Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 21, 2022

by | Aug 21, 2022 | Rumors | 33 comments

What’s the latest on J.T. Miller? Are the Canucks looking at adding a forward via free agency? Will Evgenii Dadonov become a trade chip at the 2023 deadline for the Canadiens? Are the Bruins shopping Craig Smith? Find out in this edition of the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SEKERES AND PRICE: CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal believes Nazem Kadri’s new contract with the Calgary Flames should be great news for Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller and his agent. Kadri signed a seven-year deal last week with the Flames worth an average annual value of $7 million. Miller, 29, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

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

Dhaliwal believes Kadri did Miller a favor. He pointed out Miller is young and suggests he’s comparable to New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad ($8.5 million AAV). He thinks there’s no way the Canucks center will accept seven years at $7 million annually, especially if he has another 99-point performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller might not reach the heights of 99 points again. However, if he stays healthy this coming season and at least reaches 80 points, he’ll be in the range of Zibanejad money. If he exceeds 90 points again, he could get $9 million annually on his next contract.

This season could be Miller’s last in Vancouver. He and Canucks management have said they’d like to get a deal done but both sides have also suggested that it might not happen.

CANUCKS ARMY: Mike Gould also cited Dhaliwal reporting the Canucks have an interest in unrestricted free agents Evan Rodrigues and Calvin de Haan.

Dhaliwal pointed out Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin knows Rodrigues and his agent well from their days with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He also suggested that concerns over Tucker Poolman’s health (concussion symptoms) could be behind their interest in de Haan.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico believes the Canadiens have an opportunity to turn Evgenii Dadonov into a valuable trade chip this season. The Habs acquired the 33-year-old winger earlier this summer from the Vegas Golden Knights.

Following the acquisition, Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes didn’t rule out the possibility of trading Dadonov if the right offer came along. The winger carries a $5 million cap hit for the coming season and is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

D’Amico believes putting Dadonov in situations where he can use his offensive skills at even strength and on the power-play could benefit the Canadiens’ young forwards. It would also boost his trade value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dadonov could fit so well on the rebuilding Canadiens that the two sides agree to an affordable short-term deal. However, I agree with D’Amico that he’s likely to become a valuable trade chip for them later this season, fetching perhaps a second-round pick from a playoff contender.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently cited an informed NHL source claiming Bruins forward Craig Smith has been on the trade market since the offseason started. He also said they had recent in-depth trade discussions with another club, to the point where the Bruins got a trade offer for the 32-year-old winger.

The Bruins sit $2.2 million above the $82.5 million salary cap. They need to shed some salary but GM Don Sweeney could also achieve that by placing a sidelined player such as Charlie McAvoy, Brad Marchand or Matt Grzelcyk on long-term injury reserve to start the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on which club is the interested party though I’ve read someone suggesting the Nashville Predators want to bring Smith back. He’s slated to become a UFA next summer and carries a $3.1 million cap hit.

Sweeney doesn’t have to move Smith or anyone else right now. He’s allowed to be over the cap by 10 percent during the offseason. Placing McAvoy or Marchand on LTIR to start the season will also temporarily address that cap issue but he’ll have to dump some salary to become cap compliant when the sidelined player comes off LTIR.


  1. Everyone knows the Bruins need to shed salary, and Smith is one of the likely candidate’s, but this guy Murphy always seems to be firing from the hip, with his so called unnamed sources.

    He seems to just throw out the obvious followed by an unnamed source

  2. And Sweeney will take full advance of that fact., thus annoying fans worldwide. When it does happen expect one of two things to happen, Sweeney will no doubt be getting a draft pick in return most likely a 7th or lower he’ll need to locate his bottle of Navitol ultra strength to actually remember his last trade.

    And as per his usual mo he’ll wait til the last possible minute to find out what’s left on the scrap heap of free agents still available.

