NHL Rumor Mill – December 14, 2022

by | Dec 14, 2022 | Rumors | 25 comments

What clubs could potentially become trade destinations for Canucks center Bo Horvat and Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE PROVINCE: With Bo Horvat’s contract talks at an impasse, Patrick Johnston listed the Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets as potential trade destinations for the Vancouver Canucks captain.

Horvat is in the final season of his six-year contract with an average annual value of $5.5 million and lacks no-trade protection. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Recent reports claim he rejected an eight-year contract offer worth well below the $8 million baseline considered for top-line centers.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

The Flyers desperately need a first-line center. Winger Travis Konecny and defenseman Ivan Provorov are believed to be on the trade block. However, it’s unknown if Horvat would want to sign with the struggling Flyers.

Horvat has been the focus of the Avalanche’s attention for some time. They’d have to part with defenseman Bowen Byram to make the deal work.

A scout told Johnston that the Panthers love Horvat’s two-way game. Johnston wondered if there was a way the Canucks could get defenseman Aaron Ekblad in return.

Horvat would look good centering Blue Jackets wingers Patrik Laine and Johnny Gaudreau. The retooling club might be willing to part with a blue-chip prospect as part of the return.

SPORTSNET: (stick tap to NHL Watcher): Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman also discussed possible destinations for Horvat. They agree the Avalanche makes the most sense and appears the obvious choice.

Horvat would make a lot of sense for the Blue Jackets but Friedman thinks they’d risk losing him to free agency next summer. Marek also suggested the Flyers as an option and the Boston Bruins if Patrice Bergeron opts for retirement at season’s end.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY INSIDER: Rob Simpson prefers the Canucks trade J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser. He argues it would free up $14.6 million in cap space to put toward re-signing Horvat and Andrei Kuzmenko plus they could start working on a contract extension for Elias Pettersson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect any comment from Horvat on his contract talks or a possible trade. He issued a statement yesterday acknowledging the situation but indicated he’s focused on helping the Canucks win this season and won’t have anything further to say about his future for the remainder of the season.

As to where he could go, I agree with Marek and Friedman that the Avalanche seems to be the obvious choice. They’ve been lacking a reliable second-line center since Nazem Kadri’s departure last summer via free agency. They currently have $5.6 million in projected cap space though that could shrink once Gabriel Landeskog comes off LTIR. They’ll probably have to part with a good young defenseman like Byram or perhaps Samuel Girard to get him.

I don’t see struggling clubs like the Flyers or Blue Jackets pursuing Horvat unless they’re certain of re-signing him before July. The Panthers need to bolster their blueline, not add another center. And no, they won’t part with Ekblad.

Simpson’s suggestion of trading Miller and re-sign Horvat makes sense but I don’t think that’s the direction the Canucks will take. They could move Miller before his new contract with his no-trade protection kicks in but they seem committed to keeping him.


THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Nugent-Bowman suggested the Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets as possible destinations for Jesse Puljujarvi. It’s been reported that the Oilers and Puljujarvi’s camp are working toward a trade. He has just one goal this season and carries a one-year contract with a cap hit of $3 million.

The Ducks are a rebuilding club with plenty of cap space to absorb Puljujarvi’s contract plus they’re loaded with draft picks.

Puljujarvi and Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho are friends and former linemates. The Oilers would have to take something back in the deal as the Hurricanes are pressed for cap space.

As for the Jets, they can afford Puljujarvi’s cap hit and are in need of a right wing with Nikolaj Ehlers and Mason Appleton currently sidelined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks seem a great fit but general manager Pat Verbeek wants players who will fit into his rebuilding plans. He might not be inclined to waste a draft pick on a reclamation project with an expiring contract like Puljujarvi. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could feel the same way. As for the Hurricanes, I don’t see a fit there, especially with Max Pacioretty due to come off LTIR in February.

Nugent-Bowman also suggested rebuilding clubs like the Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators as possible fits for Puljujarvi. He believes it would be a low-risk move with a chance of a decent reward for those clubs. Whether any of them share that view remains to be seen.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico reports the Canadiens kicked tires on Puljujarvi during the offseason before settling on acquiring Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames. D’Amico suggested the Oilers winger could be an attractive bottom-six option for the Habs to evaluate through the end of this season and into 2023-25. The Oilers would probably have to include another asset in the deal given the winger’s recent comments questioning his place in the NHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens could revisit their previous interest in Puljujarvi. Then again, they passed on him last summer and his performance this season seems to justify that decision.


  1. Pull-toy to the Ducks for a 5th. Nobody else wants him for his salary.

  2. Re “ A scout told Johnston that the Panthers love Horvat’s two-way game. Johnston wondered if there was a way the Canucks could get defenseman Aaron Ekblad in return.”


    • Pengy

      Not sure how long Petry is going to be out. Do you think Hextall might listen to you finally and go after Schenn?

      • Pens still have smith in the minors. Plus Friedman. Plus the worlds solidest bottom pair man chad! So I doubt hextall crowds the d corps even more

      • Hi SJPP

        I’m hoping the phone call at least happens

        But as Chrisms points out Friedman and Smith available (both far better than CR) and HexBurkie crazily continues keeping CR up and in the line-up instead of them; illogical!

        so HexBurkie making the phone call (even though very logical) to acquire Schenn, seems unfortunately, unlikely

        It’s just a phone call HexBurkie…. Make the friggin call

        CR v Schenn…. 6 months difference in age… so those complaining that the oldest team in the NHL would get older…. Consider this

        Schenn is playing extremely solid; 2-6-8 +7 (‘Nucks are 24th in League and are -12); filling in well at 2nd pairing when needed…. Is 3” taller and almost 40 lbs heavier than CR and clears out everybody in front of the net (CR can’t clear out anybody over 190)

