NHL Rumor Mill – June 20, 2023

by | Jun 20, 2023 | Rumors | 47 comments

Updates on the goalie trade market plus the latest on Senators winger Alex DeBrincat and Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


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.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (NHL Images).

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.


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.


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.


  1. I think Debrincat to Detroit makes a lot of sense.
    I think a package of Berggren and the NYI 1st at best or maybe Berggren and Lombardi at worst would be something I’d be happy with.
    I’m surprised Debrincat would be willing to go to Nashville unless he’s really just chasing those income tax free states.
    In that case I’m not sure what the return would be.
    A near one for one for Saros and a sweetener would be logical although you have to worry that the sens might be back to the same situation a year from now in trying to extend him.

    • If the Wings make a trade for DeBrincat it wouldn’t surprise me if the return included Zadina over Bergs. Personally I still think Zadina has more upside than Berggren, and it wouldn’t surprise me if other GM’s see him as someone who needs a change of scenery to unlock that potential.

      I agree with others who say Ottawa would want established players over picks and prospects, and for Detroit that may mean Zadina and Veleno (maybe a 2nd). I don’t see Detroit parting with Rasmussen, and I think Kasper and Copp make Veleno expendable (sadly).

  2. I think Debrincat to Detroit makes a lot of sense.
    I think a package of Berggren and the NYI 1st at best or maybe Berggren and Lombardi at worst would be something I’d be happy with.
    I’m surprised Debrincat would be willing to go to Nashville unless he’s really just chasing those income tax free states.
    In that case I’m not sure what the return would be.
    A near one for one for Saros and a sweetener would be logical although you have to worry that the sens might be back to the same situation a year from now in trying to extend him

    • Nah, the 2024 Boston 1st and 2023 Nuck’s 2nd should suffice for the Cat
      Or Fabbri, and the Bruin pick

    • I want Ottawa to trade him for ready NHL talent not prospects. Giroux isn’t getting younger and will need to be replaced in the next few years. Use debrincat to bring in more top 6 forward depth. Ignore draft picks.

    • With Jeff on this

      Wise decision is to replace 1 roster (Debrincat) with at least 1 more

      Only go for picks if they have confidence they can re-flip for a roster player

      If Wings…. Fabbri + is a must

      Fabbri + Veleno for Debrincat + mid rounder??

      • With Fabbri’s injury history it would take way more than a mid round pick. I’m rooting for the guy but odds are against him being able to finish a season healthy.

    • Sweetner could be a bad contract on top of Saros. Would have to be a forward tho

  3. Erie is nothing like Pittsburgh, kind of a stretch on his part in the daily faceoff article. Erie is a 2+ hour drive from downtown Pittsburgh.

    • With the wheels I’m sure debrincat can afford I’ll bet he could make it in less than an hour and a half.

  4. Monahan re-signs
    “After impressing in the early part of the season, Sean Monahan will run it back with the Montreal Canadiens next year. The veteran center has signed a one-year, $1.985MM contract to return in 2023-24. Chris Johnston of North Star Bets adds that the deal has a $15,000 bonus if he plays a certain number of games, which could take it to $2MM total.”
    Cheap for the man made of glass.

    • Pretty good signing. If he stays healthy and plays like he did before he got hurt it’ll be a bargain. If not, it’s not a lot of money.
      Of course the question on everyone’s mind is what this means for a Dubois trade. The way I see it, it means absolutely nothing. Doesn’t make it more or less likely. If the Habs do trade for Dubois, Dvorak will more than likely be going the other way. So they’d need a third line center anyway. Doesn’t mean it will happen, doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

    • Excellent signing by Habs

      The $15 K PB shocked me

      I thought PBs could only be given on ELCs and on 35+ contracts?

      The amount is not weird; the fact that he got a PB was

      Then I looked at CF for definition of eligibility for PBs

      Per CF eligibility for PBs (must meet one of the following):

      1. ELC
      2. One year 35+ contract
      3. One year contract; AFTER returning from LTIR (must have played minimum 400 career NHL games; AND was on LTIR for at least 100 consecutive days in last year of previous contract)

      I’d forgotten how long he’d been on LTIR

      This saddens me…. Pens could have bought out (well they better still do it) Granlund; signed Monoghan for say $2.2 M as 3C….. been younger; bigger; faster; better; more offence….AND …. still saved $2M in Cap

      Good deal for Monoghan AND for Habs

      Now if the do keep Dvorak…. With Suzuki; Dach; Monoghan…. are Habs then not looking to draft a C??? Moving down draft???

      I still say Habs best move is 4th OA; 31st OA; 1st in ‘25; and Dvorak; for Ducks 2nd OA (Fantilli)

      • Monaghan could have waited for free agency. He didn’t. Tells me he wanted to be on the Canadian. So I doubt that scenario comes true.

