NHL Rumor Mill – June 1, 2023

by | Jun 1, 2023 | Rumors | 14 comments

The Hurricanes intend to be busy in this summer’s trade market, some proposed targets for the Avalanche to boost their forward lines, and some trade targets for the Blackhawks in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke DeCock reports Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell intends to go the trade route this summer rather than through free agency to bolster his roster for next season.

I think the trade route is something we’re going to explore very heavily before free agency,” said Waddell during his end-of-season media availability yesterday. He indicated he’d like to boost the Hurricanes’ scoring but would also like to add some size to his roster.

We’d like to get a little heavier, if possible,” said Waddell. He’s also hoping for a bounce-back performance from winger Teuvo Teravainen and for young players like Seth Jarvis to continue their improvement.

Waddell indicated there’s still no timeline for when pending free agent Max Pacioretty will return to action following his second torn Achilles. While they’re interested in bringing back the 34-year-old winger, he said they “have to make sure we don’t get caught counting on something that isn’t there.”

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (NHL Images)

DeCock also reported that Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon has made re-signing center Sebastian Aho to a long-term contract extension “a top, top priority.” Dundon said he’d like to get Aho signed as soon as possible. Aho is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

Dundon also believes it’s possible to bring back captain Jordan Staal. He anticipates it’ll be done quickly. “We want to keep him here.” The Hurricanes captain is also open to bringing back pending UFA goalies Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta, pointing out that Pyotr Kochetkov remains waiver-exempt next season.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Waddell wasted little time reaching out to Aho’s agent to get the ball rolling on contract extension talks. LeBrun also noted there’s little bitterness between the Hurricanes’ front office and Aho over the latter signing that five-year, $42.295 million offer sheet from the Montreal Canadiens that was quickly matched by the Canes.

LeBrun believes Aho wants to stay with the Hurricanes. He speculates they’d like to keep the average annual value of his next contract under $9.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes want to keep their roster as intact as possible for another shot at a Cup run next year after finishing this season with the second-best record (111 points) in franchise history. Despite being swept by the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Final, they point to how close each game was in that series and how it could’ve gone their way had they caught some puck luck.

The Hurricanes might have to front-load Aho’s contract to keep it around $9.5 million. I anticipate it’ll cost them closer to $10 million annually on a seven- or eight-year deal to keep him in the fold.

It sounds like they’re also going to let Pacioretty go to market on July 1. Given his age and recent injury history, he’d had to accept a one-year deal with a substantial pay cut to stay in Carolina.

The Hurricanes have over $24 million in cap space for 2023-24. They can afford to bring back Staal, Andersen and Raanta and still have sufficient cap room to add a scorer. Waddell could target clubs looking to shed salary without taking too much back in return.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau observed the Colorado Avalanche will get $7 million in cap relief with captain Gabriel Landeskog sidelined for next season recovering from knee surgery. With $20.3 million in cap room, he proposed five targets to boost their forward lines.

If the Avs look to free agency, Proteau suggested bringing back Ryan O’Reilly to provide the grit and experience they need for a deep playoff run. He anticipated O’Reilly could cost between $4 million and $5 million annually. He also suggested pending UFA winger Vladimir Tarasenko would be a good fit on their second line. So could Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jason Zucker if he tests the market.

Proteau also suggested the New Jersey Devils’ Timo Meier or the Vancouver Canucks Brock Boeser. Meier is a restricted free agent who might become available via an offer sheet though the Devils could match it. The Canucks, meanwhile, are looking to shed salary but also need help in the blueline. Proteau suggested offering up Samuel Girard in exchange for Boeser.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how the Avalanche proceed this summer. Their priority remains a second-line center but they could also look at adding a short-term replacement on left wing for the sidelined Landeskog.

O’Reilly or Tarasenko might be possible but it depends on what they’re seeking on their next contracts. There’s been some speculation suggesting O’Reilly might return to the Blues on a short-term deal for around what Proteau was proposing.

Meier will be far too expensive if he becomes available via trade or offer sheet. Boeser for Girard would address the Canucks and Avs’ respective needs. However, Canucks management seems to be leaning toward retaining Boeser while shipping out someone else to garner some cap relief.


THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers recently listed several trade targets for the Chicago Blackhawks if they wish to weaponize their cap space for 2023-24. They might be able to land some first-round picks or quality prospects by targeting cap-strapped teams carrying unwanted contracts.

Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland, defenseman Tyler Myers and winger Brock Boeser topped Powers’ list. Other options include Washington Capitals winger Anthony Mantha and New York Islanders winger Josh Bailey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garland or Myers are the most likely to be available. As noted earlier, the Canucks seem to be leaning toward hanging onto Boeser.


  1. What? No mention of the Leafs? Oh, shucks, I had to ruin it!😁

    • johnny Z, the columnist all Leafs fans love to hate, Steve Simmons, had this to say in his column this morning:

      “And now Treliving the GM is here — in the supposed centre of the hockey universe, the highest paid he will ever be, with the most attention he will ever know, in a place where there is more talk than wins, more television coverage than the rest of English-speaking Canada combined and more hope on a daily basis than anything called reality.”

      • I’m surprised no new news on the sale of the Sens. So much talk, more than anything we’ve seen in the past, it’s just weird now, like a cone of silence has been dropped. Sounds like somethings up or maybe it’s Bettman’s doing since he tends to keep things like this quiet and out of the public’s eye. Too bad no Sens fans can comment on that…but any small nonsense regarding a hated rival is more important. What a way to live!

