NHL Rumor Mill – July 24, 2023

by | Jul 24, 2023 | Rumors | 32 comments

Are the Jets any closer to trading Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele? Could the Panthers sign Vladimir Tarasenko? Could Casey DeSmith become the odd goalie out with the Penguins? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck wondered if goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and center Mark Scheifele will be in the Jets lineup when the 2023-24 regular season opens in October. Both are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer with Hellebuyck reportedly unwilling to sign a contract extension and Scheifele uncertain to do the same.

Hellebucyk and Scheifele have been fixtures in this summer’s trade rumor mill. However, the market has dried up, especially for Hellebuyck. The flattened salary cap for 2023-24 hasn’t helped matters. Hellebuyck also reportedly seeks $9.5 million annually on his next contract.

Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele (NHL Images).

Billeck reports the Jets have spoken with Hellebuyck and Scheifele to see if the club’s offseason moves have changed their minds. For now, it appears both will be starting the season with the Jets unless a trade offer surfaces that makes sense.

According to Billeck, it’s possible the Boston Bruins could enter the picture regarding Scheifele at some point. However, they could have their eyes on Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm, who’s also a year away from UFA eligibility and reluctant to ink an extension.

A team or two could be in need of a goaltending upgrade by December. Scheifele could also be a solid trade deadline addition, perhaps sooner if injuries start piling up.

THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates wouldn’t be surprised if Hellebuyck and Scheifele are in the Jets lineup for opening night. He also wouldn’t be shocked if the Jets were working on ways to keep both players beyond this season.

If Scheifele gets traded he could fetch a first-round pick, a second-rounder and a young roster player with top-six upside. Fixing a price for Hellebuyck is harder because there aren’t any realistic comparable trades plus the lack of contract extensions muddies the waters in both cases.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been a while since we’ve heard or read anything about Hellebuyck and Scheifele in the rumor mill. It was expected one or both would be traded by now. However, the reasons cited by Billeck and Ates suggest there isn’t much of a market for either player right now.

Few teams have the cap space to take on Hellebuyck’s $6.166 cap hit or Scheifele’s $6.125 million for 2023-24. The Jets don’t seem keen to retain any portion of their salaries.

The Jets, however, have time on their side. They can hang onto Hellebuyck and Scheifele to start the season and wait for the trade market to pick up, especially in the latter half of the season when teams jockeying for playoff berths are looking to boost their rosters.


FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: George Richards wonders if the Panthers might take a run at signing UFA winger Vladimir Tarasenko.

To make it work, the 31-year-old Tarasenko would have to join the Panthers at a bargain price. The Panthers are bumping up against the $83.5 million cap. They’ll get some relief with defensemen Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad expected to start the season on LTIR but must be cap compliant when they’re ready to return to action.

Richards noted that recent reports indicate Tarasenko rejected offers worth between $5.5 million and $6 million which would put the Panthers out of the running. However, he wondered if Tarasenko would accept a $4 million contract for this season with the knowledge that he could get more money when the cap goes up next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things have also gone quiet regarding Tarasenko since he fired his agent earlier this month. He might have to consider a scenario like Richards’ if he doesn’t find any better offers or if those that he rejected are off the table.

It seems unlikely the Panthers would be in the bidding under that scenario given their limited cap space. Still, we can’t fully dismiss the possibility.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski wondered if the Penguins’ recent goaltending additions throughout their system might make backup Casey DeSmith the odd man out between the pipes.

Tristan Jarry is back as their starter having signed a five-year deal earlier this month. They’ve also added Alex Nedeljkovic and Magnus Hellberg on NHL deals as well as Garret Sparks to their AHL affiliate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins could use their second buyout window to ditch one of their goalie contracts once Drew O’Connor’s arbitration has been settled. They could also include one of those netminders as part of a package to acquire Erik Karlsson from the San Jose Sharks. Failing that, perhaps they could trade one of them to another club.


  1. Florida has better focus on that back end. There is enough up front

    Kuznetsov in the market…a lot of trade candidates this off season

  2. Coming in with a good ol’ 3-way trade suggestion:

    To Bos: Lindholm (from CGY)
    To Win: Dube (from CGY), 2025 1st, and Trent Frederic (from Boston)
    To Cal: Scheifele (from Winn)

    Obviously assumes Lindholm and Scheifele would sign where they end up. Gets 2 players out that appear to want a trade and Winnipeg gets some bottom 6 help, a younger player with top 6 potential and the 1st round pick.

    • So CGY is trading Lindholm and Dube for Scheifele, don’t think CGY does that.

