NHL Rumor Mill – February 7, 2023

by | Feb 7, 2023 | Rumors | 68 comments

What’s the latest on Patrick Kane? Could the Bruins acquire Timo Meier? Will the Canadiens move Josh Anderson? Could the Penguins use their first-round pick as a trade chip? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope reports the Blackhawks and Patrick Kane are preparing for all possible trade scenarios with the trade deadline less than a month away.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Kane is aware that several teams have reached out to his agent to express interest in acquiring him. He admitted there are “definitely possibilities out there that are intriguing and could be exciting.” However, he has not yet decided if he’ll waive his no-movement clause.

Some contenders are believed to be concerned over Kane’s lower-body injury. However, the 34-year-old winger dismissed those worries. Meanwhile, Blackhawks management is preparing for “every potential scenario, large to small,” said team CEO Danny Wirtz.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears both sides are approaching this situation cautiously. Kane and Jonathan Toews are expected to meet with Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson in mid-Feburary to discuss their respective futures.

Both players could waive their respective NMCs. Perhaps only one of them will do so. Both of them could decide to finish the season in Chicago and explore their options in this summer’s free-agent market.

Teams with an interest in Kane will want assurances that his lower-body injury won’t impede his performance over the remainder of the season. It could also affect whatever return the Blackhawks receive if they find a suitable trade destination for him.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty believes there’s only one scenario where the Bruins acquire San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier and that’s if winger David Pastrnak decides to test this summer’s free-agent market.

Meier, 26, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. His current annual cap hit is $6 million but he’s earning $10 million in actual salary, which is what it would cost to qualify his rights by June 30 unless he and his team agree to a new contract before then.

Acquiring Meier would also mean clearing some salary to make room for him in the current lineup. Haggerty believes that would mean moving out a forward like Charlie Coyle or Jake DeBrusk, or a defenseman such as Brandon Carlo or Matt Grzelcyk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Haggerty pointed out, it seems unlikely that Pastrnak will be going to market based on his comments during the All-Star weekend over his contract situation. He anticipates the Bruins superstar will be staying in Boston on an eight-year, $88 million extension.


SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Eric Engels was asked if there was any truth to a recent report that the Montreal Canadiens don’t want to trade winger Josh Anderson. He believes the more accurate portrayal of how general manager Ken Hughes feels about trading or not trading Anderson would be to say that he’s not actively shopping the winger.

Engels doesn’t see Anderson as an untouchable. He believes Hughes would move the winger for the right price, such as a package offer of a 2023 first-round pick, a good prospect and a roster player on an expiring contract. The acquiring club would also have to take on Anderson’s full $5.5 million cap hit.

He also raised the possibility that Hughes could see Anderson as a potential bargaining chip if there was a possibility of acquiring center Pierre-Luc Dubois this summer if he’s unwilling to sign a long-term deal with the Winnipeg Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the report being referred to here was TSN’s Darren Dreger last week saying Anderson wasn’t in play despite the Canadiens getting calls from other clubs. Dreger said the same thing as Engels: Hughes isn’t shopping him but could move him if he gets an offer too good to refuse.

Some of you might wonder why Engels believes the Canadiens would want an NHL player on an expiring contract in the deal. I think it would be to try and flip that player to another club at the deadline for another asset.

As for using Anderson to acquire Dubois, I concur with Engels that the winger on his own wouldn’t be enough to land the Jets center. They’ll have to add a first-round pick and a top prospect into the mix.

As Engels also pointed out, if the Canadiens really want Dubois and he wants to join the Habs, they only need to wait until the summer of 2024 when he becomes a UFA. Signing him will be expensive but they won’t have to part with any other assets to get him.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports Penguins GM Ron Hextall will not trade his 2023 first-round pick to move out some salary or in a straight-up deal. He said conversations have picked up in the trade market but he has not been asked for his first-rounder.

With limited salary-cap space, Hextall is in the market to improve his third forward line. Kingerski speculates he could be seeking a third-line center.


  1. Well, if Anderson costs a package offer of a 2023 first-round pick, a good prospect and a roster player and no salary retained, I hope he is happy in Montreal.

    • LOL. You got that right redmonsters.

      You have to think that Hughes actual position is more accurately somewhere between “Hell no – and let’s dicker a bit” – but nowhere close to that package. I don’t care how much “admired” he is – NO ONE is giving that up for Anderson. That’s the sort of package a Dubois might fetch – but not Anderson. Sorry Habs fans but that is classic “pie-in-the-sky.”

