Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 27, 2023

by | Aug 27, 2023 | Rumors | 14 comments

A look at some of the teams in the Central Division heading into the 2023-24 season in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

SPORTSNET: Ryan Dixon recently looked at the biggest unanswered question for each team in the NHL’s Central Division.

Among the notables was whether the Colorado Avalanche could figure out a contract extension for Devon Toews before the start of the season. The 29-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. Given the Avalanche’s limited salary-cap space, Dixon wondered if Toews and fellow blueliner Samuel Girard would still be with the club in a year’s time.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews skates on the Avalanche’s top defense pairing with superstar Cale Makar. He’s due for a significant raise over the $4.1 million average annual value of his current contract. The Avs, however, have just $10.7 million in cap space for 2024-25 with 13 active roster players under contract.

They could get an additional $7 million in cap relief if captain Gabriel Landeskog remains sidelined in 2024-25 by his ongoing (and potentially career-threatening) knee injury. That could help them clear enough space to re-sign Toews.

If Landeskog returns, however, the Avs will have to shed salary if they hope to re-sign Toews. Girard could become a trade candidate. The 25-year-old rearguard carries an AAV of $5 million through 2026-27.

Dixon noted that the Dallas Stars could use some blue-line help for stud defenseman Miro Heiskanen. If they wanted to go after someone like the Calgary Flames’ Noah Hanifin they have a couple of prospect forwards that could help get a deal done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf also recently pointed to the Stars’ need to bolster their defense corps, especially on the right side. However, he suggested the Carolina Hurricanes’ Brett Pesce, the Nashville Predators’ Tyson Barrie, Arizona Coyotes’ Matt Dumba or Hanifin’s teammate Chris Tanev as more likely targets should they become available before the March trade deadline.

Dixon also pondered whether goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and/or center Mark Scheifele would still be with the Winnipeg Jets in a month’s time. Like Toews, both are due to become UFAs next July.

Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will be patient and won’t rush into trading either guy simply for the sake of closure. Dixon noted that Cheveldayoff held firm on his asking price for Pierre-Luc Dubois and pretty much got what he wanted from the Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Starting the season with Hellebuyck and Scheifele in the lineup runs the risk of injuries or a decline in performance affecting their trade value. Nevertheless, recent reports suggest Cheveldayoff could be comfortable with doing so in the hope of either re-signing one or both or finding better trade offers as the season goes on.


  1. Chevy is patient .

    I think there are lots of options for Hanifin. Likely a team not mentioned
    Dallas is new and could work. It’s where they got Iginla for Nieuwendyk
    Doubt Toronto doubt Columbus doubt Nashville and Luke warm on Buffalo
    Would Nil discuss Wyatt Johnson ? Probably has to include salary . They could use the help. They are using Suter like a rented mule

    • SS. Wouldn’t count out NY Rangers. Their biggest need is LD. Miller is still young and has been on top pair with Trouba. Lindgren the same with Fox. 3rd pair has been an issue for awhile. Hurt them in Devils series. Been lucky to not have any long term injuries and have Shesterkin in net.

  2. I have about 21 “Big Unanswered Questions” regarding the Blues for 23-24!!

    In Dixon’s article he describes the Blues as a “shockingly settled team”? Why am I so UNsettled??


    • I think he means in terms of contracts.

      • Lyle,

        I think so too! THAT’S what’s SO unsettling 🙂

        Thanks for the reply.


  3. Appreciate the Avalanche talk Lyle anytime!!! If you watch Avalanche games, it is only obvious how valuable T oews is to the team. Many times when Makar gets interviewed about how great he is, he mentions Toews! I don’t probably fully grasp cap issues and even some mathematical stuff like others on here but my observation is the Avalanche love Girard because not only how his speed generates much of the offense but his friendly contract and term he was signed at. His age as well. To me, they have to find a way to keep T oews and can’t afford to let him go due to his significance on the back end, it’s too important! They already have lost out on their scoring production due to winning the Cup and the flat cap: Kadri and Burakovsky. I’m not sure it’s worth sacrificing T oews for more forward production? They need to find it some other way IMHO. Like utilizing Girard and assets to maybe enhance the forward position. GO AVS!!!!

    • tommy boy: To me the Avs will have to make a cost-cutting trade moving someone like Girard if they hope to re-sign Toews. The only other scenario would be if Landeskog’s career is over because of his knee injury. Placing his $7 million AAV on long-term injury reserve would free up enough to re-sign Toews. Otherwise, they’re going to lose him to free agency next summer.

      • As far as I understand it, Landeskog is on LTIR and the Avalanche only have about $2M and some change to utilize because they used some of that money to sign some of the other guys? I hope his career is not over and it appears he is hard at work rehabbing? Despite all that, you are probably correct, the Avalanche will most likely have to make a cost cutting move to keep T oews. He’s worth it. So, if that makes Girard expendiable, so be it! I was hoping perhaps they might consider trading for Konecny and utilizing Girard but don’t know if that would solve the problem? I think the Flyers want more for him. Then, we would still have the issue of keeping Konecny the following year?

      • I honestly don’t think Landeskog will play again. Obviously I’m not a medical professional but by the time the 2024-25 season rolls around, he’ll be just shy of 32 years old and having missed two full seasons with a very serious knee injury. This would basically put him in the same situation as Carey Price. With a serious and chronic knee injury and much wear and tear from many years in the NHL. I don’t see how he comes back from this.

      • I don’t disagree, Howard. But the Avs are not stuck with speculation. They will have the medical report coupled with specialist advice. We’ll be able to discern whether your take is correct by the moves the Avs make.

        I would add to the speculation that surely the most logical path for the Avs is to bet on Landeskog not playing again, place him on LTIR, sign Toews, and then deal with Landeskog’s return in some months’ time. That gives the Avs their best line up for the first half of the season at least, and help their playoff chances.

        As Lou Lamorillo says, if you have time. use it.

      • Given his injury history, is there a likelihood Colorado decides to move on from Bo Byrum instead of Girard or Toews? At some point they have to wonder if the multiple concussions have made him damaged goods.

  4. No way on Wyatt Johnson, the ceiling us too high…. the Stars would probably opt to trade Maverick Borque before Wyatt and maybe offer up Nils Lundqvist or Lian Bischell as a defensive replacement for Hanifin. But I do like this idea. Suter is basically a road cone sitting out there for 22 minutes a night.

  5. I never think Barrie is an option for teams going for a cup. Dallas included. They need a bigger fish imo.

  6. I see Toews as a must sign. Girard seems to always be in the rumour mill. He’s good but his size requires the right fit to a team he would go to. On Byram he’s too good to move & better to run the risk concussions are behind him. That’s a slippery slope for sure but his upside is immense long term.