NHL Rumor Mill – January 5, 2023

by | Jan 5, 2023 | Rumors | 50 comments

What could the Rangers have in store for the trade deadline? Could the Ducks shop a goaltender? Are the Oilers interested in Jake McCabe? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple recently explored the New York Rangers’ options for the March 3 trade deadline. He believes general manager Chris Drury is pondering whether to make a big-ticket acquisition or a couple of smaller ones.

Staple mentioned Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly and Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat as the big-ticket players.

Much will depend on whether Kane wants to be traded, where he wants to go and if the Rangers could get him for an affordable cost with the Blackhawks retaining half of his cap hit. O’Reilly is sidelined for six weeks with a broken foot and it could take until the week of the deadline for his market value to become clearer. Horvat could still re-sign with the Canucks but Staple doubted the Rangers could out-bid other clubs for his services.

Drury could instead look at bolstering the left side of his third defense pairing with a rental player. Staple mentioned the Anaheim Ducks’ Nathan Beaulieu or Dmitry Kulikov as well as the Philadelphia Flyers’ Justin Braun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be something of a letdown if Kane isn’t traded to the Rangers given the months of speculation linking the Blackhawks star to New York. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing for the Blueshirts to do. Given the hype, however, it would feel a little disappointing.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (NHL Images).

Drury will do what he needs to do to affordably improve his club. The Rangers aren’t in a position where their Stanley Cup window is closing. The youth and talent on their club should ensure that they have several years ahead of them where they could become legitimate Cup contenders.

Unless they’re getting Kane or another quality top-six scorer at a reasonable rental price, the Rangers will likely tweak the roster before the trade deadline and see how things play out. Drury can then look at making more significant additions during the offseason in the trade and free-agent markets.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens wonders what the Anaheim Ducks will do about their goaltending after promising Lukas Dostal’s solid performance during his recent call-up. He’s been sent back to their AHL affiliate in San Diego but he clearly doesn’t belong there.

Stephens believes John Gibson needs a trade. He has a 10-team no-trade list but Stephens believes that can be worked around. However, the remaining four years of his contract, with its average annual value of $6.4 million, is a big obstacle. It would be difficult finding a team in need of an upgrade in goal with the cap space to take on his contract.

Another option could be moving backup Anthony Stolarz, who carries a more affordable $950K cap hit and is slated to become a UFA. If the Ducks want to move Stolarz they’ll have to showcase him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks are stuck with Gibson unless they either buy him out this summer or retain half of his cap hit to facilitate a trade. They won’t do the former while the latter would leave them with four years of $3.2 million in dead cap space each year, which Stephens doubts they’ll want to do.

They might be able to find a taker for Stolarz over the next couple of months among playoff contenders looking to shore up their goaltending depth. Otherwise, Dostal will have to spend the remainder of this season in the minors unless injuries sideline Gibson or Stolarz again.


SPORTSNET (stick tap to NHL Watcher): On Jan. 3, Elliotte Friedman said the Chicago Blackhawks really like Jake McCabe and are in no hurry to move the defenseman. However, they also understand he probably wants to play for a winner. Friedman expects the Edmonton Oilers to be among the suitors.

The following day on The Jeff Marek Show, Friedman expressed doubts about the Oilers landing McCabe. He’s not sure the blueliner wants to play in Canada and has some no-trade control. Friedman thinks Oilers GM Ken Holland will have to look elsewhere for help on his blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In shorts, the Oilers are interested in McCabe but he’s apparently not interested in them or any other Canadian team. He has a seven-team no-trade list.


  1. Edmonton will end up going the cheap-yet-somehow-overpaying route and get Olli Maatta from Yzerman in some sort of overpayment.

    • Yup! Maata, Nedeljkovic(both at 1/2 salary) for Pull-toy and a 3rd! Such a bargain! 😁

  2. It’s been frequently mentioned in here that one thing the Senators need to do in order to continue their improvement is to upgrade their goaltending – specifically, find someone else other than 35 y/o Talbot,

    I disagreed each time that was brought up, pointing out that their goaltending stats are as good as – and in many cases better than – half the league,

    But, let’s say Dorion is looking at that aspect. Eric Stephens says he “believes John Gibson needs a trade. He has a 10-team no-trade list but Stephens believes that can be worked around. However, the remaining four years of his contract, with its average annual value of $6.4 million, is a big obstacle. It would be difficult finding a team in need of an upgrade in goal with the cap space to take on his contract.”

