NHL Rumor Mill – October 22, 2022

by | Oct 22, 2022 | Rumors | 16 comments

Should the Leafs dangle Nick Robertson as trade bait for Jakob Chychrun? Could the Panthers pursue a replacement for the sidelined Aaron Ekblad in the trade market? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos suggests the Maple Leafs should trade promising Nick Robertson to the Arizona Coyotes for Jakob Chychrun. The 21-year-old forward had an impressive season debut against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night with two goals, the second coming in overtime following his smart defensive play to thwart a Stars’ two-on-one scoring opportunity.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson (NHL Images).

Traikos acknowledges Robertson’s potential as a top-six forward but believes the Leafs already possess enough depth in that department. They need to bolster their blueline and Chychrun would do that. He’s also 24 and carries an affordable $4.6 million cap hit through 2024-25.

Chychrun has asked to be traded to a contender and Traikos believes the Leafs could be at the top of the list, They have the pieces to get a deal done plus they’re in “win-now” mode.

With Chychrun close to returning from offseason wrist surgery, Traikos suggested the Leafs offer up a package of Robertson and their 2023 first-round pick as part of it. He also proposed including Alex Kerfoot and his $3.5 million cap hit in the deal to free up the necessary salary-cap space if sidelined defenseman Jake Muzzin returns to the lineup later this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Traikos makes a good point regarding the Leafs’ defense. If they were to pursue Chychrun, the Coyotes could agree to accept Robertson as part of the return. However, I don’t think they’ll want Kerfoot in the deal given his eligibility for unrestricted free-agent status next July.

General manager Bill Armstrong reportedly seeks a return heavy with future assets like first-round picks, top prospects or good young NHL players like Robertson. Kerfoot doesn’t fit into any of those categories. Armstrong could agree to take him in the deal if the Leafs also include prospect Matthew Knies, which would be folly on the Leafs’ part.


DAILY FACEOFF: During Friday’s “Ice Breakers” segment, Mike McKenna asked Frank Seravalli if the Florida Panthers are going to bring in some reinforcements on their blueliner with top defenseman Aaron Ekblad sidelined for several months.

Seravalli thinks the Panthers are shopping around but only for affordable temporary stopgaps. There are not many younger players available who could slide into their lineup.

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Pierre-Olivier Joseph has come up in the rumor mill. Seravalli said he knows “a number of teams” have made offers for the 23-year-old blueliner but the Penguins weren’t or aren’t willing to move on from him.

Jakob Chychrun requested a trade from the Arizona Coyotes but Seravalli doesn’t see the Panthers pursuing the 24-year-old rearguard. They don’t have a lot of future assets to part with plus the cap-strapped club must ensure they have sufficient cap space when Ekblad returns to the lineup later this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers could bring in a defenseman like Chychrun on a dollar-in, dollar-out deal where they send a player with a comparable salary the other way. They could also attempt a three-team deal to spread around the cap hit of the incoming player.

Neither option, however, seems likely at this stage of the season. Like other cap-strapped clubs with a core player sidelined for weeks or months (like the Colorado Avalanche with captain Gabriel Landeskog on the shelf), the Panthers will have to gut it out until those players return.


  1. The leafs should make a trade for a goalie that is what they the most. Sweeney needs to sign Pasta and beef up the d

    • Good day

      A BIG HUGE ASS NO !!!
      to trading Robertson for Chycrun.

      Why would you trade a potential 25 to 35 goal scorer who you can still control contracts with who offers you a complete game …back checks and can play power play and penalty kill.

      If anything you have to move out Nylander before his next contract and replace Nylander with Robertson long term at a lower cost.

      Robertson will give you z more complete game plus the goals for less than Nylander…this is a MUST now at this point….

      As stated in my post a few days ago….Leafs need to clear ENGVALL money he can be replaced by a myriad of players he does nothing for you at 6 foot 6 .
      Move out Nylander along with him…that will give almost 9 million to then work with….

      With that money you ABSOLUTELY UNEQUIVOCALLY
      need to upgrade with a big power forward with experience that can double shift between the top 2 lines…

      This is BY FAR the biggest need for the Leafs right now….

      Jarnkrook is a total waste on the 3rd line …he has no play makers to play with.

      This guys best attributes ard being wasted whi h is his shot in the slot …

      Jrankrook is a playmaker and a sharp shooter…and is being wasted….

      HE IS A FINISHER !!!

      Move out Nylander and Engvall…..for a big power forward …

      Replace Engvall with Robertson ….

      And replace Nylander with a power forward at lower cost…and create a small amount of cap left over…



      Have a good day…

      • Don’t think there’s anyway of replying without sounding like a jerk but I’ll try.

        You asked: “Why would you trade a potential 25 to 35 goal scorer who you can still control contracts with who offers you a complete game”
        First it’s only one game and the key word is potential which means he’s not one yet and no one can guarantee he will be any of those things.
        You want to move out maybe the only player this team has that is better in the playoffs and is a lock for over 60pts a season.
        What power forward can do that or come close to his production if you trade Willy?
        Engvall is the only no loss trade the Leafs can make….unless they want to send Muzzin to Robias Island.
        Also haven’t seen the stats that back up your claims on janrook being a “finisher” he looks to be more a Kerfoot type player and honestly thought he was Kerfoots replacement.
        I’m sure you watched the Leafs in the post season and have come to realize that for the most part the leafs really lack secondary scoring, especially in the bottom 6. Tampa beat the Leafs because lines 3 and 4 of theirs crushed almost any of the lines they played against, something the Leafs couldn’t do and have not been able to do with their bottom six.
        So much of trade proposals are similar in thinking as in where someone thinks changing the color of a car will make it go faster…

