NHL Rumor Mill – June 22, 2023

by | Jun 22, 2023 | Rumors | 25 comments

Check out the latest on Kevin Hayes, Elias Lindholm, Juuse Saros, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Blake Wheeler and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed the latest NHL trade and free-agent speculation.


Friedman believes the Philadelphia Flyers are prepared to do a lot of things. He said a couple of teams told him they believe the Flyers will have one more first-round pick than they already have. They currently hold the No. 7 and No. 22 picks. Kevin Hayes, Travis Konecny, Travis Sanheim and Scott Laughton are out there as trade candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor also weighed in on the Flyers, indicating that general manager Daniel Briere is listening on “pretty much every single one of their players”. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli claims prospect Cutter Gauthier is their only untouchable.

O’Connor includes Hayes among a group of players (along with defenseman Tony DeAngelo) that the Flyers would like to move but lack value in the trade market.

They don’t want to buy out Hayes, who has three years at $7.14 million annually left on his contract. However, they’re having trouble drumming up interest in him. The Flyers are willing to retain some of his average annual value.

O’Connor believes Konecny, Sanheim and Laughton are among the players the Flyers aren’t necessarily trying to trade but they could if they receive a dazzling offer. Carter Hart is also among that group.


Friedman thinks the Calgary Flames and Elias Lindholm are discussing a contract extension comparable to what Bo Horvat signed with the New York Islanders. Horvat’s new deal is for eight years with an AAV of $8.5 million starting in 2023-24.

Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (NHL Images).

Lindholm, 28, is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility. He reportedly wants to know that the Flames are still trying to compete and won’t stage a full roster rebuild before he commits. He speculates the club is awaiting Lindholm’s decision before turning to their other 2024 free agents.

Friedman also said he’s heard that Jacob Markstrom wants to return with the Flames so that should quell the trade rumors about the 33-year-old goaltender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindholm’s decision could have a domino effect on the other Flames who are a year away from UFA status like Mikael Backlund, Tyler Toffoli and Noah Hanifin. There’s already talk that the Flames are entertaining trade offers for Hanifin.


NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Nick Kieser cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman expressing his views on recent trade rumors dogging Predators goaltender Juuse Saros.

Friedman believes the Saros rumors weren’t started by the Predators but by other teams interested in the 28-year-old netminder. He thinks those teams saw the bold moves the Preds made at the trade deadline and wondered if they would be willing to trade their starting goaltender.

SPECTOR’S: Predators general manager Barry Trotz has indicated he’s open to offers for his players. However, it’ll take a significant deal to pry Saros out of Nashville. Unless Trotz is going to rebuild, I think he sticks with his starting goalie.

Michael Gallagher, meanwhile, focused on whether Pierre-Luc Dubois might be on the Predators’ radar. The 24-year-old Winnipeg Jets center is a restricted free agent and multiple reports suggest he’s on the trade block.

Gallagher cited Friedman questioning the feasibility of acquiring Dubois, pointing out that the center reportedly seeks an eight-year deal worth an AAV of $9 million. While the Predators have $15 million in cap space, Gallagher points out a new contract for Dubois would eat up 70 percent of it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Predators are moving out a high-salaried player like Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene or Filip Forsberg to clear the cap space for Dubois, I don’t see them getting into the bidding.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Winnipeg Jets are getting some trade interest in Blake Wheeler. The 36-year-old winger and former Jets captain has a year left on his contract with an AAV of $8.25 million.

Dreger also indicates they could buy him before the end of the current buyout period on June 30 if unable to trade him before then. It would clear $5.5 million of cap space from their 2023-24 salary-cap payroll, leaving a cap charge of $2.75 million for next season and for 2024-25.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger didn’t indicate which teams had an interest in Wheeler. The Jets would probably have to retain some salary in the deal. How much could make the difference between a trade and a buyout


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cited Eliotte Friedman saying the Bruins are still talking with pending UFA forwards Tyler Bertuzzi and Garnet Hathaway in hopes of re-signing both players. Murphy points out the Bruins have just over $4.16 million in salary-cap space next season.

Friedman said Bruins GM Don Sweeney is burning up the phone lines trying to make a cost-cutting move to free up enough cap space for Bertuzzi and Hathaway. Bruins such as Linus Ullmark, Taylor Hall, Matt Grzelcyk and Derek Forbort are being bandied about in the rumor mill.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins’ recent signing of goalie Brandon Bussi to a one-year, $775K contract has fueled speculation that they’ll trade Ullmark and go with a tandem of Bussi and Jeremy Swayman once they get the latter re-signed. Swayman’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

Moving Ullmark would clear $5 million in cap space but the Vezina Trophy finalist has a full no-movement clause that he’d have to waive to make a trade happen.


  1. Wheeler (retain $3.25M) for Grandlund (retain $1M)

    • Wheeler can play 3C, really!

    • I’m surprised that the Flyer’s would part with both Konecny and Sanheim. To me, two of their better players but I guess the rebuild is definitely on in Philadelphia! Koneckny, I was wondering if the Avalanche were looking into that situation to improve some secondary scoring? But if Sanheim is available, I would like to see the Avalanche make a hockey trade to obtain him and Konecny. That to me would resolve some issues for the team?

