NHL Rumor Mill – July 12, 2023

by | Jul 12, 2023 | Rumors | 46 comments

Why haven’t Jets goalie Connor Hellebucyk and center Mark Scheifele been traded yet? Could the Oilers trade Cody Ceci? Are the Leafs adding a veteran backup? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen wonders why Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele remain with the Jets after weeks of trade speculation. Anticipation over the departures of those two was stoked after Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff traded Pierre-Luc Dubois and bought out Blake Wheeler last month.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (NHL Images).

Hellebuyck was among the most-watched players in the rumor mill following reports the 2019 Vezina Trophy finalist was eager to move on once his current contract expires next July. A finalist for the Vezina last season, the 30-year-old netminder is due for a hefty raise but he’s stuck in the gears of a flattened salary-cap machine.

TSN: Travis Yost still expects Hellebuyck to be traded this summer. He thinks some teams might be interested in the goalie as a one-year rental but most won’t act on a trade without some certainty of a contract extension. There’s also the question of how many teams are willing to invest big money in a 30-year-old netminder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The current contracts of Hellebuyck and Scheifele have played a part in the difficulty the Jets appear to have encountered in their attempts to move them. Hellebuyck carries an average annual value of $6.166 million but is being paid $7.5 million in actual salary. Scheifele, meanwhile, carries an AAV of $6.125 million with a 10-team no-trade list.

With so many teams now carrying less than $6 million in cap space, finding a suitable trade partner is difficult. Factor in the return the Jets will seek for either guy and it’s become more difficult to pull off a trade.

That doesn’t mean one or both won’t be playing elsewhere when training camps open in September. It just means Cheveldayoff will have to work harder to swing a deal.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Michael DeRosa speculates the Edmonton Oilers could part ways with Cody Ceci before the start of the 2023-24 regular season. The Oilers have been looking for a top-four right-shot defenseman this summer, which could make Ceci expendable.

The Oilers would need to move out Ceci’s $3.25 million cap hit. DeRosa lists the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes as possible trade destinations. All three are rebuilding clubs that could use some experienced depth on defense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could depend on how much it costs the Oilers to re-sign restricted free-agent blueliner Evan Bouchard. They have $5.6 million in cap space with 20 active roster players under contract.

Ceci is signed through 2024-25. That could give him some value for clubs seeking a right-shot defenseman signed beyond this season.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently speculated Brian Elliott could be heading to the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer. The 38-year-old goalie spent the past two seasons as a backup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs currently have goalies Matt Murray and Joseph Woll under contract for 2023-24. Restricted free agent Ilya Samsonov is expected to be re-signed before his scheduled arbitration hearing on July 21. I anticipate the Leafs will go into next season with a Samsonov-Woll tandem.

Murray is reportedly being shopped but could be bought out once Samsonov is under contract. If they sign Elliott it’ll likely be to a cheap one-year contract that could see him playing in the minors.


  1. Maybe Hellebucyk stays as an own rental? Jets were a playoff team with reported problems in locker room. I think this goes back to when Wheeler was captain and Shiefele got suspended for hit vs Canadiens. Maybe with Wheeler gone that issue is resolved? Jets got 3 good roster players back in Dubois trade and don’t exactly look like a team blowing it up. They’ve already cashed in on picks obtained in past trades.
    Imo, keep both players and see how things go. Teams will be better able to take them at deadline.

  2. As i posted the other day; if Hellebuyck and Scheifele are not willing to sign new contracts i Winnipeg, then they must be moved.

    Winnipeg is a small market team, with a harsh winter. Been reported that Winnipeg is the number one team on the “no trade list”

    Winnipeg can not afford to keep these two players as their own playoff rentals. The top ufa’s likely have Winnipeg as their “do not go there list”

    The jets may have to start the season with both players on the team, hoping they both stay healthy, as they wait for teams to figure out, their needs or a player or goalie goes down with an injury.

    Ideally these players get moved before training camp.

    I suspect any team trading for Hellebuyck or Scheifele, would want to do an extension as part of the process.

    In the end this is two valuable assets that Chevy needs to move.

    • …if Hellebuyck and Scheifele are not willing to sign new contracts i Winnipeg, then they must be moved.

      I don’t disagree, but I don’t see why they necessarily have to be moved NOW.

      Starting the year with a quality C and arguably the best G in the league is not a bad thing. Sure, you risk injury, but there’s no sure thing that whoever the return is doesn’t get hurt, either.

