NHL Rumor Mill – September 23, 2022

by | Sep 23, 2022 | Rumors | 63 comments

The latest on Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat and Bo Horvat plus some Bruins speculation in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope reports Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews remain committed to the Blackhawks for the coming season.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Kane, 33, told reporters he was disappointed that the club traded winger Alex DeBrincat in July. However, he dismissed the rumors that swirled about him during the offseason, saying a trade wasn’t something he’d thought about this summer.

The 34-year-old Toews, meanwhile, admitted he’d had some discussion with his family and his agent about a trade. However, those talks were not serious.

It’s apparent Kane and Toews will start the season with the Blackhawks. However, the focus could shift toward the March 3 trade deadline as the next opportunity when they could be moved. Pope reminds us that both players carry full no-movement clauses for the coming season, giving them complete control over this situation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane and Toews are both eligible to become unrestricted free agents next summer, hence the offseason media trade chatter. General manager Kyle Davidson has said he will leave it up to them to decide if they’ll request a trade.

I don’t doubt that some teams have contacted the Blackhawks about either guy but it sounds like Davidson won’t be approaching Kane and/or Toews with trade offers. He could instead tell the interested clubs that he’ll get back to them if one or both players ask to be moved.


THE ATHLETIC: Whether Alex DeBrincat will sign a contract extension was among Ian Mendes’ burning questions for the Ottawa Senators going into training camp. The 24-year-old winger is due to become a restricted free agent next summer and will be a year away by that point from UFA eligibility.

DeBrincat carries an average annual value of $6.4 million but will earn $9 million in actual salary for this season. That will have to be the Senators’ minimum qualifying offer if they want to keep him on a one-year deal.

Mendes believes DeBrincat’s situation could be among the interesting storylines for the Senators this season. His camp will want him to be the highest-paid player on the Senators if he fits in well and reaches the 40-goal plateau again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another 40-goal performance could see DeBrincat’s representatives seek $10 million annually on an eight-year contract, especially if he helps the Senators reach the playoffs for the first time since 2017.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports contract talks between the Vancouver Canucks and captain Bo Horvat have been quiet of late but those discussions stretch back several months. Lots of time remains to get a deal done and it’s the club’s priority to get the 27-year-old center under contract.

LeBrun feels the Canucks feel a little less pressure to get Horvat signed after recently re-signing J.T. Miller. However, they have a delicate cap situation into which to fit his new contract. If he’s not signed by the March 3 trade deadline, there’s a possibility he could be traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat is slated to become a UFA next summer and carries a $5.5 million AAV for this season. He could seek over $7 million annually on his next deal.

Miller was the subject of considerable trade speculation before signing his new contract. While Horvat could get shopped at the trade deadline, I think negotiations would have to go downhill pretty fast to reach that point. We’ll see how the season plays out.


THE ATHLETIC: How the Boston Bruins will become cap compliant once sidelined stars like Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy return to the lineup was among Fluto Shinzawa’s burning questions as the club enters training camp.

General manager Don Sweeney could trade or waive players at the start of the season but that would leave the Bruins shorthanded. Shinzawa speculated he could wait until November or December to address that issue.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shinzawa seemed to hint that defenseman Mike Reilly or winger Craig Smith could be trade candidates.


  1. Shinzawa Is just writing the obvious. Bruins have lots of time to make a trade also bet Wagner is back in Providence once he goes through waivers To start the year

    • Unless I don’t understand how LTIR works and when you place them on LTIR, I don’t get why the B’s need to trade anyone. Unless they are adding.

      LTIR before season, can’t accrue it. Put them on after the season starts you can.

      The B’s are $2.24M over the cap. Agree, send Wagner down and subtract 1.35 as they have 24 on the roster today. So have to send somebody down. That leaves them with under $900K to accrue.

      Grz had surgery on June 3, out 5 months so Nov 3 is the approx return. Put him on LTIR before season starts.

