NHL Rumor Mill – June 9, 2023

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Rumors | 43 comments

The latest on Pierre-Luc Dubois, Carter Hart and Brock Boeser plus updates on the Devils and Blackhawks in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE SCORE: Josh Wegman listed the Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens as potential landing spots for Pierre-Luc Dubois. The 24-year-old Winnipeg Jets center could be traded this summer as he’s not interested in signing an extension with the club.

Wegman believes compensation would be a hangup for the Bruins given their depleted prospect pool. That’s not an issue for the Hurricanes, who also have plenty of salary-cap space. Wegman speculates Jesperi Kotkaniemi might interest the Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins’ limited cap space also probably takes them out of the running. The Hurricanes need scoring but the Jets might prefer someone like Martin Necas or Seth Jarvis over Kotkaniemi.

The Avalanche also have a limited prospect pool but they could dangle defenseman Samuel Girard. They’re also getting some cap relief with Gabriel Landeskog ($7 million average annual value) out for next season recovering from knee surgery. The rebuilding Red Wings have plenty of prospects to draw on for trade bait but they’d have to convince Dubois to sign long-term.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois could be a terrific fit with the talented Avalanche but I think that they’d have to add more than Girard to make this deal worthwhile for the Jets. The Red Wings have the assets to make a tempting offer and the cap space to sign him to a long-term deal. However, I don’t see him committing to such a contract with a rebuilding team.

The Canadiens are considered the most likely landing spot given his agent’s comments last summer suggesting his client would one day like to play for the Habs. The Athletic reports they reached out to Winnipeg about Dubois after the Jets were eliminated from the playoffs. They have the assets and cap flexibility to make this happen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The question is, how badly do the Canadiens want Dubois? Enough to part with more than just draft picks and prospects? Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman last weekend indicated the Jets were seeking more than just futures for Dubois, Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele. They want a return that enables them to make a fast turnaround. That could mean the Habs part with Kirby Dach or Josh Anderson.

The other issue is how much the Canadiens are willing to pay for Dubois on a long-term deal. While Nick Suzuki is their highest-paid skater at $7.875 million, The Athletic’s Arpon Basu reports general manager Kent Hughes said that’s not a cap for signing an unrestricted free agent or someone who’s a year away from UFA eligibility. If Hughes is comfortable paying Dubois an AAV of $9 million, perhaps a deal can be made here.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported hearing different feedback regarding the trade status of Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart. Some claim a trade is “nowhere near close” while others thought it was “getting pretty hot.” Friedman cited sources linking Hart to the Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (NHL Images)

The Canadiens have backup Jake Allen for another season while Sam Montembeault had a good season and played well for Canada at the 2022 World Championships. However, Hart’s ceiling is considered to be higher.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to The Athletic’s Arpon Basu and Marc Antoine Godin, the Canadiens aren’t interested in Hart.

Friedman claimed there were mixed messages from his sources regarding the Leafs with one denying interest while some aren’t ruling it out. He also cited their change in management and how GM Brad Treliving likes to be in on everything.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t rule it out but I can see them sticking with an affordable tandem of Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll, who both played well for them this season. They also have to deal with shedding the contract oft-sidelined goalie Matt Murray.

The Sabres will be part of goalie trade rumors until they either make a trade or say they’re sticking with what they have. As for the Senators, Friedman said their rumors interest was “denied to me”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hart might not be a certainty to move as originally believed. Friedman followed up by reporting that a source told him to dial back the Hart trade rumors as that’s not a front-burner issue for the Flyers.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently reported the temperature on the Brock Boeser front has cooled. The winger’s agent was given permission to speak with other clubs by the Vancouver Canucks but nothing came of it, adding that no teams are calling the Canucks about him.

Boeser had a meeting with Canucks GM Patrik Allvin following the season and expressed his desire to stay put. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out of play but the club is more than happy to keep him if they don’t get any suitable trade offers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would explain why we’ve heard more about Conor Garland or Tyler Myers as trade candidates in recent weeks.


NJ HOCKEY NOW: James Nichols cited Pierre LeBrun reported that the New Jersey Devils have made an eight-year contract offer to winger Jesper Bratt. The average annual value is unknown but expected to be a high number. They’re also in talks with winger Timo Meier, whose AAV could be higher than Bratt’s.

The Devils have also had discussions with pending UFA forward Erik Haula. There is mutual interest in working out a new contract. Meanwhile, UFA defenseman Ryan Graves’ future in New Jersey isn’t as clear. His agent indicates that the Devils need to figure out if they have room. Nichols noted the arrival of Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec knocking on the door could see Graves moving on.

