NHL Rumor Mill – December 1, 2022

by | Dec 1, 2022 | Rumors | 26 comments

Check out the latest on Patrick Kane, Erik Karlsson, Jakob Chychrun and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there were rumors that Patrick Kane would prefer to play out this season with the Chicago Blackhawks and decide his future in next summer’s free-agent market. However, sources told him that’s not the case.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman noted, we can expect more clarity on what Kane and fellow UFA Jonathan Toews want in the New Year. It’s believed Blackhawks management will meet with both players at some point this month to discuss their futures.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Friedman believes the Florida Panthers have an interest in San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. However, he’s not sure how they’ll pull it off.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson carries a no-movement clause. Assuming he’d agree to be traded to the Panthers, they can’t afford his $11.5 million cap hit through 2026-27 without shedding salary and having the Sharks retain a healthy chunk of it.

The cost in terms of return would also be high, including at least one first-round pick. That’s something the Panthers don’t have, having traded away their first-rounders for 2023, 2024 and 2025.

The Philadelphia Flyers are at the 50-contract limit and thus cannot promote Artem Anisimov from their AHL affiliate. Friedman wonders if they might make a move to address that issue.


SPORTSNET: Adam Vingan took note of Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun’s recent return to action following off-season wrist surgery. The 24-year-old blueliner’s youth, size and affordable $4.6 million salary-cap hit combined with his puck-moving abilities continue to make him enticing for teams seeking a rearguard with his skills.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres have been linked to Chychrun. So have the Ottawa Senators. Vingan also pointed out that the injury-ravaged Toronto Maple Leafs need some help on defense.

Vingan also cited Chychrun’s injury history and is prone to turnovers. Nevertheless, he considers him to be a “well-rounded defenseman” who can lead a breakout, control a power play and hold his own against tough competition.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those interested clubs will want to see Chychrun play some games this season before bidding for his services. The asking price is heavy on futures (draft picks, especially first-rounders, plus prospects and/or a good young NHL player) which is why teams will be cautious given his injury history.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Kings seek a left-hand shot on their blueline. While linked to Chychrun and carrying the type of assets the Coyotes would want, he believes there’s no guarantee it happens. Friedman also thinks Chychrun has let management know that he prefers getting moved to a contender.

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong could push to move Chychrun this season. The blueliner’s 10-team no-trade clause kicks in next July, giving him more control over where he could be dealt.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators have until 5 pm ET on Dec. 1 to sign Alex Formenton. The 23-year-old winger is a restricted free agent. If he’s unsigned by that deadline, he’ll be ineligible to play in the NHL this season. Garrioch doesn’t anticipate a rival club tending Formenton an offer sheet.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli wonders if the Senators will attempt to trade Formenton to a club willing to sign him before that deadline. There’s speculation the winger could face discipline for his potential involvement in the Team Canada 2018 World Junior team’s sexual assault case. He’s among the few players who have not responded to the allegations directly or indirectly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The results from the investigation are expected soon but probably not in time for the deadline. It could be that the Senators or clubs potentially interested in Formenton are leery of signing or acquiring him because of this situation. We’ll find out soon enough. 


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski recently wondered if the Pittsburgh Penguins can find a trade partner for Kasperi Kapanen by swapping him with another player with a comparably bad contract. The 26-year-old winger is in the first season of a two-year deal with a $3.2 million average annual value.

Kingerski suggested the Edmonton Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi, Calgary Flames Milan Lucic and San Jose Sharks Kevin Labanc as trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt there’s any market for Kapanen after being a healthy scratch through most of November. Pujujarvi was the subject of trade rumors for months but nothing’s come of it. Lucic is aging and slowing down but he remains a popular dressing-room leader for the Flames.

Labanc is the more productive of that group with 13 points in 25 games. If the Sharks were to shop him I don’t see them wanting Kapanen in return.


  1. I think you sent Kappy down and maybe he is traded as that team can just keep him in reserve if injuries come to that club and just bring him up for a couple games at a time. But most of the contenders have the cap to do that.

