NHL Rumor Mill – September 8, 2023

by | Sep 8, 2023 | Rumors | 37 comments

Is an expensive new contract in the works for Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin? What’s the latest on Jets stars Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele? Will the Maple Leafs add more muscle to their blueline? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


B/R OPEN ICE: cited the Sabres podcast “After The Whistle” reporting Rasmus Dahlin’s rumored new contract is expected to be eight years with an average annual value of $10.5 million.

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dahlin, 23, is in the final season of a three-year contract with an average annual value of $6 million. He has emerged as one of the NHL’s top defensemen over the last two seasons with 53 points in 2021-22 and a career-best 73 points last season in 78 games. That rumored deal would make him the Sabres’ highest-paid player starting in 2024-25.


SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe reports the Winnipeg Jets are keeping their options open regarding goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and center Mark Scheifele. The duo are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer, making both players the subject of trade speculation since the end of last season.

Wiebe wondered if the Jets would re-sign one of them and trade the other. “Or will one or both players be under consideration to be a self-rental?”

Looking back on previous moves made by Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, Wiebe suggests that Hellebuyck and Scheifele could start the season with the Jets but there’s no guarantee they’ll finish it in Winnipeg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheveldayoff has a well-earned reputation for being patient in the trade market when it comes to moving his better players. The most recent example was his trade of Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Los Angeles Kings after a year of trade speculation. For the most part, Cheveldayoff’s patience paid off in that deal as he got a solid return for Dubois.

However, there’s a risk in waiting for the right return going into the season if one or both players become injured or their performance declines. Cheveldayoff could take that gamble to get the deal he wants.


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan believes Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving still has work to do to shape his defense corps into one that can contend for the Stanley Cup. He doesn’t see the Leafs’ current crop of blueliners throwing a physical scare into opposing clubs.

Koshan thinks Treliving will have plenty of time once the season starts to make adjustments to the blueline before the March trade deadline.


  1. Re

    “Terry Koshan believes Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving still has work to do to shape his defense corps into one that can contend for the Stanley Cup. He doesn’t see the Leafs’ current crop of blueliners throwing a physical scare into opposing clubs.”

    This has been true for years

    Fixing it is a must!!!


    “Koshan thinks Treliving will have plenty of time once the season starts to make adjustments to the blueline before the March trade deadline.”

    Plenty of time to MAKE the adjustments…. Valid statement

    ABILITY to; or PROBABILITY of; making a successful move(s) after start of season…. Low IMHO

    WW contract negotiations will drag on and distract

    Better to trade him to improve the Leafs D; and do so before the start of the season

    Setting all above aside….. Tre must still address the Cap overage before game 1

    Even taking into account the $10.3 M LTIR; Leafs still nigh another $3M over….. AND… if (when?) Murray clears from Drs…. Leafs have to find another $4.7 M in space (I have string belief that Muzzin will not return)

    WW for D upgrade ( with @ least $1.5 M in Cap savings [from WW hit] ) is the best move for the Leafs

    • yep all true. I like Nylander – wish we could keep him but reality is unless he takes less than 9 not going to happen, Keeping as own rental is terrible asset management. So have to believe he is gone in next 4 weeks or they believe they can get him at their price. I would deal him now..whether its for a similar salary like a 30 year old Parayko or younger Hanifin or Zadorov, make the deal and move on. Adding one of those guys to top 4 d is huge and mitigates the loss at forward. Collectively Bertuzzi Domi and Knies will offset the offensive loss…
      even before this year they needed to adjust the allotment of cash from forwards and transfer to a long term D.

      The salary cap increase is a moot point in coming years…the offense-defensive balance needs adjustments..

      • All valid points to a point – simple solutions or maybe obvious observations might be a better choice of what we are saying. But looking into what is in the air, ie trading William Nylander, what exactly are you looking to get?
        Also I get the presumption (a great way to lose your job in the real world) that the three of Bertuzzi, Domi and Knies will combine to produce the same offensive output as Nylander (kinda says a lot about Nylander’s ability) but it’s not guaranteed especially Knies who I personally don’t expect him to do much because his body of work is really an incomplete…plus what’s the cap hit for these these guys going to be? Will they resign if they do better than people expect? No guarantees there either.

