NHL Rumor Mill – September 12, 2022

by | Sep 12, 2022 | Rumors | 18 comments

An updated list of the top available unrestricted free agents in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: With NHL training camps starting next week, Steven Ellis lists the top-10 players still available in the unrestricted free agent market.

Evan Rodrigues tops the list. The 28-year-old forward plays center or wing and is coming off a career-best 43-point performance. His previous contract was a one-year deal worth $1 million.

Free agent defenseman P.K. Subban (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently linked Rodrigues to the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames. Earlier in the month, the Edmonton Journal’s Kurt Leavins wondered if the Oilers might attempt to sign the veteran forward to a professional tryout offer but that was prior to their recent signing of Justin Bailey to a PTO.

Sonny Milano and P.K. Subban sit second and third on Ellis’ list. A skillful left winger, the 26-year-old Milano earned $1.7 million last season. Subban, 33, isn’t the star he once was but could still bring value to a team’s blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There hasn’t been much recent talk about where Milano could end up. He could return to the Ducks on a cheaper one-year contract.

Subban is the most recognizable name on Ellis’ list. The decline in his skills means his days of big-money contracts are over. Earlier this month, The Athletic’s Marc Antoine Godin dismissed the notion of a reunion between Subban and the Montreal Canadiens, suggesting the Habs instead look at Anton Stralman if they want to add a right-shot free agent defenseman.

Speaking of Stralman, he’s number 5 on Ellis’ list behind winger Tyler Motte.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been quiet in recent weeks regarding these two. Like most on this list, they could either end up signing one-year contracts on the eve of training camp or sign professional tryout offers in hopes of earning one-year deals before the start of the regular season.

Center Tyler Ennis, winger Daniel Sprong, winger Alex Galchenyuk, center Victor Rask and winger Alex Chiasson round out the remainder of Ellis’ list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These players haven’t surfaced much in the rumor mill. They seem more likely to be PTO candidates leading up to training camp.


  1. Motte looked good in the playoffs. A decent bottom 6 and role player. Should be offered a contract not a PTO. Same with Rodriguez Milano and P.K
    The rest should stay in shape because it might be awhile

  2. I guess P.K. and his agent are still being selective.
    Rodrigues will get a one year deal, so will Milano. I think P.K. will also get a one year prove it deal. The rest of them will likely have to settle for PTOs. I hope the Habs can work out some sort of deal with Stralman.

  3. The Sens have enjoyed Ennis’ services over the last couple seasons. The guy is an absolute pro. Comes as advertised oh…and when you put him with good people he puts up numbers. 1 year 1 million deal in a heartbeat if you had need.

    • Agree completely. Effort is there every night. Perfect player for teams looking for a veteran.

      • Always liked Ennis’ work ethic and, for a small guy, he’s not afraid to go into the dirty areas.His first year here in 2019-20 he gave them 14g 19a 33pts in 61gp, and after 2 seasons in Edmonton, came back this past season and chipped in with 8g 16a 24 pts in 57gp.

        Right now capfriendly shows them with 20 signed and $7,040,119 in cap space. If and when Formenton is re-upped here they’ll be at 21 with a fair bit of cash left and when Pinto comes off IR they go to 22.

        Unless they’re holding that 23rd spot for someone in the system I wouldn’t mind seeing Ennis brought back for one more year.

    • @ dark G….Thanks I agree with you and Peter about Tyler Ennis being a pro and solid when put with good people/players..

      I had this argument with this guy on another site who said Ennis sucked, was useless and not worth anything.
      I said 2 years ago Penguins should sign him when he was a UFA the guys was like awful move…he would have fit nice with Carter and Zucker on the 3rd line.

      He always gives an effort and has skill.

  4. Motte played well in playoffs for NYR, when healthy. His career has always been held back by injuries and as much as fans loved him during playoffs, his games played and point totals aren’t enough to overpay for him. Good bottom 6 player but guessing he’s priced himself out of a few opportunities.

  5. Rodrigues signed with Av’s

    • 1 year – $2 mil – good signing by Colorado

      • George O.

        Absolutely, Pretty much thought that Rodrigues would sign for 1 year $2,000,000 great deal for both him and the AVs.

  6. Captain Nick Suzuki.
    Sounds ok.

  7. There you go! Good move by the Avalanche. I was hoping for that to transpire. I thought maybe they went to sleep on that but he fits in the Avalanche scheme of things, which is all about speed. Watch out for the Avalanche again. Makes my day. GO AVS!!!!!!!!!!!

    • tommyboy, he won’t replace Kane’s offense of course … but he is fast and versatile and, probably on the 4th line, could chip in with 15 goals,

      I see they’re now just under $2 mil in cap space with 22 signed. I would imagine that 23rd spot – if they go to the limit – would be the extra F. Is there someone in the minor system that you see cracking the line-up?

      I doubt it would be someone they consider a “top prospect” unless there’s one not yet shown on the major-league roster at capfriendly who projects to fit in on one of the 4 lines (no sense wasting someone like that as the 13th F).

      • It was KADRI, George. LOL

      • lol – thanks johnny Z – got the K’s on the brain with 3 of them in the news recently

      • No, I realize that George O, but I think he can replace some of that production. I’m feeling a little better about it because of his speed and he has the ability to score. On the Avalanche, he should be able to about equal that production and they lost too much scoring production, in my opinion , by losing both Kadri and Burakovsky. So, I like the signing. It makes me breathe a little easier.

  8. forgot to answer your question George O? I don’t think they have someone better than Rodrigues to step in as a # 2 C ? The rest of the propspects are wingers, guys that can play on the wing. I think the only guy is Sampo Ranta who is promising but think Rodrigues could supply better offense. Ben Smith looks good but he’s just out of NCAA Minnesota and can play C. I feel better with Rodrigues because to me when I watched him play on the Penguins, he brings a lot of energy and some skill then I think maybe those above-mentioned guys. Will see? I think it gives the Avalanche more options with Rodrigues, then they don’t have to move Rantanen around because he’s so effective on that wing. Maybe he can play with Newhook on wing and Rodrigues be the center with Lekhonen. Compher could be 3 rd line C?

  9. I know it’s a rite of summer to talk about unsigned UFA’s and PTO’s as well as bemoaning the lack of cap room to even gamble but GMs have managed with waiver pickups over the past few years.

    The push for younger/cheaper players to fit the puzzle make for suitable additions to clubs that aren’t talked about at all.

    There are many teams that simply cannot keep all there players without trying to waive them, many of whom aren’t waiver exempt.

    GM’s have been “overpaying” some young guns to make them less attractive which makes the chess moves interesting in the near future.