NHL Rumor Mill – December 27, 2022

by | Dec 27, 2022 | Rumors | 31 comments

The NHL’s holiday roster freeze ends at 12:01 am on Dec. 28. Check out the latest on Bo Horvat, Vladislav Gavrikov and more as we catch up on recent trade speculation in the NHL Rumor Mill.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps recently wondered if the Golden Knights have enough to make a bid for Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat in the NHL trade market. His suggested proposal was “Brett Howden, Kaeden Korczak, Laurent Brossoit, a 2023 first-round pick and a 2023 second-round pick.”

Krepps, however, doubted that package would be enough to bring Horvat to Vegas. He believes the Canucks would seek bigger packages.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights have made several significant acquisitions in recent seasons via trades, landing Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Jack Eichel. However, as Krepps observed, they lack the cap space and depth in tradeable assets to make a competitive bid to the Canucks for Horvat.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they’re currently carrying three goaltenders. Logan Thompson isn’t going anywhere, meaning a pending free agent like Brossoit or Adin Hill could be moved before the March 3 trade deadline.

Krepps suggested the Winnipeg Jets, Philadelphia Flyers and Canucks as possible trade partners. He believes Jets backup David Rittich is struggling, the Flyers are relying on inexperienced backups such as Samuel Ersson and Felix Sandstrom, while Canucks starter Thatcher Demko is sidelined for six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers appear in more dire need of depth between the pipes, especially if Carter Hart (upper-body injury) is sidelined for a lengthy period of time.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger wondered if the Blue Jackets will put Vladislav Gavrikov on the trade block before deadline day. The 27-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Gavrikov and his wife love living in Columbus and he’d prefer to stay with the Blue Jackets. Contract talks, however, have been at a standstill since the summer. Salary and term are the sticking points.

Hedger suggested a healthy Gavrikov could fetch a first-round pick as part of the return. His $2.8 million cap hit shouldn’t be difficult to move by March 3. On the other hand, it wouldn’t make much sense for a team that’s struggling defensively to part with one of its few experienced blueliners.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gavrikov has frequently surfaced in the rumor mill linked to playoff contenders such as the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. His solid all-around game and cost-effective cap hit should draw even more interest as the trade deadline approaches.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont recently examined the Canadiens’ options for struggling forward Joel Armia.

Armia’s difficulties this season and $3.4 million cap hit make him tough to move in the trade market even if the Canadiens retain half of his salary. They could assign him to their AHL affiliate in Laval, freeing up $1.125 million in cap relief but still carrying $2.275 million of his remaining cap hit.

Dumont believes buying out the remaining two years of his contract in June is the only workable option.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has proven quite savvy at making shrewd trades. However, he’d probably have to include a sweetener like a draft pick or prospect as well as retain 50 percent of Armia’s cap hit to drum up any interest in the trade market. a buyout in June as Dumont suggested seems the more likely option.


  1. Agree on Armia. He had been a useful player but his game has fallen apart. Buyout is the only reasonable option. No team will pick him up now even for nothing. In order to trade him, the Habs would likely have to pick up half his salary and add a sweetener. If he’s bought out, he’d have almost no cap hit next year and slightly above $1m. the following year. There would be about a $1.4m. hit for the two years following what would have been the contracts expiration, but the cap will likely be a lot higher by then.

  2. Armia was , for a long time, a mystery : brief episodes where he plays like a star power forward, followed by long ones, where he shows…nothing.
    Most fans gave up on him. Pretty sure Habs’ management will, too.

    • Welcome back all. Reminder, we’re still not at half way point of season and over 2 months from deadline. Not sure if Armia is at top of Montreals to do list. As long as Price and Byron are on ltir. why give up asset to dump salary? They have 4 contracts totaling around $20 mil expiring at end of season. I’d think those are the guys you’d focus on moving. Figure out Armia in off season

      • While I agree that the Habs should probably concentrate on trying to move their 4 pending UFAs (Drouin – $5.5 mil per), Dadonov ($5 mil per), Monahan ($6.375,000 per) and Byron ($3.4 mil per) and worry about what to do with Armia in the off-season, all 4 fall into the category of long-shots when it comes to finding takers.

