NHL Rumor Mill – January 30, 2023

by | Jan 30, 2023 | Rumors | 34 comments

The latest Sharks speculation plus updates on Dylan Larkin, Shayne Gostisbehere and Jake McCabe in today’s NHL Rumor mill.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng reports multiple NHL hockey ops people that he’s spoken with believe that San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture would be a perfect second-line center for any Stanley Cup contender in need.

San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture (NHL Images)

Couture would fetch the Sharks a solid return. However, his contract makes him unlikely to be moved. The 33-year-old center is signed through 2026-27 with an average annual value of $8 million and a three-team trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Couture is enjoying a solid performance this season with 42 points in 51 games. His contract isn’t as hefty cap-wise as teammate Erik Karlsson ($11.5 million), whose strong performance this season made him the subject of trade rumors in recent weeks. Nevertheless, that’s still difficult for most NHL clubs to absorb with so many of them carrying limited cap space this season. His three-team trade list is another major obstacle.

Couture’s age would also be a major concern. He turns 34 on March 28 and a lot of general managers would have serious qualms about acquiring a player in his mid-thirties with four years remaining on his contract at $8 million per. The Sharks could retain part of it to facilitate a trade but they could also be reluctant to carry that much dead cap space for that long.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Peng also cited The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun recently suggesting the cost of re-signing Sharks winger Timo Meier to a contract extension starts at $9 million annually.

Meier, 26, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer who’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. While he’s carrying a $6 million AAV on his current contract, he’s earning $10 million in actual salary, which is what it’ll cost the Sharks to qualify his rights.

That qualifying offer has sparked plenty of media chatter speculating the Sharks could move Meier by the March 3 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of the recent Meier speculation claims the Sharks have granted interested teams permission to speak with his agent about a contract extension as part of a possible trade. Unless they’re willing to pony up, Meier could become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Bear in mind that the Sharks don’t have to move Meier by March 3. They could simply wait until the offseason and peddle him in June. However, they could prefer moving him during this season rather than risk losing him to the UFA market on July 1 if they decide qualifying his rights is too expensive.


DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James recently reported the Red Wings offered captain Dylan Larkin an eight-year contract extension worth an AAV of $8 million. As there was no formal announcement of the deal, St. James concludes the 26-year-old center rejected the offer.

St. James speculates the Larkin camp could be seeking something comparable to the eight-year, $73.2 million ($9.15 million AAV) signed by Mathew Barzal with the New York Islanders. Larkin indicated there’s no ill will between his camp and Wings management.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears the two sides are still working toward bridging the gap regarding the dollars. There’s been no indication that the Wings are shopping Larkin or that he’s not interested in staying in Detroit.


GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan reports there’s been plenty of concern among Arizona Coyotes fans that Shayne Gostisbehere’s upper-body injury will adversely affect his value leading up to the trade deadline. He’s sidelined for four-to-six weeks.

Coyotes management doesn’t share their fans’ concerns. Other teams already know Gostisbehere’s value as a player and already know his strengths and weaknesses.

General manager Bill Armstrong doesn’t intend to sit any of his potential trade assets (such as Jakob Chychrun) until the trade deadline to protect them from getting hurt. Doing so wouldn’t sit well with the player, the Coyotes’ coaching staff or the NHLPA.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox noted recent rumors linking the Toronto Maple Leafs to Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe. The 29-year-old is among the bright lights in an otherwise dismal season for the Blackhawks.

McCabe carries a $4 million cap hit through 2024-25. Dixon suggests he could be a perfect replacement for the sidelined Jake Muzzin if the latter is no longer able to continue his playing career.

The Blackhawks asking price for McCabe is reportedly a second-round pick and a B-level prospect if acquired at his full AAV. It will cost more if the Blackhawks are to retain part of his salary.


  1. Lyle, Meier is still RFA on July 1

    • This is not correct. Meir is a UFA if the Sharks (or the team that acquires him) does not qualify him at $10M/season. This is what the article says

    • Meire is an RFA this summer (July 1st) but also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility (July 1st, 2024).

  2. OK, so Meier is FA if the Sharks do not qualify him. It is worded a little vague.

    • If not qualified he automatically becomes a UFA.
      The two parties can agree to a deal under 10M per year AAV if needed though (like Boeser did in Vancouver)

  3. The Washington Cap 4 -6 in the past 10 games
    The Pens are 4-3-3 in the past 10 games
    The Sabers are 6-2-2 in the past 10 games

    it looks like The Pens & Caps could both miss the playoffs this year…both teams have played very inconsistent over the past 4-5 weeks🥶

    Caps 52 Games & 58 pt….. No Cap Space $0
    Pens 49 Games & 57 pt….. $1.4 M in cap space
    Sabres 49 Games & 56pt….+$18.M in Cap space

    The Young Sabers are starting to jell…. Buffalo also have $18.M in Cap Space…..for trades and maybe adding contract /pick or two etc…..lots of options there…..🤔
    They could be a dark horse in the Bo Horvat Race❓

    • Someone around here suggested the Canucks could get Owen Power for Horvat and Jack Rathbone. Lol! Yes please. 🤣

      • That would be fantastic for Vancouver, would the Sabres do that deal though?

