NHL Rumor Mill – April 27, 2023

by | Apr 27, 2023 | Rumors | 21 comments

The latest on the Sabres plus speculation over Joonas Korpisalo’s future with the Kings in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE BUFFALO NEWS: In his recent mailbag segment, Lance Lysowski wrote that he believed the Sabres won’t add a goaltender that would block Devon Levi or Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from becoming their starter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the Sabres will seek a veteran goaltender on an affordable short-term contract to mentor Levi or Luukkonen.

Lysowski believes Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams will seek a top-four defenseman via trade or free agency. However, he won’t want to hand out an expensive, long-term contract to whoever they add.

Possible trade targets could include Calgary’s Rasmus Andersson, Vegas’ Shea Theodore or Chicago’s Connor Murphy. Free-agent options could include Carson Soucy, Matt Dumba, Scott Mayfield or Ryan Graves.

Buffalo Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Flames parting with Andersson or the Golden Knights with Theodore. The rebuilding Blackhawks, however, could listen to offers for Murphy.

They might be better off going the free-agent route with one of those blueliners mentioned by Lysowski. Graves could be a good fit if he’s available, though he could seek the type of long-term deal that Lysowski believes the Sabres want to avoid.

Asked about signing Patrick Kane, Lysowski doesn’t think the Sabres will commit to a big contract for the 34-year-old winger. They don’t want to block some of their younger, more affordable prospects from making the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane signing with his hometown team to finish his career makes a nice story. However, the Sabres are awash in talented young scorers. Their priority is improving their blueline and adding a veteran presence in the crease. They don’t need a veteran scorer, not even one as illustrious as Kane.

Lysowski was asked if the Sabres would consider using Mittelstadt as a trade chip to add a top-four defenseman. He doesn’t see them parting with the young forward, who enjoyed a breakout performance this season.

THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segments, Matthew Fairburn was asked if Casey Mittelstadt’s performance this season makes him more valuable to the Sabres as a trade chip to bolster their blueline. He felt Mittlestadt became more attractive to other clubs in the trade market but thinks it would take a significant offer to pry him away from the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Lysowski and Fairburn regarding Mittelstadt. Maybe the Sabres listen if the offer is a top-four shutdown defenseman in his playing prime. Otherwise, Mittelstadt isn’t going anywhere.

Fairburn also thinks the Sabres will be in the market this summer for a top-four defenseman via trade or free agency. He suggested Florida Panthers blueliner Radko Gudas would be near the top of his list for a right-shot defenseman. Other targets could include New Jersey’s Damon Severson, Minnesota’s Matt Dumba or Boston’s Connor Clifton.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek noted Joonas Korpisalo’s solid goaltending for the Los Angeles Kings early in their first-round series with the Edmonton Oilers. He’s impressed with how quickly the Kings incorporated the 28-year-old netminder into their lineup after acquiring him from the Columbus Blue Jackets before the trade deadline.

Whatever the outcome of this series with the Oilers, Duhatschek believes the Kings will need to be in the market for a starting goalie for next season. They could re-sign Korpisalo, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Korpisalo was pulled from Game 5 but he had a .918 save percentage in the four games leading up to that point. He was outstanding for them down the stretch with a 7-3-1 record, a 2.13 GAA and a .921 SP. Given Cal Petersen’s decline and Pheonix Copley’s inexperience as an NHL starter, it wouldn’t surprise me if they sign Korpisalo to a two or three-year deal.


  1. Re: “Lance Lysowski wrote that he believed the Sabres won’t add a goaltender that would block Devon Levi or Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from becoming their starter.”

    That sounds a lot like the Senators’ position as well. Both Sogaard and Mandolese have shown enough to conclude that one – or both – are about one more season away from becoming NHL regulars. So, IF a veteran goalie is brought in this off-season … with a healthy Forsberg as back-up – it will be one a 1- or 2-year at the most most kind of deal.

    • I guess Fleury on a 1 year contract would work!

