NHL Rumor Mill – April 22, 2023

by | Apr 22, 2023 | Rumors | 19 comments

A look at possible offseason moves by the Canucks and Sabres in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Harman Dayal and Thomas Drance recently looked at who stays and who could go for the Vancouver Canucks.

They don’t see the Canucks buying out the remainder of Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s contract but aren’t ruling it out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates that buying out Ekman-Larsson would count against their cap for the next eight seasons. It would be particularly expensive in years three and four when the cap hit would be $4.76 million annually.

General manager Patrik Allvin will listen if teams express an interest in J.T. Miller but praised his performance over the final 30 games of the season. Dayal and Drance don’t see the Canucks moving him just to shed his contract or to blow another big hole in their depth at center after moving out Bo Horvat this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can’t rule out a Miller trade but it would have to be one heck of an offer to convince them to do it. If they’re going to pull the trigger it’ll have to be before July 1 when his no-movement clause kicks in.

Brock Boeser, Conor Garland, Anthony Beauvillier and Tyler Myers could be the Canucks’ cost-cutting trade candidates.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

How much talent is available among right wingers in this summer’s trade market could determine how much interest there is in Boeser, who carries a $6.65 million cap hit through 2024-25. He recently stated that he was glad he wasn’t moved at the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dayal and Drance suggest it could come down to moving Boeser or Garland, whose average annual value is $4.95 million through 2025-26. They believe the club needs to reallocate cap dollars toward adding a third-line center and improving the blueline.

The Canucks acquired Beauvillier in the Bo Horvat trade. They’d likely prefer to keep him but his speed, work ethic, playoff experience and his expiring contract could give him more trade value than Boeser or Garland.

Myers only has a year left on his contract but moving him won’t be easy. He carries a $6 million cap hit of which $5 million is a signing bonus to be paid out on September 1. He also has a 10-team no-trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think moving Beauvillier would be a desperate last-resort move if they can’t move any of those other candidates. As for Myers, they’re likely stuck with him until the trade deadline.


THE ATHLETIC: Matthew Fairburn looked at several questions facing the Buffalo Sabres this offseason.

Addressing their goaltending could be the priority. It would be risky riding a goalie in his first full NHL season like Devon Levi unless they have another reliable option.

The Sabres still have Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Eric Comrie under contract for next season. They’ll have to part with one or both of them if they seek an upgrade between the pipes.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski reported Sabres head coach Don Granato said he’d be very comfortable going into next season with Levi and Luukkonen as their tandem. However, he added that nobody has earned the net (the starter’s job) yet, suggesting that could be determined by internal competition among his goalies.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Inconsistent goaltending contributed to the Sabres’ inability to clinch a playoff berth this season. A young tandem could fly or become the anchor that drags them down.

Levi played well in his late-season debut but it’s difficult to determine if he’s ready yet for the rigors of a full-time NHL starter. Luukkonen showed flashes of promise this season but also had his difficulties.

Pursuing a reliable veteran to mentor Levi seems the wisest course of action but that could mean parting ways with Luukkonen, Comrie or both. Adams could end up forced to stick with his young netminders if he can’t find a suitable veteran option via the trade market or fails to woo any of the limited options in the free-agent market.

Fairburn also wondered what the future holds for winger Victor Olofsson as younger Sabres emerge as scorers. He’s a year away from UFA status and carries a $4.75 million cap hit for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Olofsson is going to become the odd man out with the emergence of young forwards like Casey Mittelstadt, JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn. He could become a trade candidate this summer, perhaps to add a goalie or an experienced top-four defenseman.