      • Would need to move Dube (or similar) to make up the salary cap difference (they only have 500K in cap space) between Lindholm and Scheifele. Could potentially add a mid-round pick back their way, or change out the player.

    • Probably going to take a lot more from Boston to make that deal. Def a dman needs to go, so maybe Carlo in the deal would help.

      • Could absolutely see that. Was taking the underwhelming returns for Toffoli and Debrincat into account. With teams knowing these players want out, the returns seem to be lower. Though Dubois bucked that trend a little.

      • Absolutely would take more than Freddy. And even if they have what it would take I don’t see Boston going that route. They will go with what they have and try out some younger guys to fill holes. Then next season they have 30 mill in cap space to play with. I don’t see the Bruins making any big moves unless Bergy and or DK commit to another year.

    • You trade suggestion has a couple of flaws.

      1. The Bruins do not have the cap space to take on that money and trading Fredrick does not help them get there. Someone with more of a cap hit has to go back.

      2. I do not think they are trading a first 2 years from now.

      Realistically I could see the Bruins getting Scheifele but it is going to involve a goalie and a Dman to match salary, and maybe even Debrusk to open a bit of room.

      • I did think about Debrusk, which may also resolve MP’s comment.

        As to the pick, their cupboards are definitely thin in that regard and I knew a 1st would have to be part of the return. As I looked through their PuckPedia, I don’t really see them having the resources to make something happen, but if they are looking to stay competitive and make a swing at either Lindholm or Scheifele, that 1st will likely have to be in play.

        Obviously the likelihood of a 3-way trade in any scale is low, and when it is two ‘star’ centres, that likelihood drops to pretty well 0. But always fun to speculate and see how the conversation develops!

      • Well, if we’re gonna throw out wild trade scenarios, I’ll give it a go too. And yes this is with a pro Bruin bias, but hear me out, and as SCJ, said what the heck.

        Lindholm and Hanafin to Boston.
        Zacha and Carlo to Calgary.

        Yes B’s get the 2 best players, but Calgary wouldn’t be trading either of these guys if they could sign them, so they will lose the trade on player quality alone right there (as they will with any trade partner). Both Bruins are signed to reasonable contracts through their best prime years and both proven to be good NHL players that fill a need for Calgary if they move Lindholm and Hanafin.

        I commented on Scheifele the other day, I pass on that due to his age as someone will sign him for too long, don’t let it be you Mr. Sweeney.

        Pick it apart at your leisure.

        All depends what Calgary decides to do, stay competitive, or start over. If start over, they look elsewhere.

      • Bergeron retires, Scheifele’s value just went up. Scheifele/Stanley for Swayman/Frederic/Carlo. Then trade Hellybuyck and get another on the cusp center (Buffalo’s got a few)

  3. Casey DeSmith rumored trade to Sharks.

    • You are going to have to add for Boston to get Lindholm and Hanifan.How about Zacha,Grezlyk and Frederic!

      • Ya, you’re probably right Steve r.

        But I still don’t think Conroy will get a return that makes Flames fans happy. Last year Tre’s return was 2 guys with only a year left on their deals as well. And both got paid big $$ and term for what they delivered.

        Hanifin has said he won’t sign an extension, Lindholm has suggested it, and all we know for sure is that neither guy has signed an extension yet.

        What I offered was 2 quality guys locked into reasonable deals, that has value in today’s world doesn’t it? Enough? I dunno.

        I think the B’s are a total long shot, but I also think Conroy wants this done before the season starts and the clock is ticking. If the Flames are in a playoff spot leading up to the TDL, is Conroy moving his #1 C and #2 D (based on ice time)? Will he risk letting them walk for nothing?

        Would luv to see what actual offers are out there.

    • Hi SK

      What on top of DeSmith does Dobby have to give up to get “future considerations” back?

    • @ Speed….Casey Desmith is a solid back up and on occasion can step i to a number 1 spot for like 8 tp 10 games if ur starter gets injured..

      His problem sraying healthy too…

      A lot of teMs could use a decent back up..and cheap $1.8..

      Penguins need to move off Karlsson sign Matt Dumba you ger, tougher, cheaper and has some physicality to his game..

  4. Scheifele over Lindholm

    Scheifele will be 31 in March

    Lindholm 29 in December

    Both are not long term solutions. I still take Scheifele being 2yrs older.

    Less contact in hockey now then there ever was. Players are playing longer and an elite level.

    A 5yr extension for Scheifele wouldn’t be out of the question; however, it would be the max I hope they would go on an extension.

