NHL Rumor Mill – January 28, 2023

by | Jan 28, 2023 | Rumors | 39 comments

Check out the recent speculation on Dylan Larkin, Vladislav Gavrikov and Lars Eller plus the latest on the Sharks and Kraken in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan considers the Detroit Red Wings trading Dylan Larkin as highly unlikely. The 26-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin (NHL Images).

Khan believes trading Larkin would set back the Red Wings’ rebuild. They’re more likely to get futures (a young player, prospect, draft picks) than a player who could have an immediate impact.

Communication between Wings general manager Steve Yzerman and Larkin’s agent, Pat Brisson, has been good, with both sides talking regularly. Khan writes that the two sides have agreed on the maximum eight-year term but remain apart on the average annual value. The Wings prefer $8 million while the Larkin camp seeks $9 million.

Larkin’s next contract would also affect other contracts. Khan reports they’d like to bring in a top-line scoring center and believes they could be among the teams pursuing Bo Horvat if the Vancouver Canucks captain hits the open market on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Larkin gets shopped by the March 3 trade deadline even if he remains unsigned or the Wings are out of playoff contention by that point. It wouldn’t be surprising if both sides compromise on a figure between $8 million and $9 million per season.

The Wings have over $41 million in projected cap space for 2023-24 so there’s plenty of room for Larkin’s new contract. However, they must also re-sign or replace fellow UFAs like Tyler Bertuzzi, Pius Suter, Adam Erne Oskar Sundqvist, Olli Maatta and Alex Nedeljkovic.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger recently reported the Blue Jackets are exploring trade scenarios involving defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. The club has granted permission for rival teams to speak with him and his agent.

Gavrikov, 27, is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He carries an affordable $2.8 million cap hit for this season. Hedger indicated a scenario exists where the Jackets could match the best contract offer for Gavrikov generated through those trade discussions.

Hedger believes the long Gavrikov goes without a new contract the more likely he’ll be traded. The Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs have emerged as potential trade destinations. It’s believed the Jackets will seek a first and a third-round pick in return. If Gavrikov gets a contract extension from a rival club, it could increase the return to the Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading away Gavrikov could also ensure the Blue Jackets finish dead last in the overall standings by season’s end. That would improve their odds of winning the 2023 draft lottery and securing the rights to top prospect Connor Bedard.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber cited The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun and Eric Duhatschek reporting Capitals center Lars Eller has come up in the rumor mill. They suggest he could be used as a trade chip to add a defenseman. Duhatschek speculated the Los Angeles Kings as a destination as they’re deep on the right side of their blueline and could part with Sean Walker or Matt Roy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will also depend on how long Capitals defenseman John Carlson remains sidelined. Silber also mentioned that winger Anthony Mantha has been the odd man out this season. The Capitals might prefer moving Mantha over Eller.


THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka reported San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier might not be done dealing after shipping out Matt Nieto and Ryan Merkley to the Colorado Avalanche earlier this week.

The Sharks have other pending UFAs in forward Nick Bonino and goaltender James Reimer who could draw interest in the trade market leading up to the March 3 deadline. Winger Timo Meier could also attract plenty of attention if Grier decides to move him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bonino and Reimer seem likely to be playing elsewhere on March 3. Meier could be shopped but he’s a restricted free agent this summer. If Grier didn’t receive sufficient offers, he can simply wait until the offseason to peddle him.

SEATTLE HOCKEY INSIDER: Rob Simpson examined possible trade chips for the Kraken if GM Ron Francis becomes a buyer at the trade deadline.

Prospects Jagger Firkus, Ryker Evans and Jani Nyman could become trade bait. Francis also carries three second-round picks in the 2023 draft.

Simpson believes the Kraken’s priorities will be shoring up their depth on defense and at center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis could put more emphasis on using those draft picks as trade bait rather than draw from his shallow prospect pool.


  1. a 1st and a 3rd for a pending UFA who is going to be seeking a hefty bump up in cap hit over his current $2.8 mil?