        Again, I think pretty much everyone is agreeing it’s preferable to have a balanced team construction both in skill and cap allocation. The Leafs have an imbalanced team in both cases and a solution isn’t just as simple as people think it is with a trade here and a signing there because he’s got so much value on your team that even with the guys brought in that could duplicate his output is only a sideways move at best…they could fail to produce at his level and/or the stud D you traded him for lays an egg and doesn’t ever work out, like Leafs fans haven’t seen that movie before, you essentially f’ed the team à la John Ferguson Junior. 😂

      • @RonMoore but if options are either trade him or use him for a year- I am cutting my losses even if I take a little less than FMV…..its not sustainable..trade him out of conference and address some other needs….
        they clearly do not value him- player sees that too…they hold him accountable for every dollar and then toss money at Marner on request…I just dont think he is taking less this time around

      • Why would Nylander take less than 9 when Tavares, Matthews and Marner make much more and really don’t show up in the playoffs as Nylander did. Its Nylander’s turn …in Toronto or elsewhere!

      • Parayko at 30 years old, with 7 more years on his contract at $6.5 million per season, until he is 37 years of age, coming off a terrible season, would go down as one of the worst trades in Leaf history!
        Hanafin is a very good player but he is a LHD while the Leafs real need is for a strong RHD, 28 years of age or less, to pair with Morgan Reilly.
        A Zadorov plus Matt Coronato (RW) for Nylander would come close to filling the Leafs need to replace some of Nylander’s offense from the 2nd line RW slot and improve their defense , but as with Hanifin, Zadorov is a LHD, though he would be an excellent partner for Liljegren as Leafs 2nd pairing leaving McCabe – Klingberg as Leafs 3rd pairing.

        I would like to see:
        To Calgary: Nylander ($6.9), Brodie ($5) = $11.9

        To Leafs: Hanafin ($4.95), Zadorov ($3.75) and Matt Coronato ($925,000) = $9.625

    • “Better to trade him to improve the Leafs D; and do so before the start of the season”

      Who are you trading Nylander to? There are four teams who could absorb his contract w/o sending money back, and they are all rebuilding teams.

      Not to mention that Nylander has a modified NTC, and there’s probably a good chance that bad teams will be on his no-trade list.

      Plus, who is giving up good D for a year of William Nylander, who they’re either going to have to give a big raise to or watch him leave in free agency, unless this team that trades for Nylander ends up trading him to someone else at the deadline.

      Seriously, who do they trade him to and how do they improve their D in return?

    • Hi Pengy,

      I would rather keep Nylander @ 27 yr old and getting better every year 40 goals last year maybe 45+ this year…

      I would rather move out John Tavares , i know he has a NTC…..🤔 But there must be ways around this? He looks like he has been slowing down and running out of Gas in the playoffs over the last 2 season
      @ 33 yrs old next week with 2 yrs left at $11.M…⁉️

      I dont see Muzzin and or Murray coming back thats $10.3M, they still need to move out or send some salary to the minors to save just under $3.M more than likely from the 14 forwards or goaltender Martin jones or Joseph Woll at $775,000 $850,000

      Maybe they re-sign Nylander for 8 years at $10.M and buy out Tavares at 50% if they cant trade him they will have $33.5 M in cap space at the end of the season, more if the buy out or trade JT.
      They will have to find two more d/men to replace
      TJ Brodie @$5.M
      John Kingberg @$4M
      Re-sign goaltender Ilya Samsonov
      Re-sign winger Tyler Bertuzzi & maybe Domi if it works out for him…?
      its going to be very tight….

      That why i think they need to move out JT and a
      1st pick…… for a good UFA d/man they could maybe re-sign❓🤔
      as they d is there weak area in leaf land…

      • Its past the buyout window but even if they did 2 months ago; JT’s contract is structured to be buyout proof.
        The cap hit for buyout would have been 10.3?M this year and also 10.3M next year.

        JT has already said he will ‘honour his contract in Toronto’ which loosely translates to, I’m not waiving my NMC.

  2. When the whole PLD brouhaha started, he was two years away from UFA status. Chevy had the time on his hands to wait for an acceptable deal and he got it. Schiefele and Hellebuyck will be UFAs in less than ten months so Chevy doesn’t have the luxury of time to decide what to do.

  3. Chevy better find deals for those guys ASAP!The longer he waits the less he will get for each player! I am guessing when teams get to camp and deal with team weaknesses,the trade talk will heat up!

    • Steve,
      Your 100% right both of them want out, jets will go into a re-tool maybe a rebuild

      Schiefele… but if they offer MS the captain position he may think about staying…my guess is he is out of there

      Hellebuyck he will be in big demand,⁉️ I can see him going to NJ,
      they give back a 1st pick and, 27 yr old Goaltender Vitek Vanecek’s $3,750,000 for 2 more years and a prospect forward like a 21 yr old Alexander Holtz’
      or something🤔

  4. I’m a little late on this one , but What is Ottawa doing? Jake Sanderson 8+ per?

    Rip the bridge deal.

