NHL Rumor Mill (Part 1) – February 23, 2023

by | Feb 23, 2023 | Rumors | 27 comments

Check out the latest on Patrick Kane, Timo Meier, Jakob Chychrun, Vladislav Gavrikov, Colton Parayko, Torey Krug and more in Part 1 of today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: With the March 3 trade deadline over a week away, Elliotte Friedman checked in on each NHL club. The following is a summary of the first 16 NHL teams that he looked at:

Boston Bruins: Everything points to the Bruins acquiring Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov but they’re attempting to move a player (“Mike Reilly? Craig Smith”) to clear sufficient cap space first. While they’ve also been linked to other players such as San Jose’s Timo Meier but Friedman doubts they can squeeze him into their limited cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see the cap-strapped Bruins going after an affordable addition like Gavrikov. Meier and his $6 million AAV are a bridge too far.

Carolina Hurricanes: They could potentially get Timo Meier given their $10 million in projected trade deadline cap space. The Canes have also monitored Chicago’s Patrick Kane. Friedman believes they’ve spoken to the Bruins about Smith as Boston might incentivize Carolina to do it.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Boston’s Nick Goss believes the Bruins could find another club to send Smith to rather than making what could be their prime playoff opponent even stronger.

New Jersey Devils: They could face competition from the St. Louis Blues in the bidding for Meier. The Devils want the Sharks winger with a contract extension or close to it. Friedman also pointed out their need for size and skill on their forward lines and wondered if Nashville Predators winger Nino Niederreiter makes any sense to them. He also dismissed speculation that they might trade defenseman Damon Severson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils still appear to be the front-runners for Meier. GM Tom Fitzgerald has indicated his preference is to add a top-six winger with a contract that can be controlled beyond this season. There’s also been some suggestion the Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson could be a fit if they miss out on Meier but the Habs aren’t actively shopping him.

Toronto Maple Leafs: They might not be done dealing though they don’t have much draft capital to use as trade bait. They could pursue a rental defenseman if the prices soften in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have $4.4 million in projected deadline cap space but that will shrink when Matt Murray returns to action. They were linked to Chicago’s Jake McCabe and Columbus’ Vladislav Gavrikov. However, the acquisition of Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari probably doesn’t leave them enough to get either guy without moving out a salaried player in the deal.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Their limited draft and prospects capital could see them pursue an affordable checking-line forward like Washington’s Garnet Hathaway or Chicago’s Sam Lafferty. They could also pursue a depth defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning GM Julien BriseBois always manages to swing a deal leading up to the trade deadline to bolster his roster for the postseason. He won’t pursue a notable talent this year but should be able to find a way to add a cost-effective player.

New York Rangers: Friedman isn’t sure that Rangers GM Chris Drury is done dealing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Scott Powers and Arthur Staple and the New York Post’s Larry Brooks haven’t ruled out the possibility of the Rangers adding Chicago’s Patrick Kane. It will require a three-team deal in order for the Rangers to take on just $2.625 million of Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit. Brooks writes Drury doesn’t want to part with his 2023 first-rounder but he wondered if the Rangers GM might pitch his 2024 or 2025 first-round pick.

Vegas Golden Knights: They’ve looked into Timo Meier and liked St. Louis forward Ivan Barbashev. Friedman wondered if they might look into acquiring Blues defenseman Torey Krug.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman acknowledged the four years remaining on Krug’s contract plus his no-trade clause complicates things. While I admit that anything’s possible, I don’t expect to see Krug suiting up with the Golden Knights anytime soon.

Dallas Stars: They looked into Patrick Kane and considered Tyler Bertuzzi but he’s unavailable. Friedman wondered if they might consider Ivan Barbashev or Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars are struggling a bit of late. GM Jim Nill could make a move for an affordable rental scorer.

Winnipeg Jets: If they could sign Timo Meier they’d be all over him. St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko has come up and Friedman thinks he’d be a good fit if Parayko would waive his no-trade clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is usually cautious but could make a significant move this season with Mark Scheifele, Connor Hellebuyck and Blake Wheeler having only a year left on their contracts and the uncertainty facing restricted free agent Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Seattle Kraken: They’re searching for a center to help them in the faceoff circle. They could also trade Carson Soucy rather than lose the defenseman for nothing to this summer’s free-agent market. However, they’d likely want some sort of replacement for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Kraken GM Ron Francis could retain Soucy as an “own rental” if a replacement for him cannot be found. Trading him for a draft pick or prospect could hurt their blueline depth as they push for a playoff berth.

Los Angeles Kings: They want to add a left-side defenseman. The Kings made a pitch for Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun. Chicago’s Jake McCabe could make sense. Columbus’ Vladislav Gavrikov isn’t a fit for them as they want someone with term on their contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A deal sending Chychrun to the Kings seemed imminent earlier this month but nothing’s come of it so far.

Colorado Avalanche: The Avalanche lack of second and third-rounders for 2023 and 2024 hurts their ability to address their need for a second-line center in the trade market. They won’t move someone like Alex Newhook for a rental player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche have been linked to pretty much every available center in this year’s trade market. However, it could prove tricky attempting to address that need without giving up a first-rounder as part of the return.

