NHL Rumor Mill – November 29, 2022

by | Nov 29, 2022 | Rumors | 36 comments

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: more speculation linking the Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun to the Sabres, pondering the possibility of the Hurricanes pursuing a defenseman, the latest on Senators’ winger Alex Formenton plus the Bruins could be working on a trade.


POST MEDIA: Michael Traikos believes the Buffalo Sabres are the favorite to acquire Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

Traikos argues the Sabres have the cap space to get a deal done. They also possess plenty of prospects, having made five first-round picks in the last two years.

With the Sabres stuck once again near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, Traikos believes they have the biggest need.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres are reportedly among the clubs interested in Chychrun, but is he interested in going from one perpetually rebuilding team to another? He lacks no-trade protection but reportedly spiked a deal that would’ve sent him to the Columbus Blue Jackets before the 2022 NHL Draft.

Some of you asked me how Chychrun could reject a trade if he lacks no-trade protection. In the Blue Jackets’ case, his apparent unwillingness to go to Columbus was said to have made them reconsider their options. After what happened with Pierre-Luc Dubois in 2020-21, I daresay they don’t want history repeating itself.

The Sabres have had their own recent history of unhappy players (hello there, Jack Eichel) becoming an unnecessary distraction. They’ll have to ensure Chychrun would have no issues coming to Buffalo before pulling the trigger.

There’s no denying the Sabres have the cap room and the depth in promising young talent to tempt the Coyotes. Those five first-rounders Traikos was referring to are Owen Power and Isak Rosen in 2021 and Matthew Savoie, Noah Ostlund and Jiri Kulich from last season’s draft class. Power, of course, isn’t going anywhere but perhaps the Sabres would part with one or two of those other prospects.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek recently took note of the Carolina Hurricanes’ woeful power-play percentage this season, pointing out it was much better last season with Tony DeAngelo on their blueline.

Duhatschek wondered if the Hurricanes might bring in another puck-moving rearguard to improve their power-play production. He wondered if they might add someone such as the Coyotes’ Shayne Gostisbehere or the Anaheim Ducks’ John Klingberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The addition of Brent Burns last summer was supposed to be an overall upgrade over DeAngelo. Having scoring wingers like Teuvo Teravainen and Max Pacioretty sidelined by injuries hasn’t helped. Neither has the departure of center Vincent Trocheck via free agency in July or the offensive struggles of sophomore forward Seth Jarvis. Their overall production should improve once Teravainen and Pacioretty return to the lineup, which could also boost Jarvis’ offense.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators forward Alex Formenton is this season’s last remaining unsigned restricted free agent. He has until 5 pm ET on Thursday, Dec. 1 to sign a new contract or be ineligible to play the remainder of this season.

Formenton faces three options. One is signing a new deal with the Senators if an agreement can be reached before Thursday’s deadline. The second is the Senators trade his rights to another club for something in return if he signs with his new team. The third is Formenton ends up playing in Europe for the remainder of this season with the Senators still holding his RFA rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch reports neither side is commenting on the contract talks. Some fans speculate Formenton’s contract status is linked to his being part of Canada’s 2018 World Junior team that’s under investigation over allegations of sexual assault. There’s been no indication thus far that this is the case.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports the Bruins might do more than just demote defenseman Anton Stralman if he clears waivers later today to free up more cap space. Removing Stralman from their books would clear just enough cap room to accommodate Derek Forbort coming off long-term injured reserve.

Murphy cited an NHL executive recently saying Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was working the phones seeking a cost-cutting trade. This occurred prior to Stralman being placed on waivers. Mike Reilly ($3 million average annual value) and Craig Smith ($3.1 million) are considered trade candidates. Murphy wondered if Brandon Carlo might become a trade option.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reilly and Smith have frequently surfaced in recent Bruins’ trade chatter but nothing’s come of it thus far. Carlo’s also surfaced as a trade candidate but his injury history could hurt his value.


  1. Lyle, re Formenton and your comment “There’s been no indication thus far that this is the case” – I beg to differ there. The absolute silence from from both sides, to me anyway, is an absolute signal that this is exactly the case.

    Looking back over the years, I can’t think of one prominent hold-out RFA where there wasn’t SOME chatter, either from the player’s agent or the team about how far apart they were on money and/or term. And there was always the media poking around, directing questions to the agent or the GM. Tkachuk last year is a prime example – all sorts of chatter and media speculation before the signing.

    He may be facing another option – looking for a different job.

    • George, there has been nothing in the media indicating that’s the case. I agree that the silence from both sides is unusual and it could be tied to the 2018 WJC team scandal. However, the fact remains that, until there’s an actual media report or one or both sides publicly admit it, there is no official indication that’s why he remains unsigned.

