NHL Rumor Mill – July 20, 2023

by | Jul 20, 2023 | Rumors | 26 comments

Are the Devils still interested in Connor Hellebuyck and John Gibson? What’s the latest on the Bruins? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NHL NETWORK: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the New Jersey Devils are still keeping an eye on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and Anaheim Ducks netminder John Gibson.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils are said to be willing to start this season with Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid as their tandem. Nevertheless, they appear to be keeping an eye on the goalie market in case a suitable option becomes available at a reasonable asking price.

On June 29, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported the Devils were interested in Hellebuyck but wasn’t willing to pay too much to land him.

Friedman indicated that some sources tell him they wouldn’t be surprised if Hellebuyck remains with the Jets for the coming season. He said they don’t want to rebuild and hope to make the playoffs next spring. It’s not just about trading Hellebuyck but also if they have a suitable replacement for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hellebuyck is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July and has indicated he has no interest in playing for a rebuilding club. That prompted speculation that he would be moved at some point during this offseason.

The Jets have brought back Laurent Brossoit as Hellebuyck’s backup but they have no one in their system capable of replacing him.

Hellebuyck lacks no-trade protection. He carries a cap hit of over $6.1 million for this season but will earn $7.5 million in actual salary. That’s a major sticking point for any club interested in acquiring him.

The Jets risk losing their starter next summer to free agency if they retain him for the coming season. However, they could move him by the March 1 trade deadline if they’re out of playoff contention by then. Perhaps they might get a better offer for him at the deadline from contenders hoping to address their goaltending.

Friedman noted that Gibson remains in Anaheim despite the Devils’ interest in him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this month, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli claimed Gibson requested a trade from the Ducks, indicating that he’d played his final game for them. The goalie’s agent quickly denied this story and there hasn’t been anything new about his situation since then.

Gibson is signed through 2026-27 with an annual salary of $6.4 million and a 10-team no-trade clause. His stats have suffered over the past three seasons backstopping the rebuilding Ducks. It’s believed there are teams that consider him a good goalie on a bad team. However, his contract remains a major trade obstacle during another season under a flattened salary cap


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL pro scout suggesting Jake DeBrusk will draw plenty of interest in next summer’s free-agent market if he and the Bruins fail to reach an agreement on a contract extension. The 26-year-old winger could also get shopped by the March 1 trade deadline if the Bruins falter by then.

DeBrusk is in the second season of a two-year, $8 million contract and eligible for UFA status next July. Murphy believes Bruins management should maintain an open line of communication with DeBrusk’s agent heading into this season. They don’t want the winger’s contract situation to become an unwanted distraction.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk was a frequent topic of trade chatter for several years before signing his current contract. He netted a career-best 50 points in 64 games last season and tied his career-high of 27 goals. Another solid performance this season could see him land a new contract with the Bruins before next July.

Murphy also looked at how the Bruins can become cap compliant for 2023-24. They have over $5 million in projected cap space but must re-sign restricted free agents Jeremy Swayman and Trent Frederic. He speculates defenseman Derek Forbort could become a cost-cutting casualty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forbort carries a cap hit of $3 million for this season. He also has a three-team no-trade list. The bigger obstacle, however, could be finding a club with the cap room willing to take him off their hands. It could end up costing them a draft pick to get it done.


  1. The Jets need to trade Hellebuyck this off season. You are going to put the team in a bind if they are in a playoff spot at the trade deadline with him in the lineup because you will be forced to keep him and lose him for nothing. A team like Winnipeg can’t let him walk for nothing. Retain some salary and trade him. I would take Holtz and a pick for him.

    • Agree completely. It’s easy to think ahead to the TDL for greater leverage, but it will be hard to get pieces back then to keep a playoff run alive for that fan base. He might even get injured….

    • If Helly doesn’t want to play for a rebuilding club and jets are not rebuilding and the jets are willing Tom pay him near to his ask. Perhaps his mind will change. Money does talk. With a flatten cap and teams looking at Vegas winning the cup with what they were paying there tender not many are willing to spend big on goaltending.

    • Agree, noway the Jets can go into the season with Hellebuyck wanting out.

      My counter arguement for Vegas goaltending is the Boston Bruins and the Vezina winning Ullmark, who couldn’t do the same in the playoffs as he did in the regular season.

      It would be naive thinking to hope o win without a number 1 goalie.