      • No Way the Habs get a package like that for
        Josh Anderson………❗️ for What❓
        sombody smoking at AZ stuff

        $5.5M for 14 goals this year… 😳
        $5.5M 32 pts last year…
        $5.5M 24 pts the year before…

        if someone offered a 1st pick for Josh Anderson …
        they should
        Take the Pick and Run Away very FAST 😂

      • I don’t know ANY Hab fans, myself included, who want to trade Anderson. I want him to stay a Hab.

        As for Dubois, why would the Habs trade for him if they can sign him for zero assets next summer? He’s a good player, but certainly not a “must have”.

      • Neither is Anderson a “must have” – in fact, he shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as Dubois who, if acquired, would be instrumental in the improving fortunes of Montreal. Anderson won’t ever factor in that way.

      • Hi George, isn’t that what was said about Chiarot last year ?

    • That ask is going to happen imo.

      • Gordie, the ask could happen – no one is responding with such an offer.

      • The tell on what George pointed out is when the author says, “The acquiring club would also have to take on Anderson’s full $5.5 million cap hit.” I guess we can all agree no one wants to.

    • Agree.

    • What about NJ?

      Luke’s Hughes, Holz and a 1st for Anderson And Edmundson?

      Let Severson and woods walk this summer

      Not sure how the cap would work this year but they can help NJ on their playoff run

      • I am not sure if this is a sarcastic proposal or not. But either way NJ slams the phone down and then throws it at the Habs GM to thank him for that proposal.

      • Luke Hughes, Holtz, and a first round pick? So essentially 3 first round picks for Josh Anderson. I swear that all you Montreal fans are completely out of your minds.

      • I am a Habs fan and I can say that there’s no way the Devils would make such a deal, not even close. Thinking more of a Ben Chiarot deal.

    • Not sure really the Josh Anderson ask out of touch…look at Tyler Toffoli haul last year

      Tyler Toffoli was traded to the Calgary Flames by the Montreal Canadiens on Monday for forward Tyler Pitlick, forward prospect Emil Heineman, a first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, and a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

      • Toffoli has played 702 career games with 212g 224a 436 pts for 82-game average of 25g 26a 51 pts and in 88 playoff games has contributed 18g 26a 44 pts.

        Anderson has played437 career games with 115g 75a 190 pts for 82-game averages of 22g 14a 36 pts, and in 43 playoff games has contributed 8g 6a 14 pts.

        HUGE difference in production.

      • On top of that, Toffoli costs $4,250,000 off the cap. A difference of $1,250,000 – which can be a pretty decent 4th line player or 5/6 D-man.

  2. Gentlemen

    Please remember pot is now legal in Canada. It seems someone has been smoking it This the return is high as they say😎

    • So is heroine and cocaine in some province.

      • Which province is that?

      • BC . I thought it was a joke but it’s true.

        Small amounts of course possession. Can’t snort a kilo on your own.

      • Actually, it’s not “legal” – the province, in light of monumental illegal drug arrests, has decided to “decriminalize” for possession of 2.5 grams or less. And it’s a controversial decision that will be revisited just as soon as the leftist government is ousted at the next election.

      • George asking for a friend.

  3. Rutherford gave up a no.1 pick, Gustavsson and Cole for Brassard. A no.1 pick,Addison, and Galchenyuk for Zucker. A no.1 pick,Hallander and Rodrigues for Kapanen. He overpaid but sometimes you have to outbid everybody else to get “your man.” It is not outlandish to think that Anderson could bring back the same!

    • Maybe at last GM are finaly getting Smarter…..🤔

  4. First of all why in the world would montreal go trade for Dubois he is signing another 1 year deal and then coming to Montreal as a UFA plus montreal ain’t competing for a Stanly cup this year or next so trading for him is pointless wait and montreal will be better as a group and then add a player in Dubois when your team is more ready…..Anderson I’d trade to any team that offered me a 1st and top prospect and a player on the spot he sucks sure big fast power forward who cares not a star barely scores waste of money I’d get rid of him asap as long as other gms think he’s awesome…. Penguins will have to trade their first if they want anything decent if not your stuck with 3rd forth line players or old rentals

    • Frank

      Why is Anderson, with a career high of 47 points that scores at a rate of .43ppg, worth a 1st, top prospect and a player? Is it because he plays for Montreal?