  1. .
    Re; Canucks……
    ( This is a Copy and paste)
    2022-23 Top 10 Vancouver Canucks Prospects it look Bad… Sad…..both…😳

    Monday April 17th…., ( This is a Copy and paste)
    Its more of an FYI for Canucks fans who were Bashing the Aatu Raty as part of the Bo Horvat Trade, …

    Well he is your Top Prospect Canuck Fans….‼️

    Check out the 2nd best prospect.. A 23yr old looks like he maybe be a Dud…❗️ the 4th, 5th & 6th picks dont look that much better all 23+ yr olds…⁉️…..All in All, Some BAD Drafting bye the Vancouver Canucks 😳

    These Guys must be going in a Big Re-Build
    as they got poor hrlp coming from Drafting & RATY is there Top Prospect

    1. Aatu Raty, C – Abbotsford Canucks (AHL)Age: 20
Ht/Wt: 6-2/187
Drafted: 2021 round two 52nd overall by New York IslandersAcquired as the primary piece in return from the Bo Horvat trade, Raty is the team’s top prospect. He was once considered a top prospect in his D-1 season and was poised to be the first-ever first overall draft choice from Finland. However, his stock plummeted in his draft year and he fell all the way to the second round.Since then he has been steadily climbing his way back up the ladder with a 40 point season in the Liiga in 41 games, and a rookie season in the AHL split between Bridgeport and Abbotsford with 26 points in 53 games. Raty may never fill a true number one center role in the NHL or be a franchise player, but he certainly has the upside to be a very valuable second-line, two-way center. Another year of development in the AHL should be in the cards before he makes the jump to the NHL.

    2. Jack Rathbone, LD – Abbotsford Canucks (AHL)Age: 23
Ht/Wt: 5-11/190
Drafted: 2017 round four 95th overall by Vancouver CanucksArguably the Canucks top prospect heading into the season, it has been a disappointing year for the now 23-year-old. After a solid NCAA career at Harvard where he eclipsed the point per game pace as a sophomore, his first pro season was limited to just 16 games played through the 2020-21 season.Last year he had a breakout playing in 39 AHL games and scoring 40 points. He was rewarded with nine NHL games but was held pointless. With high expectations going into this season, he was limited to just 11 NHL games and only produced 14 points in the 36 AHL games played. It has to be seen as a step backwardsThe top three on defense for next season are set with Quinn Hughes, Tyler Myers, and the recently acquired Filip Hronek. If the Canucks do not add in the offseason the time is now for Rathbone to break into the Canucks top four.

    3. Jonathan Lekkerimaki, RW – Djurgardens IF (HockeyAllsvenskan)Age: 18
Ht/Wt: 5-11/172
Drafted: 2022 round one 15th overall by Vancouver CanucksAnother prospect who had his stock fall this year is the Canucks latest first-round pick. In his draft year, he had a breakout performance at the U18 scoring 15 points in six games. He played in the SHL as a draft-eligible scoring seven goals and nine points. Lekkerimaki is a shooter, has a NHL-ready shot but Djurgardens was relegated to the HockeyAllsvenskan and at a lower level his production of three goals and nine points in 29 games is disappointing. On the bright side, he played well at the WJC with Sweden posting four points in seven games. Still, only 18 years old, Lekkerimaki can take a few more years to develop in Sweden before coming to North America.

    4. Linus Karlsson, C/RW – Abbotsford CanucksAge: 23
Ht/Wt: 6-1/179
Drafted: 2018 round three 87th overall by Vancouver CanucksKarlsson is a player on the rise. After a breakout 2021-22 season in the SHL with Skelleftea where he posted 46 points in 52 games and won the SHL Rookie of the Year. He was signed by the Canucks following his breakout performance. He carried his play to the AHL as a rookie scoring 24 goals and 46 points through 52 games.His skating had been a concern but he has made strides in that area and his production and skill have earned him a shot to break camp with the Canucks next year. A sleeper prospect with a good upside and one to keep an eye on.

    5. Aidan McDonough, LW – Vancouver Canucks (NHL)Age: 23
Ht/Wt: 6-2/201
Drafted: 2019 round seven 195th overall by Vancouver CanucksA steal in the seventh round, McDonough played out his four years in the NCAA at Northeastern with an impressive resume including several Beanpot Championships, a Hockey East Championship, a two-time NCAA All-Star, and 124 points in 124 career games. He quickly signed his ELC following his final year and avoided free agency.His pro career began in the NHL, and he scored his first career goal in his second game played. McDonough will compete for an NHL job out of camp next year, but the 23-year-old may need some time in the AHL when a new season begins.

