NHL Rumor Mill – June 26, 2023

by | Jun 26, 2023 | Rumors | 67 comments

The latest on a proposed deal shipping the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Kings plus updates on Connor Hellebuyck, Alex DeBrincat, Noah Hanifin and J.T. Compher in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe believes the Los Angeles Kings are pursuing a trade for Pierre-Luc Dubois. He wonders if the two clubs can find a deal that includes a long-term contract extension for the 25-year-old Winnipeg Jets center.

It’s believed the Jets are focused on a return that would likely have forward Gabriel Vilardi or center Quinton Byfield as the centerpiece. The Kings, meanwhile, could also look at moving some salary by perhaps peddling winger Alex Iafallo (two seasons with an average annual value of $4 million) or winger Viktor Arvidsson (one season, $4.5 million).

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre reports the proposed return for the Jets is Vilardi and Iafallo. He indicated that sources claim there could be more involved in the deal from both clubs, including players, prospects or draft picks.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

THE ATHLETIC’s Murat Ates tweeted he’s heard the Kings and the Dubois camp are talking about a contract extension. While there’s plenty to work out regarding the contract and the potential pieces of the trade, Ates believes things are well on their way.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Dubois saga that’s been a fixture in the rumor mill for a year could be coming to an end. Perhaps the deal is finalized today or maybe it gets announced during the upcoming NHL draft.

Dubois had long been linked to the Montreal Canadiens after his agent hinted last summer that his client would like to one day play for the Habs. It’s rumored they reached out to the Jets this spring about his availability.

It’s likely that the Jets’ asking price may have been more than what the rebuilding Canadiens were willing to part with or perhaps the cost of signing Dubois to an extension was too expensive.


WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck wondered if the swelling trade market for goaltenders could put a cap on the price a team is willing to pay to acquire Connor Hellebuyck from the Jets.

Billeck pointed out that Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson has asked for a trade. Others who could be available include Arizona’s Karel Vejmelka, Philadelphia’s Carter Hart, Boston’s Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman, Calgary’s Dan Vladar, New Jersey’s Mackenzie Blackwood, Vitek Vanecek or Akira Schmid and Toronto’s Matt Murray.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The difference is Hellebuyck is a Vezina Trophy winner who’s a finalist for the award this season. Murray won two Stanley Cups but his injury history has damaged his trade value. Ullmark is a Vezina finalist this season but lacks Hellebuyck’s consistency.

The Jets could put off suitors for Hellebuyck if their asking price is too high. Nevertheless, I think they’ll get a solid return. He’s clearly the best goaltender in this year’s trade market.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports some of the teams on Alex DeBrincat’s list of trade destinations can be dismissed immediately. The Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights were said to be on the 25-year-old winger’s list but they lack the cap space to sign him.

Garrioch claims that DeBrincat doesn’t want to commit to playing in Canada for the next eight seasons. The restricted free agent will have to be open-minded on possible trade destinations or he’ll be back with the Senators next season on a discounted contract after the club filed for salary arbitration. He cites the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals all need scoring.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Panthers and Golden Knights, all four clubs lack the cap space to take on DeBrincat unless they send some salary back to the Senators in the deal or make a separate cost-cutting move with another club.

As noted earlier, the Kings appear to be closing in on a deal for the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois.

The Blues had a multi-player deal in place with the Flyers that would’ve sent them Kevin Hayes (with 50 percent of his salary retained by the Flyers) and defenseman Travis Sanheim with blueliner Torey Krug heading to Philly. However, that deal appears to be dead after Krug reportedly refused to waive his no-trade clause.


THE ATHLETIC: reports the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers appear to be the prime suitors for Noah Hanifin. The 26-year-old Calgary Flames defenseman is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility. He’s informed the Flames that he’s not interested in signing a contract extension with them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres would have the advantage over the Panthers in the bidding for Hanifin. They’ve got plenty of salary-cap space as well as depth in promising young players and prospects to put together an enticing trade package.


COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Evan Rawal cited TSN’s Pierre LeBrun tweeting that the Avalanche haven’t fully closed the door on re-signing J.T. Compher. However, it’ll have to make cap sense for them.

