NHL Rumor Mill – February 6, 2023

by | Feb 6, 2023 | Rumors | 56 comments

Check out the latest on Jonathan Toews and Kevin Hayes, possible Blues trade candidates and a look at the goalie market in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman recently listed the Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes, Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars as six teams who should be in the mix for Jonathan Toews.

Goldman acknowledged Toews has yet to decide if he’ll waive his no-movement clause before the March 3 trade deadline. She also noted the decline in the 34-year-old center’s performance but suggested that could be due to the depleted Blackhawks roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews and teammate Patrick Kane are expected to meet with Blackhawks management by the middle of this month to discuss their futures. Toews should draw interest around the league if he agrees to waive his no-movement clause, though the remainder of his $10.5 million cap hit will require some creativity for the aforementioned clubs to acquire him.

The Avalanche and Hurricanes both need a reliable second-line center while the Jets and Stars could be in the market for a top-six forward. The Oilers and Capitals, on the other hand, are believed seeking blue-line depth. That will take them out of the market for Toews.

Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes (NHL Images).


PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi cited Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen recently reported that there is an NHL club showing interest in Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes and wants to move him back to center. The 30-year-old has been playing mostly on left wing this season and has 15 goals and 45 points in 50 games this season.

Carchidi points out that Hayes has three more years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $7.1 million. He also has a 12-team no-trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen and Carchidi didn’t indicate which team is interested in Hayes. His partial no-trade clause could be a sticking point but his annual cap hit is the bigger obstacle.

The interested club could prefer the Flyers retain part of Hayes’ cap hit. I don’t think Philadelphia general manager Chuck Fletcher would want that retained salary on his books as dead cap space for three years.


SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe looked at potential St. Louis Blues trade candidates if they become sellers leading up to the March 3 deadline. He noted that GM Doug Armstrong isn’t afraid to make difficult or occasionally unpopular decisions.

Wiebe believes decisions are coming soon for pending unrestricted free agents such as Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev, Noel Acciari, Tyler Pitlick, Josh Leivo, Niko Mikkola and Thomas Greiss. However, he also wondered if Armstrong would consider moving some of his core players with term remaining on their contracts. Whether there will trade discussions regarding defenseman Colton Parayko or winger Pavel Buchnevich remains to be seen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wiebe pointed out that not all of those Blues pending UFAs could hit the trade block. Some of them, including O’Reilly, could be re-signed. As for players like Parayko and Buchnevich, Armstrong could retain them with an eye on building up a new core around Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas. Still, he could listen if a club comes calling with an interesting offer.


SPORTSNET: Ryan Dixon recently examined a rather thin trade market for goaltenders as deadline day approaches. Those who could draw some trade buzz include the Arizona Coyotes’ Karel Vejmelka, Columbus Blue Jackets Joonas Korpisalo, San Jose Sharks James Reimer, Ottawa Senators Cam Talbot and the Vancouver Canucks’ Thatcher Demko.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Demko popped up in the rumor mill after Bo Horvat got traded but I don’t believe the Canucks are willing to go that far. They’re talking about retooling rather than rebuilding and they’ll need an affordable starter ($5 million annually through 2025-26).

I realize there is some concern about Demko’s shaky play earlier this season before he was sidelined on Dec. 1 with a leg/hip injury. Still, trading him would be an extreme reaction on the Canucks’ part and an admission that they’re doing more than just retooling.

Vejmelka keeps coming up in the rumor mill because he carries an affordable $2.75 million cap hit through 2024-25 and put up decent numbers this season on the woeful Coyotes until January. Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong could listen to offers but I’m skeptical that he’ll trade Vejmelka.

Korpisalo, Reimer and Talbot seem more likely trade candidates given their UFA statuses this summer. Of those three, I think Reimer is the one who’ll be on the move. Talbot’s banged up and teams passed on Korpisalo at last year’s deadline.


  1. Does anyone have any insight as to Jakob Vrana’s status ? I was surprised that he didn’t get called up after Erne cleared waivers rather than Zadina, who had 3 more games left on his conditioning assignment in the AHL. Detroit has had some issues finding the back of the net, and Vrana has been hot in Grand Rapids, with 6 goals and 8 points in a recent 7 game stretch. I am curious to know if Vrana is done in Detroit.

