Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 5, 2023

by | Mar 5, 2023 | Rumors | 25 comments

The trade deadline may be over but the fallout remains. Here’s a look at some moves that didn’t happen plus a look ahead for the Canadiens and Blue Jackets in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Edmonton Oilers made a “legitimate pitch” to the San Jose Sharks for Timo Meier prior to his getting traded to the New Jersey Devils. Their intent was to bring him in and work out his contract situation after the season but they wanted him for the playoffs.

Friedman also believes the Calgary Flames looked into acquiring Meier but they were more interested in signing him to a contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer who is also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. His current cap hit is $6 million but he’s earning $10 million in actual salary, which is what it’ll cost to qualify his rights. The Devils haven’t yet re-signed Meier which suggests they’ll worry about dealing with that in the offseason.

Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes (NHL Images).

Friedman reports the Toronto Maple Leafs inquired about Mattias Ekholm prior to his getting traded to the Oilers by the Nashville Predators. They also looked into San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. However, he thinks the math didn’t work for the Leafs in terms of salary retention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the Leafs revisit their interest in Karlsson during the offseason. However, they’ll still have a difficult time making the math work there unless it’s a three-team deal with the Sharks retaining half of Karlsson’s $11.5 million annual cap hit through 2026-27.

Jeff Marek mentioned the Philadelphia Flyers had some conversations with the Columbus Blue Jackets about Kevin Hayes. However, it sounds like any big move the Flyers have planned will take place around the June 2023 draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marek indicated that the players such as Hayes and Ivan Provorov have term remaining on their contracts which made them difficult to move at the trade deadline.

Speaking of the Oilers, Marek believes they had internal conversations about bringing in rugged forward Zack MacEwen from the Philadelphia Flyers. He was subsequently traded to the Los Angeles Kings. He also reported the Sharks looked at winger Jordan Greenway before the Minnesota Wild shipped him to the Buffalo Sabres.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kate Shefte cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting there was speculation the Kraken was keeping an eye on John Klingberg before the trade deadline. They were also said to be entertaining offers on Carson Soucy and Will Borgen but both remained in Seattle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Kraken general manager Ron Francis was eyeballing Klingberg before the deadline he can sign him this summer as an unrestricted free agent. That’s assuming he doesn’t re-sign pending UFA Soucy or trades restricted free agent Borgen in the offseason.


THE ATHLETIC: Arpon Basu speculated that the Montreal Canadiens could attempt to trade Joel Edmundson during the offseason if the 29-year-old defenseman can remain healthy over the remainder of this season. Failing that, they could try to move him during next season’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens GM Kent Hughes will likely listen to offers on Edmundson in the offseason. Much will depend upon the blueliner’s health over the remainder of this season.

Aaron Portzline believes the Columbus Blue Jackets will be shopping for blueline depth this summer. He pointed out that GM Jarmo Kekalainen attempted to acquire Jakob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes before he was dealt to the Ottawa Senators.

The Jackets acquired a conditional first-round pick from the Los Angeles Kings as part of the return for Joonas Korpisalo and Vladislav Gavrikov. It could be used before the draft to acquire immediate roster help, or they could plunge into the free-agent market this summer.


  1. As I posted in the other thread, with possibly 8 teams involved in a full-on re-build – Chicago, San Jose, Anaheim, Arizona, Montreal, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Vancouver – and 4 others likely trying to tinker their way out of their respective funks (Calgary, Washington, Nashville and Florida) – this could portend an unprecedented flurry of deals at the draft table and on into the summer.

    Again I do not see Columbus tearing things apart (although they could do a bit of tinkering themselves). Those over 400 man-games lost to injury crippled them severely and, at full health, they are a much better team than the record shows. Whoever they get in a deep draft could step right into the NHL, particularly if they get # 1 and draft Bedard.

    • I don’t see the Blues going full on rebuild, but I do see a very aggresive approach to reshaping their defense. They will also need to find a solid 2C.
      Really think they will use those 2 late 1st round picks on established NHL ready players and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Army target the Home Town boy Clayton Keller this off season, in a trade with AZ.

      • What could they possibly offer Arizona for them to give up their best player, and at the same time not weaken themselves somewhere else?

        I doubt Keller is going anywhere … but if he did it would cost a bundle … and not just top picks but a combination of those and good established roster players with term.

