NHL Rumor Mill – February 14, 2023

by | Feb 14, 2023 | Rumors | 73 comments

Are the Coyotes any closer to trading Jakob Chychrun or the Oilers to acquiring Erik Karlsson? What’s the latest on John Gibson and Vladislav Gavrikov? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Chris Johnston reports the Arizona Coyotes aren’t close at all in trading Jakob Chychrun despite holding the 24-year-old defenseman out of the lineup since Saturday for trade-related reasons.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

Johnston cites Chychrun’s injury history as a reason why the Coyotes are keeping him out of the lineup for now as the March 3 trade deadline approaches while they try to work out a deal. He believes the Los Angeles Kings remain the front-runner for Chychrun, perhaps making it a bigger deal by including a goaltender. So far, however, it doesn’t sound like a deal is close.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also reported that he’s heard there’s nothing close yet regarding a Chychrun trade. He claimed there’s been a snag in discussions between the Coyotes and the Kings regarding a contract that needed to be moved but they couldn’t agree. Friedman doesn’t think it was one of the principal members of the trade but an ancillary one.

Promising young Kings such as Quinton Byfield and Brandt Clarke were linked to a Chychrun trade over the weekend. However, Friedman said the Kings have made it clear they’re not moving either player. He also wondered if the Coyotes holding Chychrun out of the lineup may have re-engaged other clubs with an interest in the blueliner.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reported the Coyotes could be willing to retain salary on Chychrun to facilitate a trade. The rearguard carries an average annual value of $4.6 million through 2024-25.

If the Coyotes are willing to retain salary, Seravalli believes it could help them get the asking price they’ve been seeking for Chychrun. He also believes it would interest “a whole swath of teams”.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner cited sources saying the Islanders aren’t believed to be in the running for Chychrun after trading away their 2023 first-rounder and their top prospect (Aatu Raty) to the Vancouver Canucks last month for Bo Horvat.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun’s contract is considered affordable for a defenseman of his puck-moving skills. Still, retaining part of it should stir more interest in the trade market.

The rebuilding Coyotes stuck close to this season’s lower cap limit of $61 million and could do so again for the next couple of years. It wouldn’t hurt them to retain a reasonable portion of Chychrun’s cap hit if it helps them land two first-round picks and a top-prospect or a promising young NHL player.

Cal Petersen could be the goaltender Johnston was referring to when he mentioned the Kings wanting to include one in the deal. Long-time Kings starter Jonathan Quick is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July but I doubt they want to move him. They also recently signed Pheonix Copley to a one-year extension worth $1.5 million.

Petersen’s in the first season of a three-year deal with a $5 million AAV but his struggles this season have him buried in the minors. They probably want to get his contract off their books. Petersen has a 10-team no-trade clause but might not be picky over where he goes if it means he gets back to the NHL.

There’s also talk the Coyotes could agree to move goalie Karel Vejmelka for the right price. Maybe the snag is the Kings want to include him in the return but aren’t willing to meet the Coyotes’ asking price.


TSN: Chris Johnston followed up on his weekend report claiming the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks were in discussions about Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. He said the two clubs are at least exploring the financial aspects of making such a deal. Karlsson’s $11.5 million AAV through 2026-27 makes it a difficult trade to pull off.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Oilers are listening to franchise stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl as they’ve expressed their preference in landing a puck-moving blueliner.

Karlsson has a full no-movement clause. He’s said he’s not thinking about waiving it unless he’s presented with something. Meanwhile, the Oilers would have to figure out which contracts to move to make room for the Sharks blueliner before determining what return to send to San Jose. If they move too many players they risk a shortened bench in a capped-out season or upsetting the team chemistry.

Defenseman Tyson Barrie ($4.5 million AAV) seems like an obvious cost-cutting trade candidate. However, Friedman said if the Oilers are going to move him it had better be for a good reason given his value this season to their blueline. “They really feel Barrie has become a big part of their framework internally and they can’t be all willy-nilly about moving him.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There are so many moving parts to trading Karlsson to the Oilers that I don’t think it’s something that can be done during the regular season. Oilers general manager Ken Holland last week said his cap-strapped team is looking at “dollar-in, dollar-out” moves and that’s very difficult to pull off in order to land Karlsson.

