NHL Rumor Mill – July 25, 2022

by | Jul 25, 2022 | Rumors | 45 comments

Check out the latest on Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kaapo Kakko in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Pierre-Luc Dubois’ desire to one day play for the Montreal Canadiens is hardly new. “Twice now he’s gone into a summer wanting (expecting?) an offer sheet from the Canadiens to help expedite his path to his preferred city,” he writes.

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

Portzline pointed out Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen traded defensemen Ryan Murray and Markus Nutivaara the night before free agency two summers ago. He suggests Kekalainen made those moves to clear cap space to thwart any attempt by the Canadiens to sign Dubois to an offer sheet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So Dubois’ desire to join the Canadiens apparently goes back to his days with the Blue Jackets. It was rumored in January 2021 that former Habs GM Marc Bergevin attempted to acquire Dubois before the Jackets shipped him to the Winnipeg Jets.

The Dubois-to-Montreal trade chatter has been ongoing for weeks during this offseason. There were reports the Canadiens and Jets discussed a trade that was rumored to go down at the draft in Montreal earlier this month. However, that deal failed to materialize.

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks recently joked about the possibility of Dubois and Jonathan Huberdeau being on the Canadiens’ first line in 2024-25. Huberdeau is a year away from UFA and was recently traded by the Florida Panthers to the Calgary Flames.

We’ll learn by next summer whether Huberdeau will remain with the Flames. As for Dubois, he might have to wait until his UFA eligibility in 2024 to sign with the Canadiens. The Jets have justifiably set a high asking price in the trade market. His desire to go to Montreal will also dampen interest from other clubs.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there is no indication Kaapo Kakko and his agent have solicited interest from other clubs to tender the New York Rangers winger an offer sheet.

That’s good news for the Rangers that no one is trying to take advantage of their cap limitations by attempting to sign away Kakko. However, Brooks wonders why no other club believes the 21-year-old winger is worth the approximately $4 million a year it could take to sign him away from the Blueshirts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks suggests the reasons could be rival general managers could be sticking to business as usual with their unwillingness to go the offer sheet route, or perhaps Kakko’s intent to stay in New York. Perhaps the simple answer is other general managers looked at Kakko’s limited body of work and decided he’s not worth it.


  1. Hadn’t thought about it before…. Hoobie/PLD same line in Habs uni…. I’m sure that thought brings smiles to many Habs faces !!

    HexBurkie…. Just over 30 hours left…. Get the paperwork in

  2. I think Habs fans who think Montreal should just wait until 2024 to sign PLD for free should keep one thing in mind. Everyone said Johnny Hockey wanted to go to NJ or Philly and he signed in Columbus. The same goes with Tkachuk, everyone said he wanted to play in St. L. There’s always the chance the Jets work out a trade to a different destination and PLD signs there long term so be careful what you wish for. One last point, if the Habs won the lottery next year and got Bedard, why would they spend a massive amount of money on PLD?

    • So be it Dave… No problem with that.

    • Good points.

      I think Jets should try and get a deal with the Canes. Carolina was in on Tkachuk looking for a player with some sandpaper. PLD would fit the bill. Jets asking price … Jarvis, Morrow and a 1st.

    • Excellent observation !

    • It isn’t Habs fans that keep this now tiresome story going, Dave. It’s hockey pundits with copy to push out in the off season.

      And even some of us Hab fans who give in and comment remain skeptical of PLD to Montreal. Surely this is the last day of this as a topic …

    • Tkachuk wasn’t a UFA, he was traded.
      Philly and NJ did have the cap space to sign Gaudreau. Columbus is also within driving distance to where Gaudreau is from.
      Currently, Montreal has over $21 million in cap space with 16 players signed for the 2023/24 season. That should increase a bit next year when the cap increases. Montreal will have to replace the likes of Dadonov and Byron.
      Not saying it’s going to happen, but the situations are different.

      • Kevjam: what are you reading? Capfriendly shows the Habs with 248,334 in cap space. That, as far as I understand it, includes Drouin’s LTIR of 5 million.

        CF also show Montreal with 22/23 signed players. Are you refering to another team?

      • LJ,

        He’s looking at 23-24 cap hit, you’re looking at next years (22-23)

      • Duh! Thanks, CO.

