NHL Rumor Mill – April 29, 2023

by | Apr 29, 2023 | Rumors | 24 comments

A look ahead at what might be in store in the offseason for the Islanders and Wild plus the latest on the Jets in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


ESPN.COM: Kristen Shilton looked ahead at the offseason for the New York Islanders now that they’ve been eliminated from the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. She believes they must address the lack of consistent scoring that plagued them throughout this season.

The Islanders could also use a reliable backup for starting goaltender Ilya Sorokin if Semyon Varlamov departs via free agency on July 1. She also wondered if general manager Lou Lamoriello might consider replacing rookie head coach Lane Lambert with a veteran bench boss.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello is renowned for his secrecy so we have no idea what he’s got planned for the Islanders this summer. Nevertheless, it’s safe to assume that he’ll look at bolstering his popgun offense.

Lamoriello might have to go the trade route as Cap Friendly indicates the Isles have around $6.9 million available for 2023-24 with 18 roster regulars under contract. In other words, a dollar-in, dollar-out move.

Varlamov could return if he’s willing to accept a significant pay cut on a short-term contract. As for Lambert, your guess is as good as Lamoriello’s but it wouldn’t be shocking if he makes another change behind the bench.

ESPN.COM: Ryan S. Clark examined the offseason issues facing the Minnesota Wild following their first-round playoff elimination. He points out they’ll be hampered by the ongoing cost of buying out Zach Parise and Ryan Suter as it rises to a combined $14.7 million per season through 2024-25.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba (NHL Images)

They have eight players eligible for unrestricted free agent status including Matt Dumba, Marcus Johansson, John Klingberg and Ryan Reaves. Their restricted free agents include goaltending Filip Gustavsson, defenseman Calen Addison and forward Sam Steel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Wild have just $3.4 million in projected cap space next season with 22 roster players under contract. General manager Bill Guerin will have to shed salary to free up cap space to retain some of these players.

Most of those UFAs are goners except perhaps Johansson given his chemistry with young star Matt Boldy. Gustavsson has to be re-signed as aging Marc-Andre Fleury is no longer capable of handling the workload of a full-time starting goaltender.


DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna discussed what the Winnipeg Jets should do in the offseason following their disappointing season.

McKenna believes they should trade center Mark Scheifele as he’s been there too long and they need to shake up the dressing room. He thinks Scheifele will have some trade value given his career-best 42-goal performance this season.

Servalli believes a new contract for Connor Hellebuyck is the priority facing the Jets. He’s eligible for UFA status after next season. Seravalli wondered if they’ll trade Hellebuyck if he’s not interested in a contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One or perhaps both of those players could be shopped this summer. The same goes for Blake Wheeler. Like Scheifele and Hellebucyk, Wheeler’s slated for UFA status next summer.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed the possibility of the Canadiens acquiring Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois during their latest “32 Thoughts” podcast.

Marek said he’s led to believe there are other clubs also interested in Dubois despite the speculation suggesting the Canadiens are his preferred destination. Friedman mentioned Kirby Dach being the return for Dubois was suggested to him but he believes if it were that simple it would’ve been done by now.

Dumont dismissed the notion of the Canadiens parting with Dach. He also noted that Friedman pointed out the Jets will have little leverage given that Dubois is a restricted free agent this summer who’s a year away from UFA status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Any team interested in Dubois other than the Canadiens might be willing to acquire him for this season with the hope of signing him before his UFA eligibility next year. However, they’re not going to overpay to get him given the Jets’ lack of leverage.

The Canadiens will have considerable leverage to acquire Dubois, assuming they indeed want to acquire the 24-year-old center and sign him to a lucrative long-term contract. They have an extra first-round pick in this year’s draft belonging to the Florida Panthers which could be enticing for the Jets if it’s also bundled with a quality prospect or promising young NHL player.

