NHL Rumor Mill – April 17, 2023

by | Apr 17, 2023 | Rumors | 54 comments

What will the Senators do with Alex DeBrincat? Should the Red Wings pursue him? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Ian Mendes noted a lot of Senators fans and media were concerned over what they considered Alex DeBrincat’s lukewarm answers on Friday regarding his future in Ottawa.

Ottawa Senators winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

Mendes indicated that DeBrincat told him that he enjoyed playing and living in Ottawa but wants some time to figure out his future. The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer who’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

Senators general manager Pierre Dorion has indicated his club will submit the $9 million qualifying offer to DeBrincat by the June 25 deadline. The winger’s camp has until July 15 to accept it. If they don’t, he remains a restricted free agent and his rights still belong to the Senators for 2023-24.

Mendes believes the Senators hope to negotiate a long-term contract for DeBrincat with an average annual value of less than $9 million. However, they could consider trading him if he’s only interested in accepting his qualifying offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch believes DeBrincat could be traded by the opening round of this 2023 Draft in Nashville in late June. We’ll likely know by mid-June how this situation will play out.

Turning to the Senators’ goaltending, Mendes doesn’t see pending UFA Cam Talbot returning. He believes they need to aggressively target a proven goalie for next season.

The UFA market is thin with Joonas Korpisalo, Tristan Jarry, Jonathan Quick and Frederik Andersen carrying significant questions. Mendes suggested they package some younger pieces to land a netminder via trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch recently reported Dorion sniffed around for a goalie before the trade deadline but Talbot was healthy and promising Mads Sogaard was solid through late February. With Talbot likely a goner and Sogaard possibly heading to the AHL next season, Dorion could be active in this summer’s trade market.


DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Bob Duff examined the pros and cons of the Red Wings pursuing DeBrincat. He noted that Wings GM Steve Yzerman and head coach Derek Lalonde last week indicated their team needed more scoring.

Acquiring a two-time 40-goal scorer like DeBrincat would fill that need for the Red Wings. He’s also a native of Farmington Hills, Michigan, leading Duff to wonder if he’d be open to a homecoming.

The downside is the 5’8”, 178-pound DeBrincat would be adding another small forward to a team already on the small side. There’s also his contract situation making him a risky acquisition unless he agrees to an extension as part of the deal. Duff wondered how he’d feel about joining yet another rebuilding team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings have the depth in tradeable assets to make a tempting offer to the Senators. They also have the cap space to sign him to a lucrative long-term contract.

Whether they’re willing to make that kind of major deal, however, is another matter. They’ll also have to outbid several other teams that will certainly have an interest in DeBrincat, especially given the lack of young talent in this year’s UFA market.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan recently noted Yzerman’s comments indicating he’ll look to the free-agent market to bolster the Wings’ offense. The Wings GM acknowledged the lack of depth in this summer’s market and how it will likely get thinner when some of those players re-sign with their current teams.

Khan speculated Yzerman could also go the trade route. He pointed out the Wings have accumulated a lot of draft capital to use as trade chips, including two first-round picks and three second-rounders in this year’s draft, and two second-rounders next year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman has mostly eschewed making big trades apart from shipping Anthony Mantha to Washington at the 2021 deadline for Jakub Vrana and draft picks. That was a trade that initially looked good for both clubs but ultimately turned into a stinker.

However, Yzerman might not have much choice if this summer’s UFA market gets depleted quickly. Someone like the Senators’ DeBrincat could prove to be a tempting trade target.


  1. This time I think Garrioch has it pegged … DeBrincat will be traded by the opening round of this year’s draft.

    There’s no time to be (to use one of Pat Quinn’s favourite espressions) “dicking around” with a F who’s “not sure” where he wants to be next season. Dorion should let it be known he’s available and hopefully there’s strong interest from several quarters, at which time he goes with the best offer … and move on.

    Right now, it’s a waste of time speculating this team or that team and who may – or may not – be offered. This isn’t a fantasy league situation.

