NHL Rumor Mill – April 22, 2024

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Rumors | 13 comments

Could the Flyers part ways with Cam Atkinson, Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost? What’s the latest on the Penguins goaltenders? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Jonathan Bailey believes the Flyers and Cam Atkinson could part ways during the offseason. The 34-year-old winger finished the season on a 23-game pointless skid and was a healthy scratch for 12 games.

Atkinson missed all of 2022-23 with a neck injury. He had a good start to this season but his production declined in the second half.

Bailey noted that Atkinson looked and sounded miserable during his exit interview with the media. He also pointed out that Flyers general manager Daniel Briere nor head coach John Tortorella used their opportunities to say Atkinson would return next season. Bailey speculated that Atkinson could be bought out of the final season of his contract.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Cam Atkinson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bailey also pointed out that Atkinson’s production was declining before Briere’s predecessor acquired the winger from the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2021. His neck injury and age are likely the key factors behind that drop-off in his performance.

Trading Atkinson is almost impossible at this stage. He carries a $5.875 million cap hit for next season. Buying him out would leave them with a cap hit of $2.358 million for 2024-25 dropping to $1.758 million in 2025-26.

Bailey also cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wondering if the Flyers might move Joel Farabee in the offseason. The 24-year-old left winger didn’t sound like he was happy in his role with the club during his exit interview.

The Flyers have a lot of wingers on their roster and within their prospect system. Farabee is in the second year of a six-year, $30 million contract and lacks no-trade protection.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz also wondered if Farabee has a future with the Flyers beyond this season. Briere felt that Farabee and Noah Cates didn’t develop as well as expected this season but believes they can take on bigger roles.

Kurz also ponders Morgan Frost’s future in Philadelphia. The 24-year-old center struggled through the first half of the season but his production improved after he initiated a meeting with Tortorella. Frost has a year left on his contract with a $2.1 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Farabee, Frost or Cates could become trade chips if Briere intends to shake things up this summer. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Flyers GM remains patient and gives those three another season to find their game.

It could be worth watching those three during the offseason, especially leading up to the NHL Draft on June 28-29. That’s usually the period when summer trade activity is at its busiest.


TRIBLIVE.COM: Justin Guerriero reports Pittsburgh Penguins starting goaltender Tristan Jarry got a vote of confidence from head coach Mike Sullivan and general manager Kyle Dubas during their end-of-season interviews last week.

It appears the 28-year-old Jarry will remain the Penguins’ starter going forward despite the struggles that saw him supplanted by backup Alex Nedeljkovic down the stretch.

Dubas revealed Jarry battled an illness in early April which partially explains why Nedeljkovic got more playing time late in the season. Still, the latter got the call more often than Jarry with the club’s backs to the wall in the playoff chase.

Trading Jarry would be a big change in the Penguins’ plans after re-signing him to a five-year contract last summer. However, it’s doesn’t appear that’s afloat based on Sullivan’s and Dubas’ comments.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports the signs point to the Penguins parting ways with Nedeljkovic.

The 28-year-old netminder is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. They could let him walk to make room for promising Joel Blomqvist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jarry’s contract would be difficult to move given his inconsistent play this season. He’s signed through 2027-28 with an average annual value of $5.37 million and a 12-team no-trade list.

Barring a surprising move, Jarry and Blomqvist will be the Penguins’ goalie tandem next season.


  1. Farabee would be a good option for the Habs if the Flyers look to trade him. He’d be a solid second line winger who’d chip in 25 or so goals and 50 or so points per year, a good fit to play with Dach and Newhook.

    • Maybe, Howard. But what do the Habs have to offer? The Flyers have loads of draft picks so it would have to be for one of the Habs’ D. The Flyers do have Johnson and Staal really getting up there in age, but their D is otherwise pretty solid.

  2. I’m sure if the Flyers look to deal him, the line would start to the left, Howard.

    He’s the kind of player that teams will over-pay to get. Not huge – 6′ about 190 lbs – but solid and a 1st round pick – 14th overall.

    D you think the Habs would relinquish one of their 2 1st round picks?

    • Yes the Habs would definitely give up Winnipegs first. And a young Dman like Barron or Harris.