    Boston cap dollars will disappear when Frederick and Swayman get their new contracts.

    Sweeney off season isn’t over.

  5. No trades. No fun. But still dynasties and perennial losers. Thank you salary cap.

  6. Re Pens and back ups….

    Sparks’ signing…. Puzzling..,, but AHL or ECHL

    The minute O’Connor deal is signed; Dubas has 28 NHL Contracts (15 F, 9 D, 4 G)…. 23 is max you can have on opening day…. Still traded or waives

    This strategy has fair logic for the bottom of the roster…. Let the best of the lowest fight it out to be on the 23 man roster

    Losers are waived…. And either picked up or pass through and on to WBS

    Worst case; the rich Penguins owners are over paying on their WBS roster; but Pens gain in that they can call up these “NHL” players from WBS when injuries on the big roster happen

    All players waived with Cap less than $1.2 M count zero against Pens Cap

    Having more available goalies; is a great asset

    I’d actually like to see Murray bought out by Leafs and offered a 1 yr $1.2 M (or less) by Dubas

    Let Murray, De Smith, Nedjelkovic; Hellberg battle it out in training Camp…. Waive 3 of 4, keep the best…. Not a chance all 3 get picked up

    That said…. Pens currently at 49/50 contracts; Murray ( or any other UFA) can’t be signed until (1) O’Connor is signed; AND (2) a buyout (better be Granlund !!) happens

    Right now $2.3 M over… with 23 showing “above” on Cap Friendly; $2.3 M over…. So O’Connor signing ($900 K?) means eventually (A) at least 1 of the then CapFriendly 24 waived before opening day (# 1 is either DeSmith or Nedjelkovic; # 2 Ruhweedel) ; or (B) buyout

    O’Connor signing with Granlund buyout ($4.2 M savings) .. makes them immediately Cap compliant … likely under by $1 M to $1.1 M

    Then when either DeSmith or Nedjelovic waived; after bringing up a WBS Fwd …. 23 Man roster then with $1.4 M – $1.6 M in space

    We all know Dooby is trying to get EK in…. That throws everything above (except O’Connor signing; Granlund buyout)…. Out the door

    I still advocate for plan B…. Not going aAfter EK; Petry out; Granlund bought out; Dumba in; use saved assets and space for trade for 3C and better 3rd line wingers…. Right now…. Pens really don’t have any true 3rd liners (maybe Eller if he plays wing)…. But have 7 or 8 pretty fair 4th liners

    Note re any Potential EK trade and Grier retention…. For Grier it’s the total cash retention and NOT Cap retention AAV ; that he’s concerned with

    He’s stuck (publicly at least) at max 30% retention…. That’s $11.4 M (30% of $38 M still owed)

    Potentially coming over are 1 or more of:

    Petry …. $9.5 M still owed
    Rutta …. $5 M owed

    Petry (50% retained by Sharks in a to-through; final team giving Sharks a 2nd)…. $4.75 M

    Leaves $6.65 M (0f $38 M = 17.5 % …. Which is $9.5 M Cap hit

    Buyout Granlund ($4.2 M); Petry Out ($6.25M); include DeSmith ($1.8 M)…. $12.25 M out…. $2.75 M in … (of course 1st and 2nd (may two firsts) and a prospect not named P-O J , Smith, Pickering, Poulin or Yaeger; also going over)

    Still has Pens then at $0.45 M under, but only at 21 (of 23) on roster… AND still no 3rd line and zero players that can jump in if Gino or Sid go down

    Plan B IMHO; is better

    Petry/Granlund gone (hopefully Rutta as well)…. $10.5 M – $13.3 M freed up

    Waive one of the back ups
    Sign Dumba

    Trade assets pics and prospects (not named P-O J , Smith, Pickering, Poulin or Yaeger)…. for a 3C and 3rd line winger

    3C….. Ducks…. With future set with McT, Zegras, Carlsson and 4 others in the pipeline…. Strome and Henrique are redundant

    • “$12.25 M out…. $2.75 M in ”…. Should be

      “$12.25 M out…. $9.5 M in, Net Cap savings ….$2.75 M “


      Weak eyes; single fat finger typing on iPhone

      • Did you also fat finger the suggestion of signing Murray? No. Just no. As the kids say, “hard pass” on Murray.

