NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2023

by | Feb 11, 2023 | Rumors | 46 comments

What will the Maple Leafs do at this year’s trade deadline? What’s the latest on Timo Meier, Brock Boeser, James van Riemsdyk Luke Schenn and Jesse Puljujarvi? Are the Capitals and Sabres planning any moves? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has narrowed down his trade wish list to a top-six forward and adding more beef to his defense corps. Dubas indicated he’s leaning more toward adding to his forward lines than to his blueline.

The Leafs GM said that the big names in the trade market aren’t necessarily his targets. He didn’t rule out moving his first-round pick or top prospect Matthew Knies but suggested there are some players and draft capital that he’d be hard-pressed to move away from, especially for a rental player.

TORONTO STAR: Chris Johnston also believes Dubas will be shopping for value at the deadline, putting substance over style. Like Koshan, he noted the Leafs GM’s reluctance to part with a first-round pick or Knies for a rental player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps Dubas might part with them for a player that could help them over the long term?

On Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast (stick tap to NHL Watcher), Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said he’d heard that there are teams that believe the Leafs may have considered the possibility of acquiring Timo Meier from the San Jose Sharks and sorting out next season’s salary-cap issues later on.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier (NHL Images)

Adding Meier would entail having nearly $50 million tied up in five forwards as re-signing him could cost between $9 million and $10 million annually. I don’t see them pulling that off unless they move another high-salaried forward or someone else from their lineup. Even then, it would leave them top-heavy with little room to balance out the rest of the roster.

Speaking of Meier…


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating that the New Jersey Devils could want the “final shot” at acquiring Timo Meier before the March 3 traded deadline. Peng also cited TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggesting the Devils could see the 26-year-old pending restricted free agent as a long-term acquisition.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will depend on what other offers are out there for Meier from other teams. As Peng pointed out, another club could also see the winger as a long-term part of their future. That could stoke a bidding war that puts Meier out of the Devils’ comfort zone in terms of return and a new contract for the Sharks forward.


NHL WATCHER: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Friday’s episode of his “32 Thoughts” podcast saying he’s heard rumblings about the Vancouver Canucks shipping Brock Boeser to the Minnesota Wild for Jordan Greenway.

After really looking into it, I don’t see it,” said Friedman. He claimed Boeser wants to go to Minnesota. However, the Wild can’t do the deal without the Canucks eating a chunk of the winger’s salary. He believes the Canucks would like to do the deal as Greenway is seen as a Rick Tocchet-type.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s average annual value is $6.65 million through 2024-25. The Wild can’t afford to take that on for the next two seasons when they’ve got over $14 million in dead cap space over that period due to their buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. The Canucks would have to retain half of that to make the dollars work for the Wild as Greenway earns $3 million annually over the same period.


THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor considers James van Riemsdyk the most likely member of the Philadelphia Flyers to be moved by the March 3 trade deadline. He noted that the 33-year-old winger is on an expiring contract “and still good enough to start for pretty much any playoff contender.” O’Connor assumed the Flyers will retain part of van Riemsdyk’s $7 million cap hit to facilitate a trade. He also thinks that pending UFA defenseman Justin Braun could be on the move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk was recently linked to the Calgary Flames given their ongoing need for a scoring forward. He could also become a trade target for clubs that lose out in the bidding for the Sharks’ Timo Meier and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane.


THE ATHLETIC: Tarek El-Bashir reports the uncertainty over whether sidelined defenseman John Carlson will return for the playoffs could push the Washington Capitals into the trade market for blueline help. They could draw on their overcrowded forward lines for trade bait to address that need.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber reports Capitals center Lars Eller has been mentioned as a potential trade chip to bring in a blueliner. Forward Anthony Mantha’s future with the club has come into question following several healthy scratches and a lack of consistency. However, Silber considers those rumblings about Mantha to be the result of pure speculation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eller is an established and reliable third-line center with an affordable $3.5 million AAV on an expiring contract. Perhaps a swap for a defenseman with a comparable salary would work for the Capitals.