      • Move them ASAP, otherwise, Jets will be in the same situation as my islanders with Pajama Boy. Goodbye and good riddance…can’t speak for Jets fans, but i hope PJ Boy never (ever) wins a Cup!

      • Totally agree that’s a volatile locker room that no one wants to be involved with and until certain players are dealt its not getting better for sure.The worst thing is if Helle and Scheifele can’t be moved you lose two diamond trade chips for nothing.

    • Whalercane, nothing wrong with starting the season with them; just need to have a deadline.

      The longer one or both player are in the lineup and Winnipeg is in a playoff spot, the harder it becomes to trade them.

      If the fan base see you giving up on the season they will give up on coming to the building.

      • Stephen no sense getting defensive about Winnipeg and living in igloos.

        If Scheifele is willing to stay and i haven’t heard anything one way or the other. Then he needs to sign.

        Paul Maurice is the one who had both Wheeler and Scheifele in his back pocket.

        Adam Lowry, Kyle Connor, Josh Morrisey all spoke in high regard of Wheeler.

        Also been public that Ehlers and Laine (roommates) didn’t approve of Wheeler approach. To Wheeler credit he acknowledge as much.

        Wheeler gone

        Time to move on.


        all potential ufa’s

        No Boston will not trade Swayman for Scheifele, unless there is a 5yr extension in place and it will be for Ullmark (but he has a 15 team no trade list) may take some convincing.

        Side note; Summer are awesome in Winnipeg, lots of lakes, golf and trails.

      • True but it hurts the franchise more to lose out on the trade capital on both players…Can’t happen and worse if one or both get injured before the TDL.

    • Disclosure: Winnipeg resident and season ticket holder

      News Flash: The Jets have already disposed of the 2 biggest cancers in the locker room. Wheeler and Dubois.

      Wheeler has an ego the size of the GTA and who do you think drank his mentorship coolaide for years …. Scheifele. Apparently “nobody really knew who Dubois was” and he can now be “true to himself in California”, whatever that might be. He served his purpose and we converted his ass-et into a sum of talent greater than a spoiled PLD…. don’t let the door hit you on the way out …

      Players like to get paid and the Jets have an owner with one of the deepest pockets in the league. Last time I checked they get the same cap space as the Leafs, Boston, NYR, …. and they all drive from their heated parking at home to underground heated parking at Canada Life Centre without spending time in traffic…. I golf at the same club where the Jets have their corporate membership and have plenty of contact with the players. This Winnipeg, living in igloos and taking sled dogs to work thing gets a bit tiring and isn’t what the players are thinking about at all because everyone from our AHL Moose to the Jets are treated with the best “Four Seasons” concierge service you find in the league.

      Scheifele has a unique skill set as a point producer and had a pretty good attitude for 3/4 of the 2022-23 season before. With the financial realities of NHL salary cap I expect a new and improved attitude with new leaders emerging in the room, and a new contract for the #1 center. If not it will cost to acquire the Scheifele services. So no spare parts and bad contracts Boston. Can you spell S-W-A-Y-M-A-N

      Helly has proven to be one of the most elite and durable goalies. No harm in starting the year and allowing suitors to accrue space to take him on by the trade deadline. He will play out of his mind for the next contract. He will be in demand and he will provide a handsome return. He isn’t what the Jets need long term and we will thank him for his years and service without any circus side show. To those who think he’s available like your renting a moving van … dream on (Lou)

      • Caper.
        Bang on with comments re Wheeler’s negative influence on Ehlers and Laine, and Maurice perpetuated the problem by not being able to deal with it.

        Lowry et al spoke highly because they don’t air dirty laundry and knew Wheeler had a one-way ticket out of town anyways. You know when your 3C has more character and class than your former captain the room has problems. Lowry soldiered on whether his dad was interim coach or not.

        UFAs are likely to resign within a better culture and/or where they don’t fall into a $800K one year deal to keep a job. Won’t be enough cap increase next year to feed everyone so many will “love the one their with”

        Question for all.
        Swayman gets a new contract which everyone knows Boston can barely afford with having Frederic (17 goals, 31 pts) plus another roster to fill. Ullmark says I’m a Vezina winner and I’m not going anywhere, and Boston has no 1C or 2C

        Does Swayman get traded?
        Is he open to an offer sheet at anytime or does arbitration waive that possiblity?

