NHL Rumor Mill – January 24, 2023

by | Jan 24, 2023 | Rumors | 57 comments

More speculation linking the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Canadiens, the Canucks haven’t given up on re-signing Bo Horvat, plus the latest on Vladimir Tarasenko and David Pastrnak in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: During a Jan. 17 appearance on “Tim and Friends”, NHL insider Nick Kypreos expressed his belief that Pierre-Luc Dubois doesn’t have a long-term future with the Winnipeg Jets.

The 24-year-old center is slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1 with arbitration rights and will also be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. He was repeatedly linked last summer to the Montreal Canadiens before signing a one-year, $6 million deal with the Jets.

Kypreos didn’t rule out the possibility of Dubois joining the Canadiens this summer. “He is not staying in Winnipeg long term,” said Kypreos. “There is nothing that can change his mind from what I’m hearing”.

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

According to Kypreos, the Jets’ surprisingly strong performance this season is the only reason Dubois isn’t on insiders lists of candidates to be moved at the trade deadline. He doesn’t believe there’s anything that could change Dubois’ mind even if the Jets were to win the Stanley Cup this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois’ agent raised eyebrows last summer saying his client wouldn’t mind playing for the Canadiens one day. The center downplayed the rumors tying him to the Canadiens last summer and did so again last week when the Jets played the Habs in Montreal.

Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness recently sang Dubois’ praises, adding he’d do everything he could to convince him to sign a long-term contract. There’s no indication thus far that Jets management has engaged in contract extension talks with the Dubois camp.

The Canadiens, of course, haven’t mentioned any interest in Dubois because they’d run afoul of the league’s anti-tampering rules. His addition would accelerate the Habs’ rebuild but they could be leery of investing in a big-ticket player at this early stage of the process. If there were interested, they could balk at the cost of trading for him and then inking him to an expensive new contract.

It’s clear the “Dubois to the Canadiens” speculation isn’t going away as long as uncertainty remains about his future in Winnipeg.


CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal of the “Donnie and Dhali” show reports it is believed the Vancouver Canucks are still looking at ways to keep Bo Horvat “as tough as that may be”.

Horvat is eligible for unrestricted free-agent status on July 1. The 27-year-old center has become a fixture in the rumor mill since rejecting a contract offer from the Canucks weeks ago.

Dhaliwal said they want to see how things work between Horvat and new head coach Rick Tocchet. They can only sign Horvat or Andrei Kuzmenko but not both and so far no offer has been made to Kuzmenko.

Can they send one final offer Horvat’s way?” asked Dhaliwal, who nodded and said the two sides did talk over the weekend. He firmly believes the Canucks won’t give the Horvat camp permission to talk with other teams as they don’t want to lose leverage in negotiations.

Dhaliwal suggested keeping an eye on Brandon Carlo if the Boston Bruins came calling about Horvat. “Right-shot D, 25 years old, that’s who I would ask for. Brandon Carlo,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dhaliwal stressed there is no confirmation the Bruins have an interest in Horvat. The Canucks need blueline depth but Carlo’s injury history should be a concern.

Media consensus believes Horvat’s a goner. As always, however, it’s worth remembering that this season was supposed to be J.T. Miller’s last with the Canucks before he was signed to a long-term contract extension.


THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford believes trade-deadline talk involving the St. Louis Blues should pick up once Vladimir Tarasenko returns from a hand injury later this month. The 31-year-old winger is slated to become a UFA on July 1.

Rutherford believes Tarasenko’s return will become a showcase of whether he can prove he’s healthy and can help playoff contenders. He has a full no-trade clause so it remains to be seen if he’ll waive it to go to a contender or ride out the season in St. Louis and hit the open market in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford wondered if the Carolina Hurricanes would be interested in Tarasenko after losing Max Pacioretty to injury for the rest of the season. They have nearly identical average annual values with Pacioretty earning $7 million and Tarasenko $7.5 million.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman claiming the Boston Bruins and winger David Pastrnak are getting closer to a contract extension. He believes the two sides are meeting almost every day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins aren’t going to let Pastrnak hit the open market in July. He’s going to stay in Boston on an eight-year contract. It’s just a question of how much the average annual value breaks down.

