Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 11, 2023
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Insiders Pierre LeBrun, Eric Duhatschek and Michael Russo reported the latest trade rumors on the following:
SPECTORS’ NOTE: Hellebuyck, 30, has a year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $6.166 million and lacks no-trade protection. The Jets could retain him for more shot at a playoff run but it seems more likely that he’ll be moved, perhaps by the upcoming NHL draft on June 28-29 in Nashville.
Speaking of the Jets, agent Pat Brisson reportedly informed management that his client, Pierre-Luc Dubois, isn’t interested in a contract extension. Brisson is willing to work with management to find a suitable trade partner. The Montreal Canadiens have engaged with the Jets but aren’t likely to overpay in return or contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes last week said that Habs captain Nick Suzuki’s $7.875 million cap hit was not the club’s cap ceiling for adding players via trade or free agency.
There was some speculation linking Dubois to the Boston Bruins. However, Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy cited an NHL executive saying the Bruins lack the cap space and the tradeable assets to acquire him.
Brad Treliving, the new general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, prefers to keep the club’s “core four” (Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and captain John Tavares) intact. Signing Matthews to a contract extension this summer remains his priority. He also hasn’t mentioned Marner’s name when talking with other clubs.
Treliving also wants to sign Nylander, whose agent also represents Johnny Gaudreau. Given that history when Treliving was Flames GM last year, he won’t allow Nylander’s situation to play out all year as he did with Gaudreau.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The trade chatter regarding Matthews, Marner and Nylander has cooled significantly in recent weeks. If Treliving plans to move any of those three, he’ll have to do it before July 1. That’s when the no-movement clauses for Matthews and Marner kick in along with Nylander’s 10-team no-trade clause.
The Carolina Hurricanes hope to re-sign Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce to extensions this summer. It’s possible the Hurricanes trade Pesce (who recently changed agents) if his contract demands aren’t what management has in mind.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pesce’s AAV on his current deal is $4.025 million. The 28-year-old is slated to become a UFA next summer. He could seek between $6 million and $6.5 million annually on his next deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That doesn’t mean those three are certain to be traded. However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also reported many teams spoke with Briere at the draft combine in Buffalo last week about Laughton and Hart.
Briere showed a willingness last week to make bold moves with that three-team deal that sent Ivan Provorov to Columbus. We can’t rule out the possibility that he’ll move at least one of those guys for the right offer, one heavy with draft picks and quality prospects or young players that accelerates his rebuilding program.
The New Jersey Devils traded the rights of pending UFA defenseman Damon Severson last week to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who promptly signed him to an eight-year contract. The Devils could also peddle the rights of UFAs Ryan Graves and Miles Wood.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As with the Severson deal, the asking price will likely be a draft pick.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported Calgary Flames GM Craig Conroy is fielding offers for Noah Hanifin. The 26-year-old defenseman is earning an AAV of $4.95 million and is slated to become a UFA next July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames have shaken up their front office and coaching staff this spring so it’s no surprise the focus is shifting to the roster. It’ll be interesting to see what Conroy has in store this summer. Forwards Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund and Tyler Toffoli are also eligible to become UFAs next summer.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber reports the Washington Capitals have let teams know that forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha are on the trade block. Both players are coming off disappointing performances this season. The Capitals hope to shake up their roster and create some salary-cap flexibility.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving either guy won’t be easy. Kuznetsov is signed through 2024-25 with an AAV of $7.8 million and a 10-team no-trade clause. Mantha has a year left on his contract and lacks no-trade protection but carries a $5.7 million cap hit.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Nick Horwat recently cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman claiming Tristan Jarry is looking for a six-or seven-year contract. The 28-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender is eligible for UFA status on July 1 after coming off a three-year deal with an AAV of $3.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Hellebucyk, Hart and the Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson surfacing in the rumor mill of late, the Penguins could pursue one of those as a replacement for Jarry.