    The only thing I’ll say is, the $8.2 to $9 mil Dorion would have had to commit to DeBrincat will certainly open the door in terms of the cap for perhaps a decent LW and a goalie.

    • I offer Debricant to Vancouver and take Brock Boeser and Thatcher Demko. Obviously a few other pieces will be needed.

      • Could you imagine if the Sens did not trade Gustavsson for Talbot. They might be in the playoffs this year with hi in net.

      • Yeah, GreatGonzo, that thought has crossed my mind too. Another goalie obtained from Pittsburgh (for Brassard I believe?).

        But, hindsight being 10 cents a pound, it is what it is.

        Dorion’s young team is approaching the stage where they’re about to be come a playoff team for the first time in 6/7 years and, not long after, a legitimate cup contender.

        On that path he must be careful with the cap – which is only going up $1 mil for next season apparently – since he’ll be perilously close to the max, and the successful teams, while not fearing to spend close to the cap, always seem to leave enough “wiggle room” to make key additions at the trade deadline.

        I don’t dislike DeBrincat, he can be a dangerous and opportunistic sniper, but I just don’t see him being worth anything over $8.1 mil – and that’s being generous.

        If he won’t sign long-term for that – then see ya, and good luck.

      • In case you slept through the season, the Canucks have no problem scoring goals, it’s their D that’s the problem. Why would they trade their top tiered goalie for a small one dimensional forward (-31) at a $9 million price tag which would totally throw a wrench into their salary structure.

      • @greatgonzo

        Different systems and teams. I think the results would have been the same. For most of the season in Ottawa the D wasn’t good enough. I don’t think Gus would have done any better. Less injured for sure.
        Talbot didn’t suddenly start sucking. This is a result of the team and the system in front of the G.

      • @What the heck.

        Yeah i’m sure that Alex DeBrincat is just dying to leave an up and coming Senators team, For a Vancouver team that’s in complete disarray. Vancouver sucks and ownership is a complete joke That team is so bad it isn’t funny.

      • I knew Vancouver was in some trouble but their ownership is a joke AND they aren’t even funny? Tough times out west says I.

    • Honestly I agree. The Cat was a nice addition, but I also feel the rest of the core group proved that he likely is not even necessary for the team moving forward. I could see Pinto being pretty damn good if retained instead. I feel like a whole season with Norris back will make us hardly notice Debrincat going away.

      The current group of forwards is just fine. Maybe a little teak on defense and definite upgrade in net and Ottawa is dangerous in the East. Alex can go if he is not stoked on staying.

      Just my two cents… I just feel like the one area I have no concerns is on the forwards even without him.

    • I was talking to a friend of mine just prior to the UFA period last year and wondered why the Leafs aren’t making a pitch for Talbot.
      He showed me some advanced stats and made the point that Talbot is a product of the defensive system in place in Minny, he wouldn’t thrive to the same degree in Toronto or elsewhere.
      Then the Leafs got Murray……

    • Hey George,

      I also think DeBrincat will be traded by the opening round of this year’s draft.
      maybe for a Goaltender..❓

      if its for picks, 1st & 2nd…? go After Bostons 24 yr old RFA…. Goaltender Jerramy Swayman… this Kid is Very Good A perfect fit for the Sens….

      He the Cat was not Very Convincing he wanted to stay in Ottawa…🤔

      I think Young Shane Pinto will be better than the Cat Anyway…. 👌
      No Way i would pay the Cat $9.M…. i know they have to qualifiy him at that to keep his Rights….

      The Sens Need Size on the 3rd & 4th lines
      maybe for the 3rd line a UFA like the Flames Big
      Nic or Brent Ritchie 6.ft3 235lb…
      Big Ryan O’Reilly, the X Blues Captain who is with the Leafs now, good to float between the 2nd & 3rd line
      Garnet Hathaway from the Bruins
      they are all UFA…

      We have 3 or 4 Very Very Good young guys coming….
      RW, Tyler Boucher
      C-LW, Ridly Greig
      Big LW, Roby Järventie
      & canadian JR, local St Albert Kid, Big Roby Järventie

  2. Not seeing Yzerman in on the Cat. He is a PP specialist and a -31 and not the 2-way player Stevie craves. Stevie needs to build with bigger bodies also. He wants Timo Meier types.

