NHL Rumor Mill – June 28, 2023

by | Jun 28, 2023 | Rumors | 68 comments

Check out the latest on Erik Karlsson, Alex DeBrincat, Connor Hellebuyck and more heading into the first round of the 2023 Draft in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have spoken to the San Jose Sharks about defenseman Erik Karlsson. However, general manager Brad Treliving cannot attempt to get serious about acquiring the 33-year-old Norris Trophy winner until he’s got clarity about players that he’s trying to sign to contract extensions such as Auston Matthews and William Nylander.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Referencing the recent Kevin Hayes and Taylor Hall trades, LeBrun said Sharks general manager Mike Grier is not giving away a future Hall-of-Famer like Karlsson away for free. Grier is willing to retain part of Karlsson’s $11.5 million average annual value through 2026-27 but not half of it. The Seattle Kraken and Carolina Hurricanes are among a number of others who’ve expressed interest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun noted how the Philadelphia Flyers traded away Hayes to the St. Louis Blues for nothing. Ditto the Boston Bruins shipping Hall to the Chicago Blackhawks. Karlsson, however, is a different level of player. He remains an elite talent who should fetch a quality return for the rebuilding Sharks.

How much of Karlsson’s cap hit Grier is willing to retain will determine what type of return he could get. As LeBrun pointed out in his recent column in The Athletic, interested teams will be more receptive to getting Karlsson at $7.5 million to $8 million annually than at $9 million to $9.5 million.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion is prepared to move winger Alex DeBrincat if they can get the right deal in place. The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent who is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility.

DeBrincat’s camp has informed the Senators that he’s not interested in a long-term contract extension. The club has filed for arbitration to ensure he doesn’t receive an offer sheet while they try to trade him.

While DeBrincat lacks no-trade protection, his agent has presented the Senators with a list of preferred trade destinations. It’s believed the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers, Vegas Golden Knights and Detroit Red Wings are on that list. Garrioch suggested the Carolina Hurricanes, Washington Capitals, Seattle Kraken and St. Louis Blues could be looking for scoring.

There’s speculation the Red Wings might send its No. 17 selection in this year’s draft to the Senators as part of a package offer for DeBrincat.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan noted that Wings GM Steve Yzerman’s priority is landing a scoring forward who is fairly young and will be with the club for several years.

Khan suggested DeBrincat as one option along with Philadelphia’s Travis Konecny. When it comes to the Senators winger, he believes Yzerman is unlikely to pull the trigger unless he can get an extension with the player first.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun noted that the Red Wings seem like a logical landing spot for DeBrincat. However, he got the sense that they aren’t close to a deal to land the Michigan native.

LeBrun also noted the Stars’ interest in DeBrincat but they lack the cap space unless they ship out some salary. He also indicated that Dorion is fine with getting a 2024 first-rounder in return so this week isn’t a deadline for moving the winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators could wait until the date of their arbitration hearing with DeBrincat (sometime between late July and early August) to trade him. While Dorion will be patient with his handling of this situation, I doubt that he wants it to drag on for too long. He’s got a valuable trade chip that is drawing interest from clubs in need of scoring.


SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman yesterday reported hearing that a trade involving Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck isn’t on the front burner right now. He said there are a lot of goalies available right now and teams are trying to determine who’s available at what price via trade or free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The free-agent market is thin on quality starters this year. Hellebuyck, Boston’s Linus Ullmark and Anaheim’s John Gibson are believed to be trade candidates. Of that group, Hellebuyck has the better resume.

Ullmark won the Vezina this season and it was well-deserved but he doesn’t have the same body of work as Hellebuyck, a former Vezina winner who was a finalist for the award this year. The Bruins netminder also has a full no-movement clause until July 1 when it becomes a 16-team no-trade. Hellebuyck has a slightly more expensive cap hit but lacks no-trade protection.


NEW YORK POST: Ethan Sears believes the Islanders will attempt to move winger Josh Bailey in a cost-cutting trade. Failing that, they could buy him out before the 5 pm deadline on June 30.


THE ATHLETIC: Matthew Fairburn reports the Buffalo Sabres are exploring a trade of winger Victor Olofsson. He wonders if there’s a market for a one-dimensional winger carrying a cap hit of $4.75 million.


  1. I have a suspicion that similar to the Dubois deal , DeBrincat will not move to the destination that has been suggested the most.

    • Was not LA suggested the most. Oh Montreal…but that never ever gained traction.