The Columbus Blue Jackets had expressed an interest in acquiring the rights of pending UFA rearguard Damon Severson. That was before they traded for Ivan Provorov earlier this week but Nichols suggests that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re no longer interested in Severson, who’s a right-handed shot while Provorov shoots left.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hockey News’ Jason Newland believes the Blue Jackets’ acquisition of Provorov kills the idea of them signing Severson. He believes the latter will be too expensive, suggesting the Jackets could invest that money elsewhere.

**UPDATE** TSN reports the Blue Jackets acquired Severson this morning in a sign-and-trade deal. He is signing an eight-year contract with the Jackets. 


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Carlson recently reported the Chicago Blackhawks had $42 million in salary covering 13 players for next season (Note: This was before they signed Andreas Athanasiou to a two-year deal with an AAV of $4.25 million).

With the salary cap minimum being between $62 million and $63 million, GM Kyle Davidson will have to go shopping to be cap compliant for the start of 2023-24.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Scott Powers reports Davidson said he’ll have no problem reaching the cap floor. He’ll utilize his cap space to gain assets, but that market hasn’t been determined yet.

In other words, Davidson will be a buyer in this summer’s free-agent market. He could also take on some salary via a trade or two.


  1. is PLD may be one of the most-over rated players in the league. Very high maintenance, I would deal him anywhere but the Habs and let him wait until he is a UFA to get there.

    Im not sold on Samsonov’s ability to stay healthy – just not sure what Hart would cost to acquire

    Now Hart and Konecny – i would be all over

  2. Perhaps its just more rumors than usual, but it seems to me that there are a lot of players to be moved and situations to be improved, and a paucity of cap space to accomodate. The dog that isn’t barking is the loss in average salary for the average player, squeezed by the big salaries and required retentions on the one hand and the structural bargain provided by the statutory entry level contract on the other. I’d expect tensions to build both in cap strapped teams and in the player’s association. I once though there would be a lot of buy-outs as players aged out for unrealistic late-contract-year salaries, but it turns into dead money somewhere in the league instead; that’s money not going to average players doing a lot of the real work. SImply pushing the cap up won’t change the dynamic tho it might ease the immediate pressure; and self-discipline by most GM’s is a non starter. We already have years and Top$ limits; it’s pretty easy to tweak these…adding a bit to the cap and allowing a 24th player would neuter the possibility of an adverse PA membership vote. But I think the angst on both sides and difficulty making deals is high enough to get some kind of tweak. A realist would say it’s to save GM’s from themselves handing out $ & NMC’s like candy, and that may be the nub of it, but I think pressure is high enough something’s gotta give. A delayed COVID reaction, if you will.

    • Well said, Richard. Salary cap goes up 5% and top players start demanding $14m instead of 11 (~25%). “Good” players demand $8m minimum. Leaving scraps for the remaining 50% of the team. Also forces ticket prices up even higher.

    • Perfect summary of a situation, Richard Ifield, that is only going to get worse simply because the cap won’t be able to rise high enough fast enough.

  3. Oh Jesus, 9m for PLD?! I’d be ok if Habs swapped Josh A. For PLD, but if he wants 9m per then he can look elsewhere.

    • Anderson has a 8 team no trade list, good chance Winnipeg is on that list.

      • Well, shucks.

  4. If CBJ are still pursuing Severson w/ then there will be other D trades coming as they current have at RD: Boqvist, Peeke, Blankenberg, Gudbranson, Jiricek (believed to be NHL ready next year) Bean (LD who plays RD when needed) and Ceulemans in Cleveland (among others). Perhaps Jarmo wasn’t exaggerating when he publicly said Provorov was only the 1st step and they plan to take a “major step forward” this offseason. Quality vet C remains a pressing priority and I do remain hopeful that they have a higher tier target than Hayes. I don’t dislike the Hayes idea nearly as much as many CBJ fans apparently do but if Lindholm isn’t planning on staying in CAL and is willing to sign long-term w/ CBJ that would be my strong preference though the cost will be high

    • I assume boqvist has to go as he is a 2.6$ cap hit

      Assume Roslovic has to go too @4$ cap hit

      Without Seversons 6.25 they have 5.8$ in cap space

      Perhaps those two plus a pick to Philly for Hayes @40% retention?

      • It is certainly reasonable to suggest Roslovic, Bean (to a team looking for cap and bodies to fill out the roster like AZ or CHI), and Peeke or Boqvist likely moved. My sense is they like Boqvist so I imagine he only goes if they find an upgrade C deal. However, at this point, Jarmo appears to be going all in so I have no idea & nothing will surprise me

    • Jiricek will stay in Cleveland. Blankenburg probably becomes the 7th D. Bean isn’t going to ever live up to the expectations and is trade bait.
      Hayes is a #2C, meaning either Jenner would have to continue pretending to be the #1C or Johnson would have try to take over the role.
      Frankly, the moves Jarmo has made so far strikes me as those of a man desperate to keep his job and it’s going to screw the Jackets over, long term.

