NHL Rumor Mill – May 18, 2024

by | May 18, 2024 | Rumors | 27 comments

What could the offseason hold for the Avalanche and Bruins? What’s the latest on the Hurricanes? Who could become candidates for the Blue Jackets’ GM position? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


ESPN.COM: Ryan S. Clark looked at what the offseason might hold for the Colorado Avalanche following their elimination from the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Supplementing their roster core is once again a priority. They must re-sign restricted free-agent center Casey Mittelstadt. The Avs must also re-sign or replace pending unrestricted free agents like Jonathan Drouin, Jack Johnson, Sean Walker and Andrew Cogliano. They must also replace retiring winger Zach Parise.

Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen (NHL Images).

Core winger Mikko Rantanen has one year remaining on his contract. His continued presence is important if the Avalanche intend to remain among the Western Conference’s top contenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche have $15.9 million in projected cap space next season with 12 active roster players under contract. They get an additional $7 million in wiggle room if sidelined captain Gabriel Landeskog remains on long-term injury reserve. He hasn’t given up attempting to resume his career after being sidelined by knee surgeries for the past two years.

Rantanen carries a cap hit of $9.25 million on his current contract. Given his consecutive 100-plus point seasons, he’ll likely seek over $12 million annually.

The Avalanche will also have to decide what to do with Valeri Nichushkin once he exits Stage 3 of the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program in November.

Kristen Shilton looked at what could be in store for the Boston Bruins this summer.

They face some significant personnel decisions. Several notable players, including Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen, are slated to become UFAs on July 1. Goaltender Jeremy Swayman is an RFA coming off a one-year contract and the Bruins must ensure they have sufficient cap space to pay him his worth as a starter.

Shilton expects the Bruins will be active in the free-agent market if they hope to keep their playoff window open, especially on the defensive side.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss observed the Bruins have around $21 million in projected cap space for next season to put toward offseason roster upgrades.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins were frequently linked to Elias Lindholm this season before and after his trade to the Vancouver Canucks. They could revisit that rumored interest or consider other options to add a center for one of their scoring lines.

Rumors also tied the Bruins to Noah Hanifin before his trade and contract extension with the Vegas Golden Knights. Free-agent options could include Carolina’s Brett Pesce or Brady Skjei or Florida’s Brandon Montour, regardless of his recent interaction with Bruins captain Brad Marchand. Money talks and time heals all wounds.


SPORTSNET: During Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said he didn’t expect Brett Pesce to return with the Carolina Hurricanes. He indicated the Hurricanes’ offer to the Pesce camp last summer was a five-year deal worth $5 million annually.

Friedman believes Martin Necas could be traded this summer. The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. He thinks the Hurricanes will prioritize re-signing Jake Guentzel.

Winger Seth Jarvis has surpassed Necas on the Hurricanes’ depth chart, making him more of a priority contract-wise. Jarvis is coming off his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pesce was the subject of trade speculation last summer, which was an early indication of how poorly those contract negotiations were going. The Hurricanes retained him for this season. His absence due to injury contributed to their elimination from the second round by the New York Rangers. He missed 12 games in the regular season but the decline in his stats likely won’t hurt his free-agent value.

Necas could draw plenty of interest from teams seeking additional scoring depth. He’s been mentioned as a possible trade option for the rebuilding Montreal Canadiens. Necas is completing a two-year, $6 million contract and will likely attempt to more than double his money on his next deal.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Bally Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland’s report of rumors linking Oilers general manager Ken Holland to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Holland is in the final season of his contract with the Oilers. The Blue Jackets are in the market for a new general manager after firing Jarmo Kekalainen in February.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont reports speculation the Blue Jackets could consider former Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin to fill their vacant GM position. Bergevin is currently working in the Los Angeles Kings’ front office.


  1. Apparently there’s a rumor that Jack Johnson is headed back to Pittsburgh to bolster their aging D. 🙂

    • You’re a cruel man Jack sparra!

      • 2nd that comment

    • Apparently they are looking for an “Eddie Shore type”, preferably born in the same decade.

      • We’ll take 83 year old Eddie Westfall ; or 88 year old Eddie Johnson; or 57 year old Eddie Olczyk

        But what we’d really like is 47 year old Ed Jovonovski

      • He did outrun a cheetah.

  2. The Holland and Bergevin rumors started earlier this week. I’m not thrilled with either choice.

    • Isn’t there a rumour from a Columbus beat writer that Holland is a prime candidate, Paul?

      • No, that was The Hockey News

  3. George,
    Are you Stiring the pot this am for 8787/ Pengy…😂

    • Nah. lol.

      Anyway, in the other thread if his “end of rant” isn’t a clear indication (repeatedly used by “Pengy”) we’ll know for sure if he states a preference for that sludge Tim Horton’s.

    • LOL

      I really didn’t like Johnson in a Pens uniform just like everybody else here

      Maybe not “hate” “hate” like Pengy; but definitely never want Johnson back here.