      • Ullmark was injured

  2. The Jets need to be patient. The interested clubs don’t have any pressure to make a reasonable offer at this time. As training camps open pressure goes up. As mid season hits and teams have underperforming goaltending pressure goes up. As TDL approaches pressure goes up but it also becomes risky. I think Jets will not have a problem trading Hellybuyck if he indicates he won’t be resigning. Even if it’s at TDL.

    Selling in Pennie’s in a dollar now would be foolish. The only pressure is by people like us who want something to talk about. Chevy will wait and get a reasonable return.

    • 100% there’s no reason to trade Bucky unless the return is big. The market isn’t there, hold onto him and have a talented, hungry goalie who’s going to play his butt off next season.

      • The market is there. I
        T’s just that the market for goalies is generally weak. If jets wait for a big deal for him then they will be waiting to ufa

      • That’s fine. He’s worth more as an own rental than a 2nd and a middling prospect. He may have a change of heart regarding an extension if the Jets have a solid year too.

    • No Tripper, agree with most but no, if in a playoff position at tdl and Hellebuyck is a main reason your their, he won’t be moved.

      Winnipeg is offering deals now to get folks to buy tickets.

      I agree they can wait a bit but the 20 or 30 game mark could be the limit

      • I believe the Jets will be an improved team. They need to be a four line team that plays a strong defensive game, limits high level chances and commits to the game plan. I don’t think their work is done and I expect if Hellybuyck makes it clear that he won’t resign, they will move him at a time where there is a motivated buyer. That isn’t likely to be July/August. Also if the team starts strong there is a chance Hellybuyck changes his mind and signs. The future is brighter than some think. Turning in some assets that don’t want to be here for a more balanced roster will be a positive change.

  3. Bruins. I don’t think the Bruins should need to include a sweetener to move Forbort. He is a capable third line defenseman who excels on the PK. That brings value to teams with those needs. That said, the cap situation with teams likely means that the Bruins keep him until after the season starts, and a lot more cap room comes available when teams put players on long term injury. The Bruins need to get to that point with the salary funding available and two players to sign, but that should be doable. Freddy’s contract should come in less than Jeannot given the difference in production/hits/goals.

    • What’s Forbort’s cap hit? That’s maybe why a sweetener might be needed or maybe the author just undervalues him.
      Speaking of value, $8m for DeBrusk? He looks pretty average in every way – not a bad thing but for $8m per? His best season he scored only 50pts and it seems every year it’s been around 40. He’s of average size and a winger and has yet to play a full 82 game season (not great/unfortunate).
      What am I missing?

      • Debrusk won’t command nor will he be offered anything close to 8 million per.
        Forbort is overpaid by half, but he is a capable 3rd paring player and not out of place on a 1st pk unit.

      • His contract was 8 Mill over 2 years, so 4 Mill a season which based on what hes done the last bit has been a good deal for the Bruins.

    • If Connor Clifton can get a deal of 3yrs @$3.250 per Bruins shouldn’t have any issue in moving Forbort and his last season at $3m

      • Who is going to take him for nothing? No one, so you pay with a pick of you keep him. Teams are doing no favors this year with cap space valuable.

        Either you pay or you LTIR or you demote.

  4. What about Bergeron and krejici, where is the cap space for them if they decide to return for another year .

    • This.
      Are they retiring?
      Are they coming back on 1$ bonus laden deals?

      DeBrusk…only took 8 years to figure his crap out. He’s a 60 point guy and maybe a 30 goal guy if the situation is right. Something like the Batherson contract in Ottawa is appropriate

    • Reports are that David Kreji plans on officially retiring from the NHL, And Patrice Bergeron is still 50/50 if he’s going to return to Boston or not.

  5. I’ve never heard of a three team no trade list.

    I’m willing to get Arizona is one of them.

  6. simple solution – 3 way trade
    (1) Hellyebuck to NJ
    (2) John Gibson +picks to WPG
    (3) Vanecek + pick or prospect to ANA

    • All 7 Canadian teams are on John Gibsons no trade list, So he’s not waiving for the Peg. It’s US only.

  7. I don’t think Gibson will go the Peg………

    • Johnny, this site should have like buttons. I also don’t believe Gibson would accept a trade to Winnipeg.

    • He won’t reportedly all 7 Canadian teas are on his no trade list.