Compher, 28, is coming off a career-best 52-point performance. Rawal speculates he could get offers of around $5 million annually in this year’s weak free-agent market. He also cited CHGO Sports’ Jay Zawaski claiming there’s mutual interest between Compher and the Chicago Blackhawks.


  1. Just FYI, Billeck noted this morning that there has been silence on Dubois since early yesterday and reports that Dubois has not received permission to talk extension with the Kings. Could mean something, could mean nothing. I guess we’ll find out.

    • Yes, it’s a fast-moving situation. LeBrun also recently indicated that there’s been no contract talks between the two sides. I’m waiting to hear more about this as there are conflicting reports.

      • LR any updates rumors on John Gibson trade???

        Thank you

      • Hi, Jeffrey, All quiet on the Gibson front thus far…

    • Howard, the chatter – which is just that – is that the Kings would be sending wingers back to the Jets in the return. Which I find odd since the Jets are also trying to move Wheeler and Scheiffle.

      Makes me think the story has flaws,

      • Round & Round it goes and where it stops nobody knows.

  2. Lyle and All:

    3 thoughts:

    1. Although the Blues DO need scoring, they DO NOT need another undersized winger—no to DeBrincat.

    2. I’m hoping the suggested trade with the Flyers remains “dead”. Kevin Hayes does NOT add any firepower. I’m hoping for a much bigger return!!

    3. Go ahead and add Binnington on your list of available goalies. Yes, he won a Cup, but his shelf life is expired.


    • So, no to Binnington? Who wants a temperamental goalie with an expired shelf life?

      • The Leafs like washed up Cup winning goalies.

    • I.P.

      I agree with your take on DeBrincat. Add Detroit to the list of teams not in need of another undersized winger…we already have enough of those in our system.

      • Guys, my view on DeBrincat is to deal him for the sole reason that, for how one reasons, he doesn’t want to sign long term in Canada.

        But when it comes to his game and style of play and production he is NOT your archetypal “undersized winger.”

        He gives and takes hits with equal aplomb and since coming into the league 6 seasons ago has missed exactly 4 games – that in the shortened 2020-21 season when he played 52 of 56 games.

        His record speaks for itself

        28g 24a 52 pts 82gp in his rookie year
        41g 35a 76 pts – 82 gp
        18g 27a 45 pts 70gp (shortened season)
        32g 34a 56 pts in 52gp (shortened season)
        41g 37a 78 pts 82gp
        27g 39a 66 pts 82 gp

      • Considering that Marek and Friedman said that Detroit is the prohibited front runner for Alex Debrincat. And it sounds like a deal is close to getting materialized.

      • “for his own reasons …” sheesh

    • Debrincat is undersized but when I watched him play I. OTtawa he didn’t play like he was. He goes to dirty areas and mucks it up. I don’t think his size is anything to worry about.

      • I think the issue may come down to a choice between DeBrincat vs. Konecny. If the cost to acquire were the same, I would choose Konecny. I think he plays a grittier better 200 ft. game. I have watched both throughout their careers. DeBrincat would have to cost less to acquire for me to choose him.

    • IP, Agree on DeBrincat, however disagree on Hays. Great Locker room guy, and at 50% retained, 3.5 AAV for the remainder of his contract is a pretty solid return, not to mention the addition on Sanheim.
      As for Binnington, lets get a solid defense in front of him again, including a sold 4th line, before we completely write him off.

      • Brian

        Re: Binnington

        A new defence corp and 4th line won’t fix what’s between his ears.

  3. Can’t help but wonder if Compher signs a 1 year team friendly deal then a longer term deal when the cap rises in a year

  4. I believe the Avalanche should go ahead and resign Compher, if it’s not more than $5M! The guy is an important part of the team and has proven his worth. If the money is a little more so be it. I was thinking between 4.5 -5M? So, give him 5M Otherwise, the Avalanche are going to lose yet another significant piece of their SC team. They need to recognize and I am sure they do, they are a lot smarter than me, only can afford to lose so many of their good forwards. Already Kadri and Burakovsky. Pay the guy or do a sign and trade like NJ did with their defenseman to Columbus

    • Why in hell wouldn’t the Jets let PLD and the Kings talk about a contract ?
      The return looks good, for them, what would they have to gain ?

