NHL Rumor Mill – April 7, 2023

by | Apr 7, 2023 | Rumors | 7 comments

This summer’s thin free-agent market could spark more offseason trade activity plus the Lightning could lose Alex Killorn to free agency in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Chris Johnston noted the lack of a headliner in this summer’s unrestricted free-agent market could result in more activity in the offseason trade market. While there are notable pending free agents such as the New York Rangers’ Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko, their best seasons are behind them. He also indicated that several teams with extra first-round picks in this year’s draft are willing to trade them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The TSN insider panel noted the top scorers among this year’s UFA market are Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn (61 points), Boston’s Patrice Bergeron (57 points) and David Krejci (56 points), Dallas’ Max Domi (55 points), Kane (also 55 points), Colorado’s J.T. Compher (50 points), Toronto’s Michael Bunting (47 points) and Tarasenko (46 points).

New York Rangers winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images)

None of those players are getting lucrative long-term deals. Their stats pale in comparison to the big numbers being put up by the league’s top stars, all of whom are under contract for at least next season.

Killorn is having a career year but his age (33) will make teams leery of investing too much in him for too long. Bergeron and Krejci are UFAs but everyone knows if they return next season it’s with the Bruins.

The 28-year-old Domi’s stock has improved and he should get a decent contract but I don’t see teams beating down his door with seven-year deals worth over $6 million annually. Compher, 28, and the 27-year-old Bunting are in the same class. They’ll get substantial raises and more years on their next contracts but they won’t break the bank for whoever signs them.

Kane and Tarasenko would’ve been headliners if they were healthier and a little younger. The 34-year-old Kane’s recent lower-body ailment is believed to be a nagging hip injury that will require offseason surgery. Tarasenko, 31, has a well-documented recent history of shoulder injuries that could factor into how much he gets and for how long.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes it’s going to be difficult for the Tampa Bay Lightning to re-sign Alex Killorn. He’s enjoying back-to-back 25-goal seasons as well as leading this year’s UFA class with a career-high 61 points.

LeBrun points out that Killorn’s earning $4.45 million annually on his current contract. Meanwhile, the Lightning have three key players in Erik Cernak, Mikhail Sergachev and Anthony Cirelli whose new contracts kick in next season. He noted that the Lightning need to clear up $7.4 million in cap space. They’ll try to re-sign Killorn but LeBrun believes he’s headed to market on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning’s salary-cap constraints led to a steady departure of depth talent since 2020. It started biting more deeply last year when Ondrej Palat departed for New Jersey last summer. Killorn’s departure will also be keenly felt unless he’s willing to accept a “hometown discount” on a short-term deal.


  1. 3 x $5.5M for Killorn to be a Red Wing!

    • I like Killorn, but another LH winger ? Detroit seem to have an abundance of LH wingers and defensemen in their system….need some RH’s at both positions.

      • Yeah, “Trades are hard.” Kenny Holland

    • No chance Tampa had no state tax so if alex is leaving it would be for 6 or more. 3 Mil would almost be The same as 6 north of the border. He a8nt gonna be coming to the great white north

  2. I wonder if the Oilers will look at a RW like Avs
    28 yr old RW TJ Compher… they may not have enough cap space to go after Him….🤔
    As they need to get a top 4 RD man 1st, To replace Ceci on d. they have $8.5M in cap space, they may have to move Yamo at $3.1M to increase there cap budget to $11.6M……❓

    The Oilers need a RW Goalscorer to Round out the Top six replacing RW Jesse Puilijarvi
    would love then to go after Hawks RW and Connor’s old Eire Otters team mate who is a late bloomer playing on the hawks 3rd line @ RW 25 yr old Taylor Raddysh
    But now moved up to the 2nd line as Kane is now with the NYR…⁉️

    Top 3 position the Oil need Are
    ➡️ 1- Top 4 RD man maybe UFA d/man RD
    Damon Severson a manatoba kid?

    ➡️ 1- top 6 RW,

    ➡️ 1- 3rd line Centre, Nick Bjugstad looks like a keeper……

    ➡️ 1 maybe 1 4th line tough guys so Kane & Nures dont have to do all the fighting …❓

    • Parayko will be an oiler by the end of summer.

  3. Killorn has not only played his entire NHL career for one team, he has had only one coach for his entire professional career. Think it likely he finds a way to stay, perhaps also because with a Harvard education
    he’s probably well invested & not without after hockey prospects. Maybe some creativity required, but JBB has been good at that….and at the moment the Bolts don’t really have a replacement.