NHL Rumor Mill – January 20, 2023

by | Jan 20, 2023 | Rumors | 42 comments

Are the Rangers pursuing Timo Meier or Vladislav Gavrikov? What’s going on with Matt Dumba and Jake Muzzin? Are the Canucks close to replacing coach Bruce Boudreau? What’s the latest on the Predators? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple cited Daily Faceoff reporting the New York Rangers have taken a long look at Timo Meier. The San Jose Sharks winger is a restricted free agent in July who is due a $10 million qualifying offer and seems likely to be moved before the March 3 trade deadline.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier (NHL Images)

According to Staple, the Sharks would want a young center as part of the package along with one of the two first-round picks the Rangers hold in this year’s draft. However, he pointed out the Blueshirts have a lot of roster holes to fill and limited cap space to do so beyond this season. Meier could get at least $8.5 million annually on his next contract.

Staple also cited a league source claiming the Rangers asked the Columbus Blue Jackets about defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. The asking price is said to be a first-rounder plus a mid-round pick.

Staple’s colleague Shayna Goldman included the Rangers in her list of potential destinations for Meier. Others included the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier’s going to be an expensive acquisition for pretty much every playoff contender this season in terms of return and contract beyond this season. A club could acquire him as a rental player and then shop his rights in the offseason. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if a Meier trade occurs in the offseason.


TSN: Darren Dreger took note of the Minnesota Wild scratching Matt Dumba from Thursday’s game against the Carolina Hurricane. He pointed out the 28-year-old defenseman hasn’t played well of late and believes head coach Dean Evason is trying to send a message. Despite Dumba’s recent play, Dreger said Dumba continues to draw interest in the trade market but he has to get his game back on track.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild general manager Bill Guerin isn’t in any rush to move the struggling Dumba. The Athletic’s Michael Russo reported Guerin’s received trade calls about the blueliner but he’s not about to move him unless he feels the Wild are getting better. Dumba, meanwhile, said Guerin has been upfront with him that he could be moved by the trade deadline.


TSN: Chris Johnston reports hockey analyst and former NHL coach Rick Tocchet said he doesn’t have a contract with the Vancouver Canucks. However, Johnston expects that’ll change soon as it sounds like negotiations have started on a deal for Tocchet plus a couple of additions to his coaching staff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I hate how the Canucks are handling this situation. Management is obviously unhappy over Bruce Boudreau’s coaching and they’re entitled to that. However, they’re leaving Boudreau twisting in the wind while it appears they’re very actively courting his replacement. If they don’t want him, they should fire him and install one of the assistant coaches as interim bench boss until his full-time replacement is found.

I don’t fault Tocchet and I believe Boudreau is handling this well despite the circumstances. Nevertheless, this isn’t a good look for the Canucks’ front office. Of course, the case can be made that nobody will care if Tocchet can reverse their fortunes but that doesn’t excuse their shabby treatment of Boudreau.


TSN: Chris Johnston reports it doesn’t sound like there’s been any development on whether sidelined defenseman Jake Muzzin will return to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup this season. They expect to get clarity on his injury status soon as it’ll determine how much longer he’ll remain on long-term injury reserve. If he’s out for the season they could use the cap relief to perhaps acquire someone at the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Muzzin has been out since Oct. 19 with a cervical spine injury and will be re-evaluated in February. He’s signed through 2023-24 with an average annual value of $5.625 million.


THE TENNESSEAN: Paul Skrbina recently speculated over the Nashville Predators’ plans for the March 3 trade deadline. He expects they’ll remain in the playoff race so they’ll either buy or stand pat. “Outside of Mattias Ekholm, who wants no part of moving his family, the Predators don’t have much to offer trade-wise,” writes Skrbina.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekholm recently surfaced in the rumor mill as a trade candidate. He lacks no-trade protection but he’s also in the first season of a four-year contract with an average annual value of $6.25 million. That salary is almost as effective as a no-trade clause given the high number of cap-strapped teams around the league this season.


  1. The Rangers chasing Meier after trading away Buchnevich due to his pending new contract??

    Seems like a giant oxymoron to me!

    • Remember, this is the time of the year where unsubstantiated rumors abound to drive up the price a team may get to sell assets. So take most “news” with a grain of salt. Trades will happen, but I am typically surprised by trade assets and teams involved at the TDL, offseason is a different story.