On top of Mantha’s struggles this season, he carries a $5.7 million AAV through 2023-24. I don’t see anyone wanting to take that on unless the Capitals retain a significant portion.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported Thursday that the Vancouver Canucks have yet to decide if they’re trading Luke Schenn, who isn’t pushing to be moved. The 33-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Meanwhile, Chris Johnston said the Edmonton Oilers are still getting some interest in the trade market in struggling winger Jesse Puljujarvi. With Kailer Yamamoto slated to come off LTIR soon, they’ll need to make a corresponding move.

Johnston speculated they could even put Puljujarvi on waivers. He felt that could make the Oilers winger a more valuable trade chip as he could move between the NHL and AHL without having to clear waivers a second time.


THE BUFFALO NEWS’ Lance Lysowski tweeted that Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams will be looking at his blueline depth as the trade deadline approaches.


  1. JVR, Braun, Eller just what the leafs need 2nd line LW, depth right D and 3rd line centre.

    Wonder what that would cost. Sounds like Philly would retain 50% of JVR salary. Salary would probably need to go the other way so probably kerfoot.

    Sandin for Ellers and wash 2nd round pick?

    • Jeff

      Agreed that TOR needs help on LW. I don’t think JVR should be the target for the Leafs. He’s never been the fastest skater or best defensively and putting him on a line with Tavares would likely cause all sorts of trouble.

      The target from PHI should be Koneckny or Laughton. Koneckny is a better version of Michael Bunting. He’s signed for a few more seasons too. Dubas would prefer to trade for guys with term remaining.

      Not sure if PHI is going into a full rebuild or will try to retool their roster? Prying Koneckny would likely cost quite a bit in assets. Sandin and Knies for Koneckny might get their attention?

      3C for the Leafs is Kampf. Not sure Eller is much of an upgrade there? Certainly not enough of an upgrade to lose Sandin. Having C depth is never a bad idea I just don’t think losing a cost controlled young D man is worth it.

      WSH is said to need help on D. How about a hockey trade? Leafs send Brodie for Mantha with $700K retained to make the cap hits even?

      • Don’t see the leafs w depth in the system to afford koneckny. 2 first rd picks and a stud center prospect to start.

  2. I wonder who Johnstons source is – must be someone in the Edmonton organization, as I doubt anyone is really interested in Puljujarvi.

    • I think, if Edmonton put Puljujarvi on waivers, he will be claimed.

      • I would take that bet BCLeaf Fan. I doubt anyone is picking up a good-skating checker who can’t score with any consistency at a cap hit of $3 mil and would need to be qualified at that amount when he becomes an RFA at season’s end. Not at this stage.

      • BCLeaf Fan..

        i think your right…
        Still think he would be a good fit with the CBJ or with Cane’s to play with one of his old line mates the kids got talent maybe its to Fast playing in a line with McDavid…..

      • No chance.

      • Someone might pick him up, I dunno. I don’t think the QA would stop teams, as nobody will pay it, and JP and his agent know that don’t they?
        Let the teams talk to his agent is an option work out a prove 1 year deal for next season.

        He’ll get an opportunity on a team like ARI IMO.

      • Yeah, I think he’d get picked up as well. I mean, why not? It’s a short contract.
        If you have the space, I think he’s worth the gamble. Most big guys take a little longer to put It all together. Tage Thompson is a decent, recent example.

      • I dunno shoreorrpark. I’ve made it a point to watch this guy closely whenever I could thinking he might be a good trade target for Ottawa in the early phase of their re-build, and I’ve been less than impressed. He just never seems to DO anything.

        Comparing him to Thompson actually underscores my thought that he is being perceived as a 1st round bust but who, if costing around $1.2 mil off the cap, might be worth a gamble. But not at $3 mil.

        When Puljujarvi was going 4th overall in 2016, Thompson hung around until the 26th pick.

