NHL Rumor Mill – July 4, 2023

by | Jul 4, 2023 | Rumors | 21 comments

Update on Alex DeBrincat, John Gibson’s agent clashes with a pundit over his trade request, and the latest on Vladimir Tarasenko in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators management continues working the phones trying to trade Alex DeBrincat. However, the 25-year-old winger’s contract demands are holding things up.

Ottawa Senators winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

Garrioch cited TSN’s Darren Dreger claiming the DeBrincat camp seeks an eight-year, $70.2 million contract. That’s roughly the same contract winger Timo Meier signed with the San Jose Sharks.

Dreger also indicated that the Michigan-born DeBrincat prefers to play in the United States for family reasons. He said that the clubs considering him feel his value is closer to the eight-year, $63 million deal signed by Meier’s teammate, Jesper Bratt.

The Senators would like to move out DeBrincat in order to focus on other needs. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reported they had spoken to unrestricted free-agent winger Vladimir Tarasenko. There’s talk the 31-year-old winger isn’t keen to play in Canada but could be facing limited options.

THE ATHLETIC: Ian Mendes reports DeBrincat’s agent, Jeff Jackson, denied that his camp’s contract demands were holding up a trade. He called the report “entirely false and without merit”. To his knowledge, Jackson indicated there had been no agreement of any kind of trade involving his client. He added they would require that before entering into a negotiation.

Jackson also pointed out that his camp is not blocking a trade. He noted that his client lacks a no-trade clause, allowing the Senators to send him wherever they want.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The DeBrincat camp reportedly provided the Senators with a list of preferred destinations but Jackson is right that there is no limitation on where they can trade his client. The Senators probably prefer a sign-and-trade scenario as that would provide them with the best return.

NEW YORK POST: Ethan Sears wondered if DeBrincat would be a good fit with the Islanders. He cited reports out of Ottawa including the Islanders on a list of groups interested in the winger.

Sears noted there is an obvious need for the Islanders to add a scoring winger. However, their limited salary-cap space ($1.08 million) would make it difficult to swing a trade.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Jared Serre suggests DeBrincat would be a good fit with the Capitals. While he’s the right age and has the scoring skills, their own salary-cap constraints make this almost impossible unless they can find a way to shed the salaries of Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will take quite a bit of cap juggling for the Isles or Capitals to land DeBrincat, especially if they intend on signing him to a long-term contract.


SPORTSNET: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli told the Nasty Knuckles podcast that goaltender John Gibson had asked for a trade from the Anaheim Ducks, telling them that he wasn’t playing another game for the club.

Gibson’s agent Kurt Overhardt issued a statement on his client’s behalf regarding Servalli’s remarks, calling them “false, unjust and inflammatory”. He added that that Gibson never made any such statement to any member of the Ducks front office.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli responded to Overhardt’s statement on Twitter. He reminded Overhardt of an occasion three years ago when the agent denied Seravalli’s report claiming that his director of hockey operations and licensing was joining the Arizona Coyotes. Shortly afterward, the Coyotes confirmed the hiring.

There were reports this spring claiming the 29-year-old goaltender has spoken with Ducks management about a possible trade. With an annual cap hit of $6.4 million through 2026-27, his contract could be difficult to move given the high number of teams with limited cap space for 2023-24.


RDS.CA: cited Bally Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland reporting free-agent winger Vladimir Tarasenko is mulling up to six offers from NHL clubs. Some are for one year while others are multi-year. Strickland believes the 31-year-old winger is closing in on a decision.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As noted earlier, the Senators are believed to have spoken to Tarasenko. There’s also speculation the Carolina Hurricanes are among the suitors.


  1. I be surprised if DeBrincat gets $8.8

    What’s the family reason for wanting to play in the US? Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal are not that far from home. A lot closer then Florida, Tampa, LA, San Jose etc.