      Johnson wearing any other Metro Div jersey is welcome

  4. Re; Bruins this Summer

    Boston have $21 million in projected cap space
    Trade bate, Ullmark

    Re-sign Swayman, 1yr or 2 yr Or long term❓
    could start between $6.M & up to $8-9.M
    Add a Top 4 left d/man…with offence like a Chychrun…
    Add One or Two Centre’s like UFA Elias Lindholm
    A Top 6 Winger, if they dont re-sign DeBrusk,

  5. I don’t know who this Kristen Shifton is, but to Boston needs help especially on the defensive side; I have to disagree with that take.

    Boston needs scoring, they need a Center who can control the play and drive a line.

    This can be part of the Ullmark trade

    Maroon, JVR, Forbort, Grzelcyk, Shettnerkirk will not be back.

    Heinen can come back on the cheap but not necessary.

    Debrusk was playing with a broken hand during the end of the season. I don’t mind him coming back but does he want to stay.

    Boston still needs a physical dman, I’m looking at Brenden Dillon.

    A pp quarter back: in house Mason Lohrei

    A more productive physical player

    Elias Lindholm is the best ufa center, but i wouldn’t want to see Boston over pay.

    It will be an interesting off season.

    Here is an early look at the roster:

    Debrusk Lindholm Pastrnak
    Marchand PLD Geekie
    Frederick Poitras Brazeau
    Lauko Beecher Nuthead

    Lindholm McAvoy
    Lohrei Carlo
    Dillon Peeke

    Swayman, Bussi

    moved out Coyle, Zacha and Ullmark moved out $15m, brought in $20m Lindholm, Pld and Dillon.

    • Caper, email Sweeney.

    • PLD? Are they trying to win a Cup or the draft lottery?

      Dillon will want $5M a year on term? Are the Bruins really going to pay that for a guy to play on their bottom pairing?

      • Brock, I have Dillon in the $3m range.

        Personally i like PLD, when on he can control a game.

        He brings a physical element that Boston does not have.

        He can be a 30 goal scorer and 60 plus pts.

        I understand folks don’t like him because he forced himself out of two markets. Now that his long term contract is in place hopefully settle into his game.

      • If Dillon wants $3M, Chevy would have signed him already. He was just at $3.9M and had a super solid year, he’s getting a raise and term.

        As for PLD, I’m not mad or against him because he “forced” his way out. If anything he could have pulled a Gaudreau and pretending he would sign and then just walking. He did the Jets a big favour, and Chevy robbed Blake, and then PLD and his agent robbed Blake. My problem with him is he only shows up for every second game and he’s overpaid by $4M a season, for 7 more seasons, which is insanely toxic for a dressing room. If he was constantly playing to his ceiling, he’d be a superstar. Instead he’s extremely inconsistent and a total distraction.

      • Caper consider the following,stay away from PLD he s a cancer,sign Stephenson a UFA from Vegas and trade for Theodore who Vegas might not be able to afford!Dillon is to expensive for a 3rd pair D man,spend the money on Theodore who is an upgrade over Lindholm! If they are not going to play prospects like Merkulov and Lysell use them in trades ! Still concerned about the physical size and limitations of Poitras! Reminds me a lot of a former young center they loved Studnicka!

    • You can understand peoples hesitation to buy in on grabbing a player like PLD but I like your thinking. In The NHL you are only as good as your last dance so LA just may want to try and move that player for a low price and with the emergence of Byfield to fill #2C it may be possible. Sometimes a player just needs the right Teammates and I like the thinking because of PLD turned it around Boston would be sitting pretty.

    • Caper consider the following,stay away from PLD he s a cancer,sign Stephenson a UFA from Vegas and trade for Theodore who Vegas might not be able to afford!Dillon is to expensive for a 3rd pair D man,spend the money on Theodore who is an upgrade over Lindholm! If they are not going to play prospects like Merkulov and Lysell use them in trades ! Still concerned about the physical size and limitations of Poitras! Reminds me a lot of a former young center they loved Studnicka!

  6. Kristen Shilton was a columnist with TSN prior to being hired by ESPN (I think).

  7. Not only do the Avs have to budget for Rantanen and figure out Landeskog, they have Georgiev to budget for, 6 UFAs and the RFA Mittelstadt. One of those UFAs is Drouin, who played well enough to warrant a decent raise.

    Good luck to them trying to hold onto Mittelstadt, who has arbitration rights.

    As for Necas, he will be attractive to more teams than just the Habs. Good but not very good, I don’t see the Habs getting into a bidding war and paying north of 6 million per.

    • I think Hughes will make an effort for Necas. Probably offering up the Winnipeg first and a young D-man. The Canes will want to clear up space for Guentzel. We’ll see if he can close the deal. He’s under team control for two more years so it’s not necessarily a contract bidding war

  8. I can’t see Dillon signing anywhere for 3 million, he’s much more valuable to a team than 3 million.

    PLD went to a team that he wanted to go to and look what he did? I think the fact that his new contract will kick in next season provides him less incentive to play better, not more.

    If you look at his attitude, and his play last year, why would any team want to take that contract on? He couldn’t even crack the top two lines in LA and spent time on the fourth line.

    • PLD’s actual salary next year is higher than McDavid’s! 😂

  9. Heh McConnell

    Mario and Braun Braun just called;

    They will gladly give you Dubas; pay out his current contract; and give you an extra $20 M

    In exchange for a 7th rounder in 2035


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