      The Leafs have Engvall. He scores at .36ppg with a career high 35 points and gets no time on the PP…yet according to everyone here has zero trade value.

      If anybody offers Hughes a 1st round pick for Anderson he should jump on it

      • And then hide so no one can see him laughing.

  5. Kane 50% retained to BOS for C.SMITH and R.SMITH and a 1st and 3rd??

    Chi can then trade the smiths for more draft capital to playoff teams

    I think Kane would take a trade to that locker room. Since they are viable cup contenders

    • Who is this R Smith you are referring to ?

      • Rick Smith retired in 81’

      • My bad. Brain not working
        Craig Smith and Mikey Reilly

        My brain went to Reilly Smith lol

        My bad

  6. Anderson seems to have because stagnant in Montreal. For this reason, he needs out, and Montreal will NOT get that kind of return unless they retain a large chunk of salary.
    That being said, you don’t negotiate effectively without asking for the moon at the start. The price will come down as the laughs through the wires pile up.

    • The price will come down if Montreal is shopping him. If they are not and teams are asking, why would they drop their asking price.

      • Asking doesn’t mean they’ll pay that price.
        If any GM does, I’d expect that GM wouldn’t be employed much longer unless Anderson was to exceed expectations…which is possible. He seems to be built for playoff hockey.

      • And yet, WestBrantKid, in 43 career playoff games he has 8g 6a 14 pts – hardly eye-opening at the rate of a goal every 5 games and an assist every 7. At $5.5 mil, as a GM I would expect a tad more than that.

      • Wow George,

        Excellent point! And something I completely overlooked.

    • It doesn’t but we all have seen some GM’s make crazy deals.

      • Not THAT crazy. That makes the oft-injured Chychrun demand look like a bargain.

    • Who asked for this?

      No one.

      The player is not being shopped, apparently,

      So there is no ask. Not from Montreal. And if there is an ask, it’s not public.

      Dreger said it would take an offer that blew the doors off Montreal for them to move Hughes.

      From that, the speculation on the offer became this ridiculous package … which would blow the doors off Montreal and they would have to take it.

      Hughes has done a great job since taking over. If he decides to move Anderson, he’ll get a good return that helps the team. I would not even begin to speculate on what that is but I am excited for the future.

      • Sorry, not move Hughes … move Anderson.

  7. Meier is unrealistic for the Bruins. While they could always use a winger and they are going for the Cup now, if they commit to a winger they will not address the possible replacements for Bergeron and Krejci next year. The Bruins also don’t have the necessary assets to acquire him.

    • Because both will be back next year. Pasta isn’t going anywhere and the only moves that will be made are for depth guys. Hagerty is absolutely terrible and makes up crap all the time.

  8. I would not take either Kane or Toews. Both are past their use by date. Yes they were once pretty awesome but to trade assets and pay big bucks for what they used to be would be foolish. Now if you could get them at bargain basement prices that would be o.k. I suppose. As for me I would look elsewhere.

    • Kane just came off a 92 point season and this year hew has garbage line mates.
      He’s 34, not 38.

    • If a team’s expectation of Toews is to be their #1 center, they probably should be sellers rather than buyers at the deadline. But Toews would benefit a lot of teams at 3rd or 4th line center with salary retained. As long as the price isn’t steep.

      Kane is still a very capable top 6 player with 34 points in 45 games and not exactly healthy. On an awful team. If he’s healthy, a lot of teams will come calling.

    • snuffy1953

      Your 100% Right….👍
      both Kane and Toews are Both way past there Best at 34 yrs old…

      Would love to see the NHL move to Max 6 year Contracts…🤔❓
      This would help with more movment and more trades…….⁉️

      • Willie, I think a 6 year max would just be another benefit to tax-free states and be another nail in the coffin of Canadian-team’s championship hopes.
        The cap is doing more than it’s supposed to. It’s meant to crate parity, but instead is creating parody.
        The US dollar is so much stronger than the Canadian dollar, and the taxes in Canada are so much higher then all US state, yet people wonder why Canadian teams barely sniff a cup since the salary cap was introduced, and why few plays “come home” before the end of their career.
        I the NHL truly wanted parity, and not to just build hockey in the US on the backs of Canadian players and fans, they would have every teams salary cap take the taxes into account. 13% tax, you can spend 13% over the cap. 5% tax, you can spend 5% over the cap. If a player is traded, the salary is adjusted to the new state/fed/Provincial tax.
        This would remove some of the tax advantages that allow teams like Tampa to lure the best players with long team-friendly contracts that aren’t possible in Canadian-based teams. They would still have the advantage of the stronger dollar, but Canadian team would balance that with larger or stronger (in some cases) fanbases.