      • Patrick, that would be because, notwithstanding all of the rumors flying around, the teams have not yet agreed on a deal. Arpon Basu of the Athletic is reporting that the Habs may still try to find a way to make it work if things fall through with the Kings. According to Lebrun, Hughes’ attitude seems to be “we won’t call you, call us if you’re ready”.

    • I don’t see Compher staying in Denver unless it’s something like what Ed proposes above. It’d be great to keep Compher in the fold, but with the Johansen trade, the Avs have more pressing need at LW and defensive depth. Compher will get a better offer somewhere else.

      • They saved $4M already in the deal because 50% goes to Nashville. I don’t see why they can’t utilize the savings to sign Compher, if it’s a reasonable ask on his end? I would give him $5M but if he wants more and there are plenty of teams out there who will probably give him more, then yes he probably is gone. But the Avalanche could do worse paying someone else? I’d offer him, see if he really wants to stay on a contending team but if that doesn’t do it, then move him for a draft pick at least before July 1, then we get nothing. Like NJ did with Severen, the defenseman. Ny apology if I don’t have his name correct but at least get a 3rd round pick in a sign and trade if we can?

      • Yeah, assuming Johansen can keep up with the Avs forwards, he’s a great win as a #2 center at $4M. But even with that magic, the Avs are short on cap space.

        Assuming Landeskog does indeed miss all of next season and assuming they use all of that LTIR cap relief, the Avs have $15.5M to spend. They’ve got 3 RFAs to re-sign, including Bo Byram. Those 3 probably chew up around $5M right there.

        Reasonably, they still need to sign 3 or 4 forwards and 2 defensemen out of that remaining $10.5M. If Lehky takes Landeskog’s spot on the top line, they really need another solid winger for that second line.

        Someone, likely Chicago, will offer Compher $5M or more. If the Avs offered him that, they’d only have about $5M to spend on the remaining 5 players and they’d be weak at LW.

  5. Hmm….If I’m the Senators I’m looking at prying Spencer Knight out of Florida. I think DeBrincat is an overpay but maybe something else would interest the Panthers. JBD or Lassi, seeing as the Sens have soured on both of them it seems.
    Yes, I know he was in player assist.
    Yes I know he is RFA.
    And yes I still think he has tremendous upside.

    • Knight is not an RFA he’s signed 4.5 x 3

  6. Sure, CH is the best goalie on the market in he has been really good a long time and should net the best return, But if he wants 9-10m he isn’t getting traded

  7. Kopitar is 10 years older than PLD and still has more goals and assists ans a f/o win % of 55+

    Vilardi has as many goals as PLD and will get a contract of half the money.

    bon voyage PLD

    • Could there be a scenario where LA flips PLD 50% retained for the right return from the Habs?

      • Habs fan? Well you can dream but i don’t think that any team retains 50% of $8m – $9m for 7 or 8 years

      • PLD is a rfa looking for a long term deal. I’d say zero chance LA is signing him to a 7-8 year deal at the reported 9 million and holding half for the Habs. Zero chance.

  8. The best fit for Debrincat is SJ. Karlsson and futures would be decent return.

    • Make it a near block buster!
      Karlsson ($2.5M retained) and #26 OA for
      Debrincat, Branstrom, and a 4th

    • LOL

      DeBrincat isn’t going to a Sharks team that’s in a massive rebuild, And it’s already been reported that he won’t commit long term in a State with his taxes. Hence Detroit and 4 States with no State taxes as his preference. Both Marek and Friedman basically said it’s a done deal of DeBrincat to hometown Detroit. Only sticking point is term on DeBrincats contract.

  9. If I am Calgary I am talking to Buffalo

    Where there is smoke. LA basically dumped 1.7:m with Durzi . They are positioning themselves . Have to send back Arvidsson or Iafallo and still need a goalie . Maybe it’s a blockbuster and for both Dubois and Hellybuck.
    Vilardi Byfield Arvidsson and Iafallo

    • And Winny retaining on those 2 is only for a season, next season you can not rely on the cap going up $4-5M. But Kopitar’s $10 million comes off the books, They could pull it off, but both Villardi and Byfield going the other way might not be a good thing.

  10. Not sure how many times i refreshed my phone wanting to see PLD traded to LA.

    As of the moment that deal has not happen. Surprisingly that is now 3 deals that have been reported that did not finalize.

