NHL Rumor Mill – August 8, 2022

by | Aug 8, 2022 | Rumors | 33 comments

Looking ahead at the 2023 free-agent class in your NHL Rumor Mill.

SPORTSNET: Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, and Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak top Ryan Dixon’s recent listing of the top unrestricted free agents of 2023.

Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller, Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, and St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko are next on Dixon’s list. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Tristan Jarry is the notable goaltender in the group.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

Blues center Ryan O’Reilly, New Jersey Devils blueliner Damon Severson, Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan, Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin and Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews round out Dixon’s list.

THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary also put out a listing of his notable 2023 UFAs with most of the same names as Dixon’s. This was published before Jonathan Huberdeau’s signing with the Flames, which explains why he’s on that list.

Several notables on O’Leary’s list include Canucks center Bo Horvat and forwards Joe Pavelski of the Dallas Stars, Tyler Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings, James van Riemsdyk of the Philadelphia Flyers and Max Pacioretty of the Carolina Hurricanes.

O’Leary’s defensemen include the Anaheim Ducks’ John Klingberg, the Penguins’ Brian Dumoulin, the New York Islanders Scott Mayfield, Florida Panthers’ Radko Gudas, Washington Capitals Dmitry Orlov and the Flames’ MacKenzie Weegar.

The noteworthy goaltenders include the Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, the Los Angeles Kings Jonathan Quick, the Red Wings’ Alex Nedeljkovic, the Ottawa Senators’ Cam Talbot and the Montreal Canadiens’ Jake Allen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a slow day for trade and free-agent rumors as we endure the dog days of the NHL offseason. So it’s a good time to review these lists and offer up my two cents on which players will hit the open market next summer and which ones won’t.

I don’t see MacKinnon, Pastrnak, O’Reilly, Severson, Larkin, Horvat, Pavelski, Orlov and Weegar being available by next July. They’ll likely sign contract extensions with their current teams.

Jarry, Pacioretty, Bertuzzi, Dumoulin, Mayfield, Nedeljkovic, Talbot and Allen fall into the “maybe” category for me. Much will depend on their respective performances in the coming season, what they’ll seek on their next contracts, and whether their current clubs can afford to sign them.

I anticipate the remainder will become UFAs. There will still be enticing talent available such as Kane, Miller, Dumba, Tarasenko, Klingberg, and Quick for teams to pursue. Toews could sign with another club but I wouldn’t be surprised if he retires. Monahan’s hip surgeries could bring a premature end to his playing career.

O’Leary also published a list of next summer’s notable restricted free agents. His top forwards include the Senators’ Alex DeBrincat and Tim Stutzle, the Islanders’ Mathew Barzal, the Winnipeg Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois, the Canadiens’ Cole Caufield, the Stars’ Roope Hintz, the Ducks’ Trevor Zegras, the New York Rangers’ Alexis Lafreniere and the San Jose Sharks’ Timo Meier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All but DeBrincat, Dubois and Meier will be re-signed. The trio will be a year away from UFA status next summer. They could hit the trade block if they’re unwilling to make a long-term commitment with their current clubs.

Notable RFA defensemen include the Rangers’ K’Andre Miller, the Edmonton Oilers’ Evan Bouchard, the Seattle Kraken’s Vince Dunn, the Hurricanes’ Ethan Bear, and the Ducks’ Jamie Drysdale.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All but Bear seem certain to be re-signed by their current teams. He struggled last season with the Hurricanes partly because of the effects of COVID-19. However, a healthy bounce-back performance this season could ensure a longer term for him in Carolina.

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ Ilya Samsonov, the Bruins’ Jeremy Swayman and the Panthers’ Spencer Knight are the top RFA goalies.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Samsonov has to make a good impression with the Leafs this season or he could be traded or cut loose next summer. Another solid performance by Swayman this season should ensure he receives a contract extension.

Knight’s situation, however, could be tricky. On the one hand, I expect the Panthers want to re-sign him. On the other, they’ve got Sergei Bobrovsky eating up valuable cap space and playing time. The Panthers can afford to re-sign Knight but maybe he’ll be open to an offer sheet. His situation will be worth monitoring.


  1. something tells me that a Canadian team will not be signing Tyler Bertuzzi next summer

    • Pasta will sign an 8 yr extension and be a Bruin for life. No worries there

      • That sounds likely but if Bergeron come back, who does pasta play with, especially for the first few months? Ok then after this year, who’s on the team that will help him win a cup while he’s still in his prime?

        Like I said, in all likelihood he’s gonna resign but if things go south and he wants out, as long as the Bs have his rights when that happens, he’ll score a nice hull to help the rebuild that would have to take place.

      • Sorry: If Bergs doesn’t come back.

    • Exactly. But that should help the Wings get him at a cheaper rate!

  2. If Sweeney blows the Pastrnak signing it’s going to be just like Kaiser Wilhelm the 2nd all over again. After several blunders and misplaced spending he’ll be forced into exile. Compelled to move his fortune and entourage to the French Riviera. Nobody would want to see Sweeney and Lurch in Boston again after that.