        Not counting Byron, who’s on LTIR, the other 3 have played a combined 71 games and, collectively, have produced 8g 21a 29pts at a cost off the cap of $16,875,000, with Monahan coming up with the most at 6g 11a 17pts. Not exactly value for money and, adding to the problem of finding a taker is his injury history prior to coming to Montreal (currently he’s using a walking boot)


        He is, when healthy, a good C and, if back in action by the deadline, and with most of his cap hit used up by that time, there may be a deal there. But they can pretty much forget about finding takers for Drouin and Dadanov unless they withhold a huge chunk of each cap hit.

  3. Vegas goalie Adin Hill ($2,175,000 cap hit – pending UFA) was made available on waivers in November but cleared. Can’r see any team interested in either he or Brossoit ($1.2 mil cap hit) – unless someone is seeking back-up due to injury problems at the deadline.

    • @George O. I will agree Montreal will not receive much of anything in return accept for maybe Monahan (at least a second ) . I don’ t see a problem with them holding money on any player with an expiry contract .

      There are a lot of teams that would not hold money but Montreal is not one of them

    • Hi George,
      A Goaltender like Adin Hill ($2,175,000 cap hit, Or
      Any team making the playoffs who thinks he is an up-grade over what they have right now or a injury that may happen a week or so from the trade deadline that could well make a team pull the trigger on a Trade…

      Money looks like the Huge sticking point with trades in the 2022/2023 Season❗️…. its been very slow to date on the trade front, i think there will be lots of
      3 team side deal’s taking on cash for a draft pick with the bottom 6-7 teams +$2M in space between now and March 3rd.

  4. Comment *Patrick Pilon, he’s certainly a bit of an enigma … big guy – 6’4″ 220 lbs – who can skate and whose highwater mark (2019-20 season), which produced 16g 14a 30 pts in 58gp for 82-game averages of 23g 20a 43 pts looked promising enough to risk a cap hit of $3.4 mil per.

    Since then, however, he’s played 124 games producing 13g 18a 31 pts for 82-game averages of 9g 12a 21 pts which, interestingly, come closer to his career averages (419gp 68g 74a 142pts which comes out as 82-game averages of 13g 14a 27 pts.

    Not what you want to be forking over $3.4 mil off your cap for … and that has 2 more years to run after this.

    • George O, you’re the best! A BEAST, I should say ! Where do you get, all those infos ?
      The comment section of this site is EXCELLENT ! I
      Lots of bright people , Pengy and his trades,Old Blue Dog, RickWMurray and his fabulous hate for Sweeney… ah ah, you guys are quite something ! Much better than all we have, on the French side

  5. Is there a site where you can look at a team +/- by goaltender.

    Ie Hellebuyck is having a Vezina type season, while other think their defense has improved (not me) But looking at the players +/- with Rittich in the net might provide a little more insight.

  6. Both could use a change of scenery and the Pens need more size. How about Armia for Kapanen straight up?

  7. 5 pieces for Horvat? Need to stay outta that bidding war! I doubt that he keeps up this current pace past this year.

  8. Rittich has been completing serviceable for the Jets and his cap hit is low. They need some help on forward due to injuries, that’s the main concern.

  9. In regards to Gavrikov, the big problem is that Kekalainen is very hesitant to sign him on a long term contract with so many highly regarded defenseman prospects expected to push for roster spots over the next three seasons. If Gavvy is willing to sign for 3 years, then he’s off the market. If not, he won’t be in a Jackets sweater in March.
    From what I’m hearing in various local blogs, I give it 70% that Gavrikov gets traded.

    • yet Jarmo signed ERIK GUDBRANSON who is 30 for 4 years @ 4M a year. Gavrikov goes and Gudranson stays. No wonder we long-suffering Jacket fans are upset. Boy, we have young talent on the way. We have heard that for the last 15 years.

  10. If the Columbas Blue Jackets put Vladislav Gavrikov $2.8M on the trade block before deadline day.
    The defenseman is someone the Edmonton Oilers are intrested in and the oilers need to Fix there Defence sooner than later, ⁉️ moving out 2 of there top 7 d maybe

    CBJ are in a Re-build i wonder if they would take Patrik Laine’s old jr line mate and good freind
    Jesse Puljujärvi’ $3.M and a 2nd pick for Gavrikov🤔

    Maybe its a larger deal that includes a few Forward’s like Jack Roslovic…. his name has been out there in the trade market for a few months as has oilers winger Warren Foegele, oilers are looking to add a top six winger
    The Oilers have No Cap space and need to move some $$ out CBJ have 6.5M right now…❓

    • Tell me why the Jackets would trade for someone that they passed over in the draft. And “why not” is not an acceptable answer.

