NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2023

by | Dec 8, 2023 | Rumors | 14 comments

A roundup of trade and free-agent rumors involving defensemen and goaltenders in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving wants to add a right-shot defenseman. However, the asking prices around the league are too high and the Leafs are limited in what they could offer up in terms of draft picks.

Dreger speculates that Treliving would be willing to part with a second-round pick for Calgary Flames blueliner Chris Tanev. However, the Leafs currently don’t have a second-rounder. Philadelphia Flyers rearguard Sean Walker could cost a first-rounder if they were willing to part with him. The Anaheim Ducks’ Ilya Lyubushkin has also been the subject of trade rumors but they don’t want to part with the former Leaf just yet.

Pierre LeBrun said the Flames have received calls on Tanev. However, they’re in no rush to move him and are willing to let his value on the market grow.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There is a risk in hanging onto Tanev as he could get injured. Still, it’s best to let some time go by and see if they can get a better return for him near the March trade deadline.

It’s going to cost the Leafs to find a suitable right-shot defenseman. They don’t have enough trade capital right now to make it work right now. Perhaps they’ll have better luck later in the season when more blueliners become available as the trade deadline approaches.

Nashville Predators defenseman Tyson Barrie (NHL Images)

LeBrun reports the Carolina Hurricanes’ Tony DeAngelo and the Nashville Predators’ Tyson Barrie are on the market. They’re both puck-moving, power-play defensemen but there’s nothing imminent on either player right now. LeBrun doesn’t think the Predators want to retain any part of Barrie’s $4.5 million salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie recently expressed his frustration over being a healthy scratch. He said he wants to play but whether it’s in Nashville or elsewhere is up to the Predators’ front office. The reality may be that his salary is simply too expensive to move in a season when so many teams are pressed for salary-cap space. If the Preds won’t retain salary, Barrie could be cooling his heels for a while waiting for a trade.

Chris Johnston reports unrestricted free agent defenseman Ethan Bear is close to returning to action after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The Vancouver Canucks are interested in bringing him back but the Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins are believed among the interested clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear will be a very affordable addition to any club’s blueline right now. That’s why there’s so much interest among teams looking for a cost-effective right-shot defenseman.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka poured cold water on a recent rumor by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying he had “no doubt” the San Jose Sharks wanted to trade Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Pashelka noted that the 36-year-old Vlasic’s age, declining performance and expensive contract (with a three-team trade clause) make him very difficult to move. Even if the Sharks included a sweetener in the deal, they’d still have to retain half of Vlasic’s $7 million average annual value, and they’re not in a good position to do that.

If the Sharks want to part ways with Vlasic, one option is buying out the remainder of his contract next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks only have one salary-retention spot left. They could be saving that for another player with more years remaining on his contract than Vlasic.

THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman recently listed six possible trade destinations for Flyers defenseman Sean Walker. The Maple Leafs topped her list, followed by the Devils, Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche and the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Walker’s value is growing in the trade market as a lot of clubs like his style of play and affordable ($2.65 million) cap hit. If the Flyers were out of playoff contention (as they were projected to be when this season began), they’d have no problem with peddling him for the right offer.

However, the Flyers are outperforming expectations this season. Walker’s fit in well since coming over from the Los Angeles Kings in an offseason trade. Unless GM Daniel Briere receives a mindblowing offer, he could hang on to Walker if the Flyers remain a playoff club by the trade deadline.

TSN: The Oilers yesterday loaned Philip Broberg to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. Trade rumors have swirled about the 22-year-old defenseman after a report emerged that he’d been permitted to seek a trade. Oilers GM Ken Holland denied the report but Broberg’s agent claimed he’s “actively collaborating” with Holland to address this matter.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the Detroit Red Wings are comfortable carrying the trio of goaltenders Ville Husso, James Reimer and Alex Lyon for the full season. He adds the caveat that they could listen if someone steps up with a good enough offer.

The Montreal Canadiens, however, are still willing to move one of their three netminders. They’re listening to offers on Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau and would be willing to trade either goalie. He indicated there hasn’t been an offer yet but it’s still early. LeBrun noted the Devils, Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes are teams to monitor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And bang goes the illusion that the Canadiens inked Sam Montembeault to a three-year deal to bolster his trade value. He’s their guy and once they move Allen or Primeau we’ll see him garner a lot more starts.


  1. They could have had Schenn signed for a little more than half of Tanev’s current contract.

    Not only did they give up an asset to rent Schenn for one playoff win but now they’re going to have to give up more capital for a higher priced defenseman who could up being a rental again anyway.

    I still like Tanev but I feel Schenn should have stayed.

    • Not their worst move Frank. They traded a first and a fourth for Foligno, who played all of 7 games and then signed with Boston the next year.

      • Meanwhile, Dubas could have acquired Bennett for a 2nd round pick and a prospect instead of Foligno.
        One of many Dubas mistakes.

    • With Woll projected to be out for some time, do the Leafs now join those teams in search of a goaltender? And considering their obvious need for one to back Samsonov, to what extend does the cost rise? Do they go with Jones and Samsonov?

      • They’ll likely stick with Ilya Samsonov and Martin Jones and pray that Woll won’t be sidelined for too long.

      • Letting Schenn and Gustafsson walk for nothing so he could sign Klingberg was just one of many mistakes made by Treliving in his first 6 months on the job.

      • Meanwhile, Dubas could have acquired Bennett for a 2nd round pick and a prospect instead of Foligno.
        One of many Dubas mistakes.

      • The whole reason for signing Jones was for just this eventuality!

    • Frank it wasn`t the cap hit so much as the term. Toronto wouldn`t give him 3 years and watching Schenn in Nashville, they were right not to. I thought Schenn was a great fit in T.O. but 34 and 3 x 2,75 not a great combo

  2. So I wonder what Broberg’s agent meant by “actively collaborating” with Holland?

    Agents said he had permission to seek a trade, Holland said that is false. I’m going with Holland’s take on this as agents leak this type of thing to try and spur action. GM’s don’t as it isn’t in their interest.

    Is this actively collaborating?

    “Ken, I want to call MTL about a possible trade for Broberg.”


  3. His new nickname should be Thomas “Storage Unit” Chabot.

    I know a rut in the ice can cause injury to anyone who happens to get his skate caught in it … but this guy seems to have taken on the local Injury Bug Gremlin that pursued Matt Murray everywhere. And here I thought maybe it had gone on to Toronto with him. But apparently not.

  4. All the defenceman in the rumour mill are not moving the needle on the Leafs speedometer. Instead of trying to make trades. Fire the coach and have someone come in and teach the Leafs positioning in your own zone. Example, wingers take the point man rather than stand beside the net.

  5. Which G is traded from Wings is the question. I think we want to see what we have with Lyon. Could be a case for an overpay for Reimer shakes him loose or if Lyon seems like a viable 1A option Husso could be a nice add for sine of these teams. Dream scenario is Hellyabuck for Husso a 2nd and Bergeren or similar tier prospect.

  6. A dream indeed Dmart, Hellebuyck isn’t going anywhere as the Jets love their goalie situation now and for the next 8 years. Before resigning we all thought Detroit might be Hellebuycks destination as he is a Michigan kid. Jet nation is happy it didn’t shake out that way.