NHL Rumor Mill – November 30, 2023

by | Nov 30, 2023 | Rumors | 10 comments

The Leafs and Canucks could be in the market for defensemen while the Oilers could be scouting the Blue Jackets goalies. Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman noted the Toronto Maple Leafs are down three defensemen with Mark Giordano, John Klingberg and Timothy Liljegren sidelined by injuries. He wondered if this was the year for the Leafs to spend key assets on rental replacements.

THE ATHLETIC: Chris Johnston believes it’s not difficult to draw a line from Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving to his former club in Calgary, where the Flames have a blueline that features several attractive trade targets.

Johnston rules out Noah Hanifin given the expense of his next contract and the fact the Leafs are believed to be on his eight-team no-trade list. However, Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov could hold some appeal.

Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (NHL Images).

Other options include former Leaf Ilya Lyubushkin of the Anaheim Ducks and Sean Walker of the Philadelphia Flyers. As for what the Leafs could use for trade capital, Johnston noted that they have nine picks in the 2024 draft, including a first-rounder.

DAILY FACEOFF: Chris Tanev tops Mark Larkin’s list of seven possible trade targets for the Leafs. Others include Zadorov, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Andrew Peeke, the Nashville Predators’ Alexandre Carrier, the Seattle Kraken’s Will Borgen, the San Jose Sharks’ Mario Ferraro and the Philadelphia Flyers’ Travis Sanheim.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zadorov’s recent trade request makes him the most likely among this group to be moved. Given the Flames’ recent rise in the standings, however, they’re probably not in any hurry to move Zadorov, Tanev or anyone else.

Peeke could be the next most likely to be available. He was among three defensemen (Adam Boqvist and Jake Bean being the others) that the Jackets were reportedly shopping back in October. Lyubushkin and Borgen could also become available if their respective clubs fail to gain ground in the standings.

Ferraro is signed through 2025-26 and the Sharks might not be keen to move him unless it’s for a substantial offer. The Preds might not be sellers if they continue climbing in the standings.

The Flyers are reportedly willing to listen if they get offers that could build up their foundation but they’re not listening on every player. They might move Walker later in the season but I doubt they’ll part with Sanheim. He has 16 points in 22 games and carries a $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2030-31 along with a full no-trade clause.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman noted the Vancouver Canucks cleared cap space by trading Anthony Beauvillier to Chicago earlier this week. He claims they’re scouring the market for a blueliner.

One option could be bringing back free agent Ethan Bear, though he’s not expected to be ready to return from offseason shoulder surgery until late December. He also noted the Conor Garland sweepstakes have slowed down because he’s playing well and the Canucks no longer have a cap crunch. They’re also not interested in moving their first-round draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman’s colleague Iain MacIntyre reported Canucks GM Patrik Allvin acknowledged his club’s need for more blueline depth. “I think we can get help on the back end, yes,” he said.

They could be waiting for Bear to be ready to return or they could consider other options like those suggested for the Maple Leafs. Given how well they’re currently playing, the Canucks don’t have to rush into making a move. Nevertheless, they could be worth watching before the holiday trade freeze (Dec. 20-27) kicks in.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman noted three Edmonton Oilers executives/scouts were in Columbus for the second time this week. They were there on Monday when the Blue Jackets defeated the Boston Bruins with Spencer Martin getting the win in goal. They were also there on Wednesday when Elvis Merzlikins faced the Montreal Canadiens.

With Danill Tarasov due to return from injury soon, the Blue Jackets could have one goalie too many unless they intend on carrying three. Friedman also noted that it’s possible the Oilers could recall Jack Campbell if he plays well.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers were also linked to Montreal Canadiens goalies Sam Montembeault and Jake Allen but that speculation has recently subsided. Montembeault played well in a 4-2 win over the Jackets so perhaps the Oilers might revisit their interest in him.


  1. I heard that the Sharks are interested in moving Mackenzie Blackwood. If so, the Oilers should go after him. It will probably cost Bourgault or Broberg plus a non 1st round pick. He is also just 26 years old with a cap hit the Oilers can afford for this season and next.
    Kevin Lankinen is another goalie who interests me. Nashville is wanting to bring up Askarov, who is apparently Soros’s future replacement.
    The Sharks are a worse team defensively than the Blue Jackets, yet Blackwook has better-advanced stats than Elvis Merzlikins. Mainly on HDSV%. As per Natural Stat Trick, Blackwood has a .835 SV% on 121 HDSA and Merzlikins has a .820 SV% on 100 HDSA.

    • They will need a 1st pick and ether
      Broberg and or Bourgault
      To move Campbell out ….?
      Maybe both….❗️🙈❓

      This should be there 1st Trade priority ✔️✔️

  2. Broberg and McLeod for Boqvist and Martin

    • Does McLeod have any value? Zero points in a third line center position.

      • I wouldn’t trade McLeod for Boquist, and sure as heck wouldn’t throw in Broberg for a 28 yr old career minor league tender.

        McLeod will start producing some points again, but he will never be a big point producer. 1/2 point/game guy for a ceiling? Good size, elite wheels, becoming a good checking C you can throw out against good competition.

        Blackwood is worth a B prospect and a 3rd round pick. Maybe. Decent 16 game stretch, but he isn’t getting either of Broberg or Bourgault IMO. The guy hasn’t been good for 3 years and lost his job to Vanacek and Schmid? I don’t mind targeting him, as maybe he has turned it around, but has to be on the cheap, or move on.

      • McLeod has lots of Speed
        Playing him at 3rd line Centre is Not working out for the Oilers.

        Sam Ganger would be a better fit there
        The oil have nothing on the farm AHL , to fill 3rd line centre……🤔
        The other option is Nuge at 3rd line centre…❓

    • Keep dreaming. The Jackets need to open roster spots for when Severson and Roslovic return. Two of Boqvist, Bean and Peeke need to be traded, possibly all three with Nick Blankenburg being recalled to be the 7thD. And the Jackets are going to want futures in return. In fact, thanks to the number of strong prospects who are d-men in the system, the Jackets are probably going to be willing to listen to offers on their entire blueline corps, save Werenski.

  3. Blackwood had heel or ankle troubles for the last two years maybe three even. I think a perfect candidate for the Oil
    Detroit has 3 MTL has 3 and in theory Calgary has 3 .

    I would look to the Jackets fo D and not their below average goaltending . Someone like Bean

    • S7, I agree he’s a good guy to target, as you should be able to get him for cheap.
      If you want SJ to take Campbell in the deal, now it’s going to get expensive.

  4. Pretty sure in Toronto that the team are hoping that klingberg decides surgery is his only option or a long rehab that never properly worked after the last surgery. Expect Robertson to be moved along with a goalie and either Minton or this year’s first. Minton’s start of the season in the NHL seemed mainly to give some experience and motivation for next year, but could also have been a way to boost his trade value.
    Peeke makes sense maybe Walker if PHI thinks he will cost too much. But expect Treliving to hunt for bargains and developing young hulks who can shoot or hit.
    By the way, Morgan Frost may be discussed if other players are discussed with philly.
    Tre knows cap room now could get Nylander signed before trade deadline.