      • Joonas Korpasalo would be a good fit or the Pittsburgh Penguins..

        He is a big goaltender something we rarely have…athletic

        He was 14-11-3 with a crappy Columbus team with a .301 GAA and a 914 save %

        He has been 8-3-3 with the Kings good GAA and save %

        Didn’t see the last game 6-3 loss at Edmonton but he has been good. The loss in LA IN ot I thought he could have stopped the tying goal and the OT goal both good shots but one he probably should have had…other than that he has been good…

    • Reimer to OTT on a 1 yr gatekeeper deal

      Talbot to BUF on a 1 yr gatekeeper deal

      • Joonas Korpasalo has played well for LA,

        However the Oiler fire Power is on fire…

        Kings need to fix there Goaltending, he is going to get 3-4 year deal for $4.M+ as a UFA…👍

        Would not be surprized to see Buffalo or the
        Sens go afer him as a stop game untill one of there younger guys develope…….🤔

    • I think you’re looking at at least a couple of years before Soogard gets a shot at being a regular backup. He’s 22, has shown potential but needs to stabilize his game.
      I think the Sens will look at either at vet for a couple of years or ideally someone like gibson where Soogard can come in 3 years from now to back up full time. Until then, Soogard will be the back up when called up with injuries.

      I’d rather Soogard learn under a quality starter than be thrown to take over with a guy like Forsberg who is (sometimes)hot and (more often) cold and just himself just a good backup.

      I really don’t agree with most Sens fans who’ve had a taste of Soogard and feel he isn’t far from taking a job. Goalies are the most easy to ruin when not given enough time to mature.
      Keep him playing the majority of games in Belleville.

      • Keep in mind that the AHL / NHL call up scenario for Sogaard only works for one more year , after next season he would have to clear waivers. I would expect Ottawa to bring in a vet to play with Forsberg for one maybe two years. I can see them moving one of Mandolese , Ferguson or perhaps both since they now have to clear waivers and especially if Merilaineen plays in Bellville next season.

      • Great points Fergy22 … and as far as Gibson is concerned, we just went through a season with a veteran goalie who was good when available … but whose frequent injuries perhaps cost us the 6 points that divided Ottawa from a playoff spot.

        And Gibson makes as many visits to the IR as does Talbot … and Murray for that matter.

    • Hi George,

      All of these young goaltenders Need more time to develope there Game, Especaly those 2 Sens young guys …
      They should sign Anderson from Carolina to mentor young 22 yr old Sogaard… if Forsberg can play due to injuries he has❓as he is an over priced back up @$2.75M PA.

      As far as Buffalo go’s, young Devon Levi
      needs a Couple of years in the AHL to develope his There is nothing worse than putting a Young goaltender in when they have Not been developed properly … and there seams to be a rush akll round to do this with very young goaltenders hear🤔

      Just look at a our local Edmonton kid who playes for Philly…. Carter Hart…⁉️
      He has gone from the Penthouse @22 yrs old, To the Out-house @ 24 yrs old in 2 years……❗️
      Thats because they put him in the NHL Way to Early and wasted him….

      Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen still need a year or two as a Back up to see if he could be a potential #1 Starter….
      not sure if he can or Not….??,
      He needs an older mentor goaltender to work with him….. his numbers were Not Good this year❗️
      In 33 Games, GA 3.61 and SV% 0.892…❓

      They should really take a page out of Oilers
      GM Ken Hollands book when it come to developing a young goaltender…

      Ken holland had put put a few Hot Shot Edmonton Hockey Reporters in there place 2 years ago when they were Popping of at the GM about not bringing up Stuart Skinner up at the Time as he was only 22 yrs OLD….🤔
      Mr Holland in a nice way told them Flat Out that
      SS is not ready for the NHL…. He needs more Experience, more Playing time. more teaching time in the AHL to develope his gane and get lots of playing time…. Recently Skinner said his experice in the AHL was so Right and he Fully under stands why they developed him like this……

      Maybe these young GM should listen to old man Ken Holland… Great Wisdom there to be had for FREE from a fine GM……✔️🤔👌

  2. IE: Fleury has 1 yr left on his deal. probably not….

  3. If the Sabres do want a top 4 d, the only way that can happen is by trade.

    Otherwise, what incoming top 4 d is going to settle for a short term, inexpensive contract, only to take time off his career, play for less than market value and then have to move on?

