NHL Rumor Mill – June 24, 2023

by | Jun 24, 2023 | Rumors | 38 comments

Could the Coyotes trade Clayton Keller to the Blues? Could Penguins GM Kyle Dubas acquire Leafs goalie Matt Murray? What’s the latest on David Krejci, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Alex Killorn? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos recently reported that there is some trade buzz suggesting the Arizona Coyotes could move Clayton Keller. This comes after they bought out Zack Kassian and Patrik Nemeth earlier this week.

Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller (NHL Images).

Kypreos claims Keller has been linked to the St. Louis Blues. However, the cap-strapped Blues would have to first ship out a player with an expensive contract like forward Jordan Kyrou.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Coyotes trading Keller unless he wants out. So far, there’s no indication of that. He’s an invaluable part of their rebuild program.

Meanwhile, center Nick Schmaltz has been the subject of rumors since the weeks leading up to the March trade deadline. I can see the Coyotes shopping him this summer.

I don’t think St. Louis is a destination for Keller or Schmaltz because of their limited cap space. They made a significant investment in Kyrou, who exceeded 70 points for the second straight season.

Still, we can’t dismiss the possibility of Blues general manager Doug Armstrong wheeling and dealing this summer. He’s indicated he’s retooling his roster rather than rebuilding with the aim of bouncing back after missing the playoffs this season.


TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos recently reported there was a strong sense prior to Kyle Dubas’ departure as Toronto Maple Leafs general manager that he was planning on having Matt Murray return for his final year. With Dubas now the Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations, Kypreos wondered if he’ll attempt to acquire Murray.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If he does he’s a fool. Murray is too banged up to be an effective NHL goaltender anymore. That was painfully obvious this season with the Leafs.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently cited two sources suggesting that Bruins center David Krejci could soon be returning to retirement. The 37-year-old center hinted he might hang up his skates following the Bruins’ first-round playoff elimination by the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krejci also seemed to dismiss the possibility that he’d continue his playing career in Czechia as he did during the 2021-22 season. If he does return next season, he intends to do so with the Bruins.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber cited NHLPA player agent Alexey Dementyev suggesting the possibility of reconciliation between Washington Capitals management and center Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Demenyev believes the Capitals’ recent coaching change could be beneficial for Kuznetsov to regain his form following a disappointing performance in 2022-23. He’s been the subject of frequent trade speculation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals and Kuznetsov might have no choice but to reconcile. While it’s been recently reported that the 30-year-old center is available in the trade market, his contract could prove difficult to move this summer with a number of teams carrying limited cap room. He’s signed through 2024-25 with an average annual value of $7.8 million and a 10-team no-trade clause.


TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos recently reported Alex Killorn prefers to stay in Tampa Bay and Lightning GM Julien BriseBois is hoping to re-sign the pending UFA winger. If that happens, Kypreos believes BriseBois will trade restricted free-agent winger Ross Colton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Re-signing Killorn to a team-friendly deal wouldn’t leave enough for the cap-strapped Lightning to re-sign Colton unless they trade away somebody else in a cost-cutting deal.


  1. If a GM wants to prove he’s less capable than Hextall, then trading for Matt freaking Murray (for the SECOND time) is the track.

    • Agreed..bone head move lets hope dubas doesn’t do that..

  2. Love the comment Lyle regarding Pitt acquiring Murray.

    Don’t think you could get a GM drunk enough to make a deal for Murray now that Hextall and Fletcher are gone.

    • Matt Murray is worth something as a potential backup if salary is retained ….but a buyout makes far more sense.

      With few picks, Tree might go bargain hunting and add a few cheap longshots.

      If Toronto does decide to move a core guy….I see Talking Tavares into going to Calgary as a possibility…(no, really)…or in another longshot blockbuster….Marner/Nylander to Arizona for Crouse and Cooley

      • Give your head a shake !!

      • Pajama Boy Tavares (aka the snake) is not going anywhere.

  3. I think the most foolish thing about this whole Matt Murray situation is the suggestion that Dubas would even consider reacquiring him. It’s a ridiculous idea. Shame on you Kypreos.

    • Maybe acquiring Matt Murray is a way to acquire a quality asset. Elite prospect, first round pick, or Nylander for instance.