      • Stephen, we’re just going to have to disagree on Wheeler.

        For me he has been nothing but class.

        Never took a shift off and worked his @ss off.

        You personally may not liked Wheeler, which I don’t get.

        The culture was simply the old school thinking versus new school cuddling.

        Wheeler had more opportunities and could’ve signed for more, he chose the Rangers because they have a shot at the cup.

        The old team of Trouba, Wheeler, Byfuglien, Scheifele and Lowry we’re all tight.

        Swayman filed foe arbitration and is not subject to an offer sheet.

      • Caper. Totally agree with on-ice effort. Could never say he didn’t put in the effort even when playing hurt.

        As the captain was a failure as a leader. He polarized the room into cliques, didn’t bring the team together and dysfunction ruled.

        In the community he represented the Jets brand well.

        Outside the limelight his behavior was much less endearing and far more obnoxious

        Thx 4 offer sheet clarification

      • Someone paid too much for their membership at St. Charles….

  3. Murray is being “shopped”?

    Good one, lol.

  4. Brooksie??

    Elliot on Leafs??

    Leafs trying to sign Samsonov (and Buyout window [Murray] can’t start until Samsonov signs); so signing Elliot would have Leafs (at least momentarily) with 4 goalies: Samsonov; Murray; Woll; Elliot

    Tandem should be Samsonov/Woll (Woll better than Elliot)

    Elliott is 38..,. Would he really sign basically to play for Marlies; dress as back up maybe 10-12 games when either Samsonov or Woll go down to injury; and maybe just maybe get 2-4 actual starts??

    Holland…. Pick up the phone; call Alvin. Ask what the cost is to flip Soucy for Ceci (say that one 5 times fast)!!!

    Worth a call anyway

    • Soucy is a 5/6 dman that is now overpaid. How does that help the oilers? I’d keep ceci over him all day long.

      • Ceci might get you a box of tape & a couple of souvenir pucks which would be considered a steal for the Oil!

    • Hi My Uncle Bob

      I’m very biased re Soucy…. I’ve had a bromance for him fir a couple of years

      Setting aside my emotions (LOL); I truly believe he’d be an upgrade over Ceci; and I believe his Cap hit is quite fair

      Basically same Cap hit; Soucy has extra year; Soucy a year younger

      Same weight; but Soucy 3” taller; is tougher/stronger; and IMHO
      a better skater; and for sure a better defensive defensemen

      Being a “hometown” (Viking) kid certainly not a bad thing

      I truly believe the flip is beneficial to Oil

      What’s the extra cost ?

      • Always like a hometown kid but ceci “can” play higher in your lineup, not saying he should be in the top pair but he does.

  5. Seems like a Scheifele for Kuznetsov trade would work for both teams.

    • that seems logical but no way Kuz doesnt have WPG on his no trade list

    • What about a Scheifele for Ullmark and Zboral or Frederic trade with Boston? Salaries match well.

      • Other than Ullmark I think you would need a better player to get that done like Carlo or Debrusk!

      • Thank would be a hard no from a Bruins perspective. Ullmark is signed for another couple years at a very reasonable $5m. Frederic will get a raise but he will still have a reasonable number too. Scheifele is signed for 1 year and his team attitude is questionable… If its Debrusk going to Winnipeg for Scheifele, there would not be much more than that, maybe Griz (who the Jets don’t really need) or a B prospect. Chances are that Debrusk would sign an extension with Winnipeg being from Edmonton, as that puts him closer to home and the winters in the west wouldn’t scare him. But I am not actually sure if the Jets want to trade Scheifele just yet unless there is a center coming back. They have Lucius and Perfetti for the future, but I don’t think they are ready for 1C or 2C roles just yet. I also don’t think Sweeney would trade Debrusk and Frederic ( or Coyle) for Scheifele unless there is more coming back to Boston, or if Scheifele agrees to an extension in advance.

    • Winnipeg has zero tolerance for bad attitudes (Kane, Wheeler, PLD) and bad habits …

      They wouldn’t touch Kuznetsov with a 10 foot pole

  6. I am hoping Joseph Woll is finally ready for prime time

    I was discouraged why Keefe didn’t play him nearing the end of last season …

    I am “keen” on Samsonov at all ..

    Boudreau would be over the top , like Domi to be affiliated with the Leafs , they should accommodate him as a personal figure in their organization

    • Agree Ken

      Samsonov/Woll is the way to go

      Still must address Cap!!

