NHL Rumor Mill – July 28, 2023

by | Jul 28, 2023 | Rumors | 43 comments

Should the Bruins and Capitals keep an eye on Flames center Elias Lindholm? What’s the latest on Leafs winger William Nylander? How will the Senators free up cap space after signing Vladimir Tarasenko? Check it out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Randy Sportak considers the Boston Bruins as a strong potential trade partner for the Calgary Flames, who must unload several of their 2024 potential unrestricted free agents.

He considers Noah Hanifin as the most obvious player to depart the Stampede City for Beantown but believes it makes more sense for the two clubs to discuss a swap of Elias Lindholm. The Bruins need a replacement for now-retired center Patrice Bergeron and the 28-year-old Lindholm could fit the bill with his two-way play.

Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (NHL Images).

As for the potential return to the Flames, Sportak believes it would have to include more than just one player, draft pick or prospect. He suggested defenseman Mason Lohrei should be at the top of the list. Other prospect options include winger Fabian Lysell and center Matthew Poitras

Meanwhile, Sportak’s colleague Sammi Silber suggested the Washington Capitals should keep an eye on Lindholm. She cited his two-way play and leadership as enticing traits for a club seeking a reliable top-six center.

However, Silber noted that it would be difficult for the Capitals to land Lindholm. They have Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha as trade chips but they’re unlikely to be enough to pry Lindholm away from the Flames. The cost of his next contract and the Capitals’ future after the Alex Ovechkin era is over could make it tough to convince him to sign a long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the two teams the Bruins might have the best chance to land Lindholm, Nevertheless, it won’t be easy for either club to get him.

Unless they’re the only two clubs in the bidding, the Bruins and Capitals lack depth in sufficient trade bait to tempt the Flames. Other clubs with more tradeable assets could outbid them once the Flames put Lindholm on the trade block.


TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox believes William Nylander is going to get between $10 million and $11 million annually on his next contract. It might be with the Leafs or with another club as an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Cox considers it a fantasy to think that the 27-year-old winger is going to accept less money to stay in Toronto. He’s got all the leverage he needs with UFA eligibility approaching next summer.

The Leafs could try to trade Nylander but Cox doubts they’ll get value in any return given the state of the trade market under a flattened salary cap. Most teams can’t afford his current contract right now ($6.962 million cap hit) and none will want to acquire him without an agreement on a long-term extension.

Cox thinks the best course of action for the Leafs is to let Nylander play out his final season with them. They can use the money they would’ve invested in him on pursuing a top-flight goaltender or a top defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: More pundits are realizing that the Leafs won’t get anything close to equal value for Nylander if they trade him. That could change if another club gets desperate but it doesn’t appear as though anyone’s beating down the Leafs door willing to make that deal.

I was of the opinion that the Leafs should trade him. I felt that general manager Brad Treliving doesn’t want to go through another scenario watching a star depart as a free agent as he did in Calgary last summer with Johnny Gaudreau. Nylander’s uncertain future could also become an unnecessary distraction for the club.

Nevertheless, the Leafs are still a playoff contender hoping to compete for the Stanley Cup this season. Their chances of doing so are better with Nylander in the lineup unless a club steps up with an offer that would make them a better club. So far, that offer doesn’t seem to be out there.


THE ATHLETIC: Ian Mendes wondered what the Ottawa Senators will do to free up salary-cap space after signing Vladimir Tarasenko to a one-year, $5 million contract. They’re bumping up against the $83.5 million salary cap with restricted free agent Shane Pinto to re-sign.

Mendes expects Pinto’s salary request will exceed the $900K that the Senators have to play with. He anticipates they’ll have to ship someone out. There aren’t many logical trade candidates and they won’t want to move a core player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps they attempt to move winger Mathieu Joseph ($2.95 million through 2024-25) or defenseman Erik Brannstrom ($2 million). They could also shop Dominik Kubalik but they recently acquired him from the Red Wings. 


  1. The Flames need to move Linholm now! His value will never be as high as it is now. Sign and trade would net them 3 BIG pieces!