    If Ottawa went that route and either they were not on his no-go list or, if so, able to “work around it” they ill have $9,516,667 at hand just by not re-upping UFAs Talbot, Motte, Charter, Hamonic and Brassard – the last 4 easily replaceable from within, through other trades or from the UFA list,

    So, assuming Gibson has no objection to coming to an up and coming team – doable, as Pengy would say, depending upon whether the Ducks will be looking just to get out from under that contract in their re-build or, the quality of what they would want in return.

    But I’m not holding my breath.

    • I dunno George , Gibsons rep seems to be riding on past performance. He was excellent from 2015/2016 thru 2018/2019 but has been very average since. Depends on the asking price and how much $ would retained.
      I agree with you , stay the course and make a call on re-signing Talbot post season.

      • With you on that Fergy, you would want more recent success for that type of commitment. And that is taking into account the crappy team he is on.

        Just a volatile position, and older tenders seem to miss a lot of time as well.

        There will be some decent shorter term options available plus they have Forsberg to share the load with whoever comes in.

        If that was the missing piece for them to genuinely compete for a cup, then go for it, but now they are a contender to make the playoffs, if they stick with the plan in a couple years they may start to push for the big prize.

        Sogaard might be pushing for that spot by then as well.

    • Good Moring George

      Im Not going there any more with you and the Sens Goaltending Issues❗️

      • LOL. Hey, it’s all good debate williew. Hell, this would be a boring site if we all agreed on everything. Pengy and I can’t even agree on coffee!

      • Maybe they can sign the only player on Team Canada not to have been drafted this past Spring – Milic the goalie who just saved 43 shots in sending Canada past the U,S, 6-2 to advance to the Junior Finals against the only team t beat them so fat – Czechia.

      • He was the first star for us last night George, by a lot. Hope for the same tonight.
        Seems pretty small, which is probably why he has been passed over in last 2 drafts.

      • Guessing he signs as a free agent, and may take the longer road to try and get to the NHL. ECHL to start, which isn’t that uncommon these days.

        The list was cool, Gump was a little bugger, and good. Pang was only 5’5″, that’s a wow.

        Saros is a good tender today under 6′, but the only starter I can thing of.

    • It was said last year that Gibby’s no-trade list are Canadian teams and AZ. This really quieted speculation that he was going to Toronto.

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      • Gibson hasn’t been elite for quite sometime.
        The ‘bad team’ in front of him argument doesn’t hold up when you look at advanced stats.

  3. Re “the Oilers are interested in McCabe but he’s apparently not interested in them or any other Canadian team. He has a seven-team no-trade list.”

    So what does he do when they come into Canada in road games – hold his nose? Put on blinders? What is it with these chauvinistic stiffs like him and Seth Jones? Hello! Roughly a quarter of the league is in Canada. It’s a good thing, I guess, that the NHL doesn’t expand to include European sites.

    I have yet to hear of a Canada-born NHL player who has made it clear he does not want to play in the U,S, Can you imagine Crosby, Gretzky, McDavid, Lemieux etc., with that sort of attitude?

    • George, I think you took this a little too personally – and I understand that. I think there is a bias among a lot of players not to play in Canada for a number of reasons (think taxes, under the microscope press, weather, etc). Its not a knock on Canada, rather IF you had a choice to play in sunny Calif/Fla or Calgary/etc, a lot of these young men are going to opt for the former. But look, Taveras, Hubredeau and Giroux (all Canadians) opted to sign for Canadian teams and the US players (Tkachuk and Gadreau) opted for US teams. Its also a matter of comfort, its not a nationalistic snub.

      • I can see that redmonsters … but, as I say, whenever we hear that in cases like McCabe and Jones it’s ALWAYS one-way – a U,S,-born player making it plain he wants no part of Canada and never a Canada-born player saying the opposite.

