NHL Rumor Mill – June 12, 2023

by | Jun 12, 2023 | Rumors | 17 comments

Are the Oilers interested in the Flyers’Travis Konecny? Are the Leafs talking contract with Michael Bunting? Which players could become buyout candidates? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins cited a source connected to Travis Konecny claiming the Oilers are among the clubs that have reached out to the Philadelphia Flyers about the availability of the 26-year-old winger.

Konecny has a year remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $5.5 million. Leavins speculates the London, Ontario native would not be averse to signing a long-term deal with a Canadian team.

THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor cited colleague Pierre LeBrun’s report last week claiming the rebuilding Flyers would listen if any teams “stepped up” regarding Konecny. However, he doesn’t think that the Flyers particularly want to trade him. O’Connor noted that general manager Daniel Briere is a big fan of the winger as a player and a person.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Travis Konecny (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Briere’s surprising trade of Ivan Provorov last week signaled that the Flyers are open for business. He also indicated following that move that he would listen to offers on everyone. That doesn’t mean he’s having a fire sale but is conducting due diligence by evaluating the trade value of his players.

Briere could trade Konecny for the right offer, which would likely be a return containing at least a high draft pick and/or a top prospect as part of the package. However, he’s not under any pressure to move the winger this summer. Konecny is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility but it wouldn’t be shocking if he and the Flyers agreed to a contract extension if he’s willing to buy into the rebuild and if they see him as a key piece in that process.

It’s also understandable why the Oilers are inquiring about Konecny, whose performance was among the few bright spots in the Flyers’ season. They’ll have to jockey with several other clubs as he could draw plenty of interest if he’s available.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: David Alter reports there have been no contract negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Michael Bunting. The 27-year-old winger is slated to become a UFA on July 1. Bunting’s agent, Paul Capizzano, said Friday that he hasn’t had any discussions yet with Brad Treliving, the Leafs new general manager.

Cap space could be a factor in whether Bunting has a future with the Leafs. Alter observed they have just over $9 million available for 2023-24 with 15 of 23 active roster players under contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Toronto Star’s Nick Kypreos suggested Bunting could get between $4.5 million and $5 million on the open market. That’s based on the two-year, $8.5 million contract signed by Andreas Athanasiou last week with the Chicago Blackhawks. Like Alter, Kypreos believes Toronto could be priced out of re-signing Bunting.


THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal recently compiled a list of potential buyout candidates. The annual contract buyout window opens on June 15 or 48 hours following the completion of the last game of the Stanley Cup Final, whichever is later. The end date is June 30 at 5 pm ET.

Players 26 and older can be bought out during that period at two-thirds of the remaining value of their contract over twice the remaining term. For those under 26, it’s one-third of the remaining value.

Edmonton Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto topped their list, followed by Dallas Stars defenseman Ryan Suter, Boston Bruins blueliner Mike Reilly, and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Mikael Granlund.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If those names sound familiar, they also turned up on Daily Faceoff’s listing of potential buyout candidates. We duly noted that list on June 5.

Others included Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Matt Murray, Washington Capitals winger Anthony Mantha, Seattle Kraken goalie Chris Driedger, St. Louis Blues defenseman Marco Scandella, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Patrik Nemeth and Vancouver Canucks blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson and wingers Brock Boeser and Conor Garland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with most of these selections except for those three Canucks. Drance and Dayal acknowledged Canucks GM Patrik Allvin’s stated preference not to buy out contracts as well as the unwieldy cap issues in buying out Ekman-Larsson based on the structure of his lengthy contract.

Boeser or Garland is more likely to be traded. Trade rumors about Boeser have cooled in recent weeks as the Canucks appear keen to keep him. Garland appears to be the Canuck most likely to become a cost-cutting trade candidate.

Nevertheless, Drance and Dayal suggest the Canucks could have little choice but to go the buyout route if they run out of options to gain cap flexibility before June 30.

Disgraced Bruins minor leaguer Mitchell Miller also appeared on their list. The less said about him, the better.