        Since then Thompson has played 273 games in the NHL, mostly with a bottom-dweller, scoring 90g 81s 171 pts which works out to 82-game averages of 27g 24a 51 pts.

        Puljujarvi has been given 308 games in the NHL, some alongside some of the best Fs in the game, and has 50g 48a 108 pts for 82-game averages of 13g 15a 28 pts – almost half the production of Thompson.

        He might get grabbed off waivers on a “nothing-ventured nothing-gained” initiative” but unless he shows some definite signs of progress offensively, whoever owns his rights at season’s end will likely just walk away from any RFA negotiations.

        He’s had enough chances already to prove he’s more than a 4th line grunt.

      • Oilers & Sen’s
        Game this am, with my 2 fav Canadian Hockey Teams… and Who Scores a beauty….⁉️

        Jesse Puljujarvi💥

        he is well liked in Edmonton bye all,
        JP is just not fitting in to the top 6,
        who ever gets him will sign him for $1.M PA for the 2023/4 season👍

      • You could very well be right, George. I’m wrong, often, but l think I see something there. I’d have a look if it only cost me money or a late pick.

  3. If he wants to keep his job, Dubas needs to figure out that the 80’s were a lifetime ago and no one regularly wins 5-4 in the playoffs.

    • Paul I don’t understand your comment. What part is he not doing right? Since he’s taking over, the team has been in a cap crunch (which wasn’t all his doing) but at the same time the team has been a top contending team in spite of an unforeseen flatten cap which as I said, hasn’t affected the team as much as many thought it would.

      I guess expectations of a young teams core, with all but 5-6 years now in the league should have won a cup by now? Is that the case with your assessment?

      Aren’t you a Jackets fan? What happened there? They have some good pieces but watching them last night, it seemed like they didn’t belong on the same ice – both being outshot and scored by 3x. Their GM is very good, do you also think his job is on the line too? There’s no way anyone was expecting the Jackets being the worse team in the league, right? So what’s the deal there? That’s a more interesting conversation than talking about Dubas…don’t you think?

      • Ron Moore

        Completely agree with your assessment.

        Nobody saw the flattened cap coming. The Leafs do not have one contract where a player is grossly overpaid. Dubas was also on the hook to rid the Leafs of the illadvised Marleau contract which cost them a 1st round pick

        The Leafs have had a bit of bad luck in the playoffs too. Tavares going down in game 1 and Muzzin going down in game 6 did not help the Leafs chances against Montreal.

      • When is the last time Toronto went past the first round? Toronto scores plenty, but their blue line is average at best.
        As for the Jackets faltering this year, the reason is simple. They lead the league in Man Games lost. There have been many games, this year, where half the players are rookies, tweeners and guys who should be in the AHL. For more than two months, only two of seven defensemen (Gavrikov and Gudbranson) had played more than a handful of games in the NHL. I don’t care that the cliche is that injuries happen to everyone and are no excuse, when injuries devastate your roster so thoroughly, of course you’re going to have a bad season.

      • Hey Paul no doubt lost man games especially when it’s like your top three Dmen and both starters for a month like it was the case for the Leafs or half your top six like Boston can hurt a team’s chances of winning but in those two cases, it really didn’t affect them much. Why do you think that was the case? Do you think Jarmo’s job should be in question now?

      • I agree, not winning a cup with Dubas at the helm is, for lack of a better term, forgivable. Also, the salary caps woes are not all on him. But the majority of those woes are his burden to bear. Yes the cap went flat, but it went flat for every team not just the Leafs. While it may have been a good plan to secure the core and acquire the supplementary pieces as the cap went up & while the reasons it didn’t go up are not on Dubas he did not adapt to change in landscape. You can’t fill the roster with players from the trash heap, FB Marketplace, garage sales or Walmart blue light specials. Hence a year missing the playoffs & 2 years of 1st round exits falls on Dubas. This year, anything less than a finals appearance should be considered a fail & cost him his job.