      • Hey Brian,
        looks like the Blues are doing a Re-tool..
        3X1st round picks, one in the Top 10 lottery….👌

        I dont think they will spend the other 2 1st picks on players as they only have $6.M in cap space unless they get salary retanded there?

        they have lots of Great young peices up front here

        Jordan Kyrou,24
        Rob Thomas,24
        Pavel Buchnevich, 27

        They have a couple of good older guys
        Schenn 31 & Saad 30

        a nice top 4 d core,and Jordan Binnington in Goal,

        Some good young talent playing on the team this year like,
        Nikita Alexandrov’,
        Jake Neighbours,
        they have a good selection of Forwards & d/men coming up from the minors drafted over the past couple of years

        Matt Kessel, young Zachary Bolduc who is ligting it up in the Q.. and Zach Dean who is projected to be a 3rd/4th line defencive centre

        I think Doug Armstrong is doing a Great job for the blues..

        The Canucks need to take a feather out of his book…., they are a consistant Mess

        I dont think Ryan O’Reilly signs with the Leafs he could well be back in St Louis…..🤔

    • Agreed George, particularly if CBJ get the lottery win they so desperately need, they can be in the mix for the playoffs next year. Jarmo’s post-deadline PC reaffirmed their “retool” narrative. So, for right or wrong, they believe they will be competitive next year will be active in “now & the future” acquisition approach rather than just accumulating additional futures. Portzline reported they are going to be looking for a: 1) top 4 D (a Gavrikov replacement) as a “bridge” to when their next wave of D (Matechuk; Ceulemans; Szovil, etc) are NHL ready; & 2) centers. Not sure whether that’s his speculation or informed reporting. It will be interesting to see who they are targeting at D and C leading up to the draft. I just hope that LA’s 1st only gets moved in a deal for a player that fits their realistic contender window…I’ll be disappointed if it gets included for player like a Hayes (who I generally like but not at that cap hit & the cost of a 1st)

      • DeaconFrost, Kekolainen and Dorion have a trade “history” – once DeBrincat is re-signed long-term at around $8 mil per, Dorion is going to be faced with some decisions centering around C Shane Pinto.

        I say that because, with Norris and Stutzle holding down the 1/2 C spots, and with Ridley Greig a good bet to make the roster at camp and become the 3rd line C, it doesn’t leave any room for Pinto – who is an RFA in store for a decent hike. As is D Erik Brannstrom.

        Could be there’s a deal with Columbus involving those two, Going to be an interesting summer.

      • George very reasonable. I like Ottawa and definitely agree they are a great fit as trade partners for CBJ. I know Pinto is in the right age range and was a touted prospect but haven’t kept up on his progress. How has development at C been?

      • In the circumstances, not bad DeaconFrost. Once Norris went down, he began to get more 2nd line duty, but for whatever reason, he appeared to have some adjustment problems between DeBrincat and Giroux that didn’t exist when centering the 3rd line.

        As I say, the arrival of Ridley Greig and his play at C made the possibility of dealing Pinto that much more plausible, especially since Greig will be on an ELC for a bit whereas Pinto is due for a bump up this off-season at a time when the cap will be getting tight.

      • Thanks George. I could definitely see a link between CBJ-OTT should they need to move a C. Portzline’s Sunday gathering that just dropped said CBJ were going to looking to add veteran leadership w/ Jarmo’s quote: ” We don’t want to be the youngest team in the league much longer…” Curious if that signals an inclination to look towards vet C in trade (Friedman reported CBJ had “soft discussion” on Hayes w/ PHI) vet D in FA (i.e., Graves, DeHaan, Soucy) as the “bridge” d-man. Also, there is some buzz that if things go south in Calgary they will may listen on Lindholm. If he is willing to sign I would hope Jarmo pursues that vigorously…I have always like Lindholm and feel he could be perfect for the CBJ. Nonetheless, George I imagine there will be plenty of rumors about CBJ trades leading up to the draft and I firmly believe (hope!) Dorion and Jarmo will be talking frequently!

      • No, Deacon, the Jackets will not challenge for the playoffs next year. They don’t have the blue line for it, nor the centers, nor can they acquire sufficient players in those roles to make a difference.

      • Your opinion is duly noted Paul. However, as a CBJ season ticket holder (maybe you are as well…kudos if so) I choose to remain optimistic…. it helps me justify the time and expense. Also, Paul in my humble opinon you may be on the wrong site…all the “experts” who know exactly what will happen in the future tend post on HFBoards whereas in my experience folks here like to have collegial discussions rather than tell everyone what will happen or how to think….thanks for your input though

  2. Personally would of liked to see the Habs make some much needed moves. They are still in the trim the fat and see what you have mode with a lot of fat yet to be trimmed off. Perhaps this might be due to low quality or quantity of prospects ready for the prime time. It would be nice to see more happening around the Habs and have them closer to where Ottawa, Buffalo and Detroit are. Get that eastern conference even tighter!