    • Iago, could be that $5,250,000 cap hit has something to do with it.

      • Obviously, Detroit would have to retain some salary.

    • Vrana could be more valuable in the minors, as is adam Erne is now. A new cap-strapped team could stash him in the minors until needed.

    • I’d trade for Vrana right now. Natural goal scorers are tough to find. The current and future leadership group in Boston can keep him on the straight and narrow, plus both him and Pasta have familiarity from playing together as kids in the WJC.
      Have at it, Sweeney.

      • Bruins don’t need any players like him. All the need is grit and toughness. A couple depth players for low picks. Don’t mess with chemistry

    • By all accounts Vrana is 100% done in Detroit.

      Kevin Allen said that Steve yzerman was pissed off at the whole Jakub Vrana fiasco. And plans on either dealing him this summer or potentially buying him out. But it definitely sounds like Vrana won’t ever be wearing the winged wheel in Detroit ever again

  2. One goaltender Dixon did not mention was Saros of Nashville. Seems only Kypreos thinks Poile would be dumb enough to put his team into the similar dilemma now faced by at least half a dozen teams – finding a reliable # 1 starter – by trading away one of the best in the league.

    • Well if he does George then Ottawa needs to be all over that. His age matches well with the sens core, problem would be is the asking price, and if i am going after saros then maybe i try to parley one of the rd in the trade maybe a guy like fabbro.

      • Clearly, yes mp – IF. But why would Poile do that? Saros is on a pretty good $5 mil deal with 2 years yo go after that before becoming a UFA. His back-up, Lankinen, is a UFA this year which likely means he is either dealt at the deadline, or simply not re-upped, freeing up his $1.5 mil cap hit and making way for Askerov whose ELC of $925,000 has 2 more years to run after this.

        CapFriendly shows them with $11,995,524 with which to sign 8. They have 5 RFAs, only one of which is going to cost a bigger bundle (Fabbro – expiring $2.4 mil cap hit) – he could be dealt on TD Day or after the season along with Niedereiter whose $4 mil hit has 1 more year to run.

        Nashville is still very much in the playoff hunt in the West so I just don’t see them trading away one of the best goalies in the league.

        Now, I know this is Poile whose track record indicates that anything is possible, but the only way he deals Saros is if the return is mind-blowing – in which case Askerov joins Lankinen down the stretch. I’m not holding my breath on that one, though.

      • @George O – I think if Poile makes that move, it is a recognition that the Preds are in need of a full rebuild. If he expects the team to remain competitive, there’s no way they make that trade. If Saros moves, I would expect a full fire-sale.

      • To small of a goaltender to last with the shooters coming in freely on the net…Ottawa can wait till the summer to get a goaltender.

      • SCG, that definitely would be a sign that a re-build is about t begin.

        BUT, right now, with 48gp they have 54 pts – 6 back of the 1st WC holder (Edmonton) and with 2 games in hand. They’re also just 3 pts back of the 2nd WC slot (Colorado) with the same number of games played, and also 3 back of Calgary – but with 2 games in hand on the Flames.

        With 34 games left in their schedule, would any other team in the same situation toss in the towel?

        Maybe, if they go into a slide once the schedule resumes and leading up to TD Day, that will happen – but I don’t think there’s any sign of imminent disaster.

    • Poile doesn’t trade his #1 goalies.

  3. How about Vrana to Pittsburgh for Pettersson and Heinen?

    • Hi SJPP

      Vrana (setting aside performance) is a winger

      Pens need 3C upgrade

      In addition; Pens (already struggling defensively) can ill afford to get rid of their top LD

      With a healthy D…. This is fair would inly need maybe a depth add):


      Petry/P-O J

      2 of Smith/Friedman/Ruuta

      * Don’t play (AT ALL) #2 or # 8

      A depth D add ensures #2; #8 are not on ice

      Dumo …. UFA…. $4.1 M annually…. can use in trade if bringing in substantial Cap

      Ideal move…..(Toews would need to agree)

      Toews (50%) for Dumo plus whatever it takes; plus separately low cost UFA D depth add

      Next best

      Henrique (25% retained) for Dumo plus whatever it takes; plus separately low cost UFA D depth add

      next best

      Domi for Dumo plus whatever it takes; plus separately low cost UFA D depth add

      • To Pittsburgh–Adam Henrique 50% retained which will be $2.9 million. He has 19 goals, good face off man, terrific 200 foot player, and has lead Jersey to Stanley cup finals.

