NHL Rumor Mill – February 21, 2023

by | Feb 21, 2023 | Rumors | 40 comments

Could the Hurricanes, Golden Knights and Jets pursue Timo Meier? Could the Blues be interested in Jakob Chychrun? What’s the latest on the Bruins and Penguins? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: During Monday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman mused over potential trade destinations for San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier. He noted the New Jersey Devils seem to be the front-runners.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier (NHL Images)

Friedman thinks the Carolina Hurricanes would be comfortable acquiring Meier, paying him his $10 million qualifying offer for next season and letting things play out over the next year and a half. He believes they have the flexibility and ability to do that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes under general manager Don Waddell aren’t afraid to make bold moves, though he’s yet to pursue someone like Meier at the trade deadline. There’s a first time for everything and Meier’s status as a restricted free agent means he’s not a rental player.

Cap Friendly shows the Hurricanes have $29.9 million in projected cap space for next season with 13 roster players under contract. Meier’s QO would take a big chunk out of that, leaving them with $19.9 million to re-sign or replace unrestricted free agents such as Frederik Andersen, Jordan Staal, Antti Raanta and Paul Stastny.

Meier would also make a lot of sense for the Vegas Golden Knights. However, Friedman wondered if the Sharks might set their asking price a little higher for Vegas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As noted in today’s NHL Headlines update, the Golden Knights have put Mark Stone on long-term injury reserve, giving them over $8.7 million in projected trade deadline cap space. The Golden Knights can afford the remainder of Meier’s cap hit but they could lack sufficient trade capital to outbid clubs like the Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils.

Friedman also suggested the Winnipeg Jets could build around Timo Meier if they acquired him. Jets forwards Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler have a year left on their contracts while center Pierre-Luc Dubois’ situation is leaning toward joining the Montreal Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck noted the Jets have around $10 million in projected deadline cap space plus they’re stocked with draft picks and prospect capital. They can afford a competitive bid for a player such as Meier. Billeck also noted the Jets need a middle-six forward and a top-four defenseman.

Meier could also be used as an incentive for Dubois to re-sign long-term with the Jets if the two were to mesh well together on the same line. However, the Jets have less cap space ($16 million for 2023-24 with 14 roster players under contract) to retain Meier beyond this season that the Hurricanes or Devils.

The Athletic’s Murat Ates points out that there’s no certainty Meier would agree to re-sign with the Jets beyond next season. He argues that might not be worth parting with a promising young player such as Cole Perfetti or a quality prospect such as Chaz Lucius, Rutger McGroarty or Brad Lambert.


SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek said he’d heard the St. Louis Blues were one of the clubs interested in Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun going back to last season. He believes the Blues have the assets to do this. Marek also indicated the Coyotes don’t want to take much (if any) money in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ rumored asking price is two first-round picks (or equivalent) plus either a second-round pick or a high-end prospect. After trading away Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Taranseko, the Blues now have three first-rounders in the 2023 draft and two second-round picks in 2024. They also have some promising youngsters in their system such as Jimmy Snuggerud and Zachary Bolduc.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently cited an NHL source claiming the Bruins have made winger Jake DeBrusk and goaltender Jeremy Swayman “off-limits” in trade talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins have been linked to several notable players in the rumor mill including Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Columbus Blue Jackets rearguard Vladislav Gavrikov. However, general manager Don Sweeney must ensure he doesn’t make a move that upsets his club’s strong chemistry among the players or weakens their depth elsewhere in the roster.

Given his club’s position atop the overall standings, Sweeney doesn’t have to rush out and make a major acquisition for someone like Chychrun. Gavrikov would be more affordable for the cap-strapped Bruins but not at the expense of moving someone like DeBrusk or Swayman.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall hopes to bolster his bottom-six forward lines, preferably by adding a player who isn’t a pending UFA. He’d like to help his club as soon as possible but the asking prices for players could drop closer to the March 3 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pittsburgh fans and pundits on social media are demanding that Hextall do something or risk the club missing the playoffs. However, with asking prices for depth talent believed to be unreasonably high, the Penguins GM has little choice but to remain patient and hope those prices come down soon.

The Penguins have slipped out of a wild-card spot they’re still very much in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff chase with 26 games remaining in their schedule. Hextall made significant moves during the last two trade deadlines by acquiring Jeff Carter and Rickard Rakell. I’ll be very surprised if he does nothing this time around.