Pastrnak is a former Richard Trophy winner who is jockeying with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the goal-scoring crown this season. He sits fifth in total goals (251) since 2016-17. I expect he’ll get around $12 million annually. That’s the going rate for goal scorers of his caliber.


  1. MTL will probably get a #1 for Edmundson at the deadline, so they’ll package that pick, maybe Slafkovsky (or another young player not named Suzuki or Caufield) and a lesser prospect to WPG for Dubois at the draft

    • I can see the Habs sending a first to Winnipeg in any deal, although not their own pick, which will be in the top 7 at the very least. Plus a mid-level prospect and an established player like Christian Dvorak to balance out the cap hit somewhat. And a young NHLer, but that would not be Slafkovsky. No way they’re trading him now.

      • Why would MTL trade anything when they can patiently wait 12 months and sign him as a UFA?

        Rebuilds take time, and no need to rush Dubois into the Habs organization.

    • that wont be even close to the asking price, think 4 assets.

      2 1st , top prospect, 2nd or 3rd.

      Something along that lines.

      • Well, if PLD actually wants to test the market, and wants to play in MTL, and MTL isn’t winning anything in the next couple years with or without PLD, why wouldn’t Hughes just wait a year and give up nothing?

        Having said all that, I have no idea what he wants to do. MTL is a couple years away from even thinking about trading away young assets for win now players. Gorton know better than that.

      • Keep dreaming . Montreal will not be ready to compete next season . Might aswell wait out Winnipeg and sign him as a Ufa

      • mp, not at that price. The Habs would rather wait a year till he becomes a ufa. So would the rest of the league.

      • Winnipeg has no leverage here if PLD won’t sign a long term deal with them or another team. They may want all that but won’t get it.

    • Why why why would a rebuilding team do this ?? No chance Mtl trades 20 yr potential 50 goal scorer . New management does not prioritize french players .

    • Any potential Dubois trade to the Habs better start with Suzuki in return!!!

      • Sorry Howie….you are dreaming in technicolor. They won’t get squat for him as long it appears that he’s leaving one way or another. That’s just the reality of the situation…unfortunate for the Jets, but it is what it is.

    • No reason for Habs to give up on Slaf or a 1st if PLD is really intent on signing in Montreal once he hits UFA

    • Unlikely MTL upsets a rebuild and the acquisition of assets required to rebuild to get a player 1 year before they can simply sign him without trading.

  2. Re: Kuzmenko

    The Leafs should be all over this player to help them out at LW. With his nearly point per game scoring and $950K cap hit he’s a perfect fit at 2LW

    A 1st, 3rd, and DerAguchintsev to VAN for Kuzmenko and Schenn.

    While Schenn would help the Leafs in the physicality department the best part of getting him is that TB doesn’t

    • I could see Tampa making a very competitive offer for both.

    • An AHLer a late 1st & 3rd isn’t close.

      • And not just an AHLer – a 3rd round pick C on the small size (5′ 10″ 173 lbs) for that position with 8 goals in 36gp in the AHL.

    • Why would the Leafs do this?
      Jankrok who is fitting in nicely at 2LW since he was put there.
      I don’t think thats the sort of player the Leafs are targeting if they are giving up a first and a third.

      • George O

        What does his draft position have to do with anything? Kuzmenko wasn’t drafted at all…
        DerArguchintsev has 31 pts in 38 games. He’s always been a set up man. As for size…they’re nearly the same height…5’10” vs 5’11”
        Not all NHL players are 1st round picks.
        Kuzmenko is found money…


        Jarnkrok is better suited to 3rd line duty. This helps with the Leafs forward depth.