      • No, the Sabres would not do that deal.

      • Good morning Curtains….
        there is “100% No Chance” the Sabers Trade Owen Power….

        The Sabers could trade there 1st pick and a Very good young forward prospect like 20 yr old
        Jack Quinn….. and forward like Vinnie Hinostroza

        Maybe the Canucks do a Salary dump also with a deal with $6.M for next year Tyler Myers..⁉️

      • Hi Willie

        Re Meyers and $6M…. TSN/SN et al keep reporting ‘Nucks big desire to clear cap space for next year

        Pens suffering D wise( note: Key need is 3C under grade)

        Dumo +(?) flip for Meyers @ TDL…. Pens only ned to have 475 K in space to enact that trade

        Meyers over CR…. Don’t get me started

        Pens ownership loaded…. Pay his $5 M SB on 1/7 and flip him to Yotes for equivalent pick given in trade above

        Incentive for Yotes…. HUGE

        They are absolutely haemorrhaging cash with nyet in revs …. They need the cheapest way to Cap floor

        After escrow….. they’d be only outlaying ~ $900 K to reap the benefits of $6 M in Cap

        For Pens; basically a cash improvement (again owners loaded)…, the $475 K in Cap is negligible; the asset differential would be minimal (What they receive in trade from Yotes; less what they gave up in trade to ‘Nucks)

        Tanger Pettersson

        Petry P-O J

        Meyers and one of Rutta/Smith/Friedman

        That series of trades (basically cash only) should get them into the playoffs

        As at now…. They just need to look over their shoulders and their sphincters will tighten

    • I dont want to see the Sabres make a big move like this. They’re hot for sure but not ready for prime time…yet. They extra cap space will come in handy to lock this young core.
      We dont want a repeat of those famous words by Tim Murray “We can speed up the process”

      • That sounds completely reasonable Mark G, and agree.
        Kinda hope they get in this year, as being an Edmonton resident, I understand the Sabre fans frustration.

        A couple home playoff dates would be pretty crazy in that rink I think.

        I like how this team is being built. They are strong at the C position, and I would bet $20 both Thompson and Cozens will outperform Horvat over the term of his next deal. And I like Horvat. They don’t need him as a 1 or 2.

        Cozens is a keeper, lock that kid up if you can get him to agree to a long term reasonable deal. Just like they did with Thompson.

      • Pengy

        Myers has a M-NTC (10 team list). Unlikely to waive to rot in ARZ

        However… could they just put him on waivers after the SB is paid? Surely ARZ would pluck him off the waiver wire for that type of cap savings?

    • williew, last season the last WC qualifier in the East needed 100 pts. From where they all stand today, and looking at it from the perspective of points % based upon differences in games played/games left, these 6 teams would have to play at a considerably less % pace than they have to date in order to qualify:

      Team – Current % – % Needed To Qualify
      Boston – 0.810 – 0.297
      Carolina – 0.735 – 0.424
      Toronto – 0.686 – 0.484
      New Jersey – 0.694 – 0.485
      Tampa Bay – 0.677 – 0.515
      NYR – 0.633 – 0.576

      The one team in that grouping that could, possibly, fall off enough to make it interesting for them reaching 100 is the Rangers as the fall-off would only need to be 0.066.

      As for the rest of the East here are their current % Paces and what they’d need the rest of the way in order to reach 100:

      Pittsburgh – 0.582 – 0.652 – an increase of 0.70
      Buffalo – 0.571 – 0.667 – an increase of 0.96
      Washington – 0.558 – 0,700 – an increase of 0.142
      Detroit – 0.521 – 0.735 – an increase of 0.214
      NYI – 0.529 – 0.750 – an increase of 0.221
      Florida – 0.519 – 0.767 – an increase 0.248
      Ottawa – 0.500 – 0.773 – an increase of 0.273
      Philadelphia – 0.500 – 0,790 – an increase of 0.290
      Montreal – 0.440 – 0.875 – an increase of 0.435
      Columbus – 0.330 – 1.047 – an increase 0f 0.717

      Barring unforeseen circumstances it’s clear the battle for the 6th spot and the 2 WC slots will be between the NYR, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and possibly Washington, although they’ll need, by far, the biggest bump up in % Pace to get to 100.

