NHL Rumor Mill – January 11, 2023

by | Jan 11, 2023 | Rumors | 25 comments

What’s the latest on Erik Karlsson? What’s going on with the Canucks? Are the Flyers gauging the trade market for Ivan Provorov? Could the Wild shop Matt Dumba? Are the Oilers shopping around for a defenseman? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports that teams have spoken with the San Jose Sharks about what a trade might look like for Erik Karlsson. The 32-year-old is this season’s highest-scoring blueliner with 55 points and is on pace to become the first rearguard since Brian Leetch in 1991-92 to reach 100 points in a season.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

LeBrun still thinks this would be an off-season move it if happens at all. Karlsson has a full no-movement clause and would have to agree to be traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur that this is a potential move that probably doesn’t happen until the offseason when teams have more cap space and a greater willingness to make big trades.

Getting Karlsson to waive his NMC isn’t the biggest hurdle. It’s sorting out how to move a talented defenseman who is approaching his mid-30s’ carrying a contract with an average annual value of $11.5 million through 2026-27. There’s also the matter of what the Sharks would want in return.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports teams are still poking around about Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser. He doesn’t think a trade is close to happening but interested clubs are giving consideration to how to make a deal work.

The Minnesota Wild have spoken to the Canucks about bringing Boeser back to his home state. However, LeBrun doesn’t think they can make it work cap-wise. The 25-year-old winger has two more seasons left on his contract with an AAV of $6.65 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have over $14 million in dead cap space for 2023-24 due to their buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Matt Boldy, Calen Addison and Sam Steel are restricted free agents this summer.

I can’t see Boeser landing in Minnesota unless the Canucks retain a portion of his salary (which they reportedly don’t want to do) or the Wild shed sufficient salary for Boeser and those RFAs.

LeBrun also reports teams are calling the Canucks about Andrei Kuzmenko. The 26-year-old winger is enjoying a fine NHL debut season but he’s also slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He currently carries an affordable $950K cap hit.

The Canucks haven’t started contract extension talks yet but LeBrun said they haven’t given up hope of re-signing him. He indicated the winger enjoys playing in Vancouver but it could cost $6 million on a short-term deal to keep him there.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 35 points in 39 games, Kuzmenko’s been a bright spot in a turbulent season for the Canucks. Perhaps if they can move Boeser it’ll free up sufficient space to keep the Russian winger.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports multiple sources confirmed the Philadelphia Flyers are listening to offers for Ivan Provorov. The 25-year-old defenseman has two more years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $6.75 million so there’s no urgency to move him before the March 3 trade deadline.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also doesn’t think there’s anything imminent regarding a Provorov trade. However, he feels they could be heading in that direction.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Appearing on NHL Network, Friedman said he believes the Flyers will consider just about everything over the next 12 to 18 months. He also said they’re concerned that Provorov could blossom elsewhere so they’ll want a really good return.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators have reached out to the Minnesota Wild regarding Matt Dumba. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and lacks no-trade protection.

However, the Wild are playing pretty well right now and they still need Dumba as they jockey for a playoff spot. They’re not sure yet if they can move him even though they can’t afford to re-sign him given their salary-cap constraints for next season. Dreger believes their asking price for Dumba would be high and they would have to potentially hit the trade market to find a replacement for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Dumba going anywhere before the March 3 trade deadline unless the Wild fall out of contention or they ship him to another club in exchange for a comparable defenseman. He could become their “own rental” for the 2023 playoffs.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland has been calling around the league in search of a defenseman. It’s believed he’s spoken to the Arizona Coyotes about Jakob Chychrun and the Montreal Canadiens regarding Joel Edmundson.

However, asking prices are high right now for blueliners in the trade market. LeBrun expects Holland won’t panic and will remain patient. He also believes it’ll take more than a trade to resolve the Oilers’ current struggles as the message internally is, “We need to play better”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers supporters howling at Holland to do something – ANYTHING! – to acquire a defenseman overlook that he’s handcuffed by his limited cap space. He’s also dealing from a position of weakness right now. If it was possible to unload, say, Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele for a top-four left-side blueliner, that deal would’ve gone down by now.

The Coyotes reportedly seek two first-round picks (though one of those could be a former first-rounder) along with a high-end prospect or good young NHL player for Chychrun.

