NHL Rumor Mill – September 19, 2022

by | Sep 19, 2022 | Rumors | 19 comments

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: limited cap space could affect the Blues’ efforts to re-sign Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko plus an update on P.K. Subban.


STLTODAY.COM: Jim Thomas reports the Blues could find it difficult to re-sign Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev and Niko Mikkola. The four are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images).

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said he intends to let the season play itself out, “have those guys play.” He didn’t rule out contract negotiations during the coming season. “It means if we do, we’ll do it behind closed doors.”

O’Reilly and Tarasenko will draw the most interest. Both were key players in the Blues’ Stanley Cup run in 2019.

O’Reilly has become the Blues captain and remains among the league’s best two-way players. He also seems to enjoy playing in St. Louis.

Tarasenko, however, requested a trade last summer but enjoyed a career-best 84-point performance last season. Reports emerged this summer claiming he hasn’t rescinded that request.

Both players currently carry an average annual value of $7.5 million. O’Reilly turns 32 in February while Tarasenko will be 31 in December, meaning they won’t be getting eight-year contract extensions like those signed this summer by teammates Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou.

With a projected salary cap of $83.5 million for 2023-24, the Blues will have around $15.95 million in cap space with 13 players under contract. Assuming O’Reilly returns for a cap hit similar to his current one, that’ll leave just $8.45 million for the rest of the roster.

Thomas wondered how much of a pay cut O’Reilly might accept to remain with the Blues. He believes term will be an issue as well.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko is likely playing his final season with the Blues. His trade request did not become an issue with his teammates and it’s unlikely to be one this season. Even if he has another 80-point performance, there’s a sense that the rift between himself and the front office hasn’t fully healed.

Signing O’Reilly, on the other hand, is likely to be a priority for Armstrong. Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek last week suggested the Blues captain could seek a deal comparable to the seven-year, $49 million contract that Nazem Kadri signed last month with the St. Louis Blues. His colleague, Elliotte Friedman, doubted the Blues will agree to that.

Maybe O’Reilly will accept a pay cut if the Blues offer up a deal of at least five years? That’s something he and Armstrong will have to discuss at some point between now and next July.

If O’Reilly is re-signed, the Blues could be forced to shed salary elsewhere to clear enough room to fill out the remainder of their roster.


TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons observes training camp is fast approaching but P.K. Subban is nowhere to be found. He made a series of calls to people close to the 33-year-old defenseman but hasn’t been able to reach him.

As far as Simmons knows, Subban has neither a place to play nor has he received a training camp invitation. While the former Norris Trophy winner and All-Star isn’t the player he once way, he’s still good enough to end up somewhere with an NHL club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports from earlier this summer claimed Subban was receiving some interest and was evaluating potential destinations. Maybe he’s still deciding where he’ll land or perhaps those teams have moved on to other defensemen.

Training camps open on Sept. 21 and 22. We should know Subban’s fate by week’s end.


  1. P. K. maybe prefers to be on TV doing broadcasts now?

    • It’s for this reason I hope he never retires.

    • I could see him being one of the more entertaining guys if/when he joins an NHL broadcast team.

      • Same. I look forward to it.

  2. Pk better accept what’s available to him or like a lot of his contemporaries he may find himself playing overseas in the khl. Here’s hoping that Sweeney grabs some sense and passes pk by. None of the attendees at prospect camp will make the team and that includes Lysell. Unless Sweeney decides to move the puppet strings to Monty.

    • Why in the world would you think Sweeney has any interest in PK. Even if he had cap space which he does not. PK won’t be a Bruin. Bruins will be adding a grand total of 0 to their line up as they no have cap space. Simple yet hard to digest it seams

  3. As an UFA in the open market O’Reilly might get 7×7 . The Blues will have to take a chance next July
    Tarasenko will need to replicate last year to have any chance at big money no whammy with any team for any term

    Puck drop for real 3 weeks tomorrow Is Murray hurt yet with an off season fishing or golfing injury ?

    • I Reilly just needs to knock on Calgary’s door

  4. but is with the infatuation with Subban? he hasn’t been the same player since his days in Nashville, if not in Montreal. NJ demoted him from top pairing to 3rd pairing this past season, and even then, his game was still compromised (no factor offensively and average at best defensively)
    I think his NHL days may be done

  5. I feel PK is at least worth a PTO in MTL. Maybe on a 1 year friendly deal he puts together a season worth assets at the deadline.

    • While I had similar dreams about PK with the Habs, there are too many prospects that need the ice time and attention. I get that he is a RD, the position MTL is thinnest at but I still think he would take up too much space. Maybe a signing after a PTO elsewhere once evaluations and nine game trials are done?

  6. IMO PK is not the type of player a team signs to be a veteran 5/6/7 defenceman … he eats up too much oxygen in the room and isn’t exactly someone you want to “mentor” youngsters.

    • A lot of what your saying about him you base off speculation. A lot of that speculation comes from online journalists attempting to sell subscriptions and make a quick buck. I would love to be able to sit in a room with Subban and pick his brain about the game.

      • Subban may have plenty of time on his hands this season to jaw with you! 😜

    • Couldn’t be better said, Craig.

    • It’s not often a Norris trophy winner simply and suddenly can’t play.

  7. I don’t get the opinion of subban’s character. He always seemed to be a quality guy to me.

    • He was a good flippin’ player too Jeff. Major pain in the ass for us Bruin fans when he was in MTL.

      Maybe he simply read the market wrong or got bad advise from his agent. Or maybe he is simply waiting for a team to clear once camps end.

      I think the reason he is perceived the way he is, is because of how he interacts with the media. He is outspoken when most NHL players are low key when it comes to that. Just the culture.

      He isn’t a top 4 D anymore but he can definitely help a contender as he has the experience, just not sure if he hasn’t priced himself out of what those teams can afford.

  8. I liked PK’s personality when he was a Hab, he knew how to market himself, how to reach out to the fanbase but I wasn’t crazy about him as a player and loved the Weber trade.

    Subban could carry the puck, had a great shot from the point but he’d consistently strand his teammates at the blue line and cause offsides.

    Head maning the puck was non existent in his arsenal and THAT is what p***ed off the guys and fans like me.

    Forwards flying up the ice and braking because PK needed to try and carry it in instead.

    He’s still young (33) and has his shot but his marketing doesn’t cover his deficiencies anymore.