NHL Rumor Mill – January 18, 2023

by | Jan 18, 2023 | Rumors | 43 comments

The Hurricanes are linked to Bo Horvat and the Bruins to Luke Schenn, more speculation about the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois joining the Canadiens plus the latest on the Blue Jackets, Wild and Sabres in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Vancouver Canucks have been in contact with pretty much every contender regarding their captain Bo Horvat. One of those clubs is the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Canucks are said to be seeking a young center as part of a multi-asset return for Horvat. That’s too steep for Carolina at this point, who won’t part with Martin Necas. LeBrun pointed out that the Hurricanes usually don’t spend high on rental players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes need a reliable second-line center if they hope to win the Stanley Cup this season. They have other options to choose from to address that need if the Canucks’ asking price for Horvat remains high. Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly, and Montreal’s Sean Monahan could also be available.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss cited LeBrun’s recent column in The Athletic reporting the Bruins have called the Canucks to inquire about Luke Schenn. Like Horvat, the 33-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun suggested the Bruins’ interest in Schenn may be exploratory at this point. He carries an affordable $850K cap hit and has considerable playoff experience as a shutdown blueliner, which would make him enticing for a cap-strapped club like the Bruins.


SPORTSNET: Eric Engels wondered if Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois’ next game in Montreal following Tuesday’s game will be with the Canadiens. The 25-year-old center is a restricted free agent this summer. Engels suggests the possibility of him suiting up with the Habs remains a possibility as long as he remains noncommittal about a long-term deal with the Jets.

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

The Canadiens attempted to acquire Dubois from Columbus before he was shipped to Winnipeg in 2021. Last summer, his agent created waves when he mentioned that Montreal was a city his client might like to play in one day.

On Monday, Dubois told the Montreal media he was relaunching his takeover of Vincent Lecavalier’s charity to help underprivileged children in Rimouski, where the Jets forward grew up. He indicated that playing for the Canadiens one day wasn’t what he was thinking about when he started this philanthropic effort.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois once again downplayed the notion of joining the Canadiens. Meanwhile, Jets coach Rick Bowness sang his praises and said he’d do all he could to convince the center to stay in Winnipeg.

The Jets hoped to sign Dubois last summer to a long-term deal but he preferred a one-year extension. If he opts for a similar deal this summer, they could put him on the trade block as he’ll be a year away from UFA eligibility. Whether the rebuilding Canadiens would meet the expensive asking price to acquire him from the Jets is another matter.


THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger recently reported that Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen could receive plenty of phone calls leading up to the March 3 trade deadline.

The Jackets have three potential rental players to offer up in pending UFAs like Vladislav Gavrikov, winger Gustav Nyquist and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. Hedger also speculated that other clubs could target players such as Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic.

TSN: LeBrun reported the Blue Jackets will seek more than a first-round pick for Vladislav Gavrikov. He pointed out that they got a first- and a third-rounder for David Savard at the 2021 trade deadline. LeBrun also indicated the Blue Jackets still hope to re-sign Gavrikov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams can ask about Laine but I don’t see the Jackets moving him. Roslovic, however, is another story. He’s had a disappointing performance this season and has a year remaining on his contract with a $4 million cap hit. Perhaps they’d consider shipping him elsewhere for the right offer.


THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports the Minnesota Wild’s re-signing Matt Boldy to a seven-year, $49 million contract extension leaves them with just $9 million remaining of their $83 million salary-cap payroll for 2023-24. Goaltender Filip Gustavsson, defenseman Calen Addison and center Sam Steel are among their notable restricted free agents while their noteworthy UFAs include Matt Dumba and Frederick Gaudreau.

According to Smith, Dumba is playing his final season with the Wild. He also suggested winger Jordan Greenway could become a cost-cutting casualty if the club decides to shed some salary to re-sign other players for next season. Smith wondered if Addison might price himself out of Minnesota.

For this season, the Wild have the cap space to make additions at the trade deadline. GM Bill Guerin said how aggressive he’ll be in the trade market will depend on the club’s performance.

Smith claims Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat aren’t on the Wild’s radar. However, he wouldn’t be surprised if Guerin kicked tires on Chicago’s Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports a source informed him that the Penguins have had trade discussions with the Wild. The focus of those talks wasn’t readily available.

Kingerski suggested the Wild could help the Penguins free up some salary-cap room. Given the Pens’ depth in right-side defensemen, he doesn’t see them being interested in Dumba. The Wild could use some help at center plus they need left-side defensemen that can provide mobility and offense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have a projected $16.5 million in trade deadline cap space. I expect Guerin will be a buyer if his club is still in the thick of the playoff race.

