NHL Rumor Mill – April 5, 2023

by | Apr 5, 2023 | Rumors | 47 comments

Three teams could be willing to move first-round picks in this year’s draft, an update on Timo Meier’s contract situation plus the latest on the Blues and Senators in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is “100 percent” open to trading the 2023 first-round pick he received from the Los Angeles Kings in the trade that sent Joonas Korpisalo and Vladislav Gavrikov to the Kings. It’s not going to be a high pick given the Kings’ place in the overall standings. LeBrun said Kekalainen would like to get a top-four defenseman as part of the package for a first-round pick.

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen (NHL.com)

The Blue Jackets might not be the only team willing to move a 2023 first-rounder. LeBrun indicated the St. Louis Blues previously expressed a willingness to entertain offers for the first-round picks they received from the New York Rangers for Vladimir Tarasenko and the Toronto Maple Leafs for Ryan O’Reilly.

LeBrun also believes the Montreal Canadiens would be willing to trade the 2023 first-rounder they received last year from the Florida Panthers in the Ben Chiarot deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind that the Blue Jackets, Blues and Canadiens aren’t talking about listening to offers for their own first-rounders. Those picks will be in the top 10 and one of them could be first overall following the draft lottery. This year’s draft is considered a deep one so any team holding a top-10 selection won’t part with it unless they get an offer too good to pass up.

Like the Jackets, the Blues and Canadiens could be looking for a promising young NHL player in return (or part of the return) for those picks. That’s what the Canadiens did at last year’s draft, acquiring the New York Islanders pick (13th overall) and flipping it to the Chicago Blackhawks for Kirby Dach.


LeBrun also reported New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald has met with trade-deadline acquisition Timo Meier to talk about a long-term contract for the 26-year-old winger. They see him as a core piece moving forward. However, they won’t open discussions until after the playoffs to allow Meier time to adjust to life on and off the ice with his new team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer who’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

The annual average value of his current contract is $6 million but he’s earning $10 million in actual salary this season. That’s how much it would cost the Devils to qualify his rights unless the two sides can work out an agreement on a deal with a more affordable AAV.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Jeremy Rutherford was asked which one of Blues forward Brayden Schenn and defensemen Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, Justin Faulk and Nick Leddy could be moved this summer.

He doesn’t see Schenn and Faulk going anywhere. Despite having a lot of term left on their respective contracts, they’ve been good players for the Blues.

Rutherford thinks they’d move Krug if they could but he hasn’t heard of much interest in the oft-injured 31-year-old defenseman. He believes they’d move the minute-munching Parayko in the right situation. However, they won’t give him away plus he’s got a full no-trade clause.

They could try to move Leddy and his $4 million AAV. However, the three years remaining on his contract could be too much for most teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues might have to look at other candidates to cut costs if they’re going to go that route this summer unless they’re willing to part with Schenn or Faulk. There was talk before the trade deadline of teams with interest in Parayko but it’s rumored he would only waive his NTC for the Edmonton Oilers.

Krug or Leddy could be bought out of their respective contract but that would eat up a lot of long-term cap space.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch recently reported the Senators met with Cam Talbot’s agent in December to discuss a contract extension. However, the two sides weren’t close so the talks were put on hold.

It’s believed the two sides discussed a two-year deal. However, the Talbot camp sought a considerable raise over the 35-year-old goalie’s $3.5 million AAV.

The Senators wanted to see how Talbot performed down the stretch before deciding about next season but it’s not looking good for his return. He was sidelined by groin and rib injuries over that period.


  1. Parayko isn’t 1/4 of the player some thought he was, now that Jay Bouwmeester isn’t running that pairing.
    JBow. One of the most underrated players of this generation. The Blues miss him more than Petro and Cryin Ryan combined.

    • Sop

      Jay was the smoothest skater I have seen live effortlessly moves around Highly underrated

      • He was the absolute best at keeping a game low event, since Dallas Smith and Rod Langway.

    • Hi SOP

      I’ll take that 1/4 Parayko on Pens please

      What’s the cost to flip Petry for Parayko??

      I’m sure Oil would love to have him as well

      • I think the Oil like what they have in Ekholm vs Parayko Pengy, although either would have helped them at the TDL.
        Would the Pens be interested in Kulak this off season? Broberg will play full time next year, one of the LD needs to move and it will likely be Kulak.

        Solid D man who can skate and defend on a reasonable deal.

      • LOL Parayko is worth a lot more than Petry.

        Plus Petry has like a 15 team no trade list and all western teams are reportedly on it. he wants to be near his wife and kids in Michigan not 700 miles away in St Louis.