  4. JVR to Flames sounds about right. Old and slow

    Isn’t Braun traded every year 🙂

    I think Hartman is Tocchet’s player from The Wild and only 1.7m . “ Throw in Rossi and VCR hold half and add a 4th”

    Puljularvi is worth very little . Yamamoto would garner a bigger return. I personally think both should go.
    Keep Broberg as you need all the backend you can get.

  5. Boeser for Greenway is a no for this canucks fan if the canucks have to take back salary, Boeser has more upside and they both have a injury history, I’d rather them try to keep looking for a defensemen even if it’s not the off season

    • What about Garland for Greenway??

  6. Wow a Sun reporter claiming what many of us fans already knew regarding needs for the team. Only months late but hey, what can you say about the Toronto sports media other than, wrong and finally.

    Leafs trade target is simple, they need to bolster their bottom or middle six by 10-15 goals and acquire a Dman with 300+mins since their young bottom pairing doesn’t have that many games combined. You can’t go into the postseason with that much inexperience back there, just too risky and you need that extra scoring when the top “go to guys” get shut down. Also it would be nice if the PP didn’t suck…if not it can then score that one goal when they need it to finally get past the round.

    Anything short of that, it will be a short playoff run, again.

    • Trade for Zegras do mactavish for future then trade them back to ANA post playoffs for future consideration s


      • Dumb as your screen name

    • Ron, while I agree in general terms with your observations – especially the playoff inexperience of a large portion of their D – I can’t help but wonder if part of their playoff woes is the man behind the bench and the “system” he has them playing. To this observer, had I been a devoted Leafs follower, Keefe’s remark in that series against Montreal that he could care less about line-matching would have set off little alarm bells.

      With that firepower on their top two lines, finishing well up in the standings is almost a given over the course of an grueling 82 game season. They are going to rack up lots of goals in that span, and so do well in spite of Keefe’s “game plans/system.”

      I dunno if I’m expressing it well here – but I just get the impression that, in the hands of a Trotz type coach, they’d become a whole different problem for any opponent in the playoffs.

      • I think they’d have won a cup by now if they had just stuck with the plan and rolled with Babcock.
        I also think Marleau gets a raw deal in Toronto. Say what you want about his contract, but that man was pivotal in the success of the kids’ transition into excellent pros. Marleau did that. I bet if you asked that group of guys, they’d tell you the same thing. That contract was worth every nickle, imo.

      • No one can say with any certainty that had anyone else could have coached the team to that same or more success…you know, it’s not like we’re talking about a team that didn’t looked like they belonged to be in the playoffs. Also you can’t overlook how both team and players breaking records or having record seasons a sign that they are on a good or right path. Everyone including management is responsible for that but his deployment can be questionable but he’s open to changing or trying stuff out. Their system is similar to most teams and the difference really is more about players committing to it successfully or not. The more that do, the more success they will have, see the currents Bs. A perfect example of what I’m talking about.

      • I wasn’t taking a dig, Ron. I was just saying what I think about 2 topics of interest among your fellow fan base.
        Another unpopular opinion of mine is that I think signing Tavares was a good move. He wanted to be there, and it only cost money. He’s been nothing short of excellent since he joined the club.
        One more I’ve been in vocal support of is Nylanders contract. I said it was a good deal at the time, and, well, here we are. That opinion met some hard resistance from the leaf faithful.
        They’ll get over the hump. I just happen to think that a coach with the playoff success that Babs has might have gotten that little bit extra from the kids when they needed it. I agree with Tavares’ injury derailing their shot last year. They could have gone far, but then again, they’re in the hunt every year. Excuses be damned. Chit happens.

      • I didn’t think there was a dig; I think it’s an honest question by both of you. I wouldn’t be able to say if a different coach would be beneficial or not especially to the Leafs and where they are at. You can argue pros and cons for either side of the argument really.

