NHL Rumor Mill – August 18, 2023

by | Aug 18, 2023 | Rumors | 24 comments

What will the Jets do with Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele? Could the Penguins trade Jeff Carter to make room for Tomas Tatar? Could the Rangers reacquire Mats Zuccarello by the trade deadline? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck wonders what Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will do with goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and center Mark Scheifele. Both are slated to become unrestricted free agents at the end of this season and there’s no indication they’re going to sign contract extensions.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (NHL Images).

Billeck believes the Jets can ill-afford to hold onto those two assets for the coming season and forego any sort of return for them. Retaining them for this season risks one or both suffering injuries that could hurt their trade value.

As he did with the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade, Cheveldayoff must find return assets for Hellebuyck and Scheifele that come with team control. However, the Jets GM could face a difficult decision if Hellebuyck and Scheifele are still on the team at the trade deadline and the club is sitting in a high playoff berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Billeck mentioned the possibility of Cheveldayoff getting an offer that makes sense before training camp opens. However, there have been reports since mid-July suggesting the Jets could be willing to start the season with both players on the roster and see how things turn out.

Given the high number of teams with limited cap space for this season, finding a deal that makes sense won’t be easy. Cheveldayoff may have to take the risk by carrying both players for the season, hoping that they stay healthy and play well, and hope for better offers when the trade deadline rolls around.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski noted the Penguins have been linked to free-agent Tomas Tatar in the rumor mill. While the 32-year-old winger could be a good fit, finding sufficient cap room to sign him could be challenging unless he’s willing to accept less than $1 million for this season.

Kingerski suggested trading Jeff Carter would be the logical choice to clear cap room for Tatar. He comes with a $3.125 million cap hit for this season. However, the 38-year-old Carter also has complete control with a full no-movement clause. Even if he retired today, the Penguins wouldn’t get cap relief because he’s on a 35-plus contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kingerski considers a Carter trade to be unlikely. Hypothetically, it’s possible but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matthew Mugno noted that Mats Zuccarello is in the final year of his contract with the Minnesota Wild. He suggested that the 35-year-old winger might end up getting moved by the trade deadline if the Wild have a mediocre season.

If so, Mugno believes the New York Rangers would be the one club that could pry Zuccarello from re-signing with the Wild. He began his NHL career with the Rangers, spending almost nine seasons there until traded to Dallas before the 2019 deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild could shop Zuccarello if they’re out of playoff contention by the March trade deadline. Perhaps the Rangers would make a pitch for him.

Nevertheless, I think the Wild will be a playoff club again this season, especially if Zuccarello remains productive skating alongside superstar linemate Kirill Kaprizov. They won’t break up that tandem if they’re in the postseason hunt.


  1. The multi season cap crunch is taking its toll and GMs are running out of flexibility and creativity to keep high priced talent.

    I think we’re going to see high priced UFAs let go and GMs using the money to sign younger solid talent.

    These players will get jobs but with a reality check on term and earning.

    • You mean like not signing Tarasenko so you can sign Pinto?

  2. I see Sheifele getting traded just before this season starts. Helleyebuck might be a trade deadline deal

    • Winnepeg is competing with Calgary in the trade market!Snooze and they will lose!Both need to dump guys before they become U F A!

  3. also, I still see Patrick Kane resigning with the Rangers, for minimum (+bonuses) once he is deemed healthy, probably in December. He was their best player vs NJ in the playoffs.
    And Rangers were the only team he wanted to get traded to at this past deadline

    • Mike, that would actually be the wrong thing for the Rangers to do. The Rangers need to give their young wingers, Kakko and Lafreniere, more ice time and PP time. Not bring in an aging veteran just off a serious injury to block the paths of the younger players.
      I remember reading something written by one of the reporters covering the Rangers after their loss to the Devils to the effect that bringing in Panarin was a big mistake because it got the team away from their rebuild too quickly and stunted the development of the younger players. There may be a lot of truth to that. It seems that the Rangers right now are the very team they were 5 years ago when they began the rebuild. A solid team with an aging core that is good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to seriously contend for the Cup. That is what they were trying to get away from.

  4. Injury’s are the risk with all these “I don’t want to play here “ players. Look at last year with at least a handful that missed over 50 games. Werenzki C.Brown T Wilson Landeskog Forsberg
    The risk is real.

    Why did they not buy out Carter ? That contract was a two year deal and NMC Why ?