        Kuzmenko would be easier to fit under the salary cap whereas most of the other top UFA have salaries that tte Leafs or many contenders cannot afford.
        Domi would be another good fit on Toronto’s 2nd line.

      • Daryl, while Kuzmenko was, indeed, undrafted, he has shown – graphically – that he is a bona-fide NHLer with – so far – 21g 22a 43 pts in 46 gp and is a pending UFA coming off a $950,000 deal.

        IF they ever let it be known that he was available in a trade because “They can only sign Horvat or Andrei Kuzmenko but not both and so far no offer has been made to Kuzmenko” the incoming offers would dwarf what you suggest Toronto might offer.

        But, in any event, I think Dhaliwal is out to lunch. They’d be insane not to move in other directions to keep him and, if at all possible, Horvat as well. Two options to free up cap space could be to move Demko and his $5 mil cap hit along with Mikheyev and his reasonable $4,750,000 deal. But regardless, trading or not re-signing Kuzmenko is insane. And I don;t think management has reached THAT stage yet.

  3. I see no reason to push for the Habs to move early on Dubois. Continue to stink up the ice for 2 years, collect your prospects and then sign him to free agent contract. Then you have your rebuild almost complete – don’t eff it up.

    • 1st round picks are making the NHL and contributing. IMO these 1st round picks are becoming more valuable. They help balance a team’s cap with their low ELCs.
      The Oilers are a good example of this. Holloway, Bouchard, and Broberg are three players on the ELC and, as of late, have been big contributors to the team. They are also balancing out the cap with all of their dead cap hit. They also have another two waiting in the minors and junior with Schaefe and Bourgault.

  4. This may be an unpopular comment for Sens fans, but with his continued shoulder injury issues could they package Norris to either the Jets or Canucks for Dubois or Horvat?

    • Not without an extension signed 🤐

    • Not likely. Both Horvat and Dubois will bring much more in a trade.

    • Can see the Edmonton Oilers offering up a
      2nd round pick and Jesse Pulijarvi $3.M
      (to make the cash work)
      for LD man Joel Edmundson,
      if im dealing a 1st pick for a d/man Im going after
      CBJ LD man Vladislav Gavrikov…..⁉️

      • If Montreal is taking on Pulijarvi, then they will be asking for a 1st round pick or a good prospect.

      • Williew

        Puljujarvi has very little, if any, trade value.

        As a RFA after this year there is no guarantee he stays in the NHL next season. He may decide to move back to Europe.

        I think EDM needs more help at RD. Ceci and Barrie are awful defenders. Perhaps Savard from MTL would be a better fit in EDM?

        I can’t see MTL letting Edmunson go for anything less than a 1st +.

    • If the reason for dealing him was worry over his continuous shoulder injuries, don’t you think Winnipeg and Vancouver would see the same concern? Why would they, then, turn over a valuable commodity for an ongoing concern?

      The question here is, should the Senators have insisted on surgery in the first place rather than the route taken? This sort of smacks of Tarasenko’s shoulder woes – but in his case surgery seems to have done the trick.

      I don’t think Ottawa will even remotely consider dealing Norris at this stage … it’s tough luck and now they have to go through the process and hope for the best down the line. One thing is certain – forget any talk about trading Pinto … unless they make another unrelated move to bring in a winger and move Giroux back to his natural C position on that 1st line between Tkachuk and Batherson and either find another RW to play on the 2nd line with Stutzle and DeBrincat, OR – move DeBrincat to his natural RW position and deal for a 2nd line LW for the line.

      Lots of moving parts here KevJam.

      • In the case of the Canucks they get a 1st/2nd line centre in return and then they can also keep Kuzmenko.
        In the case of the Jets, they get a replacement for Dubois who is under contract long term instead of losing Dubois for nothing.

