NHL Rumor Mill – April 1, 2023

by | Apr 1, 2023 | Rumors | 13 comments

It’s no April Fool’s, the Ducks and Flyers could be making some notable trades this summer. Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Olivia Reiner and Giana Han looked at whether the Flyers will be looking at moving out some veteran players this summer and which ones are the likeliest to move.

Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes (NHL Images).

Han believes they’ll take calls on Kevin Hayes based on head coach John Tortorella’s comments before the March 3 trade deadline claiming the 30-year-old’s name came up in trade discussions. She also thinks defenseman Travis Sanheim could be another candidate based on the way Tortorella talks about him.

Reiner agrees with Han regarding Hayes, citing Tortorella’s comments about “addition by subtraction” since the start of the season. She noted how he’s been bumped from top-line center with Sean Couturier sidelined this season to a bottom-six center and sometimes winger earning over $7.142 million per season for the next three years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was speculation linking Hayes to the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche before the trade deadline. His contract (which also contains a 12-team no-trade list) is the biggest obstacle in the path toward a deal with another club.

The Flyers could end up retaining some salary or taking back a comparable contract in return. There was also chatter about a possible buyout but that would count as two-thirds of the remaining value over twice the remaining term. That’s likely the last option they’ll consider.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Eric Stephens was asked if Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek will attempt to upgrade the blueline via free agency by pursuing someone like Matt Dumba, Damon Severson or Ryan Graves.

Stephens is leery about Dumba given his declining performance unless he’s willing to accept a two-year contract at $3 million annually. Severson and Graves are very serviceable but he cautions against investing too much in an established defenseman given the promising depth within their prospect pipeline.

Asked about struggling winger Max Comtois, Stephens doesn’t expect they’ll spend $2.55 million to qualify his rights. He noted that the 24-year-old pending restricted free agent was on the trade block this season but Verbeek couldn’t find any takers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Verbeek could peddle Comtois again around the draft in late June to see if he can get something for him. Otherwise, as Stephens noted, the Ducks GM could do what he did last summer with Sonny Milano and let him walk.


  1. I don’t see Philly wanting to trade Sanhiem. Hayes and Provorov are more likely to go.
    I am hoping the Wings get Severson at about $4.75M x 5.

    • Chatter in Jersey is they want to resign Sevs but move on from Graves. As promising as Luke Hughes and Nemec are, it would be tough to break both of them in at the same time and have a contending team. Its Nemec’s first hear in North American hockey, one more year in the AHL is not the worst thing in the world. Sevs turns 29 this summer, he currently makes $4.1/year and has stated he wants to stay in NJ. Perhaps they can figure something out.

      • Then NJ would peobably have to give up one of Bratt or Meier. As much as they spent on Meier, it seems they would trade Bratt. I would hope the Wings would be in a Bratt trade.

      • Can Bahl take more minutes if they lose a vet redmonsters? He’s got 2.5 seasons of pro under his belt now. I don’t watch NJ much and just remember Bahl from WJC, where he played a shut down role, and did well.

        He’s a big solid guy, takes those guys a while.

      • First, there is room for all three under the cap, tight, but doable. Bahl, I think is ready, third pairing penalty kill type, and cheap. So as I see it:
        That gives you some good experience on every line with two rather cheap players helping to offset the cost.

  2. Moving Hayes is going to be difficult without adding a “sweetner” or retaining salary.

    Hayes looks completely disinterested in playing. No forecheck, no backcheck, only paycheck.

  3. Max Comtois gets released, signs a 2-year deal @ 1 mil per year with the Habs, gets better stats than Josh Anderson on his first year. Book it.

    • Why do you think that? Based on what?

  4. Yes, Kevin Hayes often looks like he’s just floating around the rink, and not in a good way! Some players make skating and playing look effortless, and sometimes I can’t tell if that’s his style of play, or that he’s just simply over it playing in Philly. He’s talented, but damn dude, show a little effort?

    • Hayes is doing the “Jeff Skinner” . “If I play much D it takes away some of my offensive skills”

      • Philly in tough shape no matter who they trade.Looking like a rebuild like Detroit.Watch out or you will become Chicago!

  5. Teams don’t have the cap space to take on $7M+ contracts unless retention is done. Even then it’s a cap neutral deal.

    Anaheim needs to get to the cap floor next year. They are probably the worst. Other teams after signing RFAs can fill out their rosters through call ups and $1M contracts to get to the floor.

    This year will be like last year with teams tight against the cap and market drops on unloading decent players on higher longer term contracts.

    • Dan, I don’t think Anaheim will have any problem getting to the cap floor.

      As if today Capfriendly shows them with $39,973,333 in cap space with which to sign 10.

      They have6 RFAs to re-up, with an expiring total cap hit of $6,910,000 – Comtois ($2,037,500), Terry ($1,450,000), Zegras ($925,000), Benoit, a D-man ($750,000), Dostal, a goalie ($822,500), and Drysdale, who unfortunately missed the entire season through injury ($925,000).

      Even if Verbeek walks away from Comtois and allows him to become a UFA, as some suggest (not surprising following a season of 8g 9a 17pts for that cap hit!), they still have Terry (21g 35a 56pts so far) and Zegras (22g 37a 59 pts so far) who will each command a major boost, not to mention a healthy Drysdale who had a pretty good season last year. And both Benoit and Dostal will get minimal raises, likely on bridge deals.

      Then there are 8 UFAs to reconsider – Grant ($1,500,00), Megna ($750,000), Shattenkirk ($3,900,000), Beaulieu ($850,000), Harrington ($750,000), Sustr ($750,000), Moore ($2,750,000) and Stolarz ($950,000). Most likely will not be re-signed, and a few might even be replaced by the best of their prospect pool. But Verbeek could – and likely will – dip into the UFA pool.

      And, with that kind of cushion, they could be a destination for a $7 mil contract through trade as you suggest – although I think they can get to the $61.2 mil floor without doing so.