    8+ million after playing 77 NHL games and putting up 32 points?

    And to boot having Chabot, another LD signed to 8 million?

    How does Sanderson get that kind of deal? They better hope he is the next Mcavoy, Makar or Fox!

    • Agree, Ottawa throwing too much money at players that they’ll regret

    • Amen to that Captain O! I was thinking that yesterday but didn’t respond! How do you justify this type of contract that will now have a significant impact on the rest of the league? “Potential vs Proven” I was thinking how this will impact Towes at the end of the season. Something like he’s at $4.1 at present and what will he expect $ 8-10M . He will argue undoubtedly that he has proven he is in that neighborhood. This seems to be getting out of hand? Wether, it’s Hagel or Sanderson, it appears extremely excessive for raises of that magnitude. But of course, I am not running hockey teams. I just shake my head instead. We are hurtling more towards the 1% and the rest of us 99%, LOL !!!!

    • He’s exactly in that mold, Captain. Closer to Werenski if I had to make a direct comparison.
      It’s a bold move, but it’s kind of a weighted gamble at the same time.
      Same with Matt Boldy in Minnesota.
      I guess the new mantra is, lock ’em up for the max term while they’re young and then you should have good/great value in the second half of the contract.

    • What dont you understand?

      Nobody wants to play in Canada except for maybe Tor and MTL. The other franchises have to overpay to acquire free agents, isnt it better to overpay a homegrown talent 21 years of age for 8 years?

      The best years of a players career are before 30, isnt OTT smart for locking this kid up if he can play? If they cant resign him in year 7-8 they can trade him. They gambled on youth and its a risk all weak Canadien outposts are going to have to take – see Gadreau, Tkachuk and the ongoing drama in Calagary, VAN and WIN.

      Smart move by OTT if the kid can play. And I dont see many that say the 21 year old can’t play.

      • You might be right there but also a winning team who’s consistently considered cup contenders would fix that, right? It should if players really just want a chance to win the cup.

      • “Nobody wants to play in Canada except for maybe Tor and MTL.”

        Is that why the Sens have nine players on four-or-more year contracts? Because nobody wants to play there?

        You might want to tell those guys.

      • @LJ14 very true, is Sanderson an overpay- yes…there is no time when 8 mill is a bargain unless becomes a top 5 d in the league..but reality is canadian teams have to overpay…period. Im sure they would have liked a bridge but wasnt in the cards..

        times are changing – maybe from a management perspective – guys look at it and say i can have guy till he is 30 if he wants to walk at that time good for him- but maybe I dont want him at 30 at the same or higher salary he made in his prime.
        Sens made best of a tough situation…I just dont like having Chabot Sanderson and soon enough Chychrun all making huge coin..

      • Big surprise coming to all the players on the 6 Canadian franchises the they signed up to play in Canada coming, is there?

        8 million for a defenceman who scored 4 goals is one hell of a gamble. The Sens will gain about that much next year in cap space but I would have saved a lot of that salary to improve their forwards.

        Giroux is 35 this year, Tarasenko is signed for one year, and word is the Sens have to create cap space now to resign Pinto. Sens may well be another team creating an imbalance in their construction.

      • Ottawa will be smart if he does turn into an 8 million dollar + dman. What if he doesn’t? I don’t think that’s smart at all!

        I see that as a roadblock to signing another player down the road.

        The only other team with 2 dmen making over 8 million is the NYR’s. Trouba and Fox.

        Fox played 3 seasons and won a Norris before he cashed in. And his first year under his new deal we was the runner up for the Norris again.

        Trouba was a deal made before Fox emerged. And he’s a solid guy. But it’s also created cap issues having 2 rd making 8 plus.

        Either way, both NY defensemen weren’t handed 8 + million deals 77 games into their careers. But it created a problem with keeping their younger / cheaper prospects around. Schneider is a pretty solid guy and stuck playing 3rd pairing minutes for the foreseeable future.

        Chabot and Sanderson will be just as problematic as NY , only it’s two lefties, not righties.

      • It could be a good deal in future, have him locked up for years @ 8

        He is going to have to continue to improve each year & bring some hell of intangibles.

    • Those of us that watched Sanderson closely all year are very happy with this deal.

