NHL Rumor Mill – June 9, 2022

by | Jun 9, 2022 | Rumors | 65 comments

Updates on Johnny Gaudreau, Claude Giroux and David Pastrnak plus the latest on the Oilers in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes Johnny Gaudreau’s sincerity over his public statements that he loves playing in Calgary. He thinks the 28-year-old left winger will give the Flames a chance to sign him. However, LeBrun wouldn’t be surprised if the Gaudreau camp decides to test the unrestricted free agent market on July 13.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

The New Jersey Devils have been mentioned as a potential suitor for Gaudreau given their salary-cap room. LeBrun also suggested the Seattle Kraken as a bit of a wild card but they also have the cap space and could be aggressive in the UFA market.

THE ATHLETIC: Hailey Salvian included the Devils among her list of potential destinations for Gaudreau. The Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders and Nashville Predators are other possibilities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Flames will do all they can to keep Gaudreau in the fold. Still, you can’t blame him if he wants to consider all his options.

The Devils are an up-and-coming team in need of an established first-line winger. Gaudreau was born and raised in South Jersey. It’s only natural to assume they’d be among his pursuers.

It’s easy to dismiss the Kraken because they’re a new team still building their roster. However, general manager Ron Francis raised eyebrows by signing Philipp Grubauer and Jaden Schwartz last summer. It’s a long shot but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Gaudreau landing in Seattle.

I don’t see the Flyers and Islanders signing Gaudreau unless they’re prepared to clear cap space for what could be a seven-year, $70 million contract. The Penguins would have the cap room if Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang depart via free agency The chance to play alongside Sidney Crosby could be tempting.

Predators GM David Poile could be in the market for a new left winger if he fails to get Filip Forsberg under contract. If he balks at signing Forsberg for $8.5 million annually, I don’t see him handing out up to $10 million annually for Gaudreau.

Turning to Claude Giroux, LeBrun said the 34-year-old center’s priority is re-signing with the Florida Panthers. It won’t be easy given their salary-cap limitations but they’ve informed him that they’re interested in signing him.

Failing that, he wants to find a team where he can chase the Stanley Cup but also a place for his young family.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following Giroux’s trade to Florida, there was speculation he could sign with his hometown Ottawa Senators if he won a Cup this spring. That faded after the Panthers were eliminated in the second round. We’ll see if it gets resurrected if he goes to market in July.

BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy reports David Pastrnak’s agent refuted a recent report claiming his client had an issue with Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. The report cited a source close to Pastrnak saying he wouldn’t sign with the Bruins if Sweeney remain GM.

In an email to Conroy, JP Barry said he spoke with the winger and they have no idea where that story came from. “We both have a strong relationship with Don and the plan hasn’t changed one bit. We will sit down in July and begin extension negotiations.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak is slated next summer to become a UFA. The recent firing of head coach Bruce Cassidy, uncertainty over captain Patrice Bergeron’s future and injuries sidelining Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy from the start of next season contributed to concerns over the club’s ability to sign the talented winger.

Barry’s remarks should alleviate some of the concern about Pastrnak’s future among Bruins fans. However, that speculation will return and grow the longer he goes unsigned over the course of this summer.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples listed the highlights of Oilers’ general manager Ken Holland’s season wrap-up press conference on Wednesday.

Holland indicated he’s interested in bringing back Evander Kane. The 30-year-old winger meshed with Oilers captain Connor McDavid after coming to Edmonton in January as a free agent. He doesn’t know if Kane wants to return but intends to meet with him next week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers got Kane for a bargain at $2 million for this season. He’s going to want much more than that on his next contract. Finding the cap space to keep him will be challenging for Holland.

The Oilers GM appears uncertain about Jesse Puljuarvi’s future. He intends to meet with his agent, admitting he has to sort out where the 24-year-old restricted free agent winger fits into the club’s plans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s already speculation that Puljujarvi could get traded instead of re-signed this summer.