      • Age is my guess

        By the time the fliers become remotely competitive for a playoff spot again would put both of them at age 30 plus

        By then the team is most likely going to have a different core of young players to sign

        So why not get some firsts and have all the kids grow together

        All assumptions by I think that would be close to what the team is thinking

    • Hi JZ

      Converting Granlund into Wheeler at 3C for the extra $1M Cap hit in 23/24 and $1M dead cap in 24/25….. Pens say absolutely

      Jets…..not a chance they do that deal

      I still say….

      Buyout Granlund

      O’Connor and Gruden for Wheeler (50% retained)

      Pens convert Granlund at 3C into Wheeler at 3C…. Pretty well net zero in Cap (Pens actually gain around 70K in n Cap space)… Pens get stronger; bigger; better; gain $3.2 M in Cap space in 24/25; yes acknowledge that the already old team does get older….. all at the expense and f 2 prospects; and dead Cap 3 & 4 years from now when Cap way up; and Cap space not needed (Pens in rebuild then)

      Jets (who are actually considering buying him out)…. Gain a current roster player and a prospect; and actually have net cash and Cap savings (over biyout)

  2. Hall + Swayman to the Wings for #42 and #43 OA
    Bruins clear $6M, no longer have to sign Swayman to a $3M + contract, and gain 2 2023 picks to restock the bare cupboards. Wings get a 2nd line winger, (they will get a 1st liner soon) and a quality young tender to push Husso.

    • Ond of Rhode picks needs to be changed to the 17th, then you can have a discussion

      • It’s a cap dump, ya don’t get much for that! Now you can sign Bert and a C or a D

    • I don’t think Detroit does that one – not looking for another LH forward.

    • Swayman alone is worth more than 2 second rounders. Look at what Detroit asked for a rental in Bertuzzi.

  3. Don Sweeney once upon a time tried to trade up in the draft to get Hanifan. Maybe wait a year if he doesn’t sign and get him for cash.

    Sweeney should be either extending Debrusk or moving him.

    My Bruins D pairing for 2023-2024 season:

    Linholm McAvoy
    Graves Carlo
    Zboril Mayfield

    All other bye bye

    • Would ya trade Grez and Reilly for Hayes??

      Or Grez, Reilly and a 1st rd pick for Sanheim?

    • IHC no and Boston doesn’t have a 1st round draft pick for 2 yrs.

      I don’t want Hayes

      Don’t forget Hayes was already in Winnipeg and wouldn’t give him that contract.

      Hayes is not what Boston or Winnipeg needs.

      • Hayes didn’t want to resign in the peg. Different than what you just said. So they traded his rights. Also, the flyers weren’t the only team willing to sign him. Hence the overpay.

    • Like Ryan Graves and Scott Mayfield?

  4. What about Hayes for Wheeler no retention on either side?

    WPG will need Players under contract and Hayes can still put up points in top 6 role

    Hayes is younger and on contract for 3 yrs. Gives them a center when Dubois walks

    Wheeler can be flipped while Philly retains some on him to garner a first

    Win for both clubs

    Hayes isn’t as bad as portrayed. Guy just doesn’t mesh with Torts like many roster players in the past

    • Well the Jets have been down the Hayes road before and the fit didn’t seem to work out. Was it contract related or situation we don’t know for sure.
      As for Wheeler he can still play in smaller roles. Not ideal for the cash he makes but for 3/4 of the year until trade deadline I’m thinking he stays. Now if it is known inside the organization that he wants out or is part of the rumoured problem that changes things of course.
      Lots of intrigue around the club these days. Actually looking forward to a reset next year as I’m sure most Jet fans are.

    • Hayes was not good on the Jets when they got him from NYR at the TDL.

      • I would rather have Ryan Johansen over Hayes. RyJo lacks trade protection too

  5. To piggyback on my previous comment, I’m hearing EJ will not be coming back to the Avalanche! So, again I am certainly not qualified to be GM but as a loyal fan I hope the Avalanche have a good plan before the draft? I trust they do but what concerns me is that they they are losing more size on the back end in addition to the loss of scoring as a result of Kadri and Burakovsky going. Not to mention Landeskog. We got holes to fill! To me, the biggest problem the team has is not enough beef on the back end and up front? So, that is why making an effort to look into Konecny and Sanheim, would be worthwhile?

  6. Trots attempting to clear cap room

    To NSH: Wheeler & Barron
    To WPG: Johansen

    WPG gets center
    NSH clears cap

    • Then Wheeler to CMB for Roslovic and pick

      Then Wheeler for Hayes 1m retained

      All teams win

  7. Leaf’s trade Matt Murray (4.6) for Wheeler and his 8.25. Jets get cap space and the leaf’s add a big winger for 3.5 million (each player has year left)

    • Great idea! And then maybe the Leafs can trade TJ Brodie for Travis Konecny. And Maybe McCabe for Clayton Keller!

      The Leafs will definitely win if ALL their forwards are making $7M+!

  8. Winnipeg will want picks back for Wheeler. All their players including their starting goalie are wanting to leave. If Peg retains $on wheeler they will want young prospect of pics