I’ll be very surprised if the Canadiens agree to part with Dach for Dubois. They are very pleased with his performance this season despite being sidelined by injuries at times. He had terrific chemistry on the top line with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield and showed potential as a second-line center as well.


  1. New York Islanders …. now there’s a possible destination for DeBrincat.

    • Shat would the return be ? Certainly the Isles would have to send a bit of salary back.

      • Because it begs further conversation and to answer some of the points brought up regarding the sens trading for Helly.
        Here’s my answer to the convo from yesterday:

        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 .

    • “What”

      • “Shat” was probably closer johnny Z 🙂

        But if their strength is their D and their glaring need is offense, then perhaps one from among their D corps with a cap hit in the $6-$7 mil range and term

    • The NYI could use him 100% but Lou Lamoriello has No 1st & 2nd pick this year….
      They are Right up against the Cap they only have $6.9M in total space….⁉️

      They also need to Repace 2 d/men & 3 Forwards a mix of RFA & UFA……🤔 with $6.9M….
      the Cat will be about 8.2M+ to to sign

      unless its a player trade like a Good d/man
      Noah Dobson, and a 2nd pick…? They need more fire power in the NYI to compete with NYR & NJ… 100%❓

      • Forget the islanders competing with the Devils and Rangers. They need to be more worried about the Pens, Sens, and Sabres

    • @George O

      Yeah with what cap space?

      Alex DeBrincat will be seeking anywhere from 8 x $8,500,000 to 8 x $9,000,000 on his next contract. Islanders are already screwed with a lot of bad contracts. This team is going to be in a major mess a few years down the road.

  2. So yay or nay. Maf has it in him before calling it quits to get 32 more wins. Unless he’s a full time starter somewhere I think it takes two more seasons as a 1a1b guy. Can he do it!?!?

    • I certainly wouldn’t count him out. Like Craig Anderson, he’s a fitness freak and, for most of his career, very dependable in terms of lack of injury.

      When Anderson left Ottawa in 2020 he had just racked up 28 wins over two seasons when he was 38/39. Over the past 3 seasons in Washington/Buffalo he registered 30 more wins to the age of 42.

      Fleury is 39 and this past season played in 46 games with a record of 24 16 4.

    • Hi Chrisms

      I think he’ll get 32 more wins…. But why that exact figure of 32?

      He can’t catch Brodeur and is only 7 W behind Roy…. That’ll be easy to do…. Puts him then 2nd OA

      His target (over 2 years) may (?) be 11 more shutouts to jump from current 12th OA to 4th…..highly unlikely to get 21 more SO to catch Hainsworth for 3rd

      Wild need space…. Trade the Flower back to Pens to finish his career

      Doing Wild a favour… and with NMC… Fleury likely only waving for Pens or Habs…. return…. Late rounder or Future considerations

      Pens bury DeSmith or move him; re-up Jarry short term; The Flower/Jarry 1A/1B; buy out Granlund; replaced with Nylander….

      Net…. Pens way better in goal; better atFwd level (and faster and younger and bigger)….. and …. At less Cap hit…. WIN WIN WIN!!

      Avoid re-upping Zucker…. His performance this year deserves term and a Cap hit that Pens just can’t invest in (closing in on 32 for start of next season)

      Do NOT re-up Dumo or Bonino

      DO re-up DOC, Poehling, Arch, Smyth

      Jettison Ruhweedel

      Move Petry (even if Pens have to retain 50%) …. He can be moved to more than 1/2 the clubs without his say so

      Don’t re-up Kulikov

      Move Rutta


      Tanger /Pettersson
      .??/P-O J

      UFA market for (27 or 28 year old; above average in size)
      3C , Top 6 LW; 2RD

      Leaves ~ $8 M – $10 M for 2 bottom 6 wingers; 13th and 14th depth Fwds; and 6th D-Man ….. more than enough


      Pens ….

      waaay better in Goal

      Waaay better on D

      Waaaay better at 3C

      Top 6 output… difference TBD…. Likely negligible

      Bottom 6 output…. Greatly improved

      Team as a whole…. Younger, faster, bigger

      Who knows….. maybe Pens get lucky at Lottery (3.2 % chance [per tankathon] of picking 4th; but maybe with the 14th pick (95% chance) they get a player who makes team out of Camp….”Man-Child” Barlow?? ? … to play on 3rd line??

