Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 29, 2023

by | Jan 29, 2023 | Rumors | 31 comments

Could the Devils be a destination for Vladimir Tarasenko? Would the Bruins have to part with Brandon Carlo or Jake DeBrusk to acquire Bo Horvat? What’s the latest on the Oilers, Senators and Kraken? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET (stick tap to NHL Watcher): During Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman reported the New Jersey Devils had previously spoken to the St. Louis Blues about winger Vladimir Tarasenko. When the Blues were trying to acquire Matthew Tkachuk from the Calgary Flames last summer, one thing they had to do was figure out how to trade Tarasenko. He wasn’t going to accept a trade to Calgary so trading him to New Jersey was discussed.

St, Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald is in the market for a scoring winger and has been linked to the San Jose Sharks’ Tim Meier. Unlike Meier, who is a restricted free agent this summer, Tarasenko is due to become an unrestricted free agent. Fitzgerald’s preference could be acquiring someone like Meier who fits within his club’s long-term plans rather than a rental player such as Tarasenko.

Friedman believes the Edmonton Oilers are among the teams with interest in Arizona Coyotes center Nick Bjugstad. He carries an affordable $900K contract this season, has scored 11 goals thus far this season and is among the shootout leaders with three goals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There are a lot of notable stars who could be available leading up to this year’s trade deadline. However, there will be more of a market for decent, affordable veterans like Bjugstad given the high number of contenders with limited cap space.

Jeff Marek reports there hasn’t been much progress in contract talks between the Seattle Kraken and defenseman Carson Soucy, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. They may have to decide if they’ll keep him for a playoff run and risk losing him for nothing or shopping him before the March 3 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken GM Ron Francis would have to find a suitable replacement for Soucy if he trades him. It wouldn’t surprise me if he retains the veteran blueliner as an “own rental” for the playoffs.

Marek also reports some teams seeking goaltending depth for the playoffs are interested in Dallas Stars netminder Anton Khudobin. He’s healthy and currently playing for the Stars’ AHL affiliate. His $3.33 million cap hit ($3.75 million in actual salary) could be a sticking point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars will have accrued over $2.7 million in cap space by the March 3 trade deadline. They could retain part of Khudobin’s salary to facilitate a deal but I think their preference is to get the entirety of that cap hit off their books to create room for any playoff rentals of their own.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cited a source claiming the Vancouver Canucks have always liked Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo and winger Jake DeBrusk. One of those players would likely have to be packaged with a first-round pick and a top prospect if the Bruins hope to acquire Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Canucks can do better than a package from the Bruins with Carlo or DeBrusk as the centerpiece. Carlo’s injury history should be a big red flag as should DeBrusk’s inconsistent offense.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited former Oiler Georges Laraque telling Oilers Now on Friday that the club should avoid acquiring Joel Edmundson. He claims the 29-year-old Montreal Canadiens’ blueliner has a herniated problem with his back that has hampered his performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmundson’s been frequently linked to the Oilers in the rumor mill. However, that doesn’t mean they’re going to acquire him to bolster the left side of their blueline. If they are interested they’ll want to see his medical records before signing off on a trade.


OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren recently examined the Senators’ restricted and unrestricted free agents as the club’s playoff hopes fade.

Warren observed it would cost the Senators $9 million to qualify RFA winger Alex DeBrincat. If a team offered up an extremely talented young defenseman the Senators might bite on a deal. However, the best option appears to be waiting until the offseason and seeing if the club’s new ownership is willing to pay him a lucrative long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be surprised if the Senators trade DeBrincat considering what they gave up last summer to acquire him. Never say never if they get an irresistible offer but I think they intend to re-sign him.

He believes the chances of pending UFA goaltender Cam Talbot re-signing with the Senators appear less likely than they did three weeks ago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot’s struggles during this month before his recent injury could have the Senators considering other goaltending options for next season.

Warren felt that Austin Watson would be moved if someone offered up a late-round pick. Dylan Gambrell will likely be moving on at season’s end. A two or three-year bridge deal for Shane Pinto this summer makes the most sense.

It would be an intriguing call for the Senators if a club comes calling for blueliner Travis Hamonic at the trade deadline. Defenseman Nick Holden could also be moved by deadline day if there’s interest. It might finally be time for the Sens to move on from rearguard Erik Brannstrom.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators have been very patient with Brannstrom but I don’t see any significant signs of improvement in his game. He is what he is and the Sens will have to accept that and move on.


  1. Wild West down to a 9 -10 Team Race
    Watched some of the Blues & avs game last night

    Looks like the St Louis Blues are dropping out the playoff Race stuck at 11th spot in the west with a 4-2 loss last night leaves the Blues at 49pts & 50 games after there 4 loss in a row….you can see they miss Ryan O’Reilys leadership❗️

    West playofff table, 2 very good team are going to miss the cut hear⁉️

    -Flames 50 game & 57 pts
    -Avs 48 games & 57 pts
    -Oil 50 games & 60 pts
    -Wild 48 games & 58 pts
    -LA 52 games & 62 pts
    -Vegas 51 games & 61 pts
    -Jets & Kraken both at 63 pts
    -Stars at 66 pts

    • I have been saying it for a long time now. If the Avalanche are healthy and it appears they will be after the break: Manson, Byram, Nichuskin, Landeskog in March, then the juggernaut will start to crank up? We are going to find out who is really good and who isn’t! GO AVS!!!!
      P.S. Binnington is the biggest chump in the NHL!!!!

