Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 1, 2023

by | Jan 1, 2023 | Rumors | 22 comments

Start off your New Year with a look at the Leafs’ trade deadline priorities, the future of Max Domi, trade options for the Flyers and more in the first Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup of 2023.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Toronto Maple Leafs could still attempt to take a big swing at landing a defenseman before the March 3 trade deadline. However, the improved performance of their blueline this season has some wondering if they might change their approach. They have limited cap space and don’t have a lot of draft picks but they do possess plenty of prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Young blueliners like Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren and Conor Timmins stepped up with Jake Muzzin likely done for the season and Morgan Rielly sidelined for 15 games by a knee injury. There could still be some question over whether those rearguards can maintain that level of play in the postseason but their performances over the next couple of months could alleviate that concern. If so, the Leafs could shift their focus toward adding a scoring winger by deadline day.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Max Domi (NHL Images).

Jeff Marek reports Max Domi signing a one-year contract last summer with the Chicago Blackhawks seemed to suggest the 27-year-old forward would be shopped by the trade deadline, However, Domi has fit in well with the rebuilding club. There are ongoing discussions between his agent and Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson. With Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews potentially moving on at the trade deadline, a Domi trade no longer seems as certain as it once was.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Davidson could still move Domi if he gets a solid offer like a first-round pick, a high-end prospect or a good young NHL player. As Marek indicated, however, that might not be the done deal everyone thought it was last summer.

Speaking of the Blackhawks, Friedman wondered if defenseman Jake McCabe could end up being a trade target for the Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McCabe, 29, is in the second season of a four-year deal with an average annual value of $4 million. He also carries a seven-team no-trade list. The Oilers don’t have a lot of projected trade deadline cap space ($1.6 million) so they might need the Blackhawks to retain some salary if they can’t move out enough in this deal or in a separate cost-cutting deal.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Charlie O’Connor was asked if any teams might be interested in Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes or if his contract would be too expensive to move. O’Connor doesn’t rule out a deadline move but thinks it would be more likely to occur in the offseason. Hayes’ $7.1 million cap hit through 2025-26 won’t draw much interest but that could improve if the Flyers retained half of it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All of this arose from recent reports of tension between Hayes and Flyers coach John Tortorella. O’Connor also suggested that teams would be less interested in making a trade for Hayes if there’s a feeling the Flyers will buy him out this summer. That possibility recently arose in the rumor mill but I think it’s premature to make that assumption. It’s also possible that the talk of tension between Hayes and Tortorella is overblown. Nevertheless, their relationship could be worth monitoring over the remainder of the season.

O’Connor was also asked if it would be wise for the Flyers to attempt to move winger Travis Konecny now while his value is high right now. He believes the 25-year-old winger could fetch a first-round pick and a B-level prospect at least. However, O’Connor thinks Konecny is young enough to still deliver for the Flyers as the club turns the corner considering he’s also signed through 2024-25.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Konecny probably isn’t going anywhere as long as Chuck Fletcher remains the GM and the club’s focus isn’t on rebuilding but retooling around their current core. So far, there’s no indication of any shift in the club’s plans.


  1. Lyle thank you for your work with your site and my distraction with my morning coffee

    best to all the all for 2023

  2. Max Domi is only worth a bag of pucks if you can find a team who will give you a bag of pucks. First round pick in a trade, you ate too much turkey.

    • 🤔That was a Darring By-low blow! 😃
      I could not resist

    • Darren…have you watched Domi this year? Leading rhe Blackhawks with 11 goals, only 27, great one timer on the off side on power play, fast skater, has some snarl to his game…

      Ill take him as my third li e center in Pittsburgh because Jeff Carter is useless 5 goals 33 games two of them empty netters.

      One mans garbage is abother mans treasure..they say. Lol

  3. As per the Leafs …

    IMO – A better than average left winger with grit is a “must”

    Who is available , or which team do you reach out to .
    Tampa always seems to find a way to get it done .
    Florida is another story – their strategy is less effective

    Easier said than done , and who do Leafs offer in exchange

    Elliot Freedman talk is fine , but until I hear anything from Darren Dreger , I am not as “keen” as per something going down …

    Darren Dreger somehow knows when a deal is about to happen .

    The Treliving article from yesterday – If Dreger was in on that – A fan , hockey affiliate would know there has been communication , not pie in the sky chatter !

  4. Re; Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes

    A Big 6.ft5 & Centre and is the leading Scorer on the Flyers Team❗️, 34 games and 30 points
    Why would they want to trade him..?
    just because he dose not gett on the coach John Tortorella,
    Philly is a Mess, have been for years now its time they get a New GM 100% & Re-build…..⁉️

  5. As per Philadelphia , this is a team – is more than likely motivated for a change !

    1. Konecny – Idesl

    2.Deslauriers – not sure if there is any upside on this guy or not

    3. Van Riemsdyk – doesn’t fit the grit category , but may get his second wind getting of no where land in Philadelphia
    Third in my pecking order

    4. Hayes – An albatross contract

    • Idesl? Too many coded words on this site

      • Ideal

  6. Happy New Year to all.

    If I was Dubas, I would totally target the Washington Capitals and see what it would take to pry Tom Wilson off of them.

    I feel you would have to throw an overpayment but for a game changer that could open up ice and be the grit we crave, he would be worth the fetch.

    You don’t score big goals without taking a shot, so if Dubas has to take the shot,…aim for Wilson.

