NHL Rumor Mill – March 7, 2023

by | Mar 7, 2023 | Rumors | 23 comments

Will the Canadiens shop Joel Edmundson and Mike Hoffman in the offseason? What’s next for the Blues following a busy month of trade activity? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan recently speculated the Canadiens could trade Joel Edmundson this summer if the 29-year-old defenseman stays healthy and plays well over the remainder of this season.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmundson has a year remaining on his contract with an affordable $3.5 million average annual value. Despite his injury history, the veteran blueliner remained a subject of interest in the trade market leading up to last Friday’s deadline. A solid finish to this season could help his value in this summer’s trade market.

TVA SPORTS: Louis Robitaille raised the possibility of the Canadiens trading Mike Hoffman this summer to the Arizona Coyotes. He also suggested Jonathan Drouin might earn himself a cheap new contract with the Canadiens if he keeps playing well down the stretch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robitalle thinks Hoffman could help the rebuilding Coyotes turn the corner. Whether they share that view, however, is another matter.

As for Drouin, I think his time with the Habs is over regardless of his play over the rest of the season. The Habs are bringing in younger talent and I don’t see room for Drouin on their roster going forward.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico speculated the Canadiens might be able to sign Sean Monahan to a one-year, bonus-laden contract. Such deals are usually reserved for young players on entry-level contracts or players over 35 years of age. However, the CBA stipulates a player with over 400 or more games played who spent 100 or more days on injured reserve or long-term injured reserve during the final season of their contract is also eligible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was some media chatter prior to Monahan’s injury in December that the Canadiens could sign him to a contract extension. They could go that one-year route with him for next season but that will depend on his health status. There’s talk his foot injury may have aggravated a surgically repaired hip.


STLTODAY.COM: Following Friday’s trade deadline, Jim Thomas and Matthew DeFranks reported St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong believes most of his roster is set for next season.

I don’t feel comfortable that this is the summer to get out in the free-agent market,” Armstrong told reporters. If he does make forays into the market, he’d prefer signing players to one-year contracts to let them prove their long-term value to the retooling Blues. He’s also looking at promoting some players from within the club’s system.

There were rumors leading up to the trade deadline that the Blues would need to trade a defenseman to create more salary-cap flexibility. Colton Parayko’s name surfaced as a trade candidate. Armstrong declined to get into any specific player but defended Parayko.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know for certain if Armstrong was shopping Parayko. It may have been a case of interested clubs expressing interest in the 29-year-old Blues defenseman and Armstrong listening to offers but not hearing anything he liked. Then again, Parayko’s $6.5 million annual cap hit through 2029-30 and his full no-movement clause makes him difficult to trade.


  1. I doubt that the Coyotes would pay 4 million a year on a useless player that can play (Hoffman) ; they seem to specialize in useless players that CAN’T play.
    For Drouin’s sake, I think that he should start over in a more “quiet” market.
    As for Edmundson, Hughes was right to hang on to him, for now. If he can finish the season healthy,his value can only go up. Good assets management. (with Matheson, Guhle, Harris and Xhekaj on the left side, he’s definitely expandable).

    All in all, Habs are in good hands. Draft and develop, draft and develop…..
    Time now for the Canadiens (and Panthers) to lose games….we need a #1 goaler, a top RD, a 2nd C, and another goal scorer !

    • What I found more newsworthy, Patrick, was the Habs reviewing their medical protocols to see if they are handling diagnoses and treatment properly. Two years of sky high injuries surely must have some locus in medical deficiency somewhere. Another example of Jeff Gorton’s fresh eyes, big picture thinking.

      • I really don’t know what to think of the Habs’ high number of injuries, LJ. Two years of bad luck in a row, or, something wrong with the médical staff ? I’m not qualified to tell, BUT, letting Monahan play three games, after he was seen using a walking boot….that seemed strange.
        He wanted to play the Flames ; they probably should have refused him.

      • LJ, Jack Todd had an interesting take on all these injuries a few weeks ago in the Montreal Gazette. Injuries seem to be increasing all over the league. Forty years ago, players wouldn’t do much in the offseason. Now, everyone has a strict offseason workout regimen. And they’re getting hurt more often. Maybe an athletes body, which is put through so much during the season, needs more rest during the offseason.

      • Maybe that’s it Howard, it makes sense.

        But also the game has changed too, as have the physical demands of playing it at that level in the NHL for 82 games plus.

        They are bigger, faster and at a higher level of intensity.

        Combination of both perhaps.

      • I also think players are more concerned with their long-term health than perhaps they were several decades ago. Maybe it’s a culture thing, maybe better diagnostic abilities, maybe more focus on making sure they are healthy enough for the next big contract.