  2. So, Lebrun is reporting what Jackets fans have known from the moment the trade with LA was completed. Where I disagree with him is in his speculation that the Jackets will want a young defenseman in return. Depending on whom you ask, the Jackets have between five and eight highly regarded defensemen prospects who will begin pushing for a roster spot as soon as next season (Jiricek) and continuing for the following three or four seasons. Therefore, logically, what the Jackets will need is someone like Gudbranson. A productive d-man who will fill a roster spot until one of the prospects pushes him aside.

    • You can have Chiarot + Zadina for that extra 1st.

    • Travis Hamonic’s agent on line one. And he’s an UFA.

    • Johnny Z, Dark G,
      You have a very different definition of productive.

  3. Talbot is history insofar as the Senators are concerned.

    Two seasons down the line their goaltending tandem will be from the following, hence the limited 2-year deal offered Talbot:

    Kevin Mandolese – age 22 – 6th rd 157th overall 2018
    Mads Sogaard – age 22 – 2nd rd 37th overall 2019
    Leevi Merilainen – age 20 – 3rd rd 71st overall 2020

    The latter was pressed into service last night in Carolina and did well, stopping 34 or 37 shots against the powerhouse Hurricanes before losing 3-2 in OT.

    As for the next two seasons, hopefully the back-up will continue to be Anton Forsberg IF he recovers from the knee surgeries – otherwise Dorion will be scouring the market for a reliable back-up type.

    At the same time, it’s obvious the GM will be exploring all options for a # 1, suitable for at least the next two seasons, through trade, and who they eventually get will depend largely upon the asset(s) dangled.

    Hanging over all this – like the Sword Of Damocles – is the ultimate fate of GM Dorion once the new ownership is announced – supposedly by early July.

    • Sogaard is the goods, George. I know goalies are voodoo, but that boy has it all. Size, positional awareness, quick lateral movement, strong glove and stick, plus he’s always been able to shake off goals and focus on the next play, so his mentality is above par for a youngster. I honestly believe you’ve got the makings of a great one in him. Only time will tell now.

      • 🍁Re; Sen’s

        The Sen’s Need to get a Starting Goaltender who will look after the net for the next couple of years someone that can train the next Sen’s Rookie Goaltender….⁉️

        maybe its Pen 27 yr old UFA Goaltender
        Tristan Jarry on a 3 year deal..
        Im a firm believer you cant Rush Goaltenders or you mess them up… as they are a difrent breed

        I think both the 22 year olds have Great Potential in Sogaard & Mandolese, but please dont rush them…

      • I agree there Shoreorrpark – at the very least (and much depends on the recovery – or not – of Forsberg) – Sogaard will be the main goalie in Belleville next season and will be first call-up if and when it becomes necessary.

        If Forsberg is not fully recovered from two knee surgeries by training camp, and Ottawa does find a suitable # 1 for 2 seasons through trade, Sogaard could be the opening back-up, with a targeted schedule of 35-40 games.

        Going to be an interesting summer in Ottawa – IF we ever get there. In the midst of a freaking wind and freezing rain storm right now – on April 5! By this time next week they’re projecting a high of 70F – but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Mads/Mando as duo in 24/25; maybe even this fall

      Sens goalie farm is ripening and soon ready to harvest

      • Sogaard and Merilainien will be on ELC’s and waivers exempt next year. Mondolese and Ferguson won’t have protection.
        Depending on Forsberg knee health I can see then looking for a veteran keeper on a 2 year term. Raanta of F Andersen experience.

      • George, my only correction here is the belief that Forsberg had surgeries. Pretty sure he did NOT.

      • Thanks Dark G – with TWO ACLs I just assumed surgery would have been automatic. If to the extent they were not necessary, then this bodes well for recovery.

    • Honestly if they re-signed Talbot I would lose my sh!t. He’s been nominally useful for a handful of games, but I trust Anton and Mads more than him.

      • With on the Talbot comment Saint. Hope they have a sense if Forsberg will be good to go by training camp. It would suck not doing anything during the off season to bring someone in only to find out Forsberg is months away from being ready to play.
        I can’t imagine rehabbing 2 knees at the same time. Having a couple of bad knees myself i remember how much I relied on the ‘good’ knee for stability while i recovered. He must have been in a wheel chair for the first couple of weeks after his injuries.

  4. Re “This year’s draft is considered a deep one so any team holding a top-10 selection won’t part with it unless they get an offer too good to pass up.”…..

