Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 21, 2023

by | May 21, 2023 | Rumors | 31 comments

Could the Sabres pursue a trade for Connor Hellebuyck? Would the Capitals trade Tom Wilson or attempt to acquire Alex DeBrincat? Could the Kings shop Viktor Arvidsson? Check out the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup to find out.


THE ATHLETIC: Matthew Fairburn recently noted that colleagues Michael Russo and Eric Duhatschek had reported hearing that the Buffalo Sabres could be interested in Connor Hellebuyck. The 29-year-old Winnipeg Jets goaltender is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (NHL Images).

Russo and Duhatschek stated that the Sabres believe acquiring a genuine No. 1 goaltender will be the final piece that turns them into contenders. It would also enable them to hold off on passing the reins to promising Devon Levi until he’s NHL-ready.

Fairburn believes Hellebuyck would be the best option compared to who’s available in this summer’s free-agent market and potentially in the trade market. He thinks they should be monitoring the situation but shouldn’t give up top prospects like Matthew Savoie or Jiri Kulich given Hellebuyck’s contract status. If the Jets goalie can be had for less than that, Fairburn thinks he’d be worth it.

THE BUFFALO NEWS’ Lance Lysowki also weighed in on the Sabres’ rumored interest in Hellebuyck. He thinks general manager Kevyn Adams will look into the netminder’s availability. However, he anticipates a high asking cost combined with Hellebuyck being essentially a rental player for next season would make this an unlikely move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t be surprised if Adams reached out to the Jets about Hellebuyck. The Sabres GM is in a good position to acquire the 2019 Vezina Trophy winner (who’s also a finalist this season) with the cap space to absorb his $6.1 million cap hit and the depth in promising young assets to offer up as trade bait.

The only way I think this works for the Sabres is if Hellebuyck is willing to sign a contract extension. Otherwise, it’s a waste of assets for a player who’ll be heading out the door next summer. I understand the impatience to reach the playoffs after 12 seasons but it’s not worth sacrificing too much of their future on just one season.

Adams must also determine what he’s got in promising goalies like Levi and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and how close they could be to handling the full-time starter duties. He could prefer bringing in an affordable veteran on a short-term deal until one of those youngsters is good to go.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber dismissed any talk of the retooling Washington Capitals shopping winger Tom Wilson. The 29-year-old power forward can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Wilson said he has no intention of leaving the Capitals and won’t play hardball with them when it comes to his next contract. The feeling is mutual with management as GM Brian MacLellan indicated in April that the plan is to sign him to a contract extension.

Silber also examined whether the Capitals could afford to make a pitch for Alex DeBrincat if he proves reluctant to sign a long-term deal with the Ottawa Senators. They could offer up Evgeny Kuznetsov or Anthony Mantha but both forwards are coming off disappointing performances this season.

DeBrincat would be a good fit with a Capitals roster that’s hoping for a quick turnaround. However, it seems unlikely they can acquire him given the expense of doing so.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuznetsov and Mantha will be very difficult to move this summer given the number of teams (22) with less than $15 million in cap space. Their performances this season did nothing to improve their trade value. I don’t see the Senators having any interest in them if they put DeBrincat on the trade block.


SPORTSNET: On Friday’s episode of the “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said the Los Angeles Kings are looking to clear some cap space. He’s hearing winger Viktor Arvidsson could be available.

Co-host Jeff Marek suggested moving Arvidsson could clear room for a goaltender. Friedman also speculated it could be done to re-sign defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Arvidsson, 30, is earning $4.25 million per season through 2023-24 and will be eligible for UFA status next summer. He’s played a role in the Kings’ return to playoff contender, scoring 26 goals and 59 points this season.

The Kings, however, need to sort out their goaltending situation. They also thought highly of Gavrikov, who fit in well on their blueline as a trade-deadline acquisition. Arvidsson’s contract status and his lack of no-trade protection could make him a trade candidate.


  1. I’d take Mantha for DeBrincat IF the deal included Washington’s 1st round pick this year (8th overall)

    • George, at this point, I’m not sure if Dorion would be interested in trading Debrincat for a pick, even at #8. They’ve loaded up the team with young players and now they’re looking to add players to help them take the next step. That was the point in adding Chychrun and Debrincat. If they were to trade Debrincat I think they’d want to pick up a top line player who can help them now. And no, Mantha is certainly not that.

      • A couple of options Debrincat… Trade him to the Jets for Hellebuyck & A pick…
        would need to sign extensions and thats where it could get messy ….🤔
        the Sens go after one of the Carolina Goaltenders they are both UFA, and you would need one of the for 2 years…..🤔

        Then you move the Cat for something else like
        A Tom Wilson and a 1st pick, the Sens need more team Toughness….. So Tkachuck is not fighting every one… im sure he loves to fight but would be better on the ice….

        Young Samsonov played well this year in Toronto
        An offer of $4.2M would only cost the other team a 2nd round pick….❓
        like Ottawa or Buffalo who both need way better goaltending to get in the playoffs next season

      • Except Samsonov is not “way better” than Sogaard and Forsberg – marginally better, perhaps, but not enough to make a significant difference.

      • I know you like Debrincat, Howard. 27 goals this year illustrates the drop when not playing with Kane. 27 goals and a – 31 this year, and you’d commit the 9 million for his qualifying offer?

        Not this lad.

    • Not a chance Debrincat get you the 8th overall pick.

      Hey I got a couple leftover prospects how about them for Hellebuyck your most important player.