    Read last night Nylander wants close to $11m on his next contract. B

    A name we don’t hear about much but who is also a ufa next season is Sebastian Aho who will be coming off $8,460,250 cap hit he turns 26 on July 26th. What does his next contract look like and will he stay in Carolina?

    • There is the tax free state thing. And he’d find no shortage of Michigananders in Florida.

      Probably more in Tampa than Michigan.

    • Aho and Carolina are apparently very close to signing an 8 year agreement. At the end of last season Dundon said its Aho’s team now, we will get it done. Rumor is Skjei is also signing an extension. Pesce may be traded. Probably a combination of Pesce asking for a big salary and how well Chatfield played last year.

    • Waddell was on the PP with Koulie on Siruius/XM and said the Aho contract would be in the very near future was not worried at all.

    • What’s the family reason for wanting to play in the US?

      Let’s say a pandemic breaks out and Canada decides to implement some seriously draconian measures for those wishing to cross the border…

      We can’t really pretend like this might never happen, right?

      • “draconian???” On a % of population basis there were a helluva lot more people who died from Covid-related illnesses in the U.S. than in Canada, thanks to our “draconian” measures.

      • Border entry rules into the US or into Canada during Covid were almost identical. So if one was draconian, the other was to. I think the main difference is Canada opened the border to folks without a vaccination a little sooner than the US. Or visa versa, can’t remember, but the timing was close.

        I travelled into the US and you needed proof of vaccination, and it had to be the specific approved vaccines for the US or you were not getting in. I remember it clearly as my first shot was the AstraZenica, which was not approved in the US, so I had to get another Phizer one. No biggie, I got the shot and went.

        Same as here, same as every other country. If folks think that is draconian, fill your boots, agree to disagree, but seems perfectly logical to me.

      • My point was not to knock Canada. The US could easily have pulled similar shenanigans. How soon we forget the Canadian 14 day required quarantine for ALL travelers crossing the border. Up until October of 2022 Canada required a 14 day quarantine + covid test when crossing the border. Please don’t act like anyone was able to travel across the border willy nilly. That’s just dishonest.

        And Goerge, yes, draconian. Most of the people in Canada ended up with Covid. Same as here.

      • Fully vaccinated travelers from the USA did not have to quarantine as of August 2021 in Canada.

  2. hearing ideas of cbj swapping merzlikins for gibson. what would be some fair offers for both teams for this. wondering if merz roslovic and boqvist or peeke take pick or both for gibson and henruque would fly

    • I’d take that with a grain of salt. The Jackets are close to the cap and they still might be looking to add a center despite Fantilli signing his ELC. You also have to take into account the number of core players (Johnson, Marchenko, Sillinger, etc) due for new contracts in the next couple years.

      • I think 8.75 is a fair offer maybe a bit high. Would think 8×8 maybe a bit better. Isles have to get him problem is other then JGP what else can they send? Probably Palmieri to make the money work. Isles still have to sign Wahlstrom. Ottawa may not want Palms or he may have a no trade clause to go there. What about Clutter or Martin. But in any event Lou has to get a sniper. If not

  3. I think 8.75 is a fair offer maybe a bit high. Would think 8×8 maybe a bit better. Isles have to get him problem is other then JGP what else can they send? Probably Palmieri to make the money work. Isles still have to sign Wahlstrom. Ottawa may not want Palms or he may have a no trade clause to go there. What about Clutter or Martin. But in any event Lou has to get a sniper. If not, him trade JGP for a pick and sign Tarasenko.At this point a power play upgrade is a must to content. Thoughts?

    • Realistically, Debrincat will probably have to settle for 8 x 8 at this point.

      The Isles would actually be a good fit, but they’re obviously tight to the cap now. Assuming that they re-sign Parise to the same contract as last year and a reasonable bridge deal for Wahlstrom, they’d have about $1m. in space. So they’d have to move out at least 8m.