      • I understand that Kevjam … my point was, if the reason for Ottawa dealing him was concern over his ailing shoulder, wouldn’t that concern be shared by Winnipeg and Vancouver? If those teams have no concerns about the end result of the surgery and his ability to go next season, why should Ottawa be concerned?

      • A good but injury prone top 6 centre is better than losing Horvat or Dubois for nothing IMO.
        I realize it’s easier said than done.

  5. horvat will not sign again with vancouver.owner and management issues will severely impact their ability to retain or trade for players.

    • I agree. The upcoming FA period will be telling how players see the Canucks organization.

    • Hey crazy Canuck,
      Your 100% right✔️ there is No Way he Stays in Vancouver with that Gong show Managment Team and Crazy Owner…❗️

      if he is Mad at the Canucks… He will say in public
      out-loud that he wants to go the UFA route in July
      and that will bring the Asking price right down as now he is a Rental player…❗️🤔
      maybe all they get is a 1st pick and a …??

      • Are you the Prez of the hysteria club?

        Tbh you’re clueless if you think Horvat would come out & say that. He’s a captain for a reason not some whiney child.

  6. So what do other B’s fans think about the $12M x 8 contract that Lyle guesses for Pasta above?

    Not questioning that is the going rate, what do I know, but wow that’s a big #.

    Perhaps I am just conditioned to B’s players taking a discount. Here’s hoping they can get him signed for $10.5! Need Bergy and Krecji to sign up for another season at a discount as we won’t be able to afford a new top 6 C with that much tied up.

    Tough to let him walk, even tougher to replace those goals.

    • Ray, I think 11 X 8 will eventually get it done for the Bruins. To me that would be worth it to him as probably 12 X 7 would be the going rate on the open market. I think he will want to stay in Boston for the most part and I think Donnie will try to get it done before the deadline so he will know what he can spend at that time (thinking Horvat, but not sure that is what they need at the moment). To me the wild card here is that Donnie already played hard ball last contract and how Pasta feels about that now.

      • 12×7 is less than 11×8 right? So he’ll sign for more than “the open market”?
        I think $88m is the floor for a guy like him. What more can you ask from a guy? And no no one will want to leave money on the table, not the kind we hope for.

    • Ray I do not fit into the definition of a B’s fan, impressed though I am by the season they are having.

      I see that Pasta is one of 6 UFAs, along with 3 RFAs the B’s have to make decisions on. Pasta will get big bucks, but if they sign and keep him are you worried that the price will eat up too much cap space to ice a competitive team?

      • Sort of LJ, more specifically the C position.
        No prospects at that position close to top 6 C.
        Can you plug in Zacha and Coyle in those spots and be successful? Maybe with guys like Pasta and Marchand on the wings. But strength up the middle is a common phrase for a reason.

        No idea if an option comes available at C in the next couple years, so not signing him and hoping you land one doesn’t seem like a viable plan either as most higher end guys stay put with the odd exception.

        Bird in hand I guess.

        Some sticker shock when I saw that # this AM. He likely signs, and they stay “competitive”.

  7. Winnipeg is in a very weak position with PLD.
    I think the Jets will qualify him and use him as their own rental next year.
    The problem is everyone knows he wants to sign in Montreal when he hits UFA in 2024 so no team is going offer much for a 1 year option. He would be more valuable to the Jets for one year. The Habs will not offer anything to get him 1 year early especially when they know they can have him for nothing and they know they are still in the rebuilding phase.

    I know it is maddening especially for Jet fans but I give PLD credit for being up front so the Jets can plan. Unlike what Johnny hockey did to the Flames and strung them along then bolted at the last minute.

    • I agree about PLD/MT compared to JG, it sucks they don’t want to sign, but they at least give their current clubs options.

  8. Ok … I give up where did he go ?

  9. I’m ok with Pasta getting whatever he can … lots of $ could come off the books this offseason but they still have to put a team on the ice …could it be possible the Bruins move both Carlo & Hall this coming offseason or how about Marchand

    • Ray Bark

      Trouble with the Pasternak contract with BOS is…he knows he’s been playing at a very large discount for most of his previous contract. He also knows…someone will pay. New Jersey?

