NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2023

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Rumors | 54 comments

Check out the latest on Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly, Timo Meier and Max Domi plus updates on the Hurricanes, Lightning and Senators in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: During the Jan. 25 episode of “32 Thoughts”, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed potential trade destinations for Bo Horvat. The 27-year-old Vancouver Canucks center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Friedman thinks everyone is wondering if the Boston Bruins could make a pitch for Horvat. He believes the New Jersey Devils would be more interested in San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier because they’ve got Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes at center. The Detroit Red Wings could be an option depending on the state of contract talks with center Dylan Larkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa believes the Bruins acquiring Horvat is complex but doable. Getting the Canucks to retain part of his $5.5 million cap hit, finding the right player to offer up as part of the return, sending a contract back to Vancouver and parting with a prospect such as Fabian Lysell are among the multiple factors in play.

I don’t rule out the possibility of the Bruins landing Horvat. However, there are other clubs that could have fewer hoops to jump through with better assets to offer up for the Canucks captain.

Friedman also reported that the Canucks haven’t allowed potential suitors to talk to Horvat’s agent about a contract extension. He believes they’re trying to determine which clubs have serious interest and are willing to meet their asking price.

TSN: Darren Dreger said Ryan O’Reilly is “officially in play” in the trade market. This comes while the St. Louis Blues captain is currently sidelined until mid-February but the Blues are willing to gauge his value. Dreger speculates the asking price could involve “draft picks, you’re talking about a prospect, the draft pick could be determined by the quality of the prospect.”

St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Reilly’s solid reputation as a two-way center and leader will make him a player of interest in the trade market despite his injury and offensive struggles in the first half of this season. Nevertheless, clubs will want to see how well he performs once he returns to action before they start making offers before the March 3 trade deadline.

Pierre LeBrun reports the San Jose Sharks have not yet granted permission to Timo Meier’s agent to speak directly to teams interested in a trade where a contract extension could be part of the deal. It’s not out of the question that the Sharks could try to sign the restricted free-agent winger but they haven’t yet put an offer on the table.

LeBrun suggests contenders like the Toronto Maple Leafs would make sense. The Carolina Hurricanes have some interest while the Buffalo Sabres have also reached out to the Sharks about Meier.

SPORTSNET: During his Jan. 23 “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman told Jeff Marek that he believes the New Jersey Devils are among the teams interested in Meier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are in a better position cap-wise and prospect-wise than the Leafs for Meier. The Sabres, however, could outbid both clubs. They are loaded with cap space and promising young players to tempt the Sharks.

Given the salary-cap congestion around the league, Chris Johnston believes teams will be looking at a value player such as the Chicago Blackhawks’ Max Domi. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent carrying an affordable $3 million contract who is putting up good numbers this season.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBrois lacks a first-round pick in 2023 and 2024 or a second-round pick in order to make a big splash at the trade deadline. If he makes a move it’ll likely be a dollar-in, dollar-out swap like his acquisition of Nick Paul at last year’s deadline. BriseBrois said he’s unconcerned over whether rivals like the Boston Bruins or Toronto Maple Leafs make a big splash.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: BriseBrois has proven a very savvy dealer at the trade deadline over the past three years. Despite his lack of draft capital to use as trade bait, he could find a creative way to add a good depth player or two by the deadline.

THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun also reported the Carolina Hurricanes could have $10 million to work with at the trade deadline if they placed sidelined winger Max Pacioretty on long-term injured reserve. GM Don Waddell said his team will explore the trade market but they’re not in a rush to get a deal done.

LeBrun doesn’t believe we should rule out the Hurricanes on pending UFAs like Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly or Vladimir Tarasenko. However, he believes they would want a shot at re-signing that player to get involved. That’s why he thinks they might look at the Sharks’ Timo Meier given his RFA status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun recently said the Hurricanes had spoken with the Canucks about Bo Horvat but the asking price was too high. He also pointed out that Waddell usually doesn’t pursue big-ticket pending UFAs at the deadline, preferring instead players with term remaining on their contracts. Any moves that he makes will depend on the depth of talent available in the trade market and the asking prices for them.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion is still looking for a defenseman. While he’d ideally like a blueliner with term remaining on his contract he’s also interested in unrestricted free agents. He could have an opportunity to re-sign that UFA or perhaps flip him at the March 3 trade deadline. Dreger also said Dorion is also exploring all of his own UFAs including goaltender Cam Talbot.


  1. There are a bunch of teams that Horvat would look good playing for. If it wasn’t for the Canucks management’s track record I would say that they come out to be the winner in all of this, but…
    As an Oilers fan, I know all too well how the Canucks fans feel. I have been saying for the past few years that the Canucks remind me of the pre-McDavid Oilers. The big difference between the two is during the decade of darkness the Oilers only had a management issue. The Canucks have a management and owner issue.