Edmonton Oilers: The chances of landing San Jose defenseman Erik Karlsson appear “one in a million”. They’ve also looked into Chicago’s Patrick Kane.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers might have to settle for more affordable options to improve their roster before the trade deadline. They’ve been linked to Columbus’ Vladislav Gavrikov for some time now.

Minnesota Wild: Adding someone signed beyond this season is unlikely unless it’s a game-changing player. Matt Dumba and Jordan Greenway are out there in the trade market. Friedman isn’t sure if GM Bill Guerin will go hard after the best offensive player he can find, suggesting instead someone like Washington’s Conor Sheary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Michael Russo and Joe Smith report the agent for Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser is working hard to work out a trade that sends the Minnesota native to the Wild. It won’t be easy given his $6.65 million AAV through 2024-25 but we can’t rule it out if the Canucks agree to retain some salary here.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Missing the playoffs isn’t an option but Friedman also thinks they shouldn’t mortgage their future. He wondered if they should try a cost-cutting move by shopping Brian Dumoulin or Tristan Jarry or Jason Zucker and see if that gives them the flexibility to add.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Ron Hextall has made additions in the last two trade deadlines (Jeff Carter, Rickard Rakell) when it appeared he had little room to do so because of his cap constraints. He could do it again this year.

Detroit Red Wings: Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi aren’t being shopped as it appears they’re pushing to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No selling this time by the Wings. Perhaps GM Steve Yzerman will consider a foray into the trade market to bring some help to his roster.


  1. with Ottawa trading Zaitsev and Vegas getting rid of Weber’s LTIR spot yesterday, you’d thing something is up today. maybe 1 or 2 of the top trade targets (Chychrun, Gavrikov, Meier or Kane) could be on the move by end of today, or at least the VERY near future

  2. I hope the Bruins pass on Gavrikov Really how much better is he that Grz .. Forbort.. Clifton and the cost in what’s going back to Columbus and can they sign him ….. Like to see the Bruins go after Schenn lower cost and a depth player while maybe adding a 4th line player with toughness who could score a few goals .. if not just go all in on Jakob Chychrun pay what it cost and their top 4 D will be set for years ….would be best in league ..

    • I agree but having shotblockers with Forbert and PP minutes would be nice. Wouldn’t be upset with Schenn big boy

    • Agree 100% and would say Gav is a to 6 D who plays everyday and there’s no open spot. Zboril is the weak link on D.I’d love Schenn as a backup guy or use for certain games. A 1st and a 3rd for Gav no thanks. Forbort is better and a plays a big roll on the PK. No need to waste the assets. I think they need another bottom 6 center as well and should be good to go

      • Paul, Zboril is absolutely wasted by the bruins. Montgomery claimed he didn’t like having his forward sit out to long. Yet he hasn’t played Zboril since Jan 7th and before that Nov 23rd. Wasted a year for this kid; they won’t put him on waivers because they know he will be claimed.

        He has played a total of 14 games this season and he did not play bad. I hope for his sake he gets traded.

        it’s brutal how they treated Zboril.

      • You nailed it Caper. Zboril was playing decent and I am not sure if the reason he is sitting is because Monty doesn’t like his play or what but super bad situation.

        I think the other reason they will keep him is that Cliffton is a UFA this year and Zboril will fill that spot next year.

  3. Torey Krug back to the Bruins? Wrong side but he’s a known commodity to them and they have players who can play their off D side. He’s often hurt is the issue with him.

    Pierre Dorion is about to get fleeced. Put money on your parlay on that one.

    • Dark G, what’s your thinking on why you feel Dorion is about to get fleeced.

      If he’s fleeced to the same extent he was in dealing Turris, Duchesne, Karlsson, Hoffman and Stone – I’m all for it.

  4. Hard to argue all those Bruin points. Go all in or just add some depth and not waste top prospects or 1st rd picks. Gavrikov doesn’t move the needle for bruins

  5. Boston needs to move Mike Reilly and Craig Smith which would provide them with $4,975,000 in additional cap space

    Based on Sweeney recent history he isn’t likely to give up a 1st for a rental unless he knows he can sign him.

    Boston been linked to all 3 sit-a-boy club Chychrun, Gavrikov, and Schenn

    Schenn is easily the most affordable and would cost the least amount. Solid, physical dman with an edge but slow of foot. However with multiple teams looking his cost is going up.

    Schenn is like a single; could be a nice addition without subtracting and playing a lineup based on the opponent.

    Gavrikov is like a double, has good hockey sense, big and strong and is more of a stay a home dman, is he an upgrade over Schenn yes and a upgrade over Forbort, but at the reported cost, i think i pass.

    Chychrun is the home run, provides everything you want, offense, size, speed and can play d.
    He has an affordable cap hit for the next two seasons. He also has a well document injury history.

    Chychrun is worth the price for a team with cup aspiration.

    There is no guarantee in winning the cup, no matter what pieces you add. Boston ran into that when they added Rick Nash who got injured. Chychrun could get injured right after a trade and be out for the playoffs. However you can’t go into it thinking that way.

