NHL Rumor Mill – December 16, 2022

by | Dec 16, 2022 | Rumors | 30 comments

Check out the latest on Ryan O’Reilly, Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, Jakob Chychrun, Patrick Kane, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NOTE: The NHL’s annual holiday roster freeze begins at 11:59 pm ET on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, and expires at 12:01 am ET on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. 

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): published the first installment of their 2022-23 NHL trade board featuring 25 potential trade candidates. Among the notable tidbits:

St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images)

Pierre LeBrun believes the St. Louis Blues could start listening to offers in the new year for center Ryan O’Reilly. LeBrun thinks the Toronto Maple Leafs have talked internally about the Blues pending UFA captain. He also believes the Colorado Avalanche would be a sensible destination.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues could listen to offers but I think they’d like to re-sign O’Reilly. There will be plenty of interest if he hits the trade block. Whether the Leafs can win a bidding war for his services is another matter. However, Vladimir Tarasenko seems the most likely to be dealt by the Blues, though his full no-trade clause gives him control over where he could go.

The Colorado Avalanche could be a fit for Bo Horvat if the Vancouver Canucks decide to trade their captain before the March 3 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Darren Dreger believes the Canucks want to free up salary cap space if they move Horvat or winger Brock Boeser. However, they’d also like to add a young NHL centerman and a young NHL defenseman.

Speaking of Boeser, LeBrun claimed the Minnesota Wild have spoken to the Canucks about the 25-year-old winger. Cap space, however, is an issue and the Canucks don’t want to retain any salary. They could take back a contract in return but clearing maximum cap space in a Boeser trade is important to them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, they’ll take back a salary that is considerably less than Boeser’s $6.65 million average annual value on a contract that extends past this season. It’s also been previously reported that they might take on an expiring contract depending on what else is included in the return.

LeBrun considers the Ottawa Senators as the destination that makes the most sense to him for defenseman Jakob Chychrun. However, he’s not sure they’ll pay the Arizona Coyotes’ high asking price. He also wondered if the Los Angeles Kings might be a fit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun continues playing well since his return from offseason wrist surgery with nine points in 11 games and a plus-minus of plus-five. Someone will step up before the trade deadline and meet the Coyotes’ asking price if he stays healthy and maintains that level of performance. Whether it’s the Senators or Kings remains to be seen.

The New York Rangers will have to improve if they hope to be an enticing destination for Patrick Kane, assuming the Chicago Blackhawks star agrees to be traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s also assuming the Rangers can afford the Blackhawks’ asking price. They’ll likely want at least a first-round pick plus a top prospect or a good young NHL player as part of the return.

Michael Russo reported there’s chatter the Edmonton Oilers could be interested in Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Appearing on TSN’s “Insider Trading” on Thursday, Pierre LeBrun reported the Oilers have been internally discussing the merits of Klingberg and of Montreal Canadiens blueliner Joel Edmundson. He said the Canadiens aren’t looking to move Edmundson but could be willing to listen to offers.

Russo also believes the Florida Panthers don’t want to trade Anthony Duclair but might not have much choice if they can’t clear sufficient cap space for the winger’s return from a torn Achilles tendon.


  1. Boeser for Dumba, two players that could use a change of scenery. Dumba’s contract expires this season, and VAN could flip him at the deadline.

    • Re; 🍁 Bo Horvat

      If…The Canucks want to free up salary cap space if they move the top Centre Bo Horvat , Rumors is they want a young centre back and a 2nd round pick they’d need a young centre as thats there weakest position coming up.
      Boston & CBJ are the 2 main teams to wantch as they both need a 1st line centre….

      First trade to happen with the Canucks will be RW Brock Boeser, good top 6 RW, not playing great right now…. and his salary is High at $6.5M for 2.5 years, this could limet the teams he can go to with cap space… as the canucks dont want to take much in salary back for the next 2 years…⁉️
      This Trade may give an indication of where the Canucks are going in a Re-build……🤔

      With the cap only going up $1.M this could maybe be a trade with to a bottom dweller re-building team….❓

      Canucks are also trying to move there 2 High Payed Defencmen
      -OEL @ $7.250 for 4.5 years
      (has asked to wave his no trade clause)
      -Tyler Myers, @$6.M for 1.5 yrs
      Canucks curently have 9 NHL d/men❗️
      with Poolman $2.5M & Dermott $1.5 out on LTi

  2. panthers are certainly a puzzle.and the normally placid fan base showered the team with boo birds late in the game against seattle last week. some fans were venting frustration with paul maurice. good to see the fan base has a pulse, zito will have to dig himself out of salary cap purgatory

  3. Floridas 1st to habs looking pretty sweet right about now

    • Habs be looking at some nice odds for the lottery….
      Who would of thought Florida should of protected that 1st…..

