NHL Rumor Mill – May 21, 2024

by | May 21, 2024 | Rumors | 35 comments

Check out the latest on the Canucks, Bruins, Hurricanes and Flyers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


ESPN.COM: Ryan S. Clark looked at what the offseason could hold for the Vancouver Canucks following their elimination from the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs.

They’ll have to focus on rebuilding their blueline as defensemen Tyler Myers and Nikita Zadorov are among two of their four pending unrestricted free agents. Filip Hronek will be seeking a raise as a restricted free agent.

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Lindholm (NHL Images).

Forwards Elias Lindholm and Dakota Joshua are also slated to become UFAs. Whatever the Canucks do with their forwards will also be with an eye on new contracts for Brock Boeser and Nils Hoglander next year.

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance believes the Canucks pending UFAs, including forwards Teddy Blueger and Sam Lafferty and defenseman Ian Cole, set themselves up as in-demand players entering this summer’s free-agent market. That means it’ll cost more for the Canucks to retain them.

The Canucks’ to-do list includes maintaining or replacing the size advantage that Zadorov, Myers and Joshua bring to their roster and Lindholm’s two-way skills. Contract negotiations with Hronek could be tricky given his arbitration status, inconsistent playoff performance and what they gave up to acquire him from Detroit last season. They must also add more offense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After years in the wilderness, the Canucks emerged this season among the NHL’s top teams. It won’t be easy to maintain and build on that.

The Canucks have a projected cap space of $24.7 million for 2024-25 with 14 active roster players under contract. They can’t afford to sign all their pending UFAs while Hronek’s contract situation gets complicated because of his erratic postseason play. Lindholm will likely prove too expensive to retain. So could Zadorov. Joshua should be an affordable re-signing but could be tempted by free agency.


THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes trading Linus Ullmark should be an offseason priority for the Boston Bruins. The 30-year-old goaltender has a year left on his contract a cap hit of $5 million. Trading him would clear the way for a Jeremy Swayman-Brandon Bussi goalie tandem and clear cap room for re-signing Swayman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We covered this in yesterday’s NHL Rumor Mill.

Shinzawa also believes the Bruins must acquire an impact center, a scoring right winger and a left-shot defenseman.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss believes the Bruins desperately need to find another elite scoring forward to take some of the burden off David Pastrnak. If they trade Ullmark, they’ll have over $26 million in salary-cap space to address that issue.

Goss suggested Vancouver’s Elias Lindholm as the free agent that makes the most sense. The Bruins were linked to the 29-year-old center before the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins could revisit their interest in Lindholm this summer if he isn’t re-signed by the Canucks.

They could also look at other UFA options but they’re unlikely to chase an expensive big fish like Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, Florida’s Sam Reinhart or Carolina’s Jake Guentzel. Signing one of them would leave the Bruins having to make do with cost-effective lesser talent to address other problem areas.

As for adding a defenseman, Shinzawa suggested Carolina’s Brady Skjei as a worthwhile free-agent option.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell mentioned the issues he hopes to address during the offseason now that head coach Rod Brind’Amour has signed a new contract.

They include deciding which of their unrestricted free agents to re-sign, working out a deal with the KHL to bring over promising defenseman Alexander Nikishin, and finding a right-shot center. Their UFAs include forwards Teuvo Teravainen, Jake Guentzel, Jordan Martinook and Stefan Noesen; defensemen Brady Skjei, Brett Pesce, Jalen Chatfield and Tony DeAngelo; and goaltender Antti Raanta.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pesce is speculated to be heading to market but they could re-sign Skjei. DeAngelo and Raanta won’t be back. It’s expected they’ll push hard to re-sign Guentzel. It’s uncertain whether Teravainen, Martinook, Noesen and Chatfield will be back. I’d love to hear what Hurricanes fans have to say about this topic.

Alexander didn’t mention Martin Necas in his report. It’s believed the 25-year-old restricted free-agent forward could be shopped this summer.


PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Jonathan Bailey cited a report from Russia’s Sport-Express indicating Matvei Michkov could terminate his contract with KHL team SKA St. Petersburg. That would clear the path for the 19-year-old winger to join the Philadelphia Flyers next season. The Flyers selected Michkov with the seventh overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

Bailey indicated the Flyers are aware of the report but unable to confirm it at the time. He subsequently reported that SKA St. Peterburg CEO and VP Roman Rotenberg said there has been dialogue with the Flyers.


  1. I don’t quite get the interest in Ian Cole. Hadn’t thought much about him until this year’s playoffs. He managed to get his name mentioned a lot, but it seems to me it was usually for the wrong reason. Lots of defensive lapses in his game. Am I missing something?

    • Cole has the morals of an alley cat.

      • Why? Because a non verified / anonymous source made an accusation and disappeared? Meanwhile he fully cooperated in the investigation, and nothing was found.

        Or do you know something else that the rest of the world doesn’t?

        This is why if I’m ever accused of a serious crime I’ll take my chances with a bench trial!