It’s believed the Canadiens hope to land a first-rounder for Edmundson. Before you scoff, remember that they got a first-round pick from the Florida Panthers last March for Ben Chiarot. Edmundson also has a year remaining on his contract so there’s cost certainty there ($3.5 million) for an interested team.

Maybe those prices go down as the trade deadline nears. Then again, they could remain high if more clubs get into the bidding for Chychrun or Edmundson.


  1. The Habs ask for Edmundson will not be going down right now. He’s got another year left on his deal, so there’s no rush to trade him. Solid top 4 D-men with reasonable term and coin left are at a premium now.

    • Ya, they will get close to what the ask is Howard.
      I think Edmundson is a better fit for the Oil than Chychrun. He brings more of what they need, he defends, plus he won’t cost as much in terms of assets.

      He has a 10 team no trade, not sure who is on it.
      Also heard somewhere he wants to stay in MTL.

      I agree with the quote regarding Holland, this team needs to start playing better before you start spending quality assets to go for it. Kane coming back and a 2nd pair D isn’t a magic bullet. They won’t win until this team gets back to playing the right way.

      It’s entirely possible as they did it in the 2nd half last year and the playoffs. Best get started on that soon.

      • You suggesting a coaching change, Ray?

      • Tough to play that card 2 years in a row BCLeafFan.

        It’s a strange team, they seem to take turns costing games.
        PK was brutal, then got it going, then was brutal last game again. Tending was bad early with Campbell. And all year their 5 on 5 defending has been sub par and can’t string together games where they play with structure. I include FWD’s in that.

        Costly turnovers in the wrong areas, with various guys doing it and various times.

        Woodcroft got them going last year and he’s the same guy, and is smart when it comes to systems. So I don’t think he is the problem.

        I am firmly on the side of it isn’t the coaches responsibility to get guys ready to play, that is on the players. But you can’t trade 3 guys when the league is like it is with so many teams against the cap, so kinda gotta go with what they got except for a move or 2.

        So, I think Holland rides with Woodcroft, and if it doesn’t work out then Holland will face the music, although not sure what else he could have done in this situation. He’s done what he could, the players need to get going.

        Having said that if they don’t get in, he gets fired IMO. I still think they wake up soon, just wouldn’t bet my house on it as it should have happened already.

  2. Haven’t seen much if the Canucks. Just looking at the stats of Andrei Kuzmenko 5’11” 194lbs, shoots right plays left wing

    17g tied for second on the team
    35pts tied for third on the team
    +7 second best on the team
    8pp goals 2nd on the team
    caphit $950,000
    status pending UFA

    Vancouver is in 6th spot in the wildcard, 8pts behind Edmonton for the 2nd wildcard spot with 2 games in hand.

    Admittedly i don’t know this player, on paper he looks good and the caphit. I dare say Vancouver would be receiving a lot of calls.

    Any Canuck fans or other care to offer a report, skating, hockey iq, shot, physicality.

    • Kuzmenko is a legit scoring winger who is fully engaged at both ends. He has a hard shot from 20 feet out and great hands in close to the net. Fans here love him, especially his celebrations after scoring.

    • Skating is average but he is really good in tight spots and can move but he isnt the guy with burners on a counterattack. He has a nose for the goal so the hockey IQ is above average and his stick handling is excellent. As for mindset he is Ovi light in that he really likes to score and seems to be a positive person in general and liked by team mates. He is for sure a top six winger and has benefitted playing with Pettersson, but he can produce even if played further down but I wouldnt say he can drive a line by himself. He is despite his size no pushover and can take a tackle and still stand and keep the puck, he also has an excellent shot in close. You could see him falling of a bit since he has never played this long a season and he is really good down low on a PP unit. He is a keeper if they only had cap space and a good team that could compete, as it is they should trade him for assets. Fair value is 5,75-6,5 on a 2-4 year deal. Just my 2 cents

  3. Holland isn’t going to want to pay a lot for a D-man, so I think he ends up with Olli Maatta, who is on a cheap, one-year contract and won’t cost a lot.

    • If Holland gets Maatta and misses the playoffs, he’s unemployed.

