NHL Rumor Mill – November 19, 2022

by | Nov 19, 2022 | Rumors | 33 comments

Could the Capitals be interested in Canucks captain Bo Horvat or Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson? Should the Penguins make a move for a third-line forward? What’s the latest on the Flames? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wondering if the Capitals might pursue Bo Horvat if sidelined center Nicklas Backstrom’s playing career is over.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

Friedman noted that the Vancouver Canucks center is a shooter rather than a passer like Backstrom. The Capitals already have a shooter in captain Alex Ovechkin.

SPORTSNET (via NHL WATCHER): During the latest “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman suggested the Capitals as a possible destination for Erik Karlsson if the San Jose Sharks defenseman would agree to a trade.

Friedman observed the Capitals only have one defenseman under contract for 2023-24. He also suggested the Florida Panthers as a destination as they’ll have money coming off their salary-cap payroll next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the week, Silber speculated Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan might want to consider making a trade to bolster his struggling lineup while they’re still in playoff contention with the season still young. She noted recent rumors linking the Capitals to the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators.

Acquiring someone like Horvat or Karlsson will be costly. Silber recently wondered at what point the Capitals would consider trading struggling sophomore center Connor McMichael. I think he’d almost certainly have to be part of a package for an impact player such as Horvat or Karlsson.

Whether such a deal can be made, however, is another story. The Capitals could lack sufficient tradeable assets to pry either guy away from their current teams.


THE ATHLETIC: Rob Rossi suggested two moves the Pittsburgh Penguins could make to snap them out of their current rut.

One is placing Kasperi Kapanen on waivers due to his disappointing performance. Rossi doubted anyone would claim the underachieving winger’s contract and believes he should be sent to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton once he clears waivers.

Rossi also believes the Penguins must find a role player with an edge for their third line. He suggested making a move for Nashville Predators winger Tanner Jeannot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Rossi’s take on Kapanen. He’s been in and out of the lineup of late and hasn’t contributed when he is playing. He could become a distraction for their farm team if he’s unhappy with demotion but, as Rossi suggests, the Penguins must be confident enough in their AHL coaching staff to handle the situation.

Adding a gritty role player like Jeannot is a good idea but I don’t believe the Predators are keen to part with him, at least not yet. The positives he could bring to the Penguins could also make him valuable to their current club. Perhaps that might change if the Preds fail to rise in the standings. For now, if the Penguins are in the market for such a forward they might have to consider other options.


CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane wonders if Adam Ruzicka’s recent promotion to the Flames’ top line might take them out of the trade market for a scoring forward. The 23-year-old winger has played well in that role thus far after being a healthy scratch in 10 of the Flames’ first 11 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Macfarlane admits we’ve only seen a small sample size of Ruzicka’s play on the top line thus far. In the five games since his promotion, however, he has two goals and five points. If Ruzicka can maintain that chemistry with Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli, it would take the pressure off management to shop around for another scorer.


  1. Lyle, re “(Sammy Silber) noted recent rumors linking the Capitals to the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. ”

    What rumors were those?

    • Pierre LeBrun. Silber included the links to both in the piece she wrote.

  2. As far as waiving Kapanen, they have lost too much speed in the last few years. The only way I could be behind it is if they would bring in someone like Formenton,Hoffman or Craig Smith.

    • Sjpp, I’m sure they could get the rights to Formenton for Joseph.

      • George O

        What’s the deal with Formenton in OTT? Asking for too much money or term?

        I’m also curious why somebody hasn’t taken a flier on Joseph from PIT. Former 1st round pick making $850K.

      • Daryl, see my response below to Sjpp – he’s in Uncertainty Limbo both as a player and trade bait.

      • George..nope Joseph is Finally getting playing time and fits nicely with Jeff Petry..

        They writer or Pittsburgh reporter is right the Penguins need a third liner with an edge.

        When the Penguins won Cups they had third line centers

        09 jordan stahl
        16/17 nick bonino

        That person this year could be Anaheim’s Adam Henrique he us playing well for crappy Anaheim

        5 time 20 goal scorer, other seasons of 18, 19 one 30 goal season, good face off, INTELLIGENT good shot skater
        He had a goal and assist last night in a loss @ st. Louis

        6 goals 3 assists 9 points 16 games.

