nothing ever happened with most of them.

    • Now, now – leave my foo foo out of this. I will admit some puckering of the wazoo … but that’s it!

      • George great retort, I honestly feel unless the bruins do something other than sign players they were going to sign anyway. Ottawa will make the post season. Sens have improved more than any other team. I think they stand a legit chance at making the playoffs.
        Hey if you ever have the chance watch the Party with Peter sellers, it may be not ethnically correct . But it is funny. Check it out. One of Peter’s best and funniest performances. George you might want turn away for this next line “Sweeney sucks!”

      • Oh, I’ve watched that many times – a classic. Loved the opening scene where he plays a Gunga Din role and refuses to die despite being riddled with billets … I read somewhere that he said his inspiration for that scene came from a 1962 record by Sonny Gianotta called The Last Blast Of The Blasted Bugler


  4. Smith would be traded for a pick or prospect not another player unless he is a negative cap hit lol
    FYI there is only one pasta in league. Not fair to say 19 year old Lysell is not pasta. He will be a very good player for bruins soon. Doubt this year

  5. The Sandin stalemate is hard to understand if, as is suggested, the Leafs are offering the same deal as that handed to Liljegren. They’re both coming off a similar ELC deal ($894,167 in Sandin’s case) and have similar NHL experience to date.

    But even if he does agree to that, it would bring them to 7 D, 14F and 2G – the full 23 – but they’d also be $2,893,116 over the cap. And no current LTIR to offset it. So, something’s gotta give.

    Pengy, Ron, Ken – what moves do you foresee?

    • Ha George, my magic 8ball keeps saying it’s unclear. Anyone else?

      Seriously I have no idea on not only what moves he will do but the return or costs involved. Some wishful thinking and would make things so much easier for the team is if they can move one of Muzzin or Kerfoot or preferably both somehow somewhere for something. 🤷🏻‍♂️

  6. It’s been widely reported (apparently twitter is reporting now) that Arizona is not on Zaitsev’s 10 team list.

    I could have sworn that the Phlyers had made a reasonble (almost good enough) deal for Chychrun.

    The sticking point is the two first round picks and that they or one be unprotected.

    Had that bozo Smith played Lassi Thompson, or JBD more last year….and allowed them to fail, and learn…..in a LOST season….we wouldn’t be having to look at Chychrun. The D prospects are sound.

    For all the good done by Dorion this year he has allowed his coach to get in the way of good asset management. Eric Brannstrom is no longer a top D prospect. He now needs a contract, and is no longer waiver exempt. Jake the Savior Sanderson’s hand is mush. Zaitsev, a coach favorite, is a live hand grenade on the ice. Hamonic is old. Zub needs a contract. We are burning through Chabbots best years while playing him into the ground.

    There’s a better deal to be made with Vegas for Shea Theodore.

    • Dark G, you know these D prospects much better than I do, but it is pretty normal for D to play at least a full season of AHL hockey before making the jump to the NHL. Seems like an exception if they don’t. Often 2 years, so they can make the mistakes down there.

      Watched Brannstrom a few times, they guy definitely has wheels and some skill, but maybe he just ain’t that good and it has nothing to do with Smith? I dunno, but players need to figure it out for themselves as well, and sometimes it takes a while and sometimes they never do.

      If he doesn’t work out somebody will take him, just the return won’t be much. MB4’s idea of throwing him in the ARI trade isn’t a terrible idea.

    • I would certainly prefer Theodore if a deal with Vegas could be worked out – but in their case, they simply can’t take a big contract back.

      And Dorion MUST re-sign Zub, As for Hamonic, I think he gets a bum rap. The 6′ 2″ 205 lb D just turned 32, so not “old” compared to many around the league and in 43gp with Vancouver and Ottawa he contributed 4g 6a 10 pts – about what you’d expect from a stay-at-home type – and he was a +6.

      Now, Nick Holden – who just turned 35 – might be described as “old” but the 6′ 4″ 215 lb D played in 76 games with 5g 14a 19. pts and was an even +/-. He was also deemed good enough to play for Canada at the World’s – not exactly a ringing endorsement, I grant you, but he played well on the bigger ice surfaces over there and was chosen over other options.

  7. Hi George

    I feel Sandin is possible trade bait…
    Holl, Kerfoot, are not going to draw much of a return.
    Muzzin has a NTC…
    Leafs desperately need a left winger for their second line, a player of annoyance with a skill level, but to fill that void will come at a COST

    As with Ottawa , they have a nice diversified “skill set” but desperately need an upgrade to their defense.

    Dorion, I feel has the freedom, a great hockey mind!
    Dubas, my concern is, does he have the respect of other GM’s in the league, to accommodate a trade of significance.

    • Ken, if they did trade Sandin’s rights – or even Holl – do they have anyone at the AHL level ready to step into the NHL, because dealing one or the other would give them just 6 D and to go into a new season with only that many – including a couple who are getting long in the tooth – would be dangerous.

  8. @George
    The procrastination with Sandin, I find weird.
    He is definitely a nice piece, to accommodate a trade.
    Kerfoot and Holl are not going to draw much of a return
    Muzzin has a NTC
    Leafs desperately need an annoying left winger , with a skill set for their second line, Kerfoot is not the guy!
    I just don’t think Dubas has the respect , amongst the league to pull off a trade of significance, IMO, GM’s want to fleece him?