Staples’ colleague Jim Matheson wondered if the winger could be shipped to the Chicago Blackhawks for Dylan Strome, who was Connor McDavid’s former junior teammate. However, he cautions the Oilers should be careful not to give up too soon on Puljujarvi.

Montreal Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy suggested Puljujarvi could be a fit with the rebuilding Canadiens. Sammi Silber of Washington Hockey Now thinks the Capitals should keep an eye on the Oilers winger.

Holland indicated that salary-cap constraints will make it difficult to keep his current roster intact.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, some players who are unrestricted free agents won’t be back. There could also be one or two cost-cutting trades to free up cap room for other additions.


  1. What is Pasta thinking …..I hope the Bruins sign me to a 8 year contract or I hope the Bruins trade me .. with PB very possibly not coming back,can’t talk DK in coming back,BM & CM out for at least 3 months of the season, no legit 1st or 2nd line center currently on the team and the Bruins looking at some kind of rebuild this offseason and next …its a tough decision to make, I’m leaning that they trade Pasta

    • Pasta isn’t going anywhere. He and his agent just said as much.pretty cut and dry. He will resign for 8.5 on 8 yrs

    • I think everyone one this board knows where that rumor came from. Don’t we Rick?

  2. Puljularvi could blossom somewhere else. Who cares if he isn’t doing it in Edmonton. Sam Bennett two seconds. Very similar situations

    Love Johnny but think it is a mistake at $10m . The missing piece is any level of physicality .Like Mackinon Draisaitl Calgary can give the extra year which is their favour

    • What do you thing Oilers would want for Puljujarvi? Would a roster player and a second round pick be enough? Or Puljujarvi and a salary dump for a B prospect. Inquiring minds want to know?

    • It’s difficult to believe that JP will be successful elsewhere if he couldn’t playing with McDavid/Draisaitl.

    • I too think whomever does pony up 10 million for Johnny Hockey. Will end up with buyer remorse in 3 years

      • Agreed. But that’s when you hope he develops an allergy to his equipment……

    • Either Tkachuk or Goodreau goes, you can’t fill the other holes or sign your other assets if both stay. If you sign Johnny, trade Matty for 3-4 good assets! Give Mangy and Kyller there raises! Field a balanced team as you have, rather than fight the cap and have 2 $10M players eating up your depth for 8 yrs!

    • I care if he blossoms somewhere else S7.
      JP was the Oil’s 6th leading goal scorer this year, and ya he had some time with McD. He also missed time with an injury, played hurt, got sick missed some more.
      He skates, he hits, he forechecks, his analytics are through the roof, as are everybody else’s when they play with him. And for those who poo poo analytics, he is plus 22. He struggles to finish, and can look clumsy doing it. That can be improved.

      Big, lanky, younger guy. They take a while.

      He is contributing in a positive way, is cheap, with upside.

      Best comparison I heard was Nichushkin, who was the same way, and is an important, inexpensive, contributor to a very good COL team.

      Don’t give up on this kid, there is zero reason to trade him. If I am missing the reason to trade him, I would luv to hear it. 2 2nds don’t help the Oilers, there window is now.

      A GM like Sakic or Yzerman would be all over this kid for what he brings.

      Keep the young cheaper guys who should continue to improve, and if Kane wants big $ and big term (he will, because why wouldn’t he), let him walk.

      Only way I trade JP, is for a good young tender with ability to play 50 games. No idea who that is, but maybe Holland does.

      • Exactly!!! Well said Ray!

      • So i think the Oil will really try to bring Kane back. That being said that likely means one of Yamo or JP coming back.

        Who would you rather sign assuming you can only bring 1 of those 2 back.

      • I think they will try too, but how do they fit him in Great Gonzo? There is no doubt he made them a better team.

        Using Smith and Skinner as their tenders next year, they are at a little over $71M with 7 to sign.
        Including JP, Yamo and Macleod

        Kind of what I am saying, I keep all 3 young guys and find the $ elsewhere. The roster will also include Broberg on the cheap as well as Holloway (probably) also on ELC.