    • Besides he needs a center. I could see him trading for the defensively weak, PP specialist Kevin Hayes before he would go for Debrincat.

      • 2nd pick johnny and hes all yours!!!!!!

      • Gotta retain $2.5M also, or it is a no-go!

      • In Yzerman’s most recent interview, he mentioned making the team tougher to play against…doesn’t describe either the Cat or Hayes.

  3. Why would Ottawa trade Debrincat when they gave up so much to get him in the 1st place? 9M is a good offer, I bet he stays! They are just going to get better, why would he pass up an offer of 9M probably won’t get that anywhere else? GO AVS!!!!!

    • Just because a team gave up a lot does not mean they can’t recoup their losses with another trade.

      It’s also the risk with trading for RFAs with short term left.

    • The thing is, he is NOT a $9 mil player and while Dorion can – and very probably will – qualify him at that amount, you can bet that that is NOT what he’s going to get from anyone over a 7- or8-year term.

      Qualifying him at that amount is a necessity to retain his rights … but I’d be very surprised if Dorion is thinking anything over $8.1 or $8.2 over 8 years. If DeBrincat and his agent truly believe they can get better than that elsewhere by signing a 1-year deal taking him to UFA status …. well, good luck.

      • 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👌👌👌👌👌😎😎😎

  4. I would be surprised if DeBrincat got a return similar to what was spent to acquire him , especially after a year where he was a bit off in scoring dept and a -31 did not help his stock value. Ottawa key needs are a goalie to platoon with Forsberg & a top 6 winger to fill the spot vacated when ADB moves on.
    Seems to me watching Debrincat, and I saw him play a lot, that he is the type of player that likes to be ‘the top dog ’ and he won’t be that in Ottawa as long as Tkachuk and Stutzle are around . To his defense he would have benefitted playing with Norris all year vs. Pinto , Brassard, Greig +.
    I think the $ can be better used to fill multiple gaps & sign Sanderson. They have ample star power now they need to fill out the rest of the roster, bottom 6 needs some help too. Just my 2cents.

    • Debrincat + Forsburg + Formenton rights + to Vancouver for Miller + Demko

      or Mangiapane, Vlader for the Cat

      • @Johnny Z

        You obviously suck when it comes to making trades. Miller+Demko are worth more than Debrincat+Forsberg+Forernton who’s under criminal investigation. Try using more common sense in making trades. Even more laughable is Cat to Calgary when Calgary can’t afford Cats $9,000,000 price tag. And what makes you think that DeBrincat even wants to play in Canada? Forsberg is garbage compared to Demko Formenton is under criminal investigation so no sane GM is touching him. You give way too much to DeBrincat in having value after his worst season of his career.

      • JZ , Demko sure , Miller no thanks.
        The Calgary deal is more in line with what I think may work but I feel Magiapane is overpaid and would ask for Toffoli instead. Forsberg stays put in Ottawa.
        I doubt Debirncat would sign an extension in Calgary or Vancouver so it’s kind of a moot point.

      • @ LucasRaymond23

        Now that you are bringing this up, I am wondering if Drake Batherson is under investigation as well, he wasn’t been really clear when they asked him if he was part of that group. Any news about that ?

      • ”Wasn’t really” sorry about that 😉

      • I throw some trade proposals out there to get a counter with other trade proposals. But a lot would rather be triggered and call names rather than expose the fact that they have no better proposal to offer.

      • LucasRamond23, come on man, are you unable to make your point without resorting to condescending insults?

        Disagree away – when you boil it down it amounts to your opinion. Same as everyone else. Period.