        To Anaheim—Teddy Blueger UFA @ $2.2 million and a second or third round pick

    • SJPP,

      LH D’men and LH forwards are two positions that Detroit’s system is already deep at, so I doubt that package would appeal to Mr. Yzerman..

  4. As far as goalies go. Why isn’t Khudobin’s name popping up more? He’s only two years out of single handedly taking the Stars to the Cup Finals. And he’s having a fairly solid season in the AHL. He’s not going to be anyone’s starter, but could be a solid back up. He sits just above 3 million per, but he’s a UFA at the end of the season, so there’s no obligation… purely a rental

    • Starsfan

      You don’t hear much about Khudobin because as an NHL goalie he’s on the smaller side at 5’11” and carries a $3M cap hit. The other issue is I don’t think Dallas is willing to retain salary.

      He would definitely be good insurance as your number 3…which could be another reason Dallas hangs on to him. If Oettinger goes down they’re in trouble.

      • I have heard that Dallas doesn’t want to retain anything. They would love to get rid of his hit against the cap. But he could be a decent #2 on team’s that don’t have a solid backup. Experience is a plus. He’s been there.

      • Darly/StarsFan

        Right now (and unless he’s moved); Khudobin counts $2.2 M against big team

        He’s UFA

        12% retained ; flip for DeSmith

        IF they kept DeSmith above the line…. The net is the same …. DeSmith plus Khudobin retention= $2.2 M

        They won’t keep DeSmith above the line; so $1.1 M is buried… the whole deal nets Stars $1.1 M n space this year

        That is their upside (gain $1.2 M space this year); downside worst case… bury DeSmith next year….. counts $700 K against the Big club

        For Pens & TDL

        Only need about $260 K in space for balance of year; huge upgrade in back-up

        Make the call HexBurkie

  5. Lyle,

    That is exactly the reason Fletcher is a low IQ hockey Gm. A smart GM would realize that this dumpster fire of a team he created is going no where. Even with a full roster this team wont win in the playoffs.

    Smart play is to retain 2m per on Hayes contract, and move him for assets. The reality is this team wont compete for a cup in the next 3 years so why not move players with big contracts.

    I would take it a step further and make available 2 of the following 4 players. Provorov, Sanheim, TD, RR.

    I also would gauge what the return would be for TK, if someone wants to offer 2 1st rd picks for TK you listen.

    • I’m pretty sure fletch has a higher IQ than you. Who is TD? We can’t trade RR, we’re already using York on the right side. Sanheim has a full no trade clause for the first 4 years of the new contract. TK is our best player who kills penalties and power play one. The only way we trade provy is if we swing another trade to eat those minutes. We’re not eating any money in a potential Hayes trade. He’s not being traded. His coach in the AHL talked about Hayes and his conversation with fletcher and the flyers. The flyers are 10 – 4 – 2 since the holiday break. That’s without top center and top right wing and top Dman all season. Not bad for a dumpster fire hey. We also have good young players on the way. JVR, Braun, Brown will all likely be on the move to grab draft picks for coming draft. There is a reason you would never hold any important position on a hockey club. Keep it about hockey and stop insulting people. It makes you look like you have a low IQ.

      • lol larry i do have a right to my opinion, and most of the Flyers fan base feels the exact same way i do about Fletcher. He’s been riding his father coat tails for a long time, and he turned Minn into a dumpster fire and now he’s done the same thing to the Flyers.

        Respectfully i disagree with your opinion, i would’ve had a plan when i came to Philly and acted accordingly. Fletcher has done nothing but put this team in cap hell and his drafting is bad also.

        We cant trade RR because the contract was bad when signed. Sanheim can be moved but For me i would trade Provorov for multiple assets and move york back to the left side and promote Belpedio from Phantoms to play on the 3rd pairing.


        I also bring up Zamula.

        The players you listed for us to trade wont get anything but 5th & 6th rd picks. The team isnt going to compete for a cup even with Coots back.

        Also never seen you post before Larry, is this the secret account for Chuck Fletcher?