    • 3 team deal:
      To Boston: Lindholm
      To Buffalo: Tanev & Swayman
      To Calgary: Krebs, Buff 2024 1st & Carlo

      Cap hits doable & each team gets some needs

      • This deal makes no sense for Buffalo.
        They just got two solid vet d-men and now have too many. They also have 3 goalies to sort out and you want to add another.
        To get both of these decent, but not needed assets, they have to give up Krebs (a great young player) and a first.

        Boston gives up the backup goalie on a strong defensive team that they are reported to be $2.8M apart in negotiations.
        They also give up a young stay at home D-man (2nd rounder) for a first round D-man that has told Calgary he won’t resign.

        The only team that gets what it needs is Calgary.

        Sabres say “No deal”
        IMHO: Boston says “No deal” too.

      • @ TheMan

        Everything I have read is that Buffalo has been shopping for a solid RHS Dman. They have the left side covered pretty good with a couple of amazing LHS in Power & Dahlin, who better than Tanev to anchor that top 4. As for 3 goalies, seriously? Comrie, who is OK & 2 young tweeners. I would think Buffalo would like to finally take a run at the playoffs & Swaymans stats look pretty darn good & fit with getting Levi’s feet wet in the NHL.

        Calgary can just hold on to Tanev & easily get a late 1st from a contender at the TDL. I would think Boston would be all over that deal, theyll have plenty of cap space to extend Lindholm the following year. Ive seen several insiders say the ask for both Shiefle & Lindholm is a 1st, roster player & a top prospect. The price of a top line centre. Too expensive? Then they have to hope Zacha or Coyle elevate their game significantly to a top line centre.

  2. BOS clearly is a great fit for Lindholm with Bergy’s retirement. However, unless Boston is Lindholm’s preferred trade destination for signing an extension, it just seems unlikely that the B’s could outbid a number of other teams potentially looking for center help. Until Lindholm makes it clear what his intentions are & Calgary gives some indication of if they are interested in futures or win-now assets this is a really difficult situation to get a read on. My biased hope is that Lindholm is interested in reuniting w/ Johnny Hockey in Columbus but I fully admit that is likely just a wishful thinking

    • CBJ has a bunch of young skilled centers that Calgary would be interested in! I think they have more to offer than Boston!

      • Why would he want to sign in Columbus lol no one wants to play there either

    • Boston Need a #1 Centre to play with Pasta..

      Lindholm would be a Great fit for Boston as the need to fill there #1 Centre spot and use
      Pavel Zacha to fill the 2nd Centre Spot…. after the top 2 have retired

      What would a trade look like….🤔
      Calgary would look for Haul in return
      A 1st pick,
      Top rookie RW, Fabian Lysell
      A roster player to make salarys work of coures
      like Jake DeBrusk
      or A d/man like Matt Grzelcyk…..❓


  3. I wish Johnny Z ‘s evaluation of Willam Nylander was the same !!

    • Actually, Nylander is worth MORE than Linholm. But Trono seems to want to keep him for their very own rental! So why speculate?

      • Ummm no1 center compared to floating rw, hmmmm no comparison at all.

        There’s a reason he hasn’t been traded, he wants a lot of money and he’s worth 8.5-9 per year. He wants more money than Matthew tkachuk and in what world is he worth more?

        If you use him as your own playoff rental then the GM needs to be fired. You don’t let assets walk away for nothing regardless of playoff position. IF he pulls the same crap he did with JG then fire him.

  4. I felt Toronto should have trade Nylander a few years ago because his contract was so front loaded the actual dollars would of been paid and a money aware team would of sucked him up for assets that could of been used to grab other guys to help now.

    But that was now we are here and I agree play him till his co tract runs out.

    • So trade a guy who’s basically been paid, get assets for him because everyone will see you’re getting a stud for pennies on the dollar, then swap those assets for players that can help you win, sort of like if you had a guy like Nylander.
      Completely makes sense.

      • It did and does as the contract problems was easily foreseen. They have too much money in too few guys. Imagine when Matthew tkachuk became available they had the room to make a move for hm. Or many others

      • I don’t see what you’re comparing here now. I thought you said they needed to trade Nylander when his front loaded contract money was paid to get more of a return (I highly doubt that – maybe provide another instance maybe) than they would now.