      Put Charlie and March on LTIR after season starts so you can accrue that space. At their combined salary they accrue $190,548/per game. Plenty of accrued space when Grz returns as he will likely miss at least 10, so an accrual of $1.9M and they only need $900K. Plus those 2 are out until December at best, so they will have $$ to play with at TDL.

      Unless I am wrong about the accrual part, but I think that is how Lyle explained it on here. Perhaps I need a refresher in LTIR and the cap.

  2. Re DeBrincat – let’s say he does repeat his 40-goal performance and that he and his agent then seek $10,000,000 in a long-term extension, but settle on $9,500,000 as a compromise.

    Ottawa’s top 5 cap hits then become DeBrincat $9,500,000 – $8,205,714 Tkachuk – $8,000,000 Chabot – $7,950,000 Norris – and $6,500,000 Giroux.

    With the cap at $83,500,000 next season that works out to 48% of their cap on 5 players – high, but not quite as high as several others who each exceed 50% up to a high of 53%.

    In that scenario Ottawa, like a lot of teams, will be keeping their fingers crossed that the flat-cap era would then end by the 2024-25 season.

    Could that happen? Certainly no reason not to IF the Senators have a solid season and make the playoffs – or come tantalizingly close – knowing the young core will only continue to get better.

    Let’s face it, all the teams currently in various stages of re-build will be facing similar cap decisions/challenges as/if/when their own young prospects break out.

    At the same time, there are a number of current “top” teams with key players getting long in the tooth and not much in the way of a prospect pool who will soon enough be facing total rebuilds themselves as they slide in the standings and so, no longer seen as attractive destinations for top UFAs – UNLESS they’re in tax haven locales like Tampa and Florida – THAT’S the unfortunate fly in the equalization ointment.

    Interesting times ahead.

    • One of the things that I like about the Sens signings is, other than Giroux, none have No Trade clauses. This allows such flexibility to Dorion. It removes things of the past like when Heatley, Phaneuf, Murray, etc refused trades that would have helped the team. It is also something which is crippling other teams.

      • Good point Peter. Overlooked that aspect as well. That does make managing a cap much simpler.

      • Perhaps someone can confirm this, but I don’t think you can give a player a NTC until he is at the age or years of service that he would be a UFA if he was without a contract.

        IE – McDavid’s NMC doesn’t kick in until he 8th full season in the NHL. And Chabot’s NTC doesn’t kick in until his 8th season.

    • I’ve always thought it would be nice to have some sort of formula to adjust the cap hit based on tax advantage/disadvantage as well as Canadian vs US currency.

      • Ed, I am surprised that this hasn’t become a bigger issue at the annual GM/owners get-together – usually at some locale in Florida!

      • Kane also said in that article that, not only did he and DeBrincat have a smooth on-ice cohesiveness that led to both having huge numbers, but that he and DeBrincat also became fast friends away from the rink.

        So, maybe Chicago and Ottawa can work out a deal that sees Kane joining the Senators, with a top $ deal going the other way 🙂 – how’s that for starting a rumour?

        Hey, I have seen others projected on far flimsier premises.

      • I believe Lyle has posted a few times that the perceived tax benefit is blown way out of proportion, if you get the right tax advice, which I am sure these guys do. And if you were to do a tax adjust, you would also have to do a cost of living adjustment – NYC is a lot more costlier than Edmonton. And if you want to continue the argument, how about a quality of life adjustment – who wants to spend winters in Calgary when they can play in SoCal and and Florida.

      • Yeah, you’re right there redmonsters. Almost need a mathematical algorithm to calculate all the pros and cons comparing locations to each other! LOL.

    • Makes that Batherson deal look even better.

    • George, I firmly believe the cap is heading towards 100 million. If DeBrincat signs a long term contract at 9.5 it will be perceived as a good deal in a couple of years. The rest of your high priced players will be viewed as a steal. Kinda like when top young players were signing deals in the 6 million range they were perceived as bargains.

      I was actually surprised by MacKinnons deal. I thought for sure he would get over 14 million, in my opinion he short changed himself again.
      I would bet Matthews will not short change himself and predict he will sign in Toronto for over 14 million.
      McDavid will get close to 20 million when his turn comes up again

      • At ..FLAMES FAN

        McKinnon has never short changed himself…

        His goal was a Stanley Cup ..not an extra 10 million when he hangs them up…

        He did exactly what he wanted to do….