With that much cap room heading toward March 3, it will be his best opportunity to add one or two rental players to bolster his club’s Stanley Cup hopes. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he tried to move a depth player under contract for next season to provide himself with some much-needed cap room for 2023-24.


THE ATHLETIC: Matthew Fairburn reports the Buffalo Sabres have been calling around trying to move winger Vinnie Hinostroza. He’s been scratched in 19 of the last 21 games. The Sabres are hoping to move him and his $1.7 million salary to free up a roster spot.


  1. Probably easy to say that the Provorov trade rumours will simmer down after last night.

    • He’ll be the object of todays Two Minutes of Hate, then the mob will move on to whoever the powers that be tell them to hate next.

      I don’t see this affecting his tradability.

  2. I’ve said this every time PLD to the Habs rumors pop up: Why would a rebuilding club, trying to accumulate assets, move them for a player that they can target as a UFA in another year? Especially since they are showing no indication of being competitive in the short term?

    • Hi Jesse

      Can’t dismiss the possibility of an offer sheet

      What is Jets threshold for matching

      Compensation …

      AAV $6.3M – $8.4 M (1st, *2nd, 3rd)

      AAV $8.4 – $10.5 M (Two 1sts, *2nd, 3rd)

      * must own your own pick, Habs 2nd in ‘24 currently owned by Yotes… Habs would need to trade back for it…. Say Habs 2nd (‘25) plus 3rd (‘24) to get their own 2nd (‘24) back

      Would Chevy match a 7 @ $ 8.39 M offer to gain a 1st, 2nd, 3rd… likely

      But if it is 7 @ $10 M (possible) , to gain two 1sts, 2nd, 3rd??

      • “* must own your own pick, Habs 2nd in ‘24 currently owned by Yotes… Habs would need to trade back for it…. Say Habs 2nd (‘25) plus 3rd (‘24) to get their own 2nd (‘24) back”

        You’re suggesting the rebuilding Habs should spend assets to get a draft pick back so that they can overpay for PLD on an offer sheet, thus losing valuable assets?

        That’s…not how rebuilding works.

      • It does too!

      • Hi Garth

        Yes a rebuild can have those type of strategies

        All they are giving up is a 3rd (2nds are flipped) just to have the right to offer sheet PLD

        If no intention of going the OS route…. They don’t make the pick trade

        Worst case… they make the pick trade; they make the OS…. Jets match…. Habs loss then is a 3rd, that may or may not become (likely a 4th liner or 6th/7th D) an NHLer…. And even if they did…. Earliest would be fall of ‘27….. when Habs are well past the rebuild stage

        Not saying they are considering the OS route…. But if they are… fits in the rebuild strategy; comes with low risk outcome

      • To be clear, I was joking. That’s clearly not a way. What team has done that? Name one….ah never mind.

    • Exactly. Remember when Aho’s agent suggested the Habs make an offer sheet proposal to him? Just might be the same mischief at work here.

      I also have to think this is Engels desperate for something to write about amidst the carnage of a season in Montreal.

      Then there is the option of signing Monahan, whom they clearly miss.

    • Exactly, Jesse !
      Of course, signing PLD on a long term contract would consolidate the two first C spots for years, Suzuki being signed for eight. Spontaneously, I thought of offering Florida’s 1st (lottery protected), the rights to Jayden Struble, and two 2nds, but…hey, what if this ’23 draft brought the solution?
      It’s not as if PLD would make the Habs instant contenders. Hughes has to keep selling veterans, and play the long game.
      2024 will come soon enough, if we still need PLD.

      • Why would you trade for him ? Why give assets ? The guy and his agent are giving clues that he wants to play in Montreal. He’s only 24 ! If he signs for just one year whether the Jets decide to trade him or not, he’ll still be available in a little less than 2 years and will only be a year older than Suzuki at that point. So yes it would make sense for them to wait and keep their current assets and picks and go after come that day.

    • PLD is 24 years old. Young enough to be a key player in the rebuild. If he’s available, the Habs will inquire. Waiting till he becomes a UFA runs the risk that he’ll be traded elsewhere and be happy enough to sign long term there.

      Push will come to shove this summer. It’ll be now or never for the Jets. Team and player are both playing well. If he doesn’t agree to sign long term now in Winnipeg, he never will. If the Jets can’t lock him up long term before the draft they’ll likely have no choice but to shop him.

  3. The Cup fav Bruins looking for reasonable cost good D depth add in Schenn…. all other Cup “hopefuls” just sighed and cried

    Easy Cap fit…. Cap hit just $100 K over league min… to be on 23 man; someone must drop… so at least league min drops off… annual diff $100 K; proportionate TDL diff just $25 K… easy fit

    Schenn strong, big, Cup experience…. and will not cost much in trade …. would have loved Schenn on Pens 💩🤬👎

    BH on Canes certainly a game changer if it happens…. Should not change the current expectations of Canes v Bruins in ECF; does it move the probability needle for them beating Bruins???