    Dorion, on the other hand, I feel has the respect, has a significant group of “7′ to build around, but desperately needs an upgrade to their defense…

    We are in wait and see mode.. Leafs second line under performed last year, they need a “spark” with an energy, tough left winger , but there is a COST!!

  9. @George

    I am not sure if there is any upside with the free agent signings
    1. Mete
    2. Jordie Benn

    Or R we just grasping at straws?
    I am just confused as anyone else, how you can fill out this lineup..

    I think Matthew Knies will be a nice addition in the future, but his training camp and tournament was only average

    • Ken,

      Jordie Benn is a solid 3rd pairing D who plays both L and R and is a defensive minute muncher, great on the PK.

      Victor Mete is a great skater with good hockey IQ and despite his lack of size usually comes up with the puck, has no shot though.

      Sens should have kept him instead of Brannstrom.




    Who fills the whole beside Reilly

    Muzzin will always be in and out of the lineup




    • With that forward and D and ready to deploy, and only 2 holes to fill, I’d say the Leafs are in pretty good shape. Only question mark is the tender tandem, and I’d wager they turn out solid 1st seasons.
      The core group is mature, if not seasoned now, and the additions of Gio and Brodie as leaders certainly won’t the cause.
      Leafs and Oilers in the finals wouldn’t shock me at all. It would make for an exciting series, to say the least.

  11. Kadri. A flame per dreger. Big move

    • I always felt that he turned down the 1st trade to Calgary because of the episode with Gio. No lack of friction there.
      Petty? Yes, but not unfathomable.

      • Calgary has Markstrom in his prime, a solid 1-5 on D and now a balanced scoring with Kadri @ 2C and Backlund @ 3C.

      • Big move Calgary. IMO the Flames are better now vs. when they won the Pacific last year.

        May not like the last 2 deals 5 years down the road, but they are a really good team right now. Deep all over the ice.

        Saw a report Monahan going to MTL to make room. Interested in seeing what that deal looks like.

        Well done Treliving, unreal actually.

      • Amazing work by Treleving … good for them – lose Gaudreau and Tkachuk – and come up with Huberdeau, Weegar and Kadri.

        Maybe a bit lengthy but hell, that won’t start to show until about the 5th year. They will be a force in the West.

      • I don’t know how you got that but that incident had nothing to do with it. In fact Kadri even said he blocked it only because he wanted to remain a Leaf and no other reason.

    • 7×7 apparently. Still speculative it seems in terms of money. I like Kadri, but i dont like 7 by 7 for Kadri.

  12. Kadri – 7 year signing – RISKY
    I haven’t seen the terms

    SOP – optimism and Habsfan – – – -knowledge on Benn and Mete are very encouraging !

    Stanley Cup Final – Edmonton and Toronto !!!
    I can’t ask for more
    I will call my psychiatrist and relate my new findings !
    I am CURED Now , Lol !

  13. Arizona has a 62.1 million projected cap hit. Arizona still has to sign Hayton and another goalie. They should not need a cap hit equivalent to Chychrun’s in return.

  14. No no, that came be right. There is a poll out there that said Kadri has already sign with the NYI.

    • He had a done deal but refused to shave for Lou.
      = Deal Breaker

    • So Lou’s “secret signing” is so secret that Kadri, Calgary were unaware he already had a “handshake” deal with NYI’s?


  15. I cannot wait for the season to see how all this plays out.

    Such a unique situation. I am not sure i asked this before here, but when looking at the contracts and next seasons expectations what would be a successful individual performance for thse 4 guys that all comes off career seasons that very very much eclipses their career avgs.

    Do the flames expect kadri to be ppg player and huberdeau a perrenial 100+ guy. Is columbus and florida expecting the same from gaudreau and tkachuck?

    I dont remember a time when 4 guys all hit the same ufa market all coming off such notable career seasons that are really outliers of what history tells us to expect from them.

    Going to be fun to watch

  16. Not sure Treliving will be around for the last years of these deals. He has already been burnt bringing in shiny new toys like Neal and Brouwer that are over 30. Makes me think the Flames need to take the chequebook away from him at free agency.

    These signings might be ok for a few years but IMO I would not give Kadri in particular that kind of term. He will be 32 when the season starts and his style of game doesn’t appear to scream longevity.

    I hope I’m wrong.

    • IMO you’re not wrong Sparky regarding the long term, but enjoy the short term!

      Battle of AB is going to be great.

      I will apologize right now for chirping you when opportunities arise. Just the way it needs to be in Alberta.

      Going to be some great flippin’ hockey in this province.

      • No doubt part of the battle of Alberta Ray!

        Montreal could make out like bandits if Monahan returns to health. He recently said he feels better than he has for yrs. If he does the Habs can either flip him for more picks at the deadline or sign him.

        Byron, and Kulak are two examples of ex Flames that thrived in Montreal.

      • Yes they could Sparky, kind of rooting for the guy, he has had like at least 6 surgeries in last few years.
        The 1st is conditional, no idea what the conditions are or if they are tied to games played, or what pick it is, or whatever.

  17. R the flames better now with Kadri, Huberdeau and Weaver? Then when it was Johnny Hockey and Tkachuk.

  18. Kent Hughes confirms that they will accomodate Monahan’s salary by putting Price on LTIR, the news on his knee are discouraging, doesnt see a way he gets back to play this season. No progress on the knee. Plasma injection did not help.

  19. Leas are a mess and if Mete and Benn are in the line-up, that is going to spell tough season!