        And it paid off….

        How much money would Marleau or Thornton give up to have won a cup…..

        Money means alot more to you and me than itvdies to them…

        He will be very happy with 100 million and a Stanley cup when he retires as opposed to 120 million and no cup …

    • Cap going up and a few buyout numbers leaving the books will be make it easier for the Sens to offer The Cat something to keep him. Especially if Zaitsev can finally be jettisoned.

    • Interesting indeed, George. The Sens are by no means the only team that will find themselves cap heavy on a few forwards (any particular team come to mind?), but at the same time they will be dealing with DeBrinkat 1/2 of the Sens’ D will need resigning or replacing. They cap won’t rise enough to help mitigate the Sens’ difficulties.

      I am not sure what the solution is, but look at what Colorado has done with the massive contract for MacKinnon. The Avs will have 8 players to resign the year that Mac’s contract kicks in, including Byram.

      • Holy Katz. After I posted that and went for breakfast at our favourite Diner (Ralph & Sons near Britannia) it suddenly dawned on me that my Top 5 for next year overlooked Stutzle, whose $8,350,000 per deal kicks in. So, replacing Giroux with Stutzle the % jumps to 50% – again, high, but below several others.

        And yes, Dark G, that Batherson deal could be the bargain of the lot very soon.

        Flamefan, there will be a bunch of teams hoping that the cap eventually jumps to $100 mil within the lifetime of their various contracts – Ottawa included. If they can live up to the perceived promise as a team, the crowds will be back and revenues will go up accordingly so these contracts will be no burden.

        On the other hand if something unexpected happens again and the cap is adversely affected again they won’t be the only ones scrambling.

        Fingers – AND toes – crossed

      • LJ, off the top a few other teams that jump to mind are Buffalo, Detroit and New Jersey.

        The Sabres have Skinner at $9 mil to 2026-27 – Thompson, whose $7,142,857 kicks in next season – Dahlin, $6 mil to 2024-25 when he becomes an RFA – Power – $916,667 to 2024-25 when he becomes an RFA (and if he proves to be what everyone expects – look out) – Cozens, $894,167 – RFA next year

        Detroit has Larkin $6.2 mil – UFA next season – Bertuzzi – $4,750,000 – UFA next season – Raymond – #925,000 to 2024-25 at which point he becomes an RFA – Hronek $4.4 mil – same as Raymond – I may have missed someone

        New Jersey – Hamilton $9 mil – Hughes $8 mil – Hischier $7,250,000 – Palat $6 mil – all long-term + Bratt $5,450,000 – RFA next season and Sharangovich – $2 mil – RFA next season

      • As a Sens fan it is fun to have these types of cap issues as opposed to only spending to the ceiling.

        Next summer will be interesting:
        – most of the defence are UFA’s
        – Stutzle’s deal kicks in
        – Pinto is coming off his entry deal – likely a bridge deal there
        – they need to watch that Sanderson will be in the last year of his entry deal. And given what happened with Stutzle (and others in the NHL like Nick Suzuki), they may throw big money and big term at a young player
        – Talbot is a UFA
        – and of course Debrincat

        I am getting ahead of myself but I see one of Norris or Debrincat getting flipped. Likely for a young Dman.

        This will even out the forward / defence cap distribution.

        I also think they will go UFA for a goalie to tandem with Forsberg and not sign anyone long term.

        I know it is ridiculous to mention trading Debrincat when he hasn’t even played a game for the Sens. But speculation is always fun

      • Rantanen, landeskog, Nuke, Leky ,Mack, makar, Girard, Manson and Georgie are all signed for 3 + yrs. Toews for 2. That’s 5 of your top six and your top 4 D

        Byram and Newhook need new deals next summer. If they reach potential they’ll be expensive (could bridge them until cap rises) but will fill out the top 6 and Byram will allow them to move on from Toews.