    • He has been fine but have had some bad bounces. However, by now he is a 3rd liner so a 2-3 year deal at 1,75-2m makes sense to me

  2. I really think Van has to decide between Lindholm and Hronek. They can’t keep both w/o becoming completely hamstrung by the Cap.
    Trading Hronek for a more affordable RD +, might be the better option…
    But Lindholm has not been stellar in the play offs for the salary demands he has! Not an easy decision.

    • Johnny Z, Lindholm was excellent in the playoffs? 10 (5 & 5) pts in 13 games while also being great defensively, including starting 2/3’s of his shifts in his own end. Was physical too.

      What more do you want out of a guy?

      Lindholm will get paid if he chases the $$. If he wants to contend he will have to take a bit less. We have no idea what he is asking for. There will be no shortage of teams trying to sign him, if he decides to test the market. VCR has a bigger need on D than F this off season, so might have to make some tough decisions.

      There is a reasonable chance he hits the market.

      • Just going by what a Van blogger said about Lindholm early in the playoffs, really did not watch too many of the late games with having to take care of my wife the last 2 weeks. My apologies. This creates more of a conundrum for the Nucks. And then Petey was not showing up on the scoresheet……what is to be made of that!

      • More writers are taking a similar stance on Lindholm as this summery:
        “Lindholm struggled with the Canucks and couldn’t bring the same type of production he had with the Flames to Vancouver. He bounced around the lineup, couldn’t really carve out a significant role and while he managed to record 10 points in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games, it wasn’t enough. With a very thin free-agent crop this summer, look for Lindholm to go to market and cash in.”

        Maybe trade his signing rights to the Canes for Kotkaneimi?
        Canes are looking for a #2 C, Van needs cap space and a C…This is all dependent on these teams other UFA signings of course.

  3. Vancouver are going to lose 2 or 3 of there top 6 d/men as UFA,

    1/ Tyler Myers and Nikita Zadorov are among two of their four, and 3rd pairing Ian Cole.

    26 yr old Filip Hronek playes with Quinn Hughes, they will bring him back could cost them $6-7 M on a 8 year deal.

    Tyler Myers & Ian Cole will be let go….Replaced with younger guys

    UFA up front i think Lindholm is gone in the UFA market, 100% To Boston or CBJ …❓
    bottom six, the 3rd line could also be gone?
    Dakota Joshua,
    Teddy Blueger
    Sam Lafferty

    They may try to keep Big Zadorof back at $4M for 4 years and fill the rest in with UFA & a trade

  4. For the Hurricanes: (note this is what I think will happen, not necessarily what I want to happen)

    UFA’s resigned: Chatfield, Noesen, Martinook, and one of Skjei/Pesce. My guess is they keep Skjei and let Pesce go. But with the premium on RHD, I might have it backwards. They’ll need a PP2 QB, with DeAngelo off to EBay, and Skjei can handle that in a pinch.

    Chatfield should get a hefty raise, Noesen a modest one, and Martinook gets similar or slightly reduced salary.

    UFA’s lost: DeAngelo, Raanta (not really any decision to be made on those 2).

    Teravainen. He’s a handy guy to have around, and generally makes those around him better, but he’s probably just too expensive to keep with $’s needed elsewhere.

    UFA’s: who knows? Guentzel. I can’t begin to guess his status. I think if he wants to stay, they’ll make it happen. But I have no insight there.

    Necas is an interesting case, and probably a lot of the roster decisions await clarification there. My guess, and it’s purely that, is that he’s dealt for a D (or D+), effectively replacing Pesce. If that happens, then the likelihood of Guentzel staying probably increases.

    • Will be interesting to see how contracts for Necas and Guentzel go. I’d rather keep Necas for $5M or so rather than Guentzel for $9M+.
      This would give the Canes more flexibility.

  5. Johnny Z I don’t think the Canucks keep Lindholm UNLESS Pettersson is traded. Hronek’s future in Vancouver is also in the air. Can see the Canes and Canucks trading. Necas for Hronek straight up. Both teams help each other address their weakness. Canucks need Necas more than Hronek and Canes need Hronek more than Necas. Plus there’s the Rutherford factor. Whether Hronek is dealt or resigns I’d say it’s like 50/50.

    • What is the Rutherford factor?

    • Exactly, Petey would give them a haul! But I dared not to suggest it. 😄

  6. I built a team out of the ufa class; is it a playoff team?

    Guentzel Stamkos Reinhart
    Mantha Lindholm Tarasenko
    Bertuzzi Stephenson Domi
    Debrusk Roslovic Amadio

    Skjei Pesce
    Zadorov Montour
    Dillon Tanev


    • Cap wouldn’t work regardless.

    • Lol Brock, it isn’t based on fact.

  7. Canucks biggest worry is going to be Pettersson. Is he going to be 90 Pete or the invisible Skinny Pete we saw in the playoffs.

    With 8 more years to go Nucks are hoping for the former.