        What these guys have to remember is, like it or not, the NHL is made up of both U,S, and Canada-based teams. So, you’re in the league you go where the transactions take you – unless of course you’ve negotiated for the inclusion of a list of no-go locations. If you have 10 and all 7 Canadian locations are on it – so be it. But don’t come out and piously state you want no part of the other country involved in your chosen sport. That just pegs you as a chauvinist – regardless of your reasons.

      • George I get your point, it’s just one of the many differences between Americans and Canadians. Both have so many similarities but it’s differences like this that set us apart…having said that, the players who don’t want to play in Canada has more to do with weather and taxes as well a cultural differences.
        I don’t think it’s much of a loss other than the pity you feel for those ignorant folks.

      • Doesn’t really bug me if a US guy doesn’t want to come up here. Seriously don’t care. Still way more CDN’s and Euro’s available, so not that big a problem IMO. Since 75% of the teams are in the US, it makes total sense that CDN players wouldn’t limit their options to 1/4 of the teams. They would be stupid if they did.

        Not a shot at our great neighbors to the south, but most of my US friends/business acquaintances don’t know sh*t about other places. Not because they don’t understand it, none really give a crap. We’re different that way.

        Similar in some ways, and very different in others. I’m good with that.

        I think redmonsters is on to a reason for many of them though, it is the microscope. Not for everyone. Some thrive in it, others not so much.

      • Redmonster one of the Tkachuk boys (whose mom is from Winnipeg) opted to sign long term in Ottawa.

        It would be hard to take playing golf on your off days in the winter.

        With that said Big Buff no longer of the NHL is likely out ice fishing somewhere today.

      • All true Ray … but you know, it’s funny that, with the influx of players from all over Europe over the past decades I have yet to ever hear one of them say flat-out that they want no part of any team in Canada. C’est la vie, I guess.

      • Ya George, Americans are just different than us and the Euro countries in some ways. Euros different in others.

        Not all US players shun Canada either, Caper brought up Tkachuk, but also Miller in Vancouver for another recent one. In WPG you have Hellebuyck, Connor and Lowry all signed long term and ate some UFA years. Campbell in EDM chose to go there and signed long term, but some fans here now wish he didn’t!

      • Oh I agree 100% – I never intended to impart the opinion that I think ALL U,S,-born players take that approach, In fact, the vast majority don’t.

        I was talking about those few who do and not only make sure all 7 are on any no-go list they’re authorized to compile (which is fine) – but also make sure that everyone knows their feelings by letting it be known whenever they can. THAT’S what bugs me. Just compile their list and STFU. If they don’t yet have such a list in their contract and are dealt here – fulfill the deal and act like a pro.

      • We agree on that George, 100%.

    • George, just get used to the fact that it is better here in the USA, even with the Biden economy! 😁

      • John, most likely better in “some” parts of the states; i.e. Florida and Texas. Would definitely not want to live in Chicago. Although California has fantastic weather, many of their laws are atrocious.

      • Heh, Let’s compare the cost – and availability – of medical coverage.

      • Though Canada healthcare is free. Supposedly. But if you need a specialist or surgery for stuff you die waiting. We do not have enough doctors. Etc. In USA. You get in where you want when you want You have to buy a plan. But overall tax savings vs Canada more then covers the cost I have lived in both USA and Canada both have their advantages but health care better in USA. In my opinion But overall living is better Canada less violence less hate

      • Ya MB4, lately the shortage is hurting with the Docs. Like brutal. Need to change how they are compensated (shouldn’t just be procedures for the bigger$) and how they invoice the Gov for what they do. Not the only changes that need to happen either.

        On the plus side of the comparison between the 2 on healthcare, our system costs approx 40% less per capita (that’s a lot) and we live longer. Men 5 years, women 4 years. So methinks it isn’t that great for everyone down there. Plus we’re still better at Hockey.

        Maybe it’s because we drink more beer!

      • LOL. Not just more beer, Ray. But GOOD beer.

    • A lot of these American players just dont speak Canadian….so there’s that.

      • LOL

      • I think you’re on to something… the other day they were interviewing Matthews and he mentioned how proud he was to put on this jersey when we all know it’s called a sweater!