      • Hi SOG

        Nope… if Pens have space in the 50…. and can get Murray for 1 @ $1.2 M or less…. Prudent move

        Zero risk (it’s just cash and owners are loaded)…. Let DeSmith, Nedjelkovic and Murray battle it out in training camp for back up position…. Waive losers

        A healthy Murray is far far far better than the other two… so if h3 stays healthy… he wins back up…. the others are waived and either go to WBS or picked up off waivers … win win for Pens

        De Smith for sure is not the answer at back up…. Unless Nedjelkovic miraculously turns thins around… he’s worse than DeSmith

    • ugggg Pengy, I doubt Pens are getting EK without a top prospect going the other way. O’Conner at 25 years old, is not a top prospect.
      San Jose doesnt have to make a deal, as it has been mentioned before, SJ could simply keep EK until the TDL or even next summer. Would his value drop? Likely, but why make a trade if you are not getting prospects worth a crap, while at the same time taking on older over paid players? It just doesn’t make any sense.

      • Hi Brian

        EK almost impossible to move at TDL due to Cap hit

        @ upcoming trade deadline he’s still owed around $31 M – $32M

        Middle team retaining just 10% is $3.2 M….. hard to find a team that will eat that without buckets coming back

        So…. Even if Greir retains 40% (@ TDL)….. total 50% including above …. That’s $5.75 M (annualized) space needed…. Or close to $2M in actual available space needed…. And he’ll only waive to-a contender…. What contender will have $2M left in available space at TDL

        Grier doesn’t HAVE to move him this summer…. But should….

        1) coming off an exceptional season… value high
        2) could get hurt this year…. Plummeting value… zero if he gets permanently injured
        3) Value of a player with 4 years left is worth much more than same player, 1 year older, and only 3 years left
        4) Trading this summer, nixes how much Sharks actually pay EK…. Still due $10.5 M more $’s this year… to play on a team that has tighter purse strings and that won’t be making playoffs this year

        Re trades for EK and return including a top prospect coming back

        If we believe the media…. The current standing offer is

        1st, 2nd, Poulin for EK at 40% retained (Petry moved separately in a to-through with Pens paying middle team to retain 50%) …. and Grier hasn’t bitten on it

        Grier apparently asked for Pettersson…. Doobie, rightfully so, said nyet

        My thoughts are if Doobie is likely to pay a middle team a 2nd to retain 50%, and that same team would also get a 2nd from the final team…. Why not let Grier reap that

        A 1st is a given

        Petry going, either through Sharks or another route …. Also a Given

        Retention of at least 20%—- given…. I think it will settle in the 30-35% range

        Effectively there really are only 3 max suitors (Canes, Krakken, Pens… Tre is just stirring the pot…. Not going to Leafs)

        Krakken as a sophomore expansion team needs to grow…. SC appearance, realistically at best… 3-4 years down the road…. Would EK really go there and would Francis really take the bait… I have strong doubts

        That basically is two suitors and a new GM that, yes , does not HAVE to make a deal, but has loads of pressure to do so

        It really is who blinks first… Waddell, Grier, or Dooby

        I’m hoping Waddell blows his wad and that iweakens Canes, and Pens do plan B. With Dumba and getting strong 3C

      • When has Murray ever been healthy?

  7. If Bergeron comes back than Boston waits till Mark and Lindholm become UFA next year and give up zip to sign either.

    • Bingo! Lotsa money and lots of free agents to spend it on.

    • Sounds like what Hab fans were saying about getting Dubois. Doesnt usually work that way.

  8. Carolina Hurricanes bring back Tony DeAngelo (D-man) for one year 1.675 million. Would this signing make the Hurricanes move on from Erik Karlsson trade rumors?

    • Thats Very Smart move by the Cans @$1.675M…👍
      now they can cut the Cans & Leafs out of the EK story mill
      Sharks will need to retain at least 40% of his $11.5M salary in any trade

      Last season with the Cans TD had 51 points in 64 games he could get more if he played a full season like 65-70 points❗️

  9. Was shocked a little question was what NHL team has most wins since lockout I thought maybe Tampa. Bruins were first and Pittsburg 2nd. Two real good franchises with home grown players and a commitment to winning at some point both will need a rebuild just not sure when.

  10. As annoying as it is, because they always do it…Winnipeg should just stand pat on those two players. There’s zero need to force a trade on either of them. In fact it’s on the players to play themselves into big contracts. Not on the Jets to get returns or try and re-sign them at the wrong number. If they both poop the bed – sure it hurts the Jets come trade deadline but it also might make it easier to resign them.

    I’m sort of looking at Vlad Guererro Jr. scenario. He’s playing his way out of elite money this year. I’m fine with that. Keep him at 20m per not 30 or 40.