    I’m all in for the bruins this season, before i was always cautious about the future. If i look ahead, i see Montreal, Detroit, Buffalo and Ottawa in my rearview mirror that reads “objects maybe closer then they appear.”

    This is the season to go for it; Boston won the cup in 2011 and before that 1972 two aging centers, no number 1 or 2 center in the immediate pipeline. One of the best regular season in the makings, 4 lines deep; this team deserves Sweeney to go out and help the push without much subtracting.

    This opportunity may not come around again for awhile.

    • Caper

      I’m a Leafs fan so I hope Boston doesn’t improve too much.

      I don’t understand why Sweeney would rather give up a 1st and 3rd for UFA Gavrikov instead of 2- 1st picks and a prospect?

      The Bruins are picking so close to the second round what’s the big loss? Chychrun is signed for two more seasons at $4.6M

      Here’s the offer…

      To ARZ:
      2023 1st
      2024 1st
      Lohrei or Lysell

      To BOS:
      Bjugstad (50% retained)

      • Substitute Grez for one for one of the 1sts and Reilly for Smith possibly.

        No matter how you shake it 1 of the Bruins D men have to go in the deal for Chychrun.

  6. McCabe to Bruins?
    “Aiding the Blackhawks’ likelihood of receiving a first-round pick for McCabe is his contract, as well as their apparent willingness to sacrifice short-term cap space to add draft picks. McCabe is under contract through 2024-25 at a $4MM cap hit, but the Blackhawks could cut that hit in half and offer McCabe at $2MM to teams, should they elect to retain the maximum portion of his salary.
    Adding McCabe at $2MM against the cap for this season and two more is an extremely attractive prospect for many defense-needy teams.
    He’d be able to play reliable top-four minutes at a bargain price, and in today’s environment where cap space is at an absolute premium, that sort of surplus value will likely be highly coveted.”
    Or did McCabe waive for the Oil??

    Anyway, this will cost a 1st and more if significant saly is sent back the other way.

    • Is there a true Blackhawks fan here? Everyone is going on about McCabe. Is he any good? Can he skate? Does he hit?

  7. Boston needs a RW to replace Smith. Meier or Kane would be great. Can always trade Meier after the season or keep him if Pastrnak leaves. Maybe internally try Lysell. I would add a RW and depth defenseman.
    Meier can be affordable at his 6 million if half is retained and Smith is moved. If Boston is truly all in Meier and Chychrun would be the moves.

    • Why not go cheap route and go Smith and 2nd to philly for JVR 50% retained And Bypass expensive options like kane ??

    • Dave

      That is a trade of God Right there. Bruins wouldn’t have a 1st rd pick for years and no decent prospects if they went after and got both those players But we can dream about it 😴

    • What’s wrong with Boston? Oh you forgot you’re the best in the league again? Man what a problem.

      I would only care to a point about just getting depth, like in the event of an injury that you can move guys in the roster so unlike many teams have to deal with, not put your players in an over elevated position which can decrease your chances of winning. But…it is nice to have new shiney things.

      • I think Caper summed it up really good above Ron, not much to add.

        Basically this feels like it for a while as Bergy and Krecji pack it in after this season. We don’t know that, just feels like that. So go for it, not a time to think about the future.

        Part of me thinks Pasta is waiting to see what those 2 guys do as well. I would.

      • If Boston wins the cup you can probably bet the farm on both calling it a day. Go out on top.

      • George, yep.
        Couldn’t happen to better guys either.

  8. Parayko and Barbashev 50% retained to EDM for Barrie, PJ a 1st and 2025 2nd?

    Pair Parayko with Nurse.

    Petry and Kapanen and a 1st and 3rd to Chi for McCabe and Domi 50%
    Gives Pens better cap space this offseason should letting a Doumolin and and zucker walk.
    Pair Doumolin with Letang and PEtterson with McCabe

    AND as crazy as it sounds
    Seth zones to WSH for Orlov, Mantha, a 1st and prospect.
    Wsh has to worry about filling their backend and Orlov appears not willing to sign for what WSH wants so package him with Mantha to get a D man under contract.

    • ➡️Like this Trade Proposal

      Parayko and Barbashev 50% retained to EDM
      Barrie, PJ a 1st and 2025 2nd….?👍

      • Not a chance. 50% on Parayko for 7 years for a struggling PJ and Barrie with a 1st and 2nd?

      • CAPtain the 50% is only on Barbashev.

  9. “He wondered if they should try a cost-cutting move by shopping Brian Dumoulin or Tristan Jarry or Jason Zucker…”

    In order…Dumo? Yes, please. Jarry? What the what…? Leave Casey to tend the crease? That’s the equivalent of throwing in the towel. No. Just no, unless you go get a suitable starter. Zucker? Yes, please. Let’s include Petry, Rutta, Kapanen, and Carter too. Seemingly impossible, as no team would be willing to accept these under performers, but an old boy can dream.

  10. Great Gonzo

    I thought about using Grzelcyk as one of the players going back to ARZ. It’s been rumoured they don’t want salary coming back. However…they could likely just flip Grzelcyk for a nice asset as well…with a low cap hit could tgey squeeze EDM for a 1st or one of their young players?