  8. The following is a link to the interview with Waddell and BrindAmour:


    Waddell states that Carolina has been working on a deal to have Nikishin on the roster next season. He currently has a KHL contract through 2025. Waddell stated that he wanted a definitive answer before free agency started. Ive been assuming that part of the reason Orlov was brought in was to mentor Nikishin through the transition but Orlov’s contract also ends in 2025. Assuming Carolina extends Slavin and he is their highest paid left defenseman then that leaves Orlov, Nikishin and Skjei as potential #2 left Defensemen. Carolina cant afford the cap hit of both Skjei and Orlov. Skjei is a better defenseman than Orlov but Orlov can play either side. That becomes important if Carolina loses both Chatfield and Pesce on the right side. Not to mention Burns contract expires next season. There are a lot of moving pieces on Carolina’s defense. Chatfield was a no brainer to sign last summer and Carolina didn’t get it done so there is more to that than has been made public. Carolina signed RD Morrow who is expected to be top 4D in the future but he doesn’t appear to be ready for that role yet. With all of those variables it’s easy to see why Waddell needs to know when Nikishin starts his career in Carolina before free agency starts.

    My preference is to sign Skjei and Chatfield and trade Orlov. ( if needed to be cap compliant.) I favor Chatfield over Pesce because he is more durable, more physical, a faster skater, and more affordable than Pesce.

  9. Ullmark as discussed yesterday can do a lot to prevent a trade altogether but definitely can tank his trade value. If he does insist he wa ts to stay in Boston and Boston really needs to move him they should declare swayman the undisputed starter. Going into ufa after next year… if ullmark wants paid… he’ll need to start somewhere.

    • Bruins could always just waive him if no one wants to pay the piper. If he clears, he can enjoy playing in the AHL.

  10. The comments from Waddell and BrindAmour concerning Necas were interesting. They said his return on a trade would not match his value and that he needs to take his game to another level. They would rather keep him and help him get to the next level. That statement implies they have already had discussions with other teams.

    I agree with Whalercane, if Carolina signs Guentzel Necas will be traded.

  11. Waddell said he is in the market for a right handed center. In other words we wish we had LIndholm or Trochek back.

    If Carolina signs Guentzel they should move Jarvis to center.

  12. Lindholm s best opportunity is with Boston! Immediately becomes 1st line center . Can play with Pasta on the PP and can kill penalties! Will help out on face offs! No brainer!

    • Hey Sr, not sure what they get for Ullmark in the off season, or if they even wait for the TDL if the market isn’t developing. Seems like a 1st is doable, or an somewhat proven young player who looks like an NHLer.

      Let’s assume the rumor is accurate and no western teams on his NTC.

      The most interesting team in the east, that has an obvious need is NJ. NJ a great regular season last year, even beat the Rags in the post season. Stunk it up this year, but missing one of their best, if not best, players in Hamilton.

      Does NJ think they can contend with a tender? The roster looks pretty good.

      I would target, if a forward, is Mercer who struggled this year, was very good last year. Or Holtz. If hunting for a D I ask for Bahl. The guy is huge and has 1 full season under his belt, so will need more time. But seems like the type of guy most of us Bruin fans think we need.

      Their 1st is #10. Good pick, might be a decent D man available, but that player is likely 4-5 years away from being a good contributor. I prefer the player, but who knows what the market actually is.

      I think NJ would prefer to move a forward where they have more depth.

      • That should have been addressed to Joe

      • Hey Ray Bark! Those are pretty good options that you presented with NJ!Worse case scenario,trade him for draft picks and use his 5 million towards a good free agent signing!Another team worth pursuing is Vegas! They have players they have to move because of the cap! Stephenson is a free agent center worth looking at,or potentially a trade for William Karlsson!

  13. Bruins … are they better served getting a draft pick or picks for Ullmark and use his $$$ for a UFA or are they better trying to trade him for a need now ? He’s probably not going to bring a offensive player back but could bring back a top 4 LS Dman..

  14. In a perfect world I’d like to see Staios lure UFAs Montour, Pesce and DeMelo to Ottawa for pairings as follows

    Sanderson – Montour
    Chabot – Pesce
    Kleven – DeMelo
    Bernard-Docker as the 7th D

    That would allow him to deal RD Artem Zub ($4.6 mil for 3 seasons – then a UFA); LD/RD Jacob Chychrun ($4.6 mil for 1 season – then a UFA
    LD/RD LW Eric Brannstrom (RFA); RD Travis Hamonic ($1.1 mil for 1 year – then a UFA – to acquire Fs to bolster 3rd/4th lines, pk and perhaps a good back-up goalie.

    Unfortunately we don’t live in a Perfect World.

    • Considering his chemistry with JMo, I don’t see the Jets letting DeMelo walk.

      Montour has to be a priority for the Panthers too.

      Pesce will probably be available, but will get to pump his value to like $7M+ a year. That is a lot for a guy who’s going to be 30 soon and who only scores 20-25 points a season.

      • Heh … yeah … just daydreamin’ om technicolour

      • om? that was supposed to be “in” – letters all fading on the blinking keyboard.

      • Brock

        I don’t see Pesce getting more than $6.5M precisely because he’s not a points producer.
        His salary is likely a bit inflated by the premium paid for RHD.

        It will be I retesting to see what Myers and Zadorov get on the open market.

      • I think it’s possible just because there’s going to be a bidding war, unless he’s got a specific destination in mind.

  15. Carolina may be buying out Koko also. This will give them over $4M in cap room.