NHL Rumor Mill – August 22, 2022

by | Aug 22, 2022 | Rumors | 18 comments

What would it take for the Oilers to acquire Patrick Kane? Will Paul Stastny return to the Jets or sign elsewhere? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins speculates Patrick Kane could consider playing alongside Connor McDavid and Leon Drasaitl with the Oilers to be more enticing than his present situation with the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Leavins suggests it will cost “a player, a #1 pick and a good prospect, plus-plus” to acquire Kane as a rental player no matter where he goes. Sorting out the salary-cap dollars would also be an issue. The 34-year-old Blackhawks winger carries a $10.5 million cap hit for the coming season and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The real question for Leavins is whether Kane (an American) would be willing to come to Edmonton for even just one season. He pointed out the Blackhawks star has the same agent as Oilers’ Kailer Yamamoto and Cody Ceci.

OILERS NATION: Jason Gregor considers Kane’s contract “very easy” to trade, pointing out he’s only earning $2.9 million in actual salary for the coming season. The Blackhawks would have to retain 50 percent of his $10.5 million cap hit in a trade.

Gregor believes the Oilers can’t afford to acquire the remaining 50 percent. He believes they’d have to get a third team involved, pointing out the Arizona Coyotes are “always willing to take on money for draft picks”.

Under that scenario, the Oilers would only take on $2.65 million of his cap hit and $725K in actual salary. Gregor speculates it would cost the Oilers a late-round pick and a second-tier prospect to the Coyotes to make it work.

As for what the Blackhawks would want from the Oilers, he suggests Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele would have to head to Chicago to make the cap work for Edmonton. He wonders if a first-round pick, a second-rounder and Puljujarvi would be enough, assuming Kane would accept a trade to the Oilers.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Matt Porter wondered if a first-round pick, a prospect, winger Kailer Yamamoto and “overpaid defenseman Tyson Barrie” would get it done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane alongside McDavid or Draisaitl would give the Oilers two devastating forward lines that could power them to the Stanley Cup. Acquiring him, however, won’t be easy.

Reports out of Chicago claim Kane has not requested a trade and isn’t in any rush to leave the Blackhawks. He and Jonathan Toews could see how this season shakes out before deciding if they want to be traded to a potential Stanley Cup contender.

A Kane trade could happen before the start of this season. However, I think it’s more likely to occur closer to the trade deadline. That will ramp up the bidding and also give Kane and the Blackhawks a clearer picture of the potential markets for his services

The Oilers wouldn’t be the only team interested in Kane if he becomes available in the trade market. The New York Rangers, for example, need an experienced right wing among their top-six scorers. If Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko fail to break out this season, the Blueshirts could be in a good position to win a bidding war for Kane.


SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Ken Wiebe was asked by a reader if Paul Stastny was coming back to the Jets and if not, why?

Wiebe thinks the door is not officially closed for a return to the Jets but feels it’s increasingly likely the 36-year-old center will move on. He believes Stastny wants to get his name on the Stanley Cup, suggesting a return to the Colorado Avalanche (where his NHL career began) makes a lot of sense given Stastny’s hockey sense and versatility.


  1. Kane is more likely to go to the Rangers and play with his favorite linemate Artemi. Stasny to the Avs makes too much sense. Stasny signs for $2M per 1.

  2. In his weekend column Steve Simmonds gives this personal August ranking of the 7 Canada-based teams: 1. Edmonton Oilers; 2. Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Calgary Flames; 4. Vancouver Canucks; 5. Winnipeg Jets; 6. Ottawa Senators; 7. Canadiens.

    Pretty close as I see it, although I think with their improvements – so far – Ottawa will finish ahead of Winnipeg and, maybe, Vancouver as well.

    I agree with another thing he pointed out: “Sam Gagner just turned 33 and is 33 games away from 1,000 NHL games after scoring almost 33 points for the Red Wings last season. He sits now without a contract and will play for cheap. Real cheap. And still, the phone isn’t ringing and it should be for a man of this quality … ”

    I wish Dorion would offer him a contract and then move Gambrell, as Gagner would be a monumental improvement at the 4th line C position and quite capable of moving up to the 3rd line position as and when needed without losing any effectiveness – unlike Gambrell.

    • As is, I am not sure that Ottawa finishes ahead of Van. or Winny. They need a,pretty serious upgrade on their D to make that happen.

    • I think I would rank it Flames, Leafs, Oilers, Canucks, Senators, Jets, Canadiens for this season. The Flames are all-in and have the best defence/goaltending combination in Canada.

    • Gagner played wing for the Wings most of the time.

  3. Steve Simmons ranking , as per Canadian teams

    Calgary , Toronto and Edmonton are a photo finish !

    There’s the exact order !

