NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2023

by | Jan 26, 2023 | Rumors | 42 comments

Check out the latest on Ryan O’Reilly, Bo Horvat, Jakob Chychrun, Anthony Mantha and Andrei Kuzmenko in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reports St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly sounds like he doesn’t want to be moved by the March 3 trade deadline.

This is where I really want to be,” said the 31-year-old center. “I hope I don’t get moved, but I think things will probably progress, especially with the deadline coming up and the talks with that. We’ll see how it goes. We’re starting to get into that.”

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

O’Reilly was referring to his contract negotiations. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and is earning an average annual value of $7.5 million on his current contract. He also lacks no-trade protection. O’Reilly is currently sidelined with a broken foot until mid-February.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Darren Dreger reported on Tuesday night that O’Reilly was “officially in play” in the trade market. General manager Doug Armstrong could be gauging the market on the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner in case discussions fail to produce a new contract by the trade deadline.

It’s believed the Blues would prefer to retain their captain but he’ll have to accept a short-term contract with a lower salary cap hit.

O’Reilly will draw interest in the trade market. Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy believes Bruins GM Don Sweeney should give the Blues a call but cautions against pursuing him if the asking price is similar to what the Vancouver Canucks seek for Bo Horvat. Speaking of Horvat…


TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos is hearing that the Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils are among the teams that could aggressively pursue Canucks captain Bo Horvat. He said both clubs want an extended playoff run this spring and seem willing to pay for it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat’s also been linked to the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild and Seattle Kraken in recent trade conjecture.

Teams will be interested in him as a rental player but I think they’ll pay larger returns if they can sign him to a contract extension. So far, the Canucks reportedly haven’t allowed his agent to speak with other clubs yet.

CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reports agent Dan Milstein said contract discussions have started with the Canucks regarding his client Andrei Kuzmenko. His camp’s preference is for a short-term “bridge deal.”

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports Kuzmenko’s representatives seek a two-year contract worth an average annual value of between $5 million and $6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuzmenko is an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He’s steadily improved this season as he adjusted to the NHL game, sitting second among Canucks scorers and 22 goals and third in points with 43 in 47 games.

Kuzma pointed out that the Canucks’ rabid fan base prefers management sell high on Kuzmenko at the trade deadline for a return that helps them rebuild instead of retooling. However, I think we’ll see him re-signed to a two-year deal worth $5.5 million per season, especially if they end up moving Bo Horvat at the trade deadline and Brock Boeser in the offseason.


NYIHOCKEY.COM: Stefen Rosner cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting someone told him the New York Islanders were looking around at Jakob Chychrun. He said they’d previously had an interest in the 24-year-old Arizona Coyotes defenseman. However, Friedman doesn’t think the Islanders should pay the Coyotes’ high asking price.

THE ATHLETIC: The Islanders are also on Shayna Goldman’s list of potential trade destinations for Chychrun. She noted the Isles need offense and he can provide it from the blueline. However, their more pressing need is for a high-end winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Going after Chychrun would be a desperate move by Isles GM Lou Lamoriello at this stage in the season with his club sliding out of playoff contention. He spent last summer trying in vain to land a scoring forward and I believe that’s where his priority lies this summer.


WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber reported Anthony Mantha’s recent scratching from the Capitals’ lineup sparked trade rumors about the 28-year-old forward. One of them had the Montreal Canadiens shipping defenseman Joel Edmundson to the Capitals for Mantha. However, a source told Silber that there haven’t been any trade discussions involving Mantha between those two clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The oft-injured Mantha’s had a frustrating season in Washington. He’s been healthy but managed just nine goals and 24 points in 46 games.

Mantha is a native of Longueuil, a suburb of Montreal, which might explain why this rumor popped up linking him to the Canadiens. I don’t see him as a fit with the rebuilding Habs.


  1. Hard pass on Cryin Ryan. He’s not what the Bruins need. He’s on a downward slide and a quick one at that.

    • Just a ridiculous comment. He has been phenomenal since the Blues traded for him, and we haven’t seen any of the negatives that I assume you’re referring to. He ended up as captain for a reason. He has t had a great year, but most of that had to do with theBlues brainless decision to let Perron leave. As a result, O’Reilly has been stuck with random line mates all year. He isn’t on a “downward slide”, and he will be a phenomenal addition for a contender. But hey, you’re handing out cute nicknames, so maybe you know more than the rest of us!