  5. There is zero chance Habs give up significant assests to acquire PLD and pay him an AAV of $9million after signing Suzuki and Caulfield to around $7.8 million. I have said it here before and I will say it again: PLD won’t end up in Montreal if he wants more than $7.8 million.

  6. Well good move by Fitz, getting a third for a player not in their plans. And best to Severson, a dine Devil over the years, he will be missed and wish him all the best in the future. Nice payday.

  7. MTL us rebuilding. Hard pass on PLD. Definitely in a deep draft year like 2023.

  8. The PLD story is really simple. He’s young, he’s big, he’s mean to play against and he drags the rest of the team into uncomfortable situations. This is a center that has few comparisons around the league.
    This guy I built for playoff hockey and every team would slot him in no less than 2C many 1C.
    Yes he needs to round out his game but you’re getting his prime age for next 8 years.
    I could drop 12 teams that I would think would be quite comfortable dropping an 8 year 7.8-8.4 million dollar offer on the table.
    Sorry hab fan you’re stuck with Anderson.

    • Isotopes. He may be built for playoff hockey but I’m sure Rick Bowness will tell you he didn’t bring it this year. Maybe he can turn it up a notch if he really cares about playing but so far he has played for 2 teams and has wanted out of both situations. He is very talented but leaves a lot to be desired. A little like Josh Anderson does… but Josh has a lower cap hit. I’m ok sticking with Josh.

    • We must be watching different players.

      • No matter what the prevailing opinion is on Dubois, he’s not a 9 million asset. It’s definitely nor worth sending the 5th ova + packing over. MTL needs to stick with the rebuilding blue print.

        If anything they’re making calls to see if either move up or down in the draft

    • Yep Isotopes, rather being stuck with Anderson on our 2nd line than a Kerfoot

  9. any truth to teams not making offers for Carter Harter until the 2018 Junior report is completed and released?

    • As a GM it’s a prudent approach , can you imagine Ottawa trades for him only to find out that he , Formenton and Batherson are all going to go thru further investigation and potential prosecution?
      Not implying anyone is guilty but you have to apply some risk management here.

      • While Formenton may indeed have a cloud hanging over his head as a result of that episode – which could account for the fact he’s playing in Switzerland – Batherson does not. He has said all along that he’s been cooperating completely with those conducting the investigation from Day 1 and if there were even a HINT of his involvement there is no way he’d be playing in the NHL.

        On the other hand, it’s hard to believe that Formenton – who had a modest season the year before – is playing in Switzerland because he could not come to an agreement with Dorion as an RFA.

  10. Severson sign and trade
    8×6.25$ to CMB for a 3rd

    Just saw on IG

    • Lyle any opinion who they have to move now to clear cap to obtain their elusive 1c?

    • Jarmo is taking a page outta Jimmy Rutherford’s playbook, with all these early deals. But it is costing him.
      Looks like he will be shopping Bean or Gudbranson soon. Gudbranson will need a sweetener or retained salary.

      • JZ, you think Gudbranson is moveable? I don’t see anyone other than Chicago for a sweetener needing his slow foot services

      • IDK Gudbranson as a player. SO…….probably not a good idea unless CBJ retains half and a sweetener…..which they may have to do.

  11. Jarmo is taking a page outta Jimmy Rutherford’s playbook, with all these early deals. But it is costing him.
    Looks like he will be shopping Bean or Gudbranson soon. Gudbranson will need a sweetener or retained salary.
    Will Stevie want one of them? They both can play the R-side. Gudbranson with salary retained might be the big stay at home guy he wants to acquire?
    They have 2 good prospects that are ready to take the leap some time this year also, in Cuelamons and Juricek, both at RD, so some movement will be necessary before the season and sometime during to bring them up!

    • I hate crosby…IMHO unlikely Gudbranson moves particularly w/ that term and $ left. I would think Peeke and Bean as the most likely D trade candidates. Some were reporting at the trade deadline there was interest in Peeke (Van, Buf, and Ott were a few teams mentioned but I have no idea if that’s reliable). Boqvist only if he is part of a package for a significant C upgrade. Roslovic also likely gone to a team seeking a limited term player that can be flipped at next year’s deadline. For right or wrong, Jarmo is fearless…I am still shocked at how aggressive they have been as they appeared to be at least a year+ from getting back to playoff contention.

  12. The Jets may want more for Dubois than Gerard but thats not a bad offer at all, if it does come in.
    Dubois has put the jets in a terrible spot and getting back an established and still young top 4 day is nothing to sneeze at.