    • Buchnevich was a cap casualty,

      It made sense at the time to part ways And this move was made 2 years ago, not 2 months ago. A time where they were worried about rebuilding, not chasing cups.

      Today, NY has 1.2 million in cap space. They started the year with almost zero (Reaves trade) Buchnevich hit is 5.8 per for 2.5 more years.

      If you took Laffrienere, Kakko and Chytil off the roster, it’s still not enough to accommodate Buchnevich’s hit.

      Where does that money come from? How could they afford Buchnevich with Miller, Chytil etc. up for bumps next year?

      The plain and simple answer, they can’t.

      Cap casualty.

  2. ‘Nucks (read Jimbo) handling of the Boudreau/Tochett situation is abysmal

    You gotta feel sorry for BB

    • They should just fire Boudreau. Since Brad Larsen has proven that he’s not a decent head coach, the Jackets can dump him and bring in Boudreau.

    • Could not agree more. Nucks handling of this this Boudreau situation is bush league. From what I read (I am on the east coast so don’t hear too much on the western teams), this team has a slew of problems that management just exasperates. Not a good time to be a Nucks fan, not being bad enough for Bedard just puts salt on the would.

      • Jim Rutherford has lost his mind out there in Van. Boudreau deserves alot more respect than that. They’ve turned it into “rompers room” !!!!

  3. Pengy

    Was reading another article that mentioned Lars Eller as a possibility for 3c. The Caps have a surplus at center and could use some D help. Eller has always played well against the Pens and has a reasonable cap hit. Not sure if Wash would trade within division but maybe if the Pens gave them the best offer they could get it done.

    • Certainly an upgrade Sjpp

      But a trade with Caps that benefits Pens as likely as CR winning Norris

      Will post my ships ‘n giggles way out there trade shortly

      • And teaching my dog to fly is more likely than your trade scenarios above with Vancouver.

        I’ll keep you posted on her progress. 🤞 🙏 🤞

      • Advantage to Captain Obvious, if his dog is retriever or any other kind of bird dog.

      • How is the big NFLD doing SOP?
        While they don’t fly, they will jump out of rescue helicopters into the ocean.

      • She’s pretty great, Ray. A lovely personality and a kind soul for a dog. She enjoys sitting on the deck and keeping us safe from the evil magpies. 10 outta 10 would own another.

      • I have a Weimer and and English Mastiff.

        Weimer is a pointer and retriever.

        I was thinking the EM would be more fun to teach.

    • Wash/Pitt trade in season? That would be a precursor to the apocalypse. Don’t see it happening.

      • LOL. The ultimate sign would be if Wilson was part of the package going to Pittsburgh

      • Yea, like there has never been a trade between teams in the same division in the history of the NHL!!

      • @sjpp, yeah sure there are trades within a division, no one said otherwise. But between two arch rivals during the playoff hunt? Not so much. I went to capfriendly and their trade history only goes back 20 years. There were zero trades between Caps and Pens, which is what I would have expected.

  4. Ok…. Since ‘Nucks are absolutely reeling on the nightmare PR front and fully pre-occupied; AND absolutely desperate for 23/24 Cap space (and buying out Meyers helps Zilch…. Saves a “massive” [LOL] $670 K in Cap next year , with $330 K dead Cap in 24/25) ; AND because Pens can ill afford to have extended all those vets just to miss the playoffs this year…

    Here is the never “going to happen” “shot in the dar” “ships ‘n giggles” win win win multi team trade:

    To ‘Nucks: Dumo, CR, O’Connor , Pens’2nd (conditional… * can become 1st)

    To Wild: Zucker (@37.5 %; 25% retained by Pens; 37.5 % retained by ‘Nucks)~…& Gruden

    To Pens: Kuz, Meyers, Schenn, Gaudreau

    *becomes lottery protected 1st if Kuz re-ups with Pens; or if Pens make ECF; plus an additional 3rd if Pens trade Meyers in summer

    Wild…. Flips Gaudreau for Zucker/Gruden

    ‘Nucks get huge benefit of dumping $6 M in Cap for 23/24; gain O’Connor; and a 2nd (that can become a 1st) for UFAs Kuz and Schenn and HUGE benefit of riding the Bedard tankathon bus by playing CR and Dumo for the balance of the season

    Pens…. Who absolutely canNOT afford to miss playoffs after expensive veteran re-ups last summer…. Massively improve D; substantially improve 3 C; improve top 6 (with ability to re-up the younger and better Kuz (over Zucker); at the expense of O’Connor, Gruden ; 2nd (which may turn into a lottery protected 1st)…. and if Meyers is a bust…. Pay him his SB 1/7 , Then flip him to Yotes (absolutely in need to have cheapest cash way to Cap floor) for a 3rd (which goes to ‘Nucks) …. Yotes get $6 M Cap hit for only ~ $900 K actual cash!!!!