      • He requested a trade out of Colorado. People forget what a dumpster fire the Avs were a few years ago.

      • Cryin’ Ryan is indeed a diver and whiner but he likely still has more left in the tank than Toews.

      • Ryan O’Reilly will be traded to Carolina and will be a winner in the 2023 playoffs.

      • Traded for who?

  2. Kuzmenko to the isles? would make sense. or maybe Tarasenko if the Blues decide to blow it up

    best spot for Horvat would be as the #1 center with the Wild. but MIN can’t afford to extend him, so their trade offer might not be as good as other teams. Why would NJ want him when they have Hughes/Hischier at center? they need a winger

    o’reilly would be a great fit in BOS as the 3rd line center, his style seems to fit their team. stl would have to pick up 1/2 his salary

    • I believe the Isles should be sellers now, they need more than just one scorer. Don’t mortgage the future for mediocrity.

    • The B’s have an excellent 3C with Charlie Coyle.
      Leads B’s FWD’s in PK minutes so Bergy doesn’t have to do most of it.
      DZ start % is 67%, so Bergy doesn’t have to.
      Leads the team in takeaways, which is saying something when you play with Bergy.
      Big, physical, skates, wins most of his draws.

      Chipped in with 25 pts and plus 17 in a defensive role.

      Underrated player IMO. Good trade by Sweeney to get him in 2019.

  3. I would agree the Devs want to go far in the playoffs (who doesn’t?). I am not so sure they want to pay a fortune for a natural center with Hischer and Hughes already locked up long term. Neither Hischer and Hughes have looked good when asked to play on the wing, so that would put Horvat on the wing, does he work well there – I don’t know. But would be hesitant to experiment if your goal is to go deep in the playoffs. Just pay up for a proven scoring winger. I am also not sure Fitz wants to go all in this year, the Devs have definitely had a good year, but this was at least a year ahead of the “plan”.

    • Not they would go for it either redmonsters. Winning in the playoffs is usually preceded by losing in the playoffs.

      Playing good hockey them Devils. Winning at 5 on 5 too, which is a good sign.

  4. 3 former Conn Smythe winners could be rehomed at TDL

  5. Jerry

    Is there any chance the Isles would be willing to send JG Pageau the Pens way with salary retained?

    • no Jerry ;-0 but if the Isles can free up Cap Space to bring in Meier long term i am sure they would like to part ways with one 30+ year old forward with term making 4-6mill

    • Hi Sjpp

      JG would be a fair add; but (1) I can’t see GMLL retaining for multiple years and if he somehow did…. He’d be asking for a return that would be too much for Pens

      For 3C upgrade; if HexBurkie move on it…. Likely a UFA; with the exception of maybe Henrique (one more year after this)

      Pens viable assets to offer (certainly not all; but realistically only ones they (1) have of interest to others and (2) can realistically afford to part with….

      1st (lottery protected)
      3rd (Devils)
      Poehling (RFA)

      Pens in lala (damned if you do damned if you don’t) land…. In WC spot but could just as easily end up out of the playoffs as finishing 3rd in Metro

      HexBurkie (with the veteran re-ups last year) has cleary indicated that the owners are not interested in a rebuild now

      With that in mind…. 3C upgrade and strengthen D; hope and pray for Jarry full recovery

      Setting aside what needs to go out for Cap reasons (and Dumo would need to go for sure; and maybe Teddy B) and that it is more than 1 trade; and retention asks may happen….,

      All above assets (plus??) to acquire Domi, Kuz; Schenn…. Would certainly be a nice dream….



      Domi-Rusty-Kappy or Heinen

      Carter-McG-Kappy or Heinen or Arch


      Petry/P-O J

      Schenn and one of Rutta/Smith/Friedman

      Jarry (healthy 🙏🤞)
      De Smith

      Above assumes Pens in 3rd Metro and at least 4 points up on 4th Metro as at TDL…. If not…. Stay pat…. Don’t waste assets

      • Pengy

        I know you’re a Leafs/Pens fan so from one Leafs fan to another…

        I can’t see any team taking O’Connor or Poehling as some sort of value in any trade? They’re 4th liners…”toasters” as my friend calls them…to be found anywhere. M

        Unless PIT is offering up their 1st (top 10 protected only) they’ve got very little to no equity to make a trade of consequence. In my opinion it’s a mistake to trade either of their picks in the 1st or 2nd round because they have no blue chip prospects in the pipeline.