    He’s good … but I don’t see him as being the ONE ingredient to elevate either Edmonton or Toronto into Boston, Tampa Bay, a healthy Colorado or even Carolina territory.

    Why wouldn’t those teams simply wait until UFA season opens and see what the annual cap cost would be and whether they could fit that into their structure following other moves?

    • George O

      To add further to your points George why would a team disclose their agreement with Gavrikov to Columbus only for them to match the offer?

      With the new injury to a Murray I think it’s incumbent upon the Leafs to seek a reliable back up at the deadline.

    • Because you are a sane individual…these GMs thinking about their jobs at the TDL traditionally do stupid things. The more desperate the GM, the more another team will profit. Yes I am looking at you Dubas having to face the TBL and Bruins gauntlet with your contract status.

    • Why won’t they wait? Because chasing him as a UFA means they, as they see it, have to give up on this year’s Stanley Cup or, at least, a deep playoff run.

    • Idda have agreed wit you before the habs got that 1st for whatshisface.

    • Hi George

      I agree re Gav on Leafs not likely to get them to ECF let alone SCF; this year; but if teams are discussing; they pretty well know what the end game in contract will be;

      true Gav could be traded then sign elsewhere as a uFA ; BUT if Leafs have strong confidence in the re-up…. The first and third for effectively what they believe is in reality a player with term (with their assumption of being able to re-sign) and who they believe slots in top 4… is worth it IMHO

      Re Oil…. who relatively have lesser of an uphill battle to go through (*this year) than Leafs; to get to the cup…. if they also have a strong indication of being able to re-up…. Then 1st and 3rd certainly worth it

      I can’t possibly see Gav signing his next contract for anything less than a 3 year term

      1st and 3rd for at least 3 years (presumes confidence he’ll sign with you after acquiring) for s top 4 AT a rate you already agreed upon…. To me well worth it

      *As at now; I actually believe that Oil have a higher probability this year of going through 2 of Knights, Krakken; Flames and one of Avs , Stars, Jets

      Than Leafs getting to SCF (Leafs to get to SCF must beat BOTH Bruins and Bolts; and then (most likely) Canes

      I’m not saying at all that Oil have a fair path to SCF; they do NOT; it is not a high probability; just a higher probability than the required path Leafs must go through this year

  2. Re; Gavrikov
    The Edmonton Oilers A potential trade destination
    over the past 2 weeks this has now changed ❗️
    with the emergence of a Player & Oilers young d paring

    1) Vin Diesel…. AKA Vincent Desharnais RD, who is becoming a fan favourite in Edmonton 👏 with his Great defensive steady play

    2) Young Broberg & Bouchard, have been the Oilers Best d paring over the past 2 weeks, going 6-1 Broberg has started to show why he was taken #8 in the draft is starting to play with confidence

    Sounds like the Holland & the Oilers are not keen to trade away there 1st pick for a rental,….
    Now looks lkike they will move a 2nd pick, for a LD man. they like Habs Joel Edmundson maybe a 2nd pick and prospect like french canadian kid Raphael Lavoie,?
    We have heard Luke Schenn name mentioned and Backhawks McCabe name recently
    in any trade Money out in the d/man deal would be Jess Puljujärvi,
    The Oiler’s also need a forward @ RW blackhawks also have a couple of players the Oilers like, RW-C Sam Lafferty & RW Taylor Raddysh…🤔

    • williew

      If there’s an upgrade to be made on the EDM blue line it has to start with Ceci…

      Another LD line Gavrikov would push one of the two young players to the press box. A good RD to push Ceci to the press box would be a better move.

      The Oilers time to win is now. A low 1st round pick is not going to get EDM to the promised land now.

      • Hey Daryl
        we have watched about 75%+ of the Oilers games this year…Ceci has been better than Nurse on Many nights…I dont think he is that bad,❓

        I like Nurse…. But we Way over payed for him at $9.M and when they play Nurse over 22 minutes he gets Sloppy and Screws up……😳⁉️
        love him to be better but i really dont know….

