NHL Rumor Mill – December 21, 2022

by | Dec 21, 2022 | Rumors | 24 comments

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: some suggested trade destinations for Bo Horvat plus the latest on Tyler Myers and Nick Bonino.


SPORTSNET: Ryan Dixon and Jason Bukala suggested the Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins as four potential trade destinations for Bo Horvat.

They proposed the Canadiens send veteran defenseman David Savard, prospects Jayden Struble and Owen Beck, the 2023 first-rounder they received from the Florida Panthers and a 2024 third-rounder.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow the link above for Dixon’s and Bakula’s detailed explanations behind their proposals. Having done my own suggested destinations for Horvat earlier this season, I appreciate the efforts and rationale they put into theirs.

Horvat is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He’s on pace for a career-high of 50 goals this season, meaning he’ll cost well over $8 million per season to re-sign on a long-term deal. The Canadiens, Hurricanes, Red Wings and Bruins will need assurances that Horvat will sign with them before pulling the trigger on this deal. Otherwise, they risk giving away prime assets on a player who could bolt on July 1.

Montreal Hockey Now’s Marc Dumont does a good job explaining why the Canadiens won’t get into the bidding for Horvat. It’s not the right time for the rebuilding Habs to pursue a player like Horvat. Management won’t be interested in mortgaging the future for an aging asset on an expiring contract.

Subtracting Savard’s $3.5 million from the Canadiens’ cap payroll, they’d have over $65 million invested in 15 roster players for 2023-24. They’ll likely get $10.5 million in cap relief if necessary if Carey Price is unable to continue his playing career but they won’t know that until the offseason. Meanwhile, winger Cole Caufield is coming off his entry-level contract and is in line for a significant pay raise on his next contract.

Given those factors plus the likelihood of a flattened salary cap for 2023-24, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the Canadiens to acquire and sign Horvat.

Their Hurricanes deal would see Horvat and prospect Aiden McDonough heading to Carolina for forwards Seth Jarvis and Stefan Noesen, prospect defenseman Scott Morrow and a 2023 third-rounder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are chugging along right now but they continue to have a big hole at the second-line center position. They’d have the cap space to comfortably re-sign Horvat next summer.

Acquiring Horvat now would give the Hurricanes his exclusive negotiating rights until July 1. However, they could consider a more affordable second-line center rental option for the playoffs like Montreal’s Sean Monahan and pursue Horvat in the free-agent market without giving up a promising asset like Jarvis.

Dixon and Bukala also suggest the Horvat-McDonough package for the Red Wings in exchange for prospect goaltender Sebastian Cossa, prospect defenseman Shai Buium, plus a 2023 first-rounder and the second-rounder they got from the St. Louis Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Hurricanes, the Red Wings can easily afford an expensive new contract for Horvat. They could certainly be interested if unable to re-sign captain Dylan Larkin. If he stays, Horvat would provide them with a solid one-two punch at center.

This pitch depends on whether Wings GM Steve Yzerman will part with a projected future starting goalie like Cossa, especially given Alex Nedeljkovic’s struggles over the past two years in the Wings’ crease. He could be reluctant to do that.

Horvat and McDonough are also part of their Bruins’ pitch with prospect forwards Fabian Lysell and John Beecher along with their 2023 first-rounder and sixth-rounder going to Vancouver.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat could be a great fit with the Bruins, especially if this season proves to be the last for Patrice Bergeron and/or David Krejci. Acquiring him now provides them with additional depth at center for the remainder of 2022-23 as they pursue the Stanley Cup.

The Bruins have been very much in “win-now” mode for several years. They’ll have a projected $56.9 million invested in 12 players for next season with winger David Pastrnak due for a big raise. It could cost a combined $20 million to do it, leaving next to nothing for the rest of the roster under a flattened cap for next season.

All in all, the Hurricanes and Red Wings seem the more likely destinations given the depth in promising assets that both clubs possess as well as plentiful cap space to afford his new contract. Whether those teams get into the bidding remains to be seen.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports Tyler Myers is maybe being overlooked as a secondary trade chip for the Vancouver Canucks. He’s got a year remaining on his contract with a $6 million cap hit and a modified no-trade clause.

Myers wants to stay in Vancouver. However, Dreger said there’s a belief there could be interest in the big veteran defenseman, suggesting he improve playing on a more structured team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Myers will be owed $6 million in actual salary next season. However, $5 million of that is a signing bonus on July 1.

I think interested clubs will either want the Canucks to retain up to half of his cap hit now or else they’ll just wait until after his signing bonus is paid in July and then attempt to acquire him.

THE ATHLETIC: Corey Masisak suggests San Jose Sharks forward Nick Bonino could draw interest from playoff contenders seeking an experienced versatile two-way forward. He’s an unrestricted free agent carrying an affordable $2.050 million cap hit this season and a five-team no-trade list.


  1. The proposed trade for Horvat does nothing to relieve the logjam that Detroit will soon have at the forward position! 1 or 2 NHLer’s would have to be in the return. And the Canucks still want a C and a D that are closer to the NHL then the proposed trade of futures!

  2. And why would Van trade a promising center in McDonough when losing a center if they trade Horvat!!!?!?!?!?!

    • Yup I don’t get the tossing in McDonough either.