        It’s a cap world wdyd. Good teams will lose good players

      • George … That was a really interesting article. The point on drafting Boucher was really interesting.

        What I have never liked about DJ Smith was the way he has handled his young D. And if he handled them a little different maybe Ottawa would not be so “stuck”’ on the backend. Brannstrom should have played a bigger role all last season and not juggled in and out of the lineup. He is going to have failures (and successes) but needs to play and learn. And this way we can see if he is even and NHL player.

        Even Thomson and JBD needed more time with the big club.

        Now Sanderson is a given to make the club but I hate having two young rookie defensemen on a team. But I think moving in 2023/24 they need to give these guys more of a chance. I can’t see Hamonic, Holden, and (based on the article) maybe Zub back next year. So now you have Chabot, zaitsev, and a group of inexperienced D.

        Maybe this is why we keep hearing about Chychrun. But I think trading Pinto for an injury prone Dman is a mistake – just my two cents.

    • Looking at The Hockey Writer’s post-drat prospect pool rankings, these currently regarded as contenders are at or near the bottom ot at best mid-range: Pittsburgh – 32nd; Colorado 31st; Boston 29th; TB 28th; Vegas 27th; Florida 25th; St. Louis 24th; NYR 19th; Wash 18th. And several have key players legitimately long in the tooth – most with NM/NT clauses.

    • Years and years ago I made the statement the cap won’t go down. It took covid to plateau it and people just could not pay to go to games. New teams entering the league, covid restrictions removed, gambling revenue, advertisements in jersey’s new tv deals. The cap isn’t profit link it’s revenue linked standard inflation will raise the cap let alone what we just experienced.

      History has shown what to expect. I think we can be quite confident in its continue rise. It’s by how much that will be of question.

  3. A lot of talk of cap space and top players taking up to over 50% of it on a lot teams seems to be the norm now? Talk about a copycat league.
    But also many teams that have already allocated a majority of cap towards their stars (drafted/FA singing or trade) weren’t bottom tier teams when they did that. I believed many made the playoffs by then, some with success and one with out 🤣.
    I think in short, spend on your talent and let the other guys fight tooth and nail for the scraps! Cap is perfect.

  4. I see the cap going down with inflation skyrocketing I see a lot of empty rinks for years to come. Not sure how many will be able to afford the gas to get to the arena lol. Stock market is crashing and a recession is inevitable and maybe a Great Depression. Hope I’m wrong but forecast not very positive.

    • Ya the market finally woke up to the inflation reality Obe. And you can now actually get a return on your money without being in the stock market, so it is leaving during times of uncertainty.

      On the same token the market still expects inflation to subside in 2023 to between 2.5 and 3%. And then back to normal and around 2% longer term. Plus Oil prices are at the lowest rate since January, so what the fed and world banks are doing seem to be working.

      We will get a recession, that much is pretty certain and kind of what the Fed is trying to do, slow demand. But IMO I don’t think it will be that bad, not like the late 70’s early 80’s when we went through this the last time where we had high inflation and prolonged high employment. They learned from those mistakes it seems.

      We will see if it works.

      • It is like the late ’70s / early ’80s in the sense that people are spending too much of their income on housing. Back then, it was because of crazy interest rates. Now it’s because of real estate speculation, Air BnBs, Zillow, etc.

        The advantage of high interest rates then was that the mortgage interest was at least tax deductible. High housing costs now, on the other hand, have the additional drag of higher property taxes.

        I’ll be curious what effect, if any, a recession has on the cap.

      • Inflation is simply caused by demand outpacing what the market can supply, so suppliers can charge more.

        That’s it.

        Pandemic caused supply disruptions, as is the war on food and energy, and pent up demand and cheap money caused a spike. The Fed and all the world’s central banks are trying to slow demand as fixing the supply would be government intervention, and we live in a free market economy.

      • Ray Bark, that’s not the whole story. Why is demand outpacing supply? Becuase your friendly neighborhood government decided to print millions units of currency and hand it out. Now, everyone can afford the things they don’t need. Yay! Thanks nanny state.