      • @WestBrantKid, There is little chance the NHLPA or the owners would agree to any such salary limitations when it’s the Canadian Government who dictates the tax rate, so just stop voting for tax crazed politicians would be the easier solution.

  9. For those saying the asking price for Anderson is outrageous. How do you expain Hagel to TBL for 2 number one picks, Raddysh and Kachouk? I’m sure his low salary had something to do with it but it wasn’t the main reason!

    • Hagel was younger @ 23 years old , in the first year of a 3 year 1.5 AAV contract and was on a .67 point per game pace and a .38 goals per game pace. The price paid was steep and did raise some eye brows. So far it looks like a win for the Bolts. Their pro scouts earned their keep on that recommendation.

      Anderson on the other hand is older at 28 , has 4 years left @ 5.5 AAV , is on a .38 ppg pace and .28 gpg pace. He also has an injury history. The only way Montreal is going to get near the proposed asking price is to retain salary IMO.

    • Well, at the time of the trade Hagel was 23 years old, with 21 goals, 16 assists. He was a guy Tampa could plug into the top 6.

      Most importantly, he was signed for 2 additional years at 1.5 million. Taking all that into consideration, why wouldn’t Tampa make that deal. If you can get a guy for 1.5 per that fits in your top 6, you’re insane if you don’t make the deal!

      Today, Hagel is 24 years old, on the 2nd line and has 41 points in 49 games.

      Anderson is 28 years old, often injured, currently has 19 points in 49 games. And is 5 years removed from having a decent season. With the bonus of having 4 more years at 5.5 per.

      To me, the difference is night and day. Not even remotely the same thing. Very bad comparison.

  10. Just a thought. Is it possible Dubas goes to NYI if Lou get’s axed.

    Pretty good situation on the island. Strong D and above average goaltending. Strong down the middle with Barzal and Hovart.

    • Cannot see Lou being fired. Maybe not be renewed after his contract but not fired.

      Isles need to try to trade Bailey to a Philly for JVR and try to trade Johnston to SJ for Bonino

      That gives them the type of playoff depth they’d need 2 upgrades over current roster.

      • I did say “could” plug into their top 6. Which he has this year.

        “ Today, Hagel is 24 years old, on the 2nd line and has 41 points in 49 games.”

        Tampa being under heavy cap constraints had to make this move. You’re right, no guarantees he produced at the same pace he did in Chicago, but he has. And at 1.5 million well worth the risk. That’s bottom 3 money. Huge difference! Much easier gamble.

        Anderson and Tkchuks should not even be mentioned in the same sentence.

        You point out that Hagel may not have had the same results else where, what’s to say Anderson doesn’t regress even further somewhere else? At 5.5 for 4 more years, that’s a big difference vs the Hagel trade.

        Lots of guys were scrapping for pto”s or lesser contracts due to cap constraints. See Dylan Strome who was coming off a solid year. Absolute steal. Anderson contract is in place, he’s not living up to it.

        Kapenen, Brassard and Zucker are prime examples of bad deals. At least at the time.

        Today Zucker is playing fine. Hence why we don’t see him in every Pittsburgh trade proposal. They’ve moved on to dumping CR for the moment.

        Brassard, not sure which trade you’re referring to, he’s been on the move every year, last 2 we’re not very significant returns.

        If we’re talking about the Zibanejad trade, it was widely debated who “won” that trade at the time of the trade.

        Kapanen, just a bad trade. Not a shining example. Other than sellers best case scenario, although unlikely.

        Anderson is not anywhere near the type of return being bandied around.

        If he was , NY should slap Kreider on the market tomorrow!

      • Ooops , wrong place!

  11. Captain Obvious

    Hagel did not play top 6 for the TBL last year. Just because he had 21 goals for Chicago there was no guarantee that he would keep up that pace . Kubalik put in 30 one year, why weren’t teams calling on Chi for the same return? The point was that guys like Hagel, the Tkchuks, and Anderson are hard to come by. Heinen and Milano both had 18 goals last year. Heinen signed for $1 mil and Milano was a pto. That shows you it’s much more than goals as opposed to what else they bring to the game! If it is such a bad comparison, explain Brassard,,Zucker and Kapanen then? If you’re going by stats , then Sprong to Tampa for two no.1’s and two former 2nd round picks. I can hear Brisebois laughing a thousand miles away!

