NHL Rumor Mill – June 14, 2023

by | Jun 14, 2023 | Rumors | 15 comments

A look ahead at the offseason for the Golden Knights and Panthers plus the latest on the Red Wings in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


ESPN.COM: Kristen Shilton and Ryan S. Clark examined the key offseason factors facing the Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers following the completion of the Stanley Cup Final.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill (NHL Images).

Clark wonders about what becomes of Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill and forward Ivan Barbashev. Both are eligible for unrestricted free-agent status on July 1. Forward Brett Howden, who skated on Vegas’ second line in the postseason, is a restricted free agent.

Barbashev indicated he wants to return to Vegas. The Golden Knights offered Hill a new contract but he wanted to wait until the end of the season to have those discussions. If they re-sign Hill, they’ll have three goalies under contract for next season in Robin Lehner and Logan Thompson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Golden Knights have over $3.4 million in projected cap space with 20 active roster players under contract for 2023-24.

Trading Lehner and his $5 million average annual value through 2024-25 and re-signing Hill would address their goalie issue. However, that’s likely a tough sell given Lehner missed this season recovering from hip surgery as well as his personal ongoing financial problems.

Buying out Lehner is an option provided he is medically cleared during the upcoming buyout period of June 15 to June 30. It would provide the Golden Knights with $4.25 million in savings for 2023-24. They’d face a $2.25 million cap hit in 2024-25 followed by $1.75 million in each of the final two seasons. With the salary cap projected to rise substantially starting in 2024-25, they could afford to carry that buyout.

Shilton believes the Panthers need a small refresh. Noting that Sam Reinhart and Brandon Montour had strong performances this season, she speculates they could get contract extensions soon than later.

They’ll also have to determine how to balance the goalie tandem of Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight. She also thinks that they need defensive help citing the lack of experienced blueliners beyond Montour, Aaron Ekblad and Gustav Forsling signed for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have over $10.2 million in projected cap room with 16 active roster players under contract for next season. That should provide some room to make some depth additions to the defense corps.

They could get more if they tried to move Knight and his $4.5 million cap hit through 2025-26. He left the club in February to join the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program.

However, they were quite keen on Knight as an heir apparent to Bobrovsky, whose $10 million AAV through 2025-26 and full no-movement clause ensures he’s not going anywhere.

I think the Panthers will stick with Knight and give him an opportunity to get his career back on track. That will mean looking elsewhere if they wish to free up cap room for other additions this summer.


MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan suggested 10 right-shot defensemen that could be free-agent targets for the Detroit Red Wings. Boston’s Connor Clifton, Minnesota’s Matt Dumba and Florida’s Radko Gudas topped his list.

Ottawa’s Travis Hamonic, Toronto’s Justin Holl, and Colorado’s Erik Johnson were also on Khan’s list, followed by Minnesota’s John Klingberg, the New York Islanders Scott Mayfield, Toronto’s Luke Schenn and Anaheim’s Kevin Shattenkirk.

Khan doubts the Wild will have the cap space to sign Dumba. Hamonic appears to want to stay in Ottawa while Schenn would like to remain in Toronto. The Ducks are thin on defense and could re-sign Shattenkirk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Khan noted that the Red Wings need blueline help for their second power-play unit. Klingberg might be able to help them in that regard if, as Khan points out, the salary and terms are right.


  1. “Lehner’s personal ongoing financial problems”.
    – Can somebody fill me in?

    • Lehner filed for bankruptcy in January and is also facing accusations of fraud.

    • He “invested” in a snake farm, and it was mismanaged and he declared for bankruptcy. I looked for him in the Cup skate (since he didn’t-lay one game this season/postseason.

    • Lehner will blame Buffalo for all his problems, even though he couldn’t stop a beach ball here it’s all our fault! Snake farm lol

  2. “Khan doubts the Wings will have the cap space to sign Dumba.”


    He actually said “The Wild likely won’t have the cap space to re-sign him.”

    • Fixed, thanks! Long night following the Stanley Cup Final.

  3. Not sure Detroit really needs another Defensemen. I’m sure adding another veteran to replace Hronek wouldn’t hurt, but chances are Edvinsson and possibly even Johnason move up this year to take his place.

    I’d expect Edvinsson to take Hronek’s PP time, which means they’d have Seider, Walman, Chariot, Maata, Edvinsson.

    Adding a big stay at home defensemen to pair with Chariot for the bottom pairing would be the most beneficial.

    • Not all that you mentioned play the right side. It would be prudent t acquire at least one right handed D. Really need more of a defensive D that can be a 2nnd pair guy. Most of the D Khan listed are 3rd pair guys. And Dumba and Klingberg will cost too much salary and term for what they bring. The real conundrum is to get rid of Chiarot and bring in 2 RD then. (sigh)

    • Forbert is ready for that role for wings🤫

      • Forbert is LD

      • Forbert is a LHD, Detroit needs a 2nd pairing RHD to replace Filip Hronek and possibly a bottom pairing RHD to replace Gustav Lindstom who’s goin back to Sweden.

  4. Congratulations to the Vegas Golden Knights on a well-deserved Stanley Cup championship.

    The Knights have built their team in the way that the Habs would be wise to follow. No generational players or elite superstars. Just lots of depth. Their leading scorer tallied just 66 points. Jack Eichel is a top-flight center, but not elite like Crosby, Matthews or McDavid. The Knights best forward would likely be no better than 4th or 5th on many of the teams that didn’t make it anywhere near the finals.
    On D, they have a great top pairing in Theodore and Pietrangelo, but neither of them was near the league’s top scoring D-men. And again, lots of depth on defense.
    Their goaltending was far from elite but was more than good enough. They did not need their goalie to steal games.
    That’s the way to win in today’s NHL. Solid goaltending which doesn’t have to win by itself. And lots of very good players, even if they’re not elite talents. And plenty of depth throughout the lineup. Having 3 or 4 elite players taking up huge chunks of a team’s space just doesn’t work.

  5. Gotta wodwr if MTL would shop the Price cap relief to the highest bidder? If so qhat could that return look like?

  6. Wings are well stocked on the left D side. The big need is on the right. It is a glaring deficiency . A second pair guy with strong offensive skills and ability to run the power play no.1 or no.2 units would be a big plus.