    • Rick the guy with absolutely zero clue about the business side of hockey. You think this is a video game lol 4 more years of Donny enjoy

  3. Dadonov will be 34 years old before the season ends. He obviously does not fit into their long term plans. He will be traded at the deadline, hopefully for a Chiarot like return.
    Monahan, on the other hand, who will be 28 at the start of the season, could conceivably earn an extension if he plays well and fits in well with the Habs.

    • We saw quite enough of Dadonov here in Ottawa, Howard.

      The guy is a one-way floater (a collective -13) who has parlayed a career 82-game average of 25g 28a 53 pts into a $5 mil per cap hit, thanks primarily to bloated stats playing on a line with Barkov in Florida in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

      Take away those 2 seasons and his 82-game averages drop to 22g 20a 42 pts … and that’s not worth $5 mil per. Same way Mike Hoffman is way over-priced at $4.5 per.

      Ottawa learned that the hard way, as did Florida and Vegas, … and most teams will now avoid both like the plague.

      • Dadonov’s only bad year was in Ottawa and might be more a matter of the Sens being a dumpster fire.

        Dorion is getting his tires pumped now but he did his fair share of picking up pylons on D.

        The Dadonov move for Weber is worthwhile on its face, all the more so if he pops in 20G like last year and is traded to a contender.

        Dadonov is not being avoided like the plague, remember he nixed a trade last year.

      • So, Ottawa was dumpster fire loaded with pylons with a shortened season (confined to the Canada-based teams only) record of 23 – 28 – 5 51 pts 157gf – 190ga -48 in 56gp – which projects to an 82-game record of 33 41 8 74pts 230gf 278ga – 48. Granted, not a great record either way.

        Now Dadonov is joining a team that went 22 49 11 55 pts in 82gp with 221gf and 319ga for a -98 that was staffed by what – a D corps of Norris trophy candidates? And the modest moves made in the off-season are going to return them to contender status?

        After coming off a $4 mil cap hit, Florida chose not to re-sign him when he became a UFA because they knew his offensive stats were inflated and he was a defensive liability. Dorion made a huge mistake in signing him to 3 years at $5 mil per – and it didn’t take him long to realize his mistake.

        So he got Vegas to take him for Nick Holden and a 3rd round pick.

        Vegas quickly learned the same lessons that Florida and Ottawa did and, in the interest of cap space, tried to peddle him to Anaheim. The best thing that happened to Anaheim was the deal being voided,

        Now he goes to Montreal so they can shed the Weber deal. And because he’s now Montreal property the 5′ 11′ 185lb floater who will turn 34 aropund the deadline suddenly becomes a trade-deadline day commodity worthy of Chiarot-type return?

        OK, we’ll see soon enough I guess.

      • We see the value already, Dadonov for a year and the Weber contract off the books.

        We’ll see if the guy who’d have been 4th in scoring on the Sens last year is worth something at TDL to a contender.

        He doesn’t need to bring a Chiarot type return (which most here said would be impossible) .

        LOL the Habs aren’t building around Dadonov, he’s a piece for a year.

      • LOL back at ya. And you’ll have him for a full year following which he’ll sign somewhere – if he’s lucky – for something south of $1 mil – or go back to the KHL.

        When I pointed out similar drawbacks to Hoffman you defended that too in much the same way – good luck in trying to get someone to take that deal off your hands before it, too, expires.

      • Dadanov will be moved at the deadline for a b prospect or second or third pick depending on season. If not on ir

      • In which case I hope it’s Pittsburgh

      • Dadonov has scored 20 or more goals in 4 of his 5 NHL seasons. Come playoff time, contenders look to pick up some extra scoring. A good team will make use of his goal scoring abilities while being able to hide his flaws.

        If he has a solid year for the Habs, don’t discount the possibility of him bringing in a 1st. Buyers tend to get overexuberant at the deadline. No one thought Chiarot would fetch a 1st; yet, the Habs picked up a first and a prospect. Heck, the Habs even picked up a 2nd for Brett Kulak – a 3rd pairing D-man who most of us figured would be lucky to bring in more than a 4th.

