NHL Rumor Mill – January 27, 2023

by | Jan 27, 2023 | Rumors | 22 comments

Could the Devils pursue Timo Meier before the trade deadline? Could the Rangers and Sabres get into the bidding for him? Will Sean Monahan become an Avalanche trade target? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported he spoke with New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald, who indicated he’s looking for a top-six winger before the March 3 trade deadline. Fitzgerald didn’t say which player he was interested in as that would violate the NHL’s tampering rules, but LeBrun believes the San Jose Sharks’ Timo Meier would fit the Devils’ needs.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier (NHL Images)

Fitzgerald said that ideally, he’s not interested in a rental player but someone who could remain with the Devils beyond this season. Meier could fit that description as he’s a restricted free agent on July 1, meaning the Devils would hold his rights after this season if they acquire him from the Sharks.

THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun also pointed out that the Devils still hope to re-sign RFA winger Jesper Bratt and must determine his place in this picture. He believes that Fitzgerald hopes to ink Bratt to a long-term extension somewhere between Nico Hischier’s $7.25 million AAV and Jack Hughes’ $8 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun indicated that the Devils have the depth in draft picks and prospects to make a suitable offer to the Sharks. However, Fitzgerald will also have to work out a suitable contract offer for Meier, who will cost $10 million simply to qualify his rights before July 1. That’s in addition to working on a contract extension for Bratt.

Fitzgerald could consider Meier as insurance if Bratt’s contract talks become difficult. Like Meier, Bratt’s an RFA with arbitration rights who’ll be a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility. Fitzgerald could trade him in the offseason and use the savings to re-sign Meier.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng wondered if the Devils might offer up prospect Shakir Mukhamadullin, a 2024 first-round pick (top-15 protected) and Andreas Johnsson for Meier.

Peng also took note of rumors linking the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres to Meier. He suggested a package from the Rangers consisting of prospect Brennan Othmann, a 2024 first-rounder (top-10 protected) and winger Sammy Blais. From the Sabres, Peng suggested Jiri Kulich, the Flyers’ 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-rounder.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Colorado Avalanche are a “team to monitor” regarding Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan.

The Avalanche expect captain Gabriel Landeskog will come off long-term injury reserve later this season, leaving them with limited salary-cap spaced. LeBrun anticipates they’ll keep an eye on Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly but lack sufficient future assets to use as trade bait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Monahan would be more affordable to acquire than Horvat or O’Reilly. However, the Canadiens won’t just give him away, especially if he picks up where he left off before he was sidelined in early December (17 points in 25 games).

The Canadiens reportedly aren’t actively shopping Monahan but it’s believed they move him for the right offer. That would probably be a first-round pick in this year’s draft or a top prospect.


TSN: Chris Johnston reports St. Louis Blues forward Ivan Barbashev is starting to circulate a little bit in the rumor mill. While he’s off last season’s 60-point pace, Johnston said several playoff contenders have him on their list. He’s slated to become a UFA this summer and carries an affordable $2.25 million cap hit for this season.


  1. Bratt’s recent contact negotiations have been very complicated, so who knows if he want to stay long-term. acquiring Meier would be good insurance.
    team should be able to find a way to keep both. Tatar, Johnsson, Bernier, Graves, Severson are all UFA’s to free up cap space. Devils have Luke Hughes coming after Michigan’s season ends, to fill in on D, and has other defensive prospects in the system (Nemec especially).

    • The complication seems more to come from the Devil’s, in the line of, is this small player the real deal?

  2. Aside from Barbashev , I see Sundqvist , Acciari , Bonino and Bjugstad as affordable bottom 6 forward rentals.
    Domi and Athanasiou come in a a bit higher price tag.

    • Add Motte to that list as well

      • I wouldn’t be surprised to see most of them picked up by TD Day Fergy, depending upon the cap flexibility of playoff-bound teams seeking depth for the final run. All sport similar stats – but vary considerably in their cap hits.

        The most “expensive” are Detroit’s Sundqvist at $2,750,000, St. Louis’ Barbashev at $2,250,000 and San Jose’s Bonino at $2,050,000 , Sundqvist has 7g 11a 18 pts in 39gp and is a -7; Barbashev has 8g 15a 23 pts in 49gp and is a -5; and Bonino has 8g 8a 16 pts in 46gp and is a -4.

        Acciari of St. Louis is a bit more of a bargain pick-up with his 10g 8a 18 pts in 49gp and a -1, costing $1,250,000, but the real bargain would appear to be Bjugstad who, at $900,000, has 11g 10a 21 pts in 49gp for Arizona, along with an eye-opening +8 – for a team full of minus players.

        Motte, at $1,350,000, is an aggressive fore-checker with modest totals = 3g 6a 9 pts in 32gp and is a +3 – but he’s taking a ponderously long time to come off the IR with that broken finger.

        C Brassard of Ottawa might also move, costing just $750,000 and with 6g 5a 11 pts and a -1, as might Austin Watson for a team seeking some grit up front, although his cap hit is $1.5 mil and his stats quite ordinary – 4g 2a 6pts and a -10. Another pending UFA for Ottawa who might attract some attention is 6′ 4″ 215lb LD Nick Holden.

  3. Meier to NJ or Carolina makes a lot of sense, unless the Canes really want a center.
    Canes have a lot to offer for either Meier or Horvat too!

  4. Colorado Avalanche are intrested in Habs center Sean Monahan, he is a 2nd level centre,
    Top centres avalable Bo Horvats & Ryan O’Reilly
    would cost a Top Prospect & 1st picks and..❓

    The Habs would like to get one more 1st rd pick for the 2023 draft….
    A trade that could work,?

