NHL Rumor Mill – July 19, 2022

by | Jul 19, 2022 | Rumors | 52 comments

The latest speculation linking the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Canadiens plus updates on Blake Wheeler and Samuel Girard in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen brings us up to speed on the speculation linking Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Montreal Canadiens.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

First, there was word earlier in the off-season that the restricted free agent was only interested in a new contract taking him up to unrestricted free agent status in 2024. That was followed by Dubois’ agent indicating his client would love to play for the Canadiens one day.

Dubois reportedly attended the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal anticipating a trade but Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff sought a hefty return. The latest twist saw the 24-year-old center opting against salary arbitration, leaving him open to offer sheets from rival clubs. The Jets, meanwhile, didn’t file for club-elected arbitration.

It’s possible Dubois accepts his one-year, $6 million qualifying offer from the Jets by Friday’s deadline. He could reject it and attempt to negotiate a better deal.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy speculates Dubois could stage a contract holdout. It could put more pressure on Cheveldayoff to work out a trade with Canadiens GM Kent Hughes.

Murphy’s colleague Marco D’Amico assumed the Jets asked the Canadiens for Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield as part of the return for Dubois. That would be a no-go for the Canadiens, but he wondered if recently-acquired center Kirby Dach might be a trade chip that entices the Jets.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Jack Todd doesn’t see the Canadiens parting with Suzuki, Caufield or a promising prospect such as Kaiden Guhle. He believes if Hughes was really interested in Dubois he wouldn’t have gone through so much trouble to acquire Dach from the Chicago Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friesen recommends that Cheveldayoff put his best offer on the table and let Dubois accept it by the December deadline or sit out the season. The only leverage Dubois has now is to withhold his services but that’s not going to help his trade value or reputation.

Cheveldayoff doesn’t seem interested in trading Dubois this summer unless he gets an irresistible offer. It’s assumed he’ll sign the center to a one-year contract and spend the coming season trying to convince him to ink a long-term deal next summer.

Dubois will once again become an RFA with arbitration rights at season’s end but will also be a year away from UFA eligibility. If he remains uninterested in staying with the Jets, that’s when Cheveldayoff will likely put more emphasis on moving him.

It’s possible Dubois gets an offer sheet from another club but don’t look for one from the Canadiens. They’re bumping against the $82.5 million cap ceiling and face ongoing uncertainty over the status of Carey Price for the coming season.


WINNIPEG SUN: Speaking of the Jets, Friesen’s colleague Scott Billeck reports their best opportunity to trade captain Blake Wheeler’s contract was prior to free agency opening last Wednesday.

Management, however, was stubborn and insisted on interested parties picking up Wheeler’s full $8.25 million cap hit over the two years remaining on his contract. As a result, the market for the 35-year-old winger has cooled.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Wheeler’s not going anywhere unless Cheveldayoff can find someone to take that full cap hit off the Jets’ hands. Good luck with that now that most teams have used up their cap space in the free-agent market.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner took note of the Colorado Avalanche’s efforts to bring back free-agent center Nazem Kadri. Because of their limited salary-cap space, Colorado Hockey Now’s Adrian Dater suggested Samuel Girard could be a cost-cutting trade candidate. The 24-year-old defenseman is signed through 2026-27 with an average annual value of $5 million.

Rosner suggested the Islanders attempt to acquire Girard. Dater believes the Avs’ asking price would be a first-round pick but Rosner believes they’re not in a position to get too picky.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dater has since tweeted that he doubted Girard gets traded pointing to his value to the Avs. After subsequently speaking with three sources, he now believes there’s a lesser chance of Kadri returning to Colorado.


  1. he now believes there’s a lesser chance of Kadri returning to Colorado.

    Where is Kadri going to land AND get him the dollars he expects? Did the music stop and is he still standing?

    • McKinnon and Bowen say get your check book ready next season, so Naz won’t be back.

  2. Dubois seems like a player that will always be problematic wherever he goes. Maybe as a free agent I would test him , but I certainly wouldn’t give up picks and players for him . It seems he’ll always be a headache.