Even with the Sharks retaining 40 percent as some suggested, the Oilers face freeing up significant cap space to make it work. It could also mean trying to pull off a three-team deal to spread the dollars around.

Anything’s possible and it would be a helluva blockbuster if the Oilers could land Karlsson before March 3. I just don’t think the Oilers are in a position to get it done. They could be forced to look for a more affordable puck-moving defenseman like Arizona’s Shayne Gostisbehere.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek recently pondered the possibility of the Anaheim Ducks trading goaltender John Gibson to the Los Angeles Kings. He noted they’ve decided to stay the course for this season with Pheonix Copley and will probably part ways with pending free agent Jonathan Quick this summer.

Duhatschek pointed out that Gibson is signed for four more years with a “manageable” AAV of $6.4 million. He felt that Gibson also has the same drive and goaltending mannerisms as Quick so it wouldn’t be that difficult of an adjustment for long-time Kings such as Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The recent talk of the Kings perhaps looking at moving a goalie as part of a larger deal for Chychrun suggests they want to upgrade between the pipes for the long term. They’ve seen enough of Gibson over the years to determine if he’d be a good fit or not.

I’d be surprised if the Kings pursued a deal for the Ducks netminder. If they were to show an interest in Gibson I daresay they’d want the Ducks to retain part of his cap hit. However, the Ducks would probably prefer not to carry dead cap space for four years.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman recently said the Los Angeles Kings were interested in Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov if they could land Jakob Chychrun. He also added the Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers’ interest in Erik Karlsson indicates they’re looking more for an offensive-minded defenseman. That could take them out of the bidding for Gavrikov.


  1. Edmonton and Toronto may be out of luck concerning Gavrikov. There’s been hints, recently, that he won’t sign an extension with a Canadian team.

    • Paul, as a bruins fan that’s good news. As a hockey fan, i never like to hear that statement.

    • Paul, if that’s indeed the case, was there any hint of a reason for his “dislike” of a Canadian location?

      Coming from Yaroslavl – that ain’t exactly Utopia.

      • George,
        I can’t even confirm that he won’t sign with a Canadian team. Rumors about Gavrikov are becoming almost a daily thing on Jackets blogs. If the rumor is true, my guess is that he doesn’t want to pay income taxes at the rate in Canada. But that’s just a guess.

      • Well the difference in all in tax rates between Edmonton and Columbus is 1%.
        So that doesn’t seem like much of a hurdle.
        Plus I don’t think the Oil need him after this year, don’t want to block that Broberg kid, so rental works just fine.

        Not sure of his personal life, wife and kids? Often what they want has a bigger influence than a small tax rate difference.

        I heard he liked CLB and wanted to stay. Not sure they have the room to keep him at what he likely gets as a UFA.

      • Ray,
        One of the (too many) rumors is the he’ll finish the season elsewhere, then sign as a UFA with Columbus in the off season. Who knows? Maybe he’s tired of freezing, snowy winters.

      • It could be because of the fans in Canada. Generally, players find that it is much harder to play in front of a Canadian crowd than an American crowd as Canadians are more passionate about hockey.

    • maybe he should just go back home to Russia❗️

      • And do his “military duty” in Ukraine.

      • Or he just wants to exercise his right to pick what city and country to work in like most people?

      • Bulls*&t. And you know it Chrisms. This is a 32-team league … if there are locations where players don’t want to go, then do an effing poll and simply eliminate those cities from the league so what’s left can be all cozy knowing that, if they are dealt, it will be to some place they like.

        What an utter crock of s*&t.

        You play in the bloody league because you want to play y your game at the highest level, and you’re receiving a fat pay cheque to do so, you go anywhere you’re dealt.

        This isn’t the same as a technician or accountant or doctor or whatever picking where he/she wants to reside to practice their profession. There are no “leagues” involved there.