        You betray your own lack of knowledge somewhat when you come flat out and say “Forsberg is garbage compared to Demko.”

        First of all, Forsberg is a back-up. And, for the most part, a pretty damned good one at that. Of course he’s not as good as Demko who has established himself as a top starter … and I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Forsberg will ever be a starter,

        But in 130gp he has a 3.08gaa and a 0.908 save %. Demko, over 163gp, has a 2.90gaa and a 0.910 save %. Hardly huge differences, and I think it’s safe to say that, over the course of those career spans to date, Demko has had a significantly better team in front of him than has Forsberg – at least up to this past season.

    • Agree totally Fergy22. Can only hope Dorion sees it that way too.

      • Perhaps the “Debrincat” example (there are others, but this is the most recent) will resonate in the minds of GMs: that being, don’t give up a haul to get a player for what could be a minimum of a year.

        We may see if the lesson is learned if Chevy has to move Pierre Luc Dubois after this season. There has been speculation that the Habs might trade for him. Unless they, or any other team who is interested, can get a commitment on an extension prior to agreeing to the trade, they are slow learners.

      • LJ, it is 100% certain that the Habs will not even consider trading for Dubois unless an extension is agreed to. However, it’s not impossible that a solid contender could pick him up for next season and worry about an extension later.

      • B’s may need a 1C or 2C next season.
        But not many assets left in the pipeline to move, so may have to wait for him to be a UFA, if he gets there.

        He can be a force when he’s going.

    • How do you all pretend to know what they want to do with him? Goal scorers like Debrincat don’t grow on trees? Maybe, they’re interested in keeping him. He’s a bona fide goal scorer!

    • Fergy22, if Norris had been available all season I think he would have been the # 1 C with kachuk on LW and Batherson on RW.

      DeBrincat would have played LW on the 2nd line with Stutzle at C and Giroux on the right.

  5. If I was Dorion, I’d be keeping NJ on speed dial.
    Still no clarity on Meyer and judging by history, they’ve had trouble locking down Jesper Bratt.
    Is there a world where we might see a more or less 1 for 1 trade with Debrincat for Bratt with both coming into their new teams with extensions?

    I like to think so.
    Maybe it’s wishful thinking

  6. How do you all pretend to know what they want to do with him? Goal scorers like Debrincat don’t grow on trees? Maybe, they’re interested in keeping him. He’s a bona fide goal scorer!

    • Maybe Sakic can find a way to squeeze him in Tommy? In hind site some of Dorion moves did not work out. Ottawa went from slow and steady rebuild to all guns firing last summer. Giroux was a great addition, trading for Talbot and Debrincat not so much.

    • Sorry for the double post!

    • Tommy

      It’s not about them wanting to keep him, it’s about him wanting to stay

      • I hear you Mike, but if they open the vault, what 25 y.o. Will pass up 8-9 M on a long term contract? Especially, they have an opportunity to be real good? Even if he stays 6-7 yrs, he is still young enough to go somewhere else and play if Ottawa is not where he wants to be? And who says he dosen’t want to stay, did he really say that? We don’t know!!!

      • I think he would stay if you threw big money at him too tommyboy. But, DeBrincat doesn’t seem like a guy who you throw big money at IMO.

        That’s what this is about IMO, money and term, as it often is.

        DeBrincat got 27 goals away from Kane. Nothing to sneeze at, but not $8-$9M. Gets huge PP time too.

        If Debrincat isn’t scoring what’s he doing? He’s going to lose board and net front battles because he’s small, just how it works.

        Nice complimentary guy to have, but it would be a mistake to pay him like your other core guys like Tkachuk and Stutzle.

        OTT may end up having to move him, then so be it, they will get an OK return.

      • That’s my opinion of Debrincat as well, Ray. And, my opinion of Caulfield, who may – or may not – be a better pure goal scorer but not worth anything approaching 8 million.

      • Going to be interesting to see if a team bucks up and pays him when he becomes a UFA, or that trades for him and extends him.