    6. Vitali Kravtsov, RW – Vancouver Canucks (NHL) TRADE With NYRAge: 23
Ht/Wt: 6-3/191
Drafted: 2018 round one 9th overall by New York RangersThe former top-ten draft pick by the Rangers has long been on the trade block and finally has a new home. He played the final 16 games with the Canucks and posted two points. For a reclamation project on an expiring contract, that is pretty underwhelming.At this point, it is questionable if Kravtsov will ever come close to living up to his draft position. The skill is there and he has produced in the KHL and AHL, but his lack of NHL production and reluctance to report to the NHL makes him a flight risk for a KHL contract.

    7. Josh Bloom, LW – North Bay Battalion (OHL)Age: 19
Ht/Wt: 6-2/183
Drafted: 2021 round three 95th overall by Buffalo SabresBloom was one of the OHL players who did not play in his draft year due to the COVID-canceled season. The Sabres still selected him in the third round, and since then his stock has been steadily rising. When the OHL returned, he posted 61 points in 67 games with Saginaw. In his final year in the OHL, he was named captain of the Spirit, was traded mid-season to North Bay, and posted a 71 point season in a combined 68 games.Bloom has a nice toolbox of size, skating, and skill as well as some competitive hustle and leadership. He will jump to the pro level as an AHL rookie next year and is trending toward an NHL career as a middle-six winger with some hustle and offensive upside.

    8. Akito Hirose, LD – Vancouver Canucks (NHL)Age: 24
Ht/Wt: 6-0/170
Drafted: Free agent signed in 2023The Canucks dipped their toe into the NCAA free agent pool and pulled out one of the bigger fish in Hirose. The younger brother of former NCAA superstar Taro Hirose (Detroit Red Wings), Akito had a fine career of his own at Mankato winning a Championship in 2021-22.Minnesota State University is known for its tight checking and defensively smothering style of play and Hirose has been a key player for them the past three seasons. His offensive game was solid in the NCAA with 68 points in 104 career games as a defenseman on a defensive team.His offensive game may not pop at the NHL level, however, he is able to create offense via transition, passing, a quick first step, and skating ability. Hirose could develop quickly into a valuable bottom-pairing defender on the Canucks who lack defensive depth.

    9. Cole McWard, RD – Vancouver Canucks (NHL)Age: 21
Ht/Wt: 6-1/192
Drafted: Free agent signed in 2023Another NCAA free agent signed recently to help bolster their defensive depth. Younger than Hirose at just 21 years old, the right-shot defender played two years at Ohio State posting nine goals and 21 points in 39 games as a sophomore before he signed with the Canucks.McWard burnt the first year of his ELC playing the final five NHL games with the Canucks, averaging over 14 minutes a night with one goal, five hits, and six blocked shots. McWard likely plays a full season in the AHL for his rookie season.

    10. Danila Klimovich, C – Abbotsford Canucks (AHL)Age: 20
Ht/Wt: 6-2/205
Drafted: 2021 round two 41st overall by Vancouver CanucksThe Canucks first selection from 2021 has been developing slowly, but surely. A strong showing at the U18 in his draft year with six goals in five games and three more games at the World Championship gave promise. His D+1 year had the Canucks bring him to North America and as a rookie and he scored eight goals and 18 points. He doubled his goal totals as a sophomore and played a more physical game as well.He has size, skates well, and has a heavy shot. More time in the AHL is required, but still only 20 years old with two full AHL seasons of development under his belt, there is plenty to be optimistic about with Klimovich. He does need to have a breakout season next year.

    its Dome and Gloom for the Canucks….
    ICant see EP signing an extention with these guys…⁉️

    • My vote is OEL to CHI for Zaitsev

      No contender seems to want OEL at current salary so why not pair him with Seth Jones to help stay above the cap floor of flip retaining cap

      Van sends a 1st 2025 to CHI and CHI sends a 3rd to Van

      Now CHI can hold some salary to flip OEL to contender with cap space since Chi is retaining salary.

