NHL Rumor Mill – November 2, 2022

by | Nov 2, 2022 | Rumors | 19 comments

How will the Canadiens address their surplus of forwards? What’s the latest on the Senators’ contract talks with Alex Formenton? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Arpon Basu reports the Montreal Canadiens will face a delicate balancing act of managing their surplus of forwards this season. They’re currently carrying 15 forwards but will have to move one of them once defenseman Joel Edmundson returns from injury.

The Canadiens could send rookie Juraj Slafkovsky to their AHL affiliate as he’s exempt from waivers. However, the 18-year-old winger’s performance thus far doesn’t merit demotion.

Montreal Canadiens winger Evgenii Dadonov (NHL Images)

Basu believes they don’t want to put affordable forward Michael Pezzetta on waivers because he’d likely be claimed by another club. He speculates it could instead be a veteran such as Jonathan Drouin, Evgenii Dadonov or Mike Hoffman who could get waived and demoted.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan believes Dadonov could become the odd man out among the Canadiens forwards. He suggested a trade would be best for the 33-year-old winger as he clearly doesn’t have a future in Montreal.

Dadonov was a healthy scratch during their 7-4 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday and didn’t practice or play with the club against Minnesota on Tuesday. Cowan points out the Russian winger has no points in eight games and carries a cap hit of $5 million for this season, though he’ll earn $6.5 million in actual salary.

TVA SPORTS: Marc-Andre Perreault reports Dadonov’s absence was due to a non-COVID-related illness.

Perreault also spoke with Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes during last night’s game against the Wild. Hughes told him Dadonov’s agent called him on Friday to discuss his client’s situation, something he understood as a former agent himself. Perreault reported Dadonov met with Hughes on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dadonov hasn’t really done much this season to earn more playing time with the Canadiens. As Cowan pointed out, his performance combined with his contract makes him tough to move at this stage of the season. The Habs will have to retain part of his cap hit if they want to do that right now.

Slafkovsky has made steady improvement thus far but the Canadiens will soon have to reach a decision with the 18-year-old winger. He’s played seven games and can only play two more before the Canadiens can send him down to Laval if they want to push the start of his entry-level contract ahead to next season. That would be the easiest way to address the issue but Basu doesn’t believe that would be the right decision.

They could put Dadonov, Drouin or Hoffman on waivers and demote one of them, though that means they’ll only get $1.125 million in cap relief by doing so. Those three have been disappointing thus far with a grand total of four points between them. Finding a taker for one of them in the trade market is a daunting challenge.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports there hasn’t been much progress in contract talks between the Ottawa Senators and Alex Formenton. He claimed the Senators “have reasons for slow-playing this situation”. However, they have until Dec. 1 to sign Formenton or else he becomes unavailable to play the remainder of this season.

Dreger said some believe a trade is more likely. He also suggested, “Europe, long term, could be an option as well”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Formenton is a 23-year-old winger who completed his entry-level contract last season. He’s a restricted free agent lacking arbitration rights who showed promise last season with 18 goals and 32 points in 79 games.

It’s been radio silence from the Senators and Formenton’s camp on this situation. That’s sparked speculation that he could be one of the players involved in the sexual assault allegations leveled against members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior team. Formenton didn’t attend training camp and hasn’t made any statements or conducted any interviews.

Whatever the reason behind the stalemate, the clock is ticking regarding his playing status in the NHL for this season.


  1. Hoffman has an additional year on his contract and his CAP hit is less than Dadonov/Drouin. I suspect Hoffman stays up as he is more serviceable and could eventually become a trade option (with salary retained or toxic contract back). Habs might do right by Drouin and keep him up. His days in Montreal are done, but I’m not sure what sending him to Laval accomplishes. It probably makes the most sense to give Dadonov the Karl Alzner treatment. I don’t think there is any trade for him.

    • everyday:

      If you mean that the Habs should buy out Dadonov, why would they do that?

      As Lyle points out they could just put him on waivers. Or, they could give him away for “future considerations.” Buy outs have time frames, which is far as I know contain both set periods for doing so, and reduced cap benefits.

      Unless I misunderstood you …

      • Hi LJ, Habs eventually bought-out Alzner but only after that buried him in the AHL until a buy-out made sense. You’re right that a buy-out doesn’t make sense for Dadonov. Waiving him and sending him to the AHL, though…

      • There’s no such thing as buying a contract out mid-season, and Dadanov is on the last year of his contract. If they were going to buy him out the time would’ve been in the summer.

  2. Nucks lost last night. Any Horvat rumors? 😁

  3. There are some who think speculation about Formenton’s possible involvement in the 2018 sex scandal is “unfair” (“innocent until proven guilty” and all that), and normally I’d agree.

    But here’s a 6′ 3″ 200 lb LW with speed to burn who turned 23 in September and who has played all of 109 games in the NHL, scoring 23g 16a 39 pts – including 18g 14a 32 pts in 79gp last season, coming off an ELC of $747,500.

    He was never going to get a long-term deal along the lines of Tkachuk, Stutzle or Norris and I think he and his agent knew that. In normal circumstances he was likely a candidate for a bridge deal in the $2-$2.5 mil range, and in normal circumstances that sort of deal would have been concluded months ago.