      • 🍁The Maple leafs will need some offence when 🇺🇸Austin Mathews leaves in 2024 as a UFA…
        I would say they keep young promising star
        Nick Robertson……⁉️

        We are going to hear about the Jakob Chychrun Trade Rumors untill he has played 5+ games or so with AZ in to mid November…, by then teams will know what they needand How he is playing after the injurys moving forward hopfully he will have recovered well. 🤔
        and hopfully there will be more to chat about in the NHL

        The Trade,
        1- Will be Salary in & out trade of players 1 or 2 to equil dollar amount $4-5M
        2-A First rounder
        3-A- Top D Prospect for AZ re-build
        Jakob Chychrun as he is a 2nd pairing 3-4 d/man⁉️

        The Bottom 6 for the Leafs is very poor, and Kerfoot is over payed at $3.5M….❗️
        they need a big RD-man d/man to play as Jake Muzzin 2 more years at $5.6M is always Hurt, but first they need to fix there bottom six or its a first round Exit for the leafs again this season….
        Nobody is taking ether of these 2, and there big Bad contract

        If they trade for anything in the next few months First trade it looks like a Goaltender to help out the 1B MM who is always hurt….& 1B IS they currently have Filling the Net so to speak 😂

        At What point do the Maple Leaf Managment realize they cant have 50% of there payroll tied up in 4 forward players
        maybe if it was a Top d/man a Top Goaltender and 2 forwards ⁉️

    • Foligno! That’s 3. He’ll hit 15, Rick.

      • If Foligno gets 15 I’ll eat my day glow jockey shorts. He’ll fade soon he won’t be able to keep it up. Yes he has played well in the last five or six games, but he’ll fade. Listen believe or not I would like Nick to do well. I just don’t think it’s there. I will say this ..this is the best I’ve seen Taylor Hall play in half a decade. He’s been rejuvenated.

  2. I truly wish the Leafs WOULD offer their 1st round 2023 pick, Robertson and Knies to Arizona for Chychrun. That might, at least, get him off the rumor merry-go-round … and out of Dorion’s temptation.

    But Kerfoot – or someone in his price range – would need to go the other way if for no other reason than keeping the Coyotes above the cap minimum and, at the same time, allow the Leafs to fit in Chychrun’s cap. And, like Lyle, I just don’t see Armstrong settling for a soon-to-be UFA over a top prospect.

    • What worries me is that, IF Dorion is intent on trying to get Chychrun, he might just come close to the demands of Armstrong, especially if he wants the Coyotes to take Zaitsev’s $4.2 mil cap hit off their hands. And for anyone advocating that Ottawa SHOULD get him, whatever proposals they come up with always seems to include Zaitsev on the basis that a) Ottawa has to get rid of that contract and b) Arizona would need to take it in order to stay above the cap floor.

      But that’s not entirely true. As of today, CapFriendly shows them with 23 signed at a total cap hit of $65,559,003 – which includes $990,000 in dead cap space for Ekman-Larsson, and 5,500,000 for Ladd, $5,291,667 for Little, $4,600,000 for Chychrun, each of whom is on IR – not LTIR – so their cap hits count against the cap.

      That puts them $4,391,667 over the cap floor. Should Chychrun be dealt, the loss of his cap hit puts them under the cap floor by $791,667 – so they don’t NEED to take on a Zaitsev and his $4.5 mil to get back above. Something in the nature of a $1.5 to $2.5 would do it comfortably.

      Nor would Dorion not NEED to shed Zaitsev’s contract in order to squeeze in Chychrun – another in the range just mentioned would do the trick. But this is where I get a bit worried since I think he’d really LIKE to move Zaitsez out, so in order to get Armstrong to agree to take him, the “sweetener” would need to be something close to – of not bang on – Armstrong’s demands.

  3. How about Sandin Knies and a first . Keep Robertson. Move Kerfoot when you have to. Muzzin could be done and cap dollars won’t be an issue in the short term with his 5 and change on the shelf

  4. How about we inflate Robinson value on one game.

    • Caper exactly! Sun media writers really know how to sucker folks into really silly notions.
      Robertson and Knies and a first round pick are still all mystery boxes for me. All three have a lure of possibility of being a big piece but also not. Nick has played one game this year, let’s see how he holds up to at least 10 before he’s anointed top six player.
      The Leafs will have to make a move to get their LTIR players back. The most obvious move would be to trade Engel and his $2.5m contract since he most easily replaceable. After that, I have no idea.
      I also have my doubts on Knies being a solid contributor anytime soon. There’s a lot of hype surrounding this player and that’s usually not great for leafs prospects.

    • If Robertson is truly destined to be top 6, wouldn’t it be more prudent to trade Wille for Chychrun straight up!???
      Willie then can be flipped for a bigger haul then what they were asking for Chychrun! Just retain $1M and watch the bidding begin! Next year will be too late as Willie will have a NTC.

  5. That might do it, based on Knies alone – although I’m not convinced that Sandin will be anything more than a 5-6 pairing over the long haul. Not physical in any way, shape or form and his “offense” is ordinary.

    • Besides, although losing Chychrun’s $4.6 mil per cap hit would put them just below the current cap floor and Sandin’s incoming $1,400,000 mil cap hit just above, how the heck do the Leafs fit in the $3.2 mil difference? They’d have to find a taker for Kerfoot’s contract to make ends meet.

      • No worries, George, none of the above is going to happen.

  6. Oh No …
    There’s NO flippin way I trade Robertson ….
    I don’t trade Nylander either !!!

    I would trade prima dona Marner !!!!

    3 players at $11 million – Absolutely insanity

    If not , Ship Chychrun off to Ottawa and get him off the market , I am not overly excited as George is to have him in blue and white , as george is – in red black and white !!