NHL Rumor Mill – July 8, 2023

by | Jul 8, 2023 | Rumors | 27 comments

Do the Penguins have a “Plan B” if they fail to land Erik Karlsson? What are some possible trade destinations for John Gibson? What’s the latest on the Canadiens and Leafs? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski cites multiple sources claiming the Pittsburgh Penguins are exploring other defense options if they fail to land San Jose Sharks blueliner Erik Karlsson.

Kingerski claims Kyle Dubas, the Penguins’ president of hockey operations, is shopping in the trade market for additional defensemen or a backup plan, preferably mobile offensive blueliners.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: One of Kingerski’s sources suggested keeping an eye on Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. However, Kingerski and Jimmy Murphy noted that Boston general manager Don Sweeney expressed exasperation when asked about the Grzelcyk trade rumors, chiding the Boston media.

Murphy cited numerous sources claiming Sweeney has had conversations with other clubs regarding Grzelcyk, as well as goaltenders Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman, defensemen Brandon Carlo and Trent Frederic, and forwards Jake DeBrusk and Trent Frederic. However, that doesn’t mean the Bruins are shopping those players but rather that teams have inquired about them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas is keen to put his stamp on the Penguins immediately. If he can’t find a way to land Karlsson this summer he could consider other options for his blueline.

I don’t fully close the door on those Bruins trade rumors but Sweeney already made his major cap-clearing move by shipping Taylor Hall to Chicago. He might have to shed another salary depending on the cost of re-signing restricted free agents Swayman and Frederic but that’s not a certainty right now.


THE SCORE: John Matisz speculated over two obvious trade destinations for John Gibson and two dark-horse candidates for the 29-year-old Anaheim Ducks goaltender.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (NHL Images).

Matisz considers the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres as his obvious choices. Both are rising young clubs lacking an experienced starter between the pipes.

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings are Matisz’s dark horses. It’s doubtful the Jackets can get out of the NHL basement with a tandem of Elvis Merzlikins and Daniil Tarasov, while the Kings are trying to become Stanley Cup contenders with the duo of Cam Talbot and Pheonix Copley.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t disagree with Matisz and his choices. So far, however, it appears those four clubs are willing to go into next season with their current goalies and see what happens.

Matisz noted that Gibson’s contract with its $6.4 million AAV through 2026-27 and 10-team no-trade list is a stumbling block. He also pointed out the netminder’s poor stats last season.

A Gibson trade remains possible depending on how desperate one of those three clubs becomes for a goaltending boost during 2023-24. I rule out the Kings because I don’t believe the Ducks would trade him to their closest rival. Moving Gibson, however, will depend on the Ducks’ asking price and how much of his AAV they’re willing to retain to facilitate a trade.

The flattened salary cap for 2023-24 is another sticking point. Gibson might end up having to wait until next summer for a trade. That’s when the salary cap for 2024-25 is expected to significantly jump from its current $83.5 million to at least $87.5 million. Those teams could have considerably more cap space to work with and perhaps a greater willingness to invest in Gibson.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: With the Canadiens recently trading Joel Edmundson to Washington, Pat Hickey looked at other veteran moves that could help to speed up the club’s youth movement.

Hickey noted the Canadiens’ depth at center following their recent addition of Alex Newhook. He wouldn’t be surprised if Christian Dvorak and his $4.45 million cap hit are moved before the start of the regular season. He also noted the Canadiens have tried unsuccessfully to trade winger Mike Hoffman and his $4.5 million salary.

Any combination of moves that result in the departures of Dvorak, Hoffman and/or Joel Armia ($3.4 million cap hit) will accelerate the youth movement,” writes Hickey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dvorak would have the most value of those three. He and Armia are signed through 2024-25.

Hoffman, meanwhile, is a UFA next summer. If he has a decent season the Canadiens might be able to move him at the March 1 trade deadline as most of his cap hit will have been paid out by then.


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan believes Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving must add to his defense corps the same amount of snarl that Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi will bring to their forward lines.

Koshan noted that Treliving is working with limited cap space. Nevertheless, Matt Dumba remains available in the UFA market. He also wondered if the former Flames GM would look into acquiring Nikita Zadorov from Calgary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s going to depend on the cost of re-signing RFA goaltender Ilya Samsonov.


  1. Scooby Dubas just cant stand having any cap room.

  2. Is there any way that “mobile, offensive blue liner” Torey Krug could be a “Plan B” option for the Pens/Dubas??

    Does Bortuzzo add some cheap “snarl” to the Leafs blue line??

    Just trying to help (and clear some cap space) for the Blues.

    • Pens don’t have cap space to trade you. Petry for krug? I think I’d rather keep petry.