    • If I were Boston, I’d blow it up! Trade’m all! McVoy, Pasta, Marchand….ALL OF THEM! Get lottsa picks so Sweeney can pick the futures! There ya go Rick! Think positive!

      MacKinnon isn’t going anywhere.

      I’m hoping Larkin takes a home team discount. But he’s a Winged Warrior. He deserves to be paid. In Yzerman, I trust!

  3. Severson might sign an extension, but it will not be with the Devils. With Hamilton and Marino signed long term and recent 2OA Nemec with a pro year in the AHL under his belt (and a few other prospects in the minors, Devils are set at RHD so Severson will be dealt at the deadline for some assets. Fitz is going to have a real interesting deadline this year.

  4. At least Bergeron signed for another year. 1 year 2.5mil + 2.5mil in bonus money.

    • Yes. Very team friendly deal

    • SOP.

      On bruins twitter it now shows 46. Smiling. So I am sure his signing will be out shortly. Probably very similar to Bergy deal With the Ltir to start the year most of the bonus $$ will be covered by that not next season’s cap space

    • SOP

      It is officially signed Krechi signs 1 mil deal with 2 mil in bonuses

      • 3.5 mil in salary for a 1 and 2C. I’d say that’s fair value.
        Good work Sweeney.
        Good on the boys for keeping the band together for one last tour.

    • Wow. Those are the largest hometown discounts given out in a long time in the nhl. Kudos.

      • Chrisms
        Now we need one more with the 8 yr Pasta signing. Got to stay under 10 It’s the bruins way😎. Time will tell

    • Krecji and Bergy have signed. I haven’t been this excited since Milli Vanilli announced they were merely lip syncing. Sign Pasta and then the real work begins.

      • But you still own their records??????😎

      • Bring ML back

  5. Heh. Seems to me like Dixon and O’Leary are hung up on past glories in compiling their lists of top UFAs after next season, with names like Monahan, Pavelsi, van Riemsdyk, Severson and Toews,

    I’d bet that, if still UFAs when that seasaon opens, players like RD Artem Zub of Ottawa (26 y/o), LW Michael Bunting Toronto (26 y/o), goalie yristan Jarry Pittsburgh (27 y/o), LW Alex Kilorn Tampa Bay (32 y/o) and LW/RW Connor Brown Washington (28 y/o) would be gobbled up long before any of that bunch.

    • That list could also be considered as potential deadline trade acquisitions for a playoff rental… either for teams to bolster an already formidable team or to boost a bubble team which I’m expecting (hoping) standings to be tighter and more competitive down the stretch.

  6. With only less than $2M left after the Bergeron and Krejci signings, the B’s need to sign a depth D to play til their regulars return. Could that be Chara??? I would rather they sign Danny Dekeyser for $1M, as he is still rather mobile.

    • Jz

      Lindholm. Carlo. Reilly. Zyboril
      Clifton. Forbert. And achan in Ahl. Doubt they sign another d man this year

      • May as well bring the big man back for a run.

      • If they do decide to add a D, I would look on the right side.
        As it sits today somebody will play their off side if they don’t add until Charlie comes back.

        A vet like Stralman, who understands his role as a 7/8 guy when at full health would work. But how often are teams at full health on the blue line?

        Stick tap to Sweeney and the B’s players who make this happen by leading the way.

        Might want to lower expectations on Mr Krecji until we see him play some games. Not exactly a gym rat, so age may catch him sooner than Bergy.

  7. Staal and Andersen will be Carolinas most important UFA’s at the end of next season.

  8. Sweeney signs Zacha. 1 year 3.5mil. Now who goes is the question

    • Not sure anybody needs to go MB4?
      Put Grzelcyk on LTIR before the season starts, and then put Charlie and Marchand on after season starts so you can accrue that amount and have some space when guys come back.

      Assuming I understand how this works, which I am never sure of. All set IMO.

      • Ray

        I am not 100% either. But by using Ltir I believe it would cover the bonus sides of both 37 and 46 if out as long as they assumed. But obnce they are back they will need to clear 2.3 mil. Somewhere

      • MB4, I think they can accrue what they need with Charlie and Marchand if they are on LTIR, as long as they are not placed on LTIR until after the season starts.
        So say $16M placed on LTIR after season starts, and miss 25% of the season is a $4M accrual. Should have $ to spare.

        I think?

  9. rick must be doing cartwheels, it xmas day for the bruins? bergeron, krecjii and now zacha. The Bruins are over the cap and their not worried about it yet? So, makes me wonder why the Avalanche don’t bring back Kadri perhaps on a 1 yr deal, then worry about it later? just wondering?

  10. Bruins need to move Foligno and play one on the young guys nice to see Bergie and Krech take home town discounts. Pretty good line up once everyone healthy now Swayman needs to take next step and steal a few games.

  11. So was the real reason #46 sat out last season was because of BC was the coach