        Whether Smith retires or not, I still hunt for a tender. Word is he got hurt again in the playoffs, which is not shocking considering his age. No idea where he gets one, so if he doesn’t maybe you can keep Kane?

        Barrie is moveable, Kassian maybe you can, so some moves out there to free up space.

        I dunno, but I keep all 3 young guys. Need good players on less expensive deals.

      • Ray, their cap situation shows them with $70,307,128 committed to 15, including Smith with one more year to go at $2.2 mil. I doubt he walks away and retires, leaving that amount behind. They also have $4,166,667 on dead cap which leaves them $7,130,205 to sign 8.

        Their 3 RFAs IMcLeod – $834,167 – Puljujarvi and Yamamoto, each coming off a $1,175,000 cap hit, collectively accounted for $3,184,167 so, if and when all 3 are re-upped that will likely cost in the $5.5 mil range, with Yamamoto, who had 20g 21a 41 pts in 81gp, getting the biggest hike.

        That would leave them $1,830,205 to sign 5. So, unless a big-ticket – or perhaps 2 medium-range player cap hits – go through trade, they can pretty much forget about Kane. In fact, that $1,830,205 wouldn’t even be enough to add 5 ELCs to get up to 23, so one way or another, to get a complete roster they need to move some bodies.

        Holland does have one more year of Klefbom’s $4,167,000 cap hit on LTIR so that’ll help towards fleshing out the roster with ELC call-ups on Day 1 but really, making cap room for Kane – who’ll easily get $7 mil on the open market – is just not an option from this vantage point.

      • Well Ray, I think if you asked McDavid he wants Kane back in the folder hence my question.

        My guess is that Kane will get some sort of settlement and sign with Oil. Not sure what that looks like but if he does they need to cut bait elsewhere.

        Not to mention they really need to get a bigger stronger physical dman

      • Ya GG, for the Oil’s sake it would be great if he signed for way less than he could on open market, but I’m still skeptical even if he wins his case with SJ, sound like he has a good chance at it.
        But, he also filed for bankruptcy protection due to excessive debt (gambling I believe), and I believe it was before his contract was terminated.

        Does that mean he creditors can take some of that SJ salary? I dunno, but maybe?

        Either way, he ain’t flush by 30 yr old star NHL player standards. Methinks he makes as much as he can. Again, don’t blame the guy, he has sole custody of a child and that should be his first priority.

  3. Outside of consistency in the net I can Ottawa taking the next step already. Not an easy team to skate with for 60 minutes.

    Pasta is exactly what the Canes need.

    • Any trade w/ Pasta and Canes starts with Aho!

    • ds, one thing Dorion has concentrated on during the re-build process is skating ability and, when finally at full strength with the returns of Norris, Batherson and White from injuries, that became evident to any team playing them. They don’t let up. And with Sanderson joining the D next season full time they become even more relentless in that regard.

      The Achilles Heel, as you point out, is in goal. Forsberg is very very good in his role – which is that of a back-up. It’s when he’s pressed into continuous service due to Murray’s frequent ailments that some flaws begin to appear. For them to have a chance at challenging for a playoff spot, Murray HAS to be back in form and stay the Hell off the IR.

      The talk about Giroux will heat up again when it dawns on Florida that, without some major cap movement, they simply can’t afford him. But if he ever did sign with Ottawa it would need to be as a RW because, going forward, the 1 2 C spots belong to Norris and Stutzle and you don’t want a 3rd line C making the kind of coin Giroux will get on the open market.

      I think, in the end, if they do add a top RW it will be someone with term from another organization who absolutely must clear cap space. And NOT Fiala, who demonstrated in the playoffs – 3 lousy assists – that he might well be a flash-in-the-pan ready to become someone albatross contract, nor the return of Dadonov.