        Then you brought up Tkachuck’s situation which isn’t really relevant other that Tre being the GM. Is that your point? Correct me if I’m wrong, but one guy wants to stay put and the other guy never had plans to. In the Tkachuck deal, I still think Tre did very well and I don’t know how much more of a better take he would have got if not handcuffed.

        I’m sorry I just don’t see your point nor a real possibility of it.

  5. Boston would give up the best player in the deal but McAvoy for Hanifin+Lindholm makes sense for both sides. Calgary gets an elite defender signed long term. Boston has enough salary coming off the books next summer to resign both.

    • Lol Mac is worth way more than that for a return granted both are good players but not great. They are not trading Mac period

      • While I don’t see McAvoy getting dealt, the idea that Calgary would need to add “way more” is absurd.

    • IMO I don’t think Sweeney is offering McAvoy for anyone with a year left on their contract when every playoff bound team in the NHL up against the cap. Not even if 2 of them are involved.

      Who are they competing with for Lindholm? To Deacon’s point, CLB does make sense on paper. They have some space and they have some good young C’s. But they sure as heck are not trading Fantilli. Detroit maybe? But both CLB and DET have good young C’s, maybe they just wait for them to develop, or see if Lindholm hits UFA. Neither is a contender, so a better plan does seem to be wait and develop from where I am sitting, but I don’t know what kind of pressure either guy is facing to win now.

      So to Deacon’s other point, Calgary needs to decide what they want to do. If they want prospects, the B’s are out. If they want good players on reasonable deals with term, the B’s can help. Those players just won’t be as good as Hanifin or Lindholm, because they don’t have to be.

      The Lindholm and Nylander situations are the same IMO. The same reasons folks don’t think the Leafs will get fair value for Willie, are the same reasons the Flames won’t for Elias.

      Teams are tossing anvils not life preservers, until Calgary and Lindholm decide WTF they want to do.
      And then they still won’t have much leverage, but at least there will be clarity and they can make a decision. Trade him at a discount or roll to the TDL and see how they do.

      • Hey Ray, teams are interested in helping themselves so if a star player hits the market and you desperately need the upgrade, no one is including another star going back, unless it’s from a position where you have a lot of redundancy otherwise you’re not going to create a hole in your lineup to fill another.
        Best bet for any star players return is to keep your expectations low.

      • Ron, yep.

  6. Will a DeBrusk for Elias Lindholm work for you B’s fans … They are going to need a Center better than what they have right now

  7. Ottawa seems like a bomb waiting to implode. How is that team already up against the cap & barely a bubble team?

    Compared to teams in their division in similar positions like Buffalo and Detroit…Ottawa’s window for being competitive is going to be short before they have to start shedding assets and players.

    • Because they had a roster of young players due to the rebuild who all have expiring ELCs at a time when the cap didn’t move up significantly… it’s not rocket science why this happened and it was unavoidable.

      Also… they were close to bubble last year with no consistent goaltending and weak defense and no Norris… the fact you can claim they are not at least a bubble team this year is laughable.

      • LOL Saint, I thought you were talking about the Leafs again. We’ve heard this before, no?
        “ Because they had a roster of young players due to the rebuild who all have expiring ELCs at a time when the cap didn’t move up significantly… it’s not rocket science why this happened and it was unavoidable.”

        Like all you needed to add was draft pedigree and Covid! LOL

      • Ron that is quite LITERALLY my point, so I am not sure what you think you are arguing. I never denied that Toronto and almost every team is dealing with this exact issue right now. Just explaining that this issue is not over just because the pandemic is. Some teams had slightly better rebuild timing.

    • ShreddedRed, the only adjustment needed for this season will be to clear space for Pinto – IF he’s not dealt. Brannstrom and Joseph are the likely candidates to be dealt.

      Next season Murray – $1,562,500; Bobby Ryan – $1,683,333; and Del Zotto – $750,000 – all come off the books – that’s approx $4.5 mil freed up to go along with the cap increase – whatever that is to be.

      Tarasenko $5 mil) and Kubalik $2.5 mil are UFAs and likely will not be re-upped – at least Kubalik won’t.

      Lots can happen between now and this time next year.

