NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2023

by | Feb 25, 2023 | Rumors | 42 comments

Are the Rangers moving closer to landing Patrick Kane? Should the Leafs make another big move? Are the Jets interested in Timo Meier? Are the Capitals and Penguins calling about Jakob Chychrun? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Chris Johnston reported on Friday that Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane could reach a decision on whether to accept a trade within the next 24 hours. He was held out of practice yesterday for what the club called a “maintenance day”. The New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars are believed to be among the potentially interested clubs.

THE ATHLETIC: On Thursday, Arthur Staple reported a league source claimed the Rangers were searching for a third team to pick up 25 percent of Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit with the Blackhawks retaining 50 percent.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Staple also cited sources saying that the Blackhawks likely wouldn’t make the deal unless a first-round pick is part of the return or a conditional second-rounder that turns into a first-rounder if the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference Finals and Kane plays 50 percent of the games. He felt a conditional 2024 second-rounder and winger Vitaly Kravtsov for Kane with the Hawks retaining 50 percent of his salary should do it.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there’s a plan in place that might involve a 2024 conditional first-rounder, Zac Jones, or both going to Chicago for Kane.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers will hold considerable leverage if they become Kane’s only preferred trade destination. It’s believed the Blackhawks will try to honor his request out of respect for all he’s done for the franchise over the past 16 seasons. They might not get much of a return from the Rangers as a result.


TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos believes Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas needs to go all-in and make one more major acquisition before the trade deadline. He believes the Leafs need to bolster their blueline even if it means parting with top prospect Matthew Knies to do it.

Kypreos recommends Dubas call the Nashville Predators about Mattias Ekholm, who has three more seasons remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $6.25 million. “It’s time to go big or go home,” he writes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The problem with pursuing someone like Ekholm is it’ll leave the Leafs with over $78.8 million (stick tap to Cap Friendly) invested in just 13 roster players for 2023-24 with a salary cap expected to rise by $1 million to $83.5 million. That doesn’t leave much money to fill out the rest of the lineup.


THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates reports a league source said the Winnipeg Jets are interested in trading for San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier. However, his camp indicates he’s not interested in signing a long-term extension with them. The 26-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer who’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not worth parting with the Sharks’ asking price of three pieces (including a first-round pick) for Meier. That type of investment requires assurances that Meier is willing to stick around for several seasons. The Jets should try to load up for the playoffs but should pursue more affordable options.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps doubts the Golden Knights have enough tradeable assets to put together an enticing trade offer for Meier. He points out that other clubs linked to Meier (Jets, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, St. Louis Blues) have deeper prospect pools to draw on for trade bait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Vegas’ prospect pipeline is rather thin compared to those other clubs. I doubt we’ll see Meier suiting up for the Golden Knights after the March 3 trade deadline.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun followed up on colleague Rob Rossi’s report linking the Pittsburgh Penguins to Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. He reports the Penguins have had multiple conversations with the Coyotes but it’s difficult to gauge if there’s a deal to be made before the trade deadline. LeBrun believes Chychrun remains the top attraction for the Los Angeles Kings.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber cited TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting the Capitals have an interest in Chychrun and possess the draft capitals and assets to pull it off. Dreger noted the Capitals have two first-round picks, giving them the draft currency to do it.

Silber pointed out the Capitals only have one defenseman (John Carlson) under contract for next season. Chychrun is signed through 2024-25 at an affordable $4.6 million per season.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan reported on Thursday that Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong confirmed Chychrun won’t be suiting up for the club’s remaining games leading up to the March 3 deadline. However, they’ve made a mutual decision that he’ll resume skating with his teammates in practice.

Armstrong also denied a rumor that the oft-injured defenseman was sidelined again. “He’s 100 percent healthy and ready to go,” said Armstrong. He added there remains a lot of interest in the blueliner. Morgan also pointed out that the Coyotes GM could retain Chychrun for the rest of the season if no one meets his asking price and try again to move him in the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Ron Hextall yesterday said he wasn’t going to waste assets on a rental player. Chychrun, however, doesn’t fall into that category and would provide an immediate boost to Pittsburgh’s blueline.

Capitals GM Brian MacLellan, meanwhile, could be taking a page from the St. Louis Blues playbook. In other words, he could seek a quick roster retool by using his first-round picks for an established young NHL talent under contract beyond this season.


CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Craig Ellingson noted Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting the Flames have kicked tires on Brock Boeser. However, he doesn’t see the Flames landing the Vancouver Canucks winger.

Ellingson acknowledged adding a top-six winger like Boeser would help the Flames. However, it would come at the cost of sending a significant player to the Canucks to make the salary-cap dollars fit.

Boeser carries an average annual value of $6.65 million through 2024-25. Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin and Andrew Mangiapane fit within the age range and come close to his salary level.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only way this works for the Flames is if it’s a three-team deal with the Canucks retaining half of Boeser’s salary. That’s something Canucks GM Patrik Allvin said he’s reluctant to do unless he’s getting a significant asset in return.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Oilers GM Ken Holland continues working the phones presumably for a defenseman before March 3. The Oilers have been linked to the Sharks’ Erik Karlsson and the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Vladislav Gavrikov. Matheson believes they’re not keen to part with a first-rounder for Gavrikov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One defenseman Holland won’t be getting is Chicago’s Jake McCabe. He’s reportedly modified his no-trade clause but he’s still not amenable to playing in Edmonton.


  1. Meier to WPG makes sense as the West is wide open, Helly is back and the Jets have salary room next year IF Timo has any desire to sign long term in Winnipeg which is the hardest part of the deal imho

    Kane to MSG seems like a given now

  2. It seems Hextall isn’t interested, period.

    • He’s a terrible GM !!!

    • Meier will never sign with the Jets, his agent is Claude Lemieux. Can we please please please stop wasting kilobytes on this pointless rumour?

      • yeah but even as a rental they flip after the playoffs…. wpg is a team that has a shot this season

        go all in

        timo is still an asset you can move after the run probably for the same price you paid

      • I believe I wrote that Meier won’t sign with the Jets, Brock.

      • Yes, this comment wasn’t about you, Lyle. It was about all the talking heads and reporters who keep spilling data bytes on the Jets and Meier when it’s not going to happen.

      • its a bummer players avoid wpg and they have to trade for players on contracts. and signing ufa is tough. that team is close

    • You got it nailed SOG!!!

  3. Kypreos. Really, the leafs should go all in and Ekholm is your idea. To do this you suggest trading Knies. To thanks. All in is going for Meier and depth with Schenn. With the salaries almost the same.
    If Washington ends up with Chychrun, that will be some good wheeling and dealing on their part.

    • Hi Yes Guy

      Kypper is at the same level (vs all other hockey analysts/reporters) as Hextall is relative to his GM counterparts

  4. Trading for Chychrun would be great for the Pens but they would still be stuck with the same bottom six. Should have kept Kappy and waived McGuin and Heinen.

    • Hextall didn’t protect Tanev in expansion draft then turned around and signed McGinn for only $750k less a year. Terrible move!

      • He also lost McC (82 Game pace for 39 goals) for basically zilch

        Just imagine McC at 3C over Carter; Turbo instead of McG; Marino and Matheson over Petry and Ruuta; Nino Neidereiter (82 G pace of 27) over Rusty;

        Massively an uptick…. That is 700 K more than now…. Kappy was re-upped by atleast $700 K over his worth; coming off a sub-par year; AND he opted for Arb that Hextall took the easier route on (grossly over pay)

        That group is also younger and faster than their current replacements

        So….. that is on Hextall

  5. Considering how hard the Jets have to get players to sign, why dont they make a play for JT Miller? He isnt a bad player, but he is making maybe a million to much. If you send Appleton back it would make the cap work and then add some prospects.

  6. I would’ve prefered Chychrun and Bjugstad but it is what it is.

    I keep reading Sweeney and Boston like the depth and need all the dman for a deep playoff run.

    Im not sure that works, players have alot of pride and no one is going to want to sit in the press box.

    With that said I believe Sweeney needs to move out a dman.

    I would suggest one be moved to Arizona for Bjugstad and a prospect / pick.

    The savings can be used towards the bonus money owed.

    Marchand Bergeron Debrusk

    Pastrnak Krejci Zacha

    Hall Coyle Frederick

    Foligno Bjugstad Hathaway

    That is a 4 line team

    • Fan of Hathaway…great playoff pick up for BOS.
      Boston is the clear favorite to win. Impressive seeing Bergie and Krejci rejuvenated.

