NHL Rumor Mill – June 2, 2023

by | Jun 2, 2023 | Rumors | 22 comments

The latest on Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck and center Mark Scheifele plus updates on Senators winger Alex DeBrincat and Canadiens winger Cole Caufield in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck looked at the prospect of the Jets trading goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and center Mark Scheifele if unable to sign them to contract extensions this summer. Both are slated to become unrestricted free agents next July.

Hellebuyck projects to be the Jets’ best trade chip as he could fetch a significant return if they rebuild or intend to retool on the fly. Possible trade destinations could include the Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (NHL Images).

From the Kings, the Jets could look at Sean Durzi and Gabe Vilardi along with prospects like defenseman Brandt Clarke and Francesco Pinelli. Peyton Krebs, goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and prospect Matthew Savoie or a first-round pick could be the Jets’ asking price from the Sabres.

The Jets could want Shane Pinto as part of the return from the Senators. Jesper Bratt of the Devils is a great player but the winger wouldn’t help the Jets down the middle. As for the Wings, maybe an offer of prospect center Marco Kasper, goalie Ville Husso and the ninth-overall pick in this year’s draft might entice the Jets to listen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Goaltenders don’t usually have great value in the trade market but Hellebuyck could be an exception to that rule. The 29-year-old goaltender is in his playing prime. He won the 2019 Vezina Trophy and is a finalist for the award this season.

Turning to Scheifele, he could be the hardest player for Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to part with. Drafted in 2011 by Cheveldayoff, Scheifele’s become the face of the franchise. However, it may be necessary if the Jets seek a fresh start.

The Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames are Billeck’s suggested trade partners. He suggested pursuing defenseman Brandon Carlo and winger Jake DeBrusk from the Bruins, Seth Jarvis or Martin Necas and Brett Pesce from the Hurricanes, prospect center Marco Kasper or the 2023 ninth-overall pick from the Red Wings or perhaps a straight-up swap of Elias Lindholm with the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scheifele’s coming off a career-best 42-goal performance this season. However, his production has been inconsistent since reaching a career-high 84 points in 2018-19 and that could adversely affect his value in the trade market. He will attract interest in the trade market but the offers might not be as lucrative as hoped.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said his club is prepared to discuss an eight-year contract extension with winger Alex DeBrincat. However, the 25-year-old restricted free agent hasn’t made a decision on his future.

It will cost the Senators $9 million to qualify DeBrincat’s rights for 2023-24. Dorion indicated he’s had preliminary talks with the winger’s agent. The club could take him to arbitration to try and take as much as 15 percent off his salary. He also said that the Senators might have to consider trading DeBrincat if he’s not interested in signing with them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators acquired DeBrincat during the first round of last year’s draft. They could peddle him during this year’s draft in Nashville on June 28-29 if not sooner if there’s no contract agreement in sight by then. Expect to see his name appear more frequently in the rumor mill in the coming weeks.


RDS.CA: Darren Dreger doesn’t believe the Montreal Canadiens face any real threat of Cole Caufield receiving an offer sheet if he’s still unsigned on July 1. The 22-year-old left winger is coming off his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights.

Dreger believes the Canadiens are in a good position on this issue. He thinks they’ll match any offer if another team is crazy enough to go that route. He also said that he hasn’t heard anything about another club being a threat to do so.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming Caufield is willing to sign an offer sheet, a large number of clubs can’t afford to send him one. Cap Friendly indicates 14 teams have less than $10 million in cap space. Another five have less than $15 million. Of the clubs that have more cap room, most face significant investments in their own talent.

There’s also the matter of compensation. It could take an offer sheet worth $10 million annually to have a reasonable chance of deterring the Canadiens from matching. The compensation in that case is two first-rounders, a second and a third. Most teams can afford to pay that price. If anyone’s crazy enough to offer $10.8 million, the compensation is four first-rounders.

Cynics will point to the Carolina Hurricanes signing away Jesperi Kotkaniemi in 2021 but that was a different situation. The Canadiens had less cap flexibility at that time and the price of signing Kotkaniemi in terms of contract and compensation wasn’t as expensive as it will be for Caufield.

An offer sheet is also possible but they remain rare occurrences. If it happens, I think the targets would be more affordable, lesser-talented players than Caufield.