      • Pengy

        Would you trade your 1st this year as a baseline to acquire Dvorak and Allen from Pitts??

        Dvorak is your 3c and Allen your starting goalie

        If you buy out Granlund and make that trade would ya be happy? Lol

        Obviously more than the 1st would have to go back to MTL but worth considering no?

        MTL can sign a vet backup and depth upfront easily for the year.

      • Hi Chrisms

        You are probably bang on

        Would have loved him on Pens

        Pens must buyout Granlund

        Hi IHC

        Certainly not interested in Allen

        Trading for Dvorak is a bust as Pens don’t have anything to offer up

        I think Pens need to keep their pick; trade down only if two fair players have slid and are still available at 14. I’d like to see Pens get one of the 4 I mentioned

        3C is likely going to have to come through UFA…. All the more reason to move Granlund for space

  5. Boston I believe will trade Ullmark I know it sounds crazy trading the best goalie in NHL but Swayman is ready and they can’t afford both. Linus was given the starting job last two years in playoff and didn’t get it done time to move on. If they want to sign Bert they need to make room and they also will need a center once Bergeron and Krech retire. I also believe they will be in on Mark Scheifele not sure what to think about that he seems to have attitude issues but maybe I would to playing in Winnipeg.

    • It is not crazy if they trade Ullmark. What would be crazy is if they traded Swayman instead of Ullmark.

      • As a Bruins fan, they need to trade one of the two, but I would not be so quick to toss in the towel on Ullmark. Playoff stats Ullmark: 8 GP and 0.888 SvPer, Swaymen 8 GTP and 0.901 SvPer. Ullmark apparetly was injured in this years playoffs (6 of his 8 GP), whereas Swayman was healthy for his games. Due to cap issues and a strong AHLer in Bussi, they should trade one of the two for the best deal for the team, whichever goalie that is.

    • Would it be crazy to suggest

      Ullmark to LA
      Arvidsson to BOS


      No way the focus can be trading surplus D to find centers

      • No, that would be insane for Boston to do that. Maybe Ullmark for Byfield plus a high draft pick. We are talking a Veniza trophy goalie here at $5m a year.

      • We won’t get Byfield for Linus. I’m not even sure we’d pull Arvidsson.

  6. Why do so many players want off Canadian teams? (Yes there are players that want of American teams too, but no kid in the US grows up and dreams of playing on Arizona or Columbus…. unless they were raised there)…But it seems in recent years, so many big name players want to leave to Calgary, Winnipeg, and Ottowa. This is by no means a snub to Canada on my part, just asking why players like Debrincat, Johnny Hockey, Tkachuck, Hellybuck and others don’t want to play there. It’s it just the markets and not Canada in general?

    • Taxes are a huge reason. and lifestyle. millionaire wives dont love Edmonton etc. just ask MRs Pronger

      • I don’t think taxes play much of a role otherwise people would be avoiding teams in high tax states in the US as well (ie Kings, Rangers).

        It’s probably a lot simpler than that. Simple cold weather may be a factor. Being from the US and having to cross borders to see family would be a factor. Isolation and long travel in Canada could be a factor, especially for Western teams because the vast majority of the Canadian population lives in Ontario (players typically stick better in Toronto, Montreal).

      • yeah good points. NYC LA ANA are the same as MTL Toronto etc

        guess it just helps the teams with the lowest tax states to field deeper teams

    • Tax rate is typically much higher for starters.

      Also, I would not trade Berggren for DeBrincat straight up. Berggren has more upside and playing on an entry level contract.

    • Lots of different opinions, Starsfan. Taxes would be the first reason, IMO. Second would be fan and media scrutiny, with both these much lower in the US.

      One reason not often listed is going to a competitive team. Johnny Hockey is not a good example, but it’s been donkey’s years since a Canadian team was considered a legit Cup contender (ease up, Leaf fans).

      • Seems to me we overthink the players not wanting to play in Canada. Every player mentioned by Starsfan was born and raised in the USA.

        IMO the most obvious answer is they want to play in their home country, which makes sense.

        I’m from Canada and I have enjoyed my visits to the USA on business and vacation, but if I had my choice of where to live, it is Canada. Not even close. I would say the same things about other countries I have visited, like in Europe. Nice places, but Canada is where I will live.

        I am sure folks from the USA would say the exact same thing. Which makes sense.

        As far as taxes go, just like the USA, some provinces have lower taxes than others. For example the 2 Alberta teams are in the middle of the pack for NHL teams. Plus your costs are less in Canada while you are earning US$.

        Teams can overcome the tax issue with signing bonuses and up front $. Just like teams in higher tax states in the USA.

