NHL Rumor Mill – August 29, 2022

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Rumors | 30 comments

What’s the latest on J.T. Miller’s contract extension talks with the Canucks? Could a couple of Metro Division teams become his potential trade destinations? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Rick Dhaliwal and Thomas Drance recently provided an update on contract extension talks between the Vancouver Canucks and J.T. Miller. The 29-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

The two sides discussed a contract extension earlier in the offseason but a big gap remains. Miller’s agent said there’s a good chance contract talks could be cut off if a deal isn’t in place by the start of the regular season.

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

Canucks management wants to retain Miller but they have to maintain salary-cap discipline. It appears both sides are in “wait-and-see” mode for the time being.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson reported the New York Islanders were among a handful of clubs reportedly interested in Miller during the 2022 NHL Draft last month in Montreal. Simpson cited four NHL general managers claiming at least two Metropolitan Division teams are interested in the Canucks center.

Simpson subsequently suggested the New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes as potential trade destinations for Miller.

Miller could skate on the wing for the Devils alongside Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier but still take faceoffs. He also suggested Devils defenseman Damon Severson as part of the return to bolster the Canucks right-side blueline depth.

As for the Hurricanes, Simpson suggested a return of a first-rounder, 23-year-old forward Martin Necas and potentially defenseman Brett Pesce or Ethan Bear.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner believes now is the time for the Islanders to acquire Miller. He thinks it’s risky for the Canucks to hang onto him during the season and risk losing him to injury. If he struggles this season, it would hurt his trade value.

The Islanders failed to bring in a scoring forward this summer to bolster their offense. Adding Miller now would give him time to adjust to his new teammates, providing the Isles with the scorer they need to contend for the Stanley Cup.

Rosner believes a deal for Miller will cost the Islanders a first-round pick and a right-side, right-shot defenseman. He suggested including Scott Mayfield but he wouldn’t fit the Canucks need for a young defenseman. They would have to include a sweetener such as Samuel Bolduc.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could surprise us by moving Miller before training camp opens if they know there’s no way they can afford to re-sign him. Nevertheless, they don’t appear to be in any hurry to make that move. I doubt we’ll see Miller heading to a new club before training camp unless a rival club makes an offer along the lines of Simpson’s suggested return from the Hurricanes.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, I don’t see them pitching that offer of a first, Necas and Pesce or Bear. They made two significant additions already in Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty and recently signed Paul Stastny in part to offset Pacioretty’s absence with a torn Achilles.

The Devils added Ondrej Palat and Erik Haula to their forward lines this summer and I don’t believe they’ll part with Severson despite his UFA status next July. They’ll likely stick with their current roster and see how the season unfolds. Their biggest weakness remains between the pipes. Unless Vitek Vanecek or Mackenzie Blackwood steps up this season, they’ll likely be in the market for a goalie later this season.

As for the Islanders, I don’t think they can afford Miller now unless they’re willing to part with Noah Dobson, who would perfectly fit the Canucks need for a young right-shot defenseman. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if the rumored deal the two clubs were discussing at the draft fell apart because the Canucks wanted Dobson.


  1. No way I would trade Dobson even up for Miller. How about Beau and Mayfield for him. I would include Bolduc if it had to be done. Do they like Bailey? Please oh please.

  2. Just about every team in the Eastern Conference has been linked to Miller. Call me cynical, but I’d start looking at teams he hasn’t been linked to as the real trade destination.

  3. Listening to a Rutherford interview if they don’t get want they need they will wait until the trade deadline . They will work on it until that time
    Too valuable for the Canucks ‘ roster

  4. Trade Miller to Toronto
    1. Kerfoot
    2. Sandin
    3. 1ST
    4 Matthew Knies – although I hate parting with this guy
    That’s a very do able deal

    Muzzin is off the books in another year or so at 5.5

    Miller still has term on his existing deal at less than 5 mil

    Toronto desperately needs a player of this type for the second line

    Oh by the way George , I switched up my order yesterday
    Vancouver at 5 and Winnipeg at 6
    Your Ottawa Senators might let me down at position 4

    • Miller is at $5.25M, your deal does not even match cap-wise, so it is already dead in the water. Any cap clearing deal to make a cap-strapped team cap compliant will be heavily “taxed”, thus negating a lot of the gain of trade like this.