    • Agree with Chrisms on this

      Cap nixes it anyway

      EK or Dumba

      • Pengy (and Chrisms),

        I’m suprised/disappointed that you didn’t come up with some sort of counter-offer that involved Parayko!?!

        I KNOW that both you AND “Dooby” have always had a man crush with Colt 55!

        I figure we could work something out. (Petry, a 1st, and prospect Pickering)

      • Too high a price. Plus don’t want his contract. Two year contracts at most. I think the pens still have the window cracked for another year or two but after? Probably not. Might be different for a huge star like Erik k. But not 55.

      • Hi IP

        Had no idea you were offering up my boyfriend

        Well obvious flip is Parayko for Petry… basically same cap; far different term.

        1st a given

        So…. M counter is….

        My Boyfriend , Scands, Blais

        For Petry , Rutta, Granlnd


        I st (Lottery protected) ‘24
        2nd ‘25

      • You gotta stop pengy. Butcher has no value. He was available for anyone to sign. O’Conner hasn’t proven anything at all and has a ceiling of a third liner. Minimal trade value.

        For that manner. Gruden has no value.

        And Rutta is a slightly overpaid decent third pair.

        And I add. These types of multiplayer deals are not really a thing.

      • Dumba all day everyday!! He is faster, better all around and cheaper…

        Karlsson is useless on defense and well he is a defenseman.. -26

        Move Rutta who has value, 2 time cup champ can help alot of teams.

  3. I think the Flames would be interested in a Carlo |Debrusk package involving Hanifin
    Also read the other day Hanifin Backlund at 50% for Nylander and a first and Robertson .

    Dumba thing is odd . I figured one of the first to go

    Traditional history notes everyone gone fishing and not much will happen now until late July early August now.

    • I could see a Toronto & Calgary Trade with
      Hanifin $4.95M & Nylander $.6.9M as the main parts both UFA at the end of this coming season…

      Calgary needs Scoring and has $2.4M in cap space
      Leafs need a top 4 pairing d/man and has
      No cap space untill they move goaltender
      Matt Murray @ $4.7M and figure out the IR with
      Jake Muzzin $5.6M 1 year

      Not sure what else would be in the deal..🤔, maybe a 3rd team to take salary on and or and picks or prospects, The Leafs also need to move one of the 4 RD men, to make room for LD man Hanifin also

    • Karlsson needs to stay in san jose..

      He is useless on defense kinga ofike C OB

    • Very similar to what my nephew aaid exceptonly one first round pick..yours says two close.

      We will see Karlsson isnt worth it – 26
      Doesnt co er his own net let alone hit somebody.

      Move granlund and Rutta sign dumba

    • C O..What would you move if you were a gm for Karlsson?

      A 1st choice of petry or Granlund and a prospect say Poulin


  4. Snarl? Neither guy is tough, but they will do a cheap shot every couple games.

  5. So July 7th has come and gone, and DeAngelo still hasn’t been moved to the Canes.
    I was thinking he’d be there by now, and Pesce would be in Buffalo.
    Oh, well. Shows what I know.

    • DeAngelo trade Has to be one year after the July 8th 2022 trade.

      • Thanks! I just checked the dates. Most likely tomorrow then.

      • Dumba all day everyday!! He is faster, better all around and cheaper…

        Karlsson is useless on defense and well he is a defenseman.. -26

        Move Rutta who has value, 2 time cup champ can help alot of teams.

    • I think Pesce could be part of deal for Karlsson

  6. Pens

    Plan B should be Dumba

    Waiting this long…. Dumba likely only getting in the $4M range

    Buyout Granlund; sign Dumba…. Net $0.2 M in space

    Some nutbar had posted on yhe internet yesterday that Pens were offering 2 firsts, P-O J, Granlund for EK …. But Sharks were only retaining 20%… ya right!!!

    So …. Pens , already $2.3 M over; go to $6.3 M over, have $21 M + M in RHDs (Tanger; EK , Petry) ; and lose their top prospect and 2 firsts …..

    Grier would have snatched that deal and giggled himself into a frenzy

    Where do these people get this???

    ET phone home

  7. To Toronto

    Shane Wright
    Vince Dunn

    To Seattle


    • Hi Pete

      A steal by Leafs… Tre says yes yes and more yes

      Ronny…. Fainted

      Best for both….

      WW for Oleksiak and conditional pick for when WW re-ups)

      Krakken get their star forward

      Leafs get need D man; get size; get Cap space

      • Conditional picks have been outlawed for at least 3 yrs now.

      • **** for re-signing****

      • Hi JZ

        Hadn’t heard that

        Was that a change in the most recent CBA or an agreed upon change aftee new CBA signed?

        If no conditional picks for re-upping; a pick would need to come back

        Could do a sign and trade…, the return of course is higher