    • 1. Edmonton will benefit from goaltending improvement and a full year of Kane and coach
      2. Winnipeg – coming off a bad year where there was internal s**t going on, all with exception of Kyle Connor had bad years. New coach to work on defensive play – they can still score, average D and Helly in net
      3. Calgary – Lots of significant turnover and following a lot of career years. I am not sold on them being ready to pick up where they left off and Sutter coached teams tend to have a shelf life with a sudden decline, maybe Toronto finishes ahead of them
      4. Toronto is never as good as they say or as bad as they say. Goaltending has regressed, Mathews is the best player in the league when healthy and on his game and has room to improve on last year. I don’t see the rest of the team getting better
      5. Ottawa – maybe this is their year but they haven’t proved anything yet
      6. Vancouver – Demko, Hughes, Miller, Pederson and i think Horvat is a strong leader. This is the dark horse even more than Ottawa
      7. Montreal – moribund

      • 2.0

        I would say Matthews is #2 or 3 in world. Depending how one rate s Leon in Edmonton

    • Ken, here’s a cut-and-paste from Simmods article:

      “A mid-August personal rating: 1. Edmonton Oilers; 2. Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Calgary Flames; 4. Vancouver Canucks; 5. Winnipeg Jets; 6. Ottawa Senators; 7. Canadiens”

      If you’re seeing a different order I’d sure like to see a link because news outlets printing different material by the same author is misleading, to say the least!

  4. @Iago
    Good point

    I am assuming Dorion will make an upgrade on Defense ?

  5. Iago, while I agree that some sort of D upgrade is still a paramount goal for Dorion, right now I’d rate this possible D line-up as good as – if not ahead of – anything either Winnipeg or Vancouver could ice OVERALL.

    Chabot – Zub
    Holden – Brannstrom
    Zatisev – Sanderson
    Hamonic as the 7th

    With quite possibly one of Bernard-Docker or Thompson showing well enough in camp to knock someone out of the 7.

    I also believe that there will be a further roster move to bring in a RD to play alongside Chabot, which would drop a pretty good one – Zub – down into the second pairing

    • It is far from terrible George, and having a guy like Hamonic as your 7th has value, as they have youth in key spots. They made need to spend games from the press box as they learn.

      Brannstrom in a top 4 role seems like it could pay off or go crooked, plus Sanderson stepping right in will have some bumps in the road, especially first half of the year, at least that is the normal progression even for the high end guys.

    • Yes….some good young talent there, but the need for a vet on RD is there too. Ottawa should be a fun team to watch this season, but, if there is no veteran D’man added, I’m not sure Ottawa get’s to the playoffs this season, or beats out Winny or Van yet.

      • Oh I agree that a Grade A top 4 RD is paramount and, with SO many teams over the cap or right up against it, and so few with space to take on significant cap hits, I hold firm to the belief that Dorion will get that done as soon as the pressure mounts for those teams to do something before those few with the cap space are depleted.

        When I look at the Jets and Canucks, I freely acknowledge that their Top 3 are better than Ottawa’s current Top 3 (which I’d list as Chabot, Zub, Holden) – Morrissey, Schmidt, Pionk for the Jets and Hughes, Ekman-Larsson and Myers for the Canucks.

        But I’ll take Ottawa’s remaining current 4 (Brannstrom, Zaitsev, Sanderson, Hamonic) over Dillon, DeMelo, Samberg, Stanley of the Jets, and Dermott, Schenn, Burroughs and Poolman of the Canucks.

        Where each of the Jets and Canucks hold an edge over Ottawa is in goal with Demko and Hellebuyck – but I think Ottawa has tightened that up to some degree by eliminating the inconsistency of Murray to stay in the line-up with the more durable Talbot and the steady and reliable Forsberg.

        Having 4 lines that will pay as much attention to their defensive responsibilities as they do to offense won’t hurt either.

      • I was going to make a couple of the points that George O addressed in his reply (Hughes is better than any Ottawa D, Demko is significantly better than any Ottawa G). I agree that Ottawa’s defensive depth is better than Vancouver’s, though I’d note that particularly with D the top four on any team take a huge amount of ice time. I think defensive depth often matters more for dealing with injuries than it does in terms of matching up the best each team can offer.

        Anyway, Vancouver’s D is far short of where I’d like it to be, and though Ottawa’s not my team I look forward to the time (whether this season or in the next few) when they are a force in the league again. They look like a team on the rise.

      • Maybe the Cunucks could do Ottawa a favor by giving the Sens Myers for Branstrom and the Caps 2024 2nd.

  6. No way in hell Kane is going to Edmonton. For one the Oilers are kissing the ceiling when it comes to the seller cap and another I highly doubt it that Kane wants to play in Edmonton even if it means playing with McDavid

  7. Strange how Jack Campbell was considered no better than an unproven NHL backup goalie in Toronto by both media and anti-fans, yet when signed by Edmonton these same people see him as the saviour and starting goalie they’ve been searching for who will put them over the top.

    Even stranger is how few people recognize this prejudice.