Biggest NHL Trade Rumors 2022: Eastern Conference Teams

This year, there have already been a number of big rumors circulating around the NHL’s Eastern Conference. With the holiday break on and a lull in the action, it feels like the right time to look back at some of the loudest trade talks that were, are, and will be out there.

Maple Leafs Have Money to Spend

A team that found bad luck when it came to injuries around every corner, the biggest loss is Jake Muzzin because he’s unlikely to be back for the Maple Leafs this season, if ever. Morgan Rielly going down is a loss, as were the goaltenders (both of whom are back now) but Muzzin is the one player that gives the Maple Leafs room to make a move.

Jake Muzzin Toronto Maple Leafs
Jake Muzzin, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

His $5.625 million salary will be something GM Kyle Dubas intends to use ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline and the Leafs have been linked to almost every big name. Insiders aren’t sure if they prioritize a defender or a forward but they have to make a move and ensure that they do more than just get into the playoffs.

Are Rangers the Favorite to Lane Patrick Kane?

The New York Rangers are a team fans are watching closely if only because they’ve been linked to Patrick Kane since it was first rumored he could be in play as a trade deadline rental. No doubt many teams will be looking at Kane but the Rangers are a favorite and the idea of reuniting Kane with Artemi Panarin has insiders intrigued.

Canadiens Selling, But Who Exactly?

The Montreal Canadiens are expected to be among the busier teams this trade deadline as they retool their roster for the coming seasons. Names like Josh Anderson, Mike Hoffman, David Savard, and Joel Edmundson have been mentioned as potential targets among those who still have term remaining on their contracts. Among potential rentals, Jonathan Drouin, Evgeni Dadonov, and Sean Monahan could be dealt.

Sean Monahan Montreal Canadiens
Sean Monahan, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The narrative has changed slightly since the start of the season. What was going to be a season that brought the Canadiens a ton of prospects and pucks might not get them as much as they hoped. The retool some of their players won’t be great considering the other big names available and the Canadiens are rethinking the idea of even trading Monahan, who has been great despite a recent injury.

Are the Senators In or Out on Jakob Chychrun?

When it comes to trading for a defenseman, the Ottawa Senators have been front and center in the NHL rumor mill. They’ve been listed as a team that has identified a big need in that regard and have been linked to big names like Jakob Chychrun and Erik Karlsson.

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When it comes to Chychrun, the latest is that the Senators are still interested but not at the current asking price, which is believed to be somewhere in the range of two first-round picks and a player.

Flyers Looking to Move Big-Name Veterans

This has not been a great start for the Flyers under new coach John Tortorella. He came in suggesting this team had no heart and he’s finding out that his team has little skill or available veterans either. Cam Atkinson underwent neck surgery on Dec. 21 and that will mean the end of his season with the Philadelphia Flyers. Ryan Ellis was already lost for the year. Sean Couturier is out for a lengthy period of time. Now, it appears the team intends to buy out Kevin Hayes’ deal and trade James van Riemsdyk.

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Needless to say, the Flyers will be trying to make some big deals for players not a lot of teams will be lining up to acquire or big assets for. The biggest name that could possibly move is Travis Konecny, but it’s not clear how active the Flyers will be in trying to trade the remainder of his $5.5 million per season deal that has two more seasons on it.

Capitals Will Help Ovechkin Break Scoring Record

While Alex Ovechkin tries to become the NHL’s all-time greatest goal scorer, the Capitals have said they will help him out in any way they can. That means not rebuilding while he’s going for the record and likely even trying to add if there are affordable options out there on the trade market.