Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 2, 2023

by | Apr 2, 2023 | Rumors | 14 comments

Updates on the Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha plus the latest Oilers speculation in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: In her latest mailbag segment, Sammi Silber provided a recent update on what changes might be in store for the Washington Capitals should they miss the playoffs this season.

General manager Brian MacLellan recently said that acquiring a top-six forward is something the club would like to look into. He added there will be more flexibility for tweaks and offseason changes.

Evgeny Kuznetsov was the subject of recent trade rumors but the 30-year-old center dismissed it, noting that it was based on a misinterpreted report. He said he still sees his future with the Capitals.

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (NHL Images).

Anthony Mantha’s future in Washington is less certain following a disappointing season in which he was a healthy scratch on multiple occasions. It’s unclear if he’s in the mix with the Capitals for next season, let alone what his trade value would be.

As for head coach Peter Laviolette, contract extension talks have reportedly grown cold. Missing the playoffs could mean a shakeup behind the bench, though Laviolette had to deal with numerous injuries to his roster over the past three seasons.

Silber noted this summer’s free-agent class isn’t that impressive so she’s not sure who the Capitals might target. They could have better luck in the trade market and have some trade chips, including perhaps Kuznetsov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Capitals have $7.3 million in projected cap space for 2023-24 with 17 players under contract. They’ll have to shed some salary if they intend to add a scoring forward.

The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir recently reported that Capitals management wasn’t impressed with Kuznetsov’s performance this season, citing his poor defensive play and inability to step up when injuries struck the lineup. However, his $7.8 million annual average value and 10-team no-trade list make the soon-to-be 31-year-old difficult to move. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s still with the Capitals next season.

Mantha, meanwhile, has been a big disappointment for them this season. The 28-year-old winger is a year away from UFA eligibility and carries a $5.7 million AAV for next season. He lacks no-trade protection but his struggles this season hurts his trade value.

As for Laviolette, this could go either way but it wouldn’t be surprising if they decide to hire a replacement.


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell recently looked at the Edmonton Oilers’ options to free up some salary-cap space for 2023-24.

He speculated they could shuffle out wingers like Kailer Yamamoto or Warren Foegele. However, the latter’s performance since Feb. 1 suggests he’ll be back next season.

Regarding their blueline, Mitchell suggested Cody Ceci could become a trade candidate if management needs a cost-cutting deal. Philip Broberg would have to pass through waivers next season which could make Brett Kulak expendable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers have $8.5 million in projected cap space with 15 roster players under contract next season. They’ll have to clear some cap space with Evan Bouchard, Klim Kostin and Ryan McLeod slated to become restricted free agents in July.


  1. Mantha should be bought out and somebody will sign him on a 1 yr show-me deal.

  2. Johnny Z, with one year to go at a cap hit of $5,700,000 but a base salary of $6,500,000, it would cost the Capitals $2,166,667 for each of 2023/24 and 2024-25 fr a total cost of $4,333,333, representing a saving of $2,166,667.

    But this is a big F (6′ 5″ 235 lbs) who, over 419 gp in the NHL, has 119g 133a 252 pts for 82-game averages of 23g 26a 49 pts.

    If Washington withheld $2.5 mil off that cap hit for next year, someone is sure to take a gamble at a cap of $3.2 mil, and although that would increase their “saving” by $333,333,000 I doubt that would be cause for concern if it meant NOT losing $2,166,667 off their cap for two years.

    • What about to Philly along with a 2nd this year, 1st next year for Provorov and Addison

      Philly needs picks. WSH needs to round out the defense. Adding Provy to Carlson, Sandin, And Jensen as a top 4 is a smart move.

      Cap is close enough. they should have the cap room even with the new raises they just gave out.

      Philly gets picks and a traceable asset come deadline

    • George I agree . Have been a fan for years of Martha . But everything I have ever heard or read is he is just lazy . Lazy to a point coaches hate him . But I am far from in the know .

  3. Re; the Edmonton Oilers salary-cap space for
    2023-24 Season
    Speculation they could shuffle out players, they will have to 100%…
    These two should be gone………..✔️
    Kailer Yamamoto RW.$3.1 M
    Cody Ceci RD. $3.25M
    Save $6.35M,

    Total Cap Space $14.85M

    The Oilers have $8.5 million in projected cap space with 15 roster players under contract next season. They’ll have to clear some cap space with,

    Warren Foegele. has played very well over the past 2 months finding his spot on the team, keep him✔️

    Philip Broberg will be back But he is still learning
    needs Waivers next season, $863,000

    Brett Kulak Could be trade bait…❓but Yamo & Cody Ceci, should be gone first…. keep BK for the 3rd pairing with young Broberg and use them as
    6th & 7th LD men…

    bring these 4 back that leaves 4 spots open…
    ➡️ Evan Bouchard, RD A 2 year bridge deal in the
    $2.5M range he is still learning

    ➡️ Klim Kostin $1.M to $1.2M range

    ➡️ Ryan McLeod, a 1 year deal at $1.M

    ➡️ Nick Bjugstad, bring him back for a 1 or 2 year deal at $1.2
    that brings us up to 19 players
    They need to go shopping for 2 big holes to fill,

    An affordable top 6 RW and a 1st pairing RD Man
    in the UFA market….❓

    Like Taylor Raddsish from Chicago, $750,000
    29 yr old UFA RW Connor Brown on a show me contract…. $1.4 range

    UFA RD Men in July….,
    with cash left to spend..$5.M to $6.M….🤔❓

    1-➡️ Damon Severson, 28 yr would be expencive?
    2- ➡️ Shayne Gostisbehere, 29 yr adds some offence
    3- ➡️ Carson Soucy 28 yr old
    4–➡️ John Klingberg, 30 yr old
    if they want a Crack at the Cup………❓

    After this you have 2 spots left open, Rookies and try outs, maybe a Tough Guys to round out the bottom 4th line….

