NHL Rumor Mill – August 25, 2022

by | Aug 25, 2022 | Rumors | 25 comments

Could the Leafs make a pitch for Patrick Kane? What’s the latest on the Canadiens? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox observes that Patrick Kane has become the latest contestant in the annual “Will he be a Leaf or won’t he?” speculation that grips Toronto sports fans. The 33-year-old Chicago Blackhawks winger is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Cox noted that there have been “reports” claiming the Leafs and Blackhawks have discussed Kane. Paul Bissonnette of the “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast believes Kane will be playing with the Leafs this season. It’s uncertain whether he or fellow long-time Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews want to be part of the club’s rebuilding plans.

The Edmonton Oilers might also be keen on Kane. They won two playoff rounds last season so they might be closer to taking a title run than the Leafs.

Cox pointed out the Leafs lack blue-chip prospects and they aren’t loaded with draft picks over the next three years. Meanwhile, folks in Edmonton are envisioning a package deal for Kane revolving around winger Jesse Puljujarvi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s easy to tell we’re in the dog days of the NHL offseason. The UFA market is depleted of prime talent and the trade market has been mostly quiet for the past month. It’s only natural that some observers are turning to speculation over where next summer’s biggest potential free agents could end up by the trade deadline.

I’m also guilty of playing this guessing game about Kane and other notable members of the 2023 UFA class. I believe the New York Rangers could be in the best position to acquire him if he agrees to be moved between now and the 2023 trade deadline.

The Blueshirts are a team on the rise but could need scoring depth at right wing if Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko fail to improve this season. They don’t have a lot of projected trade deadline cap space but they do have more than the Leafs or Oilers. The Rangers also have more depth in promising prospects to tempt the Blackhawks.

Anyway, that’s my choice. I could be wrong but so what? It’s the dog days of summer and we’ve gotta have something to talk about until training camp starts next month.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico expects the Canadiens will have around $4.4 million in cap relief to work with once Carey Price and his $10.5 million cap hit is moved to long-term injury reserve for the coming season. That could provide them some flexibility to re-sign center Kirby Dach and perhaps make another move.

Once Dach is signed, the Canadiens will have 15 forwards under NHL contracts for the coming season without counting first-overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky or other promising prospects. D’Amico anticipates they could move Christian Dvorak, Mike Hoffman or Joel Armia to free up a roster spot and some additional salary to perhaps add a right-side defenseman. He speculates they could make that move before the season opens in October.

Dvorak could be the odd man out at center following the additions of Dach and Sean Monahan. The Habs would be seeking a young right-shot blueliner or a veteran on a short-term deal along with some futures.

D’Amico cites sources suggesting the trade market isn’t optimal for Dvorak right now. If the Canadiens remain patient, however, his value could improve.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has proven to be a savvy wheeler-dealer in his short time playing the trade market. He’s shipped out veterans who no longer fit into his club’s long-term plans for promising youngsters and quality draft picks. If he is shopping Dvorak, he’ll wait for the right moment and the right return just as he did with some of his earlier deals.


  1. I think Dvorak is safe for now. He did not have a legit shot last year to show what he could do. I see Evans moved to wing to make space for Dach at center and Armia being on waivers (trade would be best but unlikely).

  2. Kane would be the key piece in winning the cup this season. Yes, NYR has the best chance of acquiring him. A 3rd team will be necessary to reduce his cap.
    Kane (1/2 salary retained) To Detroit (or Anaheim or AZ or Buffalo), then Detroit retains another $2.625M and end him to NYR,
    NYR sends Kratsov, Kakko, Dylan Garand, to the Hawks and a 2023 2nd to Detroit
    Detroit sends a 2023 5th to NYR
    NYR gets a superstar for the rest of the year at an affordable $2.625M and lose only 1 roster playerwhich Kane replaces.
    Hawks get 3 very promising young players.
    The 3rd team profits with a better pick in a very deep draft.