      • Bull right back at you George. Your entire post was bull. Just because one person doesn’t want to go don’t mean another would. Look at taveres or supposedly pld. So one part of your response there is bologna. The second part about being dealt has nothing to do with a player earning ufa and signywhere he wants. Nobody said he wouldn’t play this season with a Canadian team. Just not sign an extension. Next time you want to come out hot Georgy you might want to pull your head outta you know where.

      • No Chrisms, you’re effing thinly-disguised digs at my country have gone on long enough unchallenged. Dubois supposedly wants to play in Montreal. That’s specific. Tavares wanted to play in Toronto. That, too, is specific.

        I have NEVER heard any player say they wanted no part of ANY location in the U.S.

        But to come right out and say he wants no part of anywhere in Canada is idiotic.

        You play in the league – you go where you’re dealt in the league.

      • Glad you’re here capt canada. Nothing in my statement was a dig at Canada at all. Not on my end. Now if there is a pattern of players not opening their no trade clauses for Canadian teams or not wanting to extend or not signing as ufas… one might want to ask themselves why before internalizing it as a personal insult. I’d assume it was weather or taxes or something along those lines. And once a player has reached a contract status that affords them no trade protection or hits ufa they have every right to use those opportunities to make choices for themselves. Choices they earned. Even if the gentleman from Columbus came out and said I won’t extend in Canada cause Canada smells like maple syrup and poutine! (That was a light hearted dig I’ll admit). They have that right.

        And lastly once again you are arguing that a player should play where he’s dealt. Ain’t nobody disputing that.


    • I wonder how much of Arizona’s cap totals over the last few years has come from “salary held” on players that are not on their team. It feels like all they ever do is absorb salary for draft picks. It’s time to spend money on actual players and ice a good team for once.
      They continue to be a glorified minor league team that never seems to use those picks properly and take that next step forward.

    • GEORGE O:

      – he wasn’t digging at Canada, as you say.

      – there are Canadian players too who choose to not play in Canada. (If you follow hockey I’m surprised this surprises you?)

      – you’re coming off a little unhinged. Maybe go for a walk next time that you feel yourself losing control like that. It’s embarrassing.

    • Hahahahaha bro they been building since Shane Doan left hahahaha what a crap team no clue why the NHL doesnt get their act together and give that team to Quebec or Seattle already at least people will actually watch a game….

    • ARZ is a Sham ,,, they need to move to a real market ,, If Bedard goes there he should pull a Lindros for the good of the league.

  3. When is the league going to fine the Coyotes for not icing their best and most competitive roster? I see no inclusion in the rules stating you can hold a player out of the lineup for “trade related reasons.”
    I call shenanigans.

    • Now Columbus is doing it.
      I value transparency, but what about the spirit of competition?
      Change the wording of the rules or change the rules altogether.

      • Columbus IS NOT intentionally putting a 2nd rate team on the ice. They still have a significant number of players injured and are forced to ice more rookies and tweeners than they normally would.

      • Look again, Paul. They’re pulling their number one trade chip tonight. I’m well aware of their roster and the guys on the IR.

      • If they’re pulling Gavvy (and I haven’t read that they are, yet), then a trade is happening soon. Jarmo doesn’t play silly games.

      • Washington reports that Ovi will be out indefinitely due to family reasons. I suppose they should do the “honorable thing” and force him to play, too.

      • I’m pretty sure I covered that part under personal circumstances, Paul. Family emergency and illness are exempt.

      • So, no healthy scratches except if injured or for personal reasons. At least, that’s what you are suggesting. But you probably wouldn’t whine if the announcement had simply been that Chychrun and Gavrikov were healthy scratches.
        Grow up.

      • Paul, did you not read where I clearly stated change the wording of the rules or change the rules altogether?
        Why are you launching a personal attack on my level of maturity? Seems odd. I know a lot about the Blue Jackets, just like the rest of the league, with the exception of Seattle. So I comment on said teams. Did you think I was taking a dig at the Jackets? Again, very odd.