        2 years left @ $5.5 which is the realistic cup window for the Penguins.

        Anaheim has cap space could retain some salary

        Something around kapanen and a 2nd round pick or prospect maybe sammy poulin.

        Move Carter ti wi g with his shot..Henrique is atill fast sluck and smooth only 32 carter is 37.

    • Im sure you can get Craig Smith for a pic or prospect
      Or both Reilly and Smith for Kap

    • During the off-season wished the Penguins would let Kapanan walk. Mind boggling why Hextall re-signed Kapanan to two year deal worth 6.4 million? Like to here’s Pengy’s take with Kasperi Kapanen?

      • AGREED

    • You can have Smith for a 3rd round draft choice1

  3. George O.

    Would do it in a second but I thought the Sens were looking for a RHD?

    • Sjpp, I was being a bit facetious there … I doubt Formenton is going anywhere – including Ottawa – until that cloud is lifted regarding his possible involvement in that 2018 scandal.

      That’s been hashed over a number of times in here the past few weeks … bottom line, usually when a high-profile RFA remains unsigned (and he’s the LAST one not to re-sign) there is chatter either from the team (we’ve offered X for Y years but, so far, he and his agent want more) OR the agent (they’ve offered X but we think he’s worth Y).
      SOMETHING along those lines, anyway. But the deafening silence speaks volumes.

      As for Joseph, the popular theory is that Ottawa seeks a RD – and while that may be factual, right now their D – with Zub, Bernard-Docker and Hamonic handling that side adequately and Brannstrom capable of playing either side, after Chabot and Sanderson at LD we’ve got Holden (35 y/o and a UFA next year) and Larsson.

      Joseph would immediately jump ahead of those last two in the pecking order there.

      • Well looks like Chychrun will be headin for the nation’s capitol. this is coming El hombre que sabe The Ek-man himself an E4 no more or less..

      • And he’s also a LD – which, if there’s any truth to it – belies the contention that Dorion is seeking only a RD.

        If, as I indicated elsewhere, if Pierre-Olivier Joseph would immediately slot into the 3rd spot in the LD pecking order (ahead of Holden and Larsson but back of Chabot and Sanderson), then Gostisbehere would do the same.

        Not sure what Arizona would want in return – certainly nothing like what they’re allegedly commanding for Chychrun. They, in fact got him from the Flyers – along with 2 2022 draft picks – for absolutely nothing, with Fletcher explaining the deal, essentially, as a straight salary dump,

        His cap hit is $4.5 mil – which the Senators can easily absorb – but with Arizona so close to the cap minimum at 65,600,102, the loss of his $4.5 mil would put them at $61,100,102 – barely above the minimum of $60.2 mil. Note that none of their players on IR give them any current relief as none have ever been placed on LTIR.

        Maybe, with the right sweeteners in the form of a prospect and pick, they also take Zaitsev and his $4 mil + cap hit with this season and next to run.

  4. As for the Pens, brock McGinn is killing it. They are gonna be a sleepy team in the playoffs

    • He Penguins will get there but i agree they need a third line player…
      When we have won cups we had jordan stahl in 2009
      And nick bonino in 2016 2017..

      I think Adam Henrique is a perfect third line center.

      He is only under contract for 2 more years.which is the realistic window for the Penguins .@ $5.5. He has scored 20 goals 5 times, 18 goLs once. 19 once, 30 once.

      He still a smooth, quick,intelligent skater and player.

      He is a good face off guy, good penalty killer, and a leader…

      Move Carter to wing with that shot…of his

      Henrique has a sneaky good shot.

      Something like kaspari kapanen, Pierre oliver Joseph and a pick or prospect..anaheim retains maybe 500,000 or $1 million.

      Henrique Carter zucker better third li e

      • When they won back to back but especially in 2016 it was because they injected some young and hungry players into the lineup. Drop Kapanan down to the AHL and put Poulin, Puustinan and Smith into the lineup. Ruhwedal and Friedman are barely replacement level players. I know there are multiple salary cap issues with that but the team has no life, plenty of talent but zero pulse right now.