        Something that a player takes a few games off to recover from may have been played through much more frequently in the past.

  2. I wonder if Mike Hoffman has worn out his welcome in yet another town.

    Over a career of 661 gp he has 82-game averages of 26g 27a 63 pts and yet he just can’t seem to find a permanent home.

    The fiance fiasco involving the Karlssons prompted Ottawa to deal him to San Jose along with a 5th round pick and Code Doneghy for Boedker, Bergman and a 6th rd pick in June 2018 – hardly eye-opening returns. Nor did San Jose want him around because, 2 hours later they flipped him to Florida along with a 7th rd pick for a 4th and 5th in 2018 and a 2nd rd pick in 2019.

    He did well statistically in Florida, but despite a 29g 30a 59pt season in 69gp, he was allowed to walk as a UFA – and when no one bothered signing him, he had to stoop to a PTO with the Blues. who eventually signed him to a 1 year $4 mil contract for 2020-21, a season in which he produced 17g 19a 36pts and a +2 in 52gp – or 82-game averages of 27g 30a 57pts – consistent with his career averages to date.

    Nevertheless, he was allowed to walk again as a UFA, this time with Montreal handing him a 3-year $13.5 mil contract. In 116 gp with them, he has 24g 36a 60 pts for 82-game averages of 17g 25a 42 pts – a slight dip in his career production, but then the whole team has struggled.

    Statistically, a player with that history should have no problem finding a permanent base.

    • Yeah, the whole girlfriend storm was memorable for all the wrong reasons, George. But I think other factors are at play.

      His scoring has waned the past two years, but with Montreal being such a dumpster fire no one has produced there. Hard to pick the fly sh*% out of the pepper.

      His defensive lacking is well known and he is 33. That becomes more noticeable when scoring drops, so he just may be at the end of his runway with lift off unlikely in the future.

  3. The Habs will definitely push to trade Edmundson during the offseason as long as he stays healthy and plays well the rest of the season. But Hughes will want a first or a very good prospect in return. If he doesn’t get it, he’ll hold onto him and take his chances before the deadline.
    I don’t see Hoffman being traded unless the Habs pick up half his salary and they still wouldn’t get much.
    Drouin is as good as gone. Best thing for him and the team.
    Monahan will likely only get a one year, low cost, prove it deal wherever he ends up. It could be with the Habs. He played well before he got hurt.

  4. Regarding Armstrong and the Blues:

    1. I simply don’t believe the Blues can win consistently with the current group on defense (Faulk, Parayko, Krug, Scandella, Leddy, Bortuzzo…). They did nothing to improve the blueline at the deadline, and they are “stuck” with several of the contracts for years.

    2. Although Armstrong stated that “he’s not comfortable in the free agent market”, I really hope he IS comfortable in the trade market with a couple of his #1 picks in the draft!! Especially this year, I would think a 1st round pick or two could provide some IMMEDIATE help. I’s have my eyes on a 24-27 year old to compliment the current group (the Iowa Prince likes Clayton Keller)

    3. I like the “potential” of Hofer,Snuggerud, Bolduc, Dean, and Neighbors. Other than that, the cupboard is pretty bare. Help Wanted=DEFENSE


    • IP,

      I think 23-24 is just a retooling year and DA is looking at 24-25 when the youngsters can come onboard.

      Regardless, you are right in that the defense will have to be addressed at some point.


  5. I can see the Hab’s Jonathan Drouin signing a
    1 year “try me deal” with his good buddy and old jr line mate Nate MacKinnon in Colorado….❓


    Joel Edmundson the Habs will more than likly keep him till the 2024 trade deadline, So he can continue to help develope the young Habs d/men next season… yes they are looking for a 1st pick…. IF he stays healthy… they can get a 1st for JE….❓

    • If the Habs get an acceptable offer for Edmundson during the offseason, they will trade him then.

      • Absolutely. If he can stay healthy for nineteen Games, it’ll be time to pull the trigger ! Back problems tend to be recurrent.
        I like your idea that the players might not get enough off-season test ; also, Ray Bark’s comment, that the play is more demanding than ever ; and also, Double Minor’s comment, that players may be thinking more than before, about the risks of playing hurt.
        Probably a combination of all….and bad luck. I doubt that the Canadiens have a sub par medical staff. But then again, nothing wrong in reviewing everything, as Gorton decided.

    • Who are they replacing For Drouin for that reunion? Landeskog or Rantenen.?

      People put way too much stock in the Drouin Mackinnon reunion that is 10 years removed.

      I don’t see this happening.