    • Shorepark,

      This crossed my mind when it’s being reported that Chychrun is basically being scratched indefinitely.

      Then again, in Chychruns case, I’d probably have him locked in a padded room and in bubble wrap from head to toe looking at it from management’s perspective.

      • As a Kings fan, I really hope Blake stays away from Chychruns. I’d rather see him try to get Gavrikov. And, let Quick retire as a King get creyin eout leuod 🤬

      • I’m thinking CHychrun has a little nagging injury and the Coyotes don’t want to risk it getting worse.

    • Shoreorrpark

      Healthy scratches happen all the time.

      Maybe the trade related reason is he tweaked something and needs a rest?

      • It has to be submitted as such. UB, LB, COVID, NONCOVID related illness, Personal, etc.

    • League got plenty of publicity and excitement from fans over the news. Why would they change?

      • Integrity?

      • He can’t spell the word.

      • Wow. Just wow.

    • Coming from a typical bruin crybaby

      • Oh, look who chimed in – Mr. Congeniality himself with his usual, adds nothing, snide remarks. Spring will be here soon and then you can concentrate on your favourite activity: plucking wings off flies. Take another hiatus.

    • Dude give them a break they really need Bedard to go to that team they suck so bad that they are thinking of benching their mascot also not to get the crowd excited so they don’t get their players going oh and when I say crowd I mean those 59 fans that go watch their games haha what a joke … Poor Bedard if he goes there even he can’t turn that team around

  4. I believe Chychrun is hurt. Are they going to hold him out for 8 games for trade purposes ? That Armstrong is a piece of work. I hope it blows up in his face. I also hope they don’t land Bedard. Any team but them

    • Would like to see Bedard as A CBJ

      • I agree, 100%. Now do the honorable thing and ice their healthy lineup………such as it is right now.

      • Hi MB4

        Why Jackets? Note…. Not asking sarcastically; just interested in why you are rooting for Jackets to win Lottery?

        For me …. Hometown win (Bedard/‘Nucks). would be storybook draft; but I’m personally pulling for Habs ; despite the Div rivalry with Leafs….. I just like the way the Habs are evolving/being built

        I am completely against Yotes getting Bedard…. Total waste; could pull a Lindros; best case for Yotes; after 3 more years of playing infront of max 4,600…. They get four 1sts for Bedard for a QI that they can’t match

      • CBJ. Has a few superstars nail on them. panarin. Bob. Dubois all come to mind They need to catch a break
        Bedard with Johnny hockey and Laine. Nice top line
        For habs. Na. Let them stay as bottom feeders 🥹

      • Noted MB4

        Added feature if he goes to an Eastern team…. Our fav teams will play him more (than Western…. Only twice a year)

        As long as it is NOT Yotes 🙏🤞

        A real kick in the gnads for Zito would be Habs winning Bedard via the Cats’ pick…. slim chance; but could happen

      • So would every CBJ fan. But the Jackets seem to be snakebit. Despite being the worst team in the league several times, the only time they got the 1st overall pick (Rick Nash), they had to trade for it.
        The conspiracy theory minded amongst us CBJ fans are already saying that the league will rig the lottery so that Chicago gets Bedard.

      • It would be good for the ARI fans to get Bedard, plus they haven’t had good lottery luck over the years. The owner seems like a knob though, so would prefer he doesn’t win.

        Other than that anybody but the Habs, because they are the Habs.

      • I’m legit curious sop. Not a hostile question. If the bruins are locked in for say the president trophy and they have 2-3 games left would be as outraged if they sat a star for a game or two?

      • Yes, Chrisms. Play the games. Load management is for the soft and weak. Unless a player is legitimately injured/sick or has a personal emergency, I say they should play. Holding a player out for trade related reasons reeks of wrongdoing. It also goes against the NHL’s preferred wording for reasons to miss a game.

      • Not to mention the fans forking over $$$ in response to ads about “come see the stars of the game” only to find they are sitting out.

