NHL Rumor Mill – April 20, 2024

by | Apr 20, 2024 | Rumors | 5 comments

Check out the latest on the Flyers, Kings, Blues and Kraken in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


DAILY FACEOFF: Scott Maxwell reports Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere said his club is open for business if there’s a trade that makes sense.

During his end-of-season press conference on Friday, Briere indicated the Flyers’ competitiveness this season won’t change his plans for a long-term rebuild. However, he’s open to making moves that improve his roster right away.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reported Briere backed his head coach John Tortorella, claiming the two sides have “a great relationship”.

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should snuff out speculation over Tortorella’s future with the Flyers that arose as the club stumbled down the stretch.

Briere provided no immediate update on goaltender Carter Hart, who’s on a leave of absence due to the Hockey Canada sexual assault case. The trial reportedly won’t begin until after the start of the 2024-25 season. For now, the Flyers intend to start next season with Samuel Ersson and Ivan Fedotov as their goaltending tandem.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both young goalies did their best but the additional workload after Hart’s departure in January wore them down, especially Ersson. They might be better prepared for next season but don’t rule out the possibility that they add an affordable veteran on a short-term contract.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Before Briere’s press conference, Sam Carchidi speculated over the Flyers GM’s plans for the offseason.

Carchidi wondered if Briere would trade for a true No. 1 defenseman or attempt to bring back former Flyer Sean Walker as a free agent. He believes their lack of a first-line center is a glaring need. He wondered if Briere might roll the dice on Vancouver Canucks center Elias Lindholm, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers only have $3.8 million in projected cap space, though they could get $4 million in cap relief if Ryan Johansen ends up on long-term injury reserve next season. They’ll get another $6.25 million with Ryan Ellis on permanent LTIR.

There’s enough cap room to pursue someone like Lindholm. Based on Briere’s comments, however, he seems more interested in the trade market than signing expensive free agents. Don’t expect Lindholm to suit up for the Flyers next season.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Spencer Lazary believes the Los Angeles Kings must make improving their goaltending a top priority this summer, especially if they make an early exit from the playoffs.

There were reports that the Kings attempted to acquire goalie Linus Ullmark from the Boston Bruins before the March 8 trade deadline but he vetoed the trade. Lazary noted there are few options available in this summer’s free-agent market. Current Kings starter Cam Talbot is among them.

Possible trade targets include Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom, St. Louis’ Jordan Binnington, Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry and Anaheim’s John Gibson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d include Nashville’s Jusse Saros depending on his contract extension talks with Predators management. If the Kings stage a deep playoff run I expect they’ll still be in the market for a new starting goalie to replace the 36-year-old Talbot.

Lazary also believes forward Arthur Kaliyev may be in his final season with the Kings. The 22-year-old winger has been slowly phased out of the lineup and isn’t seeing much ice time when he does play.

Barring a strong playoff performance, Kaliyev could become a trade candidate. He’s completing his entry-level contract and might make a good reclamation project as a trade candidate.


THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford looked at the St. Louis Blues’ offseason priorities. Finding a second-line center, adding secondary scoring and making a move on the blueline are among the issues facing general manager Doug Armstrong.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues have around $13 million in cap space. That’s going to hamper Armstrong’s efforts to address those issues.

Trading one of his high-salaried defensemen would help but the four (Colton Parayko, Torey Krug, Justin Faulk and Nick Leddy) have no-trade protection. Armstrong tried to trade Krug to Philadelphia last June but the blueliner spiked the deal.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Geoff Baker doesn’t see the Kraken replacing general manager Ron Francis but doesn’t rule out head coach Dave Hakstol losing his job.

Baker raised concerns over the regression of several Kraken players this season, including Jared McCann, Eeli Tolvanen, Andre Burakovsky, Oliver Bjorkstrand and 2023 Calder Trophy winner Matty Beniers.


  1. Supply and demand tells me Lindholm is going to be extremely overpaid very soon. Headed to the wrong side of 30, and he’s probably unlikely to score more than 60 points per season and then drop off from there. Anything well over $6M on term will age like McDonald’s french fries. 🍟

  2. Re; UFA Centre Lindholm,

    He has not played that well in Vancouver over the past few months
    He is more of a 2nd line Centre i see him getting $6 to $6.5M PA as a UFA Tops…….
    Some Crazy GM over pays him,
    and there are lots of GM out there doing this, however maybe this past few season where the cap has not gone up may have tought some GM’s a lesson ❓🤔

  3. LA should revisit the Ullmark trade this summer. He may not have wanted to move out West mid-season … maybe starting a new season in a new city – giving the summer to get settled – would be more to his liking.
    Arvidsson & Roy will probably be gone.
    But, they will want to resign Byfield, Lizotte, Grudstrom and Spence.
    Cap space will be tight.

  4. To me you got to wonder the reason for speculating about Francis and Hakstol as just being desperate for someone to read his column? Anyone that knows anything about hockey knows Francis has done a great job with the Kraken as well as Hakstol knocking off the Avalanche last year. I find that just because they missed out on the playoffs this year that there is any reason for them to worry about their jobs? Both guys obviously know more hockey than that guy will ever know!! Write about something worthwhile . GO AVS!!!!

  5. Amazing there would have been any talk about Torts losing his job during the stumble. “It” happens.
    He did a great job. (I’m an unabashed Torts fan.)

    Torts was a Jack Adam’s candidate until the stumble, but Rick Tocchet took a team that wasn’t expected to do much either and kicked serious butt.

    Jim Montgomery… ditto’s.

    Kris Knoblauch is also a worthy mention after the miserable start by the Oilers, but they were expected to be where they are.