      • Tony Deangelo
        Travis Konecny
        Rasmus Ristolainen

        holy shiit guys, i see post all the time using first and last initials but for some reason thats the beef of my post. Complaining about players names in my post when you knew exactly who i was referring to.


      • Hey Larry, only because you asked. Fletch graduated from Harvard, he probably has a higher IQ than all of us. TD is Anthony Deangleo. Sanheim’s NTC doesn’t kick in until next season. The Flyers will have to eat some of Hayes contract if they want to move him. Only one GM thinks Hayes is worth $7M. It wasn’t Hayes AHL coach. It was his coach from Boston College. Hayes never played in the AHL. JVR should be on the move at the deadline. Brown and Braun? Braun isn’t playing and Brown shouldn’t be. Who would want them? Keep it about hockey and stop insulting people. It makes you look like, etc.

    • Nothing personal mp, but overuse of players’ initials can nullify a post’s effectiveness.

      • Agree. You have to wonder what they do with all the extra time that accrues by using initials – or nicknames like “Gavvy” or “Willie” or “Bobo” – as if they know them personally.

      • Easier and faster than spelling the name right…too lazy to look it up…but what they have to say, well….

      • Isn’t his nickname Bob, nt Bobo?

      • Totally agree IWMCB, GO, and RM.

      • BM

      • Hi SOP

        TSN and SportsNet have used both “Bobo” and “Bob” when referring to him

        I’ve not heard what the Cats’ play-by-play guy calls him

        I personally like Bobo over Bob

        Better still …. “The most painful $10 M Cap hit in the NHL”

        BTW…. Zito (if buying him out this summer) can save $3.3 M in Cap space…. For 3 years

        The dead cap of $1.7 M (for another 3 years) wouldn’t start until 26/27 when $1.7 M in Cap space will be much less significant than now

        Just a thought

  6. Hello, I come to this website everyday, and there is no need for me to comment as between Lyle and everyone’s comments I don’t have questions.
    One thing I haven’t seen a discussion about (yet I am prone to miss a day or two) is trade deadline acquisitions of goalies.
    I’ve noticed goalies more than any other positions have a harder time assimilating with a team at the deadline. Their tendencies to know when and where to clear a puck as well as where they want their rearguard in front of them.

    • That’s a great point you raise, eSome. I believe you are correct in your observation.

      • I would second that. Great point eSome. Probably the key to all teams is the chemistry and instinctive moves that have been developed between the D and their goalie … and that takes time.

      • True that eSome, saw it here in EDM with Campbell, and last year in BOS with Ullmark.

        I’m sure there are more, and times where it hasn’t been an issue, that’s just the 2 teams I pay most attention too.

  7. At last year’s deadline, Korpisalo was on the LTIR. Which certainly had a little something to do with his not being traded, then.
    This year, he has bounced back so far that he is, statistically, the Jackets’ best goalie. While that doesn’t guarantee that there will be trade interest in him, it does mean that there’s a much greater chance of interest.

  8. Toews…. Re Goldman … “She also noted the decline in the 34-year-old center’s performance”

    Decline free m his peak…. Absolutely

    But he is doing much better than last year; and on a bottom feeding team

    This year’s 82 G pace….

    25-25-50 ; AND

    1) Top NHL player in the dits this year

    2) Leadership abound

    3) Tons of playoff experience

    4) Three Cups

    He would be a great add to a frw teams

    Would absolutely live him replacing Carter at 3C; with added bonus that he could move up if Sid or Gino get injured (something Carter just can’t do)

    HexBurkie (with re-ups of Tanger, Gino, Carter; Rusty; Rakell; Kappy) signaled ABSOLUTELY NOT in re-build/re-tool

    If that is the case… 1st (‘23) is not important (to HexBurkie)

    Pens on bubble; massive need for 3C upgrade

    Why not pick up the phone at least… if Toews too much; ask about Domi at a much lower return!!!