      • Paul,

        Since 2000 the only teams that have not picked first or second in the draft are Phoenix, Calgary, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, Vancouver and San Jose. Note that’s it’s all Western Conference teams except Detroit, which previously was a Western Conference team.

        Since 2000-2001 (about 1700 games) the bottom 4 teams by point percentage are the following:

        Columbus Blue Jackets–0.489
        Arizona Coyotes–0.491
        Buffalo Sabres–0.504
        Edmonton Oilers–0.508

      • Well then I respectfully disagree sop. If I was a bruins fan and pasta was pkayjng in game 82 despite having nothing to play for and he got hurt for part or all the cup playoffs I would be furious at my inept gm and coach. Just like Columbus fans should be furious if their guy goes down before returning an asset that helps them become competitive again. In both situations the teams are trying to do right by their paying customers

      • I absolutely see your point, Chrisms, and it is valid as a means of protecting one’s assets. I just want to see the best product, game in, and game out. Players’ missing time due to injuries and personal matters along with healthy scratches are bad enough, IMHO.

  5. If your team had one of the biggest trade chips available and they were to be injured before a trade could be made you would want the G.M. fired!

  6. I think Chychrun is traded to the Bruins. The comments from the Arizona coach would suggest that he is traded, Chychrun is talking about playing for not just a playoff contender, but a Stanley Cup contender (the Kings are not a Stanley Cup contender). Why is it not announced… because the Bruins have left on their two game road trip which is the players “sibling” trip, and I don’t think Sweeney wants to disrespect a player or their family by announcing a trade at this moment. Their trip ends at the end of the week, which coincidentally, meshes with Arizona saying that it might talk until the end of the week for a trade announcement.

    • Works for me 😀

  7. Lindsay

    If the Kings get a goalie, they will be a Stanley Cup contender!

    • They can have Casey DeSmith. I mean he is “a goalie”, right?

      • Casey has struggled at times as a back up

        Casey quoted as a viable “NHL starter” would be just a tad more than Chad Ruhwedel can be referred to as an NHL quality D-Man

    • Can’t see them beating AVS stars. Canes Nyr. TB. Toronto or Bruins

  8. Coyotes are playing in a 5,000 seat arena and have limited revenue. Why else would you trade a 24 year old dman who you think Is good enough to get the kind of haul we’re talking about. League is not going to come down on them. Chychrun has reasonable cap hit next 2 seasons but besides what he’s owed this year, his actual salary is 12.4 mil for last 2 seasons. I mentioned Rangers other day, and suggested flipping Mikkola and his 1.9 mil cap hit. As Lyle mention, they’re a team that has been barely above cap floor and have been taking guys on expiring deals last couple years. Trading Chychrun puts them below. And he’s not only guy they might move before deadline.

  9. EK on Oil for sure would be a game changer; but as I said yesterday…. Likely cost too much and retention push-back and current Oil Cap space is an issue

    The original thought was that Grier was not at all receptive to retention; now some in the media say things like “if 40% could br retained”

    Can’t see that at all

    If Holland is gung-ho on EK…. He’s effectively saying Barrie is redundant

    30% retention I believe is max Grier should/would go for

    If Holland going for it… his “starting” low ball offer should be;

    Yammo (1 more year then RFA)
    JP (RFA this summer)
    Barrie (1 more year after this)
    Lottery protected 1st

    For EK 40% retained (Net deal for Oil is gaining $3.8 M annual Cap THIS year)

    Grier will push back low counter offer

    Settle on adding Niemeleinen; EK then at 30% retained (net $2.8 M annual cap 22/23 for Oil)

    To me, if the above will not be accepted by Grier…. Not worth the future risk; instead keep Barrie; trade lesser and bring in Edmundson; save futures

    • Hi Penny,
      We would rather have the Habs Joel Edmundson as an Oiler, we need a Big Tough Defencive d/man?
      we have enough fire power on ….with Barrie and Bouchard
      maybe a habs Trade a 2nd pick and Jesse Pulijarvi❓