    • The Habs first round pick was deferred this year-top 10 protected to Phoenix. They don’t have a first rounder next year gents!

      • Edmontontwin: That’s incorrect. The Coyotes got the 2022 pick that originally belonged to the Hurricanes. The 2023 pick of the Canadiens was not deferred. In fact, the Habs have two first-rounders in 2023: their own and the Panthers. See Cap Friendly and Puck Pedia:

        *Conditions: The better of Montreal/Carolina’s 2022 1st round pick BUT if either or both are top 10 picks then Montreal will instead transfer to Arizona the worse of Montreal/Carolina’s 2022 1st round pick.

        Result: Arizona will receive Carolina’s 2022 1st round pick

  3. I don’t hold my breath for Huberdeau or PLD as the team needs a makeover in cap as it stands.

    They would both want long term contracts and if we have learned nothing else those become anchors.

    At this point I’m wondering more about who will be the defense coach since Richardson hasn’t been replaced.

    • But all star players contracts eventually become anchors HF30 but one can stomach them if that’s the price you pay to win a championship. What else can you do? You need and want to keep the best players…so you can win, right?

  4. Not sure which team has 4 million in cap space to take a chance on a Kakko who looks like a 2nd liner but very good 2way player.

    As a Ranger fan I am more concerned with KA Miller next summer getting offer sheets.

    • Anaheim jumps to mind ds. Right now they’re only committed to 17 and have $29,923,333 with which to sign 6 – and their only RFA is Lundestrom.

      Once he is re-up they have 18 signed with 5 to go and somehow I don’t see them filling out their roster with 5 ELCs. A couple, perhaps, but they’re likely examining their best options with what’s left among UFAs (Kadri? Klingberg?).

      They could certainly offer sheet Kakko without blinking.

      • good point. Anaheim could use a big body 2way 2nd line winger for the next 8 seasons….

      • George
        U really think Anaheim is going to look at Klingberg
        Never say never
        Lot of dough , this guy will sign for and a liability..
        Lots of hype , as per this guy ????
        Perhaps , throw Holl into the mix for a fraction of the cost

      • Heh Ken, that’s why I put the ? Only reason I mentioned those two by name, in fact, is that, after them, the UFA heap is filled with slim pickings in terms of lengthy and expected “difference-makers.”

      • And now I see they just signed Lundrestom to a 2-year $3.8 mil deal ($1.8 mil cap hit per).

        So now they’re sitting on $28,123,333 with which to sign 5, having spent $5,651,667 on 18 – so they need to spend another $4,348,333 just to get to the cap floor of $61 mil.

        Barring a big trade to bring in a heavy cap hit from a team that absolutely MIST clear cap space, their only other realist option is to sign one of those two UFAs mentioned.

        Be interesting to see which road they go down – maybe both?

  5. With the recent Bjorkstrand and Pacioretty trades, anyone who is taking on salary probably wants bargain prices or even assets in return.
    That to me is a reason why we aren’t seeing any offer sheets, otherwise players like Kakko and Sandin are prime candidates.

  6. Again, this PLD to the Habs thing is not going away. We have numerous credible sources reporting that he and his agent are pushing for a trade to Montreal.
    Obviously, this may be a ploy on his part, but where there is smoke there is fire, The Jets are in a strong position now. They likely won’t be a year from now. If they can’t convince him by then to sign long term they will have no choice but to trade him. And if the Habs are the only team to which he would then commit to a long term deal, the Jets return would be severely limited.
    As to Huberdeau, there was a report in Le Journal de Montreal in the spring of 2021 that he’d like to play in Montreal. But I really do not see that happening. When he hits free agency, he will be several months past his 30th birthday. He will undoubtedly want an AAV similar to what Tkachuk got and for at least 5 or 6 years. At this stage of their rebuild, the Habs would probably be willing to give a long term deal to a guy like PLD in his mid 20s. But not to a 30 year old.

    • Howard, I wouldn’t be too sure of that. If Gorton sees a chance to turn a 5 year process into a 3 year one, he’s going to do it. Huberdeau could be his Panarin… and if Habs fans get their wet dreams fulfilled, PLD their Mika. With another high lottery pick, he’s only an Igor away from re-enacting his Rangers model.