      They have the assets to make it happen, including this years 7th overall and some decent ELC prospects like D-men Jacob Bernard-Docker or Lassi Thompson, along with several ELC F at Belleville who, forming a 2 or 3 asset package, would be appealable to a team absolutely needing to open up cap space.

      • Ottawa’s skating and energy. its a nice rebuild so far.

  4. I doubt pasta going anywhere. Agent already claimed rumours are BS. Will sign an 8 yr deal. Around same as mcavoy. If 37 retires. They should consider moving pasta in a sign and trade to max return. It would be eichel like return maybe more

    • If Pasta with 77 points would get a return similar to the Eichel trade, would JT Miller with 99 points be enough for NJs 2OA?

  5. For a signed Pasta, would a 2023 first, Ty Smith, Alexander Holtz be enough? You can’t trade for Pasta and not have an extension in place.

    • Very well could be. But still thinks he signs 8yr deal with bruins

    • No, not enough, a Matt Tkachuk type of return is the only way trading him makes sense, can’t see him going anywhere at 26 yrs old

      • I think it depends on what the B’s think there chances are short term.
        That depends on whether Bergy comes back and their confidence that Marchand can still play at the high level he did after a significant surgery on both hips.
        Can they hang around the bubble? Maybe. Should they? As a fan I wish they would try a reboot as they have some quality players and maybe they can do it quickly like the Rags?

        Can’t see Jacobs in for a full tear down.

  6. Who is Jimmy Murphy and why, except for attention, is he making ridiculous suggestions? Why would the Habs want an unproductive forward who showed nothing in this year’s playoffs.

    The answer, Jimmy, is they don’t. Maybe I’ve fallen for his trap by responding, which I won’t do again.

    • IMO Gaudreau doesn’t play the way a smaller player needs to play to be successful in the playoffs. If you look at the most successful smaller players, they all had some physicality to their game, especially in the playoffs.

      • IMO KJ, you look at the Flames through blue and orange glasses. You seem obsessed with taking a swipe at them every chance you can.

        Gaudreau had his best season as a pro this past year. He lead the Flames in the regular season finishing second (to McBIgbucks)in the scoring race with 115pts. He played his best ever 2 way game finishing with +/- of +64. He lead them in the playoffs with 14 pts in 12 games.

        Wayne Gretzky, who was one of the best players of all time was not anymore physical than Gaudreau. Sutter who knows a thing or two about defensive hockey called him his best and most important player.

        Why don’t you worry about the deficiencies of the Oiler’s players that were swept in four & totally dominated by the AVS and let the Flames worry about what they need to do.

      • First, Gretzky was a totally different player, on a totally different level, and in a totally different era of hockey. Not comparable to Gaudreau at all.
        Second, Gaudreau did have his best two way REGULAR season of his career. In the playoffs that +64 turned to a -3. Still didn’t bring that regular season play into the playoffs AGAIN.
        Third, Yeah, the Oilers were swept by the best team in the West this season. No shame there.
        Fourth, as a fan of the game of hockey, I’ll give my opinion whenever I feel that it’s relevant.

      • Yeah, Gretzky played when the game was a LOT more physical, and teams won games 9-7. They didn’t play much defensive hockey at all.

        Johnny played better than most on the Flames in the playoffs. Markstrom played great against the Stars & terrible against the Oilers,

        Your Oiler’s team was SWEPT, you simply cannot do worse than that. It was very apparent they were in big trouble when the refs didn’t gift them 6 penalties in a row and then try to “even up” the calls late in the game after the opposition was well behind!

        Gaudreau doesn’t play on the PK, it is difficult to be impactful if you are missing shifts and ice-time. Lindholm and others were wore out killing iffy penalties that were not being called when the Oilers committed them.

        It appears the Flames live rent free in your head.

      • Hey Sparky!
        The Oil beat the Flames in 5.

      • Ray, I don’t post continuously about what is wrong with the Oilers, their team’s construction or their individual player’s deficiencies.