      • Pens already have a Nylander…

  4. Don’t forget about the Thomas deal. Blues Committed to both .
    The next week is one of the best of 52 for the NHL.
    Conroy should not panic. What is the problem and the exodus. Kadri Huberdeau ? Maybe Toffoli , Lucic Weeger ? Something is rotten in Denmark
    It has been suggested to hold a couple of million and trade Huberdeau . I say trade them all ! Good acquisitions last year but bad signings .

  5. Would the B’s consider Schmaltz for a center?

    Decent production when healthy and locked in modest cap hit

    What would go AZ way?

    • Grezelyk?

  6. Stl can offer Kapanen, Vrana and two of first rd picks for Keller??

    Leaves them plenty of cap space

    But for some reason I don’t see AZ selling off Keller for 2 1sts and not having anyone on their roster to draw people to watch play

    • I’m pretty sure they’ll draw well, regardless, in Houston or SLC given the novelty of a new team.

      • SLC is a real option they should explore, since the current owner took over the team has gotten even worse than before it was nhl ran it.

        Sell the team to the NBA’s Jazz owner and be done with it.

  7. Hater,

    I’m pondering your proposal carefully:

    If I’m Doug A. I say YES.
    If I’m Bill A. I say NO.


    ps. I would even add Perunovich and Alexandrov to your proposal.

    • Sure add both those guys and two top 1sts with Kapanen and Vrana

      Sounds good

      I’ll let the Armstrong know 😆

    • Blues trading for Kevin Hayes?

      • Slick, It sure sounds like it, but WHY?? Hayes in no way fits Armstrong’s retool.

  8. Hellybuck for Vanacek Holtz and a conditional second -eastern final
    Dubois for Vilardi Clarke and a first in 2025
    Find two goalies and enjoy the rest of the summer
    Vlaramov and Blackwood

    • PLD straight up for Clarke is a loss for LA, so no way this happens ever. Clarke is an untouchable, so maybe substitute spence but that would be about it.

  9. If the Coyote’s were going to trade Keller, I don’t think they would be dealing with just one team. There would be a lot of teams interested and probably a lot of offers better then the Blue.

    • Chicago could put a better offer together and then have bedard/keller and be set for years.

  10. Am I missing something with PLD? He’s not an elite scorer, doesn’t play a great 200’ game, and a career high 63 points. He wants a contract of $9+ and is on his second team that he’s asking for a trade.

  11. Avalanche acquire Ryan Johansson from Nashville I am hearing just now for the rights to Galchenyuck with Nashville retaining approx $4M.

    • Great trade for Colorado get a second line center for $4m x 2yrs.

      • Yeah, I think so. I hope he is still determined to go to the net like he was in Nashville? That’s what we need more of. I wasn’t thinking of him as a possibility being in the same division ? That was one of the reasons I didn’t think that Scheifele was a possibility but shows you how much I know, lol!! So, yes seems good. Hope more to come or start to get some guys signed.

    • Colorado is officially out of the Dubois sweepstakes! Does this put Nashville in? It’s weird that Nashville was that desperate to clear $4M, there has to be something else brewing. I know Johansson doesn’t have much value but the retained half his salary and got nothing in return (officially when July 1st hits).

      • They need scoring, maybe Debrincat

      • It’s a surprising trade, given that it’s same division and given how much salary they retained. The dump puts Nashville close to the cap floor. It’s a tough summer to be dumping salary so maybe that’s the best they could get, particularly given Johansen’s injury.

        Johansen has 2 years left on his deal. Nashville’s got 17 picks in the first 4 rounds over the next 2 years. I wonder if all that says something about how far away Trotz thinks his team is from competing. If they re-sign their RFAs, they’ll have close to a full roster. They’re rebuilding. They’re not in any sweepstakes.

  12. Maybe Nashville is going after DeBrincat? Keep seeing that rumour or hearing about it? I guess Detroit might be interested too but who knows? We will find out by the draft I think?

  13. As a Sens fan, I would love the idea of Debrincat for Saros. I can only dream.

  14. My guess is less Debrincat to NSH and more Ivan Barbashev

    • Hoping Yzerman can bring Barbashev to Detroit. He is just the kind of player they need.

      • He will go to a contender and not a bubble team.

  15. wondering what everybody would think about cbj swapping picks with san jose for hertl to columbus and either boqvist or peeke to san jose. anyother ideas here. both cbj and san jose get pretty much who they want plus the nhl players seem to fill a need for both teams

    • just seen that doesnt work salary cap wise/ maybe san jose retains enough to make this happen. cbj could always add on another player to retain

  16. Sean durzi to aZ for a second

    Just saw on IG