NHL Rumor Mill – July 23, 2022

by | Jul 23, 2022 | Rumors | 26 comments

The speculation linking Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Canadiens won’t go away. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs face a cost-cutting trade. Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy suggests that Pierre-Luc Dubois accepting a one-year, $6 million qualifying offer with the Winnipeg Jets creases the skids for a potential trade to the Montreal Canadiens.

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

Dubois, 24, will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights again next summer. Murphy felt his new contract sets up what the center’s qualifying offer will be for 2023-24. It would also allow the Canadiens to sign him to an eight-year contract if they can acquire him before the 2023 free-agent market opens next July.

A source told Murphy that Dubois’ agent, Pat Brisson, is doing everything he can to make a trade to Montreal happen.

TVA SPORTS: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes’ recent trade activity has Canadiens fans expecting another deal, perhaps one that brings Dubois to Montreal.

Within a 10-day period earlier this month, Hughes shipped Alexander Romanov to the New York Islanders for the 13th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, flipped that pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for center Kirby Dach, and traded Jeff Petry and Ryan Poehling to the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman Mike Matheson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets don’t have to move Dubois this summer. However, they risk having the uncertainty over his future becoming an unwelcome distraction at a time when they’re trying to rebound from a disappointing performance last season.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is said to be listening to offers for Dubois. However, he’s also set a high asking price. He won’t waiver after seeing what the Calgary Flames got from the Florida Panthers for Matthew Tkachuk.

It’s rumored Cheveldayoff sought Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield as part of the return from the Canadiens. Both are believed to be off-limits in trade discussions. There’s also talk suggesting Hughes could part with center Christian Dvorak but it’ll take more than him as the centerpiece of a deal to pry Dubois away from the Jets.

Limited salary-cap space is also an issue for the Canadiens. They’re pressed against the $82.5 million cap and continue to await clarity over Carey Price’s recovery from complications arising from last summer’s knee surgery.

Hughes, however, isn’t under any pressure here to acquire Dubois. He was in the middle of rebuilding the roster long before the reports emerged of the center’s desire to one day play for the Canadiens. The Canadiens GM can afford to wait until next summer to try again or kick this down the road to 2024 and attempt to sign Dubois as an unrestricted free agent.


THE ATHLETIC: James Mirtle believes the Toronto Maple Leafs need to make a trade after their recent free-agent signings of Calle Jarnkrok and Pierre Engvall. Sitting a projected $1.4 million over the $82.5 million cap, they must make room to re-sign restricted free agent defenseman Rasmus Sandin.

Signing Sandin would also create a logjam on the blueline. Mirtle doesn’t see Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly, Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie or Timothy Liljegren going anywhere.

Mirtle examines whether the Leafs will consider moving Sandin or fellow blueliner. He also suggested forward Alex Kerfoot as the only other cost-cutting candidate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Holl is the more likely trade candidate. What do you think, Leafs fans? Sandin, Holl or Kerfoot? Or is there a better trade option? Weigh in with your thoughts.


  1. “The speculation linking Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Canadiens won’t go away. ”

    Awww … come ON!

    • The dog days of summer, George. Hapless pundits need to spit out copy. And we keep taking the bait.

      • Holl for sure. Kerfoot too if they can get a good picks.

    • If you’re tired of it, George, you may get a break soon. The Huberdeau to the Habs talk will start soon and drown out Dubois. The good folks at Montreal Hockey Now have gotten the ball rolling.

      • Don’t think that thought didn’t cross my mind, too, Howard, after THE DEAL. Two pending UFAs who may have had every intention of testing the waters next year anyway is hardly the way to re-build a solid foundation. First this that popped up, in fact, was a suggestion that maybe Calgary would now flip Weegar to Ottawa, given that they now have 10 D-men. Stay tuned for sure.

  2. The Jackets send PLD to Winnipeg for Laine and Rosolovic. Two years later, both Laine and Rosolovic resign with the Jackets while PLD wants out of Winnipeg. I guess we know who won that trade. And without Sweeney being Winnipeg’s GM. (chuckle, chuckle)

    • I don’t know who this guy Murphy’s “source” is … but someone seems to determined – by hook or by crook – to get the franchise’s next francophone saviour in there. Like they need that to market and sell tickets in Montreal!

