Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 18, 2022

by | Dec 18, 2022 | Rumors | 22 comments

Check out the latest on the Canucks plus recent rumors on Ryan O’Reilly, James van Riemsdyk and more in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Vancouver Canucks don’t want to tear down and rebuild their roster but they’re interested in changing their mix and breathing new life into the team.

The Canucks have indicated center Elias Pettersson is their only untouchable. They’re not looking to trade defenseman Quinn Hughes and it would take “a mammoth offer” to pry him away.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (NHL Images)

As for Bo Horvat, Friedman believes they don’t want to go over the $56 million they signed J.T. Miller to back in September on an eight-year deal. However, Horvat’s performance this season puts him over that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes is all but untouchable. I don’t see them moving him given he’s their best defenseman and it would be very difficult to find a comparable replacement. Unless he wants out, they’re not trading him.

Horvat, meanwhile, is on pace to reach 50 goals this season. If the Canucks aren’t willing to pay him more than the $8 million per season that Miller will start earning in 2023-24, expect him to be suiting up with a new club by no later than March 3.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the Canucks would seek a hockey deal rather than a futures-only return if they were to move Horvat before the March 3 trade deadline. They want to upgrade at center and/or their right-shot defense if possible and bring in a player in his twenties.

LeBrun wondered if non-playoff teams with cap space might try to acquire Horvat before the deadline. He considers it a long shot but one of those clubs might consider it worthwhile to acquire him in order to negotiate a new contract with him before his unrestricted free-agent eligibility on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been frequently reported that Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini doesn’t want to rebuild the roster. Management has no other option but to try and retool around the current core. That means shopping players like Horvat and Brock Boeser for comparable roster players (or as close to it as possible) in return.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps doesn’t count out the Golden Knights as a potential suitor for Horvat. He acknowledged the Golden Knights’ lack of salary-cap space and that they play in the same division as the Canucks are two factors that work against it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Let’s just say that Horvat ending up with the Golden Knights this season is a long shot and leave it at that.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek wondered if St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly might return to the Colorado Avalanche before the March 3 trade deadline. O’Reilly returning to the team where he started his NHL career would be a juicy storyline but a lot would have to happen to make it take place.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche’s limited cap space plus the recent rivalry between the Avs and Blues probably works against this. Still, never say never, I suppose.

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Gustav Nyquist could be worth monitoring. He’s been playing five-on-five minutes with Johnny Gaudreau and has a modest 13 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nyquist also had a 53-point performance last season with the Jackets before Gaudreau arrived. Duhatschek points out he’s got a $5.5 million cap hit this season. However, I think the Jackets could retain part of that for the right return.

Duhatschek also suggested Anaheim Ducks forward Derek Ryan and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk could become trade bait. He also included Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jack Johnson and Arizona Coyotes forward Nick Bjugstad.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports the Philadelphia Flyers have made winger James van Riemsdyk available. He’s in the final season of his contract with a $7 million salary-cap hit but he’s earning $5 million in actual salary, of which $1 million was already paid as a bonus. Marek believes the Flyers could be willing to retain part of his salary to make the 33-year-old winger more palatable in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marek pointed out that van Riemsdyk has playoff experience and could be enticing to playoff contenders seeking help on the power play. He’s reached 20-plus goals seven times and 40 or more points eight times in his previous 13 seasons. He was sidelined by a fractured finger earlier in the season but has 11 points in 12 games this season.


  1. I think Bo Horvat is destined to wear an Avs jersey whether it’s by the deadline or by next summer

    Devils struggling with offense, teams have adjusted to their speed, and the fact they don’t have a sniper starting to show. Wonder if JVR might help them out

    Boeser is overpaid for what he’s provided recently, can’t see how VAN will trade him without taking back a bad contract. If VAN wants to really shakeup their team they’ll trade Hughes for another stay d-man, if one is even available. They need to shake up their core, it was a mistake to resign JT Miller when they had a chance to shake it up over the summer

    • Horvat to the Bruins next summer as a FA is inevitable unless some trades for and extends him before the TDL. It is going to cost someone 3-4 very good assets to keep him from the Bruins.

  2. I must confess I don’t see enough of the Canucks to go into detail suggesting what they should and shouldn’t do … but what I see is a team that struggled early (like a lot of teams) but which has gone 6-4 over their past 10 to sit, after 30gp, one win under .500 at 13 14 3 29ptys – 2 back of Calgary and with a game in hand, and 6 back of Edmonton (who lost at home last night to the team with the worst record in the league) with 2 games in hand.

    This time last year they had an almost identical record of 14 15 2 and from that point on went 26 15 10 the rest of the way and damned near made it to the playoffs.

    Seems to this observer that, while a couple of changes might be needed, they hardly have to “blow things up.” And Boudreau is a motivator.

    • The Canucks are to me the way I follow baseball. Articles, highlights, podcasts ( my job allows me to listen for 6h per shift) and from what I’ve pieced together it’s a combo of the owner, and old school president and over 20 player’s with uncertainty of the future and being under appreciated.

      To have had an 0-5-2 start and to be 5 point out of playoff spot around christmas would have fan’s hyped out in how many other citie’s. Instead they get sh*t on constantly, I’m only 37 but I’ve never seen a coach being humiliated like this before. Rutherford might as well say we can’t fire you we’re paying Green.

