NHL Rumor Mill – April 28, 2023

by | Apr 28, 2023 | Rumors | 34 comments

Big changes could be coming for the Jets roster following this disappointing season. Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

ESPN.COM: Ryan S. Clark wondered where the Winnipeg Jets go from here following their five-game first-round elimination at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights.

Do they choose to keep this team together and add a few players to address their problem areas? Or do they believe it’s in their best interest to start looking ahead to their future instead?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets have been in decline since reaching the 2018 Western Conference Final. They’ve only won one playoff round since then and missed the postseason last year. It’s time to look to the future.

WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen believes hard decisions face the Jets this summer.

Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, forwards Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Nino Niederreiter and defensemen Dylan DeMelo and Brenden Dillon are eligible next summer for unrestricted free-agent status.

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

Center Pierre-Luc Dubois is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights who’s a year away from UFA eligibility. Meanwhile, winger Nikolaj Ehlers and blueliners Nate Schmidt and Neal Pionk have two years remaining on their contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has a reputation for being patient to a fault. However, he’s now in a situation where he may have little choice but to shake up this roster core. The results speak for themselves.

Cheveldayoff signed a three-year contract last year. However, if he’s unwilling to make the changes this roster needs, the club’s ownership should find someone who will.

If any of those pending UFAs aren’t interested in extensions this summer they should be shopped for the best available returns. It’s senseless to hang onto them for one more season and expect a better result. Keeping them around will be an unnecessary distraction next season as all the focus will be on their contract statuses and whether any of them will be shopped before the trade deadline.

Friesen’s colleague Ted Wyman examined why the Jets were the first club eliminated from this postseason.

While acknowledging Hellebuyck is the best goalie in franchise history, Wyman was critical of his postseason performances. He was scathing of Dubois’ effort in Game 5.

You’d have been hard-pressed to believe that Dubois was trying his hardest in Game 5,” wrote Wyman.” Unless by that, you mean he was trying his hardest to get out of town, and the organization, as quickly as possible after this season.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been plenty of speculation going back to last summer linking Dubois to the Montreal Canadiens. If the Habs are interested in him, perhaps they’ll have second thoughts after watching his performance in Game 5 of this series.

SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe noted Jets head coach Rick Bowness held nothing back in his brief post-game presser regarding his club’s performance in this series and during the season. “I’m so disappointed and disgusted right now,” he said, calling out his players’ lack of pushback and pride.

Wiebe acknowledged the Jets played with Ehlers sidelined for all but Game 5 and lost top defenseman Josh Morrissey in Game 3 and leading goal-scorer Scheifele in Game 4. Nevertheless, he thinks Bowness’ comments support the idea of shaking up the Jets’ core but he wondered how deep those changes will be.

If contract extensions for Hellebuyck, Scheifele, Dubois, Wheeler, DeMelo and Dillon aren’t possible, Wiebe speculated the Jets could decide to move most of them in what is expected to be an “on-the-fly retool.” Much will depend on the trade market and what kind of offers the Jets receive for those players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Cheveldayoff and the team’s ownership won’t listen to the pundits, perhaps they should consult Jets fans.

Friesen recently reported the club’s attendance has tumbled in recent years along with the quality of the on-ice product. This season’s average attendance (14, 045) is the lowest since they moved to Winnipeg, not counting the two COVID-plagued seasons when games were held in empty or near-empty arenas.

He also pointed out that Jets fans haven’t been happy with the players’ lackluster performances over the past two seasons. This comes at a time when the club’s ownership recently asked the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce for more support from local businesses in the form of season-ticket purchases.

Winnipeg fans are happy to have an NHL team again but they expect it to be competitive. Given Bowness’ blistering remarks about the Jets’ performance this season, it’s time for the front office to avoid another patchwork effort for short-term gains and make real changes to improve this club over the long term.