      • Hi George,
        Sogaard is very young at 22,
        his numbers for 20 games this year….
        20 Games, 3.32 GA 0.889 SA%
        i like this kid, BUT he needs AHL time to play way more game and learn his trade❓

        Samsonov is 26 and posted very good numbers this season for a young kid….
        42 Games, 2.33 GA 0.919 SA%✔️
        this is his 2 full season playing +40 games

        some one will offer him a contract if the leafs are Smart…❓ No coment there……. but i would match that if the got a $4.2M offer for an RFA like him..🤔

        We all know goaltender take more time for ripening up…. 🤔

    • George O

      Mantha is garbage and Washington’s 8th overall isn’t enough, And why would DeBrincat sign long term with the oldest team in the league?

      Once Ovechkin, Backstrom, Oshie and Carlson retire they’re heading for a major rebuild with little to know prospect pipeline that team is in a major mess.

      Washington’s window is closing fast, It’s probably closed now, DeBrincat isn’t wasting his time on the joke of the league. Washington needs to rebuild now not later.

  2. Ottawa should go after Hellebuyck, or maybe Samsonov

    • I’d rather they go big on UFA Frederik Andersen.

  3. Howard, a healthy Norris will more than make up for the loss of DeBrincat’s offense – who doesn’t seem to be particularly keen on re-upping in Ottawa anyway.

    As for Mantha, the 6’5″ 235 RW has played 420 NHL games scoring 119g 133a 252pts, for 82-game averages of 23g 26a 49pts.

    The bulk of that came with Detroit – but since being dealt to Washington he has been bounced all over the line-up – when not a healthy scratch.

    The Senators will get plenty of offense from Norris, Tkachuk, Giroux, Stutzle, Batherson, Pinto – with up and coming kids like Greig, Jarvantie and Ostapchuk waiting in the wings.

    And an 8th pick this year figures to be a good one.

    • George, the knock against Mantha is effort. If he was willing to put forth the effort that high end players do every game, he would be one of them. He was 1st line in Detroit because they had nothing else. But even then he was a healthy scratch more than once

    • George, I don’t doubt that the Sens will try to trade Debrincat if he doesn’t seem sure about signing long term. I just think that their preference would be a solid established player who’d help them right away. The #8 overall pick might get them a great player but one who likely wouldn’t contribute for at least 2 years.

      • Except that that 8th pick plus one of their prospects could garner them a decent player from a team smack up against the cap which would see cap management value in a good prospect plus that pick.

    • Ottawa would be closer to home for Mantha, he just might do better. His family could see him more often!

  4. So trade for Hellebuyck but don’t give up quality assets… Why do these guys even bother?

    • Exactly. Hellebuyck … IF traded … will bring back quality assets. Otherwise, why bother?

      Sure, I’d like him in Ottawa … but who the Jets would want in return makes that a non-starter. Which is why I say go big after UFA Frederik Andersen. All he’ll cost is money.

    • This was going to be my post…the great minds out there, we will give you garbage for your best players and you can thank us later…

    • It’s like the mathews situation. If he won’t sign an extension then the value drops significantly. Hellybuck for 1 year still gets value. But not mind blowing return.

  5. Samsonov and Marner for Hellebuyck and Wheeler.

    • Trono sez “Hell no!”
      Maybe if you add PLD instead of Wheeler.

    • LOL

      And Toronto is still garbage with Hellebuyck and Wheeler, Sorry but it’s been proven time and time again. That Toronto isn’t made for playoff hockey.

    • Wheeler is a big body who is UFA, whether he signs or not is not so important.

      Hellebuyck is UFA and the premier goalie they need, Marner’s salary pays for him.

      Samsonov give Jets a much cheaper goalie and Marner adds a top level scorer.

      Each team saves cap and fills holes.

      • Yesh well, Marner is worth more than that. Add 2 1st’s for him and forget about Wheeler then you are more in the ballpark. Trono probably wants the cap space to sign O’Rielly.

  6. Speaking for Calgary, if they were to trade Hellebuyck to Buffalo, and he is willing to sign an extension there, I would require that Levi be included in the package.

    As for DeBrincat, I wonder if GM’s see him as a post-season performer, or one who disappears in the playoffs ? That would determine his value to me. Based on what I am watching from the 4 remaining teams and their playoff games, I am unconvinced of DeBrincats value to me, especially if I would have to pay $8M+ on a long term deal to keep him. He doesn’t look like the type to help a team win in the post-season, only to help get there.

    • What was I thinking….Calgary….my apologies to Jets fans.

      • Trading away Levi? Yes, what were you thinking ??? 😀

        5 first rounders to BUF then lol

      • Wally, let’s remember that Levi, though a very good goalie prospect, is still a prospect with a grand total of 7 games of experience. Hellebuyck has a out 450 games of experience, has a Vezina trophy, and is considered an elite NHL goalie. Don’t expect Buffalo to acquire him for a couple of bags of pucks. Yes, Winnipeg should ask for Levi as part (and only a part) of any trade package for Hellebuyck.

      • Ridiculous.

        Levi is the goalie of the future. His GAA says plenty about his potential. The fact that you’re asking for Levi and not UPL speaks volumes.

        You can ask all you want, but the phone call will end there. Take back Comrie, a B-prospect and 4 bags of pucks. That’s all he is worth as a 1-year rental without an extension.

  7. looks like Calgary are going to Give the GM Job to Craig Conroy ……… Smart Move by the best signing in YEARS…..‼️

    sound like Iggy maybe joinging him in the near future before the 2024 NHL Draft…..🤔

  8. There have been lots of “goalies of the future” who have never panned out. Hellybuyck is a Vezina caliber goalie in his prime. If you want that, you have to pay.