        Personally I think the refs spoiled what could have been a fantastic battle of Alberta. Of course, you are free to disagree.

  7. Usually where there’s rumours there’s always some thread of truth behind em. But I think trading away pasta would be managements death kneel. Fans would run Sea Bass and Sweeney out of town on a rail. Check the Boston Sports gage they are already ticked that Sweeney and Neely are still here and Cassidy’s gone. If Pasta goes Neely and Sweeney won’t be far behind them. What a Mess!!!I’m not even sure if Pollack was running things he could find a way out of this mass confusion.

    • Or it’s a media guy who is trying to either run the player or coach out of town.

      • Interesting for sure. Neely talked like they had an extension in place for Sweeny, but he has yet to sign and i would not be hurt if they let him go.

        He is 50/50 on moves he’s done, with too many big misses IMO.

        And letting Cassidy go was no big deal either.

      • Who the F is JoeyMacHockey and how the F would he know?
        Click bait if you ask me.

  8. As far as I can see there are only 2 Oilers media guys who are trying to drive Puljujarvi out of Edmonton. Jim Matheson and Mark Spector. They are the ones who are spearheading the side to trade Puljujarvi. They have been tweeting about it for months now. Most other Oilers media guys can see his value, especially Dustin Nielson. Puljujarvi has great advanced stats. When he’s on the ice the Oilers score more than they allow. The Oilers also possess the puck more with Puljujarvi on the ice than the opposition. The downside is he does miss a lot of scoring chances, even though he was 6th on the Oilers in goals and third in +/-. Holland did mention that Puljujarvi did lose some confidence near the end of the season.
    IMO what Puljujarvi needs to do is shorten his stick. His stick rivals most defensemen’s sticks in length. Shorten his stick and he will have more control over it, especially around the net where he’s missing his scoring chances. It shouldn’t cost too much to resign him. His current cap hit is $1.175 million. With 14 goals and 36 points, I would think a 2 to 3 year contract at a max of $2.25 million per year would definitely be enough.
    If the Oilers do trade Puljujarvi they will most likely lose it. I really hope Holland decides to keep this guy. If they do trade him it will need to be for a forward who can play the 2nd and/or 3rd line and who is roughly around the same age who is either an RFA or is under contract for another 3+ years. Or in a trade that will have Kassian or added to it to dump his contract.

    • I just made the case above too KevJam, I have yet to hear a good reason to trade this guy. And Neilsen keeps asking for it, didn’t hear anyone give it.

      I think Woodcroft sees the value in JP.

      • From what I have heard is that everyone loves Puljujarvi in the dressing room. I’ll say it again, IMO all he needs to do is shorten that stick. It will give him more control of it.

  9. Puljujarvi for Samsonov? Could make sense for both teams.

    • The Oilers will have Skinner as their backup goalie next season. Plus the Oilers won’t trade Puljujarvi for a backup goalie.

      • If Skinner’s the backup, who’s the starter?

      • TBD, but Samsonov with his career numbers, isn’t a starting goalie.

      • That is the million $ question BCLeaffan.
        Somebody asked Holland if they have a #1 goalie for next season and his answer was “No”.

        Then went on about their only being 8-10 true #1’s in the NHL, he is right about that, and they all still play for the team that drafted them, right about that too.

        So will they get a guy who can be a top tier guy and play 55 games? Not gonna happen unless you trade a guy like Draisaitl, which also won’t happen.

        I dunno. Kuemper, he tried to get him last off season and he is hurt again. MAF (he already said no to EDM last year). Husso had a pretty good year, but only good for 1 year and only started 25 games last season.

        Gibson? Cost a bunch and his #’s haven’t been good for years.
        Have to shop in the bargain bin I guess. Can’t just snap your fingers and get one.

      • Samsonov a high draft pick like Puljujarvi. Either Washington or another team will take a chance with him as a #1. Not sure Caps will keep both RFA goalies.

      • Samsonov was brutal last year though Chris. Like worse than all 3 of the Oiler tenders.
        Like not even good for a backup brutal.