    Here’s a scary thought… Sweeney blows his load…

    1st, Lysell, Beecher, Smith, Nosek

    For BH and Schenn (both @ 50% retained)

    He shouldn’t… but what if he did?

    • I agree “he shouldn’t” if Horvat plans to test free agency. If it’s a sign-then-trade or trade-then-sign he would at least have to consider it.

      • Agree except trade then sign…. That assumes for sure BH re-ups with Bruins

        If a trade like that is discussed, at the very least Jimbo/Alvin need to allow Sweeney to talk to BH camp re out-year contract…. If Sweeney has good inkling on an amenable deal…. Yep; doubts… too much to give upon that gamble; and Bruins ARE already the cup favs

    • Hi Penny,
      the Bruins are already Rolling Well… if they did your trade 5,pc with Vancouver❗️😵‍💫

      1st, Lysell, Beecher, Smith, Nosek
      BH and Schenn (both @ 50% retained)

      They would be a Complet handfull to beat…
      I really think the bruins will trade for Bo Horvat & if the get Luke Schenn, Great for them it could very well be the Last year for Bergeron & David Krejci as they both signed 1 year deals ❓🤔

      • Hi Willie

        The BH move is truly “all in”…. it not only adds to their already Cup Fav team; but prevents the other EC fav (Canes) from getting him…. Double whammy so to speak

  4. Re “ Dan Kingerski reports a source informed him that the Penguins have had trade discussions with the Wild.”

    Can Pens have Addison back please

    Pens need help at 3C…. What could Billy G possibly help Pens out with???

    Under no circumstances should Pens be looking at getting Googles

    If Min offering up Cap space…. Dumo for a 4th

    O’Connor, 2nd to Chi

    4th (Wild) to Yotes for 25% retention (about $160 cash after escrow @RDL) on Toews

    Toews @ 25% (50% retained by Chi, 25% retained by Arz) to Pens

    • Pengy

      As far as a 3c for the Pens, don’t know if he has been discussed, but what about Henrique? The Ducks would have to eat some salary. Get McCabe on D and call it a day.

      • There had been talk late last year re Henrique

        I like the idea as long as HexBurkie doesn’t blow the bank

        Henrique this year on the leagues 3rd worst team….

        Tops on team in goals

        Tops on team in plus/minus … only -2 (most of the team in high neg teens; 5 players beyond -20

        53% in the dot

        $5.8 M Cap, and still on for 23/24…. So minimum $4 M has to leave Pens

        Retention costs more in trade

        Try Dumo, O’Connor, 1st for AH (@ 50 retained)

        AH 3C, Carter to wing; healthy D as below…. should meet Pens goal (getting in, 3rd in Metro… won’t meet Bruins or Canes round 1; gives fair shot at beating Blueshirts)

        Tanger Pettersson

        Petry P-O J

        2 of Smith Freidman Rutta

        7th D…. Whoever of Smith Freidman Rutta not n bottom pairing

        Under no circumstances should they let CR play. Better still… don’t let him practice with team…. Straight to WBS

        That roster has very good chance at making 3rd in Metro

        Fair shot at getting to Div finals v Canes

        That’s likely the ceiling (barring major Canes injuries)

  5. It makes no sense that just because the wild have lots of cap space that they will be going after rentals.
    Rentals are very expensive in terms of future assets and that is one thing the wild should be collecting. They will be in cap jail for the next 2 – 3 years so what better time than now than to collect draft picks and prospects not give them away.
    The cap is a key component in teams strategy. For the Wild the cap will force them into collecting picks and prospects not trading them away

    • The thought, right or wrong, is that Guerin will do everything he can to push for a cup this year because they will have no chance for the next few years due to those cap constraints.

  6. 🍁Tonights Big Game in Ottawa

    Pengy Pen’s & Georges Sen’s ………

    Any Game time chirps from you Two who will Win.😜

    • I would think that George is cheering for Sully to play CR and Dumo 28 minutes each

      Honest guess…. Teams split the next 2…. Homers win

      • Heh. Montreal’s win last night over Winnipeg put them in a points tie with Ottawa … what I want to see is for the Senators to continue spiraling down the loo and get as solid a chance at Bedard as they can. I also want to see Smith and his staff sent packing and, once the team has a new owner with deep pockets (they’d have to be to fork over $900 mil +) jettison Dorion and his minions in the off season.

      • Their chances of prolonging a losing skid got better with Zub going back on IR.