    • You must be a Vancouver fan. No way Leafs will give up this for an aging forward who will walk in a year.

      • @VR
        I agree it’s too much !

        What’s an alternative
        There would also have to be some kind of agreement that Miller wants to commit to Toronto

      • For how much … and for how long?

      • LOL

    • What Toronto desperately needs is better goaltending.

      • I read you and often agree with LJ….I have often written elonming ???

        I am not sure Murray is worse than Campbell. Remember Leaf fans have seen him whiff at some amazingly bad times….Also I am not sure if the Russian kid from Washington was not driven out by teamates….We will see.

        My prediction is that if Leaf goaltending is bad but they stay in the play offs by reason of their offense….They will throw the kitchen sink at the Winnepeg goalie who they will then have for 2 playoff runs before Matthews says Adios .

      • You are more of an optimist than my Leafs’ buddy, OBD. We shall see. I haven’t seen much of Murray. Travis Yost of TSN, who seems to be quite a fan of the Leafs, rates their goal tending at the second tier from the bottom.

        I do agree with you that the Leafs’ offence is too good to not get through at least one playoff round this year. And then, who knows?

      • I’ve seen a lot of Matt Murray and can tell you this with certainty Old Blue Dog and LJ … when he was healthy and starting by and large he gave the Senators some damned good goaltending … and that behind a porous D structure involving both D and Fs.

        The problem was, staying healthy … and his frequent absences always seemed to be for a different reason.

        So the key is – stay relatively healthy and off the IR – he does that and you have a good goalie. I know absolutely nothing about the Russian kid – can’t even recall if I ever saw him in action.

      • I will give an optimistic spin on the Leafs tending. It’s goaltending, and it seems most tenders have up and down years over the course of their careers.
        Murray has proven he can be really good when it matters most, just can he stay healthy. Fair enough, but there is a reasonable chance for him to be healthy and good, just a tad expensive for that IMO.

        This Samsonov kid was projected to be a star when he got drafted, and then his next 2 years in KHL were outstanding. His rookie year in NHL was good for a rook, 2nd meh, then struggled badly last year. If he can find his form with a new coach, or a fresh start, the Leafs could have another solid starter. Maybe even better long term. He doesn’t cost much at all.

        Both are maybe’s, but if you were gonna roll the dice on a position that is difficult to predict most of the time anyway, they could have done worse than these 2.

        But do agree with this position being the biggest question mark around this team. If they both struggle, yikes. If they both thrive, Dubas will be a hero.

    • I’m not even going to argue of that proposed value / package. But why on earth would Toronto be interested in yet another expensive top 6 forward? Miller will be seeking 8 per at least.

      This trade proposal has Toronto committing 48-49 million to 5 forwards.

      Most here commonly argue having the 4 they have today eating up that much cap space is a problem. Why would they add to the problem?

    • With the Matthews, Nylander and Marner contracts needing to be renegotiated within the next 3 years the Leafs in no way should be committing to a long term deal with JT Miller. For one year of Miller this is an absurdly high price point.
      The 1st, Knies and Sandin are exactly the sort of players/salaries they will need on their roster when the monster deal is signed for Matthews.

      This is foresight that Lou didn’t have when he was inking Marleau to a 3-year deal, the Leafs now have the benefit of hindsight.

      • Hi Taz

        Nylander and Marner re-upping maybe

        I just can’t see Mathews staying; unless Leafs (1) get to SCF (don’t have to win; just get there) in ‘23 or ‘24 (I’m skeptical; AND Leafs are willing to go *8 @ *$15 M

        *Seattle (or any of the other “tax havens” could offer 7 @ 12.6 M…. Netting the same takehome overall…. But only in 7 years…. when he could re-up (at 33) for another 5 (or 6 years)

        *They’ll likely throw $100 M (7 years) …. $14.3 M…..