      Really interested in WSH and the conversation starts their management are having. If they can move out Mantha and Eller and pick up other D like Chychrun and solidify their D depth I’ll be impressed.

      • Bergeron didn’t need to and hasn’t been rejuvenated. He’s going to end up with about the same number of ppg (he’s a bit under but that’s because other’s deserve ice time this year)and +-. The rest of the team stepped up and he just gave his 100 % like he always does.

      • Bergie looks rejuvenated in having fun. Wasn’t inferring he lacked effort.

      • Agree with Sidetracked, Bergeron not rejuvenated, he won the Selke last season, Sweeney has just added reinforcements. No need to subtract especially on D, roster is set for a long run now

  7. Here we go again another player Meier indicating he won’t sign long term in Winnipeg.

    I have lived in Winnipeg since 2005, I love the summers in the Peg and surrounding areas, so much water, great golf courses, lots to do.

    The flip side is snow comes on the ground in November and doesn’t leave until March. 5 months of the year we have ground covered in snow.

    Which just tells you it’s never warm enough to melt.

    Winters are cold and long and unfortunately not enough breaks from the very cold days of mid December, January and February.

    These are simply the facts, if you like cross country sking (we are flat land) no down hill sking, ice fishing and snowmobiling you may like our winters.

    The good news for a hockey is you get to leave in the summer; which is the bad news also because the summers are generally awesome, summer days are long and warm.

    I understand why someone and lots don’t want to live here during the winter months which are longer then 3.

    With that said i’m taking my neon white legs and heading to Florida for some much needed warmth on Monday.

    • Anaheim has cap space. Outside of macT and Zegras and drysdale and terry they should trade anyone and make a pitch for Meir.

      Even flip Gibson to SJ for Reimer as part of the deal.. give a second this yr a 1st next. Maybe toss in Henrique and another roster player/ top prospect

      They have the cap room to sign him Long term

    • With you on the ‘Peg being a great place to live Caper. I was there from 87-91 , great place to raise kids too. Summers are indeed excellent except for the skeeters.

      Like you said a player would not have to stay year round , plus the team goes on the road for several weeks anyways. Many ex jets have made Winnipeg their home year round. People in general are friendly and welcoming.

  8. I could see Dallas going for 26yr old UFA Timo Meier
    He would be a Great fit with the young up and coming core in Dallas @ 50% retained
    1st & 2nd and 3rd & Top Prospect like Matej Blümel

    Stars would need to clean out cap space…
    Anton Khudobin $3.3M and one more players from roster like Denis Gurianov $2.9M

    then they could flip Khudobin for a pick as he would be a very good back up….. Think Vegas🤔

    would love to see the stars (ship out) Tyler Seguin.. plays like he dose not care..
    But at $9.8M for for 4.5 more years…….⁉️🤔

    • SS I don’t think he will keep them all.

      Players have a ton of pride.

      Heck of a buy-in to have a player like Grzelcyk, Forbort or Clifton being happy and not being in the lineup.

      Still have Reilly, Zboril or Stralman who are used to sitting. The depth is there.

      They could still use another forward. Bjugstad

  9. Jets have 41 road games so they get a break.Heated parking no problem. It would be a shock coming from SJ though
    N. California is getting some big snow .

    If I am Sweeney keep all the D you can You will need 10 by the time it is said and done

    Meier to NJD
    Chychrun to Oilers
    Boeser to Pit
    Kane to Buf

  10. Would the Bruins try moving any combo of Grzelcyk..Reilly.. a forward or two for another forward or center …litigants pieces and players who have played a lot in the NHL this season some players won’t be happy

    • Maybe the annual Anaheim deal. Klingberg and Vatrano. Not sure how we could fit any more salary.

  11. It’s unbelievable that these two rumours are still percolating in the media…

    Oil still has interest in Karllsson????

    ….. and Petry is available and possible interest by a west-coast team (mind-boggling!!!)????

    The other day I combined those two “rumours” for my waaay out there ships ‘n giggles trade

    So… rinse/repeat….