  1. Re: “Alter observed they have just over $9 million available for 2023-24 with 15 of 23 active roster players under contract.”

    If you look at CapFriendly today you see that they do, indeed, have just over $9 mil with unsigned RFAs and UFAs not factored in. But I count 17 committed to – not 15:

    8F: Matthews, Marner, Tavares, Nylander, Jarnkrok, Lafferty, Knies and Robertson

    7D: Rielly; Brodie; McCabe; Liljegren; Tommins; Giordano; Muzzin

    2G: Murray, Woll

    Muzzin, I know, will likely start on LTIR but at the present time his cap hit is factored into that $9 mil + reserve. But both Robertson and Murray will at least be capable of starting camp. So, what am I missing here?

    • George … if the Leafs buy out Murray does that have any impact on the Sens because they kept a portion of his salary? Or does the $1.5M continue to count against the cap space this year.

      I am trying to recall if a player has ever been bought out while another team is retaining part of the salary.

      • Not sure, Peter … but I THINK the Senators are stuck with it …. Lyle, any idea?

      • The buyout is split with Ottawa at the same percentage of what they are retaining for the same term, in this case 2 more years of dead cap space or they can stick with the current one year left with the full cap amount which for Ottawa, won’t ever be used as LTIR when he’s injured. Odd rule right?

      • If the leafes buy him out the Sens will owe him even less since it will drop the amount the Sens owe as well

  2. Wow … so Leafs buying out Murray saves Ottawa some cap space.

  3. Re: buyouts.
    They are a last resort like retaining salary. Like let’s take Grunlund’s contract buyout. It’s a terrible hit both in dollar amount but the term makes it that much more worse. Retaining a portion of his salary to facilitate a trade but what else will you need to add? But that might be your only and best hope other than you hope he can turn it around… but most people won’t have that luxury of hoping.

    • Ron, you hit the nail on the head when it comes to options as far as Granlund. I would not buy that contract out. Stick with him, hope he turns it around. Can’t waste any more draft capital getting rid of a guy you wasted draft capital to get. Not to mention, the cupboard is kinda bare in Pittsburgh.

      • Granlund has no trade protection…. cap ceiling team here he comes?

        Gudbranson came with johnny…i think he is safe

      • Pens already gave up a 2nd round pick to get Granlund. To get rid of him now you’re selling low at best. Likely you’ll need to give something additional up to get rid of him.

        Maybe come trade deadline time. If the Pens are out of it and Granlund is having a decent year. Big maybe but just maybe you get that 2nd rounder back. Maybe a 3rd? He fills a spot in the top 9. Be patient.

  4. if cbj were to buy out gudbranson contract how would that effect their salary cap.

  5. With Dumbass gone Murray is blowing in the wind. No allegiance now

    Ryan’s Suter logged a lot of minutes for someone’s they are looking to punt

    If Flames move Hanifin it had better be for a Nylander type. My opinion the best Flame last year (just ahead of Toffoli Andersson and Backlund )

    • Why do you insist on using negative childish nicknames for people? In all honesty I do not read past the opening salvo as I could not imagine it gets any better. Cheers

  6. Re; The Oilers and RW Travis Konecny
    The biggest Hole up front is RW,
    Konecny Fits the Bill nicely on The RW.

    I dont think a Broberg or a Hollaway is on the table for a trade, as per Mr Holland whats to keep those two….

    A Trade,
    would be three items
    Philly would want a good prospect like a
    A- Markus Niemeläinen, Big 6ft6 d/man
    A- Carter Savoie goal scorer
    A-Matvei Petrov. talented LW

    A 2nd Round Pick and a NHL player with salary going the other way
    A Yamommoto &
    maybe a d/man like a Cody Ceci

    Philly may have to keep some salary $1.5 each year for the next 2 yrs due to the oiler cap problems

    • I can’t see the Flyers not getting a 1st round pick in a Konecny trade. Capfriendly shows Konecny has 2 years left on a very good cap hit for a player of Konecny’s caliber.

      The trade above won’t cut it. Think a 1st, a top prospect and a young depth player with term is more likely.