NHL Rumor Mill – September 7, 2022

by | Sep 7, 2022 | Rumors | 32 comments

The latest on Bo Horvat’s contract status with the Canucks plus an update on the Canadiens’ efforts to re-sign Kirby Dach in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Iain MacIntyre reports the Vancouver Canucks are shifting their focus toward re-signing captain Bo Horvat after signing J.T. Miller last week to a seven-year contract extension. Horvat, 27, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

MacIntyre points out that the constraints under the salary cap could make it difficult for the Canucks to invest heavily in their top-three centers such as Miller, Horvat and Elias Pettersson. It could limit their efforts to address their need to improve their defense corps.

General manager Patrik Allvin acknowledged this but also noted that Pettersson can play on the wing. He also felt a good team needs that depth at center. “But moving forward, we need to be aware of the cap situation and potentially some roster decisions coming into next summer,” said Allvin.

MacIntyre believes it’ll be surprising if the Canucks open their season next month with Horvat still unsigned after reaching an agreement with Miller. Still, he wonders if they’ll be able to afford Pettersson when he’s due for a new contract in 2024 and how they’ll upgrade their blueline.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston also wondered if the Canucks can really afford Miller, Horvat and Pettersson.

Allvin admitted multi-year contracts have proven difficult to trade. Johnston believes he’s referring to Tanner Pearson (two years at $3.25 million annually), Tyler Myers (two years, $6 million per season) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (five years at $6.75 million per).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allvin understands the importance of getting Horvat signed before the start of the season. “Hopefully we can figure something out here,” he said.

Miller’s new contract and an extension for Horvat won’t affect the Canucks’ salary-cap payroll for this season. However, with over $68 million invested in 14 players for 2022-23, a new deal for Horvat could push that to over $75 million, leaving little room to fill out the rest of the roster next summer.

At some point, the Canucks must free up cap space to accommodate new contracts for Horvat and Pettersson as well as address their roster weaknesses. Perhaps that means contract buyouts for Pearson and Myers next summer. Maybe it means retaining part of their salaries to facilitate a trade.

For this season, the Canucks are above the cap by $2.75 million. They should get cap relief by placing sidelined winger Micheal Ferland (concussion) and his $3.5 million AAV on long-term injury reserve. They could also attempt to a valuable player on a long-term contract such as winger Conor Garland.


TVA SPORTS: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating the Montreal Canadiens could be close to signing Kirby Dach. He believes it will be a four-year contract worth an average annual value of $3.5 million.

Friedman even suggested the Canadiens may have already reached an agreement with Dach. He felt the Habs might be trying to conclude a few things before formally announcing the new contract.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico also took note of Friedman’s remarks. He pointed out it’s no secret the Canadiens have been trying to move a forward. General manager Kent Hughes recently indicated he’d like to add another defenseman.

**UPDATE** The Canadiens announced they’ve signed Dach to a four-year, $13.5 million contract. The average annual value is $3.35 million

SPECTOR’S NOTE: D’Amico noted that Mike Hoffman, Joel Armia and Christian Dvorak have been frequently mentioned as trade candidates. He believes their excess of wingers could see them try to move Hoffman or Armia.


  1. Habs also have an excess of centers, if Monahan is able to play: Suzuki-Dach-Monahan-Dvorak-Evans

    • Deal is done with Dach. Four years at $3,362,500 AAV. That’ll be a great deal if he starts playing up to his potential.

      With Price going on LTIR, there’s still cap room for a veteran defenseman who plays the right side. But it’s a near certainty that a winger will be moved. They have 16 wingers signed to one way contracts including Slafkovsky and Pezzetta. Of course, Byron is likely to start season on LTIR and possibly Monahan as well.

      • As much as it pains me to say this I think the Habs are the sleeper team this year. Not sure if they’ll make the playoffs because they play on the toughest division in the league but they are a better team then they’ve been in years. Other than the playoff run a couple years ago Price has not been a difference making for over 5 years so it’s really not that big of a loss. The Habs are strong at center now which has been there main weakness. They also have a great set of wingers. Defense is still a question mark but let the season play out and corrections if needed could be made. Goaltending could be an issue but if we’re being completely honest it’s no weaker then it’s been the last 5 years. Love the new management team there as well. They’re not afraid to take risks and make big moves. Exciting times in Montreal coming soon if not as early as this season.

      • Overpay

      • Johnnyz, how can you honestly call that an overpay? You get a 21 year old former top 3 pick who could potentially experience a resurgence in his career. I thought Kent Hughes did good.