  5. Inflation has rose almost 9 percent many won’t be able to heat their houses this winter as heating and electrical bills are through the roof. Wait till all these mortgages come due and rates that were 1.7 percent are now 5 or higher. Housing market will crash. Peoples investments are half of what they were 2 years ago and getting 4.2 percent on your cash won’t pay the inflation. Time will tell but unless something huge changes and if the criminals that are running our countries don’t change I can’t see a good outcome. Just can’t see how arenas will be full.

    • Obe, you certainly have to think that, if conditions develop where many are reduced to “counting pennies” in order to have a roof over their heads, keep themselves warm in the winter and feed and clothe their families, then entertainment will be at the top of the sacrifice list, led by pro sports.

      That will have a profound impact on game by game attendance and, consequently, the cap.

      I agree with Ray … so far the actions taken by the U.S. and Canadian federal authorities have had a quasi-positive impact … but we are headed for a major recession nevertheless.

    • Looks like Port-Aux-Basques, Newfoundland has been wiped off the map

    • Let’s hope that everything is ok and no one’s hurt or anything devastating has happened.

      • An entire apartment complex was swept away – mostly evacuated beforehand, but apparently two women were swept out to sea – one has been rescued – the other still missing

    • All of the lads are down at the beach waiting for treasures to blow in.
      My mom said it’s comparable to when Igor landed a few years back.
      I hope everyone is fairing well back there.

  6. Hi Lyle, hope your doing ok there in PEI.

    Lots of down trees and power lines thruout the Atlantic Provinces.

    Be safe.

  7. 340,000 people in Toronto used food stamps they can’t afford food they say worse next week. Prayers for our east coast people fighting the hurricane stay safe.

  8. All I heard for the last few months was Horvat is taken a hometown discount, no way is 7m x 8 yrs a discount in my opinion it’s a over payment, I’d give some of his PP time to a few others and he’ll see maybe I better take 6.5m x8, or they might find others can get better numbers with more PP time and trade him, I wonder what the return would be for Bo, would Bo and a 2nd get them a good Young defensemen

    • LOL. Yeah, that’s some “discount.”

    • Trade Horvat for a decent RD. Give him and Garland to the Hawks for Seth. Thade will light a fire under Kane and Toews!

  9. I hope Lyle and all down there are ok .

  10. Keeping Lyle and his family in my thoughts, as well as everyone else caught in the path of Fiona.

  11. Hey Lyle, just dropping in to say I hope you’re okay and your family and friends are as well. Thinking of you and the other maritimers. Cheers.

  12. Home and family safe and sound. Electricity still down and cell service spotty. Once both are restored the daily updates to this site will resume. Cheers!

    • Glad all are OK, Thanks Lyle!

    • I’m very glad to hear that you and your family are safe and sound.

      To all hit by Fiona…. Hoping that the impact is minimal; and recovery quick

      Thoughts and prayers out to all affected by Fiona

      Pengy & Fam

      • @Pengy… I think now that Chychrun has said he wants to be traded to a team that wins..hello Penguins..!!!

        You add chychrun 24 to letang dumolin petry and Rutta. Name a stronger 5 dmen.

        Arizona gets

        Kaspari kapanen

        Pierre oliver Joseph

        Sam Poulin

        #1 pick 2023

        #2 pick 2024

        Coyotes get two young roster players, a good prospect, and two high draft picks and we save $300,000..

        With that d wherher Peterson is gone or with Rutta. Wow
        We are win now..chychrun while has some injuries will b a force..

        We go from playoff contender to power in the east..

      • Hi BNG

        Sorry. We oft agree. In this case, unfortunately I have to disagree

        Chychrun should not be persued at all by Pens; but even more so , that offering is a massive over-pay.