        To match that take-home…. Leafs would need to offer just over $17M per for 8 years

        Figures per Gavingroup

        My guess; if no SC appearance by Leafs by June ‘24….,Mathews signs as Krakken Captain…. 7 year $100 M; heavy on the SBs; on 1/7/24

        We’d better hope for a roster shuffle to try and get to the SCFs 🤞🙏🤞🙏

      • Swiss cheese please.

      • I honestly think Matthews will resign in Toronto. Although I am also convinced his next contract will pay him 15m / year. Probably sign another 5 year term.
        I also think he is worth it, especially with the cap due to go up in two years time.
        Toronto’s cap problems are not caused by Matthews, it is the Tavaras contract that has them hamstrung.

      • Hi Flamesfan

        You may be right re him staying… as at now; just can’t see it

        Re Cap issues… no it’s not JT..,. It’s the 4 Fwd contracts costing 1/2 of the Cap

        I fully agree with (have to since I posted it before he said it live on HNIC) Burkie when he said the Nylander contract capitulation by Dubas caused Leafs a collective extra $4-$5M in Cap annually; AND an extra year of AM

        Had they sat him; he (Nylander) signs for less and the other two don’t have the upper hand when it came time to negotiate their contracts; and they’d have got less

        JT got market value when he signed

        AM & MM were coming out of ELCs with Zero Arb rights….. no Nylander contract…. Power in negotiation would have been more with Dubas

        Capitulation… lost all power

      • Pengy,

        All very good points and I agree with your reasoning that They should have dug in on Nylander contract.
        On the flip side the signing of Tavaras was what really did them in.
        If they would not have signed Tavaras I am pretty sure Kadri would still be a leaf and who knows what their team would look like.

  5. RD for the Sens:
    How bout Hronek + Erne + Stars’ 2024 4th for Hamonic (no to Zaitsev!) + Mathieu +2024 Caps 2nd…I think you get the best player in this deal, that is why I have a pick swap as well.

    • Hi JZ

      George is 84….. that deal not good for his health

      • @ Pengy

        I’m almost 62 and it’s not even good for my health. Pretty pathetic offer for Detroit’s current 2nd best RHD after Mo Seider. Yzerman would be fired if he made that trade. Especially within the division where it would be way more expensive.

      • I was just trying to make George happy. 😁

      • Hah … noooo thanks … Dorion is on record as saying, while still looking around for a top 4 RD, he’s not uncomfortable going with what he has, both on the main team and in the system that can play the right side: Zub, Hamonic, Brannstrom, Bernard-Docker, Thompson, Guenette and, yes, Zaitsev

      • Hi LucasRaymond23

        I guess we’re very close in age…. Looks like ur a few months older than I

        Stevie Y is very smart…. Hard to think he’d make any deal where he’d noticeably be on the losing side

    • LOL @ Johnny Z

      Why would Detroit do this? Hamonic is trash and Mathieu isn’t much better and a late 2nd round pick to give up Hronek who has tons more value than this. Pretty pathetic offer if you ask me. No reason for Detroit to majorly downgrade.

      • Let me begin by saying no thanks to Hronek – he’s ok but hardly a major step up at RD over what the Senators already have. And wasn’t he a glaring -29 this past season?

        On what basis do you declare Hamonic “trash?” OK, so he’s not someone you want playing top 4 – but in 43gp with Vancouver and Ottawa he contributed 4g 6a 10 pts and was a combined +6 (+5 with Ottawa).

        As for “Mathieu” I think you mean Joseph – good enough to be drafted by Tampa and be part of their two cups and considered good enough by Dorion as a return for Nick Paul. Do you think you’re a better judge of talent than Dorion? If so, do you know how to spell “delusional?”

      • At Georgie-O :
        I am not that high on Hronek either. He is best in a protected situation. But he is Detroit’s 2nd best RD. And the Wings better keep him cuz they don’t have anyone to replace him. Stevie needs to address the RD depth and get a little more help at center. Wingers are much easier to find and they are OK there.