        CR’s only asset is that he can sit in press box for 3 months then fill in OK for low minutes bottom pairing for 2-3 games and then back up in the press box

        Longer than that…. He falters. P-O J bailed him out 4 times last game alone

        I’d love for Schenn to be on Pens

        If the price is too steep…. Then don’t make the trade. At least make the call

        For flipping CR for Schenn, then HexBurkie should go as high as

        O’Connor and a third

        That will likely be outbid…. But you never know until you try

  3. As an Oilers fan, I would also pass on Puljujarvi when you can receive a 1st round pick and Monahan for nothing. LOL
    Considering Puljujarvi advanced stats, Ottawa may be a good place for him. His puck retrieval and getting it out of the zone is something they need. Then again so do the Oilers. IF/when they do trade Puljujarvi, maybe there is something the Oilers can do to acquire a d-man from the Avalanche.

    • Rob Simpson nailed it.

  4. Re; destinations for The oilers Jesse Puljujarvi..
    JP looks like he is turning it around, last night was the best game he has played this season

    Setting him up with an old familiar line mate like
    Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho are friends and former linemates
    CBJ Patrik Laine his other old lline mate
    for a pick or a prospect,
    The Oilers may not want to move him till march to see if he can turn it around,….❓

    • Puljujarvi has had ample opportunity to “turn it around”
      He is what he is. EDM should have traded him in the off-season. He’s of little value now. Holland needs to stop focusing on his draft position.

      • Bingo! A classic case of stubbornly pounding a square peg into a round hole simply because … well … he was picked in the 1st round. At first, yes, try everything you can to unleash what your scouts saw before he was drafted. But after all efforts have failed … cut bait. Like Poile did with Tolvanen – another 1st round flop who was passed on waivers by 21 teams – many with ample cap space – before Seattle took a flyer.

      • IMO Holland isn’t focused on JP’s draft position. What he is focused on is what his team needs, and weighs that with the return being offered for him. To help him win this season, a 5th RD pick doesn’t do that unless it is used to free up space to add someone else.

        JP had a good year last year; effective, causing turnovers, physical, good defensively and even produced .5 pts/game. Was paid for what that production was. Fair deal.

        Struggling, again, this year and sounds like it’s in his head now. You could argue he is the one who cares too much about his draft position.

        There is a player there physically, you can see it when you watch him play. Starting to look like he may not figure out how to use it unfortunately.

        Hope he does, by all accounts a really good guy. IMO he sounds like a guy who needs to chill the flip out, quit dwelling on sh*t, and think about the what your going to do on the next shift and next game, not the ones you have already played.

        So along with a sports phycologist, hire a skills coach in the off season.

    • The Jackets famously passed on Puljujarvi, in favor of Dubois, in the draft. Why in the world would they trade for him, now? Especially when every single one of their wingers, even Marchenko who has played only three games, has more goals and assists.
      Please, quit treating the Jackets as the dumping ground for failed players. It’s been years since Dougie Mac the conman has run the team.

    • The Canes already have a Finish paper weight in KK so I’m sure Waddell doesn’t want another non scoring Fin.

  5. Partly agree with Simpson. I don’t see JT getting moved but, I definitely think Boeser gone before Horvat. Garland? Pay Myers SB next year then look to trade him. Van will pay Horvat.

  6. 2 Top destenations for Bo Horvat… both these teams need Two centre’s for the 1st & 2nd lines🤔
    Would be Boston for next season and there playoff push.

    Boston will have $27.M to spend next year there 2 top Centres will Retire….. one will be 38 Patrice Bergeron & David Krejc will be 37yrs old⁉️

    The CBJ they need a centre to play with there big 2 wingers Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine

    They have $11.5 M in cap space for 2023, but they are trying to trade a couple of forwards like
    Jack Roslovic $4.M
    Jakub Voracek $8.25M may be done due to injury❓
    and others
    Right now it looks like they will be picking top 6 in the Draft as they sit at 30th spot…..
    maybe he will wait till UFA begins, as he is the top centre avalable

    • how about Carlo and smith and Lysell and first round 2024 for Horvat and Schenn

    • Horvat to the Wings. They need another center besides Larkin, especially right. Steve Y, getterdone.

      • Stevie will need assurances that Bo will re-sign with the Wings. Right now Van is not allowing other teams to negotiate an extension and are marketing him as a pure rental. Bo will bolt as a FA to the highest bidder/cup contender once the season is over!

    • Laine and Gaudreau play on separate lines, now. And it’s likely to stay that way since putting Laine next to Roslovic has revived Rosie’s game, just like it did, last season.

  7. Horvat to the Flyers makes no sense. Philadelphia should be trying to add picks or prospects, not giving them away for a 28 year old UFA 2nd line center.

    Fletcher needs to be sh*tcanned and replaced by someone with a plan, or at least a clue.

    • Hi Ron,

      Fletcher looks like he is continuing to make a Mess in Philly… same as Minnesota!!

      thats the last place Horvat would be going to Philly they are going no where fastwith Fletcher runing them

  8. Vancouver should trade Miller and Horvat, and while at it throw in Garland and Boeser.

    Most likely destination for Horvat are the Avs, best fit Columbus

  9. Boston does not need Bo this year but if Bergeron or Krech retire at end of season he could be a fit along with Larkin but only if they sign Pasta. No chance in hell you trade kids for Bo this year I’d take a chance he tests the market.

    • Ya Obe, a rental for this season makes no sense for BOS.
      If COL gets healthy at the TDL, I can see them doing it unless the ask is outrageous, or they can negotiate an extension prior. And if they move Girard, they could squeeze him in next season, just be tight.

  10. Puljularvi has not shot. Literally not figuratively . Tough to score in the NHL even with some zip and and a good release