    Doing nothing is very dangerous

    Want a 3C with term…. Call Ducks….ask what’ll takr fir Henrique

    • Pengy what about Zucker and a 2nd to CHI for Toews 50% retained

      Have malkin play lw with Sid and Rackell

      Toews 2nd line c with rust and guentzel


      • Hi IHC

        Been a long while since we’ve chatted

        Toews add would be excellent ; but he’s needed at 3C (to replace Carter)

        Loading up the top 2 lines would slightly improve over what they have now; but won’t make up for the serious lack of production from bottom 1/2 of Pens forwards

        I like Rackel with Sid/Guentz


        Toews with 2 of Hienen/McG/Kappy

        Teddy B/Carter/ 1 of Hienen/McG/Kappy/Arch

        That leaves Poehling & O’connor as trade chips

        On D:


        Petry/P-O J

        2 of Smith/Friedman/Rutta

        Cheap UFA Depth D add

        Leaves Dumo (UFA) out to move for Cap reasons; and Chad Ruhwedel (who should not be playing with the big club)…. Send him to AHL

        So…. Dumo (4.1 M annual) out; Toews (50%…. $5.25 M annual) in… diff annual 1.15…. at TDL….. only $290 K space needed…, doable

        Toews of course needs to agree; setting that aside…. Hoping Davidson accepts:

        O’Connor; Poehling ; 2nd (plus Dumo of course) for Toews (@ 50 %)

        If Davidson pushes for 1st….

        1st + O’Connor;

        Use Poehling to get s better UFA RHD

    • Lot of Chatter in St. Louis about Barbashev and Mikkola heading to Pitt. Pointed out that Pitt has been scouting the Blues heavily and the Blues have been scouting Pickering.

      • Hi Brian

        Mikkola should not be on Pens radar…. LD they have covered

        Barb if he comes cheap (not Pickering)

        Barb 82 G pace of 15-24-39

        Would much rather have Toews…..

        82 G pace of 25-25-50

        #1 in entire NHL in the dot

        Great leader

        Excellent and massive playoff experience

        3 Cups

        Now if my bromance…. Parayko; is available 🤞🙏👏

  9. Hi Pengy,

    I could see J Toews going home to Winnipeg for the playoff push…🤔
    and fill the 2/3 rd line centre roll

    they need leadership there and cup winning Experience in the dressing room that what he would bring to any team at this stage of his playing days….❓

  10. Depending on What Vancouver can get done vina trades….

    I think they Move the 27 yr old Demko at the NHL Draft in Late june….

    They look for a Chep back up and or old Re-tred Goaltender and do a Real re-build not mess around like they have for the past 15 yrs….

  11. Pengy

    I know they need a 3c but they also need a top 9 winger. Stubborn Sullivan is moving Rakell back to Crosby’s line hence the Malkin line will suffer. If no winger can be obtained, I would try this


    Nothing else has worked, so maybe this balanced the lines out a little more!

    • Boeser/Schenn for Kapanen/Doumolin?

      Cap hits close

  12. i have cbj being in first which is actually last place. followed by chic ana ariz ans san jose. cbj has 34 pts in 51 games chic 34 pts in 48 games.

  13. Hayes to CMB for Roslovic and Nyquist?

    CMB gets a true #1 center
    Flyers get a 3c and can’t shift Laughton to wing

    Trade Nyquist to COL for a pick

    Flyers clear cap
    CMB gets a player they need since 7million on the 3rd line is silly in Philly.

    Gives younger Flyers top 6 playing minutes this season

    Win for both teams
    And they have a trade history

    • i like this

    • Hi Ihatecrosby,

      I would do that Trade, CBJ get a big goal scoring Centre…..👍
      and they need both a 1st and 2nd line centre ✅🤔

      Philly Clear Cap, Philly can also trade either Roslovic and Nyquist…?
      or keep Roslovic to play centre or wing…👍

  14. Ihatecrosby

    It was hard to type that! How about Garland and Schenn for Rutta,Mcginn and Joseph?

    • I think Van would do that just to get rid of the Garland contract but would Pitt want to give up that much depth on the d line heading towards the playoffs???

      • The Pens have Smith that could slot in for Joseph while still having Ruhwedel and Friedman as 7 or 8.

  15. I could see Jake Allen on the move too. I know his stats aren’t great this year but considering how bad m Montreal is currently I don’t know how much value teams will put into those numbers. To me if Karel isn’t moved he would be the best option for a team looking for goaltending help assuming they don’t want to meet the exorbitant price Demko would go for.