      • A good physical D getting a 1st is one thing – a notorious floater to whom defense is just a rumour will not. And unless Montreal; has a linemate for him equivalent to Batkov, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a solid year.

    • My hope, Howard, is that either Dadonov or Monahan were acquired as options to be traded for a goalie. Whatever virtues they may bring to the Habs, they do not have a starting goalie who will survive as starter.

      Allen has played well, but cannot take a heavy work load without injury. Montembeau was Florida’s third goalie, and looked like it last year with the Habs, lousy though the were.

      Gorton and Hughes have made some savvy moves, but Monahan takes 6 million of cap space, and is a centre. Dach is one of 4 other centers the Habs now have, and he has yet to be signed. Where is the focus on net?

      • Neither Dadonov or Monahan will bring a starting goalie and their cap hits are for one year only which will be parlayed into draft picks and development.

        There is no focus on net because there is nobody to try and pick up now that fits the team direction today.

        Calgary might be a team to reach out to as they have goalie prospects, (Vladar, Wolf, Sergeev) who could “arrive” when needed.

      • DiPietro is available. He could be in Laval for a year and may be ready to be a full time Hab next year.

    • Didn’t Vegas add a sweetener to the deal to get rid of Dadonov to San Jose ? I can’t see him having much value as trade bait. I don’t want him anywhere near Detroit except while wearing a visiting team’s jersey.

  4. I predict this season will be a complete disaster for the Leafs. Here are my predictions:

    1. Sandin will get traded for a young less talented version of himself. Probably a downgrade to Liljegren ensuring the Leafs will hav no skill, size or talent from their 5-6 defensemen.

    2. Tavares will age into an even slower player barely able to keep with the play and becoming a hindrance to talented players they give him. They’ll move him to the wing and have him utilized for face offs but other than shoveling goals a few feet from the net this 11.0 mil contract per yr will not age well.

    3. Matt Murray will be Petr Mrazek 2.0.

    4. Ilya Samsonov will price himself out of Toronto leaving them limited options after that. And Murray’s albatross of a contract.

    5. Muzzin, Giordano and Brodie will continue to be smart players but will get slower. Unless the team gets slower this will not look good. Especially with questionable goaltending.

    • Any lotto numbers?

      Those don’t seem “disastrous” especially if you’re right with #4. If he plays well enough to “price himself out” he must be playing well and the team is winning despite numbers 1 – not an issue, 2 – a player that’s still near ppg ain’t bad, 3 – maybe but like you said, Ilya plays himself out of Toronto, and 5 – the players you are talking about slowing down although nothing shows them slowing down – they did a good job defensively last season being one of the better defensive teams so I can’t see that being a case.

      Maybe fans like you need to have every player or every stat needs to be at the top in order for you to praise the team. I doubt they will ever achieve that so I suggest that taking pride of the smaller things and recognize the good they do or improvements they make is a better way to view a team than to just repeat baseless things.

      Many teams including the Leafs won’t have the success like the season they had last year simply because so many bottom feeding teams have made huge strives in improvement that points this coming season will be harder for all teams to get…not players dropping off in performance.

      • Ron,

        I agree with your Samsonov thoughts. If he plays well enough to price himself out of Toronto then he’ll have had an outstanding season. Which for the Leafs is a complete positivel

    • Not according to Travis Yost of TSN, Frank. He rates the Leafs as top tier on right wing, second from the top on left wing, top tier at centre, and second tier on D. Only in goal does he rank them one from the bottom tier.

      Thus by his estimation the Leafs are a powerhouse. This was before a few recent additions by teams. Still, the team that hasn’t made it past the first round in, what, 6 years, and has no significant additions are the # 4 team in the league and legit Cup contenders.

      You heard it from Travis first Frank.