      I know these guy’s are pro’s but if october would of been bad at my work and November and December thing’s start picking up and our star worker get’s mocked with an offer that 31 other place’s would offer better I wouldn’t be to motivated. I’d be working hard, not for the company but for other company’s that respect and care about their employee’s to notice and come scoop me out. The coyote’s will probably have more UFA’a knocking next summer.

  3. Tyler Bertuzzi and Bo would we be two great additions to the Black and Gold play the game the right way.

    • Why would anyone want to go to aging Bruins team with no young depth? Help with rebuild and collect big cheque I guess.

      • Canadapuck

        Check the standings. The bruins are #1. Anyone who wants to play on a winner would love to sign in Boston. They are solid top to bottom and they have prospects to play but no current room to use any

      • Yeah. That was a weird post canadapuck. Maybe a year or two too early?

      • Agreed top team right now. So he signs in summer, two top players retire. Then look around Marchand will be 35, Hall 32. Will Pasta get money he deserves or move on? And no there are no great young prospects, Bruins ranked 29th.

      • Canada puck. I would doubt both 37 and 46 retire next year maybe but doubt it. Pasta will sign 8 per 11 is my guess. Don’t buy the bs of people rating prospect pool of any team Usually teams F up 1st rd picks a third of the time

      • Canadapuck i use to be certain there would be a rebuild and it may still happen.

        To say Boston doesn’t have any prospect that an incorrect statement.

        Fabian Lysell and Mason Lohrie are two elite prospects, after that they have some solid prospects but not at the same level.

        The rankings are an overall team prospects. Quality and quantity, as the Bruins dont have the quantities of others.

        With McAvoy and Lindholm in it for the long haul it’s hard to see a rebuild. Likely more retooling.

        For this season, players who control their destination would look at Boston very favoritely come trade deadline.

        In the off-season if Horvat available he will go where the money and opportunity is available.

  4. Boeser over Horvat. If I am a Canuck

    Bruins would have to give a first, Lysel Carlo and Debrusk…too much
    or is it with Bergeron on the road to retirement ?

    • Silver

      Horvat would never get such a package from any team Pipe dream

    • Re; Bruins
      would have to give a first, Lysel Carlo and Debrusk for…. Horvat.

      Thats way to much for that player,❗️ He is good but Not that good…

      A 1st pick and a prospect player salary dump for Horvat, Buy he may want to go Right to being a UFA in July…
      you know how Crazy GM get in UFA in July…❓🙈

  5. Horvat for Dach plus, as long as Montreal can extend Horvat

    • Caper, with the Canucks refusing to let teams prenogociate a future deal with Horvat’s agents, there is no way this deal for Dach can happen.
      Plus, Habs being in a rebuild, I would stick to guys in their early twenties, for the core group, looking ahead

  6. willie w, two weeks ago you posted “Sorry George, The Sens are going nowhere with this goaltending tandem. They pick top 10 if they don’t trade for a goaltender this year 100%.”

    Since then they’ve gone 5-1-1, scoring 25 while giving up 15 and this without Norris, Stutzle. Zub, Joseph and, at the moment, sit 23rd overall – which would put them in the 10th pick spot. But they’re 1 pt back of St.Louis with a game in hand, 2 back of Calgary & Buffalo, with a game in hand on each, 2 back of Detroit (who sit with the 19th pick, and 4 back of Florida/5 back of Edmonton with 2 games in hand on each.

    So, they’re closing the gap while missing 3 of their key players (2 of them C). And that goaltending tandem has been doing just fine.

    I understand things can go south in a hurry (look at NJ and Vegas at home) – but, so far anyway, things finally appear to be coming together with Giroux, DeBrincat, Batherson, Pinto, Chabot leading the way with Norris, Stutzle, Zub and Joseph all due back relatively soon.

    • Of course, can’t come soon enough – getting their ass kicked 3-0 so far this afternoon in Minnesota in the second of back-to-backs 🙂

      • Well, they made it close, drawing to 2-3 before yet another empty-netter – a category in which they lead the league.

  7. Hi George,
    Yes your Sens have been playing well of late….! apart from todays game agaist the Wild who are turing it up….8-2 ⁉️
    its sound like Anton Anton Forsberg did not play great today, The Wild have been playing well of late,
    i have seen Cam Talbot do this go on mini hot streches before a number of times, but its December …

    Who would have though NJ would drop 5 in a Row
    and Detroit……⁉️ but its December the NHL strange month
    Yesterday the Worst team in the NHL Ducks beat the Oilers yesterday with only 17 shots scoring 4 goal’s on Skinner who have played very well, The Oilers have a big defence problem in the top 4, they need a LD man and top 6 RW to make it work better

    i stilll dont think Ottawa are going to make it this year unless the fix a couiple of things mentioned before

  8. Bruins do not need Bo this year they will not trade squat to acquire him. If Bergeron or Krech resign they will again not need Bo but if one or both retire and Horvat is a UFA than they will make a run at him. Boston played 800 hockey with out their best forward and D man they have more or as much depth than any team. Boston is set on D and goal for many years to come. Get used to the Bruins being a good team for a long time.

  9. Regarding O’Reilly returning to Avs:

    I can’t imagine the Avs giving their 1st for O’Reilly (they already don’t have a selection in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th), BUT I can’t imagine the Blues accepting anything less than a 1st +