    • Ya KevJam, I think this starts with ownership in VCR as well. When you hear Rutherford use the work “retool” it tells you he refuses to take this down to the studs, again.
      When they started to do that a few years back, he got impatient due to some empty seats, Linden disagreed and left. Benning was a good soldier and gave it a go, then got turfed.

      I get it, it’s his money, he can do as he pleases, just seems like we have seen this act before. The old retool fails more than it works it seems. Best case is competing for the playoffs and the mushy middle.

      In Edmonton, I think Katz was more involved and has since backed off. Helps when you get a guy like Holland who has proven to be capable.

      • Retooling can work for teams that are already a playoff team and that’s getting old. Rutherford did it in Pittsburgh in 2015, but to take a non-playoff team that doesn’t have Crosby or Malkin and retool them into a playoff team isn’t a recipe for success.

      • Horvat is shooting at an unsustainable percentage. He is not a 20% plus shooter. When he comes back down to Earth, the team that overpays for him will be regretting that trade.

    • The also have a ‘star’ player issue.
      Just not a great time to be a canucks fan

  2. I like Horvat and he’s having a great season, but I think it would be a mistake for Boston to trade for him. I know they are all-in with the current core, but this team as constructed is destroying the rest of the league. I would be concerned about the interruption in chemistry a big move would make and I think it’s that chemistry that is bolstering the results. I feel like they’re better served tinkering around the edges (like a 6/7 defender…Schenn would fit well)

    • Agree. Where would Horvat slot? Why overpay now when you’re really looking at him to replace one of the older C’s in the future. Wait and see if he hits FA in summer.

    • Boston could also be thinking ahead in the Bo Horvat deal
      As they will have the 2 top Centres retire after the season
      At 37 yrs old and 38 yr old
      The rest of the team are a lot younger on the d, and Goaltending and some forwards ….?

      • Ww

        Not so sure 37 and 46 both hang them up next year. Time will tell

      • Mrbruin4

        I remember when they were trying to persuade
        David Krejci to come back over for one more season from the Czech Republic last year, he said then ok one more year then i’m done….🤔

        Same with Patrice Bergeron….
        He only wanted a 1 year deal, if they win the Cup they say on the ice were are done, i fully expect that to happen this year….❓

  3. Dorion has got to be the most desperate GM in the NHL. Now he wants to bring in other teams UFA defenceman????? Just start preparing for the draft. Also let the kids (JBD and Thomson) learn and make mistakes. The playoffs are too much of a stretch. Of course this means telling the coach to play the kids. It is like having Harry and Lloyd running a professional hockey team.

    I am looking forward to seeing Greig play tonight and what he brings.

    • With the sens up for sale, now is not the time to lose a stretch of games. I get why Dorion is doing what he is doing – he has to show that the team is building to be a force (merchandise sales, playoff revenue and so on).
      He also has his job to protect.

      • I don’t think their on ice performance will impact the sale of the team. If anything having a shot at Bedard would only increase the value.

        I think that Dorion is a lame duck GM at this time. He will be let go once there is a new owner in place. I think he has very limited power on who he can deal. Obviously Smith is in the same boat. They won’t fire him but instead wait for new ownership.

  4. I know Horvat would look good in a Bruins uniform but he would cost too much and I seriously doubt Boston could afford to sign him long term. If they add anything , it should be a seventh defensemen who could step in if there is an injury…

  5. I don’t see how Meier fits into the Leafs. Neither does ORielly. Leafs have two scoring lines. They should not have their 3rd and 4th lines playing the same style. Get some grinders already. Engvall is 6’5” 220lbs and doesn’t hit. They need some “Komorov” style players for the 3rd/4th lines. Dump it in the corner and hit. By game 4 MacAvoy won’t be so keen on retrieving the puck in his corner.
    If the 1st/2nd line don’t score come playoffs then they can exit the same door as Sheldon, Dubas and Shanahan.

    • Meier does hit though, he would look good on that second line. Jankrok is playing well there but Meier would be an upgrade for sure.
      His defensive game really isn’t where it should be though and thats the case against Meier along with that 2nd line showing some real chemistry lately.
      Think I’m talking myself into agreeing with you completely 🙂
      I can see ROR being a solid pick up as a two way 3rd line C, definitely a role player and a secondary scoring option.

      • Yeah at the TDL, the Blues will have played 60 games or roughly 73% of their schedule, meaning ROR will have a remaining cap hit of 2,025,000. If the Blues retain 50% of that cap, the team acquiring ROR would need to open up roughly 1 million in cap space.