    • Most contenders DON”T have the cap to do that🙃

  2. I have no doubt that Jarmo did due diligence on Chychrun. That’s what a good GM does. However, I am also certain that Armstrong’s price and memories of Ryan Murray make Chychrun a no-go for the Jackets.

  3. the panthers are suppoedly in salary cap hell, with duclair set to return later this month. why Karlsson???they have Ekblad , who is considerably younger, but does have knee issues.gm zito has his work cut out for him.definitely not boring in Sunrise!!!

  4. GeorgeO looks like the deadline is going to come and go with no trade or signing for Formenton.

    Wondering out loud, whenever the investigation wraps up and news leak becomes public; what does it mean for any of these 8 players that maybe in the NHL.

    What legal grounds does the NHL have if any?

    Players that are signed, you just can’t void their contracts.

    Will be interesting to see how this is handle.

    • If plays out like it looks like it is and why…… how did Formenton’s agent not try to get a contract last season? formenton thought he made it through the situation

    • Caper. I believe there is some kind of clause in players contracts. Regarding thing detrimental to the team or league as grounds for termination . But would be a court case or arbitration for sure

    • Caper, there was a discussion a couple days ago in the comment section.
      My guess is that nothing will come of it because it looks like the evidence supports the players getting consent, and re-affirming so after the act.
      The only evidence I’m aware of against them is the testimony of the accuser who contradicts her own words in multiple videos and texts.
      True or not, we don’t just “believe the victim” (read: “believe the accuser”). Hence my guess.

      • you mean the video that got leaked where the players are telling her what to say ?

    • The Hurricanes are rumored to have real interest in Formenton, so I guess we’ll see how that plays out before 5pm.

      • Just offer sheet him for 1 x $1M if you want him, NO?

      • It costs nothing to OS a player up to $1,386,490.

      • @ Johnny Z

        You can’t offer sheet players during the season.

        Offer sheets are from free agency up to training camp time.

        So no team can offer sheet Formenton.

    • It would not surprise me at all to see the 5:00 pm deadline come and go without a resolution for the Formenton situation, following which he’ll quietly slip to some European league – if they’re not just as uneasy. A real dog’s breakfast in the offing here.

      • Was there grumbling that Batherson was somehow implicated as well but his deal was already signed by then?

      • Not once Sam. Oh, he was part of that 2018 team … but there was NEVER any suggestion that he was one of the ones involved. He’s been cooperating fully with the investigation (his words) and the team officials clearly believe him as he has since received a new long-term lucrative deal.

        Formenton hasn’t even received a comment about whether or not they even made him an offer – which, in every prominent RFA hold-out I can recall, surfaced at one point or another, as well as comments from the agent. Here there has been absolute silence.

        To me, that speaks volumes. But that’s just my opinion. Whether you agree or not is your business. Of course, there’s that other opinion that the silence means “spit.”

    • It doesn’t need to be criminal for a contract to be voided, or for a player to be suspended. This applies to player contracts with pro teams, and also endorsements. Although I would guess player contracts are tougher to void.

      They can negotiate the language, not sure how many do.

      I am guessing it varies somewhat from player to player. But an example is Tiger Woods and his endorsement deals. He didn’t break any laws, but many of his sponsors cut ties with him, quickly.

      No idea what is included in the language, but the clauses are included on every players contract, but it doesn’t matter in the Formenton case as he doesn’t have a contract, yet.

  5. LA doesn’t need Chychrun. Hopefully, Blake sees that . They need to beef up their D and goaltending. Losing 9-8 to Seattle is just embarrassing. They don’t need another D man with suspect D zone play.

    • And what a waste it would be if Chychrun were to go to Toronto. They will still get bounced in the first round.