    • Was thinking the exact same thing

  3. In order for MTL to acquire PLD, they need to clear both cap and roster space for both Dach and Dubois. They have the pieces to move (Hoffman, Gallagher, Edmondson, Drouin, Armia, Byron, Dvorak), but they are going to have to add sweeteners to move a couple of these contracts.

    • Really? Guys don’t want to live and play in Winnipeg or Calgary once they have the money to get out? I’m surprised. Really I’m just shocked…..

      • @Azhockeynut, Yes once they have enough of that weather the writing is on the wall, also taxes and the loopholes save the players millions like playing in IL, Cali or the NE states which are near or above 40% on the dollar!

      • Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor, Nic Elhers, Connor Hellebuyck all took long term deals to stay in Winnipeg.

      • @Caper PLD, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele are changing addresses now so…

      • Rob, It’s the GM trying to move Wheeler not Wheeler asking out.

        I did not include PLD in my post.

        Fyi the list is active players, doesn’t include all the previous players.

        Definitely Winnipeg is not on some players list, but to say everyone wants out of Winnipeg as proven above that remark is false.

      • Never knew you were a troll AZ?

        Methinks you have never been to Calgary, let alone lived there but it is a great city. I can’t speak for Winnipeg, haven’t lived there.

        Colder than some places in winter but has better weather than multiple US NHL cities because it get an average 30 chinook days in a 90 day winter. Better than any in the NE US, definitely better than Minny (just like WPG), or Chicago.

        How is it today in Phoenix? Little hot? Hangin’ on the patio? Playing a round in the afternoon?
        Hey turn the sprinkler on and let the kids run through it! Oh yeah, that’s right, probably rationing it.

        Weather is overblown. You winning or not? Good management? Good culture? Wife & kids like it there?

        Oilers just signed 3 UFA’s, and I would bet $20 they all could have got more somewhere else, and not many places colder than Edmonton in January. Good team, good management. They used to leave, now they want to come here.

      • Well we all can’t speak for a person wanting to live somewhere over where they currently are but the one thing no one is bringing to the conversation is how Stastny made the comment of his experience as being in one of the worse (dressing) rooms he’s ever been in. That could lead to players wanting out since it was apparently pretty a toxic environment as opposed to bad mouthing places you have no experience of.

  4. Save some elbow room for MacKinnon. Kadri had a career season. Funny how that always aligns when a player is in his contract year. Same with Johnny G. I will bet my house he doesn’t get a 100 points next year. I
    Can’t see a situation where the Avs can fit $7m or higher on any kind of term for Naz. In fact the amount of teams that can is a short list
    Wheeler is done as far as 8.5 value
    first half of the season last year was a tell tale sign of seasons to come

  5. The PLD talk will just not go away.
    I agree that the Habs will not trade Suzuki, Caufield and likely not Guhle either. Nor should they. But I don’t think that picking up Dach will stop them from trading for Dubois, at least not now. If Dach has a strong breakout season then maybe their interest would cool.
    PLD will not sign an offer sheet. He knows the Jets will match and he’d then be stuck there. Nor will he stage a holdout. Unless Chevy gets an irresistible offer or decides that he just wants to end this soap opera, neither of which I see happening, he’ll just sign him to a one year deal. Then next offseason, if PLD doesn’t change his mind, the Jets will have no choice but to look to trade him.

    • Howard , maybe the best thing for the Habs is for, as you have mentioned ,  Dach to come around and have a solid year and the Habs then have their big top6 center locked up. I would not go near PLD he seems to be narcissistic and wants it his way. 

      • I agree with your view, however there is a silver lining, he does give Cheveldayoff options. At least he can trade him instead of him saying I might stay, I will probably stay and then just leave as JG and Tavares did

      • Kent what part of free agent don’t you understand and do you believe that stuff like this is private and what we “find out” is what they want us to know?
        I bet you’re the guy who can crush a bag of chips and beers watching players getting paid and choosing where they work, and not understand why guys like you can’t have the same options to you.

        You, like many, forget that “players” are people and shouldn’t be treated just as a commodity and to people like you find dismay in that the organizations players are with rightfully do.