  1. the thought of pld in montreal is intriguing. but…….how will he handle the fickle french media in montreal when things go sour

  2. Pengy on February 20, 2023 at 6:34 pm
    Hi Ken
    For sure Bruins are the envy of the league right now
    Not done a move yet…. They technically don’t have to…. But likely will
    If they get Kane (not sure if he waiving for sure and if so; waiving for Bruins)…. But
    Kane in (@25%…. 50% retained by Chi; another 25% (~ $175 K cash) by Yotes
    To Chi : Smith, Nosek (for Cap reasons); 1st; and prospect not named Lysell (say Beecher??)
    To Yotes (for 25% retention) ….4th (‘24)
    That makes the already solid Bruins , unbelievable!

    Above previous script from Pengy makes a lot of sense ?!?!?

    Schenn or a McCabe , or another flavour on defense is the only other tweak needed

    • Ken,

      A first and a good prospect sounds OK for Kane, but I don’t think that Chicago would have any interest in Nosek or Smith, and would probably want an additional asset to take them off of Boston’s hands.

      • Iago, agree on Smith but not Nosek.
        Nosek is exactly the type of player contending teams try to land come playoff time that don’t cost a lot.

        Leads all Bruins forwards in D zone starts. 87% of his non neutral zone shifts start in his own end and he takes the draws, which he wins 58% of the time. Against tough competition. And he’s 6’3″ tall.

        Also leads all B forwards in PK time per game.

        If you can deploy your 4th line C that way, at $1.75M, that’s a win. B’s have no reason to trade him. He ain’t paid to score goals.

      • Ray,

        I agree with you on Nosek, that he is an asset to a contending team. I hated to see him go when Detroit lost him in the Vegas expansion draft. It was obvious even then what a tough hard nosed player he would become. But he is less valuable to a rebuilding team like Chicago….and any contending team would love to have him on their checking line/PK.

      • Oilers could use Nosek a guy like Nosek, and if Caper get’s his wish Grzelyck.

        So if the B’s are interested in Gavrikov or Chychrun but need to make some room on the left side, perhaps there is a deal there.

        I don’t throw many proposals out there, but say the B’s get there D-man Gavrikov.

        Grz and Nosek for Bouchard and pick a throw in or 2, say JP with a 1 year extension for $1M signed, and Ryan.

    • Hi Ken

      Schenn or McCabe…. won’t be expensive…. and make the already strong Bruins; stronger.

      Still the Cup favs

      Any move just moves the probability needle from an already high number; upward

      Can they be beat…. sure. Upsets happen.

      I truly believe they will breeze through first round and will be rested and likely “less” bruised that either Bolts or Leafs

      I’m still thinking they beat either

      The hurdle; if it can be called one; just may lie with Canes (adding????); I think Bruins are good to go against West

      This Leafs and Pens fan is very envious of Bruins (and their arena moniker has my home city’s name in it— a double hit to the mommy and daddy button)

      • Please hope this is wrong. Too much for depth dman. If set on LD. Pay it out and do the deal with Az. At least it will move the needle

        Vladislav Gavrikov Watch 2023 may be nearing the finish line. Per source, #CBJ & #NHLBruins have the framework of a trade in place (talk of a 1st/3rd in package), but Boston has to clear cap space. One player I’m told they’re shopping is F Craig Smith.

  3. Maybe he’s one of a minority of Francophones who can succeed in the intense fishbowl atmosphere and expectations that is Montreal – unlike poor Drouin, who visibly wilted when the criticism surfaced.

  4. Those are the same Penguin fans that screamed to resign Malkin and Letang.

    Its over in Pittsburgh. If it wasnt for Crosbys hurculean efforts the Pens would be leading the charge for Bedard.

    • Actually I would say fans were split on whether to sign them or rebuild. Many even wanted Trochek before Malkin and Letang traded to Montreal!

  5. What is Grier waiting for ? I understand wanting the best deal possible for Meier but a team like Carolina is going to have to look elsewhere soon , leaving NJ as the sole contender for Meier . Also , Holtz ( Devils prospect rumoured to be a piece involved ) was hurt in his last AHL game . Meier also just sat out due to injury . Grier is going to wind up holding the bag here soon if he doesn’t make a decision on Meier .

    • “What is Grier waiting for ?”

      What makes you think anyone has made a single offer on Meier?

    • What is Grier waiting for regarding Karlsson. His best season in at least the last four. The most game’s injury free in the last four. With four more years @ 11.5m take what you can get.

      • 🇺🇸Nobody is giving up to Mike Grier his ask of
        3X1st round picks…! and no salary retained or up to 20%❓
        for an 32 yr old who is haveing 1 good year, in his past 5 Injury Prone Years in SJ…
        18-19, 53 games
        19-20, 56 games
        20-21, 52 games
        21-22, 50 games
        his little pay check at 4.5 yrs at $11.9M i this cash strapped era …❗️🥶


        Tyson Barrie has better Numbers over the 4 years🤔

  6. #freejakobchychrun

    • LOL

  7. Pens should see if Chicago would take

    to Chicago: Doumolin, Kapanen, Blueger, Ty Smith and a 1st and prospect
    To pens: Domi 50% retained, McCabe and Murphy and Blackwell 50 %retained.