    • Weather, Taxes, privacy and happy wives + children matter in winter sports leagues and with millions of dollars better choices are there.

      • Just look at what $2 million dollar home gets you in say Dallas vs Van/Tor!

    • They tend to be poorly run teams to start with. Calgary isn’t going to win anything anytime soon. They’re currently paying their #5 defenseman at least $3.75m per season. They’re stuck with paying 2nd liners Huberdeau and Kadri $17.5m per season until both are well into their late 30s. They need to find a trade partner for Hanifin if for no other reason than to free up enough cap space to fill out their roster.

      It still amazes me that the architect of that cap disaster managed to fail upwards to Toronto.

    • Starsfan; just spit balling here maybe it’s as simple as “I’m an American and i want to live in the US”

      End of season most players go home to their home country, so if you have an opportunity to play and live in your home Country; why not.

      Winnipeg been in a heat wave since mid May and lots of great fishing , golf and beaches. Great place to live in the summer. Winter, well Arizona or Florida sound really appealing.

  7. Many people see Ulmark’s season through a similar lens as Karlsson’s season. A bit of an anomaly. Not the norm. Hellybuck is dreaming if the thinks any more 10 million dollar goalie contracts are being handed out.

    1, maybe 2 out of every 10 “the player will return to where he was born” type scenarios every plays out. No way DeBrincat is going to Detroit. Yzerman is way too smart for this move. His offer would be a low ball at best of a couple 2nd rounders and previous GM bad draft capital.

    DeBrincat and Lassi Thompson to Calgary.


    Some combination of Calgary’s 1st round, Markstrom or Hanafin.

    • The difference between Ullmark and Karlsson (even though both had insane seasons), is Karlsson has a ridiculous contract, and Ullmark has a great cap hit. Many teams should be in on Ullmark and Karlsson will be had to move without some creativity because no contender wants to be straddled with 11.5 cap hit.

      • Swayman goes, much easier to accomplish.

      • Many teams are also in on Gibson hellybuck hart. Not only are goalies not traditionally bringing back huge retina the market as saturated. Don’t expect much.

      • I don’t think the market is saturated. Teams that need to move a goalie is 3 Bruins, Ducks and Jets. Carter Hart is a maybe. Of those 3 teams that are likely move someone, only the Bruins really have too.

        If the Jets and Ducks make a deal, they need someone to replace who they trade, i don’t think either team has someone coming up and both of those teams will have playoff aspirations next season.

        After that teams that should be be looking for an upgrade in goal is longer then we think.

        LA, Carolina, NYI, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Arizona, SJ, & Seattle will all be evaluating the Goalie market, I also think if the Oilers can get rid of Campbell they are looking for an upgrade in Goal.

        I think the Bruins would just be happy to get rid of the 5 mill Ullmark is due next year. The other team swill be looking for a lot more but I agree there they will not get a lot.

      • Get rid of Grzelcyk,Reilly,Forborg and mov Hall to center if Bergy and Krejci both retire. Then try to keep Ullmark and try to resign Bertuzzi. Let Orlov leave..

    • You will get Mangiapane and Vlader and a 3rd for the Cat.

      • I’ll pivot and take Kyllington, Coronato and your 3rd.
        For the Cat.

        If you still want to include Vladar I’ll add.

      • You’re not getting the Cat for cast offs. Mangiapane and a 1st maybe

      • Vladar is the one I want out of all the goalies that might be available. Right term and contract. Affordable. Could be starter if given the chance.

        Cat will NOT go to Canadian team because he is not going to sign long term in Canada.

  8. Flames do not have tons of cap space
    Markstrom would have to move the other way for Debrincat . If Calgary is on his list
    Hanafin is the prize on the Flames roster . Good price good size in his prime with still some upside. I believe number 5 overall draft pick. No worse than a 3 on most teams’ defence Corp

    • The goalie you want is Vladar,the same kid who was no better than third string in Boston! Good Luck!

  9. Alex DeBrincat to the Rangers seems like a logical destination to me.

    Using either Kakko, Miller or Lafreniere as bait.

    It is also possible that multiple pieces could move in each direction to complete???

  10. Pens should buyout Granlund…. Then on 1/7 offer RoR…..

    $775 K Sal for 8 years; plus SBs of $10M, $10 M ; $5.5 M $5.5M ; $4M…. Full NMC for 5 years; then no protection years 6-8

    He’d likely retire (at 38) after yr 5…. Effectively getting paid basically 5 yrs @ $8M; but Cap hit only $5.15 M…. Pens (for 23/24) convert Granlund into RoR at the expense of only $950 K in extra Cap (cash extra irrelevant to the deep pocket owners)