      • That’s not a real valid argument. Teams trade for players they passed in the draft all the time. The jackets wanted a center.

      • It IS a real argument in that what you say does not apply in this case.

      • Paul,
        here you go….. 3 things to look at
        back at the 2018 Draft…3rd pick was Montreal Canadiens – Jesperi Kotkaniemi… Or if they could take it today..it would be 7th pick – Quin Hughes of Vancouver Canucks ” Why Not”

        2) Some times players like Jesse Puljujärvi do not fit with other players on a team …a change is as good as a New Start.. its not working with Leon & Connor Style on the two top lines…
        He may fit well playing with his JR old line mate and good freind Patrik Laine❓ worth a shot,
        CBJ have lots of cap space, they are in a re-build mode. A chance not taken is a chance missed,

        if i was the Canes GM Don Waddell… i would be giving it a go to with Aho his other JR line mate,
        at worst he is a big 3rd liner for less $ on an other team

      • How so George? They drafted a center. There is no validity that a team wouldn’t want to trade for a guy solely cause 6 years ago they chose someone different. There might be plenty of validity to the player not being a good current fit. It’s like saying that Ottawa wouldn’t trade for Lucas Raymond or Jamie drysdale cause the picked stutzle and Sanderson ahead of them.

      • Why is because it could help make the cap $ work and facilitate a trade that is beneficial to CLB. Whether it is JP or another underperforming player.
        At least with JP, he is a useful bottom 6 player who has real skills. He is simply over paid and needs to qualified at $3M. He won’t get $3M from anybody as he isn’t scoring. Yet.

        And he might just start to find his offence in CLB? Worth a flier as compared to some other throw in on an expiring deal.

        The reason of he was passed over doesn’t sound logical when you consider the vast majority of players teams trade for were passed of by that team. You know like Gavrikov, and every other team in the NHL as he was a 6th RD pick.

        So going with your theory, no team will trade for him.

      • Maybe you articulated it better ray?

      • What all of you are overlooking is that the Jackets will be using wingers as trade bait. What they need is a #1C not yet another middle six winger. And, Ray, even if Kekelainen went crazy and actually traded for Puljujarvi, he WOULD NOT be on a line with Laine. Laine plays on the first line with Gaudreau and only a brain damaged head coach would put Puljujarvi on the first line ahead of Gaudreau.
        The Jackets have no need for Puljujarvi. The Oilers will have to dump him on someone else. If, of course, anyone can be found to accept him.

      • They could very well keep him Paul, as I expect they will be a playoff team, they need players who can contribute, which he does.

        I never suggested he play with Laine. I said he is a useful bottom 6 player. Pretty sure Laine plays in the top 6.

        And no, he will not be in EDM next year. As I said, he can help facilitate a trade that is beneficial to CLB. My guess is it will go along with a 1st, unless another quality LD comes available, CLB will get a 1st. If they want to draft a C, fill yer boots. I think they have on in Johnson though.

        Again the same stuff I have said 3 times now. Disagree all you want.

      • That makes more sense then arguing that they wouldn’t want him cause they passed over him in the draft. And I’m with ray. If he could go for a 1st then a second and a reclamation project isn’t enough. It would have to be at least the oil 1st and jp.

      • Chrisms, I was responding to your comment “That’s not a real valid argument. Teams trade for players they passed in the draft all the time. The jackets wanted a center.”

        Puljujarvi, a LW, went 4th to Edmonton in 2016 right after Columbus picked Pierre-Luc Dubois, a LW, in the 3rd slot.

      • To be clear, LW is what he was identified as at draft time – he wasn’t converted to a C at the start.

  11. JP was not even in the top 10 on the Jackets list. And I think I know why. He seems to get poo poo pants easy. He may hold his breath and go back to Finland.

    • I’d like to see that list. Where can I find it?

  12. What all of you are overlooking is that the Jackets will be using wingers as trade bait. What they need is a #1C not yet another middle six winger. And, Willie, even if Kekelainen went crazy and actually traded for Puljujarvi, he WOULD NOT be on a line with Laine. Laine plays on the first line with Gaudreau and only a brain damaged head coach would put Puljujarvi on the first line ahead of Gaudreau.
    The Jackets have no need for Puljujarvi. The Oilers will have to dump him on someone else. If, of course, anyone can be found to accept him.