  1. That is NOT a pretty picture being painted in Winnipeg.

    Looking over that roster, and who among the core are coming up for contract renewals this year and next, it’s apparent that some effective gutting is in order. And judging solely by his ultra-conservative approach to ANY move to date in his career as a GM, I just don’t see Cheveldayov as being capable of doing what is clearly necessary.

  2. Too many prima donnas on the Jets. Scheifle , Wheeler, Dubois move them out , get what you can. Build around Connor , Ehlers , Morrissey, Lowry, Perfetti.

    Helleybuyck is a tough call , when he is on his game he is elite and a game changer but I just can’t see him re-signing in Winnipeg after next season unless the team competes. If someone calls with a knock your socks off offer you have to take it.

    One last point Chevy has had his chances time for someone else to lead the herd, regardless of his extension.

    • Good take Fergy, however, I think Helly could garner a very big return and should be shopped for a younger goalie with much upside and 2 other assets. The Sabers have a lot to offer for a goalie of Helly’s stature! Along with the Sens and dare I say Toronto if they choke! 😁

      • JZ , can’t see Buffalo and Ottawa giving up a boat load unless Helleybuck is willing to commit longer term. Levi will be a legit number 1 in Buffalo within a year or two, they need to be patient.

        Not about to put a malocchio on the Leafs, nice try.

      • I called the Leafs in 6 – game 6 coming up. But they had better win it then!

      • Goalies don’t historically get huge returns and he is an ufa soon. Not a great value chip.

    • I Don’t Blame Jets head coach Rick Bowness for being So Furious with his Teams Playoff Performance✔️

      they were bad early on then got better then played like crapp in the playoffs…⁉️

      I think its time for a New GM in Winnipeg to handle a Rebuild ……as the jets wont make the playoffs next year and 3 of there Best players are UFA in 2024 & then i 3-4 more good ones are UFA in 2025……..🤔
      I wonder if the Coach will come back next season he dose not look happy at all❗️ that why Paul Maurice left the jets he tried and tried …. they have majior problems there.

      i would say maybe 1 of these 6-7 UFA will reture to Winnipeg…..

  3. Steve Yzerman please bring home both Kyle Connor and Connor Hellebuyck no matter the cost.

    All of a sudden we’ve a massive upgrade both at wing and goaltending.

    Signed all Detroit Red Wing fans.

    • Hellebuyck and Conner would be too expensive to acquire, it would gut the re-build. Besides, Kyle Conner is not going anywhere.
      Husso is fine till Cossa comes up. Just need a BU this summer. Could take a short term Center like Scheifele though.

      • I know it’s a massive pipedream, But one can only hope.

  4. Dubois to Mtl for Dvorak
    Move Dach to 3c

    Wheeler and pick to PHI for Courtourier and Atkinson

    THey can find cap somewhere to trade away to make room

    Now WPG have players under contract

    • Dubois to Mtl for Dvorak, Anderson, and a 2nd is more likely.

      • The moon being made of cheese is more likely than your trade proposal, Johnny.

        PLD was on the ice for three goals last night and – along with the other Jets stars – was ripped by the media and player supportive coach Bowness for playing like he didn’t care.

        Given the repeated failings of the Jets year after year it may be harsh to single out PLD, he may have been shaped by whatever it is wrong in the dressing room. But I’m with Lyle, and others no doubt, PLD did nothing to enhance his attraction.

        Maybe, finally, this will be the end of the PLD to the Habs rumours. To be replaced, no doubt, by PLD not to the Habs rumours.

      • I’m sure that Hughes is bright enough to know that you don’t decide whether or not to pick up a player based on a single game.

        PLD actually scored a goal last night. Unfortunately, it was called back because of a hand pass that preceded it. During the series, his numbers were the same as Connor and much better than Schiefele. No one player can be singled out when the whole team seemed to play like they’ve given up.

        The Jets really must make major moves. They can’t keep bringing back the same guys and expect things to change. PLD obviously does not want to stick around in Winnipeg. Neither does Schiefele. Others will have to be traded as well.