  4. I think the caps are heading to a Re build….
    they are nearly as old as the pens…??

  5. Re Pens,

    By January 2024, if the pens are doing what they are doing this year… They start to trade away All there Core players to start the Re-build ….

    Sid to Colorado….to play with his buddy

    • Pens are stuck with Crosby, Mallon and LeTang. Sid isn’t gonna going anywhere after getting his buddies signed long term.

      Best to go even further in an direction offer to sJ petry and Grandlund for Karlson and at least have a better top 4 defense.

      Ruuta / Karlson
      Pettersson / LeTang

      Cap is about the same. Bring in cheap vets to build a better bottom six.

      Top lines

      Don’t resign zucker or Doumolin and use that money to build a better bottom 6

      • Hey Ihatecrosby

        You need to add a goaltender in thewre too…⁉️

        As Jarry is a UFA and will be gone… He is not sticking around for a 6-7 year Rebuild, bye then he will be past his prime and be a Back up some where….

      • Willie I bet he would take a 3 yr deal for a little more than current dollar because no contending team will offer him 4-5 mill on a long term deal

        And non contending teams don’t need an expensive goalie. He played himself due to injuries and inconsistent play into a not very good next contract

        If he accepts a short term say 3 yr around same dollars he gets to stay with his buddies and chance to play into a decent following contract.

        His options are few. Best to take around same dollars for a 3 yr deal.

        Pens have cap for that

      • Hi IHC

        I know by your moniker that you are not a Sid fan…. but “stuck with Crosby”… you won’t find many referring to “stuck with” w.r.t. Sid

        Still a PPG guy; still a game changer.

        Pens overall…. sad sad sad… the roster available is on HexBurkie

        Who plays from that available set of players…. Sully

        Not looking good

      • Ever team in the NHL Would Love to have
        Sidney Crosby on there team,👌

        We would love in in Edmonton and or in Ottawa
        i dont think Jarry resigns with the Pens,
        if they try to re-tool again i dont know if they can go any where.. as they are to old,

        Just look at the young Fast teams coming up in the East…⁉️
        The Sen’s, Sabers, Habs, & Panthers
        all the first 3 teams need is Goaltending…..🤔
        Florida just need to sort out its Cap Space,
        They only have 10M next year and $36.M the following year….. 98% of there players are all between 21& 27 years old up Front
        the only old players they have are the Staal brothers 36 & 38 and Radko Guda A UFA…..🤔

  6. Watched 3 games last night

    Good to see Leafs win; a couple of missed calls went our way (so I cede Sens fans’ concers)….Samsonov definitely the difference maker

    Oil…. congrats Leon… well deserved. McD …. well … he’s just McD…. again

    Pens…. not even in the “same league” as Bruins. I had zero expecttations of a game point. Zero…. then there was a possibility…. dang

    Bruins deserved the win; deserved it in reg. Pens Power Play…. aghast

    I’ll point it out again… as I’m sure now Bruins fans noticed…. Sully once again played Ruhweedel who proved (again !!!!) quite costly. Ruhweedel must have dirt on Sully. Absolutely MUST.

    Not only has he been pretty bad all year…. but lately even more so a defensive problem. Once again last night…. on for two…. one w/o any pressure at all… he failed to clear the puck…. a few seconds later it is back in the net; another he screens Jarry and deflects the puck up; Jarry no chance. He also hurt in other ways; stemmed rushes by passes no where near teammates; un-pressured icings; going into his D-partner’s corner (with D partner already engaged with player, leaving his own man uncovered… no less than 6 times)…. were it not for Jarry and his teammates…. Ruhweedel could have caused another 3 goals. Finally…. another stupid penalty by him… Bruins score on the PP

    AGain… Ruhweedel’s play irrelevent… by far Bruins the superior team

    We’ll see if Sullly truly wants to win today. it is Tanger’s 1,000 game…. Pens are sitting on the outside looking in; and are playing a non playoff team (Flyers)…. if Sully plays Ruhweedel… then for sure Sully is NOT looking out for the best interest of the Pens. Forget about who is on the injury shelf… Sully could take any WBS defender and be better off playing them. He (as did all Pens fans) saw the difference between Fedun’s superior play and Ruhweedel’s harmful (to Pen’s play). Fedun could play. If Rutta is available, then he will be in… which means that the other bottom pairing D-man MUST be Friedman…. if Sully plays Ruhweedel…. it means Sully is once again, not playing the best team from his available set of players

    I’m good with them missing, forcing a big change come summer… just don’t disguise it as actually trying to get in while not playing the best set of players available.

    • Penguins 0-6 on power play against Boston.They should have not been in the game.Outplayed badly.They still have a solid top 6, but questions arise over their defensemen and goalies