      • Hi George,
        Agreed…. Caps and Pens are in tough.
        Buffalo is the team to watch righ now,
        A little playoff experience could do them well👌

        I dont think ether of these two teams are quite done yet in the East…? but still in with a shout
        NYI, cant seam to Score…🥶
        Florida, cant seam to keep the goals out..🥶
        But they go on mini wining streaks & then in the Tank and look Brutal

        Philly, Wings & Sen’s are just to inconsistent right now, they will go in the tank.
        They will All end up trying for a long shot at young CB in the NHL Draft🤔

      • willieW, I just don’t see either the Islanders or Florida suddenly jumping from a 0.529% and 0.519% pace to 0.750 and 0.767 respectively the rest of the way. Florida miscalculated badly when they weakened their D in that Calgary deal and that, combined with a grossly over-paid and badly under-performing goalie (who’s currently on IR), and the Islanders lack of scoring says reaching those levels down the stretch makes a long-shot look good.

        Where Ottawa is concerned, right now they sit 24th and if they win tomorrow night in Montreal they move to 51 pts (with an 11-day layoff to nurse minor dings) and suddenly find themselves within 6 points of 14th place overall.

        With the way their season has gone, I would prefer to see them at least with a % chance at # 1 but I fear they will raise their game the rest of the way and wind up in no-man’s land (i.e., middle of the pack) and so not in Bedard territory.

    • Meier or Horvat, wouldn’t say no to wither one but I’d prefer Meier.

      • I would like to take my coment back about the NYI from this AM……😂

        I dont think ether of these two teams are quite done yet in the East…? but still in with a shout
        NYI, cant seam to Score…🥶
        Florida, cant seam to keep the goals out..🥶

  4. Larkin’s career high in points is 73.
    His career +/- is an awful -85
    I know +/- isn’t the most important stat but it’s usually a good indicator of the player’s overall game. Is he always cheating for offence and getting burned?

    DET is in a pickle. He’s their #1C because they have nobody else. Not so sure he’s worth $8M on a long term deal? He’s at a point per game pace this season…which just happens to be a contract year…

    • Hey Darly,
      I think for Dylan Larkin, a young 26 yr old leader on the team 31 G & 70pts last year… he is on track for the same or better this year…..🤔
      Steve Y give him $8.5 to $9.M in a New Contract,
      Wing big contract is Larkin at $6.M Right Now.
      they have lots of cap space also $42.M next year⁉️

      The Red Wings are still a re-building team, lots of good d prospects, Husso in goal at 27yrs old & in his first full season as #1…? and they have young Edmonton Product goaltender coming also Sebastian Cossa who will be very good,
      The future is bright in Detroit…

      Could be an other Bo Horvat destination❓

      • I am thinking that the Wings will not pursue Horvat, but rather Sam Reinhart or Nick Schmaltz, who both are RH. Detroit does not have a RH center on the roster, nor one in their system that is close to being NHL ready. And I predict that Larkin gets $8.25 – 8.5M x8, although $7.5 would be more appropriate. The NHLPA would love to see him get $9M+.

      • Larkin sits with 47gp 15g 28a 43pts and a +1

        For his career he’s played 551 games with 162g 239a 401 pts.

        DeBrincat sits with 49gp 16g 24a 40pts and a -17

        For his career he’s played 417 games with 176g 171a 347 Pts.

        If DeBrincat gets close to $9 mil why should Larkin and his agent settle for less?

      • George,

        Larkin and DeBrincat are both very good players – I want Larkin back here in Detroit but neither is elite. There is a group of NHL stars who outperform both DL and ADB and who do not make $9M. Neither player is worth $9M.

      • Oh, I agree Iago, but unless DeBrincat settles for something closer to $7.5 to $8 mil over a longer deal, they’d need to qualify him at $9 mil. I suppose it’s similar with Larkin?

    • George,

      I have not heard of a qualifying number for Larkin. He is a 27 year old UFA making $6.1M now.

      As to what he and DeBrincat not being worth $9M….Stamkos, Draisaitl, and Zibanejad all playing for. $8.5M……’nuff said.

  5. LouL going at it – Patrik Allvin announced today that the team has acquired F Anthony Beauvillier, C Aatu Raty, and a protected 2023 1st round draft pick from the New York Islanders in exchange for C Bo Horvat.

    • Horvat must be re-signing on the island?

      • Well, one thing the Islanders need is more scoring. But I doubt Horvat alone will make the difference in them reaching a playoff spot in that, as I point out above, they’d need to play at a 0.750 clip the rest of the way to reach 100 points. I just don’t see them suddenly transformed into a Carolina or Boston through one addition.

      • Flipped at the deadline.

      • George,

        The Islanders also need Karlsson….not sure how that could happen

  6. I will be honest there were a lot of teams in the rumour mill connected to Horvat but I don’t recall anybody talking about the Islanders acquiring him.
    I think the Canucks did very well in this trade.

    • And the hockey insiders swing and miss once again. Elliotte? Anyone?

  7. Horvat to Isles. Scratch him from list


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