        I share the concerns of others here that PLD has seemingly been unhappy in both Winnipeg and Columbus. That is an obvious red flag. But playing close to home and family, in a city he knows and is familiar with, may very well be the tonic he needs. All in all, he’s a good young center who has put up solid numbers.

        Gorton, Hughes and St. Louis are slowly but surely creating a winning culture in Montreal. That culture has obviously not existed in Winnipeg since their run in 2018. Maybe Chevy and Bowness need to be part of the change.

      • @LJ….
        Habs have to clear cap for a PLD contract. OK, Dvorak and Anderson.

      • Dubois and Anderson were pretty close when they played in Columbus, would be weird if they get traded for one another. Anyways, Canadiens have to be patient and wait one year and get him without moving assets or trade for his rights at the end of the season for mostly nothing much

    • Highly doubt the Flyers trade for broken down washed Wheeler unless the pick you mentioned is a 1st rounder unprotected.

      The deal you proposed is a Fletcher move, fortunately Chuckie got axed.

  5. Kyle “Scooby” Dubas spotted sneaking out the back door of the rink with a box of office supplies after last nights game.

    Packing for Calgary?

    • That made me laugh!

  6. I might be getting off the PLD train. I have joked about him being a good fit in BOS when he became a UFA.
    I kind of got when he was in CLB as he had a coach who would snap like a twig screaming at him on the bench.

    Now this? I dunno, but Bowness has been known as a players coach. Straight shooter, tough but fair kinda rep. Maybe Torts was on to something.

    Neither of these guys have helped the trade value, not that some of them care.


  7. Exactly.
    Wheeler and a pick for Atkinson? Fine.

    But Coots by himself aint moving for less than multiple picks players including at least one 1st rounder.

  8. Not sure why some would think build it around Kyle Connor.

    If you’re saying that, your not watching the games.

    Yes Connor can score, this season has been lack luster and is part of the core with zero push back and his defensive game is nowhere to be found.

    Has he fell victim to what is going on in the room and morale is low?

    PLD who I’ve been a big supporter of, needs to go, he is detrimental to the morale of this team.

    To come out and play like he did last night was disgusting!

    I seen this player dominate at times during the season. Last night was like “get me the F out of here.”

    Move PLD, Scheifele.

    Dillon would be a good trade now or at the trade deadline.

    If they don’t want to be here or not willing to follow the direction of the coach, get them gone.

    • Caper ,
      I don’t watch the Jets as much as you but i like Connor and think this , what you said…..he fell victim to what is going on in the room and morale is low. He does not strike me ads a vocal type person so the other crap lingering made him back down.
      If they decide to trade him there will be a long list of suitors.

  9. Players are human. Maybe Dubois wasn’t feeling well and went anyway . No matter how flat the pancake there are two sides. He certainly played well game one and down the stretch. A main reason they made the dance in the first place
    Scheifele gone . Wheeler gone. Start there. I heard a Rumor Hellebuyck to Buffalo . They have tons of attractive assets. However, in the not too distant future they will have cap concerns and I would stick with Levi and UPL

    • Unfortunately for PLD his side of the pancake reads the same as it did in Columbus. He quit here too. He’s a spoiled brat beware Montreal.

  10. Ok, Whoa, whoa on the the Jets being in big trouble here.
    Chevy has done an adequate job here for years. That’s all he can ever do in our market that’s just the facts.
    The club has good valuable players that they must make decisions on but they will get decent returns on them all.
    Without these playoff injuries we gave Vegas all they could handle.
    Imo they have to move at least Helly and Shief but they will as I said get good value back. Helly must be moved in a package that nets the Jets a good young goaltender back in any deal.
    I think Chevy will sit back( to the chagrin of Jets fans) and wait for teams to come to him with offers. Unfortunately only Perfetti is NHL ready next year as far as young talent goes. Lambert, Lucius and Rutger are still 2 years away from any meaningful contribution.
    I see 3-4 guys moving out but the replacements will be close to equal talent level.
    Chevy has a big summer ahead no doubt be I think he has proven up to the task. I am not a relative just a Jets season ticket holder

    • I heard pundits on TSN discussing what Hellebuyck will demand on his next contract and someone mentioned that, when that occurs, he heard that he wants to be among the highest paid goalies in the game.