  6. If Dorion can’t? , won’t sign him…. Trade the rights

    Risk reward move for acquiring team…

    They can sign risking flak if it ever actually comes out that he was involved and did assault this woman….. team signing him can say “at time of signing, we had no evidence that (1) he was one of the 8; and (2) was involved; and most importantly (3) was guilty”

    Innocent presumption…. So any signing now can only speculatively be “immoral”…. Silence is not by any stretch, an admittance of guilt

    If, down the road…. He is found to be involved, one of the 8 and guilty…. Bettman will nix him from NHL… team (who signs him) on hook for cap….. that’s the risk…. And it’s down the road…. The risk involved will affect trade value as well as any contract signed

    There is always the option to trade for rights; let him play overseas this year; sign him when cleared; or if found to be involved…. Never sign him… the public pushback risk is low in that they only traded for “rights” but did not sign…. The true risk is what would be given up in trade

    Proposal for ships n giggles

    Kappy (25% retained) ; Dumo (50% retained) for rights

    Pens free up ~ $4.5 M in Cap this year; with a Cap hit (retained) for 23/24 only $800 K ; gain rights

    Sens get Dumo at ~ $2M (pro-rated) for this year only; and Kappy at $2.4 M (note: pro-rated this year) for balance of this year and next

    Preemptively guessing that George will want Zaitzev gone in package….

    Zaitzev and rights to Formenton, for

    Kappy and Dumo

    • No thank you. Why would Dorion want any of Pittsburgh’s expendables? Or anyone else’s?

      • George,

        Pengy often puts out the “ships and giggles ) one sided fleecing deals that grossly favor the penguins, sometimes leafs

        Why propose things knowing they are never going to happen? No idea. Seems like a huge waste of time. But it is what it is.

      • What gets me about the whole Formenton situation is that there are only two possibilities:

        1) either we regard the total RFA silence – from the team, from he and his agent, and the media – as a clear indication that the team has received solid information that he was one of the “dirty 8” and that no action on his future of any kind will be taken until it is officially dealt with; OR

        2) the silence does mean “spit” – just a coincidental and, I might add, an unprecedented anomaly when it comes to prominent RFAs, and that an offer has been made which suits his NHL record to this point. And that is, after 109 gp in the NHL, during which he has been a consistent minus F (-13 last season), and coming off an ELC of $747,500 in a season in which he potted 18 goals and 14 assists (modest totals) playing on the 2nd line with Stutzle as his primary C, Dorion sees him as a candidate for a 3-year bridge deal in the $2 to $2.5 mil range, and to be slotted in as the THIRD line LW back of Tkachuk and DeBrincat.

        He sure as Hell wasn’t going to get a deal anywhere close to what the likes of Norris, Tkachuk, DeBrincat, Batherson, Stutzle, Giroux are getting, or probably what Pinto will get next year.

        So, with Dorion holding all the cards if 2) above is the scenario, why should he deal him anywhere? Here’s the offer – take it or leave it.

        Only time will tell which of the above is accurate. In the meantime, IF it is 1) above, any team that would take him in a deal in which they offer up assets in return has you-know-what for brains

      • Hello George
        Formenton’s own socialmedia has been locked down since the start of the summer as was Batherson at first. Batherson was doing summer PR with Sidney and came back online.

        We would expect agent rumblings and there is zero. A middle sixwing has never sat out for a contract

      • Thanks Jefff … wasn’t aware of that. Another solid indication that something is amiss here …. but, as some continue to believe, “silence means nothing.” I happen to disagree with that train of thought. C’est la vie.

  7. A broken clock gets the time right twice a day.

    In the Formenton situation there’s a lot of presumption which may or may not be accurate.

    A qualifying offer was given which Formenton refused to sign.
    The reason wasn’t given but he wouldn’t be the first to refuse.

    We see that the media and pundits drum up conjecture as click bait which is recognized by many here.

    Rumor mill is an appropriate title for the conjecture, not opinion that gets tossed around.

    Unfortunately some people are thin skinned and have a need to have their opinions to the point of running down a rabbit hole repeatedly.

    Shortly some facts will be unearthed.