    This is a buck against recent trends where deals are announced at the same time they were broke.

    Now hoping PLD is willing to sign and play in LA because if this deal falls thru; Montreal will be getting their best player for less then pennies on the dollar.

    Hopefully PLD realizes he wants Montreal more then they want him and he has a team that is wants to sign him long term and willing to pay the assets to get him.

    As we all know it only takes one more team to drive up the price but in this case the player also needs to be willing and want to play at that location.

    • I think the whole thing about PLD wanting to play in MTL is a whole bunch of nothing IMO.

      His agent was asked by a reporter, while in Montreal, if PLD would like to someday play in MTL. Of course the agent answered the way any agent with a brain answered. Does anyone actually think he would say no when his client is from Quebec?

      Then he got tickets to the draft from his bank (see investment broker), and of course he only wants to play in Montreal!

      Then it gets repeated, literally hundred’s of times, and all of a sudden it is fact. Because when something gets repeated over and over, a whole bunch of folks believe it for the simple reason that they want to. Or maybe just because it gets repeated so many times. I dunno, but just the way it is.

      He makes sense for LA because Kopitar is 35, and LA is good now. Can’t say the same about MTL.

    • As I said, he had the opportunity to wait just one more year and sign directly with the Canadiens but he decided he had to go now or even better yesterday. So be it, he’s NOT the only fish in the ocean and in this case, Hugues is being smart not to get rid of assets for him, that doesn’t mean he is or was not interested

    • Ray, i think there is more substance to it then just a snowball rumor.

      Last week it was reported PLD submitted a 5 or 6 team trade list then he reduced it to two; LA and Montreal.

      One of the reason Columbus traded PLD was they knew he wasn’t going to sign long term.

      As a Bruin fan i hope he end up in LA and for some who cheers on Winnipeg i hope it for the best package. Hopefully both align.

      • I probably didn’t make my argument well Caper.
        I think PLD would go to MTL, all I was trying to say is he wasn’t stuck on it and would go to multiple places.

        Have to think he wants to win as well, and while MTL seems to be starting on a good path, still has a ways to go. LA makes way more sense from a hockey perspective and where both teams, and the player are at.

  11. Ronald, the Kings certainly would NOT retain 50 % for eight years…..
    As for Montreal “really wanting” PLD, Caper, I always thought that, the Habs having just started their rebuild, it didn’t make much sense, to send excellent young assets, in a trade for Dubois. Giving Vilardi and Iafallo seems like overpaying to me.
    Well, I hope it’s soon over with.
    (OR, Habs will sign him to a one year offer-sheet) (ah ah )

    • A one-year offer sheet isn’t happening. That would leave 2 scenarios:

      1. The Jets match.
      2. The Jets don’t match and receive the Habs 1st rounder next year. Which even with Dubois, may very well be top 10.

      Neither scenario would be pleasing to Hughes. I guess you could say that if the Jets do match, this may ensure that Dubois would be a UFA next year, but I don’t imagine it’s the route that either Dubois or the Habs wish to travel.

      • Howard, we have to remember that Dubois was a 3rd overall, and that he’s just entering his prime. I would see no problem in paying the Canadiens’ 1st, next year, to acquire him. I also think that, with Dubois, Monahan, and a more “normal” number of days lost to injury, the Habs could very well leave the bottom of the standings.
        We’ll have to agree, on disagreeing : on July 1st, I would offer-sheet him.

      • I agree with Patrick (No we are not related, at least I don’t think so lol) Habs weren’t doing badly before Monahan got hurt, so if you added a guy like Dubois and if the other players stayed healthy, that pick wouldn’t be in the top 10. Not saying Habs would be a playoff team but surely not bottom team.

        Anyways, by asking for a trade this year, Dubois probably killed his oppourtunity if he really wanted to play for the Habs. So, Next !

      • Good points from the Pilon brothers (from another mother? separated at birth?). I just don’t think that Hughes is willing to risk a possible lottery pick at this point in the rebuild. Remember, draft picks paid on offer sheets must be the team’s own picks – not a pick acquired by trade – and cannot be deferred or lottery protected.