  2. I may be a bit bias but Ullmark in my opinion is better than Connor and Linus has a long history of playing well. I will say both have not won in playoffs yet. Plus Ullmark is signed on a better contract as Connor will want huge dollars.

    • Ullmark has a long history of playing well? Have you compared his stats and career to Hellebuyck’s? Ullmark also hasn’t won an NHL playoff round yet. Hellebuyck has won three, including backstopping the Jets to the 2018 Western Conference Final.

      • Lyle
        I respect your opinion highly but if you look at Ully’s stats in Buffalo he was pretty damn good for them. That team has been terrible for a long time and for him to be under 3 goals a game is pretty impressive. I do agree being on last year’s Bruins helped him win goalie of the year but think he’s just as good and needs that experience in the playoffs

      • You may want to check your numbers Linus has better GAA and save percentage and both are about 30 years old Connor is not Ullmark last year proved that what have you done for me lately

    • Obe, Hellebuyck (imo) is much better then Ullmark. Linus benefitted in Boston from a strong defensive system.

      The issue for Hellebuyck is the amount of games he plays and the lack of defensive help.

      Hellebuyck has played 64 and 66 games the pass two season.

      Ullmark pass two season 49 and 41 games played.

      130 games played to 90 games played, that is 40 more games played in two season, almost a full season more compare to Ullmark 40 game season.

      Hellebuyck has played to much hockey and that for two reason, Winnipeg doesn’t have a good defensive system and they don’t have a good enough backup to ease the load. Make it 3 reason Winnipeg defense isn’t good enough.

      I wonder what Hellebuyck could do on a strong defensive team.

      • Your absolutely right, Hellebuyck is much better, but I agree with what Paul said. Ullmark did not get enough credit for his play on a really bad Sabers team. Prior to joining the Bruins his biggest issue was staying healthy in Buffalo.

        Hellebuyck on a good team would be all world.

        The benefit of trading for Ullmark over Hellebuyck is a decent cap hit at 5 mill, and 2 more years on the contract. If the rumors are true on what Hellebuyck is asking for contract wise, its hard to win with a goalie making that much money. Add to the that I think the Bruins would just be happy freeing up 5 mill in cap space, Ullmark should come cheap to another team.

      • I don’t know about Hellebuyck. Winnipeg has had a highly rated team the last several years and he is suppose to be an elite goalie, yet they consistently do not meet expectations. I criticized Scheifele for being a possible contributor to this, but Hellebuyck is also regarded as one of the main team players. Whenever I see him on the tube, I see too many goals that leave you less than impressed. Buyer beware with these Jets who are often in the news and who underperform in the playoffs.

    • Have to disagree Paul. Ullmark won his Vezina only because he was playing behind the Bruins. Swaymans numbers were just as good in tandem. Ullmark is good, but has not played bad teams into the playoffs like Hellebuyck

    • Jets goaltender Conner will be a sign and trade deal as he will look for top dollar,

      I think we will not see him moving untill the Dust settles with all the goaltenders that are avalable out there right now,

      if the Penguins lose Jarry and it looks like they will…..⁉️
      Ottawa need a starter dont be surprised to see them go after Jarry for a 4 year deal or Anderson from Carolina in a 3 year deal with work with there young rookie goaltender Mads Sogaard
      they will need a good goaltender to fill the #1 job there….

  3. Bailey is a buyout.
    I agree that the Cat will move later on once the dust settles this weekend.

    “We have a trade to announce “

  4. Karllsson on Leafs is just not happening

    He only fits in at 50% retained (Grier unlikely on this) and a bucket going back….. weakening the depth overall

    Pens (Dooby are you listening)….,give it a shot….

    Karllsson (30% retained…. So in @ $8 M); Sturm; Benning



    and either Gruden or Puustinen

    Better still Dooby…. Buy out Granlund so you don’t have to give as much in trade OR get Karllsson at less Cap hit:

    Karllsson (30% retained…. So in @ $8 M); Sturm; Benning




    Karllsson (47% retained…. So in @ $6.1 M…. Same as Tanger and Gino); Sturm; Benning


    Gruden or Puustinen
    2nd (‘24)

    D has Tanger, Karllsson, Benning down the right

    Pettersson; P-O J ; Smith down the left

    Friedman as 7th D

    Sturm at 3C

    • No more buyouts. Pens are still paying for Jack Johnson. Should have kept that guy on the roster and buried him as a no. 7 defenseman. Only hope is that Granlund turns it around. Can he play left wing? With Malkin as is center maybe he has a good season.