      • What the heck, if we’re talking about teams being “sleepers” that were in the standings wilderness last season, I would put these (in the order shown) as the most likely

        NY Islanders

      • Howard, I agree it makes sense the Habs need to move a winger. The question is, with virtually every team jammed against the cap, who could take one of those contracts? And it can’t really be dollar for dollar, as the Habs are also at 99% of the cap with today’s moves.

        I like the cap, but tricky to make moves in a cap world when seemingly every team is at 95% of the cap or higher

      • Howard, the Habs are 10.2 over the cap. Price’s LTIR is 10.5. They don’t have cap room, so you are correct that any move for a D will require a current player out.

  2. Habs have an excess of centres? Where?
    Dach and Monahan are question marks at best till they hit the ice and actually play.

    Habs pundits have been tossing about so many names that they might get something right by mistake…..and then crow about it.

    The late Red Fisher was famous for saying “show me the players” despite reporting on a perennial powerhouse.

    Prospects are wannabes until they deliver.

  3. Horvat to NYR for Chytil, Kakko, and Lundkvist

    • JZ.

      Horvat sticks it out. Goes somewhere at deadline then signs with bruins on team friendly deal

    • Johnny Z

      That’s way too much for a one year rental on Bo Horvat, He’ll want 7×7 and the Rangers don’t have the cap space to fit him in long term. So Horvat to the Rangers maes no sense.

  4. It seems pretty clear that most teams view Miller as a winger and that resulted in lower offers than Vancouver wanted. If Horvat wants 7-7,5 as reported I just dont see that they can have 3 C at 7,8 and 9m(Pettersson) it just wont work in this window to compete. I was all for trading Miller for a RD that they desperately need, last trade deadline would have been best. With the current situation it might actually be best to trade Pettersson as he would give the best return. Teams like Detroit, Anaheim, Buffalo and Columbus comes to mind as potential teams

  5. With training camps set to open in a few weeks you have to wonder if any of the following still-unsigned UFAs will get offers or even a PTO

    Evan Rodrigues – coming off a cap hit of $1 mil – 19g 24a 43 pts + 3 in 82gp – added 3g 2a 5 pts in 7 playoff games for Pitt – turned 29 in July

    Victor Rask – coming off a cap hit of $4 mil – 9g 12a 21 pts +4 in 47gp for Minn/Sea – turns 30 in March

    Sonny Milano – coming off a cap hit of $1.7 mil – 14g 20a 34 pts -9 in 66 gp for Anaheim – turned 26 in May

    Tyler Motte – coming off a cap hit of $1,2250,000 – 7g 8a 15 pts in 58gp with Van/NYR – turned 27 in March

    P. K. Subban – coming off a cap hit of $9 mil – 5g 17a 22 pts -8 in 77 gp for NJ – turned 33 in May

    Anton Stralman – coming off a cap hit of $5.5 mil – 8g 15a 23 pts -16 in 74 gp for Ariz – turned 36 on Aug 1

    Calvin de Haan – coming off a cap hit of $4,550,000 – 4g 4a 8 pts -21 in 69 gp for Chic – turned 31 in May

    Zdeno Chara – coming off a cap hit of $750,000 – 2g 12a 14 pts +8 in 72 gp for NYI – turns 46 in March

    Danny DeKyser – coming off a cap hit of $5 mil – 0g 11a 11pts -8 in 59 gp for Det – turns 33 in March

    Braden Holtby – record of 10-10-1 – 2.78gaa and a .913 Save % in 22 starts for Dallas – turns 33 in Sept

    • I think most will get signed but
      De Kayser
      Rask is a maybe

      • In “normal” times you might think so, Kent. But right now there are these 22 teams either over the cap – or close to the limit – some with RFAs still to sign (shown with an *) or PTO’s coming to camp (shown with **)

        12 over: Montreal; Vegas *; Tampa, Edmonton *; Washington, Florida ** x 2; Vancouver, Carolina ** x 2; Philadelphia, Boston ** x 2; Toronto * and **; Pittsburgh

        4 just under by less than an ELC: NJ; San Jose, Columbus ** x 2; St. Louis ** x 2

        3 with less than $2 mil: NYR **; Seattle; L.A. * x 2

        3 with less than $3 mil: Calgary *; NYI; Nashville

        I doubt any of the above 22 will be signing those UFAs – maybe offering a PTO

        That leaves just these 10 with varying amounts of significant cap space: Colorado; Winnipeg; Minnesota; Dallas *; Ottawa *; Chicago; Detroit; Anaheim ** x 4; Buffalo; Arizona * and **

        You’d think that, if any of these saw a need for what the UFAs have to offer, they would have offered deals by now. Then again, perhaps they have but the agents and players are holding back, hoping to receive better offers.

        If some have received offers, they should grab them now before the teams concerned look elsewhere – including within.