    For a trade to have value for the Sabres the incoming d would have to have two years at least left on the contract, making him more attractive and therefore expensive to retain. The suggestion is really that the Sabres hope to get something for nothing.

    Am I being to harsh here, or is this just silly reporting?

    • Damn, that should read “more expensive to attain.”

    • Recently top 4 Klingberg signed with Anaheim short term so doable but the probability of a top 4 they want may Be low.

      With the cap only rising 1 m you want find some top 4 d signing 1 or 2 yr deals hoping for a better long term contract when the cap rises more. However those older D will try to bag what they can this summer.

  4. Re “ Lysowski believes Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams will seek a top-four defenseman via trade or free agency. However, he won’t want to hand out an expensive, long-term contract to whoever they add.”….. Petry (only two short years left)… for a song (na na na na …. Na na na na …. Hey hey hey) and a dance (wee Irish jig)

  5. I did not get to see Owen Power much this year. Being on the West Coast I do not see the early games unless I am off work that day. Is he going to be a defensive D man, or does he have some offense to his game? That defense is still young and will only be better next year just by getting a year older (if development progresses of course). The free agent class this year is not great so even if they do not add I feel like they will take a bigger step forward then most think. Buffalo will make the playoffs next year IMO.

    • In which teams’ spot? East isn’t getting weaker and the teams who got WC were also good teams, with Pitt, Was still plugging along as well. Not saying Buf, Ott and Mtl won’t improve, even significantly, but it’ll be a dogfight again next year I think.

      • It’s a good question tb, and in fairness to BUF they only missed by one point.

        I don’t think WAS or PIT get back in.
        NYI barely got in this year and missed last year. Are they going to be any better? I’ll vote Isles to miss, BUF in.

        Teams like my B’s will have massive turnover, do they take a year off, sell some vets for younger assets and try to reload?

        Lots can still happen, but the Sabres look like they’re getting ready to go.

      • Here’s the part that worries me with the Sabres,
        Thompson, Tuch, Skinner, Cozens, Dahlin and Mittelstadt all had career years…can they at least equal those years if not improve.I believe Krebs has his breakout year and a good chance Savoie and/or Kulich are here next year, so offense won’t be their problem as it wasn’t this year.

        I’ll agree with either Lysowski or Fairburn…forgot who said it that they might have to include either Ostlund or Rosen (both 1st round picks) as part of a trade for a top 4 D-man

    • Ray, great points and Buf could have made it as easily as NYI. They’re just a team that always seem about to break out but maybe this time is the real deal. I’m a Toronto fan from Hamilton originally so it was always a great rivalry growing up with lots of Sabres fans and season ticket holders in Hamilton. Hell I would still like to push Barnaby off the balcony at the Aud.

      • LOL…hopefully old man Rogers falls flat on his face and Barney just might take that leap without your help

  6. There will be a Couple of move the Edmonton Oilers will make this off season,

    ➡️Yamo will get traded for a pick 2nd or 3rd…❓

    ➡️ Cambell may get traded if he has a better year closer to the trade deadline in 2024…? as
    Stu Skinner will be #1 Oilers Goaltender

    ➡️Cody Ceci will get traded and the Oilers will sign a UFA top 4 RD man…

    Oilers will look for a Top 6 RW… to replace Yamo, it may even be Big Winger Klim Kosten❓
    he is playing well on the 3rd line….
    Blackhawks RW and Connors old Erie Otters team mate Taylor Radish..❓🤔