      • I doubt that the Pens can move Petry even with 50% retained. Unfortunately, he was done while still in Montreal. It would take a high pick as a sweetener to move him. I would avoid him like the plague.

      • The stat I read this morning had maf needing 32 wins to pass Roy. Maybe it was an outdated stat? 7 is a lock.

      • Petry wasn’t atrocious by any means. Just not worth the money. But I don’t think the pens could move him without retaining a small amount plus he has a lot of say where he goes. Even if they did they’d have to replace him. Only real option is to keep him and hope he has a healthier season and plays closer to his contract value. Another tough hextall pill to swallow.

  3. Lou’s contract is expiring. The Islanders have to decide whether to keep him or let him go. He is the one who played games, low balling scorers like Johnny G. or not even making them offers. And some of the contracts he has given out, like Martin and Cizikas, have hamstrung this team as far as available money to sign players that they need. Perhaps it is time to move on, new GM, new coach, new direction.

    • Petry only agrees with contender or Detroit. Send him to Detroit for Chiarot.

  4. The Jets have underachieved with those very good forwards for too long.
    Does Montreal want to add PLD to their room even with all the skills he brings? And the obvious is where the Habs own 1st lottery pick falls-if 1 or 2 they are set down the middle.

    Scheifele to Philly?;

    • Ds

      Don’t think Scheifele is a tortes player. Do you.

      • @mrbruin
        i dont think he is any coaches player the way he is game to game.
        I am glad I am not the GM of WPG or the Wild this summer outside of that salary ;-0

    • ds, and Lyle. Bang on, gentlemen! Nothing more needs to be said about the Habs and PLD.

      Except a minor tweak:, Bedard, Fantilli, Carlsson, and Smith are all centres projected in the top 5. Add Yager and that is 5 centres projected in the top 10 that are possibly available to the Habs.

      But your overall point is bang on, that the draft lottery will influence the Habs’ plans re PLD.

      • LJ,
        The Habs have the next centre in the system without the draft Owen Beck.

        He has Suzuki’s IQ, better face off skills and is solid in all three zones.

        The kid is steady, consistent and will “arrive” when the earns the playoffs.

        Like you, I have little if any interest in PLD.

      • They do indeed, HF30. And Joshua Roy and Riley Kidney as well.

        But as you have pointed out, promise though they have they are all prospects at this point.

        Should the Habs have a chance at any of Bedard (of course), Fantilli or Carlsson they would surely take any one of them. Don’t know enough about Smith.

        This is unlikely to be something the Habs would have to think about given the odds of getting # 1, but I am still uncertain about Bedard’s skating ability at the NHL level.

  5. Time for Lou to move on. As for the coaches I would prefer someone with experience like Peter Lavoilet. The need for a top 6 forward is glaring. The power play needs a sniper and a puck moving defenseman. Dobson really played awful the second half and playoffs. Maybe he was not healthy but at this point I think you have to trade either Pelech or Dobson for a top 6 forward. Or maybe go sign Tarasenko if the price is right. Bailey needs to be DFA’d or retire. Lee needs to go skates in quick sand.Martin and Clutter need to go. Resign Parise Fasching Mayfield and Varly if the price is right.This roster is old and slow needs a new look. Agree or not? Yeah I am a disgruntled fan since 1972. Yikes………

  6. Every contending team pays big money to their top 3-4 players regardless of which forward or defensive position.

    No team relies on rookies or cheap prospects to carry the team (with rare exceptions).

    Somehow goalies like Connor Hellebuyck who can win games on his own isn’t worth the money because he’s a goalie.

    Best and most impactfull players deserve top dollar.


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