    To SJ
    1st (Oil ‘23 Lottery protected)
    1st (Oil ‘24 also lottery protected)

    To Oil
    EK at $6.1 M Cap (Sharks retain 12%, Pens 35%)….. Oil net Cap change hit this year is zero

    To Yotes
    Dumo (@ 50% [retained by Pens])
    3rd (‘23…. Sharks)

    To Pens
    Tuscon’s worst UFA (Yotes have to give up something in the trade)


    Sharks ….retain 12% on EK; move him; move a 3rd….. net Petry, Yammo, McGuinn; 2 firsts; gain cash and Cap space out years. Have option to retain and flip Petry for a pick.

    Oil…. Convert Yammo and JP into EK for two 1sts; get EK for balance of this year and 4 more years…. @$6.1 M annualized Cap hit

    Yotes get a 3rd for accepting Dumo @ 50% for 1/4 of season

    Convert McGuinn into JP
    Move Dumo (replaced by Smith)
    Net $4 M (annualized Cap) this year (gives them trade maneuver room)
    Net $5 M cap 23/24
    Net $5 M cap 24/25
    Do NOT give up futures

    @ expense of :

    $4 M Cap space in both 25/26 & 26/27 (when cap much higher AND Pens then in rebuild);



    • Petry does not wanna go to San Jose. He wants to stay in the East, He has 15 teams that he does not wanna go to, and WON’T go to.

    • Oilers Not intressted in Erik Karlsson…..

      This was a slow weeks in the Meida thats gone round twice❗️😳

      Oil cant aford what the are asking and or the cap is going to be maxed out
      Oil need a d/man and 2 forwards if they can swing it,
      A top 6 RW…….. & Big tough bottom six guy that can play…..🤔

  12. Re Rangers fitting in Kane; and “middle “ team

    After todays game and accounting for escrow

    Kane sal….

    25% $190 K….from Wild benchmark…. 4th (‘24)

    12.5 % 95 K (another team) …. 5th (‘25)

    Cap space needed for Kane @ 12.5 %; noting he must replace s player on the roster (just take league min)…. $165 K…. CapFriendly has Rangers showing deadlin Cap space of $908 K….. so Rangers have room

    What they must pay (on top of picks to team(s) for retention) to Chi is TBD

    Kane is very likely s Ranger tomorrow of Monday

  13. Still can’t believe Washington handing over those 2 players to Boston

    Boston has there Zdeno Chara back in the fold and another pest

    Best deal they made is the one they didn’t make, as in Columbus

  14. After watching the last 4 NY games, I don’t think NY should pursue Kane. But maybe a couple of players that are interested in playing the game? Just a thought.

    Some of you may say, “todays game isn’t over, oh yeah it is!

    Offense, garbage.
    Defense, garbage
    Goaltenders, left hung out to dry.


    • If this keep still up what I s. THe likely hood they fire Gallant and bring in Trotz?

      The lack of grit in their play in the last few games and sloppy team defense coverage, losing man on man battles is really telling.

      • I don’t see them firing Gallant unless NY is out by game 82.

        Not a chance they do that in season with 20 games remaining.

        Besides, Gallant looks like the only one actually interested at this point. This is not a Gallant issue.

  15. Rangers are another team that could use some more defensive depth. Especially if Lindgren is out for any time

  16. Kravstov gone for Lockwood and a 7th in 2026 to Vancouver. I get it’s a salary dump, but this is the third 1st rounder from the Gorton era flushed down the 💩’er.

    • I think he will do better in Vancouver. I am surprised he didn’t cost that much, makes me think about Eeli Tolvanen that almost every team ignored when he was on waivers. Maybe an attitude thing ? Don’t know. And concerning Gorton, pretty happy Kent Hughes is the one taking the last decisions in Montreal and happy Gorton chose him as GM

      • There is a lot to like about Kravstov. I wouldn’t take his stats or lack of too seriously. He was given very little opportunity in NY. However, he demanding ice time , refusing an AHL assignment and thinking he was “entitled “ to top 6 minutes look a lot like Drouins early days in Tampa.

        I just don’t think he was ever going to succeed in NY. Hope this guy has learned a little from this rocky start.

        I think he could be a fantastic player if he can stay out of his own way.

  17. And now the Jets acquire Nino Niedereiter for a 2nd rounder. Nice !

    • Nino for the price is solid