      • It seems Binnington patterned his approach to the game along the lines of Hextall!

      • Is Binnington first because Tom Wilson is injured?

  2. Canucks I’m sure would look at Carlo and his past 5 concussions and pass but I’m sure DeBrusk could interest them

    • How about debrusks and either smith or Reilly for severson and a 2nd round pick.then you trade Carlo and Frederic for horvat.horvat plays lw this year and replaces 46/or37 when they retire.

      • C’mon NJD aren’t doing that nor the Canucks. B’s will be outbid by any team if that’s their offers.

  3. Re Ottawa’s fading playoff hopes, right now they’re 8 pts back of Pittsburgh with the same number of games played (49). As for the teams they’d need to pass in order to get to Pittsburgh, the biggest challenge will be Buffalo, currently 7 pts in front of them with the same number of gp. The have 3 games in hand on each of NYI (7 pts back) and Florida (6 pts back), 2 pts back of Philadelphia with 2 games in hand, and 1 point back of Detroit who have played one less.

    Their next game is Tuesday in Montreal, following which they get an 11 day break to nurse minor dings. The only player who won’t be back is, of course, Norris, but Motte returned last night following a 15-game absence due to a broken finger and played 12.18 with his usual intense fore-checking on that 3rd line with Pinto and Joseph. Brassard played will at C on the 2nd line between DeBrincat and Giroux. And the much-maligned Zaitsev turned in a solid 21.24 of ice time with 4 hits and was a +1 on the night.

    Lately I have been yammering about the need for consistent effort, and over the past 3 games (2-1 over NYI, 6-2 over the Leafs and 5-0 last night over the Habs (with Forsberg solid in nets in each) they have demonstrated that in spades. And that pleased the sell-out crowd of 20,034 (well, most of them anyway – as always there were at least a couple of thousand Habs fans in the building).

    Can they close the playoff gap over their final 33 games? If total effort continues – probably – but likely not enough to displace whichever of the top teams wind up in the two WC slots.

    Will they deal at or before TD day? I agree with Lyle that a deal will be worked out with DeBrincat, and possibly Motte and Hamonic who has played very well alongside rookie Sanderson. Holden might go to a playoff-bound team looking for a veteran depth D, while Brannstrom, if not traded by TD Day, will most probably go sometime next summer.

    I don’t see either Watson or Gambrell going before season’s end IF, by TD Day, they are still inching up in the standings and retain some hope of making a WC spot.

    • I don’t see Dorion as too busy on trade deadline day. Maybe minor moves such as pending UFA’s for mid to late round draft picks. I honestly think that Dorion and Smith are just placeholders now. They will both be replaced once new ownership are in place. The only reason they are still in place now are because it makes no sense to hire interim people (and still pay Smith / Dorion).

      • You’re probably right on that score Peter. Looking at their chances this season, both Dorion and Smith have likely done the math and have seen that, in order to reach the 90-point mark (usually the minimum needed to make a playoff spot), they’d need to elevate their game from their current .500 pace to .621 over their final 33 games.

        As an illustration of how 1 game can make a difference in the needed pace, if they win Tuesday in Montreal before the break their pace the rest of the way would dip slightly to ,609 – but if they lose, it jumps to .641.

        Little room for error.

    • George I

      Given your understanding of the Sens what would you place as a value on two of their defencemen…Holden and/or Hamonic?

      Do you think they would both be used as simply depth players on a contender? Do you think Hamonic could displace anyone in the Leafs blue line?

      Dubas and Dorion have a good trade history.

  4. Moving Carlo for Horvat makes no sense, as Boston doesn’t have a player to move into Carlo spot.

    Trading away Debrusk and a 1st for Horvat doesn’t make much of a difference. Other then giving away a 1st round pick.

    Team chemistry means alot to the bruin players and I don’t see Boston moving the two players mention and definitely not for a rental.

    • Agree, Bruins won’t mess too much with chemistry, will add complimentary pieces. Maybe look too add a piece like Horvat in the off season as a UFA. A 1st, Lysell, and DeBrusk is too much, Horvat is a consistent high twenty something scorer, not a 40 or even 50 goal man, just having a great season on a bad team.

    • Wingers are no motivation nor is a very late 2nd. The B’s are far from in the drivers seat to obtain any big name. Pointless talking about it but tweaks are likely.

  5. Holtz and a 2nd for Vladdy would at least get my attention.

    Sharanovich and a 2nd would be a DEAL.


  6. I have been saying it for a long time now. If the Avalanche are healthy and it appears they will be after the break: Manson, Byram, Nichuskin, Landeskog in March, then the juggernaut will start to crank up? We are going to find out who is really good and who isn’t! GO AVS!!!!
    P.S. Binnington is the biggest chump in the NHL!!!!