    I’ll wake up from my dream shortly

    • Pengy

      I love your attempts but too many reasons why that’s waaay out there.

      Reason #1…with the year Kuzmenko is having and his low cap hit ($950K) he should easily garner a 1st round pick on his own. VAN Wouk like to re-sign him but likely could not resist a 1st

      Reason #2. Vancouver trading Myers to get the Pens scraps is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Schenn will likely garner a 2nd or 3rd round pick or possibly a B level prospect.

      The Pens cupboard is pretty bare so they should probably keep whatever picks and prospects they can. Stranger things have happened but I don’t see them as a legit Cup contender unless they catch lightning in a bottle. Too many jokes on their roster.

      Perhaps Kapanen for Schenn to help on the Pens back end? Maybe Zuckerberg for Puljujarvi from EDM to replace Kapanen?

      • And who on the Penguins is hotter than Zucker right now?

      • Hi Daryl

        Yep waaay out there..l won’t happen

        Yes re value likely on Kuz… ur estimate likely close

        That said, deal does have a gain (with associated pain) for the three teams

        Jimbo is desperate for 23/24 Cap space…. Certainly must give something to gain the Cap space …. Freeing up $6 M in Cap is a big benefit to him…. scraps from Pens and discount ; and Kuz discounted trade value

        As at now… Jumbo likely not to have BH or Kuz next year; but likely to have Meyers….. and have to pay $5 M in SB to him 1/7

        He (Jimbo) must do something

        Kap for Schenn won’t happen as Jimbo needs Cap space

        Schenn over CR is a dream to Pens…. No team in their right mind would trade for CR…. was jokingly saying Jimbo would want to trade for him to accelerate the tankathon for hometown Bedard (CR would certainly accelerate it…. But Jimbo already in fan hell re treatment of Boudreau)

        Not a chance Pens move Zuck for JP (even though it isUFA for RFA and for Cap savings)

        Kuz switching in for Zucker is a fairly easy sell (for Pens fans (depending on extras given up)

        Pens real needs to make playoffs and hopefully rise to 3rd Metro (avoiding Bruins orCanes 1st round)….. healthy roster (Tanger and Petry returning relatively soon; fingers crossed on Jarry) ; 3C upgrade; and complete end to playing CR…. Press box or WBS a must

  5. Frank Servalli says San Jose will not get as big as a return for Meier as Chicago did for Debrincat; which was a 1st, 2nd and 3rd

  6. Regarding the Terrible way the Canucks are Handling the Mess in Vancouver, That Previous and Current President & Managment team now have Created 🤮

    Chucking Coach Bruce Boudreau under the Bus not giving him any support at there Press Conference this week was 5 ***** Brutal……⁉️

    No wonder Half the Team want’s out of Vancouver
    and the cant seam to get a trade of ant sort done you can see it in there Faces how un-happy they are over the past 6 weeks,❗️
    Half the team have been speculated to being on the Trade block that Not a Nice Felling….

    Now at this point they are now out the playoff hunt and are now in the Connor Bedard Draft Sweep Steaks at #6 and Dropping…

    They could well be sitting in 4th spot by the All Start game feb 3rd, 4th……⁉️
    Why would you even bring a New Coach in now to deal with all this Crapp 👀🥶

    • Off topic – Pengy , George l- stats gurus – Lyle, others

      As per the Leafs , Topic – Retaining – Nylander
      Nylander contract renewal is 2024 – I believe ..
      Tavares contract renewal is 2025

      Nylander – Year 1 – $ 7 million, Year 2- year 5 – $10 Million

      Tavares contract will be renewed at a favourable $4 million per season – leaving $7 Million freed up cap space , in order to accommodate Nylander’s new winnings , as per his new contract , upgrading Buntings contract etc
      Not to mention Austin Matthews renewal .

      I guess what I am getting at – year 1 of Nylanders new contract – Can Nylanders agent and leaf brass be creative and accommodate Nylander staying on as a Leaf ?!?!?!