      • Agree there. Kid is their best defenceman right now. I am amazed he is only 21. His hockey IQ is off the charts … always makes the right play. They now have him locked in for 9 years (he is getting paid under $1M this season). Same deal Dorion did with Stutzle.

        I am not a Dorion fan but I do like his key signings. He is building a core around Brady,
        Norris, Stutzle, Chabot, and Sanderson. All 5 around $8M/season and under 26.

        If Sanderson was bridged and continues on his current path he would be asking what Dahlin will get from Buffalo.

  5. @Pengy

    Double edged sword

    Trading Nylander leaves a “gaping” hole on the second line

    Yes, we need some brut force on defense – I just don’t know they achieve that unless for example you unload Brodie along with another high end prospect – Dubas meticulously cleaned the cupboard before his departure – No picks

    I did hear a rumour of Clayton Keller coming to Toronto , Nylander going the other way , along with Fraser Minten and a pick
    Nylander supposedly “nixed” the trade ?
    Keller is at 7.0 per year , recorded over “80” points for a terrible team

    • @Ken cant have it all though- cant have a 40 goal scorer on second line with an 11 million centre and then improve D with someone who will be here for a while. They need to go out and get an impact D that can log big minutes and will be here long term..
      Muzzin would have been that guy sort of if it wasnt for injuries.. I still believe there is a deal to be made with Calgary with so many guys in last year of deals…there is real fear of losing those guys – not so much in Toronto (not a shot- just how it is). Could you move Nylander and Brodie (Brodie came from there- maybe interested in re upping at less $$) to Calgary..maybe shoot for the moon for both Zadorov and Hanifin – and leafs send back Lilegren as well ..just spit balling..

  6. Mr Ken Weibe is a good reporter but no Winnipeg isn’t a market where you can hang onto guys for your own rental.

    The strange part is Hellebuyck is more important to the team than Scheifele; however, goaltenders don’t seem to be garnering a big return.

    Maybe hang onto Hellebuyck a little longer to see if the market improves

  7. Dorion likes shiny objects that don’t really improve playoff aspirations, hello DeBrincat and Tarasenko but this gamble on Sanderson should pay off. He has the pedigree and delivered on it since his arrival.

    The Sens have the forward core and this signing helps build a D core.

  8. Nylander + Brodie (retain $1.5M) for
    Mangiapane + Andersson

    • @Johnny Z not bad but leafs wont need to retain $ on Brodie only has year left. Like Mangiapane but seems like 5.8 salary was a little high in hindsight

    • Mangiapane is a LW while Leafs would need a right wing coming back in a Nylander trade.
      I would prefer

      To Calgary: Nylander

      To Leafs: Rasmus Anderson, Matt Coronato

  9. Pinto:
    “I still think it’s connected to the WJC report, which is expected to result in the suspension of 5 NHL players. Nobody wants to think Batherson could be involved, however by process of elimination he’s on the short-list of 12 players from which those 5 names will come.

    NHL teams already believe that Formenton is on that list, which means there’s already a sense of who might have been involved. Similarly, the fact that Comtois was rather quietly let go by a bottom-5 team like ANA with virtually no subsequent UFA/PTO interest is a bit strange. Which brings us back to the Tarasenko deal, which just happened to exactly match the AAV of Batherson, and rather abruptly evaporate all of their remaining cap space despite having multiple unsigned RFA. I’m sure there may have even been a thought to offer Pinto a long-term extension in the 6yr/$4.0M range… which would have been rather eerily possible, if not for the Tarasenko signing.”
    From Sens Writer

  10. I would consider Parayko to the Leafs, as well as returning their 2nd round pick in 2024 for Nylander and Timmons to the Blues.

    Blues could get something at the deadline for WW AND get out of CP contract.

    • Treliving is brighter than that, IP.
      Toronto doesn’t have a Jay Bouwmeester to help Parayko play like he once did.

    • Parayko is 30 years old, coming off of a terrible season, with 7 more years on his $6.5 million per year contract, taking into him to 37 years of age.
      That would be a awful trade for a 27 year old, 40 goal, 87 point scorer.
      I would hope Treliving would not do something as disastrous as that!

  11. Soon to be infamous fab 5. Formenton without a doubt. I have been asking for weeks what is up with Comtois. Now it makes sense. Innocent until proven guilty so authorities need to get this thing out of the shadows and soon. If it is known there are 5 then what is the hold up?
    If GM ‘s have the heads up then so should the public and the average hockey fan