        When you become as exceptional as JT or JG or whoever else, you’ve earned that right.

      • Exactly Ron.
        First off PLD has not said he wants out of WPG today.
        What he has said is he will test the market in 2 years and that he would love to play in Montreal. OK, I might keep that between MGT and myself, but that’s just me.

        Which as you say he will have earned the right to test the market. WPG has the right to trade him prior. MTL has the right to trade for him, or sign him as a UFA in 2 years, or neither.

        Also the point about the room keeps coming up. Maurice leaves mid season after 8 previous years in WPG. EIGHT years. Has coached 1685 games in the NHL. Nothing like this ever. The Panthers just hired him.

        I don’t know PLD and have no idea what he is like. But, he had Torts screaming at him like a spaz on the bench in CLB. Should he take it? Maybe would have been better for his image. I wouldn’t in my profession.

        IMO he signs a 1 year deal in WPG, he plays hard, he gets traded eventually.

      • If you are a top notch lawyer, or economist, or almost anything else coming out of school/the apprenticeship of your field you have a vast choice of where to live and work. In monopoly fields like hockey, you have little choice, for which you receive vastly higher compensation than most of your age group peers. The NHL minimum for those few who make it puts recipients in the top of their age cohort earning pool. It has not always been this way; and the NHLPA is a force because the tension between labor and management still bubbles to the surface, as do workplace issues having to do more with groups of people forced to work together than compensation level. Most of the age group peers, if unhappy for any reason, can leave and often move up or even hang out their own shingle and the compensation difference of the upper one percent erode; the hockey player gains precious little freedom. We are totally indifferent to the star young lawyer who leaves to join another practice or form her own firm…..we are shocked when a hockey player doesn’t love his circumstances. The lack of reality is on us. There are bad situation in hockey as in every other walk of life, and fewer options for those stuck in them (without massive compensation loss)..

  6. Habs should wait it out. Get him for free if they still want him in 2 years to me he has pulled a Lindros everywhere he has been so far. Not a fan. I would let him sit if not interested in resigning a good contract with term After all owners are rich of the rich Go play in KHL. See how nice peg really is 😉

  7. Between the PLD drama and Johnny Hockey signing, the “nobody wants to play for Columbus” narrative is dead. That said, some of us still wonder why PLD demanded to be traded.

  8. The Jets would be wise to create a market for PLD’s services. Teams who are Stanley Cup contenders such as Hurricanes, Rangers, Leafs, Panthers, Golden Knights should be targeted. A two year PLD rental could take you over the top and at a very reasonable rate. Target upcoming stars such as Lundell, Jarvis, Lafreniere, Schneider plus prospect and draft pick and then you are getting value. These teams may also be in a better position than Winnipeg to sign him long term.

    This would put pressure on Montreal who thinks they can just sit and wait. Jets need to be proactive otherwise it’s another Trouba.

    • @tripper
      not sure the Rangers should give up any top asset for a rental of PLD
      Only Montreal should make an offer.
      Is PLD going to give it his all on a team everyone knows he is leaving the summer of 2024 at the latest? Maybe you toss the JEts a pick as a rental in 2024

    • There is no pressure on Montreal to sign him at all, they have their 4 centers. They can sit back and let this play out. If he signs somewhere else for long term then good for Dubois.

    • There’s no pressure whatsoever on Montreal. No team in their right mind is going to offer up a big package of prospects/picks for a guy who in 2 years time might sign with Montreal! He’d be a rental! You won’t get much for him. Only way any team would cough up a superior package of he agrees to sign long term wherever he’s traded. It wouldn’t make sense for any tema right now knowing where his heart is! To be a Canadien!

    • You are absolutely correct.Teams that you mentioned would take a chance on the 2 yr time window period.Winnepeg then could get a descent return for him.Two years from now can be a long time in hockey.If you want to get rid of Wheeler s contract you need to add a sweetener as well as save money on the contract.One of the worst contracts in hockey.Why have they not replaced the GM.Theywere lucky they got Bowness.Noone wants to work their with the s**t show they have going on.