      • Hey, now. I distinctly remember you NOT being a fan of Willy. Im glad you’ve finally come around. He needs to go to Boston and center Pasta.

      • Ken

        It doesn’t really matter how you structure the contract annually, just the total amount of dollars divided by the number of years.

        If rumours are true that Nylander is worth $9-10M the Leafs will have a giant problem unless Tavares agrees to accept a very large hometown discount on his next deal.

        Bunting will likely get $4M annually. If Nylander goes up to $9M from $6.9M that is a $5.15M increase in cap hit for two players…or pretty much equal to Muzzin’s cap hit.

        Another $5.75M will come off the books when Kerfoot (UFA) and Engvall (RFA) finish this season. I wouldn’t re-sign either.

        The Leafs will need to have 100% certainty that Matthews will re-sign before even considering Nylander. TOR cannot afford to allow Matthews to play next season without a contract extension in place.

      • Ken, the Cap is expected to go to $83.5 mil for next season. Minimal jump.

        At the end of THIS season – before they even get to Nylander, etc., in 2023-35 – they have 8 UFAs and two RFAs to either re-up or replace so, if they don’t have ELC replacements in system who can do as well or better and/or can find UFAs also as good or better who they can sign for less, that could present a bit of a problem.

        The 8 UFAs and their expiring cap hits are: Kerfoot $3.5 mil; Engval $2.1 mil; Holl $2 mil; Kampf $1.4 mil; Bunting $950,000; Simmons $900,000; Aston-Reese $840,630; Hunt $762,500; Benn $750,000 – totaling $13,203,130

        The two RFAs and their expiring hits are Sandin $1.9 mil and Timmins $850,000 – totaling $2,750,000.

        I would assume the two RFAs will be re-upped so you’re probably looking at something in the total range of $4.3 mil for the two.

        Whoever they choose to retain from among the 8 UFAs probably won’t be signing for less – especially not Bunting, but whatever they do I can’t see how they can either re-up or find replacements who are at least as good and spend substantially less than the current $13,203,130.

      • Hi Ken

        Under no circumstances should Dubas go down the “re-up” planning road before knowing outcome of this yearsplayoffs

        If Ousted by Bolts round 1…. Proof that 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds does not work…. Top dog is AM (also UFA 24/25)…. $10 M for WW…. means $14 M for AM…. JT and MM still under contract for 24/25…. That’s then $45.9 M in 24/25…. Max Cap ceiling at best for 24/25 per TSN ….$87 M…. 45.9 ….. that’s 53% on 4 Fwds …. and if above happens … out first round v Bolts….. not a chance that would be accepted

        If they do get ousted first round…. Dubas gone…. But next GM should be considering flipping WW for a good return

        As at this very moment…. Bolts/Leafs are separated by 4 points; Bolts have 2 games in hand; Bolts have way more playoff experience; Bolts have the better goaltender… I’d be a fool to believe that Leaf’s for sure can get by Bolts

        …. I have no delusions in believing Leaf’s having any upper hand on Bruins…. If they land BH…. Forgeddabowdid !!!

        Personally I would like to see Leafs ride this season out status quo with the exception of minor tweaks…. And save assets; and address full tilt press for Cup in ‘24

        Had Bruins been say 5 or6 points up on Leafs , instead of 13 AND having a game in hand…. my thought process and wish for Leafs plan, would be different

  7. The Canucks are an embarrassment now. The way they handle players and coaches has created such a toxic atmosphere. They will be left rebuilding a whole team around JT Miller…wow. I feel sorry for Vancouver fans.

  8. As per Daryl and George – above – Thankyou for your knowledge !!

    SOP- I know I am “fickle”when it comes to Nylander…
    Did you know the guy has “6” kids , at such a young age , no room for nights off – He realizes his head has to be in the game and needs to be pro- active – think long tenure with the Leafs .

    As per the Saint – I couldn’t agree more , as per the Canucks .
    Rutherford’s treatment of Boudreau is a disgrace …

    Some other team should hire Boudreau in a specialize advisory role , a very amicable , world of knowledge individual .
    Great hockey guy , be a great influence , his input as per additions , subtractions – near the trade deadline ..
    He has aged since Rutherford has arrived , looks like Mickey Rooney behind the Nucks bench..

    OR – Ottawa or Columbus can make arrangements as their head coach !