  13. Basu and Godin, two respected hockey writers, indicate that PLD will give the Jets a list of 5 or 6 possible teams with which he’s interested in signing an extension. And the Jets may give his agent permission to speak to those teams about a possible contract. So his goal would be to be traded and sign long term with his new team. That would eliminate any chance of the Habs waiting till next year when they could get him as a UFA. Of course, it’s not impossible that Basu & Godin are off on this.

    I agree that Hughes will not sign him to a $9m. AAV deal. I don’t see him going over $8m. For that matter, I don’t see any other team doing so either. So if PLD wants to sign long term, he’d likely top out at around $8m. Otherwise, he’ll have to sign for one year in Winnipeg or with a team that would be willing to trade for him knowing that it would only be for one year, and then hope for a big year and to cash in as a UFA.

    As for a return from the Habs, the #5 overall pick is out of the question. So is Kirby Dach. For that matter, I don’t see Hughes as willing to trade Matheson, Guhle, Barron, Caufield, Suzuki or Slafkovsky. I don’t think he’d be in a rush to trade Anderson either. So as I’ve suggested before, a reasonable offer would be Dvorak, the Florida 1st rounder this year and a prospect not named Lane Hutson. Hughes would like to pick up PLD, but he’s not a must have. And for those of you who noted yesterday that Dvorak has an 8-team no-trade list, he doesn’t yet. That only kicks in on July 1.
    One important factor to consider would be where Kirby Dach plays. His first year with the Habs was quite impressive, but I would prefer the Habs play him at wing with Suzuki and Caufield. He’s developed strong chemistry with them and he’s just not good enough in the circle to play center. Faceoff strength was probably the only facet of his game that didn’t improve this past season and having a top-6 center who can’t reach 40% on the draw is not optimal.

    If the Habs do see Dach as a center in the long run, then it might be best to not pursue PLD. With Suzuki and Dach as the top 2 centers, the Habs may be best off using their assets to pick up a winger who could score. Much like with Dach last year, seek out a young palyer who was drafted high but hasn’t hit his stride yet from a team that needs to move out some salary.

    As I wrote yesterday, all of the teams that have been suggested as trade partners would have good reason to go after PLD but also have reasons why it may not happen. So there are numerous possibilities. I guess we’ll find out by June 28.

    • Good summary Howard.

    • Agree Howard. I think Dubois just shot himself in the foot if he really wanted to play for the Habs by forcing Kent Hugues to trade for him instead of making him an offer for next year.

      Now if Kent decided to go for it, I would imagine the Jets would be looking for a young center to replace him and it so happens that we have Sean Farell, Riley Kidney and Owen Beck. The Jets might also need a player to stabilize their defense.

      So how about a Sean Farell, Flo 1st, a 3rd and Joel Edmunsdon going the other way ? It would also clear path for one of the Canadiens young D-Man

      • Works for me, Mike, but i think Dvorak would be more acceptable to the Jets than Edmundson. They’d need someone to play center. I’d then try to trade Edmundson elsewhere. Hopefully can get a 2nd for him. At this point, need to give the young D-men more playing time.

    • I’m a Penguins fan, just for perspective. I’d rather the have old, slow, mostly ineffective Jeff Carter on the team at 3+ million than a young, mediocre Pierre Luc Dubois a 8 million, especially if long term. He just doesn’t warrant that type of money. Period. Good luck getting it. If he does, and some GM somewhere thinks that’s a good investment, I’ll be amazed.

  14. There are a few players in the league “worth” 9 million per year. Dubois is not one of them.

    • Nor is DeBrincat!

      • George…truly sorry to hear about Debrincat not re-signing in OTT. I am hopeful they get a solid return as I still believe OTT has got a bright future.

      • Yup ! Not only will they get a good return they will be more than fine with Stutzle, tkatchuk and Sanderson leading the way. A player I would be tempted to trade though is Chabot. I think he would bring back alot and somehow I feel he’ll never be a superstar or live up to all the expectations. I would take advantage of his current high value on the market. He’s now 26 and his best season was last year.

        As I always say. it’s just my opinion and it’s woth what it’s worth 😉


      • @Mike Pilon

        I still have faith that as the defense in Ottawa solidifies and stops relying solely on him, Chabot will really start to round out and mature. Adding a guy like Sanderson is really going to help that. And a healthy Zub!

      • Two things will definitely help Chabot … playing alongside a two-way D such as Zub and not least, not having to be on the ice for 30 minutes + every bloody game, thanks to additions like Sanderson and Chychrun and, quite probably, a seasoned AHL and 1st round pick in Bernard-Docker – one of those D who simply had to spend some time at the minor-pro level to iron out the kinks.

      • DeaconFrost, when a player starts himming and hawing as to whether or not he wants to be part of a team long term – much like Dubois and Goudreau – it’s time to cut bait.

        In his case Dorion has to get the best return he can so hopefully there will be at least 2 teams expressing interest.