      • A Winnipeg 1st and a Dman like Barron except for the cap hit, at $5million for 4 years he blows the salary structure.

      • Maybe not, HF30; the Habs are indeed tight to the cap and the $ freed by Pearson leaving now is eaten by Montembeault’s new deal.

        But the Habs can’t bring in offensive help for free. And after next season Armia, Savard and Dvorak will go freeing 10 million plus. It is possible to bring in an offensive player this year and with two years of cap increases still deal with Guhle, Slav and Xhekaj.

      • From the outside looking in, it seems like the Habs are still in the earlier part of this rebuild. The average length is 7 years to get back into the playoffs. An example is OTT just completing year 7. BUF just finished year 12.

        IMO this didn’t really start until Bergevin got fired early in 21/22 and the TDL of 2022. There are a few more years of missing playoffs in the near future.

        If it was me I look for an offensive type of UFA on a 1 or 2 year deal. A guy like Henrique or Arvidsson who will provide some secondary scoring while MTL drafts and develops more scoring talent. When MTL falls short of the playoffs again, which they will very likely do, try to move these guys and get more assets.

        All those young D need time, 2-3 more seasons at least, I would suggest, before they are playoff caliber/ready.

        Patience required, keep that space to try and use it to get even more assets. When the time is right those assets can be used go after a guy like Farabee. Too early for that move IMO.

        If I was Hughes I would planning for the 26/27 season.

      • That’s pretty good thinking, Ray. I am hoping they bring back Monahan under just the contract you are suggesting.

        If hopes and dreams and all that, but it is possible that the Habs can make the playoffs next year – IF – they can bring in at least one scoring forward and IF Dach stays healthy.

        The Habs must have led the league in one goal losses, and that is with a team that had three forth lines. By that wishful thinking they aren’t as far away as you and others think.

        Yeah, I know, but who wants to sit thinking their team is three years away from the playoffs.

      • Ray I see it as the perfect time to bring in a guy like Farabee. He’s 24 years old and on his way up. They have the draft capital to make the trade and a lot of picks to spare. A player his age fits the rebuild like Dach and Newhook.

      • Both are reasonable ways to look at LJ and Howard.
        A 1st and one of those young D have value too. I guess it depends on which D.
        If they could find a way to include Anderson, ya go for it. Not sure Hughes could pull that off though.
        Thinks are trending up in Hab land either way.

  3. I wouldn’t buy out cam. They shouldn’t need the cap space. Keep him. Hope he plays decent hold half and move at deadline.

  4. Both Penguins goalies had bouts of down and stretches of good play

    Too much has been made about how Pens did down the stretch with Nedjelkovic

    Someone will overpay for him and it better NOT be Dubas

    The fact is, Jarry was supplanted after a 3 game stretch in which 15 pucks hit the mesh behind him

    What people looking at stats don’t realize is that thr players in front of him were absolutely playing awful and 12 of the 15 were impossible stops (multi bounces; tips/deflections with huge changes in flight; full eclipse screens

    Enter Nedjelcovic; with ramped up performances in Pens offence and a much better overall Pens defensive game

    Yet all that is in media is wind and game points logged by Nedelkovic down the stretch

    What they are not looking at

    Of 11 starts since March 28th

    7/11 at 0.89 Save percentage or less

    6/11 at .88 or less

    4/11 at .84 or less

    In those 11 games; his save percentage overall: .887

    Overall if you back out just the 3 game stretch in late March (where there was no D; and 12/15 goals impossible to stop)… Jarry’s year then would be 915 save percentage with 6 shutouts; that would have Jarry in 11th spot in Save percentage; and still tied for 1st in shitouts

    Nedjelkovic’s year 902, 1 shutout

    Other GMs will just see the Penguins surge at the end of season and seriously overvalue Nedjelkovic; undervalue Jarry (they’d lose big in a trade)

    Let another GM overpay Nedjelkovic; bring up Bloomy; save big in Cap space; end with a better back up

    Dubas can ill afford to overpay another UFA

    It’s Bloomy’s turn

  5. Frost appears to me the most skilled and the one I would target. If he is available. Flyers would want a lot. Feels like he has one foot in the doghouse In Philadelphia . Conroy should make a call. Any team needing a young center with upside should make a call.