    • GeorgeO the other strange thing to me, is the lack of push from the media on any questions of why the negotiations are at a standstill.

      Usually you here some chatter, but it is dead silent. Is it making any new in Ottawa?

      We are talking about a player who scored 18 goals in the NHL last year. Teams would want that player.

    • I agree on the Formenton situation it’s like the cone of silence on this he definitely one of the few or only one that hasn’t come out and denied it. It’s weird that the media hasn’t even talked about him all year.you would figure that they would be trying a lot harder.

  2. After using two number 1 overall picks in the draft on Dahlin and Power, I don’t know why they would use more assets on another defenseman in Chychrun. Makes you wonder if they should have taken Svechnikov or Beniers!

  3. What’s a good package the Bruins could send Chicago for Kane ….could Carlo/DeBrusk be a start ?

    • Send the Carlo, Debrusk package to Vancouver for Horvat.Helps settle the center position when 46 and 37 retire.Plus he has 16 goals already this season.

  4. Why would Boston trade Carlo? he is perfectly slotted behind Charlie Mac.

    4 more years at $4.1 it’s a value contract. Not going anywhere.

    Clearly i don’t know how the cap works. Last night different views if Boston had to move out more money to activate Forbort. First Puckpedia said they did and another person challenge them and they said good catch and now say they don’t need to move more money.

    Something not using all their LTIR money and each contract as per the season has a different value each day. (that part i understand)

    The other part i don’t understand is one person in the know saying you still have to calculate the percentage of the player either sent down or move. Ie Jack Studnicka; he is gone how does that effect the cap? Not going to argue with the guy because i don’t know the in and outs.

    If Boston can activate Forbort without having to move anyone other, then Stralman. This is a good situation for Boston. Less pressure to move or have throw ins

    • I agree Caper, I believe Carlo is a solid defenseman and the Bruins would be lacking in judgement to move him? To me when I watch Boston and I don’t see them all the time because I am an Avalanche fan, outside of McAvoy it’s obvious he is their best defenseman. I was always kind of hoping the Avalanche would trade for him if they were going to make a move for another defenseman? But whatever, I wouldn’t necessarily let him go! GO AVS!!!!!!!!!!

      • You say that because Carlo is a Colorado boy.I religiously watch all Bruins games during his entire career and he is at best number 4 on the Bruins.Really like him as a great team first guy,but it is what it is!

  5. “There’s been no indication thus far that this is the case” … nor has Formenton (to my knowledge) denied he had any involvement, unlike multiple other team members.

    • Without substantiation, that’s proof of nothing.

      • I agree there Lyle – wholeheartedly – Batherson didn’t come out with any such statement either and, as I recall, a lawyer, when asked about the significance of such denials, or lack thereof, said that if an individual like Batherson (who has been fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation) wasn’t involved there was no reason for him to file an affidavit stating so. As the lawyer also said, 90% of all criminals facing charges begin by claiming their innocence.

        And Caper, I agree there too, Any other lingering RFA with size and speed to burn who just scored 18 goals the season before would have been attracting all kinds of queries, especially from rebuilding teams. In this case – nada. Zilch. As man on TV said – “the cone of silence” has descended.

  6. Just for geographical reasons….Chyckrun should say, HE🏒🏒 NO to going from Arizona to Buffalo. 90 degrees to 6 feet of snow…”Both of these teams suck, I’ll stay put”.

  7. Re Batherson…. Radio silence re contract talks AND re any comment re World Jr case…. Is what it is…. Silence…. We can speculate all we want; per Sgt. Schulz (Hogan’s Heroes)…. We know nothing

    If Dorion either does not feel he can get him signed or won’t….

    Dumo (50% retained) and Kappy for Formenton’s rights

    For Pens

    Best case…. They sign Formenton for Kappy hit or less; he has no issues; performs like last year or better; Pens net Cap space gained is $2M plus this year; $3.2 M next year

    Possible…. No sign of Formenton this year….

    Retain rights
    Gain $5.2 M Cap this year; $3.2 M next year

    Worst case
    Sign …. And the worst possible outcome re World Jrs happens… media backlash; fans backlash; Bettman rules ineligible; but Pens still must get hit with Cap…..but they already saved Kappy hit next year and he is in press boxland…. and HexBurkie stance might be …. We did due diligence at time of signing and at that time we had nothing definitive of any proven participation/guilt…. This would come down to a Risk/Reward analysis

    For Sens…. The monkey is off their back; they get assets for a player they were not signing; could retain further on Dumo and flip him for a pick; OR maybe change of scenery has Dumo performing…. Worst case …. Bottom pairing at $2M and inly for this year. Re Kappy…. Best case… change of scenery/ciach/team and he performs at/better than contract…. Worst case…. Sent to AHL (unlikely but could be picked up on waivers) and becomes an expensive AHLer for the remainder of this year and next

    Definitely a crazy scenario

    Do I think HexBurkie makes the pitch…. No

    Do I think at least 1 GM will make s call re a potential similar move…. Yes…. Phone calls cost zip

    • Pengy, it’s Formenton – not Batherson.