  10. Pasta is going no where stated loves the city the fans and the team. He will put up big numbers regardless of his ctr. Just ask Haula. Marchand will retire a Bruin. I too believe 88 mil over 8yrs gets it done for pasta. I akk lol so doubt both 37 and 46 retire next year

    • Hope your right MB4. Zacha can move to C if we only get one of Krecji or Bergy back. Him and Pasta have some played well together this year.

  11. Winnipeg goes down this path of asking the question ‘will they stay’ with every major contract negotiation. Some stay (buff, little, wheeler, scheif, connor, helle, ehlers, morrissey etc.) a few have left (trouba, copp, ladd and not too many more major contract negotiations)

    Where there is smoke there may be something to it but the “I don’t want to play in Winnipeg” script works well for agents negotiating contracts. It puts pressure on GMs to make their best offers.

    PLD has family in Wpg and is having success here with what seems to be a contending team – two pretty good reasons to be open to signing. I am expecting the Jets to buy a couple years of free agency, expecting a 2-4 year contract around 8.5-9m range.

    If I were GM of a rebuilding team like Montreal I wouldn’t give up a lot of assets for him because he apparently wants to sign only there in the future – they can wait for UFA. If it is truely PLD’s desire to be a hab soon then his agent has failed him by tipping his hand too aggressively with Montreal not in a hurry to pay up. A caveat – if Montreal has a top player (Suzuki or Caufield) that want out of Montreal fast then maybe a deal could be worked out sooner but that is unlikely.

    • Ya 2.0, when something gets said over and over again, some folks accept it as fact. But fact is other than an agent saying something nice about the city he was in and the team there, there is no real basis for anything. For what has become public anyway.

      IMO the place you live is less important than the team you play for. Ya WPG is a small market, but so what. Ya it’s cold for 3 months, but whatever, he’s Canadian and is used to it.

      Does he like the guys in the room? Does he respect the coaches and management?

      Losing sucks and winning is great, anybody who has played team sports knows that. And I would have to think, if you are playing pro sports you can multiply that by 10.

  12. Dubois same path out of Winnipeg as Trouba. One more year of one year contracts.

    Pasternak top 4 in goals over his current deal. Maybe higher didn’t check. Pay the man !

    • I don’t see a the Jets offering a one year contract. That puts them in a situation to trade him during the year when the team should be contending. It also would mean trading him to one team only and that team has no incentive to acquire him in a rebuilding year as he is expected to sign there anyway. Trading to another team greatly reduces the return because it would be for a rental only. The Jets only leverage will be for this contract negotiation.

  13. Pasta isn’t getting 12m from any team. Wingers simply are not worth that. Sure he has played awesome & deserving of a big raise. Panarin has proven that maxing out isn’t wise. Teams pay up the middle 1st if smart & have a top C. The Bruins are built in such a way they feed off of each other & Pasta has benefitted from that. A winger locking down big cap hinders any team.


    • Gordie, I hear you and do not disagree with your points. Having said that Pasta is gonna get paid and $10.5 is not going to do it (except in a tax free state). I believe Boston will get it done. Problem is, if they trade their 1st rounder and Lysell their future looks very mushy middle to mild contender for years, IMO – and I have been wrong before.

      • Roughly 22 million in cap space and 12 roster players signed next season for Boston. Paying Pasta 10+ million and filling out 11 roster positions with 10-12 million is going to take an extraordinary effort by Sweeney.

    • 12 of the top 20 highest cap hits among forwards play wing as their primary position, so I am not sure I would agree with GM’s paying big up the middle.
      In fairness, 7 of the top 10 are primarily centers.

  14. Tarasenko came back last night and was firing bombs last night. The Blues are a mess defensively this year and Tarasenko is definitely going to get moved. He would be a nice pickup for contender.