    • Sorry for double post!!!

      • TB

        Pretty tired of Binnington’s act myself, but Marchand gets the #1 star awarded to “Chumps”. Binner still #2.


      • Iowa Prince,

        With Bunting quickly climbing the rankings.

    • Binnington and his nose need to get tuned up by someone! It may be worth a game misconduct and a monetary fine??? He’s an average goalie at that. Like his own coach said, just stop pucks, which he hasn’t been too successful at!

  7. Tarasenko will get moved. i am sure a lot of teams have interest. Same with RoR . Blues forward future revolves around Thomas and Kyrou.

    Boeser and Meyers 50% held and maybe there is enough to retain Horvat.

    • Iowa Prince, no comparison of Marchand to Billington, Marchand is an absolute star, every team would love to have him!

  8. I would like to see Buffalo go after Timo Meier.
    Isak Rosen, Jost, Comrie and the Flyers’ 2nd for Meier, Vlassic(1/2 salary), and Reimer
    This big salary dump would be beneficial to the Sharks future and Vlassic at $3.5M is still expensive for a depth defenseman, but the Sabers can handle it. And Reimer is an upgrade over Comrie and the Sharks can deal with his extra year.

  9. IP, got to give you credit for your objectivity! I respect the Blues because they are tough to play against but Binnington has some screws loose!!

  10. Horvat on Bruins…. Scares me; and I’m sure 31 other teams’ fans

    To get it done…. Sweeney Must incentivize ‘Nucks with an offer with great potential and tough for others to match….

    Horvat ( 25% retained) + Schenn to Bruins

    To ‘Nucks: Smith, Nosek (both UFAs, needed to balance Cap in/Cap out)

    + Lysell;
    + and *Conditional 1st ‘23
    + **conditional (lottery protected) 1st in 24

    * 1st in ‘23 ….IF Bruins get to SCF; AND Horvat plays at least 10 games in playoffs; otherwise…. It’s a 3rd

    **1st ‘24 (lottery protected); if Horvat re-ups with Bruins; otherwise…. A 3rd

    Lysell is a first

    The offer to ‘Nucks is a very high probability of a minimum of 2 1sts (Lysell and ‘23) and a 3rd ; with a reasonable expectation of it turning into 3 1sts

    For Bruins…. If they somehow crap out…. and that’s s los probability…. It’s Lysell and two 3rds

    If they win it all; likely one (maybe both) of Berg/Kre retire (as champs) and Sweeney has rights for Horvat (to get a deal done)…. worth the offer

    • I agree with you Pengy, Bruins won’t get Horvat with Debrusks and Carlos, Canucks will want at least Lysell and Boston’s late 1st rounder. Canucks made it clear they wanted a talented young ready to play player and Lysell is really close to making that jump.

    • Nosek is out for another month….he does not get traded! Too little time to reassess his ability after an injury, if he plays at all before the TDL.

    • Late 3rds are pretty useless. Slim chance of being NHLers nor is Lysell impressing many ppl. Just cuz he’s a 1st rounder it means not much in his case. Another winger that isn’t in the ask.

      Basically anyone dreaming of Bo to the B’s ignores everything that’s not the perspective of the Canucks.

      Any bidding war for Bo the B’s have no chance.

      • I agree, but I’m not even interested in Horvat as a rental. He’ll ultimately end up in Motown.

  11. I’ve thought for awhile Bo on the B’s is a perfect fit.

    In all of that time there is maybe a slim chance but more like none it happens. The B’s just don’t have the assets.

    My assessment is they have no blue chip prospects nor a RD nor a C that cuts the mustard.

    The Canucks have tied their own hands with wingers signed & need to move 1 or 2 not gain any. The mess of a season & needs are obvious of what they have to do being redesigning the roster for the retool they claim is needed. Fans want a rebuild but that’s not the plan. Everyone knows the D is big problem.

  12. Jets wish list:

    – need another big forward for the 3rd or 4th line to take the heat off Lowry to defend players. Although injured, Z. McEwen may be a good fit but I like a Crouse or Ritchie from the Yotes.

    – need another big defenceman like a L. Schenn or C. Soucy. Logan Stanley is very inconsistent and doesn’t use his size as at advantage and V. Heinola hasn’t been able to crack the lineup for 3y.

    – C. Perfetti is still a kid learning the game and needs to get some size. Need a scoring winger to step into the top 6 role. Possibly Zucker from the Pens or Bennett / Reinhart from the Panthers?

    – Lambert / Luscious / Stanley / Schmidt / Heinola / Pionk / Wheeler.

    – Wheeler / Stanley and Lambert to Buff for Middlestadt and Lybushkin

    – Wheeler / Pionk / Lambert to Florida for Bennett and Gudas. Maurice can have his best buddy back!

    – Heinola / Lambert and a second rounder for Lawson Crouse from the Yotes

    – 2nd rounder for L. Schenn

    – if the future is not bright to keep Dubois, maybe go for Meir? He’d love to play with his buddy Ehlers again?

    Just a few suggestions