      Sign Samso; buyout Murray is the first move

      Moving one of the “core” 4 is the next move

  7. The cap sucks. Poorly managed teams still can’t win, there’s still dynasties. It’s just a manipulation by the owners to control salaries. This parity stuff is overblown. It’s the same formula, draft and develop well and you’ll win. Always has been. Nobody has ever won by simply being the biggest UFA destination. The reason for the cap IS NOT PARITY. It is $$$. And player movement is screwed down so tight Winnipeg can’t even trade a yearly Vezina candidate. The league is worse off for it.

    • Yeah, I can’t wait for the cap to increase. The top 3 – 5 players on each team will eat up the increase, and the rest won’t see a nickel.

      And I look forward to the cost of my seasons tickets/parking/concessions going up to fund the cap increase…so exciting.

      • Agreed. Just like a minimum salary there should be a max salary say 9% of the cap. This way the latest player to get signed does not set the bar when they should not. And nobody should make more than McDavid.

      • Agree. The max salary for a player should be about 10% of the total cap. Huge miss by the Owners, or maybe NHLPA didn’t agree to it during CBA negotiations….

      • Iago, the salary cap has nothing to do with how much you pay to attend an NHL game. That is determined by what each market will bear. That’s why the FCI (fan cost index for a family of four to attend an NHL game) was nearly $700.00 USD to attend a Toronto Maple Leafs game in 2022-23 and nearly $315 USD to attend an Arizona Coyotes game.


      • I agree the cap sucks, but not the way you say.
        I think the cap is a good idea, but it isn’t fair to all teams.
        We hear all the time about how teams like Tampa and Dallas have a much easier time drawing player interest because of the tax situations. Meanwhile, few players want to play anywhere in Canada for tax and cost-of-living reasons.
        Taxes should be factored into the cap. Everything thing else you can imagine is factored in, but not taxes.
        Also, I wonder if there’s a better way to factor in currency, or cost of living.
        Make it so money (since that is what a cap is all about) is never the reason for a player to choose one team of another, other than “How much will you pay me, and for how long?”

  8. Paul Friesen is a joke and is universally disliked in Winnipeg. The reason these players haven’t been traded is blindingly obvious – there’s no market right now. Scheifele is into Taylor Hall territory and there’s no reason for Chevy to cap dump a 43 goal scorer. As for Bucky, there’s simply too many goalies floating around out there and there’s no reason to trade a great goalie for peanuts.

  9. Looks like Ullmark and Sway are staying put … one will be traded next year … I for one don’t think they will resign DeBrusk it would be nice if the they could package him for a good young center…

    • Bruins sign Jesper Jake will be part of pkg that goes to Winnipeg for Mark.

  10. It’s SUNNY again in St. Louis—real good, real cheap signing by Armstrong.

    • He was very good for them when they won the cup. Integral.

  11. Here’s one that I like:

    To Edm=Parayko (sorry Pengy)
    To Blues=Ceci

    Gives Colton, an Alberta kid, a fresh start/clean slate.
    Gives the Blues some MUCH needed salary cap space.

    • I think you would need to throw in a broberg or Holloway to make that work. STL would need to hold money to make it work

      • Dear Uncle Bob,

        As a Blues loyalist, I would LOVE to include Broberg or Holloway in the transaction. I like Colt 55, but I don’t think he’s worth that much value. I’d toss in a 3rd round pick and retain $1.5 million out of guilt.

    • So parayko, a third, and $1.5 retained for ceci, broberg. I think holland would be all over it

  12. You have until the trade deadline for “ I don’t like it here “ players .
    Leafs are at the max for percentage over cap allowed-today. You can’t use LTIR Decision one way or another in 10 days . Samsonov’s new deal can’t be more than Murray’s . And he will have to be bought out factored or a very nice sweetener to dump it all.

  13. Saw a comment earlier regarding max % 1 contract can be against the cap. If I’m not mistaken it is 20%. Also a contract limits salary variance from year to year to no more than 35% and no year can be less than 50% of the highest year – added due to that kovalchuk contract with the Devils years back. Hope this helps.

  14. Question for the capologists:
    What is the cap relief if the Leafs send Murray to the Marlies? Keeping in mind that if he gets picked up on waivers it’s a good thing.

    • Capfriendly says it’s $1.15M, so I guess that’s not an option.