    But since the end of last season there has been NO chatter – no comments from Formenton, his agent OR Dorion of the type that always seems to accompany ongoing delays in concluding RFAs. So something else is in the mix.

    Dreger’s comment that “the Senators have reasons for slow-playing this situation” – without being specific – certainly does nothing to alleviate the “unfair” speculation. At the same time his suggestion that a trade could be in the offing – or a move to Europe “long-term” make you wonder what other reason the team could have for “slow-playing the situation.”

    • Hi George

      Unfortunately for Formenton, I believe your speculation on the delay, is likely true

    • “Dreger’s comment that “the Senators have reasons for slow-playing this situation” – without being specific – certainly does nothing to alleviate the “unfair” speculation.”

      If the Sens are slow-playing it “for a reason”, then to me that means Ottawa knows more than those who are “speculating” do.

      • Financially, any deal Formenton signs could be bought out next offseason ala Virtanen and DeAngelo. Obviously, Ottawa not willing to put themselves in a position where backlash for signing him will be brutal. They definitely know more.

    • GeorgeO, well stated and hard to argue with anything in your post.

      What’s that old saying “the silence is deafening”

      when you break it down the way you did, it’s not a pretty picture for Formenton

      • Caper, only adding to the worst-case scenario speculation is the lack of involvement denial from Formenton – he HAS to know that, every day that passes without a renewal – or even “were working on it” from Dorion or his agent – the more it looks like he was one of the 8.

        I know Batherson was a member of that team too, but in response to questions he’s said repeatedly that he’s been cooperating fully with the investigation, but does not wish to say anything further at this time out of respect for the victim and while the investigation proceeds. The fact he attended camp and is playing every game tells me he was not involved and the team believes him.

        A lawyer has already said there was no need to express his non-involvement in one of those affidavits if he has nothing to hide, and that, anyway, the courts are always full of criminals expressing “innocence.”

    • He is one of “the three” main people believed to be involved. One of them is under contract and playing. The other, I don’t believe is in the NHL and then the one we are currently discussing. The slow play comes from a PR perspective. If he’s innocent—they’ll sign him. If he’s guilty, and signed it looks bad for the team having gone out and signed an accused rapist to a contract. It hasn’t helped that HC has imploded.
      He should go to Europe.

  4. George trade offer,

    flyers trade Risto

    Sens trade Zaitsev + (24 or 25 1st) Docker

    what say you?

    • What about Formention plus for Chychrun?

  5. Pengy?

    • Hi SOP

      I’m in mourning and hiding from embarrassment

      Bruins are the real deal already …. And Mc A back soon

      Hoping (for Sway) that his injury is short lived

  6. MP, what the Senators need is a stay-at-home experienced Top 4 D to play alongside Chabot to cover for his offensive tendencies (Zub was doing that just fine until he went down – 2/3 weeks).

    With Sanderson and Brannstrom covering the offensive side of things on the 2nd and 3rd pairings and, for now anyway, Hamonic and Holden handling the stay-at-home role, the last thing they need is another offense-first D who has never – in his career (pre-NHL and NHL) – been a + – in fact he’s been a brutal minus several times. This year he’s only played in 3 games and is already a minus 2.

    At $5.1 mil with 4 more years to run after this one – no thanks. At least Zaitsev only has one more year to go after this at $4.5.

    If Dorion can find the kind of D they need from among the many teams needing to clear cap space, and once Zub returns, they’d have the first two pairings well covered. Hamonic could them move to the 3rd pairing to cover for Brannstrom – as he’s doing now for Sanderson. Holden would be the 7th D. Zaitsev, if they can’t deal him, should be playing every day in Bellevile where they might be able to work on his flaws.

    Andy, with the deafening silence from Formenton and Dorion, and the increasing doubt as to whether he may be through, forget about trading his rights.

  7. Habs D looked like boys against men, which they are.

    They are surprisingly good and then come up against a big physical team, showing their weaknesses.

    Coaching can only go so far and can’t replace Edmundson and Matheson in these types of games.

    Why is Chris Lee allowed to work Habs games?

  8. I think Ottawa maybe gearing up for a Formenton
    Trade in the new year…
    Once Hockey Canada get that mess sorted out.
    Ottawa do need to strenthen the Defence with an Experienced d/man, Dorion knows that, I think young Formenton at 23 is a top 6 LW would then be on the move,

    Any trade would be 3 things…for Jakob Chychrun😳

    1) 1st Round Pick
    2) Alex Formenton salary?
    3) Nikita Zaitsev’s & salary is $4,500,000 who is under contract till july 2024

    They Sen’s also have RD man Zub who is a UFA in july 2023, if they can’t sign him they will trade him…?

    last but not least…
    Sens will Need a Starting #1 Goaltender for the 2023/2024 season❓

    Not sure if
    Anton Forsberg is the guy ….@$2.5M & Cam Talbot will be 36 and a UFA….
    in 2024 maybe the look at the Jets UFA 31 yr old Connor Hellebuyck or NYI UFA 28 yr old Ilya Sorokin….🤔