NHL Rumor Mill – October 5, 2023

by | Oct 5, 2023 | Rumors | 13 comments

Updates on Devon Toews, Jamie Drysdale, Shane Pinto, Elias Lindholm, Patrick Kane and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Devon Toews is willing to bend a bit in his contract extension negotiations with the Colorado Avalanche but there’s a limit as to how far he’ll go. The Avalanche are reportedly concerned about the age curve for the 29-year-old defenseman and would prefer a five-year contract.

Friedman projected Toews as getting between $56 million and $64 million ($7 million to $8 million average annual value) on an eight-year deal. He wonders how the two sides get anywhere close to that on a five-year term.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews’ value to the Avalanche as Cale Makar’s defense partner cannot be understated. They want to keep him but they’re understandably worried about a big drop-off in his performance once he hits his mid-thirties given his physical style and the big minutes he logs per game.

The Denver Post’s Corey Masisak reports things are status quo right now between the two sides but they’re not concerned about it. Toews said he’s not disappointed by the lack of progress. “It’s just the business,” he said. “It will move as it moves.”

What’s certain is the longer Toews goes unsigned this season the more his name will surface as an offseason trade target. One thing that won’t happen is Toews becoming a trade candidate this season. Regardless of the status of his contract talks, the Avs need him if they hope to stage another run for the Stanley Cup.

According to Friedman, there’s progress in contract talks between the Anaheim Ducks and restricted free agent Jamie Drysdale. The 22-year-old defenseman missed all but eight games last season to a torn labrum, two below the “cut line” for an accumulated season toward arbitration.

That puts Drysdale two years away from arbitration eligibility rather than one. It’s believed the Ducks want to sign him to term rather than a one-year, “prove-it” deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As with Trevor Zegras, Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek is playing hardball with Drysdale. Down the road, however, the hammer will swing in both players’ favor once they have arbitration rights, especially if their respective performances significantly improve. In that case, it will cost the Ducks a lot to get them under contract once their bridge deals are completed.

Friedman thinks the Ottawa Senators have been talking to the Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks about clearing cap space so that they can sign Shane Pinto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hopefully, we’ll find out soon how the Senators intend to address this situation. It’s dragged on far too long and was avoidable had they managed their cap space better during the offseason.

The vibe in Calgary may have improved to where the Flames’ pending UFAs are reconsidering their futures. Mikael Backlund’s recent contract extension is a great sign but there’s no indication thus far that the club is close yet to other re-signings. It could cost over $9 million annually to get Elias Lindholm under contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindholm knows how badly the Flames want to keep him but he also knows he’ll draw lots of attention in next summer’s free-agent market. If they want to keep him, they’ll have to make it worth his while.

Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin continues to work on a contract extension for Ryan Hartman. The initial rumor was a two-year deal but Friedman thinks it could be slightly longer than that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In case you missed it, Guerin was very busy last week as he re-signed pending UFAs Mats Zuccarello and Marcus Foligno to contract extensions. He and Hartman have admitted they’re in talks for a new deal that could be announced soon.

In terms of waivers, Friedman said everyone’s watching the goalies. They include Buffalo’s Eric Comrie or Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Detroit’s Alex Lyon and James Reimer, Montreal’s Cayden Primeau, Philadelphia’s Felix Sandstrom and Toronto’s Martin Jones. He noted that some of those clubs claim they’ll carry three goalies to start the season but folks will believe it when they see it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Tampa Bay Lightning are likely watching the waiver wire with great interest. It’s assumed they’ll try to claim a netminder to shore up their depth with starter Andrei Vasilevskiy on the shelf for eight to 10 weeks following lower-back surgery last week.

As for Patrick Kane, Friedman reminds us that he has a good relationship with Buffalo Sabres GM Kevyn Adams going back to when they were teammates in Chicago during Kane’s rookie season. Another club that expressed interest in the 34-year-old free-agent winger this summer was the Florida Panthers. Friedman cautions us to wait and see how those clubs start this season since that will be in factor in Kane’s decision where he’ll sign this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That rule applies to every team reportedly linked to Kane, including the Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. Remember, his agent claimed back in July that his client would evaluate offers from teams that he feels will give him the best chance to win the Stanley Cup this season.


