NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2022

by | Dec 5, 2022 | Rumors | 9 comments

The latest trade speculation on the Canucks’ Brock Boeser plus some suggested trade targets for the Wild in today’s NHL Rumor mill.


THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston reports Brock Boeser’s future with the Vancouver Canucks remains murky.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

It was reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Saturday that the 25-year-old winger’s agent has been given permission to speak with other clubs about a trade. Boeser’s agent, Ben Hankinson, declined to comment about the story as Jim Rutherford, the Canucks president of hockey operations.

Johnston believes a trade seems unlikely given Boeser’s $6.65 million annual salary through 2024-25 plus a tight salary-cap situation for most teams around the league. Nevertheless, the door remains open.

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal report Boeser’s status on the trade block isn’t new. They indicate the winger has not asked to be moved. There’s no ill will between the player and management but rather a mutual agreement to see if there’s a fit for him elsewhere.

Drance and Dhaliwal indicate there’s an understanding among the front office that the return could be “relatively pedestrian” because of Boeser’s expensive contract, his concerning two-way play and his limited goal production this season. The move would be made to garner salary-cap flexibility. The same would apply to other expensive supporting players such as Tyler Myers, Tanner Pearson and Conor Garland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet whether Boeser’s agent is having any success drumming up potential trade partners. I daresay we’ll likely start hearing of possible suitors over the next week or two.

Boeser lacks no-trade protection, giving Canucks management plenty of options for potential destinations. However, Cap Friendly shows just three teams (Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks) have the cap space to take his cap hit. Those clubs are rebuilding and Boeser might not fit into their long-term plans.

A trade seems unlikely at this point in the season. Perhaps the market might open up as the schedule draws nearer to the March 3 trade deadline. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the type of deal that occurs in the offseason when clubs have more cap space and a willingness to spend on players like Boeser.


THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo and Joe Smith discussed some possible trade targets for the Minnesota Wild to land another top-six forward.

Smith suggested the Chicago Blackhawks’ Max Domi or Andreas Athanasiou would be affordable rental players. The Florida Panthers could move Anthony Duclair to become cap compliant but has another year on his contract at $3 million. Russo also mentioned Duclair and wondered if they might look at Montreal Canadiens forward Sean Monahan.

Russo and Smith also agree that this is Matt Dumba’s final season with the Wild. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. They believe general manager Bill Guerin could shop Dumba before the trade deadline even if they’re in the playoff race. However, his $6 million cap hit and modified no-trade clause could make him difficult to move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guerin could explore Dumba’s value in the trade market before the deadline. The odds of moving him will be better if the Wild are out of postseason contention. He could dangle Dumba as trade bait for a scoring forward. However, Russo and Smith also observed the Wild could risk depleting the right side of their blueline by moving him.

Cap Friendly indicates the Wild will have over $10 million in projected trade deadline cap space with their current roster. Moving out the remainder of Dumba’s cap hit will free up additional room to perhaps add a top-six rental forward and bring in a right-side blueliner if necessary.


  1. willie w, yesterday, when discussing the Senators and Demko, we disagreed on the overall quality of their goaltending tandem of Forsberg and Talbot who you described as “two back-ups.” That, in the overall scheme of things, may well be an accurate description. I mean, really, no one here – me included – is about to suggest that either will ever become a top # 1 starter in what’s left of their careers.

    BUT, if Ottawa is, as you say, “going nowhere” with that tandem, and need to find something better, then they’re not alone by any stretch. Goals against and overall +/- are, in my view anyway, two of THE most telling team stats and, with some routine analysis, can be attributed to either goaltending or defensive structure – or a combination of both, along with the need for more offense in order to strike a proper balance.

    As of today, the cream of the crop in the league when it comes to those two stats are Boston – 49ga +44; New Jersey – 57ga +36; Winnipeg – 59ga +15; Colorado – 61ga +14

    The next best are: Vegas 68ga +22; New York Islanders 66ga +16; Toronto – 66ga +13; Carolina – 69ga +5

    Ottawa currently sits with 78ga and an overall -3, within hailing distance of: Nashville – 70ga -7; Tampa Bay – 75ga +9; Detroit – 76ga +1; New York Rangers – 76ga E

    In terms of goals against – but lagging in offense, they are on a par with Pittsburgh – 78ga +11, and far better on offense than Arizona – 78ga -19.

    There are 12 teams in worse shape – some glaringly so – when it comes to goals against/offense balance: Anaheim – 111ga -48; San Jose – 103ga -21; Vancouver – 95ga -11; Columbus – 92ga -26; Buffalo – 92ga but a surprising +4; Edmonton – 90ga -3; St. Louis 90ga -21; Chicago – 88ga -27; Montreal – 83ga -13; Washington – 83ga -12; Florida – 83ga +5; Philadelphia – 82ga -23.

    • How many guys are looking for both the Red Wings and the Blackhawks this season?

      • Looking for ?

      • Playing for, those retro jerseys are practically identical

    • Investing long term and significant $ in a goaltender seems like risky business these days.
      Demko has been brutal so far this year, and he is far from being the only established tender struggling this year. Kind of like last year.
      Talbot and Forsberg have both been better, by quite a bit too. I thought Demko was as good as any youngish starter in the NHL, so a surprise. I guess you trust him to work his way out of it.

      Then you look at some tenders that struggled at times last year that are playing well this year.

      I dunno what GM’s should do, damned if you do damned if you don’t.

      Maybe what Dubas did is the new model. Couple guys for cheap that were struggling, hope one of them hits. As good a plan as any not named Vasilevsky.

  2. Zub is out for 2-3 weeks. Looks like the Sens may need to replace him with a…ZUBSTITUTION!

    • Zub is starting to sound a lot like another Russian D the Senators had for a number of years in the early part of the 2000s right up to the year they went to the finals in 2007 – Anton Volchenkov – big hitter and a Grade A shot-blocker, but often paying the price for his rugged approach.

  3. Seems to me a trade between the Wild & the Canucks would benefit both teams. Boeser is from Minnesota. The Canucks need a D-man and the Wild need a scoring forward. As long a Dumba was willing to sign an extension…seems like a win win.

    • I guess, if the Nucks could clear cap space before the summer……