      • Hi Randino

        Burying JJ would have cost more against Cap and simultaneously he’d have destroyed the WBS team

        Shouldn’t have been signed in first place…. Bad bad Jimbo!!!!

        Should have been bought out the previous year…. he’d already cost 1 playoff series; not buying him out at first opportunity cost another series

        Granlund is a MUST buyout

        He cripples the team Cap space at $5M; burying him still leaves $3.8 M Cap hit

        He is literally the 2nd best (after Yammo) buyout candidate in the whole NHL

        His buyout saves $4.2 M (not a typo) this year; $3.2 M next year

        Just the re-up of Nylander and buyout of Granlund has Pens…. Younger, faster; stronger; better; bigger; more productive ; AND has NET Cap savings of $3.4 M this year and $2.4 M next year

        The dead cap is

        (1) a paltry $1.8 M in 25/26 and 26/27; when Cap ceiling is over $90 M; AND when JJ is off the books;

        But more importantly

        2) dead cap when Pens are in rebuild and not needing the space;

        And most importantly

        3) freeing up the very valuable $4.2 M and $3.2 M in Cap space Now and next year; when Pens still have a window (albeit limited window)

        Both TSN and SN had Granlund in top 3 for buyouts

        Re moving him up top 6….. no…. This would be a nightmare move for Sully

        Granlund Buyout is the way to go…. I am not just agreeing with TSN and SN and The Hockey News ; etc etc etc….. I stated it here; long before they suggested it

        It was an awful trade move by HexBurkie

        Great opportunity (for Dooby) to rectify things now

    • I’m glad you keep mentioning Benning, Pengy. Every time I watched a Shark game last year, Benning was either out of position or not covering his man when a goal was scored while he was on the ice. I don’t want to jinx that trade, but….. And I doubt Grier wants to give up Sturm unless he really has to to facilitate a Karlsson trade.

      • Hi Rock

        Yes , knew that Benning at times can be out of place….

        But Petry & Rutta replaced by Karllsson and Benning…. Big uptick

        Then Sturm in at 3C …. Replacing Granlund

        All at the expense O’Connor, Poehling and one of Grudin or Puust

        Well worth it

    • Pengy..creative..

      But Karlsson is a human pylon on defense he is like –
      -145 for his career..no thanks.

  5. I have to wonder if MTL is going to keep scooping up prospects in need of a fresh start? Veleno, Zadina and Yamamoto come to mind.

    • Hi Ronald

      Agree possibly on Veleno and Zadina; but Habs already have a few smaller players…. They don’t need Yammo

      Desire, talent, and hockey sense are all there….. but he was just knocked around way too much this year due to his very small stature

      Habs should pass on that opportunity

      Krakken may opt for the “hometown lad” (Spokane) if he agrees to a reasonable contract once Oil buys him out

    • Ronald,
      No, No and Hell No. Yamamoto is a useful player but they have enough small guys in the bottom 6. As for the other two, I think they’re in bust territory. Dach and Newhook had at least somewhat established themselves even though they hadn’t hit their potential yet. Veleno and Zadina are backsliding.

      • All the more reason to pick them up for pennies on the dollar. Veleno and Zadina at least deserve a chance to reset in a different market. Maybe Hoffman to the wings for Veleno and Zadina.

      • Ronald, I’d be tempted to do that just to move Hoffman. Doubt the Wings would.

      • Howard, I’d do Dvorak for Veleno and Zadina just to move on from Dvorak. With Monahan and Newhook on the dance card, I’m cool moving on from the former Coyote.

      • Exactly. Habs don’t have to get EVERY reclamation project there is. Newhook had 33 and 30 points seasons ; about the szme as Dvorak’s production, but 22 years old, with some upside. The move makes sense , although a bit on the expensive side.

      • Ronald, Dvorak still has value. Solid defensively and on the draw. Last years offense was not his usual production. Factor of injuries and the team around him. He’s a guy that’ll normally get 35-38 points. Solid third line center.

    • Veleno maybe, he has good abilities even the defensive ones. At 6’01and 205 pounds he has a good frame but the two others… hard pass

  6. BTW, I noticed in the video on the day he was drafted by the Avs, one of the people Newhook hugged upon being draft was then player agent Kent Hughes.