    • I’m with you Ron! They still don’t have that true shut down guy. It’s way too easy to get to the leafs crease, that’s gotta change. And I’d like to see them pick up someone like a Nick Bgujestad(or however it’s spelled). Be a cheap grab and I think a Aston-Reese-Bgujestad-Simmonds line is the type of 4th line they are going to need for the playoffs.

      And what is with that power play? The setup seems awful and it’s too easy for other teams to figure out. The net front doesn’t screen, he stands to the side for rebounds. And Matthews just seems to float, he’s either along the boards or in a spot where they can’t a pass to him

  7. Boeser, the NYI 1st and Hoglander for Chychrun

  8. Meyers from VAN to WSH for Mantha
    Mantha to some COL? For a pick

    Also what about kerfoot, Holl, 1st this year, and 2nd next year , maybe even another prospect outside Knies to SJ for Bonino and Karlsson both 50% retained???

    Does that cap match?

    Knies the. Joins TML for playoffs
    SJ clears half Karlsson cap and gets some picks.

    • I don’t think SJ retains that much cap, for that long, for that return.

      • And how does Kerfoot and Holl make them better?

      • George,

        So would most likely flip kerfoot and Holl for picks. Creates cap space In addition to Meir move.

        Draft capital to rebuild the cupboards.

        Heard SJ looking to move LeBlanc too.

        Cannot forsee Karlson garnering a nhl ready young forward in any move so SJ might just make the move to clear at least half his cap hit.

    • ihatecrosby

      I like the idea of Karlsson on the Leafs.

      How about a hockey trade?
      Rielly and a 3rd for Karlsson (35% ret) and Reimer?

      • Rumor in EDM is they are in on Karlsson. JP, Foegele and a 1st. Or recent 1st not named Holloway or Broberg. SJ eats half. Doesn’t seem like enough to get him IMO at 50%, probably more to the deal.

        Interesting idea, sounds like the Oil of the 80’s making a comeback!

    • Let Toronto flip Kerfoot and Holl for picks and then see if thereisenough there to make it worth SJ’s while to accept that package.

  9. @George

    Bowness , perfect example of a change in the right direction behind the bench!

    Keefe remarks – Montreal series – he could care less about line matching indeed set off alarm bells !!!
    Remember it well to this day!

    We have a trade to announce
    Kerfoot and Holl to Ottawa …
    Pause , Which 2 bottom “6” forwards Dorion !!
    Lol !!!

    Knies will be inserted into the lineup after his Galla in US

    Koneckny , whatever the spelling from Phillie would be incredible
    Torts won’t allow it IMO , his type of player

    St.Louis, Nashville, Minnesota , Columbus would be good trading partners , maybe Chicago

  10. Like the idea of tor acquiring Meier and figure out what do in the summer.

    Maybe a sign a trade and recoup assets you sent to get him in the first place or make a decision on nylander and keep Meier .

    Nylander would have great trade value with one year still at $6.9M.

  11. Would Rutta and Heinen for Eller work?

  12. Heard Chycrhun has been pulled out because he got traded

  13. From twitter : Arizona Coyotes PR
    ROSTER UPDATE: Coyotes D Jakob Chychrun is a healthy scratch tonight versus the St. Louis Blues due to trade related reasons. F Liam O’Brien is day to day with an upper body injury. Defensemen Victor Soderstrom & Dysin Mayo have been recalled from the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL).
    7:30 PM · Feb 11, 2023

  14. According to Jeff Marek won’t be Toronto and according to Pierre Lebrun Oilers are negociatiing with the Sharks for Karlsson. I guess he is being traded to the Kings or maybe, just maybe Boston might still be on it.

    That means that other teams are now going to be on Gavrikov and Edmundson.. Overpay time !

  15. Chychrun is a goner. The question is to what team he has been traded to. Being a Bruins fan I am hoping it is to Boston but I highly doubt it because of their cap situation and lack of top prospects.


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