        RD Vincent Desharnais has been Very Good since coming up to Edmonton, playing 15+ minutes a night
        at pressent we have 7 d/men
        4XRD and 3XLD, Nurse, Kulak, & Young Broberg,
        RD menu Barrie & Bouchard play a softer game
        with only young LD man, Nemo as back up down in Bakersfeild AHL, they need experienced guy for the playoff run

        The need is for a LD man to help cover young Broberg,.. I like Joel Edmundson over Gavrikov
        i seen him play when he was in Edmonton… he was mediocre that night🤔 , CBJ have a big ask for him 1st & 3rd round picks, to much for a rental 2nd or 3rd pair d….⁉️

        The Oilers also need a Big Physical bottom 6 winger and a top 6 RW,
        Trade candidates are
        -Jesse Puljujärvi,
        -Warren Foegele
        -Raphael Lavoie
        -Draft picks from 2nd & 3rd picks

      • Daryl, I ‘m guessing you don’t watch Oiler games much and making your Ceci judgments from his time on a crappy OTT team, or his 1 year in TOR.
        Ceci plays the toughest minutes on the team. Most time against elite fwd’s, and most DZ starts. And is a plus 9 player while doing that.

        The guy isn’t fancy, but is a solid 2nd pair shut down guy. At $3.25 is a value contract.

        He played well for the Pens, Holland signed him and took heat as all anyone in Canada remembered was OTT and TOR.

        Good move by Holland considering he had to sign someone as Klefbom was LTIR for life, and Larsson was leaving which was also 100% out of Holland’s control.

      • Hi Daryl

        Concur with Ray and Willie…. Ceci better than you are giving him credit for

        I liked him on pens…, they just couldn’t fit in his Cap hit

        Had Krakken not been so good this year….

        A Yammo and Ryan (UFa) , [both from Spokane]

        For …,

        my 2nd Bromance (Soucy [Viking] also UFA) and a 3rd;

        May have been s strong move

        Small sample size….only 7 GP ; buy big boy Vinny looks like a nice surprise

        Reasonable cost (in trade) LDs…. Mataa ; Walman; Gustaffson (not sure if he’d be available); Harrington??

    • Funny, it’s the Ben Chiarot song all over again, if the Oilers offer a 2nd round pick and a struggling francophone player thinking it would entice the Canadiens and grab their attention, Hughes will simply hang up. Edmundson didn’t have a productive year offensively but he still is a big tough defensive D-Man who plays with a team that is rebuilding and that is plagued with injuries. Having seen both play I can tell you I’d take Edmundson over Chiarot every day of the week.

  3. Meir to NJ for Holtz , first this year and second next and some form of salaried lesser player with term . Sharonjovich ?

    Mantha would get you something. Eller is a play off performer .
    What a deal that was Mantha for Vrana
    I bet both GM’s had thought they won trade

    • LA won’t be trading Matt Roy for Lars Ellar. Roy is having a good season with LA and would even be having a better season if his defense partner wasn’t Durzi. I don’t even think LA would trade Walker for Ellar either. If LA is making a deal I believe it will be for a goaltender

    • Willy ”The Oilers also need a Big Physical bottom 6 winger and a top 6 RW,

      Trade candidates are
      -Jesse Puljujärvi,
      -Warren Foegele
      -Raphael Lavoie
      -Draft picks from 2nd & 3rd picks”

      With all due respect, who will trade a top 6 RW for these players. Remember that if you don’t like them and don’t want them it might be the same for the other teams in the league. It’s like offering three chocolate bars for a steak…

    • The Wings got more in that deal. Cossa and Buchelnikov.