      I don’t see Lou moving out his defensive core – Pelech, Pulock, Dobson, Romanov or Mayfield. Nor would he trade Horvat, Barzal, Nelson or Lee. That would leave an offer of Pageau, Palmieri, Wahlstrom and a first. One problem is that Ottawa would likely want a front line player, while the Isles offer consists of mid level players and futures. Also, Pageau and Palmieri have partial trade protection in which they could submit a 16 team no trade list. I could see Pageau agreeing. I’m less sure about Palmieri.

      Debrincat and the Sens may be better suited to work out a two year deal at somewhere between 8-9m. AAV. That’ll buy some time and next year, with the cap likely increasing substantially, there may be a better fit.

      • In no circumstances will the Senators be looking at Pageau again – they’d be better off re-signing Brassard to fill a 4th line C role – nor Palmieri … ever.

      • I see where Dorion re-signed veteran D Travis Hamonic to a 2-year $2.2 mil deal ($1.1 per) – about $2.4 mil less than his previous contract)

        With his addition, they now have Chabot and Sanderson at LD, Zub, Hamonic and Bernard-Docker (now on a new one-way deal) at RD, with Chychrun and Brannstrom shown as LD/RD.

        With the speculation that big, physical Tyler Kleven (LD) could make the roster out of camp, there could be a deal in the making over the summer.

    • Tarasenko prefers to stay in the US for a contender per his agent and was twitted oy last night that a contract with the Canes are in the works. This makes sense as Tarasenko is friends with Orlov.

      • Re Tarasenko,

        I would say its 50-50 with the Cans and the Sens…
        3 yrs at $4 to $5.M
        NYI, also would like him but have No Cap room for a $8.M player

        Zub is a Russian d/man also on there d in ottawa,
        if they trade The Cat and soon i hope….⁉️
        the NYI want him, i would do it for RW Wahlstrom and a first, but the NYI need to clear to much cap space also

        Tarasenko would be a good replacement for the Cat as a scoring winger in Ottawa… for sure

        Ottawa d…. could use a bit of physical toughness ….🤔 they need a physical d/man who like to Hit
        So look out for 22 yr old Tyler Kleven A (LD) one of the top prospects to play in the 2023-2024 season…👍

  4. Willie, if Tarasenko had been given a 3 year offer at $4-5m., he’d have signed by now. He’ll get one year. At a lot less money.

  5. This is ugly …..


    Brad Marchand — Charlie Coyle — Jake DeBrusk
    James van Riemsdyk — Pavel Zacha — David Pastrnak
    A.J. Greer — Trent Frederic — Oskar Steen
    Milan Lucic — Morgan Geekie — Jayson Megna/Patrick Brown

  6. Dundon has proven to support an aggressive Waddell.
    At the moment it would seem the Hurricanes are on the inside track(to land Terasenko; he tweeted he was in the process of hammering out a deal(??)), in my opinion.
    There’s the Orlov factor – who happens to be the godfather of Terasenko’s child and vice versa… they grew up together…
    Carolina is an attractive option for big names now….
    Also, I wouldn’t count them out to still bring in Karlsson even if they pickup Terasenko!
    Remember, they’re also on the hook for half of Tony DeAngelo’s salary -> As that deal is confirmed to go through once the date is good (July 7th I believe or somewhere around there).
    So even as is, without moving someone out – either to another team to eat salary that has cap space or include in a trade to San Jose. They could retain some of EK’s salary, not too much though, with their close to 6 mil in available cap space, take on a player like any of Martin Necas (3 mil), Brett Pesce (4 mil) or even Brady Skjei (5 mil).
    Definitely would require some creativity.
    So, this is the same owner/gm who _had_ Tkatchuk apparently until FL added Weegar to the deal. Or smt like that.
    Also wasn’t too long ago I remember them bring in Skjei, Vatanen and Trochek at the deadline.
    Will it happen like I said? Maybe. But I do believe one or more of the above will happen.
    It might take a team like Anaheim, Chicago or Detroit to take on salary.