Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 26, 2022
Does the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois hope to one day play for Montreal? What will the Canadiens do with Evgenii Dadonov? Could the Devils pursue Leafs goalie Jack Campbell if he goes to free agency? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.
IS DUBOIS HOPING TO JOIN THE CANADIENS ONE DAY?
THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates believes Pierre-Luc Dubois sincerely wants to test the 2024 unrestricted free agent market as was reported last week by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. He felt the 24-year-old Winnipeg Jets center hopes to play for the Montreal Canadiens in the long run and hasn’t been shy about expressing that within team circles.
“I don’t think telling the Jets about his UFA plans is posturing in the slightest; I think it’s the truth,” wrote Ates. He doesn’t see them trading Dubois this summer unless they get a mind-blowing offer. He envisions the young center getting a one-year contract this summer, playing hard through 2022-23 as the Jets try to convince him to accept a longer-term deal, and trading him next summer if he doesn’t change his mind.
Under that scenario, the Jets allow Dubois’ agent to speak to other clubs about a contract extension prior to a trade. Ates doesn’t see the Canadiens or another club signing Dubois to an offer sheet this summer as the Jets can easily match it.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Prior to Ates’ report, Marco D’Amico weighed in on the possibility of Dubois being linked to the Canadiens. He recommends the Habs be patient in this situation, pointing out the Jets would seek an expensive asking price such as a top prospect like Kaiden Guhle, Calgary’s 2022 first-round pick, a center like Christian Dvorak and more. It would be better if they continue to replenish their already respectable prospect pool.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens could attempt to acquire Dubois this summer. However, the high asking price as envisioned by D’Amico isn’t worth it at this juncture when management is in the midst of rebuilding.
They could be among the suitors under Ates’ scenario for next summer. They could have more depth in promising assets to part with by that point if they want to make a competitive pitch. Then again, rather than give up assets in a trade, they could wait until free agency in 2024 to sign him if they have sufficient cap space to do so.
WHAT WILL THE CANADIENS DO WITH DADONOV?
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: D’Amico recently examined the Canadiens’ options to maximize the value of Evgenii Dadonov. They recently acquired the 33-year-old winger from the Vegas Golden Knights in return for sending them Shea Weber’s contract.
One option could be trading Dadonov before the free-agent market opens on July 13. That would enable them to shed his $5 million cap hit and perhaps use the savings to put toward signing a free agent or two.
Another would be laying the groundwork for a trade deadline deal. D’Amico suggested showcasing him during the season at right wing alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t rule out Dadonov getting moved during the offseason. However, I think he’s more likely to be shopped as a playoff rental player at next season’s trade deadline.
COULD THE DEVILS PURSUE CAMPBELL?
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there’s chatter among NHL sources suggesting the New Jersey Devils could be in on Jack Campbell if the 30-year-old goaltender doesn’t re-sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs before the free-agent market opens on July 13.
One source speculated the Devils could try to get a head start by trading for Campbell’s rights if the Leafs can’t or won’t sign him. The idea would be offering up Mackenzie Blackwood, who struggled over the past two seasons.
The Devils might also be interested in New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev if he becomes a UFA this summer. He’d be brought in to work as part of a tandem rather than as a starting goalie.
TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan recently reported on the possibility of the Maple Leafs starting next season with a new goalie tandem. Right now, the Leafs lack the $5 million per season to keep Campbell out of the UFA market. General manager Kyle Dubas must also find a way to shed Petr Mrazek’s contract.
Koshan observed Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper, Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury and St. Louis’ Ville Husso as possible free-agent options for the Leafs. Trade targets could include Anaheim’s John Gibson, the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, the Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev and Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over two weeks remain for the Leafs and Campbell to work out a new contract. However, as Koshan points out, the closer they get to July 13 without a new deal, the more likely it is that Campbell tests the market.
Cap Friendly shows the Devils with over $25 million in cap space for 2022-23 with Jesper Bratt, Pavel Zacha and Miles Wood as their notable restricted free agents. They’ll have sufficient room to sign Campbell, especially if they were to ship out Blackwood and his $2.8 million cap hit to the Leafs or another club.
The Leafs could acquire Blackwood if they can find a way to shed Mrazek’s $3.8 million annual average value through 2023-24. However, I think they would see him as a backup rather than a starter.
Of those UFA options listed by Koshan, Kuemper and Husso might be willing to join the Leafs. I don’t think Fleury is keen to come to Toronto. There’s talk the Minnesota Wild wants to bring him back for another season.
As for the trade targets, Gibson shot down recent rumors claiming he wants out of Anaheim, Varlamov has a 16-team no-trade list and all seven Canadian teams could be on it, and the Kings could retain Quick after his solid performance this season. Georgiev will be available as the Rangers are believed to be seeking another backup for Igor Shesterkin.
Montreal , you could have Pierre Luc Dubois right now. He is establishing himself as a Mark Messier number one center, team captain. Would you trade the number one pick and Kaiden Guhle to make it happen.