    • Johnny Z. Agree with Lyle that Kane would be a good bet to go to NY. I’m no expert on cap but I don’t think cap hit is as high at deadline, so I don’t think 3rd team would be necessary. And based on what Drury did last deadline, there’s no way they make a deal like you suggest.. A 2nd overall pick and a 9th plus top goalie prospect and a 2nd rounder? Pass. Any Kane trade probably at deadline. Rangers will see how kids progress. Injuries could change that. There will be other rentals available for cheaper.

      • This was not a TDL deal, but right now. Otherwise Kakko might be exposed as a bust. ANd the other 2 are unproven at the NHL level and Garand is still not a proven pro.

    • No way ! Kravtsov is going to be an awesome RW for the Rangers for the next decade. He was young , he made a mistake but his talent is undeniable. Kane is great but it would at best bring us a little closer to the cup this year. The potential in Kravtsov is a top 6 winger for a decade. We built this team with youth. We have to stay the course. No shortcuts.

  3. This guy has been touting a Dvorak trade since the Dach trade and amplified since the Monahan acquisition.

    Dach is unproven, unsigned and considered to be a project. Monahan is coming off yet another surgery, questionable health to start the season, a gamble worth taking on account of the 1st round pick that came with him.

    Why would the Habs move a 26y/o, their best face off man who is on a good contract for a few more years before seeing if any of the two gambles pay off?

    The summer is full of these “reporters” who are essentially bloggers pushing the concept of two birds in the bush are worth more than a bird in the hand.

    Waivers aren’t exciting but the lack of cap space makes for a lot of undervalued players out that could be steals to fill out some rosters.

    • Howard does, David. I have begged him not to keep suggesting it. Because few other Habs fans, IMO, want anything to do with PK.

      • Sorry, the PK comment was for David, as below.

        HF30, I think you are spot on re Dvorak. Mystery to me as to why so many think trading Dvorak is a good move for the Habs for just the reason you state.

        It may well be the dog days of summer for hockey reporting but quoting Paul Bissonnette? Woof, woof.

        Anyone know of a good diet?

      • LJ I’m staying out of this debate now. I’ve had my say.

    • Habfan I couldn’t have said it better.

      I have a ton of respect for Lyle and the way he runs the site. His posts are always from reputable sources and he properly ignores the garbage that is online. Montreal Hockey Now has gained respect in my eyes by the fact that Lyle posts it on this site. But lately, D’Amico has been pushing a Dvorak trade like a real estate salesman pushing hard to close a deal. It had become his obsession and is starting to feed doubts about him.

      The Habs do not want to put too much pressure on Suzuki and the still unproven Dach. A veteran presence is needed. If the team was sure that Monahan will be healthy and play the whole season they may look to trade Dvorak. But Monahan is still a question mark.

      If Monahan were to stay healthy and have a solid bounce back year and then sign an extension, the Habs will likely look to trade Dvorak. But not before.

  4. It really is the Dog Days for hockey. Hey, if Cox can wander off into the realms of fantasy, I wonder if Ottawa could relieve the Oilers of some of their cap nightmare by acquiring Leon Draisaitl for Jake Sanderson, Shane Pinto and Alex Formenton?

  5. Hi George….always throwing Formenton in the proposals lately…..is this a pre-suspension motivation…. as to the Leaf fantasy…I would say after the Rangers they have what the Blackhawks tried to get last year in Knives….who we Leaf fans already have walking on water…

  6. If the Habs are looking for a veteran right shot defenseman on a short term contract, does anyone think they would have any interest in resigning P.K Subban?

    • Kane is a never Canada guy. It has to be big city america for him or bust. Maybe Tampa or FLA? The math for a trade just does not add up – cap space, assets for last year of contract, age, no Canadian teams, performance last year….Cox is dragging out the click bait.