    • Hi Ken

      Not sure if WW has any kids ; certainly not 6

      His dad had 6

      I like WW; but don’t like the Leafs handcuffed with 1/2 Cap for 4 Fwds…. That is why for two off seasons I recommended trading one and since JT has full NMC; Leafs would never consider moving AM; and MM hit too much for almost every club…. It was always WW I came back to as a possibility

      I’m hoping and praying for Leaf cup miracles…. But it just seems to be out of reach 💩🤬😭

      • Pengy, we’re barely halfway through the season. I fail to understand why you’re writing off the Leafs this early. They’re clearly in the hunt and near the top of the heap. The team is better than the last 6 seasons outside of the top 4 breadwinners, and they have a solid 1-2 punch in net. They’re bigger, stronger and more mentally mature then in years past, and scared as an opponent that my Bruins may have to face.
        I’d rein it in if I were you, as you are sounding a lot like RWM in your non constructive criticism with regards to 1 of your 3 favorite teams.
        Just something I’ve noticed, no offense intended.

      • None taken SOP

        Fair challenge on my negative Nancy stance


        Have not written Leafs off re beating Bolts. I certainly do not see that series as a definite for Leafs. I do suspect it will be a close series; and wouldn’t bet on either team to win the series

        Just looking at pragmatics and through the logical lens… Bolts do have the better goalie; do have loads of playoff games played; Leafs do have the speed game and perhaps slightly bigger than prior years…. No definitive edge either way for sure….

        Re Bruins…. Sorry…. Tough for me to imagine Leafs beating them in a series this year

        I’ll take the tag of pessimist on this; and I’m sure I’m jaded by waiting 56 years….. just very hard for me to envision aLeafs cup this year

        I did have better feelings on it beforeI saw how well Bruins were doing this year

        Put another way …. Because of how good Bruins are this year, I actually envision Oil with a better path to the SCF (not winning but getting there; and not a huge chance of actually pulling it off; just more of a chance) than Leafs

        Or put another way still…. If Leafs were in the West…. I truly believe they have an excellent shot at getting to the SCF (then facing Bruins)

        IT’s getting through Bolts, then Bruins (can’t see it) and then if they somehow beat Bruins…. Leafs need to get past Canes

        That said…. I’m hoping and praying I’m wrong

        Injuries and upsets happen; likely will…. We’ll know much more in 3 months and the full picture in 5

      • Fair enough, Pengy. You make some solid points, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see the same. Especially on the goalie front. With that said, you have to beat them best in order to be the best…….or something like that. They will be a dangerous squad come springtime, this much I’m sure of.

    • Ken, as long as Dorion is the GM we can forget about Boudreau ever being offered a job here again. Back before the 2016-17 season it was almost assured that he Boudreau was about to sign here … and then boom – he said no and signed instead with Minnesota.

      One thing Dorion has – and that’s a long memory. Hell will freeze over before he offers him again.


  9. @Pengy

    Just seen your viewpt now
    Scary, but ACcURATE!

    Vasilevsky is a “hurdle”’

    Tampas 3rd and 4th lines , more talent – depth for sure

    Ever so close between those 2 clubs once again

  10. Dumba for Horvat throw some picks prospects around . Maybe a Russian from Vancouver to keep Krill company .

    • Take far more than just Dumba to get Bo Horvat, No guarantees of Dumba signing long term with Vancouver. Plus Horvat is just a rental in Minnesota as they don’t have the financial means to lockup Horvat long term.

      Minnesota would be better off trying to go for jonathan Toews than Bo Horvat much cheaper to get.

  11. With the way Vancouver front office is handling business, I dont understand how they are going to convince Pettersson to resign, and Hughes could ask for a trade. I know they had a bad situation when they came but they have actually managed to make it worse, however impossible that sounds

  12. Good career Max. Same Achilles can’t be good ( even a year from now)
    I guess that trade was nothing for nothing .
    Canes definitely in the mix for Horvat now. I think a front runner even. The Wild a close second .

    • Carolina isn’t the front runner on Bo Horvat? Every current insider has pretty much linked him to Boston. Carolina would be easily outbid as would Minnesota for Horvat’s services. There’s as many as 17 teams linked to him. From what i read Carolina is out of the bidding for Bo Horvat as Allvin/Rutherford want Martin Necas in any deal for Bo Horvat and they want Marco Rossi from the Wild. Neither team is willing to part with said players for a pure rental.