        To me Chychrun has been over-hyped in the media. Yes good young D, 3 more years with fairly nice Cap hit ; and he can chew up minutes. That said, he is oft injured and for long stretches… last 5 years…he’s not even averaging 54 games per year. Sens do not need another oft injured player

        Both Tanger and Petry thrive when paired with D-first/stay-at-home partners. Chychrun is not one of those. Although he was on a brutal team and was expected to have a negative (in the plus/minus)…. He finished 4th worst on team @-20…. and he played just over 1/2 as many games as Kessel and Ghost (-24 and -23)

        Acquisition of Chychrun (as he should NOT be paired with Tanger or Petry, for reasons above) by Pens would have him 3rd pairing…. Not worth the cap at any acquisition cost.

        Most importantly… the offer you propose is more than Yotes are asking for…. and they are asking waaaaaay too much now (Ottawa is not moving, as at yet, on that ask…. and they are more in need of Chychrun [or the like] than most of the other 31 teams)

        and…. With all that…, your proposal did not Jettison Zucker; and Yotes would still need to get to Cap floor; and this proposal puts them farther away

        Finally, Chychrun acquisition would not move the playoff depth probability much (if at all) and the expense of Kappy plus 2 firsts AND 2 prospects (that are definitely needed in the rebuild years…. Probably 2 years down the road….. when Chychrun’s contract would be up for renewal) would not be a good investment

        I fully expect Sens to make an offer; and Yotes to temper their return expectations

        If HexBurkie lost their minds and tried to go after Chychrun… this is the max offer (and NOT taking Zucker, is non-negotiable)

        Zucker, Dumo, Kappy , TWO 1st (both Lottery protected) , O’Connor, Poehling; Puust

        For Chychrun Crouse Ritchie

        As you can see…. This is an absolutely ridiculous AND impossible trade; but only there to show how Pens could benefit (over the next 2 years); while acquiring Chychrun AND giving up 2 1sts

      • @ Pengy..Yes we often agree and I understand what you are saying…

        – But Letang is often injured too.
        – It gives us the flexibility to move Dumo if needed.
        – Yes he was a -20 but so was just about everyone on that Arizona team. the coach was -25.. LOL
        – I didn’t offer 2 first I offered a first and a second in different years
        – Kapanen -POJ – Poulin are spare parts for us for a 24 year old strong defender there are like 10 teams that are in on him.

        He makes us better and he certainly is better than Petersson…

        Letang Dumoulin
        Petry Chychrun
        Rutta Smith

        I guarantee you if he comes to Pittsburgh he will step his game up, his eyes will light up, and he will be thrilled to be playing with guys like Crosby Malkin, Letang, Rust and Guentzel..

        Look we are in win mode right now..2 /3 years top window.. Had we had Chychrun vs the Rangers we would have moved to the next round…

        but it is ok to disagree

    • Been checking in hoping to hear from you Lyle. All the best

      • Too many scary happenings in the world today

        On a positive view !

        Sawchuk looked very confident , outstanding in goal the other night against Trudeau’s Senators

        Sawchuk – sorry – typo – Samsonov , Lol !

    • Hello Lyle, So sorry to hear about the storm damage. Down in NY we did not hear how hard you got hit. Glad to hear you and the family are OK. Be well!

  13. You’ll soon wish you had Sawchuk 🙂

  14. I think once Lyle posts a new page of news and rumors please remember to click on some ads and links so Lyle can make back some loss revenue (ps it’s not much but better than nothing). I think it’s the least we can do for the work he does for us daily.

    You can also click away on some of the ads and links on past posts too, if you’re like me bored and can’t wait for more salacious chatter. 🤪

    • Well said Ron . I don’t post often but enjoy this site . Glad to hear from you Lyle . Glad things are getting better and can’t wait until we are back to normal .

    • Good point. Love those cars just above this post

  15. Having been a electric lineman for 44 years these storms like this ( seen them all hurricanes , tornadoes, snowstorms , ice storms, massive thunderstorms) are a major pain to clean up and get power restored being that the area they affect is large anywhere from 1-2 weeks to get everyone’s power back on

    • You played for the chargers for 44 years?

  16. Holy beejeezer!!! clicked on capfriendly.com and under their signing on the home page it’s said Anton Stralman Boston $5.5m i almost had a heart attack.

    Clicked on his name and it said PTO his last contract was $5.5m ok all good now.