      • If I’m reading George right

        He joins me in NOT wanting CR to play tonight


  7. Bruins…DeBrusk back…Schenn add to the D & Nic Desaulniers to the 4th line to protect the stars … let the playoffs begin

  8. I don’t understand why the Canes would want ROR when statically worse than Strome in Anaheim. I know some respected journalist tried to make his case for my team to trade for him but I think Strome would be a better fit if they wanted a ROR type player with more upside (both are on bad teams but one is on one way worse). Are you willing to bet that ROR is going to better come playoffs and expect a past performance from him?

    • Cryin Ryan should be nowhere near the Leafs’ wish list. He’s the most overrated player in the game. Well, him and Seth Jones. The Leafs could use a couple of depth defensemen to spare off Gio and Brodie during their playoff push.

      • You’re right. The team has a few needs that need attention. Hopefully there won’t be any bad moves.

      • Shoreorrpark

        Definitely agree that the Leafs should steer clear of O’Reilly.

        He’s likely to be slow to rebound from his broken foot.

        If they’re targeting a C why not shoot for the moon and go after Horvat? Rumour is he wouldn’t mind being closer to home…trying to land Kuzmenko wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

        VAN is said to want centre and RD in return.

        Does TOR have the assets to make this trade? I believe they do.

        To VAN: 1st round pick, DerArguchintsev (C) Niemela (RD), Kerfoot (C/LW)

        To TOR: Horvat, Kuzmenko.

        I think Niemela was voted the top defenceman at the WJC a couple years back?

  9. Isn’t it interesting that the ‘Canes are looking for a reliable centre, given their smug self satisfaction when they signed Kotkaniemi to an offer sheet.

    Some said it was karma for Montreal. They were correct, just a year or two later than imagined.

    • Lj, didn’t Montreal fire the first shot by attempting to sign, Aho? I’m a little foggy, but I think that’s accurate. Please correct me if I’m in error.

      • Shhhh!

      • SOP: This is a late reply, yes they did – after Aho’s agent suggested to Bergevin that he do so. A low risk move because the offer for Aho wasn’t going to cost 4 first rounders, but no question as I recall the reports at the time that Berg got played by agent Brisson.

        If I don’t see an acknowledgment that you read this I will answer you tomorrow.

    • Thanks for the reply, LJ.
      Pat Brisson pulled a fast one. A fast one that will be remembered by GM’s.

  10. The way PLD played last night, looks like he’s already in Montreal.

    zero passion, wasn’t even noticeable last night.

    Montreal with Suzuki signed for 8yrs at $7,875,000 cap hit

    If the same applies to Caufield; forget the bridge, projections show his protectory sign him for 8yrs if you can get him at Suzuki dollars.

    This would set the Habs up for long term success as your top players will be consider at bargain dollars and more money to move around to add better depth.

    PLD maybe come cheaper because of his strong desire o wear the Canadians sweater.

    As much as i don’t like the Habs, looking in from the outside they seem to be doing things the right way and will be contending sooner then later.

    • If Caufield signs long term, he’ll want more than $7-8m. AAV. In the year since the coaching change, only 7 players have more goals than him. Before too long, he’ll be seen as one of the league’s top goal scorers – if he isn’t already. And he just turned 22.

      Caufield will bet on himself if necessary. The price for top goal scorers will continue to go up, especially with the cap expected to increase. If he signs for $7-8m., it’ll be for 3 or 4 years. If he signs for 7 or 8 years, he’ll likely want in the neighborhood of $10m. The Habs would be fortunate to sign him to 8 years at $9m. AAV, ie Subban numbers.

      • Howard

        Do you think Caufield will or should get more than Suzuki?

        $9-10M for 8 years for a player with a career high of 43 points and only 122 NHL games? I don’t see Montreal giving him anywhere near that number with such a small sample size. I’d say a bridge deal similar in cap hit to Trevor Moore from LA…2 or 3 years at $4M.

  11. As per Pengy and Willi w

    Horvat and Schenn to Boston

    I am in total agreement with this thought , Horvat is a character guy – suits the Bruins image to a “tee”
    A powerful addition to pretty much “cinch” Lord Stanley , positive future for the Bruins as well in Horvat
    Win , Win !!

    Bruins definitely don’t want Horvat heading to Carolina

    Rutherford ‘s press conference , his other personality will soon be a reality – changes are in the cards !

  12. If Horvat goes to Boston it will be a repeat of the Neely pain bwahaha.

  13. How many times has the Presidents Cup winner gone on in a big way in the playoffs and cup win ?
    Didn’t look it up but definitely a curse . I say Bruin lose in second round. Just like Florida last year