NHL Rumor Mill – March 28, 2023

by | Mar 28, 2023 | Rumors | 34 comments

More chatter linking the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Canadiens, the latest on the Flames’ Nazem Kadri, and the Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov addresses recent rumors in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating about Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois ending up with the Montreal Canadiens this summer.

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

In his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast episode, Friedman pointed out Dubois is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility “and we all know how he feels”, implying that he’ll likely join the Montreal Canadiens as a free agent in 2024 rather than re-sign with the Jets. He signed a one-year, $6 million contract last summer and is a restricted free agent again this summer.

Given the Jets’ struggles over the second half of this season, Friedman wonders if changes could be coming to their roster this summer. Trade rumors have linked Dubois to the Canadiens for months.

Friedman believes the Jets have spoken to the Canadiens off and on about Dubois for some time. He thinks they could be looking into seeing if a deal is possible whereby the Canadiens get him earlier while the Jets can get something for him.

Dumont points out that the Canadiens hold all the cards here if Dubois has made Montreal his prime destination. If the Habs were to inquire about a trade, it would come down to what the Jets would want in return. He considers it unlikely that Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes would part with significant assets for a player he could wait a year to sign.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens must also determine if Dubois actually fits into their long-term plans and if he’s worth the expense of a long and lucrative contract. He could help them accelerate their rebuild, and it would be a popular move among a number of Canadiens fans.

Nevertheless, I don’t see Hughes parting with a young core player and a top prospect as part of the return. After all, if Dubois has his sights set solely on joining the Canadiens, they can afford to wait until next summer to sign him without giving up any assets in a trade.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek noted that a reader asked him if the Calgary Flames should trade Nazem Kadri this offseason because he isn’t producing at last season’s levels and seem a poor fit with the Flames.

Duhatschek said the short answer on trading Kadri is “not yet.” That’s because what we’re seeing of the 32-year-old center this season is typical for most expensive free agents in the first season of their contract with their new clubs. They usually need a season to adjust and often perform better in the second season.

Further complicating things is Kadri has a full no-movement clause in his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Calgary has plenty of disappointment over the Flames’ performance that isn’t just limited to Kadri. Unless they hire a new general manager with an agenda to shake up the roster, I expect we’ll see him skating with the Flames next season.


Washington Capitals beat reporter Sammi Silber reported yesterday that Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov dismissed reports and rumors claiming he’d requested a trade through his agent.

You know how this is. It’s just people trying to put whatever they want to get the likes and Instagram or Twitter, whatever,” said Kuznetsov. He added that he spoke to “those people” and asked them where the rumors were coming from.


  1. Montreal’s hockey world is certainly “buzzing” about what Friedman said, about Dubois.
    I, for one, was convinced by Howard’s reasoning : PLD on the Canadiens is a “must”, and waiting for him to sign as a UFA exposes us to the risk of him being traded somewhere else (and signing there).
    Given he agrees on a long term deal, I would offer the Panthers’ 2023 1st (lottery protected), Josh Anderson, and a young defenseman not named Guhle, Hutson, Barron or Mailloux ( probably, Harris or Struble).

    • I don’t think MTL will part with all of that to get PLD. I agree with Spector that they won’t give up any core players or top prospects. I can see Florida’s 1st round pick plus a B prospect.

      • Agreed Premier that they won’t give up all that. I don’t see Anderson being involved in such a trade.

        I think Hughes May offer a first, either Florida’s this year or more likely the pick they got from Calgary for Monahan, and Struble. Maybe also Dvorak for cap reasons.

      • We basically disagree on Anderson being involved. I personally don’t think his style fits with the direction the team is going, plus, I suspect that his contract won’t age well. I would like his 5.5 M gone.
        Agreed on Panthers’ 1st, and Struble.

      • With Mr. Pilon on Anderson, I would move him if Hughes could.
        What am I missing with this guy?

        He’s a good size, skates OK for a bigger guy, pretty physical and averages below 1/2 point per game and turns 30 next spring. He is what he is, a big guys who had 1 good year offensively a long time ago.