  6. Not sure if Buffalo will be active at the trade deadline, but I think they could be active this off-season.
    One off-season trade that could work for both teams would be Markstrom for Buffaloes 1st round choice.
    The Flames could then flip that pick and Coleman to the Flyers for Koncney.

    • Would Markstrom waive his NMC to go to Buffalo?
      Plus Luukkonen is Buffalo’s goalie of the future.

      • Kevjam,
        Most players will waive their nmc if the argument is compelling for them.
        You said it best Luukkonen is their goalie of the future.
        The Sabres are making a big step forward this year, I think it would be too compelling for them not to make a deal for proven #1 goalie.

      • I won’t get into my opinion about Markstrom, but in 2 of the 3 seasons with the Flames he hasn’t looked like a #1 goalie.

      • Ya, a 1st for an expensive question mark in net seems a bit optimistic.

        Not sure I would even trade a mid round pick for a struggling $6M tender for the next 3 years after this one.

        Plenty of less expensive options available this summer in the UFA market.

    • Even with their improvements I would trade a 1st unless it’s top three protected if I was buffaler

      • Ray,

        We might disagree on Markstrom’s value but I think GM’S in the league view him as a #1.
        All you have to do is look in your backyard and see what the oilers paid for Campbell.

    • Being a Sabres fan and if it’s true about them contacting San Jose about Meier I’d be all for it. Put him on the 2nd line with Cozens and Quinn, we then have a legit 2nd line to take the pressure off the Thompson line to do the heavy lifting.

      Still need to shore up the D. Dallas had 5-10 point blank shots in the first period and if not for Anderson they would have been blown out.

  7. Leafs should go after Meier hard at the deadline. This could be their last and best shot at a cup.
    They could trade this year 1st, next year 2nd, Knies and Kerfoot.
    Pretty bold move but it could put them over the top.

    • No way! Way too much. I’ve never seen Meier play. Is he physical?

      • Meier is physical but a defensive liability. I don’t see the Leafs parting with Knies AND a first, if you replace Knies with Robertson and replae the 2nd round pick with a later round pick or a 2024 2nd then this may work.

  8. In addition to O’Reilly and Tarasenko, who wants Parayko??

    (Pengy, Are you listening??


    • IP

      Are you saying my # 1 Bromance is available?

      • @ Pengy Adam Henrique to the Penguins @ 50% retained.. You send Teddy Blueger $2.0 and Pierre Oliver Joseph $850,000…to Anaheim.

        …Salaries match up.

        $2.900 million goes to Pittsburgh
        $2.850 million goes to Anaheim

        Carter gets moved to 4th line center where he should be at this point. Ty Smith has made Joseph expendable and we aren’t resigning Blueger next season he will want north of $3 million.

      • Hi BnG

        Under no circumstances should Pens be moving P-O J

        He’s up and coming and were it not for him covering the mistakes #2 makes…. Pens would have lost a few more games; including last night…. Last night alone he bailed out CR 4 times

        I think Henrique would be an excellent add; just not if Pens have to give up P-O J

        Henrique has term; and Pens (due to last summers extensions) are not in a rebuild (some may argue they should be; but they aren’t)…. So giving up a first to get a 3C …. Not cataclysmic

        Ducks are rebuilding; Cap not a concern next year….. 50% retained

        Henrique @ 50 % retained for

        1st (lottery protected) , 3rd (Devils) ; O’Connor; Poehling



        Henrique-Heinen-McG or Arch

        Teddy b-Carter-McG or Arch


        Petry-P-O J

        *2 of Smyth/Friedman/Dumo/Rutta

        *7th/8th: 2 of Smyth/Friedman/Dumo/Rutta

        *Key is that Cr is not even allowed on the ice …. Pens just can’t afford the mistakes. This is once again on Sully and NOT HexBurkie….. Tanger and Petry back…. So Sully could have played Smith or Friedman instead of CR (again on for two goals last night; and could have been 6 or 7 if not for P-O J and De Smith)…. But Sully didn’t… almost costing getting any game points in a critical 4 point game

        Domi would come cheaper as he is UFA

        Domi (50% retained) + 3rd (Chicago’s)

        For O’Connor + 1st(lottery protected)

        Then flip Chi’s 3rd; Devil’s 3rd (Pens own it); Poehling to ‘Nucks for Schenn

        Forward lines as above flipping Domi in place of Henrique; bottom pairing Smith/Schenn

  9. Bruins .. get DeBrusk back .. add Schenn & Nic Desaulniers … let the playoffs begin … broken record

    • Can’t outbid Pens for Schenn as Pens have the Re penultimate trade chip (‘Nucks/Pens swap #2’s)

      • Pengy no one is retaining any of Domi’s $ 3 million because he is a UFA..