      • Ray that’s the thing, if Florida had won the cup no one complains.

      • ds, shades of San Jose’s 1st to Ottawa in the Karlsson deal – ALONG with Josh Norris (turned into Rim Stutzle, 3rd overall and allowed them to take Jake Sanderson 5th overall with their own pick.

        SJ, too, never expected to drop like a rock in the standings.

      • I get going for it Caper, I guess that giving up 2 firsts, that are your own as you don’t have multiple, is rare/bold. Both on pending UFA’s too.

        Dug into a bit on cap friendly and TB did it a few years ago, but they had an extra one from VAN. Both had another year on their deals as well. Not gonna spend much time on checking for others but can’t remember any.

        Big ball move, give him credit for that.

      • Burk in 2009 with the Leafs traded two unprotected 1st round picks (2010 and 2011) to Boston for Kessel. 2010 turned out to be a second overall pick, Seguin, and 2011 was 9th overall pick, Dougie Hamilton.
        Then Burk again in 2017 traded a 2018 unprotected 1st round pick to NYI for Hamonic. That pick turned out to be 12th overall and turned into Noah Dobson

    • Ya MB4, Zito may have go a little too excited last deadline because their regular season was so good.

      Go big or go home I guess.

  4. @MrBruin4
    As per draft picks for next year

    Check out Kalan Lind from Red Dear , fight videos etc

    Leafs need a guy like this
    The next Tiger Williams
    Most likely a very late first or second round pick

    Only 6’1” 155lbs -Could only imagine this guy when he matures

    • His fight skills seem ok. Don’t know much about him. But I see he is ranked to go anywhere from 31 – 60 in this years draft

      • Didn’t they try that with a pure fighter in Colton Orr who was otherwise a waste of a roster spot?

      • @George

        As per Kalan Lind – This guy has a skill set and a nasty side to him .

        Leafs are in desperate need for this type of player
        A Tiger Williams type

        Who can score, passionate with his game !

  5. IF the Senators can weather the injury storm (Norris, Stutzle, Zub, Joseph) and continue playing at or near their current 10-game pace of .750 as they near the TD, and

    IF Chychrun is still playing and playing as well as he can

    then I’d offer them the 2023 1st round pick (which would be at least middle of the pack), their choice of one of Ottawa’s 2 2nd round picks in 2024 (theirs or Washington’s), their choice of Brannstrom, Bernard-Docker or Thomson, Zaitsev (1 year to go at $4.5 mil to offset the loss of Chychrun’s cap hit – to keep them above the cap minimum)

    for Chychrun and RD prospect Cameron Crotty who was taken in the 3rd round in 2017 and is from Ottawa.

    IF someone comes up with a better offer than that – well, good luck to all concerned.

    Of course, IF my uncle had had different equipment he would have been my aunt.

    • Very fair deal and does meet the criteria of two number 1’s (since all three Dmen you listed were former first rounders).

      Will be nice to see how the Sens play when healthy. Losing a top 2 centre and top 2 Dman for extended period is tough. But sounds like Norris might be back sooner than thought.

    • Agreed that would be the scenario that I would be okay with Chychrun.

      I also just look forward to not hearing his name bandied about anymore 😛

    • Hi George

      The deal seems fairly reasonable from afar, and very favourable for Sens; but short of his (Armstrong’s) apparent firm stance on equiv of 2 1st, young roster, prospect; and includes taking on Zaitzev

      I would think any deal between the two clubs has Zaitzev and first going no matter what

      The prospects you suggest , I’m confident are not at issue

      The difference then lies with 2nd v extra 1st AND ask for Crotty

      I would expect a likely Armstrong counter (if it has not already happened….LOL) to that would be either (change from your proposal)

      A) Nix Crotty, add a third from Sens
      B) Keep Crotty, additional 2nd
      C) Keep Crotty, 2nd becomes 1st
      D) Keep Crotty, and instead of “one of”… “ Brannstrom, Bernard-Docker or Thomson”….two of them

      If that were the case… Dorion could counter with

      Chychrun/Crotty for

      Your offer , plus rights to Formenton


      • Not being a mind reader I have no thoughts. I have no idea how far Dorion would go IF he decided to go after Chychrun hard, just as I have no idea where Armstrong draws the line at “1sts.” What I suggested is as far as I – as a fan – would like to see them go.

