NHL Rumor Mill – June 20, 2023
LATEST GOALIE TRADE MARKET SPECULATION
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck, Anaheim’s John Gibson, Philadelphia’s Carter Hart and New Jersey’s Mackenzie Blackwood could potentially be traded. “We’ll see how those scenarios play out especially closer to the draft in Nashville next week,” he wrote.
Hellebuyck looms over everything given his status as a Vezina Trophy finalist. Complicating things is he’ll be seeking a deal comparable to Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy on his next contract. The 30-year-old Hellebucyk is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hellebuyck camp has informed the Winnipeg Jets that he’s not interested in signing a contract extension with them. The Jets will understandably want the best possible return for him in the trade market. His willingness to sign an extension with his new club will affect how big that return might be.
LeBrun also acknowledged recent trade speculation about Nashville’s Juuse Saros. He indicates that Predators general manager Barry Trotz isn’t shopping the 28-year-old netminder. It would take a significant offer to pry Saros away from the Predators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Trotz will retain Saros if he’s retooling the Predators roster rather than rebuilding.
UPDATE ON DEBRINCAT
DAILY FACEOFF: Mark Larkin lists six potential trade destinations for Alex DeBrincat. The 25-year-old Ottawa Senators winger is a restricted free agent who’s a year away from UFA eligibility. He informed the Senators that he was not interested in a contract extension with them and provided management with a short list of preferred trade destinations.
Larkin listed the Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues as landing spots for DeBrincat. He also examined why the winger would be a good fit with those clubs as well as the difficulties each could face to acquire him.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Bob Duff cited TSN’s Craig Button suggesting DeBrincat (a Michigan native) would be a good fit with the Red Wings. Duff wondered if the Senators would trade DeBrincat to a division rival.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Red Wings made the best pitch, yes, I think the Senators would ship DeBrincat to Detroit. That being said, their preferred option would be out of the Atlantic Division and preferably to the Western Conference.
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights are believed to be on DeBrincat’s trade list along with the Red Wings and Panthers. He lacks no-trade protection so the Senators could ship him anywhere but the preference here is likely to send him to one of the clubs on his list provided they’re willing to sign him to a contract extension.
Of the teams on Larkin’s list, the Wings seem the best fit in terms of cap space and depth in tradeable assets. The Predators could be an intriguing option given new GM Barry Trotz’s willingness to explore the trade market for a scorer.
FLAMES COULD CASH IN WITH HANIFIN
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve MacFarlane believes there should be a good market for Flames defenseman Noah Hanafin given the 26-year-old’s age, experience and accomplishment.
Recent reports suggest Hanifin isn’t interested in signing a contract extension with the Flames. He’s a year away from UFA status. MacFarlane suggests a trade seems in store with the draft approaching.
MacFarlane thinks the Flames defense corps can handle trading Hanifin. He envisions MacKenzie Weegar being elevated to their top pairing alongside Rasmus Andersson next season. With Oliver Kylington returning for next season to skate alongside Chris Tanev, the second pairing remains solid.
Hanifin’s departure could make it possible for the Flames to add more dynamic offensive talent either from an existing player or a prospect coming to Calgary in a trade package.