        I like him and he would be option number 2 behind Henrique. Adam Hnerique has only two years left which is our realistic window for a cup and at 50% contained that is only $2.9 million.

        Joseph the last month has been weak and quite frankly Ty Smith is better. Some goals against Joseph is behind the freaking net, he makes bad pinches and decisions that lead to odd man rushes…

        We dont see him in the same way it has taken him 3 years to get to nhl maybe player..Ty Smith was better in training camp and has been good since his recent call up.

        More guys walk right around him because he plays the puck so often and not the body.

        you tube the Pittsburgh Florida game Joseph was not great..

    • Just stop with the Poehling for Schenn drivel already, this is worse than when you were clamoring for Carson Soucy.

  10. If Meieir goes to Buffalo, I’m going to have to change my allegiance. Those Sabres are already fun to watch, though they do need at least one solid Dman as well. Maybe Ferraro would experience a recharge by being traded to the Sabres as well.

    • Ww

      Not so sure 37 and 46 both hang them up next year. Time will tell

    • Meier to Buffalo would definitely push them into a playoff spot.

  11. Lightning and Sens, Tyler Motte for Cal Foote. Rt shot D, young, modest salary.
    Money in money out for Tampa?
    Motte would be good 3rd line winger

    • We would do that in heartbeat.

  12. @Joe

    Those are 2 cost effective pickups for the Bruins !
    Fit their character , style of play

  13. Flamefan

    I can see why the Leafs are interested in Meier.

    Not sure he’s worth 4 pieces though? I’m assuming Kerfoot is to balance tte salaries? Could you please switch it to include Engvall instead?

    Only way I see them including Knies is if they can agree to a contract with Meier first.

  14. Not sure why the Islanders aren’t all over Meier. They are losing games due to lack of offense and need a lot of wing help. Not saying he makes them a Cup contender, but definitely help them secure a playoff spot and then anything can happen in playoffs especially with a goaltender that can steal series.

    • Meier makes sense for the Isles if they can resign. but they really only have Valarmov coming off the books so they would need to move Baily, JGP or Palmieri. SJ might prefer the age of Beauvillier but that is not enough cap space for next season ?

  15. Why should Leafs even be in the Meier conversation?

    Leafs can pug the puck in the net

    Meier will cost s bundle in futures; will be cap space compromising; and won’t move the necessary needle enough for security in trying to get past Bruins

    Tweak; save the assets; do the big moves after the season

    • Meier is exactly what the Leafs need in their top 6. Big, gritty, and tough. Meier would allow the Leafs to play Jarnkrok on the third line where he belongs.

    • Pengy

      The Leafs can’t wait until the off-season to make moves. No guarantees that Matthews or Nylander re-sign for a reasonable raise on their current contracts.

      There is a big hole at 2LW. It’s being filled nicely by Jarnkrok but he’s much better suited for 3rd line duty.

      If Keefe is going to play Matthews/Marner and Tavares/Nylander the 2nd line could use some help on the defensive end. O’Reilly has been mentioned but he’s already lost a step. Coming back from a broken foot is not going to make him any quicker. Neidereiter might be a good fit? I’ve also heard Sam Lafferty from CHI mentioned.

      I read a good article today that said a tweak won’t do it…go big or stand Pat.

      • Good points Daryl

        Under those choices… I’d stand pat

        I really don’t think they can get by Bruins…, so 14 games is their max this playoffs

        With that in mind…. Why give up futures…. Use those futures for a serious jig of the roster this summer

        The absolute worst scenario… Dubas dumps s bucket… and Leafs still lose first round to Bolts… that scenario; as a Leafs fan; us my biggest fear

    • Pengy you’ve seen the last three years of the Leafs Playoffs. Its not been stopping the puck that has been the issue, its been scoring goals.

      • Taz

        your point has merit

        I just believe that Leafs need the balanced roster to get to the promised land

        The counter argument to Leafs couldn’t score.,,, opponents had better balance and stronger back end

  16. i think when it comes to penalty shots the team should have their choice of th penalty shot or taking the 2 min penalty. actually since its awarded on a break away i think team should get the penaly shot and if they dont scored than a 2 minute penalty. just my thoughts was looking for everybody elses thoughts on this.

    • I was thinking the same thing Monday night after Gaudreau’s penalty shot. If the penalty shot is missed then the team gets a powerplay.

  17. Dig the well before you are thirsty Boston.
    Horvat fills a positional need beyond this year. His age range , face off win percentage and team player character check a lot of boxes. This year’s stats are the problem . Horvat is a 2A center