        When he becomes a UFA the cap should go up more substantially, this year doesn’t sound like it so far, which makes it tough.

        Carolina gets some space freeing up this off season, plus Pacioretty comes off the books.

        A team like them who is close, can defend already, but doesn’t score enough could trade for him. If they lose in RD 2 or something, and don’t score much, I can see them doing something.

      • Ray, when you say “A team like them who is close, can defend already, but doesn’t score enough could trade for him.” the first one that popped into mind are the Islanders.

        Maybe there’s a deal there.

      • Them too George, not much space next year though. Or not as much as CAR will have.

        Would OTT take back a guy like JG Pageau to help make the $ work? More rounded player, but older, at 30 starting next season, and has less offence. $5M for 3 more years. Can play in the middle or wing. Can move up the lineup in a pinch. Useful player. Ottawa boy too I think. They don’t have much for prospect or draft capital either to make the player value work.

  7. Per Sportsnet, Dorion has already announced that he is letting Talbot walk.

  8. The Calgary Flames and general manager Brad Treliving have mutually agreed to part ways upon the conclusion of his contract this season, the team announced Monday. Calgary has promoted Don Maloney to president of hockey operations, and he will serve as the interim general manager.

    • Not surprising news there. Although I think he truly did his best to bolster that team after two high profile exits.

      But I feel like Sutter needs to move on too. He has lost that room and operating under a new GM will likely make things worse.

  9. Maybe you guys know more watching him every night but all I can say is when he was on the Black Hawks he was consistently lighting up the Avalanche. He’a good hockey player with skill and speed

    • But he is NOT better than any of Norris, Tkachuk, Stutzle or Giroux and so should not be paid far in excess of any of them.

      • Agree with you George, he’s more of a Dylan Larkin type of player, often neglects defense, a strickly offensive foward. I’d take any of these four players before the other two.. Btw Lj, StLouis is working with Caufield on his defensive awarness, he will be a better sniper than DeBrincat and he knows he has to be more responsable in his own end.

  10. Well whatever George O, he’s 25 y.o. and can be taught to play better as a 200 ft player, can skate & score? You don’t necessarily just give those guys up. I would take him on the Avalanche!!! GO AVS!!!!!

    • DeBrincat set career high for assists as he was more of a play maker this year. Only 12 points off his totals in previous years. Not sure it would have been any better with Norris in the line up, including his */- This coach has no idea how to deploy players—and THAT should be the #1 offseason move. DeBrincat situation is like Matt Tkachuk. He has to agree to sign where ever he goes FIRST—-then that team will pony up assets to get him. I think Seattle’s gm, is a savvy sort who will swoop in at the draft and offer Dorion a bunch of B level prospects that Ottawa will bite hoping one of them pans out.

      Regarding the Gustaffson move. For whatever reason it didn’t work in Ottawa. I’ll blame the coach and GM again. The way they condition and deploy young players is really goofy in Ottawa. They go through years of imposed rebuild seasons when fans know losses are a fact of life but sign and play over-the-hill veterans instead of grooming and conditioning young defense and goaltending. Then, when, after a half dozen games someone doesn’t pan out they trade him or question the wasted pick. Had they done things right with Gustafson, JBD, Lassi Thompson they might not have had to go out and get Chychrun or Talbot.

  11. Doubtful Yzerman goes after DeBrincat. He’s too one dimensional.

    Lucas Raymond is going to be the same style of player within the next two years but with more defensive upside. They also have Carter Mazur a year or two away from making the team who could also provide that same level of offense with more tenacity. Even down the middle, in the few games I’ve watched Kasper in the SHL & his 1 game in Detroit…I think their 2C position is set (and Copp isn’t a bad 2C either)

    If Yzerman makes any kind of trade in the $8-10 mil range it’s going to be for an all around up and coming star like he had in Stamkos in Tampa.

    Yzerman has a style. He will prioritize compete level over skill every time. Debrincat is skilled but his compete level is lacking.