    • Hey ShreddedRed,
      dont think so……

      Ottawa has $3.5M in buy out this year that come of the books at the end of 2023-2024 season✅

      Cap space for 2024 season is $21.74M😜

      2024 they have 3 RFA to resign on main Roster,
      -Erik Brännström 2 yr bridge deal at $2.2 M range
      -Kelly at $1.M?
      -Jake Sanderson…big LD man could be a 2-3 year Bridge deal at $3.5-$4.5 M
      =$7.5 range

      Then they have 2 UFA forwards
      Tarasenko @ $5M & Dominik Kubalik @2.7M
      so if the brough them all back that would be around $15M to $16M give or take that still would leave them $6-$7 M in cap space next year…..
      That’s before any trades happen as they have some Very Good Rookie’s coming up from the AHL Very Soon on low entry level contracts….👌

      They Also added some very good players over the past 6 months in all key key areas that will put them in a 6,th 7,th or 8th playoff spot in 2024.🤔✔️

  8. Three players Sweeney could be looking at:

    Lindholm Cal 1yr @ $4.850
    Hanifin Cal 1yr @ $4.950
    Scheifele Wpg 1yr @ $6.125

    Boston would have to clear out salary to bring anyone in. I don’t see Sweeney trading for anyone unless there is a sign deal in place or he knows he can resign the player.

    To trade for anyone the bruins would likely deplete their bare prospect cupboards.

    The one player i see Sweeney having the most interest in is Noah Hanifin. In the 2015 draft it was reported the Sweeney tried to trade up to draft Hanifin.

    Sweeney likes the Boston area boys and Hanifin fits the bill.

    Boston top 4 dman would be set with McAvoy, Lindholm, Carlo and Hanifin.

    Sweeney will resign Krejci and Boston will start the season at center with:


    Trade for Hanifin would be Matt Grzelcyk and Mason Lohrei (Boston top prospect)

    Grzelcyk is a ufa, that Calgary could try to resign or trade at the deadline.

    Lohrei at the low end is projected as a top 4 dman, a full season in the Ahl and up next season.

    Hanifin signs in Boston and bruins are set for years at the d position.

    I don’t like the idea of giving up Lohrei, as he looks to be a solid dman; however, if Sweeney wants him now have to give something.

  9. Imho. I do not believe bruins will be adding anything this year. Just going to ride it out and restock next year when they are flush with cap space if Hanifin wants to sign with bruins next year he will surely get the chance. Same as Lindholm and or. Scheifele If I was any of those players. I go to ufa unless I have a particular team I wish to sign with

    • Mrbruin4 i don’t disagree with you; but, if there is a player that Sweeney wants, he runs the risk of not getting if the player gets traded to another team and really likes the team and city.

      The one thing with next season ufa’s is they have cost certainty for this season. Any extension kicks in next season when they have some cash.

      • Caper, have you heard or read something about Krecji or just good mojo?

      • Ray, i heard nothing. Pure wishful thinking; also, i can read people body language and Krecji body language in his farewell to Bergeron told me he is playing one more year.

        His body language was saying “damn i finally get to play with the top wingers.” “But i’m going to be stuck with JVR and somebody else.”

      • Haha, pretty flippin’ true that Caper.

        I think Krecji gets Pasta if he comes back. With who? I dunno. Maybe JVR, but I would give young Frederic some shifts up there too to keep things honest dig up pucks.

        Zacha, Marchand, DeBrusk would be a decent line too.

        Hope your wish comes true, would make a big difference as you can keep Coyle in a defensive roll and match him up against the other teams best again.

  10. Great (and proper) move by Bruins retiring Berg’s Jersey 👍👍👍

    Lindholm on Bruins….. That s Leafs’ fan says….. noooooo

    Would be great move by Bruins…. Crappy for us cheering for Blue and White

    Cox…. WW is not getting $11 M

    The most recent comparable (and note he’s a C) just signed 8 @ $9.75 M

    Leafs can ill afford to get zip for him

    Leafs are over the cap even after Murray put on LTIR (and need to be cap compliant if/when he comes off LTIR)

    A move needs to be done

    WW for top 4 D with a Cap hit less than $5 M works

    Leafs cannot re-up WW AND ….AM. Leafs already struggling with Cap with 4 Fwds taking up 48%…. Re-up both…. Then your in the 52%-55% next year…. Not viable

    Tre… make some calls

    Starting the season with WW will mean one of two things:

    You signed him for greater than Leafs can afford (Cap wise) and therefore then bumped up the AM signing; OR….