    Once the Habs start Trading as they have about 5-6 players + on the block,
    that could bring back 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th rd picks⁉️
    -Sean Monahan
    -Joel Edmundson
    -Jonathan Drouin
    -Joel Armia
    -Evgeni Dadonov
    -Mike Hoffman

    The trade
    After the Habs pick up a 2nd rd pick from above
    Avs trade a 1st pick to the habs
    Habs send a 2nd pick & Monahan back to the Avs..

    The Avs have in 2023 no picks from the 2nd, 3rd & 4th rounds, in 2024 have no 2nd, 3rd 5th round picks…🤔

    • Looks good on paper williew – but finding takers who have the cap space for Edmundson – $3.5 mil per – 1 year to go, Armia – $3.4 mil with 3 years to go, and Hoffman – $4.5 Mil with 1 year to go – will be nigh on impossible. Even pending UFAs Drouin ($5.5 mil), Dadonov ($5 mil) and Monahan, still on LTIR and $6,375,000 will be long-shots.

      • Hi George,
        I think Joel Edmundson $3.5M is an other who will get a 2rd pick and maybe a player in return to balance the cash somewhat, He is one of the d/men the Oilers are intrested in with JP going the other way and a 2nd pick

        The rest of the players who have more term will be hard to move like Armia who has had a Brutal year 3 goals and now out injured @$3.4M for 2 more years😳

        Hoffman could get them a pick with some salary retained❓ if they need a shooter on the 3rd line who can move up and down…

        yes for sure the rest are Long shots..
        The Rebuilding Habs have $12.M to spend in cap space next year, Most of this will go to RFA & Cole Caufield’s New deal bridge or LT deal, and the 3 other younger RFA forwards.
        The following year they have lots more cap space

  5. Johnny Z

    With Matthews out for 3 weeks the Leafs depth at C will be under the microscope.

    Will Gaudette finally be called up?

    My guess is Kerfoot will slide over to C and one of the healthy scratches (ZAR, Anderson, Hunt) will fill in for Kerfoot.

    This is a good test before the TDL to see if they can survive an injury during the playoffs.

  6. Sabres trade Cozens, Krebs, Jost and Flyers 2023 2nd rd pick to Canucks for Horvat, Boeser and Schenn. Sabres improve the middle six and right side D. Canucks get the cap relief they seek plus some quality younger players to help with the rebuild or retool.

    Just a thought. Not a fan for either team.

    • Cliff , you lost me at Cozens. Buffalo is building for the future. The fact they have a shot at making the playoff this year should not change the plan.
      Sabres have a nice 1 -2 punch down the middle and a great pipeline of Kulich, Ostlund and Savoie for the coming years.

      • Agree there – no way Buffalo deals Cozens.

      • If I’m Buffalo, I simply stay the course this year. I wouldn’t trade any high picks or high end prospects this TDL. Unless you have an issue with a guy like Krebs and something about him or his work ethic makes you think he won’t work out. Keep them for when you’re a contender.

        Maybe some deals available at the draft from cap strapped teams, where they can move one of their 2nds along with a prospect. Go bargain shopping.

        But guys like Meier or Horvat are some big tickets that they can afford today, but in 2-3 years years? The rumor on Meier extension is $10M. I would lock up Cozens this summer, Dahlin next summer and then Power. For as long as they are willing to sign for and get some UFA years included.

        Add solid veteran complimentary guys as UFA’s that won’t get a big ticket or term. Guys who can still play and have been around. I’m thinking Killorn, Tatar, Zucker, Nyquist, Compher, Kerfoot etc. All UFA’s this summer.

        They drafted 4 forwards in the first round in the last 2 years that are not on the team yet. Plus Krebs. A least a couple of those guys will be playing on this team in next 2 years. Likely as wingers IMO. You want them to have to beat a good player for ice time, but not with a guy with a monster deal. They score plenty, they need to learn how to play like a contender and stop bleeding goals.

        If they start to slide and fall out of the chase come TDL, Anderson might get you something from a team looking for an excellent back up for insurance in the playoffs.

    • Buffalo is alright at C. It would be interesting if they went for Timo Meier.
      Krebs, Jost, Isak Rosen, Comrie and Flyers 2023 2nd rd pick for Reimer and Meier (both full salary)
      Sabers get an upgrade in net also.

      • Johnny, are you sure Reimer is an upgrade over Anderson ? I just read Ray’s piece about the Sabres, and I think he makes sense : for the Sabres, stay the course, wait for your own forward prospects, hire a couple of reliable, mid-tier UFA forward vet’s.

      • I think the offer above is close to what the Sharks would want (Jiri Kulich, the Flyers’ 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-rounder) which is close to what Chicago received for DeBrincat.
        It may take Ostlund instead of Kulich.
        I don’t think this would hurt the pipeline as they would still have Savoie and Kulich coming in besides Rosen and a bunch that could fill in the bottom six roles.
        Olofsson’s value is on the rise and he could be a summer trade chip if Meier were to be obtained which replaces some of what is given up for Meier.
        I’m all for acquiring Meier, put him with Cozens and Quinn and the Sabres have a legit 2nd line.

    • No, not Cozens, he is the next Bergeron.
      If no injuries on key players accure, I think they should not go for Meier.
      I think they should trade for a RD like Kings’ Matt Roy instead.

  7. Austin Mathews
    is going back Home to AZ…. He is working on his New House🤔

  8. If anyone in hockey needs a nickname it is Mukhamadullin.

    • Mukher?

  9. Don’t do it Buffalo. Stay the course. No need to “speed up the process”