  9. Fewer players want to play in Winterpeg

    • I think Caper might say….”Tell that to the Bombers”

  10. Dubois dad is an assistant coach for their AHL team. He wanted out of Columbus and it would seem he was happy to go to Jets. People making him out to be problematic based on speculation is laughable. There’s issues with Wheeler and Schiefele. Coach bailed. Don’t blame him for sh&$show.

    • The coach should have been fired for creating the s$-@s$(w. The mess in Winnipeg is attributable to Paul Maurice and Chevy should take some responsibility for not recognizing that and firing him.

    • If Dubois’ Dad was in Montreal with him waiting to be traded from the Jets to Mtl, he should be fired by True North as well.

    • He was was happy to go to the Jets because Torts was the coach and he would have rather played in timbuck too.

      Hey I know, trade PLD to Philly for Risto and Laughton make everybody happy except for Peirre who seems like an entitled player. Time for Chevy to rev up that engine!!

  11. PLD wanted out of Columbus and his play showed it. Remember PLD said he wouldn’t be defined by his last shift.

    What we do know, while in Winnipeg he played hard and liked in the room they say.

    His father is on the coaching staff, maybe added pressure to play and act the right way.

    Absolutely no benefit for PLD to sit out; however if he chooses to sit out, Chevy will let him sit.

    Chevy best move might be tdl. A team that thinks they can win the cup with this one added piece.

    This would allow that team to have PLD for two cup runs and go from there.

    Depending how Montreal C develop and potential capspace, it might be to late foe him to go there.

    Finally don’t forget we are not talking a 30 goal scorer or point per game player, at least not yet.

  12. Re PLD

    No Arb hearing…. So I believe (correct me if I’m wrong)… Hughes can talk all he wants to PLS’s agent…. Get a firm hold (verbal agreement) on a 7 year deal…. If Habs have Suzuki, PLD; Dach down the centre…. Great future

    Of course if Price was guaranteed to be LTIR from now to retirement…. Different trade offer

    Not knowing that…..

    Hoffman (@ 50%) ; Dvorak, both 1sts in ‘23(lowest one conditional on PLD signing a multi-year deal); BOTH lottery protected; plus a prospect (who was not drafted 1st round this year)

    Chevy then can retain another 25% on Hoffman… send him out @ $1.1 M Cap for a 2nd

    Jets net at least Dvorak, two 1sts; a 2nd and possibly a prospect; and save Cap and cash

    Habs set their future down the middle; move two players they don’t need with the PLD acquisition; don’t give up key current roster youth or current first rounders; at the expense of 2 lottery protected first rounders and perhaps a prospect

    • I wouldn’t deal him to Montreal. The Canadiens offer will be a low ball offer as they have leverage and can wait it out. The Jets would do better trading him elsewhere. PLD should be a very sought after asset for a team on the cusp. A two year rental at a cheap price to help with a cup run, c’mon it’s a no brainer.

      Montreal has no prospects of value that they are willing to include and if they lottery protect the picks, forget it.

      • Makes sense Tripper

        IF (big IF) both sides motivated to make a deal…. What are the trade pieces that you believe that Habs can live with and that Jets would accept

  13. PLD + Schmidt for Dach, Dadonov, Xhekaj, Fla 2023 1st, Vegas 4th
    There are some of those pesky trade clauses to sort out in Schmidt and Daddy but Winny needs offence and the Habs defense.

    • Cap space, JZ. Cap space.

      • OK, I made it near even cap, but Montreal has to give more salary away!

        PLD + Schmidt for Devorak, Dadonov, Xhekaj, Fla 2023 1st, Vegas 4th

    • Hi JZ

      I believe the deal dies regardless if Schmidt has to come over with PLD

  14. There is something wrong in Winnipeg. Paul Maurice, a pretty good coach, left saying he wasn’t getting through to the players. Players that have swung and missed as a group for several years now, and whose best chance for a Cup was a few years ago.

    I’ve heard for several years Wheeler was a problem in the dressing room. Now PLD’s character is being questioned. Not sure if these rumours are accurate or not but there is a revolving door for coaches in Winnipeg and this season is already starting to smell.

