NHL Rumor Mill – June 10, 2023

by | Jun 10, 2023 | Rumors | 19 comments

Why does Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois want to be traded? Does Alex DeBrincat prefer to stay with the Senators? Could the Predators shop Juuse Saros? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre believes the Jets should look inward as to why Pierre-Luc Dubois doesn’t want to sign a contract extension and is seeking a trade this summer. He thinks the club would be wise to discover the reasons and fast, even if it reveals some uncomfortable truths.

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

McIntyre notes that Dubois is coming off the most productive season of his young NHL career with 27 goals and 36 assists in 73 games. He pointed out that the 24-year-old center was a fan favorite for his passion and emotion and was increasingly relied on by the Jets coaching staff in big moments.

Dubois is a Canadian player in a Canadian market, one where his father is an assistant coach for their farm team that plays in the same arena. The Jets would open the vault to re-sign him and he’s bound to take on a greater role within their leadership.

McIntyre acknowledged part of the problem could be Dubois himself, pointing to his departure from the Columbus Blue Jackets. However, he also believes the young center has seen plenty of dysfunction within the Jets’ dressing room over the past three seasons. McIntyre also doesn’t buy into the theory that Dubois doesn’t enjoy playing under a big spotlight when his preferred destination is reportedly his hometown of Montreal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of this could be on Dubois but the Jets’ internal issues among their leadership group have been well-documented over the past two seasons. Perhaps what he needs is a good work environment with the right coach and teammates.

Whatever the reason, Dubois has made it clear that his future iS not in Winnipeg. Once the Jets front office addresses that issue, they must do something about the rumored toxic atmosphere behind the scenes that have plagued this club for some time.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Steve Warne cites a source claiming Alex DeBrincat remains open to staying with the Ottawa Senators despite the recent trade rumors. However, he is looking for contract term like the eight-year deal that Cole Caufield got with the Montreal Canadiens.

The source claims DeBrincat likes head coach DJ Smith a lot and loves the team. Nevertheless, Warne noted the winger provided the Senators with a list of trade destinations.

Warne finds it curious why the Senators would need an answer from DeBrincat regarding his contract by draft day. He pointed out that the Senators have made solid trades in the recent past at other points on the calendar.

If the Senators truly want to keep DeBrincat long-term, Warne believes it would be sensible to wait a while longer. He thinks it wouldn’t dramatically affect the ability to make a good trade with the winger later on if they need to go that route.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrincat said during his end-of-season press conference that he’s open to anything. However, he wants to wait and see what happens with the sale of the club. That could explain why the Senators want to find out about his intentions by June 28.

As Warne noted, the new ownership could also affect whether the current management and coaching staffs remain in place. DeBrincat might not want to commit long-term only to end up with a Senators team that fails to improve and a new head coach that he doesn’t get along with.


NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Michael Gallagher recently reported that the Predators had discussions with the Los Angeles Kings before the March trade deadline about Juuse Saros. The 28-year-old Predators goaltender was a finalist in 2022 for the Vezina Trophy.

Gallagher indicated the Predators’ asking price was two first-round picks in 2023 plus more. The Kings balked at that and instead acquired Joonas Korpisalo from Columbus.

It’s unlikely that the Kings will revisit their interest in Saros. Nevertheless, Gallagher believes the netminder’s future in Nashville is fuzzy under new general manager Barry Trotz. He noted that trading a Vezina-caliber goalie with two years left on his contract with a reasonable average annual value of $5 million could fetch a haul of prospects and draft picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Saros would be a shocking move. It depends on whether Trotz intends to retool or rebuild the Predators roster. If it’s the former, Saros will be a key piece of that program. If Trotz is rebuilding, he could view Saros as a valuable trade chip that kickstarts the process.


THE SEATTLE TIMES: Geoff Baker recently speculated that the Kraken could seek to use their cap space this summer to add another impact player. That’s how they acquired winger Oliver Bjorkstrand last year from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

With the cap projected to rise by just $1 million to $83.5 million, Baker noted the Kraken are well-positioned with an estimated $20.3 million in cap space to target cap-strapped clubs looking to dump salary.