    Move Carter to wing with domi as the new 3c. And pens can pair Murphy and McCabe as the new 2nd pairing.

    Chicago gets picks and prospects and deadline assets to trade off for more picks and prospects.

    • Hi IHC

      See my post below…. Pens should not be trading futures for UFAs.

      moving a first is OK if it brings in a player that helps now and next year (at least)

      getting rid of Dumo, Kappy, and Blueger … good to go on that

      Domi is UFA but the other three have term. Not a Blackwell fan, so he doesn’ t need to be in the deal.

      Tough to make a deal with that many players; but over-all it would work (with no Blackwell) for Pens (NOTE: would have to be lottery protected first). I’d insist on Rutta being in the deal and a written promise by Sully that he would (under no circumstances) play Chad Ruhweedel.

      That said… I’m positive that Davidson would want tons more especially if taking Kappy and Rutta on for next year.

      A simpler trade might be Kappy (Cap reasons) and O’Connor, 3rd; for Domi

      O’Connor becomes the expense of ridding Kappy’s contract for next year.

      Domi 3C

      Would love a move on Jeanot (Predz) and Barbashev (Blues)….. note Jeanot is RFA

      3rd line of Domi/Jeanot/Barb; booting Carter to 4C… should get Pens in; and next year Jeanot in; Kappy out.

      No idea the cost to acquire both Jeanot and Barbashev.

      or the much simpler….I’m certainly OK with Henrique as a 3C upgrade… worth futures as he is under contract for next year.

  8. Grier’s blunder will be not getting rid of the entirety of that Karlsson contract. Rookie gm making rookie mistakes. Take the low ball deal and RUN. That’s the deal. 0 money retained. You can have this years runner up norris trophy nominee. Not sure who will win but the writers already gave one of his to Doughty for his lifetime achievement award so Karlsson isn’t winning as his numbers this year are similar to that year.

  9. Ray,

    I agree with you on Nosek, that he is an asset to a contending team. I hated to see him go when Detroit lost him in the Vegas expansion draft. It was obvious even then what a tough hard nosed player he would become. But he is less valuable to a rebuilding team like Chicago….and any contending team would love to have him on their checking line/PK.

  10. The Bruins can use a Luke Schenn and maybe a rendezvous with Lucic. They need a scrapper, especially for the first 2 rounds. Maybe Looch coming back ignites him offensively as well. If we can get him for a song, why not? You know the TD crowd will erupt during his first shift. After the beating they just laid on the newly revamped Islanders, the Bruins don’t need a lot.

    • What bout Smith to Minnesota for reaves if you need a tough guy?

      • The only problem with that deal, Ihatecrosby, is – what would Minnesota want Smith for? He’s on an expiring $3.1 mil cap hit with 4g 6a 10 pts in 42gp and it’s not like he’d bring anything substantial that would make him a better asset than Reaves – who’s on an expiring $1,750,000 cap hit.

        Then they’d likely be wishing they had some toughness up front.

      • Dollar wise it doesn’t make sense for manny but I think manny needs more offensive upside. Reaves brings less offense than Smith.

        Your point is a good one.

        Manny has tough guys like Foligno already. Doesn’t smith play PK and take face offs?

        But ya right.just thinking out loud

        Maybe manny flips smith to Chicago with a mid pick for Lafferty to help their scoring depth?

      • Austin Watson ($1.5 mil expiring contract) from Ottawa would be a better option for Boston (4g 2a 6 pts 52gp) in terms of toughness up front – but Dorion wouldn’t have any use for Smith, so not sure what he’d expect in return. Couldn’t be a whole lot – maybe a low round pick.

      • IMO, the Bruins don’t need a tough guy or a scrapper.

        So who would he fight on TB? TOR? CAR? NYR? Wilson maybe in WAS if they make it, but the B’s have guys who will stand up to him, not kick his ass like a Reaves would, but ass kicking not required. Wins are.

        I agree you need size, but the B’s ain’t small.

        If a Cernak or Trouba stands you up, dust the snow off your pants and get back at it. If a guy like Maroon goes too hard with a facewash in a scrum, get him back in the next one. The B’s won’t back down or back off, that’s the toughness that matters come playoff time.

        Playing a scrapper like Looch 6 minutes on your 4th line won’t deter a guy like Trouba from drilling a top line guy cutting to the middle with the puck on his stick like he did to Kadri. If Pasta does that, he will get hit, and then he gets up and tries to beat him again. Likely a B jumps in a scraps Trouba, but it will be a guy on the ice. So best guess is the 6’4″ Zacha as they have been playing together. And he probably loses that scrap as he isn’t very good at it. Fine, he didn’t back down and that’s what matters.