    • @SilverSeven As stated in the article, you can’t buy out a contrat signed for a 35+ year old because you get $0 cap relief…

    • Jeff Carter’s contract considered 35-plus contract. For the final year of Jeff Carter’s contract won’t have any cap relief.

    • Silver Seven, I don’t understand your comment: “all these I don’t want to play here” players? That certainly wouldn’t include Landeskog or Wilson from the Capitals, who just reupped with them on a long term extension! I’m not sure about the others? I think Forsberg extended with Nashville, too. Please clarify!

      • Those players injured are examples. They are all signed. Don’t want to play here Hanifin Hellybuck. Etc . They can get injured like the list provided. The what

    • With the arbitration buyout window you can only buy out players who make 4M or more AAV

  5. The market is in it’s usual August downtime for action. Not much going on. And with the steep price paid for Dubois, the Jets have definitely cooled in the trade market. GM’s are reluctant to pay as much as LA did.

    Most are waiting for training camp to assess what they have and then make moves. But clearly no one wants what Winnipeg is selling at similar price tags to Dubois.

    • I tend to agree with this. Watching NHL Network, this past weekend, they mentioned that 16 NHL Teams are going to have to make moves, i.e. waivers, trades, etc. to get below the Cap. That was taking into account potential LTIR players.
      They where projecting an absolute crazy waiver period before the season starts.
      You look at a guy like Jeff Carter, at the end of his career, he is not going to lift his NMC to go to a Team that is not a contender. That foolish to think.

  6. Hellebuyck and Scheifele are still Winnipeg Jets for 1 of 2 reasons

    Chevy isn’t getting any trade value

    Chevy thinks he can resign his players.

    I previously said can’t start the season with them. I now disagree with that statement.

    There isn’t many teams with cap space and just can’t give them away.

    Start the season, see how things play out, there is always an injury or two that will provide an opportunity to get better value or a team doesn’t start as strong as they thought and need a center or a starting goalie.

    Hopefully the injuries isn’t to Hellebuyck or Scheifele. That’s the risk.

    • Kuznetsov to WPG
      Scheifele and Barron to WSH


      • no way that will happen

      • No to any Russians. They should ban them all from NHL

      • LOL 2 locker room cancers, Kuznetsov for Scheifele.

        Washington isn’t even going to make the playoffs. So no reason for Scheifele to waive for that aging dump.

        Trade doesn’t make any sense for either team.

    • Ya Caper, can’t see anymore reasons than the 2 you mention.

      The risk is simply what are you giving up in a current offer from another team today.

      If that is sweet FA, then not much of a risk is it.

      If Scheifele plays to the back of his hockey card, and is healthy leading into TDL, he will get you a very good return. Less sure about Hellebuyck, just because it is a tender. Weird market.

      Question for you Caper; if the Jets are in a WC spot or say 3 in the Central ahead on Minny, does Chevvy trade either guy? Would WPG fans want him too?

      That is the other risk.

      The owner was concerned about ticket sales last year wasn’t he? May want some playoff revenue, although he might be one of the wealthiest owners in the NHL.

      • Ray excellent question.

        Last year folks were offer tickets with food and drinks trying to get folks to buy tickets.

        How quickly fans turn and forget.

        Personally I don’t think Chevy can let it get to that point of being in a playoff position and both players unsigned or not interested in signing.

        Personally if it come tdl time and the team is hovering or in a playoff spot; you still have to move them.

        I know folks will say keep them as your own rentals. I’ve never subscribed to that theory. Why I advocated for the Bruins to move Chara and Krug.

        We all know the top ufas are not knocking on Chevy door.

        Winnipeg leads the league as the name being on the most “do not trade me there list”

        If it was the state of Florida or California, sure you could keep as your own rental and replenish.

        Chevy can’t afford to keep quality assets that he know won’t be staying.

        The only caveat I would put out there: If the offers are only a 2nd or b level prospects or just underwhelming then yes keep as own rental.

    • Agree. If they will not resign, they will trade both. Jets need to use maximum leverage. Right now they don’t have much leverage. So wait until a team gets more desperate or wait for trade deadline.

      Also Billeck is a terrible insider, never has a source and only states the obvious.

  7. Schifele and Brossoit for DeBrusk and Swayman and Brett Harrison.
    Then swap Helly for Vanacek and a prospect

  8. Tripper ban Russian players lol maybe American player US at war with half Countries in the world Yemen Syria Iraq Uganda Libya maybe buy a book. Bruins won’t trade Swayman their future goalie for next 10 years.