  7. I wouldn’t be surprised to see JT in Bs jersey at the end of the season

  8. The Kane/Toews thing.
    One thing that mose surely will factor in where they go is if the team can win AND resign them after the season. Since they have NMCs I can imagine they would like to go to a place to see if they would like to stay, so no Oilers…..;)

  9. Heh Old Blue Dog – no, the Formenton-in-every-trade proposal has more to do with the fact that, with Norris installed as the # 1 C, and Giroux likely being the # 2 C, that would move Stutzle back to LW on the 2nd line (behind Tkachuk on the # 1 line), and drop Formenton to third-line duty anyway.

    Since it would seem that Ridley Greig will be given every opportunity to crack the line-up – and with this kid’s determined approach I think he has a very good chance of doing so – he’d be better suited as the 3rd line LW – making Formenton good trade bait.

    I know he was part of that 2018 Junior team and it’s quite conceivable that he may have been part of that “gang of 8” … but since that end of the despicable events was handled out of court by the highly questionable antics of Hockey Canada, and which are now the focus of remedial action, I doubt we’ll see any individual players identified and dealt with.

    But if I’m wrong and players are named, and this is proven in court proceedings and Formenton is one of them, then a stiff penalty is needed if for no other reason than to act as a deterrent.

    I must admit that I do find it curious that he is one of 2 RFAs left for Dorion to re-sign (the other is D Eric Brannstrom) – neither of whom have arbitration rights. Formenton, averaging 15 minutes of ice time, managed to score 18g 14a 32 pts and was a -13 over 79gp. You’d think, by now, he’d have been signed to a modest 3 year bridge at around $2.5 mil per for that effort.

    Stay tuned, I guess.

    • George…..a week or so after the initial coverage of that London episode while listening to some coverage and looking at the Hockey Canada reserve fund and hearing oblique references to similar episodes.

      I had a flash surge through my mind that this could be a tradition or a hazing ritual. No proof just an intense intuition.

      Would be interested if this at credible to you

      • You do have to wonder.

      • It’s a culture of entitlement that’s not soon going to be changed. High level hockey players from age 10 on behave BADLY. And they’re are allowed to get away with it. Some of the stories I’ve heard about this year’s crop of WJ stars…..not far from what’s being investigated.

        Regarding Montreal and Hughs. He’s done “some” of the work. But the heavy lifting is still to be done. Some terrible contracts in Montrealy. And simply saying “trade them away” when doing so isn’t possible is just silly.

      • Hoo ya. And with three-quarters of the league either varying amounts over the cap or smack up against it (including Montreal). many still with contracts to finalize and/or not possessing large-hit LTIRs to cover the overs, there isn’t a whole lot left who’d be willing to take on bad contracts despite “sweeteners.” Even the ship-wreck in Arizona has its limits in that regard.

        And yet, hardly a day goes by that someone posts some far-out, ultra-complicated trade scenario of the type that you just never see happen since the advent of the cap – designed, of course, to put the team of their choice in the best position.

  10. Monahan could rebound but never all the way. Look up his list of injuries and more importantly the surgeries . He has more staples than Staples.

    Phil the Thrill in Vegas I thought he was going to Edmonton .

    • The other thing you have to wonder about Monahan is his mental approach to playing again at full tilt. The NHL is replete with two extremes when players come back from major surgery – those that throw caution to the wind and go hell-bent for election and what happens happens. Then at the other end are those who are extra cautious and stay away from the dirty areas and, consequently, are largely ineffective.

      I know absolutely nothing about Monahan and the sort of approach he’s more apt to take. Maybe some who watched a lot of him when healthy can chime in.

      • He should be a point per game player.
        The laundry list of injuries will obviously hamper those expectations, but I bet he touches 65+.
        He’s a useful center.

  11. He did play aggressive down low and finished a lot in the higher slot. Johnny couldn’t do those things .He did lose both abilities with wrist and hip surgerieS. Competitive and from all accounts a good team mate . He may feel good but can see him again at the level was just a handful of years back. Routing for him but definitely no more than a role player. He wasn’t terrible the draw