    If Yotes win the lottery….. I would hope that Bedard’s agent has the smarts enough to tell Yotes, that under NO circumstances will Bedard sign with them. Nyet Nyet Nyet!!!!

    He’d be absolutely foolish to sign with Yotes

    Minimum 4 more years in the barn…. limiting his promotional ad revenue (he’ll get a fraction of ad revenue that he could get in ANY other market). He can’t get an offer sheet until he’s done those 4 hell-hole years in the barn. Then he’d be exiting on only a 7 year OS contract. His numbers in the desert will not be anywhere near what he’d get elsewhere… affecting what he gets in his one year contract after ELC; AND his OS

    Vs…. Other markets…. Same ELC, massively more ad revenue; then a massive 8 year contract post ELC; and on a winning team; and even massively more ad revs

    Yotes then would be best to accept a trade for that Pick; rather than hold out while plays a year in Switzerland (Mathews did as an 18 year old as he was a late B-day and was in the following year’s draft)

    Can you imagine Holland….

    Yammo; Campbell; Borgeault; Neimelienen; Kemp; 2nd (‘23); 1st (‘24); 2nd (‘24); 1st (‘25); 1st (‘26)

    For 1st OA (Bedard); Crouse; Ingram

    Oilers save Cap…. and jettison their offence into the stratosphere ; AND seriously improve goaltending…. For the next 3-4 years

    Then just Move 1 D man for an upgrade …. Is that a team that could win 3 straight cups ? Me thinks it’s certainly plausible

    • Just a reminder re Lindros

      Nordiques got

      1st ‘93
      1st ‘94
      $15 M…. Which is $35 M today (covers a ton o’ losses Muereli is experiencing now)

      • I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think you can give or receive cash in a trade anymore.

      • I believe (about 99% sure) your correct

        That’s for players

        There is no constraint re staff…. Maybe Katz want to “buy” a Yotes Hot Dog vendor for $30 M…. LOL

        These owners can do whatever they want outside of hockey

        Maybe Katz likes a retro piece of furniture that Muereli has…. Shame to go to Sotheby’s and give them a commission…. $25 M for his 1975 Lazy-Boy recliner sounds right 🤓

    • I’m wondering when you went from commenting on how you thought the yotes were failing to actively rooting for them to fail. It’s a big difference and not at all a good look.

      • Barring some monumental luck, the team that winds up at the bottom of the heap will get the # 1 pick and, right now, the bottom 3 teams each have 56 points with 5 games to go and, in order of 32nd to 30th based upon wins (shown in brackets) they are: Anaheim (23), Columbus (24) and Chicago (25).

        Looking at their respective schedules, I’d bet that Columbus winds up 32nd – @ NJ April 6, home to NYR April 8, @ Philadelphia April 11, home to Pittsburgh April 13 and home to Buffalo April 14.

        Chicago is @ Vancouver April 6, @ Seattle April 8, home to Minnesota April 10, @ Pittsburgh April 11, home to Philadelphia April 13

        Anaheim is home to Edmonton (today), @ Arizona April 8, home to Colorado April 9, home to Vancouver April 11,, and home to L.A. April 13.

        Only one other team – San Jose, currently 4 points up on each of the three – could possibly fall down into the top % chances.

      • Hi Chrisms

        Not sure where you interpret that from my post

        They are failing

        That’s the point

        It’s a horrific franchise…. and it’s location is the issue

        They didn’t create the issue… everybody knows who did

        I’m cheering for that franchise to be a success…. And there is literally only one way it can be a success …. Relocation out of Arizona

        I am cheering for Bedard and his success and future in the NHL…. That just can’t happen at the level it should; in Arizona

        My proposal also gives them many future assets that they can draft or parlay into players down the road (in Houston we hope; but at least 4 years down the road (if Gary gets his way… outside of the barn

        You and I disagree re Yotes

        I realize you are cheering for their existing fan-base… and I can’t argue with that

        My bugaboo is that at the expense of their very small fan base (now,4 years from now; way down the road)…. The league, all players, all owners and approaching very high 90’s percent of all fans suffer

        Relo means cap increases; sals increase; HRR increases; owners gain $M’s; over-all fan base dramatically increases; Muereli gains massive … either by selling for a huge return or keeping ownership and benefitting from a several years sell-out in an arena that holds 4 times the number of fans; and would have between 15-25 (depending on the forecasting model) times the viewing audience; and average ticket prices (and concession revenues and sweater sales) would go through the roof

        Now, that said…. If they do relocate to Houston….I’m all for Bedard becoming their franchise player there

        We agree to disagree

        All good

      • Hi George

        The bottom team has won before…. But history shows that more often it is NOT the bottom team

        Yes 60% chance 1 of the bottom 4 get the Bedard lottery ball….