  1. Hey Lindholm 7x 9 and then nothing or 8×8 with the Flames and retire. Do the math

    I would lock Drysdale long term . Not quite Sanderson money but 8 years

  2. Re; The Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks & Philly taking trade
    A Trade,

    The Sens send Mathieu Joseph and a 1st pick in 2025..
    The Wings 1st pick in 2024 the sens have to the Philly or Sharks…🤔
    for a 2nd round pick one of the Philly or Sharks 2 they have in 2024

    This would be a High Cost, but they need to clear cap space ASAP to get Pinto signed ….⁉️
    and nobody is biting for the 2nd pick option
    There are only 8 teams with +$3.M in Cap Space that can make a trade….

    • Just lottery protect the pick. Make it too 5 or 10 protected.

    • Remember that Ottawa does not necessarily own Detroits 1st round pick in 2024. What they do own is the lower of either Detroit or Bostons 2024 1st rounder. And Bostons pick is top 10 protected, so it is even possible that Ottawa could receive Bostons 2025 1st round pick from the DeBrincat trade.

    • Willy I say keep Joseph , he is their top PK guy. Kubalik does not kill penalties and will get limited PP time + he is on his last year and makes 2.5 so the sweetener should be less. Kubalik and a prospect ( Boucher? ) for a 3rd in 25’ . Sucks to loose talent for less than value but it is what it is.

      • Fergy22, as I suspected, the concern that Ottawa was about to lose more than just Thompson to waivers was quickly squelched as Sokolov, Larsson and Bernard-Docker all cleared waivers.

      • Hi Fergy,
        Thats a thought to……forgot about Kubalik….
        Maybe Chicago or Detrot wants him back…😂
        Today the Sens have $1.7M. in Cap space…

        Kubalik looks like to can score 20 goal on average over the past 4 season at 28 yrs old RW, LW he could well work in a trade at $2.5.M that less the $400,000 than Mathieu Joseph salary

        if they can get Pinto signed for 2 yrs at $2.M ❓

        after they trade a Kubalik the Sens would still have $2.2 left in cap space,

        They still need to fill two bottom six player, Hopfully its young
        ( Ridly Greig’s the speedster)

        That would leave them $1.3 to fill a bottm
        six player, or maybe its a rookie like 19 yr old Roby Järventie🤔

      • George , they cleared but if they are called up at any point this season they have to clear again to go down. I would be surprised if JBD and Sokolov are with the organization by the end of the year. They are fringe NHLers but I did not like the idea of losing them for ‘free’

      • If OTT has to move a 1st RD pick to move Joseph or Kubilak, I will be very surprised.

        Seems just a tad high IMO.

  3. SilverSeven, 7×9 is better than 8×8, he would only be 36 when the 7×9 expires. I’m sure by that time he can do better than a one million dollar contact at 36 years old with the type of player he is.

    I doubt he signs with the flames for 8, especially with the cap going up.

    • Hey Dave! If Conroy is getting solid cap advice he should offer that $8.0 X 8 with it structured being high front end loaded with $12.0 mill paid as bonus for the first 3 years, then 7.0mill salary in year 4 & 5 & then $4.67 salary in years 6,7 & 8. So easy to buyout or possibly trade in the final 2 years if needed.

  4. Pretty much agree with your take on it Lyle. Felt that way for a while now. If I were the Avalanche, I would strike while the iron’s hot. T oews seems willing to consider a slight discount it appears? Don’t let it be a distraction. Even though it’s not a big deal now, don’t let it evolve into one. He wants to finish his career in Colorado, get trrr done

    • I feel like everything about Toews has been borderline highway robbery. Since stealing him from Long Island, team friendly deal and the perfect synch with Makkar. Pay the man.

      As for Ottawa I think Brannstrom should go.