    • Bobbybigbizz – first they have to get to the playoffs. And, if they do, they’d better not be a “sleepy” team or they’ll go out quick. Now, if you meant “sleeper” team … that’s a different story 🙂 just kidding – I bet a lot of fans would point to their team of choice playoff failures as being due to “falling asleep on the job.”

  5. Well I think my initial fears are coming true. I first posted at the start of the season that The Flames have a very annoying habit of having a good year followed by a bad year. They started out really good beating top teams. Unfortunately that has ended.
    Watching them now is very frustrating, not because they are playing bad just the opposite they are actually playing well but nothing is going in the net,
    while everything is going into our net. Markstrom is struggling along with players like Dube, Mangiapane, Lucic, Coleman, and last but not least Huberdeau.
    Our defense looked very strong with plenty of depth that disappeared with injuries and Kylington on personnel leave.

    My biggest issue might be with Sutter who I feel is not doing his best coaching this year as well. He seams to want to ride with Lucic who couldn’t score if his life depended on it but gets all kinds of ice time. Dube is another player who plays hard but in 3 years I keep waiting for him to break out but never does.

    Looks like this will be a down year so that means look out next year as they will be a top team if the pattern holds true.

    • If everyone played as hard as Looch, (to the absolute limits of his abilities) the Flames would be at the top of the standings.
      Sutter see this. That’s why Looch gets the ice. Now is time for the rest of the passengers to start pulling their weight.

      • Playing hard is one thing scoring is another.
        I agree Lucic plays hard but has cement hands. His role should be a 4th line hard to play against guy getting 7 – 10 min a night.
        Sutter has him on the second line and second powerplay unit.
        After 16 games he has 4 assists 0 goals. With that kind of ice time I want more than hard work I want production.

    • Lucic appears to be averaging eleven minutes and change for the season. Only once in the past five games has he seen a few minutes more than that average (and one game in the past five also where he was below ten). So the notion that Sutter has put all his marbles in the Milan basket rings a bit hollow.

      • Maybe what Sutter hopes makes an impression on some members of the team is Lucic’s effort … he may have cement hands but no one can criticize his effort level.

  6. One never knows what is going on. They may be playing players for others to get a good look and sample size of a number of games. In the Flames case , I believe Ruzicka’ current position is out of necessity . As for Lucic it is to establish forecheck and aggression and work level. Ritchie gets a ton of ice and Lewis gets too much as well for the same reasons. Flames have not replaced last seasons goals . Regardless of how well they did in bringing in players

  7. Mbruin4

    Would like to have both Smith and Reilly but the Pens don’t have the cap space. If I had to pick one though, it would probably be Reilly. They need more help on D than O.

  8. I see Buffalo has claimed Tyson Jost off waivers from the Wild.

    • Seemingly yet another high 1st round pick (10th overall in 2016 by Colorado) who could never seem to get untracked – albeit also suffering a series of knee injuries. In 354 NHL games he has just 47g 65a which works out to 82-game averages of 11g 15a 26 pts.

      His cap hit of $2 mil runs out at the end of this season, following which he becomes an RFA. Unless there’s a marked turnaround in Buffalo the rest of the way this season, he certainly couldn’t command any kind of increase.

      Buffalo grasping at straws?

      • Jost’s QA is $2.25M…good luck with that!

      • They have tons of cap room. This is a dress rehearsal year for the Sabres…that’s why Mittelstadt, UPL, Olofsson, Asplund, Pilut, etc will play no matter what. They are seeing who is part of the future when the prospects come up.

  9. I think Ruzicka will stay since he seems to have good chemistry with Lindholm. This will also give them time to see what they have and hopefully get Kylington back. If they make a move I see it in february unless they start losing in the standings. Markstrom has been average but It looks as if he is playing a little bit better the last 5 games(still not great)

  10. Dee…The Penguins in 2016 didnt add youth they added nick Bonino, Matt Cullen Carl Hagelin eric fehr, trevor daley ian cole to their line up..

    I do agree about Kappy trade him or send him down..i know we save $3.2 if we trade him how much do we save uf he us sent down..you know?