      • Hi Daryl

        I can see your point re Poehling, as a 4th liner…. But 4th liner RFAs have more value than mid round pickd (who may never see NHL play; and if they do; its after 2 more years in Jr; then at least 1 AHL year). It’s a bird in the hand vs 2 in the bush scenario…. You know what you’vr got re Poehling AND you still own his rights … RFA

        I’Connor has much more potential…. Size, strength; grit; fwd position flex…. definitely s fair prospect for potential future 3rd ljne

        Yes….1st would absolutely need to be lottery protected (all GMs have learned from Zito)

        If Pens can get 4 points up on Metro 4th by TDL…. I would like to see a move for 3C replacement

  6. If Boston could bring in Vladislav Gavrikov and Scott Mayfield, that would be nice.

    LD: Lindholm, Gavrikov, Forbort
    RD: McAvoy, Mayfield, Carlo

    Like the lotto advertisement says “A man can dream”

    • I agree Caper. Whatever the Bruins do they need to get bigger on D if they are going to make a run. I would love for them to get rid of Grez’s cap hit and no matter how good people think cliffton is playing I would take someone else back there.

      I would love Horvat too but not at the asking price he will command and I would settle on Kane forcing the Blackhawks wanting to go to the Bruins. That would make them have 3 really good lines and a great 4th line

      • I’m not a Boston fan, but even before the season began, and with both McAvoy and Marchand out for the first 2 months, I said they were a very deep and well-balanced team.

        Here they are, after 47gp, leading the league by 12 points over Carolina with a 38 5 4 80 pt record and a team +/- aggregate of +83 (no one else is even close), and they are the ONLY team among 32 not yet hitting 3 digits in goals against.

        And yet there are some thinking they should deal this guy or that guy (or both) to shore up “weaknesses.” WHAT weaknesses? This is a team that could conceivably wind up with around 8 losses on a SEASON (isn’t the NHL record 8?).

        There is such a thing as “team chemistry” and when a team plays like the Bruins have that’s a sure signal that they go out of their way to cover for each other. They start moving out some components and bring in replacements who might have trouble adjusting to a different system or whatever, and then we’d hear the screams “why didn’t they leave well enough alone?”

        Be careful what you wish for.

      • George O, i give you credit, i had Boston as a bubble team.

        Yes they’re dominating the regular season.

        They still have weaknesses and Grizz is one of them. Great regular season player but succumbs to the heavy hitting and heavy pressure of playoff hockey.

        The worst decision would be to think your to good to lose.

        I’m not telling you anything you don’t know; beating any team on any given night is alot different then beating one team 4 out of 7 games.

        Washington, Carolina scare me a little. So does Buffalo if they claim the last spot.

        Agree team chemistry is important and Boston seems to have it in spades.

        Boston needs to add a physical defenseman with size.

        As forward go im less concern but maybe a player like Austin Watson wouldn’t be a bad depth move.

      • Bruins probably should not do much at all. A depth D man and a third or 4th line winger upgrade. Can they upgrade Greer. Yes By moving out Smith Frederick can slide down to 4th line. And insert rw 3rd line upgrade. Examples
        Bonino, Bushnevich .JVR, Or just 4th liner parise would work

      • Something else to remember about those 5 losses to date – 2 came at the hands of the Senators – 7-5 on October 18 and 3-2 in a SO on December 27, lending credence to the concept of “good teams sometimes playing down the level of bottom-feeders.”

        Not counting the SO goal, Ottawa potted 9 goals against Boston in 2 games – so, almost 10% of the 98 goals allowed so far this season. Had they not been “playing down” to Ottawa’s level we could be looking at something like 90 goals against 47gp or a ridiculous 1.11 gaa. And that’s with Grzelcyk!

      • Matt Grzelcyk:
        year Reg +/- Ply +/-
        17-18 21 -2
        18-19 9 -3
        19-20 15 -5
        20-21 11 -2
        21-22 22 -6

        Regular season Grzelcyk much to like; playoff Grzelcyk not so much.

      • Pretty stark #’s there Caper.
        He is willing to engage in the battle, the physics simply don’t work come playoff time and bigger forwards who are now hitting you every time yo go back to get it.

        IE – last year he played the entire playoff with a shoulder that required surgery in the off season and was understandably over matched.

        I like what he brings with his wheels an smarts, but you’re right, his lack of size becomes an issue in playoffs. He gets knocked around down low, and can’t get position in front and it’s more of a down low game in the playoffs.