        But the bottom team basically has3 times the chance of NOT getting him vs getting him (using whole percentages approximately 75% against getting him vs 25% of getting him

        I just have this weird feeling that this generational player is going to a team not finishing bottom 4 (40% chance that happens)

        For Canadian franchises… as at right now

        Habs have 8.5 % chance atBedard; ‘Nucks… 6%

    • Still not enough, all those 1st round picks will be late.add in Broberg Bouchard, still might not work. Would you trade McD for that.

    • You seriously think the Yotes would not only trade Bedard but Crouse and Ingram too for a bunch of spare parts, an overpaid 31 year old goalie with bad numbers and a couple of late 1st and 2nd rounders?

      Yotes GM should be fired if he didn’t laugh and hang up instantly to that trade proposal. Talk about a one sided trade proposal. Yotes get nothing in that deal they want or need. I don’t even think this trade would fly even in a video game on easy GM mode.

      • Hi Kronwalled

        Yotes trading Bedard would be out of their hands if Bedard’s agent has any sense …. Refuse to sign…. Yotes would need to get something

        Campbell would have to be in the deal; Crouse I agree was too much to put in; that’s why I upped the picks

        Yammo; Borgeault; Neimelienen; Kemp ; 3 firsts ; 2 seconds is a fair return for Bedard plus converting Campbell into Ingram

        If Yotes do get the ball drop…. There will be a bidding war

    • Bedard will sign with whoever drafts him. End of story. That trade is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen

      • Agree Danm – and will never happen again – nor should it ever.

      • Hi Dan

        The trade components may be different from another team… but Bedard’s agent would be out of his or her mind if Yotes won the lottery and he or she didn’t plead with all their might for Bedard to outright refuse to sign with Yotes

        Signing anywhere else…. Zero issue

        In Yotesville…. Playing at least4 more years in front of only 4,600 fans…. Huge issue

        Lindros’ parents were not Franco-friendly

        This is completely different…. This is all about economics

    • I usually really appreciate much of your analyses and thought processes… but this trade proposal sounds like the ramblings of a drunk man at Hooters.

      • Hi the Saint

        Not much of a drinker drinker at all…but have been to Hooters

        the trade was more to point out that several assets would go to Yotes

        The key point is not the assets; but that if Yotes get the lottery drop… Bedard’s agent should definitely do everything in their power to dissuade him from signing with Yotes

        If it happens…. There will be a bidding war

        I certainly over-stepped by including Crouse; but if it is Oil…. Campbell out of Oil country should be seriously considered

        My proposal included a top 6 NHLer; 3 1sts, 2 2nds; 3 prospects

        I would have said 4 1sts ; 2 prospects; and a 2nd; but Oil traded this year’s 1st (Ekholm deal)… so added a 2nd and a prospect

        Taking Crouse out…. Is that a reasonable deal?

    • Doubt McJesus would like being the #2 center.


    • Pengy you fall down and go boom? It seems like you’re completely out of it.

      Anyways, one of Ottawa’s strengths is drafting…development no so much but I’m guessing it’s due to the urgency of getting these good players playing sooner than later. That trade for Talbot was a good idea and the right thing to do technically because you need some stability in the net for a young and up in coming team but ultimately a bad trade since Gustavsson has been very good this year for the Wild…That happens.

      The one thing the Sens need is time to gel. Time will also tell if those contracts they handed out to players after their ELC was the right move since the team still isn’t a playoff team yet. Having your team bumping the cap ceiling can delay success if you can’t advance by getting into the playoffs on a constant basis.

      • You nailed it. Dorion is a very good judge (usually) of amateur talent. We’re all still wondering what dispensary he went to before using the 10th pick on Boucher. But time will tell. The development under the Mann’s in Belleville has been pretty good. Deployment at the pro level has been brutal, development and coaching at the pro level colossal failure, and pro level scouting colossal failure.

      • Spot on.

      • That do sum it up very well. Hopefully, whoever the new owners are will see it the same way and get their own GM who, in turn, will select his own coaching staff.

  5. Could the Blues use a 1st for Sanheim ?
    Philly wont get much for Risto and not sure they will move Provorov. But i think we all know Philly’s roster will make some big changes this summer

    • Blues would need to jettison a either Krug first, or Philly takes Scandella, the late 1st, +minor pick back in the trade.

      • Pretty sure sanheim is worth more than a salary dump a mid pick and a late first on the market.