    • McDonough doesnt play center. He is LW

  3. With all the turmoil going on in Van would not be surprised at a big shake up. Horvat is very valuable to them but also a huge trade asset. Idk but he should fetch a good rental haul & even better haul if resigns.

    Boston going all in seems the biggest odds but imo the Wings should be serious & get the C position locked up. Canes are perfect fit if willing to be the high bidder.

    • I dunno. I’m just not sold on Horvat. Seems like a bit of a late bloomer – not sure you’re gonna get long term value for the money he’s going to command.

      This has a bit of Kevin Hayes stink to it. Career 40-50 ish point guy suddenly looking amazing. Someone will overpay to get him and then over pay him.

      Meanwhile in Ottawa. ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOB!

      can we fire the coach already?

      Happy Holidays all.

      • Seems to me you don’t follow him. Underrating him.

      • Horvat is a good player and solid 2-way 2C, but ya expecting goal production like this year moving forward is unrealistic. Seems like the outlier, especially when he is scoring on 22% of his shots.

        Good player though, at a premium position, gonna get paid too much for too long if he hits UFA, kinda how it works.

  4. Should make George Happy Today…

    Senators & Artem Zub
    Get a 4-year, $18.4M contract extension👍

    Now they need to look for a 2nd pairing RD man to play with Young Jake Sanderson for next season
    But who…❓

  5. don’t see Horvat going to CAR, because their owner doesn’ want to spend $$$ nor give up prospects

    • I’m not sure where you’re getting this from, mike. The Hurricanes are up against the cap. Projected cap space via capfriendly: 0.

      Also, in the last few years they’ve traded away prospects Luostarinen, Kuokkanen, Lorentz, Bean, and Nedeljkovic, just for starters.

  6. ZUB locked in for four years, great signing by Dorion!
    The proposed trade for the Habs (Horvat for a ‘23 first, Beck, Strudle, Savard, etc) is ludicrous. Whoever came up with that doesn’t understand the meaning of « rebuild »
    (as for me, I just discovered this word, « ludicrous « , and I intend to use it A LOT. Ah ah ah )

    • How is it the team in most need of a player like Horvat (the Preds) is never even in the conversation for such a player? They just chug along in mediocrity and seem to like it that way.

  7. P.s. Seems like Owen Beck, drafted at rank 32, is quite a steal. At this point, not sure I’d trade him for Horvat, one for one.
    (please read « at this point », in « all caps »)

  8. Re; Bo Horvat,
    I dont see Bo going to Montreal in a Trade.
    They are rebuilding and are a couple of years away
    but have lots of young talent, but need to clean up lots of dead wood❗️and get a staring Goaltender…

    I think Bo Horvat will test the UFA market in July as there is a Lack of Top Centres avalable in July 2023… He will chose where he want to go⁉️

    The Canucks will need to trade him somewhere to get some kind of return… for a 1st pick and a prospect or young player on the team

    1/Boston is the top destination
    2/Carolina, 2nd

    Both the Ducks & Sabers have almost $30M in Cap space next year❗️ they could be a Dark horse’s as they both need leadership and to fill a top 6 centre position on there teams🤔

    and then there is Steve Y….. $39.M in Cap space next year👀

    • I dunno Willie, can’t see Boston doing it this season. Already deep up the middle. And if Bergy and Krecji want to come back next year, then doesn’t work in off season either. 2 for the price of 1 Horvat.

      Seattle is an interesting idea, but Francis is a patient, draft & develop kinda guy and he just drafted a C in the top 5 in each of the last 2 drafts.

      If we’re gonna guess:
      1 – Carolina
      2 – Colorado (Move Girard back to Van in the deal or somewhere else)
      3 – NYI

      • Hi Ray,
        I dont even know if the NYI will make the playoffs
        in 2023
        NYI have 3 Centres
        M Barzel, A Lee, & J-G Pageau ⁉️
        The NYI need a good top 4 d/man and maybe a top six Scoring Winger before a centre….

        The NYI only have $10.M in Cap space for next year..
        Still think its going to be Boston they are all in this year, then Krecji will call it a day for sure he has looked tired in games and maybe Bergeron will to,
        they both olny signed 1 year deal so i think this is it…🤔

      • We should wait for Matthews.

      • Fair point on the Isles Willie, but I think you mean Nelson not Lee as their other C. To be honest I was struggling finding a 3rd team that made sense so took a flier.

        Isles seem to be playing Lou hockey again, I was skeptical early too, but they defend really well which usually translates to success. Could use some scoring I guess, and move Nelson to wing.

  9. It would make more sense to trade Miller and resign Horvat for that $8.25M x 8! But they probably promised Miller they would not trade him if he re-signed.

  10. Re: Nick Bonino
    I think it’s finally time for the Sharks to go all out for a rebuild. They have Meiers, Karlsson, Bonino, Couture, Megna and maybe even Hertl who would be attractive to playoff bound teams. While some salary would need to be retained on Karlsson and Couture, trading these players would add a lot of draft picks to the cabinet, as well as injecting youth and maybe money for a Vlassic buyout. Otherwise, they’re looking at more years at the bottom without hope of recovery.

    • Hard to argue with that logic Rock.
      Might as well just keep paying Vlasic instead of buying him out, get it over with while you suck as opposed to when you might start to improve.

      Meier gets SJ a good return, might get something for Riemer too this year.

  11. No thanks on Horvat to Montreal. Enough deadwood in the line up already and no need to add more.