        Oil aren’t in a position to roll with that, Caps have another guy a little more proven than Skinner. Shouldn’t cost more than he made this past year as he didn’t earn a raise.

        Season in KHL might even be a good idea.

  10. Johnny Hockey would look great in Devils Red and Black, and they surely need to top line LW

    BUT the Devils are filled with smallish forwards (Hughes, Bratt, Mercer, Hischier, Boqvist, etc) and their forward prospects are also small. Not sure if adding the Jersey boy to a small team would be the best option

    • DeBrincat would do better than Johnny, younger and will be less than $10M a year when re-signed.

  11. Where is the tipping point? Even good teams with good GM’s and on-ice success are in cap hell. Oversize contracts and NMC’s are for Hall of Famer’s you can build a team around; and even if you have those assets building a team is a delicate task. Draft choices, prospects (and prospect development), and NHL coaching & patience to turn good players into better players might work but is a better risk than overpaying for mid-level assets in hopes of a quick rebuild. I’ve been watching the RedWings dig out of their hole, not because I’m a fan, but to see if being a good GM will be validated by a repeat performance. I note he’s not in a lot of this competitive bidding for mid-level potentially overpriced players, and does buy assets come view as damaged or unworkable & work with them. He’s close to having both a good mid standings still young team and cap space. Is Johnny Hockey that HOF asset; or is he Tyler Johnson? You need both to win a cup, but you have to value both properly. Same with Pasta: is he gonna evolve to someone wearing a C , or be mostly a sniper?

  12. What player or coach would want to come to Boston in it’s present state? Neely and Sweeney have brought this club to near extinction. Three of our best players are out for at least a Couple months of the reg. season, two haven’t made up their mind yet. Also you’ve got Dumb and Dumber making all the decisions. Their minor league system is among the weakest in the nhl. Only the almighty buck will entice even the most passionate coach to take on this three ring circus. Don’t for go for Giroux either he was invisible in the playoffs and age is a factor.

  13. Devils trade Dawson Mercer for Pasta

    Hockey trade for both teams. Boston has no top centers in the organization. Mercer has 1C potential. Devils need wingers.
    Also frees up salary cap now for the Bruins to add another top 6 forward …Trocheck, Strome etc

    • DS, Devs fan here – Devils jump on that in a heartbeat, And I love Dawson. To be fair though, Dawson is not a 1C. Tops out as an average 2C. So I think Boston says no to that proposal.

      • well Mercer+ 2AO better?
        Devils have Hughes and Nico the next 5-7 seasons together.

      • Hey DS, I proposed earlier up above : For a signed Pasta, would a 2023 first, Ty Smith, Alexander Holtz be enough? You can’t trade for Pasta and not have an extension in place.

        You could trade out Mercer for Holtz.

      • @red
        Ty Smith+ Dawson seems enough to me. And again gives Boston cap space to sign a UFA center

      • Sweeney here.
        Mercer and a 2nd OA?


      • @ray yeah that is why I am pushing 2023 first rounder, don’t want to give up 2OA. Yes you have to give (which I think I did with my proposal) but don’t overpay…

      • Not a crazy proposal RM, seems pretty fair actually.
        How about 2023 1st, Mercer and Holtz?
        Smith is a bit redundant for the B’s.

  14. I keep thinking how similar this off season is for the Oilers and the Leafs.
    No way they can bring back the same group and the first domino has to be goaltending.
    It will be fascinating to see how it all unfolds.

    • Not near enough goaltenders to go around. Some overpays coming….

      • Have to agree with both you guys, somebody is gonna be left with a crappy tender when the music stops, and the others will have overpaid mediocre tenders.


  15. Might be a good time to move Ullmark I’m not a fan he did however play better last 15 games.

    • Ullmark + Pasta (signed to 7-8 yr ext) for Mercer, Cooley (NJ picked at 2 OA), Sharangovich, Holtz, Zacha.