      • It is difficult to learn , Eh! 😉😂😎

      • Ron, and Matthews has never lived in New “Jersey”. ——lol

        Plenty of regional dialects in the U.S.
        Who would believe that a Bostonian and Texan are from the same country.

      • ayy-up

      • I was “ah-boat” to go to Johnny Hortons, in my Leafs sweater,but I’m “Soary”, it will have to wait until toe-more-oh, ehh?

      • You want English dialect ,,, visit Newfoundland (and be sure to ask to be Screeched),

        You want a European flavour without crossing the pond, visit Le Gaspé (or the French Department of St, Pierre Et Miquelon off the south coast of Newfoundland),

      • George.
        $40plus per case. Can get less then 20 in USA. Just saying.

  4. If you don’t want to play in Canada you don’t have any business being in the NHL.

  5. 🍁Re; Oilers Need for a 2nd paring LD/man,
    The Oilers will want to move Jesse Puiljarvi $3.M sound like holland dose not want to move his 1st pick unless its a great deal, maybe 2 players out and picks or a prospect is in the Mix, he know he has to sort out the d, soon❗️if Not No playoffs

    I think this is where Duncan Keith the who is currently working for the Edmonton Oilers as a Defence player development consultant to the GM.
    I’m thinking he will be chatting with his 2 buddys in Chicago
    i would look at these in this order…❓

    LD man Jake McCabe a Defensive defenseman
    Not not a big point producer along the blueline but does an good job of getting the puck out of danger, which can lead to scoring chances. His defense-first style of play makes him a good fit for the Oilers alongside an RD man offensive partner.🤔
    Joel Edmundson, Habs
    Big shutdown defenseman, physical force in his own zone who is at his best when he keeps things single and does not try to do more than he is capable of. good puck mover who can play 20-plus minutes per game and is a good match for an RD offensive partner.
    habs have 9 d/men and will move 2 out by the trade deadline…
    Vladislav Gavrikov LD
    The CBJ 27 yr old UFA could also be a great fit for the oilers 2nd paring, is a solid two-way defenseman who can play in all situations and a very good defensive defenseman
    but the price is high for this d/man keep hearing 2 draft picks or a 1st and a good prospect…. and something else
    Then there is Jakob Chycrun from AZ, ⁉️
    But the ask is Very Very High,
    2X1st round picks and a Top Prospect, and
    money in money out roster player

    The Oilers also need to look for a physical big tough
    3rd or 4th line winger.
    Hopfully Klim Kostin can work out in the top 6 RW
    he is playing wth #97 tonight on the first line..👍

  6. Would be nice to know what Kane’s plans are for next year. NY went through rebuild and Lundkvist chose to stay until he was bought out. If Hawks have no intentions of bringing him back, then maybe he agrees to only go to a handful of teams. Or maybe he rides out season and signs elsewhere in summer. He lives in western NY in off season so I wouldn’t rule out Buffalo. If I’m NY, I’m not trading for him unless it’s just picks or b prospect. Or, he agrees to an affordable 1 or 2 year extension. I’d trade Chytil if they can get Kane extension for less than what Chytil will get next year b

    • I could see the Pegulas wanting Kane on the Sabres next year if he becomes a UFA…don’t see them giving up a first or top prospects at the TDL for him.

  7. If not Kane in NY, I wouldn’t rule out Rangers being in on Chychrun. Agree with Lyle that LD is still a need. Chytil, Dallas 1st and Robertson or Jones?

    • Never count Vegas out on any big name that is available. I said it last year in the end that’s where Eichel would end up. Owner is older and wants a cup today rather than tomorrow.

      • That may well be LEN … but I, for one anyway, hope everything that team does blows up in their face and they continue to come up short when it comes to the Cup.

  8. Not to go off topic but what can Vancouver get in return of JT Miller, alternatively, what do they need to do to rid themselves of him?

    • Seems like Miller was told he would not be traded if he signed his extension for less than market value.

  9. I predict Tarasenko in the Big Apple. Maybe event a shot at resigning.
    Kane no chance of a resign and a more expensive rental
    I still maintain Armstrong is playing games with Chychrun and will not be moved unless his high demand is met.

    I would like Boeser to move. If there any takers