        Ottawa’s 1st in 2023 PLUS their choice of 3 D. all taken in the 1st round, constitutes two 1sts – at least in my mind – and if Ottawa improves their standing overall after acquiring Chychrun, their “two 1sts” figure to be mid to lower picks in the round, whereas Brannstrom was 15th overall, Thomson 19th overall and Bernard-Docker 26th overall.

        As for Crotty, the guy was a 3rd round pick, for Pete’s sake not the second coming of Orr! I picked him out of a hat, so to speak, simply because he’s an Ottawa kid. Other than that I know absolutely nothing about the guy. Anyway, whoever it is, another player from Arizona would seem to be reasonable if only for numbers sake in the organization. After all, Ottawa is sending, in effect, 4 players.

        If Armstrong thinks he can get better elsewhere – go for it. I won’t lose any sleep. But that would be MY limit. Who knows?, perhaps Dorion – IF he’s still interested in Chychrun – would come up with something completely different and more in meeting Armstrong’s demands.

        In that case I’d likely have some comment to make – for whatever that’s worth.

      • Hi Pengy,

        Any trade the Sens are making for this year must include moving out Nikita Zaitsev’s $4.5M he has contract for the next 1.5 years…and young LW Alex Formenton rights…
        I dont the Sens will make the playoffs this year,

        What they need is a Older maybe 28-31 year old RD man like a the Habs David Savard or
        Stars John Klingberg from the ducks maybe they would take young 23 yr old Alex Formenton rights as that mess should be cleaned up by then… Or
        NYI big Scott Mayfield to play in the 2nd paring with young Jake Sanderson who look like a Stud….👌

        last but not least Gerges Favirot the Ottawa Goaltending Situation❗️

        Do an offer sheets💥 for an up and coming young goaltender like the
        Leafs 25 yr old lya Samsonov’s salary is $1,800,000
        Bostons 24 yr old Jeremy Swayman
        cost would be a 2nd round pick up to $5.M to $6.2 Million

        Both team’s Boston and Toronto are going to be hard up at the Cap July first,
        Boston need to sign Pasta & a no 1 Centre like a Bo Horvat a $19 to 20 .Million and 6 more Roster players and Jeremy Swayman who could cost them $4. to $4.5 Million that leaves $3.0M toi sign 5 players⁉️

        The Maple leafs have 6 UFA forwards to re sign and 2 UFA d/men to re sign in July with $12.5 Mill in Cap Space……
        Ottawa Senators should go after one of these up and coming Goaltenders…..👍✅

  6. Still say watch NYR dealing for Chychrun
    More of a need thanKane and wouldn’t just be a rental.
    To Arizona: Dallas 1st, Kravtsov and Jones

    • Good Call ,, NYR has immediate young guns to offer

    • Heh Slick62. I still like my deal better. Ottawa’s 1st figures to be a lot higher in the 1st round than that of Dallas (currently it would be the 29th pick). Kravtsov may have been a 9th overall, but he’s done absolutely nothing in his 31gp in the NHL this season (1g 1s 2 pts), while Jones was a 3rd round pick D – I included their choice of 3 D – all taken in the 1st round.

      What we need to do in here is start thinking like a GM whose job may be on the line.

    • @Slick
      why Chychrun for the Rangers?
      You would have to move out Lindgren or Miller for an injury prone Chychrun. and both kids are affordable. that would be an amazing left side of the D but no way to afford it

    • Rangers are a possibility Slick, but might have to bump up that offer IMO.
      A very late 1st and 2 – 22 yr old guys struggling to get regular game action in the NHL, seems light.

      Can’t say I know Zach Jones much, never actually heard of him, or is there another Jones in their system?

      If you had to add another 1st instead of Jones would you do it?

      • How about
        To Arizona: Dallas 1st, Chytil, Blais, and Jones
        To NYR: Chychrun and Bjugstad

  7. “A couple sights for sore eyes this morning in Detroit as Dylan Larkin and Jakub Vrana are both skating (in blue non contact jerseys). Hronek as well, In normal jersey” Max Bultman

  8. @George
    As per Kalan Lind – This guy has a skill set and a nasty side to him .
    Leafs are in desperate need for this type of player
    A Tiger Williams type
    Who can score, passionate with his game !

    • They make em tough in Shaunavon SK.

  9. @SOP

    Thankyou for acknowledging my note on this Kalan Lind kid

    Everyone , make note- they heard it here on Spector – as per this PROSPECT !