Trade targets could include New York Rangers winger Alexis Lafreniere or Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland. The Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings could also attempt to shed salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Baker wrote this piece before the Kings shed salary by trading Cal Petersen and Sean Walker to the Flyers in the Ivan Provorov deal. However, the other clubs on his list could be targeted by Kraken GM Ron Francis.


DAILY FACEOFF: New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood and Carolina Hurricanes winger Jesse Puljujarvi topped Frank Seravalli’s list of restricted free agents who might not get qualifying offers this summer.

Others included Montreal Canadiens winger Denis Gurianov, Anaheim Ducks forward Max Comtois, and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ethan Bear.


  1. Max Comtois hitting the UFA market might be of interest to the Habs.

    Reclamation project, big, fast, nasty. Potential to be a fourth winger.

    Contenders are built with like wise role players in the ranks.

    • comtois, imo is much like pld. a big winger who can score goals and impose his will with his size.sadly though he has yet to really figure things out. perhaps a change of scenery might do him good. and maybe the new ducks coach can turn the team, including comtois, around and lift their play. remains to be seen. and of course everyone has him linked to the habs.nice thought perhaps, but like many others, iffy. maybe worth a look.

    • Fourth “line” winger.

  2. Jesse Puljujarvi needs to sign a cheap 1-2 year contract, with a team in a rebuild, and get his NHL career on track.

  3. It looks like Puljujarvi’s NHL career is over. Meaning the Jackets knew what they were doing when they passed him over in the draft.

    • Paul, right from the get-go I was questioning the rationale for drafting Puljujarvi 4th overall in 2016 and, in doing so, received numerous counter-arguments.

      I didn’t get to see him a lot – but as the seasons went by from what I did see was a player with obvious skating talent and good size who just didn’t seem to have any natural on-ice instincts – hesitation in shooting when a shot was called for – inability to often take a perfect pass cleanly – a lot of floating. In other words, nothing to suggest that taking him 4th was a wise choice.

      So far he has played 334 games in the NHL with 51 goals and 63 assists which averages out over 83 games to 13g 15a 28 pts. Not what you expect from one drafted so high when the likes of Matthew Tkachuk, Clayton Keller, Mikhail Sergachev, Charley McAvoy, Jakob Chychrun and Tage Thompson were still available.

      Then, as if to underline that whoever compiled their draft that year were having a bad time, they tok Tyler Benson 4th in round 2, who has since appeared in 38 NHL games. After him went Alex DeBrincat, Carter Hart, Filip Hronek, Filip Gustavsson and Taylor Raddysh.

    • Paul, clearly the CBJ knew what they were doing passing on puljujarvi… and Tkachuk and Keller and Sergachev and even Tage Thompson. Lol. Let’s not pretend like the people I’m Columbus have any idea on how to put together a winner.

  4. I’m still scratching my head over every article written about Debrincat staying in Ottawa since the March trade deadline which fails to mention their roster/cap situation. Today it’s Steve Warne who speculates without providing any cap context to his readers.

    We need Spectors reader/contributor “George O” to cover all Ottawa/Debrincat stories moving forward, he’s the only person with Sens affiliation that has given an honest assessment of the situation. As George laid out clearly a few weeks ago, unless the Sens make massive revisions to their current personnel Debrincat will not be a part of their organization moving forward.

    • Heh, thanks LeoR. But in the end it doesn’t take a mathematician to see that that possibility instantly raises a whole slew of other roster problems that would need addressing.

      CapFriendly shows them with $66,424,047 committed to 8 F (Stutzle, Tkachuk, Giroux, Batherson, Joseph, Kastelic, Kelly and Norris (shown under IR), 4 D (Chabot, Chychrun, Zub, Sanderson) and 1 G (Forsberg – also shown under IR). That total also includes 1 more year of the Murray hold-back of $1,562,500 and 1 year of 3 buyouts – Ryan at $1,833,333, White at $875,000 and DelZotto at $750,000).

      Under the projected cap of $83,500,000 (which could still change apparently) that leaves them with $17,075,953 to sign 10. Among their RFAs, 5 are seen as key in that all are projected to be on the Ottawa roster – Gambrell – coming off a $950,000 ELC; Gauthier – coming off an $800,000 ELC; Pinto – coming off a $925,000 ELC; Brannstrom – coming off a $900,000 ELC, and Bernard-Docker – coming off a $925,000 ELC). That expired total of $4,500,000 will likely be in the area of $8.5 to $9.5 when concluded – with at least 3 of them on bridge deals (Pinto will account for the biggest total of around $4 mil).