      • Sorry

        Brain fart

        I opened with “Batherson” but meant (as you can see from my trade proposal) Formenton…. switch Batherson for Formenton in First line; all kosher after that

        If Dorion can’t? won’t? Sign him…. get something for his rights

      • And I’m sure he would have gone that route IF there wasn’t some cloud hanging over his head. Why else say and do absolutely nothing?

      • Hi George

        He has every right to say nothing

        His choice

        I don’t read anything into his silence

        Do I want to know… yep

        Do I think he is innocent of everything?

        Do I think he is guilty of anything?
        The answer is I don’t know. I just don’t

        I’m not even convinced that the public will ever get full disclosure on this

        I won’t be surprised if he’s guilty of zip

        I won’t be surprised if he was
        the one talking in the “consent” vid

        I won’t be surprised either way

        Anything and everything is possible

  8. With regard to Formenton an the lack of information and/or public statements regarding contract and his future , the silence is meaningless.

    The armchair GMs project their own thoughts, hopes, fears despite or because of a complete lack of access to facts and information.
    Truth is “we” are totally unaware of negotiations for the vast majority of contracts an just see the announcements.

    • Yeah, you cling to that. And while you’re at it, point to ONE recent prominent RFA where there was absolute silence. Just one.

      • And how do YOU know, for a definite fact, that the silence is “absolutely meaningless” any more than those of us who think it does have meaning? You can say you THINK it’s absolutely meaningless – that’s it.

    • Player agents don’t deal with armchair GMs, so silence is meaningless despite your conjecture.

      You can attribute the silence to whatever you want but it doesn’t mean spit to a tree.

      There are player agents who deal in public, others don’t, I don’t recall Habs present GM negotiating in public while wearing his agent hat.

      At some point we will hear a statement with regard to Formenton and that will have some meaning.

      • OK, so it doesn’t mean spit to you. Fine. That’s your stance. I have mine. We’ll see who has the right “vibes” on this one.

  9. I don’t see anything coming of the 2018 WJC allegations considering there are no minors involved and there is video of the girl before and after the event giving consent, saying she enjoyed it, and claiming to be “so sober”.

    But than again this is the age of cancel culture and only an accusation is needed, so…

    • Dallas signed Roope Hintz to an eight-year extension. The deal keeps him under contract through 2030-31 and includes an average annual value of $8.45MM.
      Dallas is going in the right direction!

    • WestBrantKid, here is a link from an actual investigative reporter, that gives the timeline of the incident, the video, and texts following. Have a look and let us know if you feel the same way regarding this being cancel culture.

      Cancel culture does exist to a certain degree, this is not an example of that. Unless you think 8 guys in a room with 1 young girl is normal, and she was cool with it. I would bet my house that she was not. Or that 8 guys in room with 1 girl is somehow normal, it is not.


      • Hi Ray

        Thanks for the link

        I’d read it when it first came out

        Then [ at time of first read] and now; there seems to be vagueness in the air. Nothing concrete at all

        From the text exchange after… next day…. things seemed to have been resolved (agreed to?)

        After that…. since the suit was settled and sealed…. We don’t know much

        The suit started with huge sums asked for; but of course settled for less (or they would have gone to court)

        The hint from reporters seemed to be that they expected it was substantially less than the original claim…. Sealed…. So no one knows for sure….. unless they open up hockey Canada’s books

        Certainly “ 8 guys in room with 1 girl is somehow normal”…. Nope… not at all. NOT!

        We don’t know if they were all in a room, we only know 8 are part of the suit claim

        Just a point …. And please don’t chew my head off as I have a daughter and if this claim is true; I’m angered (and sick) to no end…. But….she was not a girl

        Per Wickstead’s article on 22/5/22; she “is 24 now” (at time of article)….. thus born before 22/5/98 and making her for sure 20 at least at the time of the incident; and definitely older than everyone on the team but possibly 4 or 5

        Her age is irrelevant; just pointing out that she was not a “girl”

        I stand by…. Silence does not mean guilt; nor innocence…. it is what it is…. Nothing

      • Not gonna bite your head off Pengy! 20 is legally a woman, agreed, but also very young. I to have a daughter, and definitely think of her at that age, and if she ever found herself in that situation……

        If what she was texting is true, and I have every reason to believe it was, she thought she would just be with him only and not 7 of his friends as well. Or what ever the extra # was. That is messed up sh*t no matter how it gets spun by some, not you.