    • Ron, what’s missing on the Habs’ line up is (obviously) top end talent.
      Draft and develop, there’s no way around it.

  3. Hayes might have been worthwhile for a short period. However, with the Jackets all but guaranteed a top three pick and several kids (not just Bedard) projected to be #1C’s, I suspect Jarmo was more doing due diligence than being seriously interested.
    Then, again, I can’t see why Jarmo would seek blue line depth when the Jackets have solid-to-very-good d-men in Werenski, Peeke, Boqvist, Blankenburg and Gudbranson. Plus several very strong prospects like Jiricek, Mateychuck, Svozil and more in the system.

    • Paul, as I indicate in a couple of places, Columbus has the makings of a decent team – derailed this year thanks to an unbelievable string of injury bad luck.

      Of all the teams that are languishing near the bottom right now, I can see the Blue Jackets making the greatest turn-around. Regardless of whether they pick 1, 2 or 3 they’ll be getting an NHL-ready body … but if it’s # 1 and Bedard comes on board, look out. Gaudreau and Laine, surrounded by a healthy roster, could both explode.

      Simply put, their current situation is misleading.

      They did it once before – in 2016-17 following a disastrous 2015-16 season- and other teams have had similar one-season turn-arounds – check here

      • You’re not telling me anything I don’t know, George. I’ve been a Jackets fan since Bettman announced Columbus was getting an expansion team. If you ask me, their biggest concern is whether or not they signed Merzlikins to that lucrative contract too soon. I’m also not a fan of Larsen as head coach, but his contract expires after next season.

      • @Paul, I’d be a fan of seeing what a few “Bruce, there it is!” chants ringing throughout Nationwide can do for that team. Demote or be rid of Larsen. Bruce always gets a team going his first year, then the Jackets can figure out a long-term replacement during the “Bruce bump” year.

      • Augustus,
        I think they’re going to let Larsen finish his contract. As a teacher/development head coach, he’s fairly good. If Boudraeu is still available, then, sure.

  4. Lyle: I certainly get that trades are amongst the most interesting and impactful events during the regular season, and that the trade deadline is cat nip for hockey fans.

    That said, I was not able to find any acknowledgement by you of Pat Hickey’s retirement from the Gazette. Habs fans will recognize that he is the last of a storied old guard of reporters, and the last reporter at the Gazette who could properly analyze the game and related events.

    If I missed it, please tell me where it is. If I have not, perhaps you can follow through with a well deserved acknowledgement.

  5. There is No Question The Edmonton Oilers Need a Tough Guy in the bottom Six,‼️🤔

    You have two of your better players that act as enforcers like Nurse and Evander Kane, not the smartest… the Oil have been talking about getting one for 2 season now,🙈

    💥The Mess the Peter Chiarelli left has basically taken the oilers 4 years to clean up…and Re-shape the team to now

    Next year, we need to get a tought bottom 6 guy & top 6 RW like a Taylor Raddish type.
    Re-sign Nick Bjugstad to be the 3rd line centre with Ryan McLeod and Klim Kostin and Holloway & Yamo fighting for the 3rd &4 th line spots on the team….❓

    Hopfully some of the young forward guys players ready to jump up from Bako,
    Xavier Bourgault & Carter Savoie & Matvei Petrov’

    It llooks like the Oil need to draft more d,/men and a potential Goaltender all we have in the G pipe line is Olivier Rodrigue and he has not had a great year but still young at 22 yrs old

  6. Given Torontos performance against the Oilers and the Canucks this past week I’d offer that hindsight is 20/20 but these are the deals tge should have considered which couldn’t have actually made them any worse:

    1. Re-activate Dion Phaneuf out of retirement. 45 mins on the treadmill and he’ll be ready to go.

    2. Matt Murray traded for Petr Mrazek, Michael Hutchinson or Allan Bester.

    3. Rielly, Kerfoot straight up for Karlsson.

    4. Two first rounders and a prospect for Chychryn.

    5. Matthews for Chychryn, Crouse, 5 first rounders unprotected. There’s no one there to feed him the puck so it would yield good prospects.

  7. If I’m Sweeney I’m trading Hall and another piece probably a Dman and trying to resign the 3 UFA players I just traded for

  8. Bruins have 6 forwards and 6 Dmen signed for next season and Sway is a RFA ….no matter what happens this year in the playoffs Sweeney will be very busy in the offseason