    • Matta has been very good in Detroit, and has had a better year than Edmundson. A lowball offer for Maatta will most likely get a polite no thank you from Mr. Yzerman

    • @garth

      Getting Olli Matta won’t cost a lot and won’t move the needle for EDM either.

      Holland’s last years in DET showed he can’t navigate the salary cap and his time in EDM is showing the same.

      Everybody knew that EDM needed major defensive upgrades in the summer. They didn’t address it. The free agent goalie signing blew up in their face.

      Unless they tighten up their team defence they’re at risk of missing the playoffs.

  4. Chiarot was a UFA that brought the Habs a 1st a 4th and a prospect….Edmundson has another year on his contract and is on a par with Chiarot.
    He will get a high return or will babysit the kiddie korp D for another year.

    • Yes, but who in their right mind thought that was a good trade, when it happened, by Florida?

      • Everybody who thought the Panthers were ready to take out Tampa with the addition of a hard hitting D-man, a team ready to win now.

        Hughes can wait it out.

  5. Holland created his own cap problems.

    Ceci at $3.25M is an overpayment by at least $1.5M
    Nurse at $9.5M is an overpayment by $2M
    Yamamoto at $3.1M is an overpayment by $1M
    Foegele at $2.75 is an overpayment by $1.25M

    Add it all up and you’ve got $5.75M in extra salary that could be used to bolster their defence core.

    Not to mention that Campbell has be horrendous this season. Unless and until McDavid and Draisaitl start playing better defensively EDM will struggle.

  6. 👀 Looks like a Slow New day…
    Re; Edmonton Oilers 2nd Pairing LD Man,
    Olli Maatta is more of a 3rd pair LD, and Brent Kulak is better suited for 3rd paring than 2nd.✔️

    Teams in the East that look like they miss the playoffs and will have d/men to Trade away are

    Detroit, Olli Maatta, Mark Pysyk
    Philly, Justin Braun, Ivan Provorov
    Montreal, too many LD, Joel Edmundson
    Columbus, Vladislav Gavrikov
    Florida.. Radko Gudas,Marc Staal
    Ottawa…Nikita Zaitsev, Hollden,

    5 teams in the Wester Confrence that will have 1-2 d/men in each team to trade away, at pressent its an 11 team race in the West to secure a playoff spot, 3 Really Good teams will miss the playoffs in the west this year

    Anybody want to through some d/men in there..?

    • Pyxyk has yet to play a game this year, and his status and return date are unknown. He probably has no market value right now.

      • Hi Iago

        Agree zero value now that he’s on IR

        No idea what his injury is

        That said…. If he comes back healthy …. He is a great low low cost depth add….

        At best costs a late rounder

        Only 100 K over league min

        Most imporantly… equally adept at playing (and has) both RW and RD

        6th or 7th rounder (or “future considerations) to have s flexible depth piece in the playoffs

        If your going into playoffs with playable but “limping” D-man; and only had at best planned in playing the 4th line wingers say 4-5 mins….

        Why not have him start at 4RW; any injury in-game to one of 6D…. Move him back to 3rd pairing, rather than over/tax the other 5 D

        Worst case…. Press box

  7. Pysyk suffered a torn Achilles tendon during a workout the day after Detroit signed him last summer.

  8. Pysyk suffered a torn Achilles tendon the day after Detroit signed him last summer, and then had a setback in him rehab in November.

    • Thanks Iago

  9. If I’m gm of nuks. I sell all sellable assets and reboot I would even try a deal with NJ with Quinn. If return high enough pull the trigger min 3 top piece’s
    Move Bo. Kuz. And anyone else Load up on 1st rd picks

    • You’re right. This current Canucks build isn’t working.

  10. Re;Canck Re-Build

    I don’t think the Canucks move Quinn Hughes or
    Elias Pettersson…they are the building blocks,
    They try to Sign Andrei Kuzmenko to a bridge or long term deal❓

    They deal the rest , Starting with TJ Millar & Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat and the 2 expencive d/men OEL & Myers over the next month to 18 months …
    Thats Only if the Owners lets them he has his hands in everything, this Canuck Gong show could go for 10 more years….😂❗️

    • So the latest Canucks news is that they’ve started negotiations with Kuzmenko. That’s after they signed Miller.
      Meanwhile Bo Horvat – zilch.
      That is one screwed up team.