  1. I agree with Lyle on Caufield. This isn’t 2021 and Bergevin is not the GM. Once Price goes on LTIR, the Habs will have a great deal of cap space and the cap is likely to increase quite a bit in the coming years. And Caufield, unlike Kotkaniemi, has performed to expectations so far. The Habs will match any offer and other teams know it.

    • Hi Howard. I agree there will be no offer sheet this time. Also, the amount of the contract should be no more than Suzuki’s – the only thing to determine is the length of the contract. If he is asking for $9-$10 million I would start looking for a trade partner.

  2. I doubt Yzerman would trade either or even both their 9th overall and/or Kasper in those trade scenarios.

    • Yeah, a BU goalie is more in the Yzerplan than Helly and a long term contract. He expects Cossa to be up in 2-3 years.

      • Costa still tracking to be a viable starter in 2 yes, from what I’ve heard.

  3. Would be interesting to see if helly would buck the trend. But I believe he only would do that if he was more than a 1 year rental. Otherwise those returns are pipe dreams

  4. Likely an unpopular opinion but what are readers thoughts on a proposed trade of:

    Toronto trades: Matt Murray, Ilya Samsonov, Austin Matthews

    Winnipeg trades: Mark Sheifele, Connor Hellebuyck

    To make money work a % of Murray salary may need to be retained, with a draft pick from WPG then going the other way.

    Toronto would need the ability to first negotiate an extension with both Sheifele and Hellebuyck to confirm they will stay.

    Toronto gets their true #1 goalie and Sheifele becomes 1C.

    Winnipeg gets the best goal scorer in the game, takes on Murray’s salary, and gets an opportunity to resign Samsonov if they choose.

    • Not sure that would be enough to get Matthews IMO

      Murray and pick to PHilly for Atkinson?

      Murray then flipped by Philly to a contender needing a goalie holding back 50%

      • I think any team wanting a goalie would want one they can count on not to make repeated trips to the IR – and always for a different reason.

        If Treleving can peddle Murray – regardless of how much he withheld – he should get GM of the year right there.

    • Actually it would be the Jets who would need the ability to negotiate an extension as I don’t think there’s much of a chance that Matthew’s has Winnipeg on his list of destinations

  5. Is Scheifele an option for Boston? If so what is a reasonable package to go back to WPG that Chevy would accept?

    Ullmark and Hall?
    Gives more wiggle room to move Helly

    • IHC, let’s ask a Bruins fan who lives in Winnipeg.
      Caper – would Scheifele be a good fit in Boston?

      I’m on the fence, as not sure what to believe about the talk coming out of WPG regarding locker room issues. If he is part of the problem, I would pass.

    • If Hellebuyck gets traded by Winnipeg,that would open up a trade for Ullmark and Hall for Scheifele!

  6. Zadina and pick for WHeeler? Gets Yzerman plan further along to reaching playoffs and Gives Larkin a big body winger albeit only a yr

    • Evidently, you hate Detroit to! 😄

      • 😂 no hate on anyone really

        Zadina underperforming

        Wheeler may not want to head to det I understand but perhaps he changes his outlook on teams considering true contenders don’t have the cap space

    • Also, Wheeler only has a 5 team trade list and no cup. If he is traded, he goes to a contender.

  7. I can see Scheifele with the Avs. He would be a great second line center also if the rumors of bad in the dressing I can see Mac straiting that out quickly.

    • Both Colorado and Canes make a ton of sense.

  8. I like Scheifele on the Avalanche, too. However, don’t know how both teams would consider that being in the same division? Don’t know if it would make it that far with any “straiting out” as Sakic, McFarland and Bednar would already make that decision initially if there is a problem with a particular player in the dressing room. the guy is obviously a good hockey player but if he is toting along any baggage like that is rumored, he wouldn’t fit. I like the idea of it though. Maybe he does not have any baggage but from what I have read on here and elsewhere, there is that concern: Maurice leaving. Thinking about it, I would prefer Dubois. But in the same division, with such good players, I’m not sure that would happen between these teams. What would Winnipeg want in return?

  9. Hellebuyck would be a great fit in Buffalo and they have the potential assets to pull off such a trade. I’m sure they would be happy to sign him to a fair and lengthy deal.

    • Yeah, Helly for UPL and Middlestadt or Krebs. that should satisfy both sides.