  12. Bruins Trade Rumors abound … Hall..Ullmark..Grez..Forbort..
    Fredrick..Jake…Reilly… who comes who goes … I for one thinks 3 Dmen get traded Grez/Forbor/Reilly …1 goalie Ullmark …2 forwards Jake ( 1 year from UFA) and Hall … all traded for picks and young cost saving talent…this would give them around 30 million to sign a couple of UFA and fill the rest of roster out …Ideas anyone

    • Villardi and Iafallo doesn’t seem too much to give up. Winnipeg giving up Laine and Roslovic was a better return imo. He turned 25 yesterday. Getting him locked up for 8 years in his prime seems well worth it. 9 mil seems like a lot, but might not in 4-5 years.

  13. With all these trades not being completed, Could this be a Bettman thing trying to make the draft more exciting? I know I have always loved when he says I have a trade to announce. Most likely not this but strange that so many are reported to be so close and nothing.

  14. If krug is the alleged holdup would he accept a flip to EDM?

    Then would EDM off next yr first with broberg and Yamamoto for Krug and say Allison?

    EDM now can consider trading RNH for a first plus to clear cap to sign Bouchard

    Gives them more balance

    Say Campbell and RNH to Pitts for OConner, Pouhlin, DeSmith , first this yr and 2nd in 2025

    EDM has room to resign Bjugstad too


    • Isssh, Broberg is only 22 full of upside.. He is definitively not moving for a 32 yo old 5’9” 4M/year defenseman my friend, no matter if he gets 50 pts a year or not 😉

    • Zero chance that Torey Krug would accept a trade to Edmonton, At the time he became a UFA. He’d mentioned that both he and his wife needed to be close to their families due to personal reasons in Michigan. he’s not waiving to be nearly 2,400 miles from home.

      • I think there is also zero chance that EDM wants Krug. They have Bouchard and felt fine moving out Barrie in the Ekholm deal. Not that Krug doesn’t have some value, he does at a reduced salary, just not what EDM needs.

        And to LR23’s point, there aren’t many teams further away from Michigan than Edmonton.

        Edmonton’s problem remains the same, keeping the puck out of their net, scoring goals is not an issue for them.

    • Good points as I didn’t know he doesn’t want to head so far into Canada

      • Hater,

        Stevie Y has ALWAYS been able to work out a deal with Armstrong!! How about Krug to Detroit to move everything along??


      • ip

        Not up to me. It’s up to Krug 😂
        If I were allowed anything. Tons of moves would of happened already 😂

  15. No Leaf news today

    What’s GOING ON !!!!

  16. Taylor Hall to Chicago.. Well, well

  17. No wait… Hall and Foligno for Alec regula and Ian Mitchell. Now what are the Hawks doing ? Weren’t they supposed to rebuild ? Did the fact that they won the lottery change their mind ?

    • Have to think they flip Hall, either right away or at TDL.
      He had a modified NTC so CHI was not on the no go list.

      Re: Foligno, good guy to have around the young guys.

      • Ray, Hall will be a mentor for Connor Bedard.
        13 years ago, Taylor was the number 1 overall pick, playing immediately as a 19 year old.

    • Hall and Foligno would be good mentors for the kids.
      Plus, they could be flipped at the TDL….

  18. Chicago needs to hit league minimum and Boston needs the room to make another kick at the cat.

  19. Bruins with trade picked up 10 million in cap space to go with the 5 .. will allow them to sign Bert and others …Expect a goalie to go and probably two Dmen …Jake could be on the move UFA next offseason and he’s going to want way more than the 4 million he’s making now

    • Joe, Foligno was a pending UFA, so all they saved was Hall’s $6M.

      If Hall plays well, like he did when he came back after the IR in the playoffs, Chicago will get a good asset for him at TDL.

      Gives the B’s some room to breath.

  20. Chi should grab Ullmark too

    They have picks
    And keeping the puck out will help Bedard focus on his strengths

    Good trade for both teams grabbing Hall to play with Bedard and B’s clearing older players cap hits

  21. Like everything noted today

    I am trying to temper my expectations but I feel this is going to be a wild week.
    The common denominator for both trades nixed Was the Flyers. Maybe Briere missed a step. For the first time in his career:)
    Does the NHL still use fax machines ?