      • All I did was pass along an excerpt from a TORONTO-based columnist. Is that now forbidden? Holy crap, man, lighten up … is there ANYTHING that doesn’t bother you when it comes to even faint criticism of the Leafs?

        You also “speculate” that something “might be up” surrounding the sale of the Senators. Based on what? Here’s an excerpt from a column this morning on that subject. Quoted in here is Nick Kypreos – another Leafs fans love to hate, and there will likely be some digs at the fact he’s associated with the leading bidder – Toronto-based billionaire Steve Apostolopoulis who some will probably state must be an idiot for linking up with Kypreos.
        “League sources told Postmedia on Wednesday that New York-based banker Galatioto Sports Partners (GSP), which is selling the National Hockey League team on behalf of the Melnyk family, is hopeful there will be an agreement in principle with a preferred bidder in the coming days.
        As Postmedia reported Tuesday, one of the bidders considers the $1-billion (all figures U.S.) offer made by Toronto billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos as the “one to beat,” but all four parties remain in the process.
        A league executive told this newspaper Wednesday it could take anywhere between 60 and 90 days to close the deal.

        Former NHLer Nick Kypreos, an advisor to the Apostolopoulos bid, did a good job calming the waters when he spoke carefully without giving away any secrets with his co-host Justin Bourne on their Tuesday afternoon podcast on Sportsnet radio in Toronto.
        “We’re talking about a process that I don’t think the NHL has gone through before,” Kypreos said. “Even with the Leafs, prior to Bell/Rogers getting involved (in 1994), I don’t remember parties or billionaires clamouring to that sale like we’ve seen with the Ottawa Senators.
        “This is a relatively new standard with some very powerful people involved. There’s due diligence involved. I know it’s got to be frustrating from afar for the Ottawa fans … but, when you’re talking about the numbers that have been reported out there, how can you not do your due diligence?”

        Kypreos said he knew patience was being tested, but everything had to be done with a fine-tooth comb. Let’s be honest, the groups involved aren’t buying a suit and the Melnyk estate isn’t selling one, either.”

      • I knew all that regarding what Kypper said. It’s what he said that’s intriguing, a process never been seen before and the expected everyone doing their due diligence.
        It’s getting a bit too quiet and longer than normal…are people unhappy or want more or does Gary want everyone to keep thing quiet? So since no one knows or are talking, I’m guessing it’s Gary.
        All you did is what you normally do, pass along something by someone who’s an ass about a team you know many dislike because why? I don’t care really, but I really do like pointing out BS when I see it.

    • 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🤡

  2. Canes really are in a position to acquire that “last piece” (or 2 or 3) that could take them to the promise land! I would bet they will be the early favorites to win it all.

  3. I’m not sure how it works with cap space, i don’t pay that much attention to it. More interested in how a team drafts/ or makes a trade. So, maybe someone can educate me? Despite that, it seems like the Avalanche has a little over $20 Million to deal with from Lyle’s reporting ? So, if the Avalanche spend the $7 Million that LTIR is available because of Landeskog on let say O’Reilly, don’t know if he wants to come back due to historical bad blood, that will shrink it to $13 Million. Then, the rest they have left will be to pay Byram, Compher, Rodrigues if they chose to do that? What if they move Girard in a hockey trade such as for Boeser, that get’s rid of that what $5 milllion contract? Does that mean because Boeser is already signed that the Avalanche wouldn’t have to worry about eating up all their cap space with all the business they have to take care of? Still have to consider an extension for Toews, too I believe for next year if they want to keep him! I would look to move Girard, Newhook but I would like to keep Compher and Rodrigues if possible , just pay them, they deserve a good raise. If not, I guess move Compher. What do others think. I know not too many Avalanche fans on this site but would be interested in the feedback if it’s genuine. GO AVS!!!!!!

    • capfriendly is everyone’s friend

  4. Hayes 50% retained to AVS for a package of picks solves both teams problems.

    Avs get a 2C cheap for 3 yrs and Philly gets package of picks.

    • I’ve seen this trade proposed about 100 times on capfriendly and I hate it more and more every time I see it. If Hayes doesn’t fit the style of play the Avs use, it’s not a solution, it’s another problem. Hint: Hayes does not play the Avs style of hockey.

  5. IHC, that might take care of 2C but a lot more fish to fry. Even though I like Hayes, has a good shot. Hearing not so reliable on defensive side of it. Watch some Flyer games at times but he seemed like a better player when he was on NY Rangers? Picks, Avalanche don’t have a lot to give away, they need to accumulate some. Not sure I like it but maybe Avalanche are considering such a move. I was for it at TDL but not so crazy about it now. Thanks for response!!

  6. I think the Sens sale is slow because of the billion dollar rumour . I have not followed closely but my bet is will sell for around $800 million and Betman will see it as a loss. This is the stall . Once again could be very wrong . But to me $800 million would still be very profitable for Melnks family .

  7. Trading four years of Girard for two years of Boeser would be a waste – wingers are the easiest and cheapest pieces to acquire. Avs should focus on trading Toews – they’ll get a lot back and won’t be tempted into overpaying an older player plus they already have his replacement in Byram.