    Major distraction (contract) for whole season

    Best route is to trade him now

    • Hey Pengy,

      The leafs should try to move out John Tavares
      i know he has a NTC….. but there are ways around that,
      The Media says that he has been asked to wave his NTC & the GM confirms that….. they have had that discussion with JT….⁉️
      he has $11.M contract for 2 more years,

      ❓Will Austin Mathews hang around if the leafs trade WN….?

      if they both go… Mitch Marnier may also go the leafs have a poor prospect pool……this could go well or Really Very Very Badly in Toronto🤔

      Re; RW William Nylander
      they need to keep him he just tured 27 and is getting better each year

      maybe they can get a deal with CBJ, they still have lots of cap space and he can work with there high draft pick Centre Adam Fantilli
      and take 2 salary players back
      like A centres,
      Boone Jenner, $3.75 M
      Jack Roslovic, $4.M
      RD, LD d/man Jake Bean $2.5M
      T he leafs have to put in a 1st pick to get a deal done,🤔
      maybe its a Trade deadline deal…..❓

      I Dont think Austin Mathews Sign a deal with the Leafs…..untill he know’s what way the leafs are going
      he wants a cup and money is not everything
      Mathews is going to get payed Very well where ever he gos….
      Like Anaheim Ducks still have $27.1M left in Cap space this year‼️,
      they do have to sign a few players
      -25 yr old T.Terry, 8 years at $7-$8M
      -22yr old Trevor Zegras, 2-3 bridge deal $4.M
      -21 yr old Jamie Drysdale a 2-3 year deal at $$3.5M
      Ducks could have over $12+M in Cap space after all these signings

      They could also trade with Calgary for d/man
      UFA Noah Hanifin $5.M & have him signed to a Contract extension before that deal happens
      UFA Centre Mikael Backlund $5.3M
      who have both said they are not staying in Calgary at the end of there contracts, leafs would need to add a 1st pick a Top prospect going with
      John Tavares to get that deal done making the Salarys work both ways…🤔❓

  11. 3 team deal:
    To Boston: Lindholm
    To Buffalo: Tanev & Swayman
    To Calgary: Krebs, Buff 2024 1st & Carlo

    Cap hits doable & each team gets some needs

    • Potlicker, this Bruin fans says “no thanks”

      Carlo and Swayman is an over payment for Lindholm.

      I wouldn’t do that deal if Hanifin was included.

      Boston shouldn’t move Carlo.

      • I think Lindholm is underrated. He plays a 200ft game, wins faceoffs, skates like the wind…
        The Bruins going forward better off with Lindholm/Zacha than the moody Scheifele.

        and yes i dont see them trading McAvoy but Hanifin is only a level below Charlie. Boston’s prospect pool is not deep and Marchand only has so much left.

        This season could be a nothing in Boston and they wait to retool next summer when they have 17 or so million off the books

      • Whole Lindholm is far more comparable to Bergy defensively, I could see a Bos Wpg deal centering on Scheiffle and one of the Bs goalies if Hellebuck gets traded. Not a fan of either so I could be way off on my speculation

  12. Couture to Boston
    Couture ($2M retained) for Debrusk and Brett Harrison
    Less assets than other C’s and a $6M cap hit for 4 years……if ya get 2 good years at #1C, he would be worth it.

  13. I think coming season will be a year off for the Bruins, and that should be ok, Bergeron retired, he is a top five player this millennium.
    Sign someone lik Paul Stastny to fill in, maybe some other UFA:S too, some prospects to the lineup. Save cap-space for next summer. It is a very tight situation for so many teams for now, that I believe there will be plenty of UFA:s at the market next year, better ones.
    They have good goalies and good defense and Pasta in pp. I think they will compete. It is Boston.

    • Don t try to sell the year off to Marchand and Pasta! Marchand has 2 years left,will probably be the captain and he is not sitting on the sidelines with a below average center!
      Pasta either! If Krejci comes back OK, But if not go big game hunting for a 1st line center!Don t waste a year of those guys careers!