        I get it they were young, but there should be consequences for those players which I think we agree on 100%. As there was/should be for Hockey Canada for their decisions after the fact.

      • Bark, I just read over that article. It contains more info than the others I’ve read.

        Keep in mind that I realize I do not have all the information and am not trying to persuade anyone to my point of view. I’m just speculating based on my life experience and the little info given.

        There are a LOT of people that you might consider sexually depraved. I can easily believe that a girl was talk into a consensual “gangbang”, assuming that is what happened, and then regretted it after, as she confesses. Is it normal? I hope not, but it happens a lot. I’ve had friends in my youth that were active in that… crowd? Lifestyle? Whatever.

        Could it be that she was pressured, even forced while under the influence? Of course! That’s a strong possibility, but the law doesn’t judge on “possible”.

        Correct me if I’m missing something but all the evidence points to the players involved being innocent of the accusation with the exception of the testimony of one woman. (The video before and after as well as the texts)

        I have two daughters and a son. This is irrelevant but some might criticize my view if I don’t mention it. I also grew up with two sisters. That being said, I have never sexually assaulted anyone and have alway been very protective of my sisters. However, I was accused of sexual assault. Luckily my situation never went to the police because I was well known to my accuser’s friends and they, as well as everyone else associated, shot her down as the liar she was. Today, with the “believe the victim” mentality, I worry about my son. All it takes is a “woman scorned” and his life could be ruined without even laying a hand on a woman.

        My point is that I’m not going to put too much credit in a single testimony which contradicts other evidence and I don’t believe the courts will either.

        I can only hope the players are innocent of the accusations since to be otherwise could have serious negative effect on that young woman’s psyche.

        Back to my original point. For the purpose of signing a contract to one of the 8 accused, I don’t think teams need to worry because I don’t think anything will come of this investigation.

    • I saw that same testimony WestBrantKid and wondered the same thing. And added to everything is the fact the woman received a large chunk of cash from HockeyCanada to “shut her up??” Horrible thing to do – but there it is.

      I agree that there won’t be any individual charges laid or participants identified since, as another lawyer opined, once they got it into court lawyers for any players named would crucify her in cross testimony about her sexual tastes and even go so far as to dig deep into her activities. They are not above that. So, not ideal for her by any stretch to “name names.”

      I just get the feeling that, somehow, some way, Ottawa Senators officials were the recipients of a little more information than we’re hearing and that a decision was made not to try and re-sign him.

      You’d think, if he was not involved in any way, he has to know that the silence surrounding his contract “negotiations” and the fact he WAS a part of that 2018 team, that this sort of speculation would arise, and that he or his agent would say something about why the contract renewal is in limbo.

      When Tkachuk was holding out there were at least comments from teammates that they were hoping things would be concluded because he was missed. Again, not a peep about a guy who scored 18 goals for them on the 2nd line.

      • Funny thing here is this 2018 scandal isn’t going to be tried in the court of law when it comes to players like former on. It will be tried in the court of public opinion and that is where the danger lies for formenton.

  10. Two girls one cup maybe.
    Innocent until proven guilty and not the other way around
    Maybe an 18 goal scorer is looking to get paid and I am sure Formenton has been fully transparent with senior management and agency . We will know by cob Thursday

  11. I like the line from HBO’s Rome, spoken by Octavian,

    “It seems to me that suspicion alone is not enough to speak. Once spoken out, the suspicion of such depravity is real enough to do the work of truth. And what if you are mistaken? Then (he) is dishonored by error. Facts are necessary.”

    I think the cone of silence from Formenton and the team promotes the cone of silence from the media.

    • That’s a great line.

  12. I have no clue on Formenton Jeff, or what his involvement was, if any. His silence on that issue isn’t all that surprising to me. The silence on the contract from all parties is somewhat surprising and is not the norm to George’s point.

    But also doesn’t mean he was involved. Might just be a money or term dispute, but again, total silence is not the norm, so if that is all that this is, his agent might be wise to say so. But their call.

    It won’t only be the the court of public opinion though, standard NHL contracts contain moral clauses to protect the team from unwanted publicity that can negatively impact their business. All large companies have them and usually refer to them as code of conduct policies, that you are required to sign.

    Neither the teams or the league want that and nor should they. Which is why the NHL is investigating this. The results of that should help inform, if the players involved are part of the NHL today. If none of them are, then it isn’t the NHL’s place to disclose anything from the investigation IMO.