Number 1 pick and Guhle are you in fantasy Island. There 2nd 1st and Guhle maybe
Doug, are you a fan of Habs? Would you accept the 26th pick and a player equivalent to Ghule for Suzuki? I don’t think so.
Slick62 the answer is no, Susuki is signed for 8 years Dubois 2 and with his track record so far there is no guarantee he will resign.
Absolutely no to trading for Dubois, especially not for trading young talent like Guhle. If it’s a fit they can get him when becomes a free agent. Besides, he’d only ruin any lottery shot we have for Bedard.
I don’t recall but did Messier also disappear some games too?
I think PLD is a great fit in Montreal and be their top center knowing the player wants to play there, how can the Habs convince the Jets to trading him? It would have to be a good roster player, one the Jets lack of, a top prospect that can play in this years line up and some futures such as picks and projects. What players could fit that need?
Some folks on the West Coast despise Messier. The so called “greatest leader” in hockey stole 6 million per year for 4 years.
Of course these are the same people (media and fans) that called it the biggest and best signing in Canucks history at the time.
Guess it depends on ones point of view.
Interesting to note though that the “greatest leader” never made the playoffs again after 94.
Not true, Ron. He played for the Rangers in the playoffs in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
Josh Anderson, Kaiden Guhle, the second first rounder(which the jets could bundle with #30 to move up to get Geekie) plus Dvorak.
Not trading another defence man for a Forward been burned too many times trading defenseman
Especially of the French Canadian forward kind…
Dvorak, Jan Mysak, and one of Armia, Dadanov or Hoffman (cap reasons) for PLD
I know cheveldayoff has said they want to sign Dubois, but he has to say that for the Winnipeg fan base. Most likely he gets traded and the Jets will get a boat load for the 24 year old big center!
Guys like him don’t come onto the market very often especially if he doesn’t have any trade protection. Winnipeg can make out really well if they get a bidding war for him.
Not anymore. Could get an ok return but someone intent on ufa in two years isn’t worth nearly as much.
That is for sure. Unless he agrees to re up before trade with new team
Chrisms, your reply was logical and makes sense. Unfortunately A lot of GM’s have a very big ego along with pressure to make their teams better today. So when a good young center becomes available there logic takes a back seat to their ego thinking they will be able to sign him long term.
We see it all the time at trade deadline, and after free agent signing day opens.
It’s usually fair to bet on the collective foolishness of nhl gms.
Love the player PLD is when he is on his game.
But young player tells the 2nd organization he will not resign there.
So unless you are Montreal why risk trading for this player? Habs can run Suzuki+Wright(never sure NHL translation) or Suzuki+PLD down the middle for the next decade…which do you choose?
It’s academic at this point. I don’t think the Jets trade PLD at this point. Maybe a year from now if he refuses to talk about a long term extension and seems hell bent on testing the UFA market.
No way do I trade Kaiden Guhle at this point. He’s by far their top D prospect. Including him in a trade for PLD May strengthen the Habs at center but at quite a cost to their long term future on D.
No way I trade #1 overall either. At this point in the Habs rebuild, I’d rather draft Wright at #1 and not have to give up other assets. In the long run, odds are he’ll be better than PLD and it’s not as if the Habs are a lock to make the playoffs next year even adding PLD. Better to be patient on a rebuild.
There’s also the matter of the cap hit. It makes no sense to trade for PLD without signing him to a long term deal. That would cost at least $7m. AAV. With Wright, they have 3 years on an ELC. Even if he hits all of his bonuses, it’ll be a hit that’s significantly lower that PLD. And when it’s time to sign his next contract, Price’s hefty contract will be nearly done and they’ll likely be in better cap position.
At this point, if the Habs were to make an offer, I’d offer up Dvorak, the #26 overall pick, a young D-man like Norlinder or Harris (would prefer not to trade Barron either) and a B level forward prospect. Doubt that’ll get it done. I agree with Lyle. Nows not the time. A year or two from now – we’ll see.
Good points Howard.
Habs cannot be looking at next season as even a playoff sniff. At worst if PLD does become a UFA and only wants to play for the Habs they can get him for zero assets when they are closer to being a playoff squad
If the Jets believe PLD will go to UFA status, they will trade him sooner than later. Their experience with Jacob Trouba is you don’t wait til the last minute. Especially if the player has a clear preference as to where he wants go. They need to get fair value which is a 1C or 2C plus a top D prospect. What about Josh Anderson, Guhle and Calgarys pick.
Slick: What sense does it make for the Habs to buy Dadanov to improve their cap space and then buy him out and take a hit on their cap space? Particularly when a trade is a possibility before the season starts, or any time after?
Howard, you are IMO correct all the way to your last paragraph.
That so, it makes no sense for the Habs to trade for PLD, and most certainly not this year. Their cap situation is far from resolved, they have Romanov to pay this year, Caulfield next year, and the potential for year to year uncertainty with Price’s cap hit. They have the possibility of drafting either Wright or Cooley at center. Dvorak will have a better season this year and has a very affordable cap hit. They will be, finally, strong up the middle.