      • George

        Murphy is a beat writer for Boston now And now one was doing Montreal now so he doing that too. It mostly reposts other sports insiders info as their own. If you want true insider info it does not come from him.

  3. Has any manager had a most underwhelming off-season than the guy in Winnipeg? How does he keep his job?

    • i’d say the Isles have done less than WPG. Acquiring Romanov but doing absolutely nothing else, not even getting a 1st rnd pick( trading it to MTL)

    • Maybe WPG and Calgary can swap GM’s!

  4. Dubois is one one and done . We have two years to go. Chevy did it with Trouba can’t recall on Laine

  5. Flames are screwed! now let’s see what kind of collateral damage Sweeney can cause in Beantown

  6. If they want to sign Sandin, dont they have to trade Holl AND Kerfoot?

  7. So knowing his full intentions, on opening night, do Jets fans cheer when they announce Dubois or boo him?

  8. As for the Leafs potential moves…to answer that I’ll say anything but the knee jerk reaction of being swept by TB Florida just pulled. Calgary was in a really bad spot but made out like bandits. Plus how awkward will that first meeting be between new coach Maurice? Remember that hit on Scheifele by him? Man to be a fly on the wall.

    • Huh? Are you referring to the Scheifele hit on Evans?

      • What? Do you not know if the dirty hit by tkachuck on Scheifele were Maurice called him dirty and threw that hit with little regard over the plays safety. He made a huge stink of it during and after the game. He said, “He could have cut his achilles. He could have ended the man’s career. It’s an absolutely filthy, disgusting hit.”

    • What knee-jerk reaction?? Both Weegar and Huberdeau were pending UFAs next year, Florida needed to clear cap space, and just maybe both Weegar and Huberdeau had let it been known that they were leaning towards testing the UFA waters anyway. So they moved them – and got an impact player back who signed long-term.

      Their only other options, when it came to pending UFAs, were Hornqvist, Gudas and Marc Staal … and they weren’t about to get anything substantial back for that lot. They’ll just be allowed to walk – or perhaps dealt at the trade deadline as playoff rentals.

      Toronto, for their part, had none of their top end players on the verge of UFA status next season, so a similar deal is out of the question. Their pending UFAs are Kerfoot, Engvall, Kampf, Aube-Kubel, Simmonds and Bunting and, with the possible exception of the latter, none of the others are going to command anything substantial.

      • The knee jerk reaction was the price they paid for him which not one person said, wow Florida killed it in this trade. Typically not a good sign. They had options to become cap compliant but choose this one. Was it a good move? I think it’s not so black and white because the prices that left the panthers are substantial and to me, in my opinion, looks like a knee jerk reaction to being swept.

  9. From a cap standpoint, it would be best to trade Kerfoot. I do not know where Sandin fits into the picture. He is a good talent which could be much better with more playing time. As stated be another comment, there is quite a logjam on the Leafs defense, especially on the left side. Unless the Leafs move out a left defenseman, I can’t see Sandin realizing his potential.

    • Leafs & LAKs once again can make a good fit in a trade package! LA needs a LD of good repute + LW. Leafs need RD of similar repute + a young prospect(2). Kerfoot/Sandin deal for a RD (Walker or Roy) + Anderson-Dolan type makes Cap sense! ?HMM?

  10. After Kerfoot’s bonus was paid for this season, his salary is only 750,000. His cap is 3,500,000

  11. Seems like a number of teams are over the cap and looking to deal players to get compliant. Seattle benefited from that by giving up not a lot for a decent player. Others, Leafs included, may well have to pay to move players.

  12. I was thinking, which can be a dangerous thing, that watching some of these teams like Toronto and Florida I guess are the two? They’re spending over the cap and worrying about it later. What does that say about the Kadri situation? Why haven’t the Avalanche just signed him now and worry about it by opening night? That would give them time to shed some salary? Maybe they are not that willing to bring him back? Any thoughts? The Avalanche are 2022 Stanley Cup Champions, just saying. GO AVS!!!!!!!!!

    • Stasny is still available. Not a bad fill in for 1 yr. at <$3M