  7. RE: Karlsson to Leafs…

    I am pretty sure at this point it’s just a requirement to mention Leafs in any big trade scenario rumour whether there us any validity at all.

    “McDavid AND Draisaitl AND Bedard AND Karlsson ALL going to Toronto?? Read how this could work below…”

    • Avalanche make another good move acquiring Ross Colton from TB for 37th pick in 2023. GO AVS!!!!!

      • Sakic is on a roll Tommy , Colton is a nice pick up

    • Good point TheSaint

      Hockey media is very Toronto centric

      Yes, biggest hockey market…. But Leafs “mentions” on hyperdrive

      Glad we don’t have to drink every time Leafs are mentioned

      We’d all be hospitalized ; and on a waiting list for a liver transplant

      • hahaha, so true Pengy! my liver hurts just imagining it.

    • Just McDavid saint

  8. TB trades Ross Colton to AVS for 2023 37th pick AVS got from MTL in Newhook trade

    AVS have to sign 8 players with just about 8m to spend

    Assuming Landry on LTIR then 15m

    But that is tight

    Have to assume Girard is being shipped to free up space??

    • IHC,
      I’m ok with shipping Girard out if that’s what it takes. Although, I understand that the Avalanche generate the offense from the back end, the plan is starting to unfold and that is adding more sandpaper, this is exactly what I was hoping for! We might be losing some skill but we’re adding guys who will do what they have to have success. Yes, Landeskog will be on LTIR for the whole year. So, that adds some more flexibility with a signing or a trade? I think the Avalanche obviously love Girard but he is a good trade chip if there is more to come and I believe there will be!

      • Assume he goes for picks only? Or prospect and picks so they maintain cap to fill in roster upfront with their UFA??

  9. At first I thought…. “What the hell is MacFarland doing paying 37th OA for just negotiating rights to a player that can exit on Sunday”

    Then…. I realized Colton is an RFA….. Doh! Pengy

    Now with proper lenses in my glasses…. Great move by MacFarland….. and another opportunity passing by Dubas

    Hmmmmm …. Colton or Granlund in Pens bottom 6….. hello McFly (McDubas)….. wake up

    Life (and the Pen’s lives) are passing in front of you

    Just because you got the long contract…. Your moves should not all be around gearing towards positive outcomes only at the time you are up for renewal of your next contract!!!

    Granlund should have been bought out 10 minutes after the window opened


    • Pengy how about Granlund for Garland?

      I have a feeling Granlund didn’t get bought out yet to get a better feel what Guentzel may want on his next contra act and figuring out how to fill in the roster AND leave cap room for his pay raise AND get a solid goalie

      Think the dead cap space is a last minute waiting game not knowing for sure how much the cap will rise precisely

      Just imo

      But no one wants Petry for what he brings at that cap hit

      But to be honest Petry should acccept a trade to SJ
      Making 6m to hang on the beach is better than Pittsburgh winters

      Granlund Petry and the 1st this yr for Karlsson

    • Your Penguins posts are starting resemble a certain Bruins fan that no longer frequents these comment sections hahaha

      • 😂

    • Pengy, you’re running out of teams to cheer for. Relax, man,it’s hockey. It’s supposed to be fun.

  10. Would Cgy accept from Det

    The 17th, Zadina and Maatta for Hanafin and a 5th?

  11. Would Pens and WPG both benefit from

    To WPG: Granlund, Nylander and 1st
    To PITT: RFA Barron and Wheeler RS to match Granlund

    We gets nhl player under contract and draft capital

    Pitts gets much bigger and more productive

    Barron centers 4th line with Carter on his RW
    3rd line would be

    No but out needed and can always redo Wheelr who is still ver productive and a big body

  12. What about

    To PHI: Wheeler, Schmidt and their 1st and Stanley

    To WPG: Court and Sanheim

    Philly can flip Wheeler and Schmidt and gets rid of long term contracts

    Wpg gets players under contract

  13. Reports are Lucic is going to sign in Boston.

  14. Timo stays in Nj

    If they extend Tiffoli and lock up Mercer they will be a powerhouse for years


    Fitzgerald in short term turned what Shero was slowly doing into a speed program with power

    • 12-1 to Win the 23-24 SC might be a nice bet

  15. Wow Pengy

    Reilly Smith from VGS to Pitts for only a 3rd

    Go Dubas

    • Hi IHC

      Dooby woke up; saw the cheap acquisition trades happening, and picked up the phone

      This is a great deal !!