  6. Hey iowa prince,

    Re;Regarding Armstrong and the Blues:
    i have a good buddy who is a Blues Fan down there in St Louis, he is loving what they are doing

    The more i look at DA, this guys is Very Smart GM…
    he has some Very Very Nice Prospects coming up👌

    ➡️Zack Bolduc, is a offencive dinamo in The Q with the Remparts, He is having an other Great year
    in 65 Games in 2022, 55G& 44 A=99 pts
    in 53 Games this yr, 42 G & 53 A =94 pts

    ➡️Hofer,…A Goaltender has a lot of potential dont expect to see him for 2-pr 3 years….❓this season he has played well Again. 38Games, 2.58GA, Save 0.918

    ➡️Jimmy Snuggerud, a forward, dont know much about him he was a 1st rd draft in 2022… He’s big (6-foot-2) Very good shot , he is on the US team…that all i remember, but they are very High on him too…

    ➡️Zack Dean,will be a 3rd line centre in a year or 2 starting on the Wing, he is a defencive Centre

    ➡️Jake Neighbors. who played here in Edmonton he is going to be a 2nd line or 3rd line indoor face forward for the next 12 years…. that Neufi Never Ever give’s up…❗️, he was like that in JR with the oil kings

    3X1st round Picks in this draft…👌 1 in the top 10, looks like about 8th..he will get a Very good forward…?
    the latter picks in the 1st round, he will pick 2 very good d/men? maybe

    i think he will trade a curent roster d/man for a good d prospect❓

    d/prospects coming up in the next 18 months look good
    Matthew Kessel RD.
    Hunter Skinner RD.
    Marc-Andre Gaudet LD.

    You want to Look at a MESS……. Check out the Vancouver Canucks… 🙈⁉️

    The future is Very Very Good in St Louis….👍👌

    • w w

      Appreciate the update and your optimism.

      I can only hope that your “good buddy” is St. Louis is named MacInnis and not MacTavish!?!


      • iowa prince ……….🤣 Neither

        He is just a Smart Hockey fan thats more Right than Wrong,

        I’m a fan of Blues GM..

    • I can’t speak for all these prospects, but I wouldn’t get too excited about Skinner. He’s a former 4th rounder and wasn’t even in NYs top 10 much depleted prospect pool. Most of their young is in the nhl.

      But, after #5 , (Othmann, Cullye, Robertson, Jones and Sykora fall off a cliff. And even Cullye and Sykora are not more than projected bottom 6 guys.

  7. Thanks Lyle re this info re PBs (for non ELC non 35+) and Monoghan

    “ However, the CBA stipulates a player with over 400 or more games played who spent 100 or more days on injured reserve or long-term injured reserve during the final season of their contract is also eligible.”

    I had no idea PB could be offered to players between their ELC and 35th B-Day

    I’ve seen PBs listed in CapFriendly as “games” played gets extra $xM

    Do you Lyle (or anybody here) know wether a PB can be structured against points? Goals?

    If so ….. wouldn’t many teams love to offer him a contract at league min with appropriately remunerated PBs if he reaches say

    20 G or 15 G with at least 40 Points

    25 G or 20 G with at least 50 Pts

    Etc etc

    Low risk (team…. Max of $750 K with complete failure) with potential high reward (Monoghan) if he is healthy and performs as he can; and appropriate cash/cap hit for teams

    If this (PBs based on goals/points) is allowed…. Would love to see Leafs or Pens make a bid

    $750 K guaranteed Sal

    Extra $500 K if he plays in at least 25 Games
    A further $200 K for each extra 10 games (35, 45, 55, 65, 75)

    That’s $2.25 M if he basically plays the season and stays off IR/LTIR regardless of points/goals

    If he gets to:

    20 G or 15 G with at least 40 Points…. Extra $1M (so max Cap $3-25 M)

    25 G or 20 G with at least 50 Points…. Extra $2.5M (so max Cap $4.75 M)

    30 G or 25G with at least 60 Points…. Extra $4 M (so max Cap $6.25 M)

    • Pengy, that is exactly the kind of offer I hope the Habs’ will make to Monahan ! A low salary, with bonuses that could be attained by the trade deadline ; bonuses would count under Habs 2024-25 cap ; gives the buying team a Monahan with a very low cap hit, at 24 deadline ; maximizes the potential return for the Habs ; gives Monahan a chance to prove himself again, and get a more lucrative, longer term deal.
      Everybody wins.

  8. The athletes today are a finely tuned high performance sports car. Something gets tweaked and it all gets out of whack.

    There are reasons Calgary traded Monahan. Among them about 5-6 surgeries.
    Showed his pedigree with the Habs briefly but his body has turned into a 1979 Ford Granada.

    • I had a 76 Mercury Monarch S7, when I was going to school. 2 door.
      Your analogy is accurate.