      Bottom line, they’d now be down to about $8,575,000 with which to sign or make room for 8. Two of the spots will likely be taken by Greig ($925,000) and Kleven ($916,667) with possibly Sogaard in goal if the analysis suggests he’s ready ($925,000). That’s a total of $2,050,000 so now we’re down to $6,515,000 to sign 5. But if Sogaard is deemed not ready and it’s decided to go after a goalie either through the UFA heap or trade, most of that reserve will be eaten up pretty fast.

      And we still haven’t considered re-upping DeBrincat who Warne suggests could be signed for 8 years at Caufield money – or $7,850,000 per.

      Not gonna happen. Not without a whole slew of other moves.

      • If I had to render a guess as to where he might wind up in a trade I would say one of these – and this order


      • @George O

        Elliotte Friedman already listed Detroit, Floruda, Dallas, Nashville and Vegas on Alex DeBrincats list of desireable destinations. The rest of you teams aren’t happening.

      • I’m gonna say it, as a Sens fan that has followed the team for few decades and knows the things that are said by the media, Steve Warnes doesn’t know squat.
        His podcast is full of poorly researched snippets, false claims and he often misreports information and gets facts wrong. It’s amateur hour. There’s a reason he was cut from the TSN show.
        Pay little attention to what he says. He just tries to draw people to his podcast by offering alternative takes.
        There is a multitude of fan podcasts that are more factual than his show. It’s comical to listen to tho for that reason only.

      • I agree george. I don’t think they resign him I think that ship has sailed.
        I would have loved to keep him had he been interested.
        But to be fair, we need to address the goaltending position.
        I like Soogard but he’s a couple years away at best to get a regular spot.
        As I suggested weeks ago, the Sens would do well to explore the trade market and I would suggest (again) Hellybuyck. It’s not gonna be cheap and it will cost us likely next years first, Soogard and then some but you end up with a perennial vezina candidate that will still have 5-6 prime years left. In a few years we may have Leevi to take over as he’s looking very promising.

        Of course you don’t make that trade unless he signs an extention but he’s proven that he likes Canadian markets and wants to play for a team that will contend and that’s where we are.

        You can get someone to fill Debrincat’s place on the FA market for 5 mill. He won’t give you 40 goals but you can probably get someone in the high 20’s.

      • LucasRaymond23, DeBrincat may have “desirable” locations, but since he doesn’t have a NT/NM clause he goes where he’s dealt.

    • I’m gonna say it, as a Sens fan that has followed the team for few decades and knows the things that are said by the media, Steve Warnes doesn’t know squat.
      His podcast is full of poorly researched snippets, false claims and he often misreports information and gets facts wrong. It’s amateur hour. There’s a reason he was cut from the TSN show.
      Pay little attention to what he says. He just tries to draw people to his podcast by offering alternative takes.
      There is a multitude of fan podcasts that are more factual than his show. It’s comical to listen to tho for that reason only.

  5. So is this the summer the market for goaltender is reset? I’ll believe it when I see it.

  6. I have wondered lately if Sean Farrell would be considered a premier prospect for the Habs, if they were to offer him in a bundled trade???

    The Habs are committed to 25% of their forward group in Caufield, Gallagher & Harvey-Pinard all under 5′ 10″ for the next sevral seasons, I can’t imagine there is much room to add yet another undersized forward to that group.

    So does Farrell’s size hinder him from being seen as a premier prospect???

  7. Hey SOP , whomever wants to comment

    Might be late in the day for any more comments?

    Has Milan Lucic got anything left in the tank
    I would assume , Yes?
    I am certain. Treliving might know

    Him and Corey Perry – 2 affordable pickups, could contribute in a very large way

    We are talking about the Leafs here !

  8. Ken both tough older player’s finishing their careers not a bad idea can’t see Looch putting on blue and white. If I’m Toronto and I can’t stand that franchise I go with tough but younger and faster. As a Bruin fan I hope for the same ,time for Beecher to take next step with Jakub Lauko both young strong and fast.