    • Maybe Mayfield. And Parise. Not giving a 1st plus for Gavrikov

  7. I’m not in an especially good mood–let’s offer O’Reilly $15 million for 3 years–take it or leave.

    I figure he’ll want an extra year and $6.5 million (similar to B. Schenn)

    IF the Blues can fetch a 1st + prospect for him, go with it.


    ps. Shore: Are you saying O’Reilly for Frederic can’t be discussed??

    • IP , 5×3 is the same number I had in mind. As you said if he is looking for 6.5×4 , ship him out to a contender. He still has game.

  8. I wonder is Saad would be available. If he is, maybe he would be a good fit on the leafs 2nd line. Can’t imagine it would cost the leafs their 1st round pick. Maybe 2nd round pick?

    • Jeff,

      Saad can be available and a 2nd would probably be reasonable (BUT the Leafs don’t have one)!? Maybe 1 of their 3rd round picks and a top prospect (or Timmons perhaps)


  9. @Jeff

    U R on the right track ..
    Much prefer Saad over OR

    Timo Meirer is the name that has gained the most traction
    Cap situation in Toronto – unfortunate – Who goes the other way ??? Matthew Knies / most definitely would be part of the package

    LW is an issue – I can live with their defence , unless Chicago is a trading partner for a forward and a defenseman

    I really like the SanJose possibility – huge upgrade !!!

  10. So been watching J.T. Miller. Is his play crap because he wants out of Vancouver? He played it up in his contract year and got his big payday. He has been called ’emotional’ but from what I see his attitude sucks. From last years news conferences ‘I dont know what we are doing’ to this year screwing up a play and not hustling back to the bench etc etc etc.

    Just like many others, this isnt a team to retool, it is a team to tear down.

  11. Pengy

    I brought up Henrique once before, but the more I think about it the more I think they need a shut down center. The rolling 4 lines that can score is not working anymore. They are leaking far too many goals and their ability to hold a lead is atrocious. Right now, I have no faith in any one line or defensive pair being out there at the end of the game!

    • Setting all joking aside SJPP; I’m very serious here…. If Sully never plays CR another single shift and all other 8 are healthy; as long as Dumo is 3rd pairing…,. D is fine

      Shut down line—— yes fully agree…. With injuries..,. The shake up of lines has screwed things up…. If there was a consistent defensive trio of Fwds things would be much better

      I think Teddy B at 4C with two good grinder/checkers would work. I personally like Arch in that roll…. But injuries persist

      Top two lines…. Sully…. Stop juggling

      I really think

      Sid/Guentz with Rackell works better than with Rusty

      Gino-Rusty-Zucker can and has worked

      If they could get any sort of consistency and even midling production out of the 3rd line; some pressure of top 2 lines ; their production should rise

      With that said; and again with Dumo 3rd pairing; and CR never in any game…. healthy Pens plus….

      Upgrade 3C and upgrade 3RW or 3LW; moves Carter to checking line wing(Teddy B at Centre); and Carter can also move in for the defensive end draws

      Who are the 3Cs and 3rd line wingers available????

      It’s a shame the position Pens are in…. Ownership does not want rebuild…. A 36 year old and 35 year old were re-upped… next fall Pens start with 3 players already post their 36th B-Days…. natural decline expected…. so with that in mind…. If Pens can get into 3rd Metro (and up by 4 pts in 4th)… Moves on UFAs that could get them to the 2nd round are OK

      Bring in an upgrade that has at least next year under contract…. Worth the investment…. $9.5 M (Dumo and Zucker) are gone next year

      Domi is UFA…, won’t cost a first…. that move alone helps

      Again…. Throw all that aside if Sully continues to play CR…., you will have seen that his already poor play has plummeted even further once we turned the click to 2023

      Last game AGAIN…. The youngster had to bail him out; and again had to tell CR multiple times that he was on he wrong side…. How do you get to be 33 years old snd not know left from right…. Mind boggling

  12. B’s…..DeBrusk…Schenn… Nic Desaulniers get er done … Ahead ….

  13. If crazy Lou is buying at this point, he should be fired asap.He had all summer to get a wing and up until now has done nothing.Sell,sell,sell.So tired of this has been. Varly,Mayfield Parise.Martin.Beau,Bailey and Nelson should be moved for picks prospects. The season is over.They need skill not grit get younger faster.Plus Lambert looks like he has lost the respect.Where is Trotz?Another BRILLIANT move by clueless Lou.