      • @Kent.

        Holtby isn’t playing this season and might even retire. He has lingering hip issues. So he’s definitely out. Not sure about the rest.

      • You might as well remove DeKeyser from this list as his back issues from 2 years ago has slowed him so much you can see him struggling just to skate. I am pretty sure that the only GM who would even think of signing him would be Ken Holland because KH loves his veterans.

  6. That’s quite the deal for Stutzle.

    • Dark G, like Norris, Tkachuk, Batherson and Chabot, Stutzle has shown that he is going to be a force in the NHL, so locking him up long term at that cap hit is fine with me. And getting it done early send another strong message to the fan base – already starting to sign up for season’s tickets at a rate not seen in Ottawa in years.

      Next year it will be DeBrincat’s turn as an RFA and if he puts up numbers as he did in Chicago, he too will get a solid, long-term deal.

      The other key signing will be Zub, a UFA next year, and while contracts like that could also be negotiated and completed well before hand, I think in this case Ottawa won’t be the only team to be cautious with their Russian players until we see where that idiotic war is headed. I really like what this player brings to the table – a solid, essentially stay-at-home (and physical) D-man who can chip in with some offense. I hope they can get him signed.

      Formenton has turned out to be one of those Fs who can frustrate the hell out of you – speed to burn, but given that he’s been the LW on that 2nd line for some time now, you’d like to see something better than 18g 14a 32 pts and a -13 at this stage of his career. Plenty of breakaways – but he just can’t seem to finish with any consistency. Always the same move for the most part and the goalies know what to look for.

      In the end, and with Ridley Greig knocking on the door, I think he and his agent will have to settle for a “show-me” 2- or 3-year bridge deal in the $1.3 mil range – AND on the 3rd line. The other day in a Garrioch column, D. J. Smith was speculating at having the 1st line left as is, with Norris centering Tkachuk and Batherson, while he sees DeBrincat at LW with Stutzle at C and Giroux at RW. It would appear, therefore (if that holds true) that Formenton will drop to the 3rd line LW with Pinto at C and Joseph on the right.

      • Big $ and term for Stutzle, must really believe in the player.
        Could turn out to be a great deal long term if they are right and he produces.
        Dorian is gettin sh*t done this summer.

  7. Horvat + Dermott to Carolina
    Necas, Fast, Bear

  8. Repeating and listing old contracts is pointless and irrelevant to the market today and tomorrow.

    The UFA’s will be signed if they are seen as benefits and at levels that some team can afford.

    Teams and players either jump in fast or wait it out, they are in the waiting stage and looking at options.

    These are the normal times, they have been for a few years now and GM’s keep finding ways to adapt, some better than others.

    • Gee, sorry – didn’t know that annoyed you. Next time, I’ll clear it with you first. Okay? PATA

      • It’s a forum for opinions not a place to have your tires pumped.

        Post what you want and I will post what I want, your affirmation is irrelevant to me.

      • As is yours to me.

  9. I thought teams couldn’t place guys on ltir until start of regular season. Also thought teams can only exceed cap by 10% (8.250,000). Habs are showing over 92 mil after Dach signing.

    • Scratch that comment. Just saw a related article explaining you can exceed the 10% as long as you prove there’s an ltir player who won’t be ready to start season.

  10. Tkachuk Chabot Norris and now Stutzle long term $8m contracts. That is your core. Where doesn’t Debrincat fit and for what next summer ?
    Formenton -RFA and in my opinion just as valuable to the team. Has offensive upside and tremendous speed . In the same class of skating as Mackinnon Larkin and Kyrou . Not quite at McDavid fast but no one is.
    On top a defensive and P.K. stalwart Mentioned in a lot of trade scenarios. The Sens should lock him up as well. Same as Dach works do me

  11. The trade for OEL has shown to be a very bad move by the former Canucks management. Acquired OEL’s $7.26 million cap hit (includes retained cap hit) for five more seasons and extended Conor Garland for $4.95 for four more years, for three players who are now UFAs and the 9th pick in the 2021 draft (Dylan Guenther). The kid looked really good in his last season in the WHL.
    Without that trade, the Canucks would have over $12 million in cap space plus a promising young forward.

  12. 🍁The Canucks with 3 centers such as T.J.Miller, and Elias Pettersson and….Bo Horvat That to much of a luxary and a Very Very weak Defence… = A Bo Horvatt Trade for a Top 3 R.d/man

    Chicago R.D. Man Seth Jones’….? Jones could be there Top pick, Chicago could get a 1st & Bo Horvatt & a good prospect to help there re-build

    • How do the Canucks fit Seth Jones’s $9.5 million cap hit under their cap?