NHL Rumor Mill – August 19, 2023

by | Aug 19, 2023 | Rumors | 10 comments

Should the Jets pursue Jonathan Toews? Are there potential trade targets at center for the Oilers? What’s the latest on Shane Pinto’s contract talks? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen pointed out the Jets are a question mark at center after trading Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Los Angeles Kings in June. He mused over whether they should consider attempting to sign Jonathan Toews.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

An unrestricted free agent who spent his entire 15-season NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks, the 35-year-old Toews is taking some time away from hockey for health reasons. If he regains his health and can play again, Friesen wondered if the Jets could convince the Winnipeg native to return home to finish his career.

Friesen acknowledged the odds are long and that Toews’ best years are behind him. Nevertheless, he thinks the future Hall-of-Famer could still fill a role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets need more immediate help at center. They could look into it if Toews decides to stage a comeback but they could have their issues at center addressed by then.


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell recently looked at possible targets at the trade deadline for the Edmonton Oilers to bolster their depth at center as they continue playing Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl together.

Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique is close to an ideal candidate. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and carries a cap hit of $5.825 million. That cap hit could be problematic but not insurmountable. He has strong puck possession numbers against all opponents.

Jason Dickinson of the Chicago Blackhawks could be another ideal topic. He played 35 percent of his five-on-five time last season against elite opponents and performed well overall.

Mitchell believes the Calgary Flames’ Elias Lindholm would be the perfect fit. However, the intense rivalry between the Oilers and Flames makes that move impossible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know how things will pan out at center for the Oilers this season. If the issue remains a problem by the trade deadline they could go shopping for help.

The Oilers could have competition for Henrique in the trade market as he’s still a well-known commodity. They could have better luck with someone such as Dickinson.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Earlier this week, Steve Warne examined the complicated contract situation of Shane Pinto. The 22-year-old Ottawa Senators center is a restricted free agent having completed his entry-level contract.

Warne noted the Senators have limited cap space following the additions of Vladimir Tarasenko, Joonas Korpisalo and Zack MacEwen and the re-signing of Travis Hamonic. Management must get creative and shed salary to free up cap space to re-sign Pinto.

How much salary to shed depends on a number of factors, including Pinto’s worth to the Senators now and over the next three years, as well as how much he wants and for how long.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators have around $772K in cap space to work with. Pinto’s base salary on his previous contract was $925K. Last season was his true NHL rookie campaign, scoring 20 goals and 35 points in 82 games.

Pinto’s in line for a substantial raise. If the Senators were to ink him to a short-term deal worth around $2.5 million, they would have to shed that much in order to sign him and be cap compliant when the regular season starts in October.


  1. Would Jonathan Towes even consider this idea? It seems like he just indicated he won’t play this season and it appears like his health is very questionable as far as playing hockey again? I didn’t know he was a Winnepeg native but if he is not even able to entertain the thought of playing why would you even consider this? I’m sure the Jets would be considering other options! GO AVS!!!!

  2. It would be upsetting if Dorion loses Pinto due to signing Tarasenko who seems to be a 1 year rental. I feel Punto should have been more. A priority and signed well before many of these other guys listed.

    • I don’t think he can lose him.

    • Jeff, yes a fireable offense fro Dorion who put the cart before the horse.

    • A loaded cap with a 20 men roster is also far from ideal.

  3. I think the club has the leverage with Pinto. Definitely not trading him
    A kid like that should not miss camp and I don’t think he will. Likely a sophomore set back but has a bright future

    Toews should hit the office or behind the bench and would be a good asset off the ice

    • I have seen some rumors earlier this summer on trading Chabot. I wonder if Dorion would entertain trading him for a bigger and more defensive type such as Sandhiem to save some $$$$.
      This example would free up $1.75M more cap pace to be able to bridge Pinto. This would fill the Sens with 20 of 23 roster spots if Norris and Forsberg are ready by camp.

      • I think there’s a far greater chance of Joseph being traded to allow for Pinto signing and Greig to be in the big club full time.

  4. Toews…. Glad that he is at least leaving the door open a crack

    Hope he gets healthier

    Hoping he signs with Pens; who don’t have a 3C… right now 5 top 6 Fwds (plus Guentzel… off until at least late October); and 9 fourth line forwards

    Yes, sentimental place for Toews to end his career would be with Jets

    If he is does come back though…. I think he’ll look at who (at that point in time) has a great shot at going deep; perhaps a Cup

    Can’t see him siging now, with anybody; before January

  5. Paul Friesen is a complete clown. Why write this article now, days after Toews taps out? What an utter fool.