  7. Jonathan Huberdeau Will ether go Back to Florida
    Or to the Canadiens’ as he is a UFA in 11 months time…
    same with Weegar he is also a UFA next year, im sure MW will test the market a good RD man will be in demand with the way he plays

    Flames look like they need to rebuild at forward position they now lack 2X100 point players…!

    I dont see the Calgary Flames getting passed the Edmonton Oilers now for the next five years❗️

    • I see MW hitting the market. As for Huberdeau, as I pointed out above, I don’t see him with the Habs. Nor do I see him going back to Florida. They won’t have the space to bring him back and their priority will be to add a D-man. Given that he’ll be 30 by then, his best option may be to negotiate an extension with Calgary rather than hitting the market.

    • Ok
      U nailed it !!
      Everybody is overwhelmed with the massive return on Matthew Tkachuk !
      I am not in agreement with with Calgary coming out the winner in this deal , as per exactly your article above !!’
      Both UFA’s , next year , déjà vu all over again !

    • Williew

      Panthers cannot afford JH. That is why he was traded. He is 100 pt player so flames only lost 1 not 2 100 pt. Players To say he is not going to resign in Calgary is just pure speculation by everyone based on zero facts

      • Exactly, Mrbruin4 – and I don’t think Treleving is an idiot – should he come to the conclusion early (and that will come through talks with their agents) that neither Huberdeau nor Weegar have plans to re-up in Calgary – at least without seeing what they could get – and where – on the open market, he’ll deal both to teams believing either could be a key ingredient to a long playoff run – as Florida did this past season with Giroux (didn’t work as planned but that’s beside the point).

        As it turns out, it was Florida that lost him for nothing as a UFA (to Ottawa) while the Flyers got Owen Tippet, a 2024 1st round pick and a 2023 3rd round pick.

        Treleving can still do a lot to re-stock the cupboard with those two should it become necessary.

    • We’ll see I guess, tsn reporting this morning both Weeger and Huberdeau are open to signing long term with the Flames.

  8. I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again…Lamoriello probably has deals in place with Klingberg, Kadri, and Kakko…But has told all of them that “IF” they mention it to anyone, the deal is off….bwahahaha. He will announce their signings in early Oct….bwahaha.

    • @Uwey

      Good catch , finding that article

      Wait and see I guess
      Hopefully Calgary can sign them both

  9. RIP Van Sweeney nowhere to be seen or heard but apparently nere a discouraging word.. this guy makes almost 5 mill a year for sleeping in his office.

    • He likes Cape Cod in the summer

  10. Kakko isn’t signed yet cause teams know he wants to play for the habs. Jg pld kk. It’s obvious

    • no CBJ

    • That’s Huber & Weegar taking about signing with the Flames.

  11. It has come to my attention that two individuals who regularly post comments have attempted to impersonate other regular posters in order to mock them.

    One of them has also attempted to make up different screen names to pass themselves off as different people to make it appear as though they have supporters of their views.

    That sort of behavior will not be tolerated.

    I will be monitoring their posts to screen them for approval before allowing their publication. If this behavior continues, they will be permanently banned from posting here.

    • Guilty,

      I made an attempt at humor in response to a poster. I don’t think it was mocking, it was light humor. I’ve seen MUCH worse on here than my attempt at humor.

      Hopefully, everyone will be monitored going forward, not just me and the other guy trying to solidify his opinion.

      Again, I’ve seen much much nastier things going on here than either of those offenses. Hopefully, the chronic abusers and people who constantly try to incite others will be monitored going forward as well?

    • For the record, I also didn’t attempt to impersonate any user on here. It was a name outside mine or any user here with my real email address.

    • Ditto to that type of tomfoolery!

  12. Today Dubois said he went to the draft because his bank invited him, he lives 15 minutes from the draft and is a fan of hockey. He also said if he wanted a trade he would have asked for one.

    Huberdeau said he is up to signing long term with Calgary

  13. Well Premier, that would be great news for the faithful in Cow-Town – IF he would consider 6 years “long term.” That would take him to age 35. Not sure I’d go 7 or 8 years … but, hey, those kinds of decisions are why the Treleving’s of the world get the big bucks while we sit at home and criticize. 🙂

  14. A Home run for the Flames and the only draw back is the age difference. Tkachuk will still be considered young in 5 years. Huber not so much.