        Can’t play a guy like Looch in your top 9 so who is he going to protect? Nosek? Foligno? Those guys deal with sh*t on their own.

        Waste of a roster spot IMO.

  11. Pens …. Again lose…. Repeat, rinse

    They went all in last summer re-upping 4 “oldies” and bringing in another two “oldies” ….

    This year all 6 will be in their 30’s and will have an average age of 34!!!

    These moves were not “rebuilds” and not “re-tools”…. These indicated that ownership was giving HexBurkie the “all in” signal.

    Pens in the brutal bubble world right now. Part of this is inconsistency. A fair portion is coaching (not fielding the best team available night in night out [when healthy and far far better replacements are available]; and going back to the same line combinations in bottom 6 and D that are just not working). Also a fair portion of the blame is with players who are seriously underperforming to Cap hit (Dumo, Kappy, Carter, McG, Teddy B) and others who have some good games but some very very awful and costly games (Petry, Rutta, Rusty) and then there are those who should not even be up with the Pens (Chad Ruweedel). Finally goaltending (injuries to Jarry, but complete inconsistency from DeSmith).

    Pens need to come to one of two decisions (IMVHO they should not play middle ground and trade futures for UFAs)….

    1)Conclude that getting in is still unsure and even if in; will be facing Canes or Bruins…. So out in one….. so Sell Sell Sell (whatever they can); re-tool (this I think is highly unlikely from new ownership and HexBurkie will follow their request)

    2)Acknowledge that 1st round and out is highly likely best outcome; but want to get in… so moves need to be for players WITH term, no waste of futures on UFAs….
    Bottom 6 needs improvement and so does D depth (Sully do NOT play CR any more!!!).

    I looked on Capfriendly for players with 1 year left after this that “may” be worth a call on:
    3C fix (have to replace Carter at 3C):

    True Sellers:
    Ducks- Henrique— 56 GP—-19-14-33 ($5.8 M Cap)

    “Maybe selling”
    Flames-Lindholm — 55GP 16-33-49 ($4.9 M)

    Unlikely sellers but for the heck of it:
    Kraken—Wennerberg — 57 GP 10-17-27 ($4.5 M)

    Defense upgrades:
    Blues- Rosen (LD) 37 GP 7-8-15 (plus 16) ($0.76 M)
    Blues – Burtozzo (RD) 32 GP 1-0-1 (Plus 3) ($0.95 M)

    Maybe Selling:
    Cats- Montour (RD) 58 GP 10-38-48 ($5.3 M)
    Cats – Forsling (LD) 60 GP 8-25-33 (Plus 15) $2.7 M)

    “Likely” Sellers
    Sabres: Ollaffsson (LW/RW) 54 GP 23-9-32 ($4.8 M)
    Wings: Kubalik (LW/RW) 54 GP 16-20-36 ($2.5 M)
    Predz: Nino N (LW/RW) 54 GP 15-10-25 ($4.0 M)

    • Pengy, I have been wondering silently if Yzerman would consider moving Kubalik or Perron, if the Wings falter between now and the TDL. If you need a scorer, you could do a lot worse than Kubalik, especially at $2.5M. And if you need a proven veteran with playoff success, Perrion could provide something similar to ROR. But Perron is at $4.75M, like Kubalik, signed through 23/24.

      • Perron probably burned his bridges here

      • Hi Iago… Kubalik would be a reasonable add; pending an inflated ask

      • Kubalik if reasonable trade request would be a fair add

    • @Pengy
      No Ryan McDonagh ‘maybe’?

      • MacD and Jeannot to pens for Doumolin kapanen and a 2nd?

      • Hi ds

        Pens can ill afford to add another mid 30’s player…at the end of his contract he’ll be 37; and his hit is $6.8 M

        If he were UFA ; had retention; and didn’t cost a load in trade … maybe; but mid 3’s; 3 more years of contract… Pens should not be doing

      • Hi IHC

        Can’t see Poile taking that deal

        and MacDonagh is another mid 30’s guy with 3 more years after this…. Just what Pens do NOT need

      • Kapanan, Nylander, and 2 seconds for Domi.

        Heinen, Ruhwedal, and a third for Nick Ritchie.

        Demote MCGinn and Archie. Bring up Puusitnan and Hallander and Smith to inject some youth blood into this half-a-cadaver team. Dont really need a swing for the fences type of trade just get Sully to quit being loyal to all these guys that arent getting the job done.

  12. So petry is up for the taking! Who’s gonna get in on this steal?

    • He is??? Is HexBurkie saying that!

      • A “gm from the west coast “ has said that hextall said he was fair game. Take it for what it’s worth.