        Seems like an overpaid 3rd line winger from where I’m sittin’. I wouldn’t trade for Anderson unless MTL ate $2M-$2.5M of the $5.5M hit.

        A similar player on BOS is Frederic.
        Except younger, faster, less expensive, can play C and produces similar offense with zero PP time and fewer minutes. I get it Anderson was closer to UFA when he signed, but still an overpay.

        I just don’t see the value that some others do.

        Not trolling Hab fans, I’m totally serious, what am I missing?

      • Ray:

        Montreal has been a dumpster fire for the past several years so judging Anderson on his stats is an incomplete story.

        My summary assessment of Anderson is that he is a rare breed who can skate (better than you give him credit for), score, hit, and if necessary fight. He’s hard on the puck. His skill set is particularly valuable for the playoffs.

        I don’t watch the Bs so I have no idea how he compares to Frederic, but if that is a good comparison then the Bs have a good hockey player.

      • I like Frederic LJ, and players like him. And he will get a raise as an RFA with arb rights. Guessing between 2 and 2.5 on a 2-3 year deal. If he signs a long term deal he will get more, say 3-3.5.

        Not saying Anderson isn’t a good player, just overpaid for what he brings IMO. He seems a lot more like a Barclay Goodrow than an Landeskog or Brady Tkachuk type guy. Goodrow being a valuable guy at $3.6 signed as a UFA.

      • Well Anderson is certainly not an Landeskog or Brady, but he is certainly better than Goodrow who is career third line at best.

        Perhaps the Habs will be worth your while to watch next year. I’m sure you’ll change your opinion if you get to see Anderson play with regular NHLers.

      • Goodrow has 27 points in 73 games.

        Anderson has 30 points in 69 games and costs 2 million more.

        Goodrow plays all forward positions and has slid up and down the lineup as needed. Can Anderson play center? Goodrow Currently playing on the 4th line in NY. Where does Anderson play?

        Ice time?

        Anderson is averaging 17 minutes per game.

        Goodrow is averaging 14.

        2 million more for a guy who is putting up almost identical numbers to Goodrow with 3 minutes more per game average?

        I’ll take Goodrow, who’s contract I’m not necessarily a fan of, so I just don’t see how Anderson is living up to his deal?

    • PLD is a LW or C at this point?
      Habs have 20 million in cap this summer?
      If Habs draft 1 or 2 they add Bedard or Fantilli and have their 1-2center punch set.

      Slaf-DRAFT pick-Dach

      does PLD make sense if the Habs get a top 2 pick?

      • True center depth would have that draft pick be third liner to start season.

      • I wonder the same thing.

        And while I also worry about Anderson as per @PP above, I really noticed his game improved throughout the year at both ends of the ice. He executed some nice set-ups before his injury.

      • @shaun
        I think Bedard would get 2C out the door or 2.5-play him with Dach who can handle coverage as needed

        PLD is going to want 7.5 to 10?

      • PLD is a center. The way I see it, if the Habs get lucky in the lottery and move up to 1 or 2, they’ll obviously pick Bedard or Fantilli and will almost certainly not go after PLD. If not, I really think Hughes will have interest.

    • The big question is will PLD sign a similar contract to what Suzuki signed. If PLD wants more money than Suzuki then he won’t end up in Montreal.

      • What if, after the draft ( given we don’t get Bedard or Fantilli), Habs would offer-sheet him ? The Jets would have their hands tied : if they’d equal the offer, they couldn’t trade Dubois for a year (which would lead him to free agency).
        Habs would have both of their first this year, Dubois….and Winnipeg as a new enemy 🙂

      • P.s. this machiavelic scheme only works, signing him to a one year deal

      • Patrick, an offer sheet comes with consequences. If PLD was to sign for between 6 – 8 million that costs the Habs a first, a second and a third round pick. If he signed for * +, two first rounders. Insanity for the reasons stated above by others.

        The only way I see a trade for PLD making sense is if it is an exchange of cap dollars: ie for Dvorak, Armia, Hoffman or other players who are are expendable and whose salary out creates room for PLD in.