      • OEL has a full NMC

      • @Ihatecrosby.

        OEL has full NMC, There’s absolutely noway he’s waiving for Chicago. He basically said that he only had interest in Boston and Vancouver.

    • .
      I Thought there would be more Canucks Fans Poping off about there Team now they have see the Latest Prospect Update…..⁉️

      • You’re in a class of 1 today Willie!

    • That took 6 swipes down to not read.

    • Im not sure if EP will resign, but I do know that he shouldnt. And if he is thinking about it, then he should wait until next summer to make a decision. But I agree with you. Already over the cap, no prospects, bad defence and to slow and small forwards.

      • 100%…👍
        its a Complet Mess in Vancouver…
        This is a 7 yr Re-build…‼️

  2. Olofsson is a goner…Savoie is on the way, rules prohibit him going to Rochester and nothing more to prove in jrs, Kulich is on the verge after a good 1st year in Rochester and Rousek got a couple of games at the end of the year and didn’t look out of place. I’m hoping Okposo retires and gets a coaching role in Buffalo and they let Girgensons explore free agency.
    I agree not going into the season relying on Levi and either UPL or Comrie…they need to make a move there.
    Sabres still need to address a second pairing RHD to play with Power.
    So Adams has some work to do this off season and now he starts making his bones as a GM.

    • Matt Dumba and John Gibson sound the like fixes buffalo needs and they have the goods to get them.

      • They should go after Swayman instead

    • Rousek is thinking of going back to Europe!!!!! They may need to trade him to AZ or the Ducks, where he can crack the line-up.

  3. Canucks …. Trade Myers to Yotes if you can

    Yotes need a cheap cap hit….. After Myers gets his SB from Canucks …. Traded to Yotes…. who after escrow….. then pay only ~ $920 K to get a $6M Cap hit

    Ladd is gone; if Voracek plays…. Yotes definitely need cheap Cap hits

    If Voracek stays on IR…. Yotes have to pay his $7.5 M Sal ….. put him on LTIR…. insurance pays; then Myers $6 M cap hit (costing about $920 K cash) goes a long way to making up Vorocek’s Cap hit

    Note : Myers does have trade protection (10 teams)…. So likely they’d need to convince him to waive

    Healthy Voracek?

    After Meyers SB paid…. Flip Myers for Voracek (50% retained by Yotes)…

    For ‘Nucks…. They convert Myers into Voracek AND save $2M in Cap

    Yotes… pre trade…. would have been paying about $7 M cash (after accounting for escrow) for an $8.2M cap hit; post trade (after escrow)…. paying just shy of $4.5 M cash for a $10.1 M Cap hit

    • What do the yotes get for helping out the Canucks out of there cap hell?

      Yotes will hit the cap floor no problem with weber and littles contracts. So why would the yotes do this?

      No body wants Myers and hasnt for years, the teams that looked for players like him to get the the cap floor no longer have that issue. Canucks will have to pay out the butt to get rid of OEL and Myers and is it really worth it?

      they are not going anywhere the next few years so ride out the contracts and draft well. Dont trade no1 picks for anything.

      • Chicago actually might need some floor contracts. Could be a target for him.

      • Hi mp

        I listed out the win win for both teams

        Yotes get cap at less than 50% (cash) on the Cap $

        Their ideal roster make up for the next 4 years (min) while they play infront of 4,600 max( and dwindling TV viewership) is several players on contracts in last or second last year that were front loaded…. Meyers is due $5M SB on 1/7; trading him to Yotes after that; Yotes still tally $6M on Cap; but it only costs them ~ $920 K

        From a business perspective…. Yotes should br paying ‘Nucks for that benefit

        Yotes won’t cheaply make cap floor …, cite Voracek

        The trade proposed helps both teams

    • Why would Myers waive his NMC, he is settled in Vancouver with his family, no way he moves there

      • Hi Kent

        Many st likely bang on ….

        Well …. Likely he’d have to waive; although not 100% certain…. no one outside of NHL head office; Nucks and Meyers camp know his trade protection teams

        Bolts got players to waive and they were (and are) a great team