Then there is this continuing fantasy that Quebecois players all yearn to play for the Habs. Can anyone cite an example of such a player affecting such an outcome? And don’t use Drouin, who wanted out of Tampa, not into Montreal. Lamentable as that trade is.
These are the dog days for hockey writers, playoffs aside. They have to put out something, the more far fetched the better the entertainment value.
If PLD only wants to go to Montreal, that hurts his value. Wouldn’t it be better to trade him now to the Habs????? I know he is young and might change his mind…or will he?
As far as Dadonov is concerned, I agree that the best time to trade him would be at the deadline. I’d hold on to him and Hoffman right now. Notwithstanding the rebuild, veterans are needed as well. The young players can’t be left out to dry. These guys will buy a year or two until some of the prospects at wing are ready to step up.
As I’ve said earlier, the Habs should look to unload Drouin and Byron to create cap space. Wouldn’t get much for them, but with only a year left on their deals, it’s doable.
I’m still betting Dadonov gets bought out. It’s possible Montreal was on his no trade list and agreed to trade knowing he can become a ufa after buyout. Habs really have no use for another past prime player with a 5 mil cap hit. On top of that his actual salary is 6.5 for this season which makes it tougher to trade to teams struggling financially. Cap hit after buyout this year will be only 666K. Extra year dead cap hit will be 2.1m
I wouldn’t buy out Dadonov. No sense having over $2m. Dead cap space next year. I realize that neither him nor Hoffman are in long range plans, but someone has to play on the wings. The prospects at wing aren’t ready yet. Dadonov will suffice for this year. Odds are they will not be a playoff team. At this point, no need to open up cap space for UFA who will want big dollars and long term on a contract that’ll be an anchor when the Habs are ready to contend.
Don’t buy out. Trade at deadline with max salary held for a third or if a strong season a second.
PLD rumors were he wants to explore free agency. In 2 years. Basically saying he’s not committing long term. Can’t blame him with state of franchise right now. Maybe it’s a ploy by his agent to get Jets to over pay on a long term deal. He’s never said he wants out. Isn’t his dad an asst on AHL team?
They gave up Laine and Roslovic. Montreal isn’t getting him for 26th pick and Guhle. That’s absurd. A trade starts with 1St pick plus Dvorak.
Nobody would give up the 1st overall pick for PLD, A guy who will be a UFA in 2 years.
A blue chip prospect and a 1st for a guy who is clear he will test ufa in two years is far from absurd
To get Dubois the Jets should want Suzuki. They will not give him away for quantity over quality. You might have their interest in further discussions involving Ghule or Caufield
I think if I am Montreal I would do what it takes sooner rather than later.
I’m not sure I agree with that SilverSeven. Why trade our young assets now when you have a chance to have him for free in 2024 and have a chance to be in the Bedard lottery ? I say keep building till then. Not to mention he might cost more than what he is worth. Do it now and lose either Suzuki, Caufield, Ghule and the first pick or wait till 2024 and have a chance of seeing him play with them. No, not worth it for now. If he is traded and signs with another team, so be it, there are other good players that will become available.
Suzuki, Caufield and the #1 overall pick are non-starters. Guhle is at least very close to non-starter. That’s why deals not happening now. Again, I don’t see the Jets trading him now: next year – maybe.
Montreal needs to move salary to acquire PLD.
PLD + Schmidt (retain $.95M) for Jan Mysak, Dvorak, Petry and Oiler’s 2nd
Johnny, I think the Habs May do that. Though they’d have to move another salary to make it work. I highly doubt the Jets agree, must note that Schmidt has a 10 team no trade list. Habs May be on it.
Why would Winnipeg do that trade…a 3rd overall draft pick with skill speed and size that is clearly a number 1 centre for Montreal cast off and Oilers 2nd….give your head a shake
Jan Mysak, Dvorak, Petry and Oiler’s 2nd
You missed the 2 biggest pieces! LOL
Enough of Montreal talk lol. Would New Jersey not be a good trade partner with the leafs? How about marner, mazarek to NJ for 2nd over all pick, severson and Blackwood.
Nylander and mazarek for severson, Blackwood and 2nd or 3rd pick
NJ needs a big, gritty, power forward to pair with Jack. Maybe with Marner they put Woods on the other side to lift the piano. LOL
how about the Leafs and Rangers swap their 11 million dollar players. Tavares to the Rags, with Mrazek, Sandin and a future conditional 1st. Panarin to the leafs with Gorgiev.
Lots of no trades and movements in there but Johnny and Pannarin might like the change of scenery.
I have a feeling that Dubois could easily be Drouin 2.0.
Is this speculation based on his french surname or some actual expression by the player?
Far too often, the Montreal media hype stuff like this, just as the Toronto media hype every southern Ontario guy wanting to play for the Leafs.
Maybe this time, he wants to be a UFA so he can make some serious $$, the teams he has played for so far only got a second line player out of him…but he likely expect to be paid like Marner and Eichel.