NHL Rumor Mill – September 20, 2022

by | Sep 20, 2022 | Rumors | 23 comments

The fallout from the Rangers shipping Nils Lundkvist to the Stars plus the latest on Jake Allen, Jesse Puljujarvi, Ethan Bear and Brett Ritchie in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks weighed in on the Rangers trading Nils Lundkvist yesterday to the Dallas Stars for a conditional first-rounder in 2023 and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2025.

Brooks feels Rangers general manager Chris Drury “has acquired a critical asset he can move for immediate help” at the March trade deadline. He suggests Drury will have potentially two first-rounders to play the rental market, or what Brooks calls “the Patrick Kane derby”.

New York Rangers traded defenseman Nils Lundkvist to the Dallas Stars on Sept. 19. (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks has suggested the Rangers should pursue Kane if the 33-year-old Chicago Blackhawks superstar becomes available by the trade deadline. Having that extra first-round pick could give Drury an advantage if he decides to get into the bidding. Something to keep an eye on depending on how the Rangers’ season shakes out.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reports the Lundkvist deal is the first time Stars GM Jim Nill has traded a first-round pick for a player. He also thinks that move could affect efforts to free up salary-cap space.

Perhaps the first-rounder rids the Stars of Anton Khudobin? Perhaps the fourth-rounder entices a team to bite on Radek Faksa?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundkvist could pan out for the Stars if the 22-year-old blossoms into a reliable puck-moving right-side defenseman. As for what else Nill could’ve used those picks for, maybe he’s working on something else that moves Khudobin or Faksa to clear the cap space necessary to re-sign restricted free agent Jason Robertson.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico reports teams are continuing to ask Canadiens GM Kent Hughes about Jake Allen, who is in preliminary contract talks with the Habs. Given the interest in the 32-year-old goaltender, D’Amico’s source wonders if Hughes could be weighing the pros and cons of extending him.

D’Amico also reported Hughes continues working the phones in search of a defenseman. He’s reportedly willing to draw from his depth of forwards for trade bait. Mike Hoffman, Joel Armia and (to a lesser extent) Christian Dvorak are those who could be available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As D’Amico also observed, it would be shocking if the Canadiens traded Allen now with Carey Price expected to miss the coming season. Maybe that’s a move that happens later in the season (perhaps by the March trade deadline?) if Allen decides to test next summer’s free-agent market.


SPORTSNET: Mark Spector wonders if the Edmonton Oilers will move Jesse Puljujarvi if Jake Virtanen impresses during his professional tryout offer. The 24-year-old winger is earning $3 million this season. Spector doesn’t believe the Oilers can get anything of value for Puljujarvi and lack depth on right wing to deal for a draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how Oilers GM Ken Holland handles this. They must clear cap space if they’re to sign RFA forward Ryan McLeod and become cap compliant when the season begins. They could ice fewer players for the coming season but it would be better to either demote or trade someone.

Iain MacIntyre reports the Vancouver Canucks could have Ethan Bear on their radar in their search for a defenseman before the start of the coming season. The 25-year-old blueliner is on a one-year contract worth $2.2 million and becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear struggled in his first season with the Hurricanes. He suffered a bout with COVID-19 that subsequently hampered his performance. If he’s no longer suffering any lingering ill effects, he could be a worthwhile pickup if available.

Eric Francis reported hearing the Flames are closing in on a one-year contract for Brett Ritchie.


  1. With Price (seemingly effectively) retired, or only out for the season, it doesn’t strike me as prudent for Montreal to trade the only goalie they have with a fair amount of NHL experience. Even though they aren’t going to be much of a factor in this year’s race for the playoffs, the smart thing to do is to keep Allen not only as their starting goalie, but also as a mentor to whomever they employ as his back up.

    • Primeau is their future goalie, but he showed this past season that he isn’t ready. he’ll come up if Allen or Montembeau get hurt. so it makes no sense to trade Allen unless they get a decent goalie back

    • Equally dubious are the rumours that the Habs are looking for another D. They have at least a half dozen legit prospects on D who are all going to need NHL time to show if they belong.

  2. Here is Boston’s BIG over-the-hill veteran signing!!!

    Zdeno Chara Signs One-Day Contract With Boston Bruins; Announces Retirement

  3. P.K. Subban Announces Retirement
    He is not going to be embarrassed by accepting a PTO

  4. Dallas might want to make Robertson a priority.
    Give Khudobin away and not sure how acquiring Lundkvist has to do with that .

    • I didn’t get the correlation between Khudobin and the 1st rounder either. Maybe before acquiring Lundkvist the thought was to package Khudobin + 1st rounder for a different player? But now 1st is gone so they have less to entice a trade for Khudobin?

    • I was thinking the same thing. I’d love to get rid of Khudobin. Not sure who would take him at this point, they should have signed, then traded him after his impressive cup run in 2020.

    • I think it’s an error. I thought he meant that they could have instead used that 1st rounder in a package with Khudonin to move him out.

  5. Off Topic …

    Can Nick Robertson “crack” the Leafs lineup ??

    I have been going on about a second line LW for some time now

  6. Off Topic …

    Can Nick Robertson “crack” the Leafs lineup ??

    I have been going on about a second line LW for some time now !!!

    • It seems they are bringing him along too slowly, even with the injuries. They need to give Nick Robertson a good 10 game run before he expires.

  7. I don’t see Virtanen coming close to making the Oilers 4th line let alone replacing JP. Spector is still on his run JP out-of-town rant. It’s funny, the Edmonton TSN (Bell media) guys are for JP staying, and the SportsNet (Rogers media) guys are wanting JP gone.

  8. The first in a deep draft feels like an overpayment for a hold out. There is an additional pick in there too and the parameters aren’t that great.
    Maybe I am missing something since I don’t know enough about the player.

    • Agreed…with such a good draft class coming up…Why would this be the first time in his tenure that Nill gives up a first. This could turn out to be a brilliant move if Lundkvist could somehow replace Klingberg on the right side, if not this year then maybe next. But on the surface seems like an overpay.

  9. Virtanen isnt a 4th line guy and he hasnt shown so far that he has the hockey IQ to play higher up. His KHL stint was underwhelming at best. But I guess if its a guy with baggage you want, he is your guy

  10. Regarding The Oilers Jesse Puljujarvi, he needs a change of scenery.
    Playing with his Jr line mates like Aho in Carolina or Lainie in Columbus could be just the tickets…?
    Whats he worth..?

  11. Mackinnon $128 million contract. Aav of $12600. I guess the cap is going way up. Or for their sake I sure hope so
    No wonder they could not resign and ink Kadri

    • Two questions SS or whoever agrees with their point

      1) what did you expect Mack’s next cap hit to be?

      2) do you think 7×7 for a 32 yr old career 60 pt 2nd line C would be a smart investment?

      • Not more than McDavid .

        I am sure Kadri would have agreed to something lesser to stay
        They don’t win the cup without him

        Calgary won’t care for the last couple years on that deal and if the cap is going up that much it will not be a concern

    • 2 things on this.
      1) For the last few years MacKinnon has been substantially underpaid.
      2) MacKinnon’s cap hit will take up less cap space percentage-wise than McDavid’s did when he signed his current deal.
      I have no issues with this. For the last bunch of years, MacKinnon has been well above a point-per-game player and has been one of the best players in the league.

  12. Considering rumors where teams offering a 2nd rounder for Lundkvist , this was a very good deal for Drury. Figuring Lundkvist wasn’t going to crack top 6, (or maybe top 7 or 8) a 1st round pick and a realistic shot at a 3rd rounder.