      Thought for sure that McCrimmon would move Martinez (maybe still will) and not Smith

      Dooby…,Now pick up the phone, call Zito re his cap strapped Cats….. see how little you can give up to get Duclair

      Still need to boot Petry , Rutta, Granlund ; and get a 3C; re-up Jarry; and sign a back-up

      But this is a very good start

      Wood at 14th OA please 🙏

      • Pengy what about the 13th and Granlund for Schiefele?

        3 solid lines then with balance

      • You done whining pengy?

      • Pengy LOVES Doobie now!!!

      • Hi IHC

        I like Scheifle

        Too much to pay

        Buyout Granlund…. Won’t cost 14th OA (which they should not give up)


        Telling it as it is; and yes repetitively… I couldn’t possibly earmark it as “Whining”

        Was very anxious that Dubas was just doing nothing…. We saw lots of nothing from HexBurkie…. Then horrific late moves

        He still needs to be active; MUST buyout Granlund; must move bad contracts; and absolutely needs to secure a goalie Tandem


        No, absolutely not.

        I’m glad re this move; but I watched years of Dubas twisting the roster in Leafland into the ice because he wouldn’t move off 4 Fwds taking up 1/2 Cap

        I’m very very trepidatious on what he’ll do with Pens

        Same concern with Tre if he is re-upping BOTH AM & WW

        Fingers crossed at 14th OA

    • Will this allow Pengy to breathe just little now 🙂

  16. Barbashev 5×5

    Such a great signing

    Peak years

    Would have loved him as 3 c in nyr even at that salary

    • Thaaaaaaaaat explains dumping Smith!

  17. Who is trading their top 10 pick for NSH Askarov? Hearing he is available

    At 21 that is your goalie now and future

  18. Oooh Nashville are looking to move up in the top 5 ? +Apparently Hugues is listening for his pick…

    5th OV + 1st Calgary 2025 for 15th ov and Yaroslav Askarov ? Yeah I know, just dreaming 😉

    • Askarov is good but not sure if trade the #5 and another 1st with so many holes in the roster still

      If they were further along I’d say go for it but not sure they are quite there yet

      What would that mean then for Montembault and primeau?

      IMO use the top 5 pick to grab the best player available regardless of position and let the kid develop

      5th overall will get you a much better chance of getting top end talent than 15th by percentage of previous draft outcomes

      Ride current goalies and build forward and d depth for MTL

  19. Is this a balance trade idea??

    To NSH: Debrincat and late rd pick from WPG

    To OTT: Hellybuck

    To WPG: # 15 from NSH and Askarov and a 2nd from OTT

    • I would do that…on the assumption you can talk to Helly for an extension

      • Yes def. Helly signs extension

        Glad I made one good offer

  20. Ullmark NHL total 919 save percentage 2.50 GAA
    Connor NHL total 916 save percentage.2.66 GAA
    Ullmark last year 40-6 1.89 938 Pct Won Venza best goalie in NHL
    Connor last year 37-25 2.29 920 and never won Venza
    Most picked Boston not to make playoffs now everyone saying stacked team wow really lol
    Oh and Linus scored a goal Connor NOPE

    • I acknowledged Ullmark’s well-deserve Vezina win, Obe. However, as I said earlier, you need to view the entire body of career work. Both players made their NHL debuts in 2015-16. Over that period, Hellebucyk appeared in more games that Ullmark (445 to 207), has more wins (238 to 199), and faced a much heavier workload (13,605 shots against vs 6,124) and more shutouts (32 to 6). Ullmark’s numbers are skewed by his performance this season. Take away that performance and Hellebuyck has a better save percentage (.916 to .913).

      Since 2017-18, Hellebuyck has been among the league’s elite goalies, winning the Vezina in 2019 and named a finalist this season. Ullmark didn’t truly establish himself as a start until this season. Even then, his workload was lighter than Hellebuyck’s, appearing in few games.

      As others have also pointed out, Hellebuyck achieved his stats this season playing behind a far weaker defense than Ullmark, who has never won a playoff series while Hellebuyck has won three. Speaking of the playoffs, Hellebuyck’s GAA (2.58) and SP (.916) is superior to Ullmark (3.54 GAA) and SP (.888).

      And who cares if Ullmark scored a goal? Good for him, but that’s not his job. And yes, the Bruins were a stacked team this year, far superior to the Jets, who got into the playoffs when they were struggling down the stretch thanks to Hellebucyk.