      • Try 18 years

  5. Canada wins World Jrs Gold Medal.

    One thing that stood out for me was Conner Bedards willingness to play physical against much bigger and heavier opponents. Not something Id ever read about or seen (in limited opportunities) in his game before.

    Some team is going to get a gem.

  6. Ron agree with you – re Bedard but the tournament was an absolute flop Russia not being there was an embarrassment Canada’s players can assault young girls but Russian players can’t be there because there Country is at war. Having it in August was ludicrous. Arena was empty most days and nights and the hockey wasn’t really that good.

    • Allegedly assaulted.

      First thing my boy said after the game and I literally mean the first thing was “I hope they didnt assault (this word I changed) some girl”.

      So I asked him….. you know theres a difference between being accused and being guilty right?

      Look on his face showed me he like many others prejudges before all the facts come out.

      Innocent until proven guilty used to be a thing, not so much any more.

      • Careful, Ron Jull. That might get a reaction from some on this site.

        I agree that Bedard was willing to be physical, but I just didn’t see enough to justify the hype. Small sample maybe.

  7. Teams won’t have the deadline cap space.

    Deadline trades will be difficult fir any player with cap hit $4M or more. Teams trading will have to take back salary which woukd hurt any other return. You might have collusion of sorts between two deadline sellers where each agrees to do retrntion on each other’s player to lower cost and increase the return.

    In montreal player with 1 yr left like Dadanov will need to have near career years to return anything whereas 2 nd or more. What has also hurt the market is many perceived 23 playoff teams have already sold off draft picks from 23-25 that they have little left.

    I think this will be a year where the bubbles are stacked where teams 4-13 are going to be tight race in each conference where 8 pts separate them. In that environment, teams are not giving up 1sts in trades.

  8. Ron if your not guilty you usually don’t payoff the girl and settle out of court. What bothers me most is they used tax payers money and hid it from our Country and it didn’t just happen once. Canada should not have been able to play if Russia couldn’t this Gold medal is tarnished in so many ways.

    • I agree that using tax dollars to make something go away is in extremely poor taste. No player has admitted involvement or paid out hush money to my knowledge. Thats on Hockey Canada.

      If the alleged assaults occured then any involved should be charged and prosecuted in a court of law, not the court of public opinion.

      Youre talking about destroying a young mans name and ruining his career without offering a shred of proof in a courtroom.

      All Im saying is one is supposed to be innocent until proven, emphasis on proven guilty. Not she said I did, not they probably did it or I think they did it but proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    • In many instances it is cheaper to settle out of court whether you are guilty or innocent.

  9. Order of finish in Atlantic d for 2022-23 and cup winner


    Cup winner 2023 ……drum roll bbbbbbbbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrCoLorado repeat Florida doesn’t a cup winning goalie

  10. Appreciate your comments Ron, Ron and LJ. However, I still contend this team will self-implode with what I predict will be questionable goaltending, slower and aging veterans and a joke of a bottom six. You’ll have fast forwards minus Tavares who is slower than my aunt Sally on roller blades, top six forwards who don’t hit, forecheck aggressively or commit to defense. All I see is Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford skating aimlessly, Engvall who needs constant micromanagement, recent garbage dumpster signings who can’t score and no Jack Campbell because Dubas didn’t want to sign him so we have Mrazek 2.0 for a hair less than what Campbell is making.

    Good luck.

    • Unless I’m off on something, team looks like, when healthy:

      Murray – Samsonov

      Reilly – Brodie
      Muzzin – Holl
      Giordano – Liljegren

      Bunting – Matthews – Marner
      Kerfoot – Tavares – Nylander
      Engvall – Jarnkrok – Aube-Kubel
      Clifford – Kampf – Simmonds

      Gaudette and Joey Anderson as spares.

      One way or another, a team’s GM tries to put it all together. Dubas and co. have had their own method and only time will tell what this year’s team will yield in terms of results.

      I will say though, and in no means trying to pour salt on any wound, but Kadri at 7m versus Tavares at 11m sort of puts things in perspective..