      The cost for EK is way to high, both in players and his salary if it happend it would have to be at 45-50% retained by the sharks… as the oil at right up at the top of the cap. But i cant see it happing and they really dont want to give up on young prospects like young Xavier Bourgaut, who could be a top 6 RW next season with the oil

      The oil need 3 players… I’m not sure if they can get all 3, next year for sure…if its a deal with the Hawks they could get 2 of the 3…..⁉️

      -A 2nd pairing LD man
      -A top 6 RW
      -A Big Tough bottom 6 Physical Winger, so we dont have to see Kane fight, however i think he like a good scrap….😁
      then there is Nures who is sleeping on the back end not sure what to do with him…..🙈

      • I think Schaefer makes Bourgaut expendable. Bourgaut’s skill set is more of a top 6 forward. Right now the top 6 is set for the next few years. Schaefer is bigger, more physical, and can be more of a pest. He will be a great third-liner.
        Nurse is good at skating the puck up the ice, what he has issues with is passing the puck up the ice. One thing that has me warming up to Karlsson, is Karlsson will take the pressure off of Nurse in getting the puck up to the forwards. Which in turn should reduce the turnovers and also reduce the time the Oilers are in their own zone.
        Klim is the big-touch physical winger, with Schaefer waiting in the wings. Desharnais had a great scrap with Montreals Xhekaj on Sunday. It was one of the few Oilers highlights from Sunday. lol
        In the next couple of seasons, I think Bouchard and Broberg (currently the Oilers third pairing) will replace Nurse and his partner as the Oilers top pairing. So Nurse will be the 2nd pairing LD man.

      • I’m not sure the Canadiens would make such a trade, I mean yes Edmundson has been injured and won’t get them a 1st rounder but you are giving him away while taking a player that has negative value (Puljujärvi) I think in this case Hughes would ask for a Bourgeault instead of a draft pick, He’ll use someone else to try to get his 3rd 1st rounder if he can.

    • I am slowly warming up to the idea of the Oilers acquiring Karlsson. I’m wondering if a third team does get involved to retain part of Karlsson’s cap hit if they get Yamamoto or Puljularvi. I would prefer that the 1st round pick be a 2024 1st rounder lottery protected. So it could look like this. third-team – JP or Yamamoto for 30% retained salary. San Jose – Barrie, 2024 1st rounder lottery protected, Tyler Benson, one of Bourgaut or Niemelainen, and 20% retained salary. Oilers – Karlsson.
      Getting two young players will help with the Sharks rebuild, plus help balance out their cap with the retained salary. Subtracting Barrie and JP or Yamamoto will free up more than enough cap space for the Oilers to fit Karlsson’s cap hit.
      One thing I had to get my head around is Karlsson isn’t being acquired as a rental.

    • Pengy..would love Columbus defenseman Kavrikov on the Penguins..

      Tedy Blueger & P.O. Joseph & a # 2 pick & and maybe a prospect.. if needed.

      Move Dumoulin to third pair or trade him for a pick and bring up Ty Smith up where he belongs to play with Jan Rutta..

  10. Desmith hasn’t been great but you can’t blame everything on him and not their bad defensive zone coverage. They can have 4 guys around the net yet not one picks up the guy wide open in the slot. Their D also pinch far too often leading to many odd man breaks and breakaways.

  11. Two trades:
    (1) Bruins trade Craig Smith, Jakob Zboril, Fabian Lysell, and their 1st rounder to Arizona for Jakob Chychrun and either Nick Bjugstad or Christian Fisher.
    (2) SJ trades Erik Karlsson to EDM for Jesse Puljujarvi, Tyson Barrie, Edm’s 1st rounder, and SJ gets to pick one of Edm’s top propects. SJ also has to retain about $3M of EK’s salary.

    • Lindsay

      For the trade 1. Maybe put Lohri. Not Lysell offer choice of Zyb or Rielly
      Trade 2. Oils would need another pick added for sure

      • I dont think it’s what you put but more what they ask for in this kind of trade. Lysell is far more interesting than Lohri

  12. Wings place Raymond on IR, recall Vrana. So much for the “Vrana will never suit up for the Wings again” rumors.