  12. Hughes got an unprotected 1st, a prospect and a 4th for Chiarot who was UFA.

    Hughes got 2 prospects, a round 1 and a round 5 for Toffoli who had a good contract for 2 years.

    Neither of the two stand out as special types o players, a hard hitting stay at home D-man , the other a slow but cerebral winger who provides secondary scoring.

    Both players were well liked by the team and fans but brought a haul.

    Anderson is the prototypical power forward that Habs have been looking for and is liked by fans and the room.

    He isn’t “untouchable” but Hughes will move him for a haul, and that is all the pundits are saying.

    He’s a physical player with speed, he controls the puck, plays a 200 foot game, not the kind of player that comes around too often.

    • I only wish that Chiarot would “stay at home” now! 😁😁

    • Toffolis return (Pitluck and Heinemam ) are pretty underwhelming. The 1st in that one was protected. 26th overall.

      As ordinary as Toffoli may seem, he way outperforms Anderson.

      Today, Toffoli has 43 points in 51 games .84 per game. At the time of the trade he had 26 points in 37 games. .70 per game.

      Playoffs 44 points in 88 games.
      .50 per game.

      Anderson today has 19 points in 49 games. .38 per game.

      Playoff success as George points out above has been less than stellar. 14 points in 43 games. .32 per game.

      So, he may play the power forward game, but he’s not getting power forward results. Certainly not results that warrant 5.5 per for 4 more years.

    • But for $5.5 mil don’t you want someone like that who can actually put up points? Otherwise what you’ve got is an expensive checker.

    • Real hockey isn’t fantasy sport with stats as the be all end all.
      Actual play on the ice matters and you need to see the player play not just regurgitating stat lines.

      A power forward like Anderson is valued for his game, physicality, speed, forcing turnovers, making room on the ice.

      Hughes isn’t shopping him, fans aren’t complaining, teammates love the guy and apparently GMs are calling despite the dire warnings of the armchair GMs over here.

      • Ahh, and there it is – the art of “justification” by a die-hard “my team do or die” fan.

        Sorry, but any GM who happily forks over $5.5 mil per off their cap in a hard-cap world for a glorified checker who can’t seem to put the puck in the ocean from shore’s edge is in for a rough ride over the long haul.

      • Real hockey pays players based on performance. As George also points out, that’s an awfully expensive checking, / forechecking forward who’s injured an awful lot.

        I’m not paying a player based on his popularity! Certainly makes zero sense in a cap restricted world..

        While Gms may be calling, an ask of a 1st , roster player and prospect have them hanging up. Nobody is going to “overwhelm “ Montreal for their cap headache, popularly aside.

  13. I don’t think Meier makes sense for Boston. Would cost too much to acquire and no chance of re-signing (because Pastrnak isn’t leaving).

    Barring an injury forcing Boston’s hand to a big fish, I’d rather see some depth pieces. Would like to see a big body like Bjugstad who can slot into that 4th line center role.

    I like the idea of Luke Schenn on defense, but there are several teams vying for him so could end up being a high price there. What do you all think of Bortuzzo from STL as an option there? Similar cap hit, but for an additional year. Big guy, plays a physical game. Not sure if he would be available.

  14. I hate to rain on the Bruin parade. They are in fact the best team so far this season. However, the Presidents Trophy is a curse . Beware before you go all in
    Anderson is an injury risk . Period . Not worth much in my eyes as a result . You could land him and he doesn’t even play.

  15. habfan30

    Your 200ft player has been a minus player every year he’s been in MTL.

    George O is right. Anderson hasn’t been living up to his contract.

    If it’s not all about the stats line then explain why 3rd line checkers and 4th line grinders aren’t making big dollars but closer to league minimum?

    As I mentioned earlier…the Leafs have Engvall. A reliable 3rd line player that can play C or LW…6’5” tall, very fast, good defensively, not very physical and scores at a .36ppg rate…cap hit is $2.25M and everybody on this site agrees the Leafs couldn’t give him away.

    Yet you’re here saying that Anderson is worth a 1st pick and top prospect? Not with his production and injuste history for the past several seasons.