    Jets fans, thoughts?

    • The problem in Winnipeg is now coaching in Florida. Everyone seems to give Maurice a break and blame the room. But it is the coach’s job to create the environment, to instill the accountability, to achieve results greater than the sum of the parts.

      Winnipeg is cleaning up the past mess, I’m not sure Bowness was the right guy and if he isn’t then Chevy is next.

      • Tripper I would have to agree.

        Paul Maurice was a big reason for the separation in the locker room.

        He was extremely loyal to Wheeler and Scheifele and extremely hard on the young players.

        Wheeler at one point acknowledge the young players didn’t like to be handle the way he was trying to handle them, he said the player has change and he needs to change his approach.

        Paul Maurice during a scrum media session said he could make the men in that room cry if he wanted to.

        I think that style no longer works. Therefore his message didn’t resonate.

        Media the other day says Bowness is an extremely good communicator with the younger players.

        We’ll see how it goes.

    • PLD’s Character? That’s easy he has none. Never gave a reason why he wanted out of Columbus. When he did it was half-assed that it was time. Been in the league 2 years and it’s time? There’s a pattern here. Been in the Peg for 2 years. Talent yes character none.

      • That’s a bit of a stretch. In Columbus, probably didn’t like playing for Torts. Dubois likely wants out of Winnipeg for the same reasons Maurice and Laine left; Scheifele and Wheeler control this team.

        Dubois has proven s**t. If I am Hughes, I wait to see what Dach does this season and what Dubois does when he’s in a situation he doesn’t want to be in. Assess that and act accordingly:

  15. I would not trade any first round picks or top prospects for PLD. The players that can be included in a trade are Dvorak, Drouin, Armia, Hoffman, Gallagher, Dadonov, Savard or in other words any Hab that is considered overpaid and not part of the future. Winnipeg has no leverage here. PLD wants to leave and has told the entire NHL he wants to play in Montreal so that other teams knowing this are not likely to trade any significant assets to try and get him. Habs still need to suck this year to get a top 3 pick in the 2023 draft, any of which are deemed to be better than Slafkovsky. With a young core of solid NHLers then we can sign PLD (IF we need him) when he is a UFA in 2 yrs and give up nothing to get him.
    I agree with the other readers who have pointed out that he has asked out of Columbus, now he wants out of Winnipeg – does anyone think he won’t want out of Montreal if things don’t go his way?

    • Interesting assessment, but I think your fan bias may be clouding your judgement a bit. There will have to be a mixture of vets and futures in the deal, and the more “over-paid” vets you try to include will have to matched with futures. Getting rid of $9M in cap may cost you 3 futures!

      • Hi Johhny Z, I definitely have fan bias but nothing cloudy over here – why would I give up anything of value in order to get someone who I can get for nothing in 2 years? PLD on the 2022-2023 Habs will make little to no difference in the win-loss column. Now in 2-3 years … maybe?

  16. Sweeney for gods sake wake up start doing your job !! looks like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. Even a young Glen Sather or Scotty Bowman couldn’t get themselves out of the mess you’re in. Every couple of days something else pops up making the task at hand even more difficult. Donny boy will take all summer to try & figure this out, by then all the free agents will be gone all the good potential trade partners will have gotten what they wanted. He does this every year. Fire this guy! He’s useless!

  17. Who knows the truth ? Maybe we can’t handle the truth . I am sure in Columbus it was Torts and he was supported by management. Although players go through a lot of coaches they don’t like in a career. A lot are dink’s
    Winnipeg is the not the best place in Jan-Feb . -52 wind chill is no joke and not a lot to do in the winter . We don’t know the comment tone and context of “I would like to play in Montreal”. Which as a city had its own problem attracting players. The comments should have been kept private . Now the cow is out of the barn. A Trouba replay is exactly how this will play out. One year one year trade

  18. Goalie Vitek Vanecek just signed by NJ to a 3-year, $10.2 million deal.

  19. Matty is leaving Calgary!!!!!!
    Big trade coming!!!!