  14. I think Boston are just fine without any changes. In fact, they may never lose again.
    Break up the Bruins.

    • 👍👍

      Screw Bettman; declare a Bruins tank for Bedard; retain 50% on top 10 players; trade for picks… LOL

      Joking aside… with the suggested cut-off line at 97 points…. Bruins only need to best 8-26-1 to get in

      Bruins are for real this year

      They could give up a modest set of assets; retain 1st; and tweak line-up by adding say Schenn (‘Nucks) and Wild (Gaudreau) just to round out the already best team in the league

  15. As a Leaf and Pens fan I certainly never wish to help Bruins or give them any suggestion that may help them win the cup…. But seeing as I doubt Sweeney is reading here; and with the understanding that I believe they are already the strongest cup candidate this year….

    For ships ‘n giggles

    One stop shopping…. Jimbo refuses (so far) to let anybody talk to BH or his agent…. Make a lucrative conditional offer

    BH (25% retained) ; Schenn for

    Smith, Nosek (that balances Cap) Lysell; and Two lottery protected *CONDITIONAL Firsts

    *1st ‘23 …. IF Bruins get to SCF; and BH plays at least 10 games in playoffs; otherwise…. It’s a 3rd

    *1st ‘24 (lottery protected); if BH re-ups with Bruins; otherwise…. A 3rd

    Jimbo should have a very strong belief that he’s getting the 1st this year….. so worst case Lysell, 1st, 3rd (basically two 1sts and a third)…. And fair belief that Sweeney , after winning a cup; and with the potential of 1 if not both Berg and Krei retiring; that he’d be very motivated in re-upping BH…. Meaning Jimbo gets Three 1sts for exchanging 2 UFAs

    Sweeney, if reading this post…, ignore the above and flip Berg (50% retained) for Chad Ruhweedel 🙏🤞😀

  16. Two Stanley cup winners over the last 20 years that were also Presidents trophy winners. Pitt and Detroit
    Don’t like Boston for that only reason.

    J.T. Miller is experiencing ‘ money bags syndrome’ . Happens to a lot of players after a big contract signing. Plus with all the mismanagement he was destined to have an off season. Where the hell is Demko ?

  17. I’m glad the Chychrun to LA talks have quieted down. LA needs to stop goals from going in and he’s not the man for the job.
    Copley has come back down to earth. Quick is past due and Petersen is not doing well in the minors.
    LA needs to focus on a shut down top 4 D man and a goalie.

  18. Fellow Leafs fans:

    The Leafs have no cap space, or little, depending on Muzzin, so it’s likely dollar-in, dollar-out. Any package that includes Knies is off the table. They also don’t have a deep prospect pool, and I for one, don’t won’t to mortgage their future. So high hopes of Meier, O’Rielly, or any other high priced player is unlikely in the extreme. Dubas has a history of finding overlooked gems, or at least cheaper options that fit with the needs of the club.

    The Leafs have an under-rated and deep defence. No desperate need here.

    The Leafs can score as well as any team, but not in game 7s. The Leafs also get out muscled and pushed around a LOT with rarely any pushback. Seems to me this is where the improvement is needed.

    Looking at low cost options that fit the Leafs needs, I think Domi is the perfect fit.

    He has skill.
    He can score.
    He digs for pucks.
    He is tough.
    He is intimidating.
    He is cheap.

    It seems the only thing missing is size, but like his dad, that has never been an obstacle for him. And there’s that history, too. It would be great to see Tie’s sons in blue and white.

    Remember when Max was going after Andreas Johanson? I believe that was in the bubble playoff series against Montreal. Johanson was scared, you could see it in his eyes.

    I have never been a big fan of Kerfoot, but have always supported keeping him for playoffs because he seem to elevate his game in the playoffs. Now, however, I think the experiment has run its course. The Leafs could include Kerfoot in a package for Domi to offset the cap, or make a separate trade to a Western playoff team to exchange Kerfoot for picks or prospects (looking at you, Edmonton).

    Domi could slot into the top six offering protection, intimidation, and skill, while causing the opponent to always be looking over their shoulder. Jarnkrok could drop to the 3rd line where he was mean to be, and If the series gets heated, or for injury replacement, Simmonds can be added to the 6 minutes of ice time the 4th line would get.

    What do you think?