  4. I want the jackets to win the lotto! I also want jagger firkus on my pens. What a fun name.

    • I want Mick Jagger to play all 2nd intermissions for Pens 😀

      Re Bedard on Jackets…. 26% chance (as at now), 74% chance it doesn’t happen

      As long as it is not Yotes (unless Gary retires and then Bedard would be a star in Houston); I’m good with whoever gets him

      The penultimate…. the (as at now) 3% chance comes through on the Cats pick (thus going to Habs)…. That would be the ouch of all ouches

  5. Mantha for Edmonson, his grandpa is a Pronovost, a perfect homecoming for him.

    • Hey Johnny, as funny as it may sound, Mantha is the same age as Monahan. Canadiens are rebuilding and might trade Sean who is more productive. Why on earth would they be interested in Mantha for a guy they me get a late 1st rounder pick in a deep draft with ? You guys have to stop thinking that the Habs would take any bust in the league just because he speaks french…

      • They *might* get a late 1st rounder for… Sorry ! BTW concerning the Leafs. As they are playing in the same division as the Bruins and Lightning and the same conference as the Canes and Devils, I think it would be foolish of them to give future assets for Gavrikov as it might have the same effect than when they traded for Muzzin or Giordano… None. They’ll need much more than Gavrikov to get out of the conference… Well that’s what I think, it’s worth what it’s worth…

  6. $9 million is insane for Dylan Larkin, I would say anything over $6m is utterly crazy. What exactly has he done in his career other than being the only good player for the Red Wings during a prolonged rebuild? He’s a borderline 2nd line player on any quality team.

    • Get off my lawn…

      Seriously, contracts are crazy these days, but Larkin’s numbers put him in the 8M to 9M range

      Barzal got 9.12M…..

      • Just because Lou has lost it doesn’t make other GMs dumb. Although they might be already be dumb.

      • Larkin’s career high for points is 73, he’s not a high end talent even if he’s a good player. Absolutely crazy contract suggestion for a medium level 2nd liner on a playoff level team.

    • My guess is $6.5 for Larkin. If he decides to sign. He isn’t an 8 million dollar player.
      Then Yzerman signs Horvat in he summer.

    • More than likely you do not follow the Red Wings, which is fine. However, the rebuild began with Yzerman, which is 2019.

      • Enjoy your 65 point, $9 million a season player then

  7. Johnny Z

    IOne of my earliest memories of being at a Penguins game was the “Let’s go Pronovost” chant!

    • Sjpp, just to be clear, the Pronovost that led to that chant was Jean Pronovost who played 10 years with the Penguins, He wasn’t Mantha’s grandfather, however. That was André Pronovost who spent 5 years with the Habs (4 Cups), 3 with each of Boston and Detroit and 8 games with the Minnesota North Stars. He never played with the Penguins, but did play in 1965-66 with the Pittsburgh Hornets of the AHL.

      THE most illustrious Pronovost was Hall of Fame D-man Marcel who played 1206 games in the NHL, most with Detroit (15 seasons) but also 5 with the Leafs.

      Nor should we ever forget goalie Clause “Suitcase” Pronovost


      • Claude

      • Ya I’m fairly sure that Jean, Marcel and Claude were brothers…. But I believe that Andre (Mantha’s gramps) was not related to them (unless waaay back)

  8. for gthose of u saying gavrikov is a free agent and u arent interested how about letting anyone interested in him talk contract with him now. that way interested teams know where they stand. i dont know if ny rangers need a d man but how would gavy for kravstov sound with picks or another player andgavy reupped sound

    • Rangers seem pretty happy letting Harpur play 3rd pair. Not exactly what I’d do.They just gave him a 2 year extension at minimum. It’s possible they’ll look to add at deadline but I don’t see them extending Gavrikov. Not with Miller needing a raise next year. Guess it depends on what each guy is looking for in next deal.

      • Big Ben Harpur (6′ 6″ 230 lbs) has developed into a reliable 7th D-type who can fill in on the 2nd and 3rd pairings without killing you, and has paid his dues with 193 AHL gp while bouncing up and down to the tune of 156 games with Ottawa, Nashville and now NYR after being drafted by Ottawa in the 4th round almost 10 years ago. Good for him.

      • George. Agree he’s been a good add as a 6/7 D. And the price was a bargain. From everything I’ve read he’s also well liked in locker room.

  9. Dang! Now I’m going to have to change the candles on the birthday cake ordered for him.