        As has been noted many times, this is a deep draft and the Habs will have # 5 and likely # 16. The only way a first rounder goes to Winnipeg is if the Habs hornswoggle some team for anothe one in return for an existing player. Most unlikely.

        Whatever happens, the Jets have to do something. Their time as a legit contender has some and gone. A rebuild is surely in their future.

    • Actually what Hughes needs to do and most likely will is part with those young prospects he doesn’t plan on keeping since we have too many that aren’t going anywhere. We can only have so many prospects. So Biondi, Norlinder etc and a mid round pick, maybe a 3rd
      At least Jets get young players with potential

      • Why would Winnipeg want scraps and unwanted contracts from Montreal, trade PLD to another team for the year such as LA, and get a good young player let the Cancer end up in Montreal if they want him. He might end up resigning for another team and Montreal keep their useless contracts or ending waving a bunch of players.
        Winnipeg has to renew their core and this will take time

      • Don 0 Ray, what do you think MTL should give up for PLD

      • If PLD wants to come to Montreal then every other team knows it. Jets aren’t going to get much even at trade deadline.
        Better they get a couple of picks, 2nd, 3rd and a couple of young prospects to restock their cupboard.
        The truth is PLD is not a ‘must’ next season so the advantage is in Montreal favor. But Jets can take this opportunity to siphon some of Montreal’s many young prospects they have too much of and some picks that isn’t a first rounder

      • Jack, teams give up 1st rounders every year for pending UFAs as rentals. Often for players who are not as good as Dubois. So don’t underestimate the Jets chances of getting a good return at the deadline.

    • ?? A re you even serious right now ?

      A mid first rounder in one of the best drafts ever, a power foward and a young D for a guy that said he wanted to play in Montreal ? Now why would Hughes do that ? Remember that other teams interested in Dubois would want to make sure he signs long term with them, they too will be scared to lose him after a year.

      If they really decide to trade for him, It’ll never cost that much, not even close and even then since he will be a RFA, Hughes would be authorized to speak to his agent and they might work something out for when he becomes a UFA.

      Jets have their hands tied

    • Hi Ray,

      I tend to disagree, reasons are he doesn’t ”skate OK for a bigger guy” he skates really fast, you didn’t mention he scored 21 goals in 69 games, he’s a 25 goals per season guy wich matches his salary, only 28 y.o, physical and not affraid to block shots. His main problem is that he is streaky and doesn’t have exceptional hands.

      • Well he’s hit 25 goals exactly once in his career. Someone really needs to tell him that he’s a 25 goal guy.

        Including this year, he’s cracked 20 twice.

  2. With 51 points so far this season, which is his fourth-highest point total in his career, how is Kadri struggling?

  3. Madrid to the Bruins to replace Krejci/Bergeron next year?

    • My IPad will not let me type in Kadri

      • A racist I-pad????🤨

  4. That is a stretch Kevjam (to suggest he’s “struggling”). As some have pointed out, a lot of top players experience difficulty in their first year with a different team … and where the Flames are concerned, he sure isn’t the only one with a dip in production.

    While 23g 28a 51 points does represent a dip from last season’s performance, it’s also a fact that there is NO comparison when it comes to the talent that surrounded him on Colorado’s roster.

    • Correct, George. Mostly.

      Kadri is actually playing spot on previous form in Toronto and Colorado. Aside from last year’s outlier season, Kadri has had one season with more than 60 points in 10 seasons.

      To be fair, he had reduced games played in two of those seasons; nonetheless, his past performance is there for all to see. Calgary overpaid. He isn’t going to be a point a game player no matter how much Flames fans fret. It is foolish and unfair to think otherwise.

      • Kadri be good shakeup in Philly but Hayes is less of a Sutter player than most.

    • I just believe that it’s more in the Jets advantage to get a 2nd , a 3rd and a couple of prospects with potential like Jayden Struble, Jesse Ylonen, Biondi, Norlinder etc…instead of a first that would probably be 25th-30th. Jets need some young blood to help reset. If course they can hang on to PLD but it might just be a terrible mistake and a huge potential distraction next year.