    I feel if you offer a 2023 1st, a 2024 2nd, Knies, and Engval it would be enough to pry Wilson off the Capitals or at least get the ears of the caps listening and getting some traction going towards this huge deal.

  7. SURE – Who wouldn’t want Tom Wilson

    Washington is like 9-1 in their past 10 games, playing really , really well

    Wilson will be a key player for a deep playoff run
    Who knows. What the Capitols are capable of , especially the way they are paying ..

    They are very unlikely to part with him – ..

    • My point is to try and offer them an overpayment. Yes maybe it doesn’t happen but what would you offer in order to pry him and that is kind of my point.

      Your point seems to be don’t even try it because it ain’t happening and you’re not ready to take the shot.

      Phaneuf landed here only because the Gm’s were talking about a deal and it transpired into the Leafs aquiring Phaneuf.

      Ya, maybe it is unlikely but again you have to take a shot in order to make things possibly happen.

      Washington is down a big D named Carlson,..maybe Dubas could trade Morgan to help them out (if washington would listen) and if (dubas can get morgan to ease off his NMC) which has been done many times with other players who have the NMC.

      So take the other aapproach and possibly entertain the idea and come up with an offer that could POSSIBLY gain traction in order to pry Wilson.

      • DJ, I agree that it costs nothing to try.

        But IF Washington made it known that they were willing to listen to offers on Wilson, there are teams in and around the 8th and WC playoff spots whose 1st and 2nd round picks figure to be a lot higher up the scale than Toronto’s will be, and who have infinitely better prospects to include than Knies and a roster player who is not another dime-a-dozen type like Engvall.

  8. Can someone explain to me why Domi is consistently on the move? It seems like he cannot stay in one place for more than 5 mins.

    • LM

      It could be because every new team that gets him hopes he will be the 72 point player he was in 2018-19 and not the 35-50 point player he actually is?

      Also, he can play C and plays with a bit of an edge. Tough to find guys like that.

    • LM, if you examine the transactions each time he moved you can see it was usually a question of the receiving team wanting him as a condition of the deal.

      Drafted in the 1st round (12th overall) in 2013 by Arizona, he had an excellent rookie season with 18g 34a 52 pts in 81gp. In June 2018 the either theCoyotes wanted Galchenyuk or Montreal wanted Domi (probably the latter) and so that deal was made and almost immediately the Habs signed him to a 2-year $6.3 mil deal.

      In the 2018-19 season he potted 28g 44a 72pts in 82gp. But on October 6, 2020 either the Habs wanted Josh Anderson or Columbus wanted Domi as part of that deal and when concluded the Blue Jackets gave him a new 2-year $10.6 mil deal.

      In his final season in Columbus, he was part of the 3-team trade on TD Day which saw him wind up in Carolina where, in the deciding 7th game of the playoffs against Boston he scored 2 goals and assisted on the game winner to send the Hurricanes to the next round.

      On July 13, 2022, as a UFA he opted to go to Chicago on a 1-year $3 mil deal.

      Why is he on the move a lot? Probably because he’s been a durable, dependable F who, over 536gp in the NHL, has 82-game averages of 17g 35a 52pts while racking up an average 71 pim per season. Nothing like his dad whose average pim was 283 – but he’s no shrinking violet and, at a solid 195lb on a 5′ 10″ frame, will mix it up when necessary.

      What I find curious is that he has yet to sign a deal anywhere at more than 2 years. If he leaves Chicago as a UFA at the end of this season, and turning 28 in March, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him trying to settle down somewhere with at least a 4-year term. His season so far has produced 11g 13a 24 pts in 35gp so he’s on an 82-game pace of 26g 31a 57pts. A 4-year deal at $3.1 mil per would give some team with space a solid, productive 3rd liner.

      • George O

        Very good perspective on Domi. Thanks for the detail.

        I think he would be a perfect replacement for Kerfoot in TOR. He can play 3C or 2LW depending on the situation.

        It was rumoured that TOR expressed interest in the off-season but at a much lower salary than CHI offered.

        If TOR could trade for him and sign him for a similar contract to Kerfoot that would be fantastic.

        In complete agreement about Engvall. Never been a big fan of his. He’s fast and huge but plays small.

      • Daryl, I’d love to see Dorion make a pitch for him now with Chicago and put him at LW on that third line with Pinto at C and Matthew Joseph at RW.

  9. The Leafs don’t need to make a big splash on the trade front. Their call ups have been performing well.
    If anything a 6th-7th D man for insurance
    And possibly trade Kerfoot (UFA in 2023) for a bigger 2 way winger.
    They will be meeting up with Tampa again in the playoffs, goaltending may well be the determining factor.

    • Greg Smith, not intending to be antagonizing or anything like that, but I have to ask: why would a team in possession of a big(ger) 2 way winger give him up for a slight, journyman F who’s a UFA at season’s end coming off a cao hit of $4 mil per?

      In asking that, I assume the Leafs wouldn’t be interested in just a medium to low-grade prospect fitting that description, but rather either a mid- to top prospect or an established NHLer.

      • Sorry – should have read “cap hit of $3.5 mil per?”

  10. I am all in , as per Domi coming aboard , as per the Leafs !

    His dad would be electric as well

    Maybe I ate too much turkey as per the second comment on here by Darren bylow

    A player of Domi – gives an elite player – Nylander for example space , perform his game without being “hacked” running you

    A win , win …