      That would put him north of 4 to 10 and likely somewhere between 1 & 2. Is that an ideal situation for ANY team?

  11. If I was the Sens, I’d be very intrigued by the idea of going after Hellebuyck.
    Now it all depends what it takes.
    Would the jets accept a package of Soogard, 1st in 2024, Formenton /Lassi Thompson for a resigned Hellebuyck?

    (Unlikely scenario) What if the Sens win the lottery and move into the top 3 in this years draft? Would the jets do a one for one for (a resigned) Hellebuyck?

    • Not a chance if he’s looking for Bobrovsky money! And apparently, that’s his current thinking.

    • Sens do not have a 1st this year

    • Broken hip, regardless of what the ask or return is, my question is re-signed for what AAV ? Ottawa’s cap space is shrinking and when they resign Pinto and then re-up Sanderson the season after they will be cap squeezed.
      If they were to acquire a goalie making substantial $ that would mean 2 things
      1) DeBrincat is being moved, they cannot afford both ADB and a top paid goalie
      2) they are looking to move DeBrincat for picks & prospects.

      Hellebuyck will be 30 yrs old starting next season and has a year left on his current deal. I would be ok with a $7-8 AAV deal but only for 4-5 year term, that deal would kick in when he is 31.

      I like him but there would be trade off’s to be made.

      • Trade the Cat for Helly? Good luck re-signing him in the Peg.
        You would hve to do a 3-way trade with someone that wants the Cat and the Sens get Helly. OK guys, get your GM thinking caps on!

    • That package comes nowhere near getting Connor Hellebuyck, Formenton is under criminal investigation. So no thanks on him. Lassi Thompson is this a joke. You’re not getting a signed Connor Hellebuyck for that mess. And like George O said Helly is looking at 8 x $10,000,000 on his next deal.

    • Yeah. And to answer all your questions, who’s got room for a goalie looking to make around 9 million dollars?
      You may not like the package but not many teams will be able to pay for his contract past next season. Most teams that might be interested will be using him as a one year rental. That doesn’t get you more of a return than maybe a 1st rounder and a B prospect.

      I’m offering a 1st in 2024, a top prospect in Soogard and then another B prospect and a player like Formenton (who’s good for 20 goals).

      I don’t know that even Helly’s camp think they can get 8years on his next contract. Id be pitching between 8-9 mill per year for 7 year tops. Sure he’ll be 38 by the time this ends and likely overpaid. You might not like the last 2 years of his contract but front load that baby and buy it out then. You’re still looking at a good 6-7 years of heavy contention.

      You guys are always looking for the perfect deals and especially in a market like Ottawa, they don’t happen. Heck, they don’t happen in sunny florida either! You got to overpay to get the necessary pieces.

      And where is that money coming from?
      Anyone who thinks Debrincat is here next season hasn’t read the signs.

      I’d be trying to trade him and get back a top forward prospect winger in the deal back (not to mention assets that can be used to trade for Helly). Sign someone through FA or use the remaining assets to fill the gap on the wing. There are a few decent guys at around 5 million dollars that could be traded for that won’t cost you a first.
      I’d much rather have Helly that has carried that Winnipeg team over a guy that has been a complementary player that doesn’t drive his line in Ottawa in Debrincat.

      There’s no perfect deals. Nearly ever.
      You’ve got about 6-7 years starting next year with a window to win opening up. Waiting for the perfect deLis gonna leave you holding the (empty) bag .