NHL Rumor Mill – May 27, 2024

by | May 27, 2024 | Rumors | 41 comments

What are some possible goaltending options for the Leafs? What could Canadiens winger Juraj Slafkovsky’s next contract look like? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan recently speculated the Maple Leafs could go with Joseph Woll as their starting goaltender next season if they succeed in changing his offseason training regimen. However, the 26-year-old’s injury history means they must cover themselves in case he’s sidelined again.

If the Leafs trade Mitch Marner and his $10.9 million cap hit, Koshan believes the focus has to be “a top-flight goalie or defenseman.” Options could include Nashville’s Juuse Saros or Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom, who has two years remaining on his contract with a no-movement clause. Leafs general manager Brad Treliving authored that contract during his tenure with the Flames.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (NHL Images).

Koshan believes Boston’s Linus Ullmark would be a reach considering the intense rivalry between the Bruins and the Leafs.

Pickings are slim for goaltenders in this summer’s free-agent market. Ilya Samsonov could be the best of the bunch, but there’s no indication the Leafs will bring him back. Others include Cam Talbot, Alex Nedeljkovic, Kevin Lankinen and Casey DeSmith.

THE ATHLETIC: Joshua Kloke doubts the Leafs will re-sign Samsonov. He thinks Martin Jones could return as their third-string netminder.

Kloke shares Koshan’s belief that Woll could be their starter, his concern over Woll’s health, and the Leafs’ need to bring in someone to share the goaltending duties.

Markstrom and Saros make some sense as trade targets. Their current teams aren’t in a position to contend right now and they have young goalies waiting in the wings. Acquiring notable pieces from a division rival is difficult but shouldn’t prevent Treliving from inquiring about Ullmark.

The cost of acquiring one of those big-ticket goalies could prove expensive. Affordable options include Winnipeg’s Laurent Brossoit, Florida’s Anthony Stolarz or Pittsburgh’s Alex Nedeljkovic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs goaltending has been a major issue for some time now. Woll has potential but his history of injuries is a concern. If they can free up the cap space, they must look into acquiring Markstrom, Ullmark, or Saros. Otherwise, they’ll have to consider short-term cost-effective options like Brossoit or Stolarz.


TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie and Tony Marinaro recently discussed the type of contract extension Juraj Slafkovsky could receive from the Montreal Canadiens.

The 20-year-old winger has a year remaining on his entry-level contract coming off a promising 20-goal, 50-point sophomore season. Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes can sign Slafkovsky to an extension when this year’s free-agent market opens on July 1.

Marinaro believes Slafkovsky will get an eight-year extension with an average annual value of $8 million. That would make him the Canadiens’ highest-paid active roster player, surpassing team captain Nick Suzuki’s $7.875 million.

Lajoie disagreed, suggesting Slafkovksy will a three-year, $15 million bridge contract “and then he’s going to break the bank.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Slafkovsky will become a restricted free agent next July. He’ll lack arbitration rights, leaving him little leverage in negotiations.

Hughes signed Cole Caufield to an eight-year contract with an AAV just below Suzuki’s ($7.85 million). He could prefer locking up Slafkovsky to a long-term deal rather than a bridge contract by signing him for slightly less than Caufield’s annual cap hit.

Both sides could agree to let the coming season play out and base negotiations on that. It would work in Hughes’ favor if Slafkovksy’s production dips. On the other hand, it would ensure the winger gets a more expensive deal if he exceeds this season’s stats.


  1. 2 time Cup winning goalie Matt Murray is a UFA.

    Leafs should try to sign him.

    • i’d say it’s a good bet that Dubas will sign Matt Murray this summer

      • That’s just rude and demeaning.

        Kicking us when we are down and burdened with a failure of a president of Hockey Operations/GM

      • Joke with Dubas signing Matt Murray. Next season likely blue chip prospect goalie Joel Blomqvist makes the team.

      • Hoping Blomquist is our back-up this year

  2. Bruins … these 6 teams are said to be in need of a goalie…Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils, Detroit Red Wings, and Edmonton Oilers….dont know who’s on the Ullmark no trade list but if they could get him to accept a trade just maybe there will be a bidding war on him …. They could ask for a legit #1 or #2 center use his per year contract $$ plus to pay for that center and still have over 20 million to fill other needs … they seem to be in a good position to make a nice upgrade to team this offseason

    • Hey Joe,
      Take the Oilers of your list……❗️
      Stu Skinner is young and only playing in his 2nd Full NHL Season. now they are in the final 4…..

      Calrolia have starter and back up Signed for next year

      Kings, Sen’s & NJ , Leafs,
      They All Need Starter.

      Take LA King & Leafs of the Ullmark, Boston wont help the Leafs…..😲
      He refused to go To LA Kings at the trade deadline, Kings & Leafs will look at Markstroom & Saros & Maybe The Ducks Gibson….❓

      Samsanov could be intresting….. he is a UFA….🤔

      • Sens have their starter in Korpisalo. Unless they can move him or forsberg another tender ain’t coming in.

        Besides many would argue goaltending isn’t the issue in Ottawa but defensive play.

        Perhaps Ottawa would be wise to focus on their back end and bring in experienced two way players of quality.

      • That’s exactly what I’ve been harping on for weeks now, Jeff … Korpisalo will be there in September – very likely with a different back-up and at least 2 new faces on the D, AND a cohesive two-way system and improved pp.

    • Ulmark does not bring a “legit #1 center”.
      Ulmark does not bring a “legit #1 winger” like Marner.
      Ulmark brings a good player and a good draft pick OR prospect!

  3. bet the Leafs sign Laurent Broissot to backup Woll

    • Laurent Brossoit is a better goalie than Woll and by a long shot…Jets should have played him a lot more in the regular season and also the playoffs

    • Jeff,
      The Sen’s have 2 Huge Problems….

      they have 2 mediocre back up goaltenders
      They need a top 4 RD-man

      This will fix lots off problems

  4. Brossoit would be good with the Leafs. Experience with a good sv%
    What makes Woll a de facto starter ?
    I would take Samsonov instead

    Don’t think Leafs and Flames making any deals. Certainly no favours from ownership perspective in Calgary .

    Slafkovsky is still very young who has 15-16 contract years ahead of him. Depends on his personality and how he wants that to unfold . I think he should take the terms path Mathews has taken to fully optimize his earnings. Bridge , 5 and 8 year lots

  5. Ullmark is a year away from free agency, they’ll be lucky to get a 2nd rounder for him, look at the recent trade history of goalies

    • Many of the teams listed above can not wait another year! It s a production business! Wait to long and you will be unemployed! Look what happened to Boston waiting for Hanifan!

    • We’ll revisit this thought … if you don’t mind

  6. There been a lot of discussion on here about what a #1 goalie would bring back in return.

    Most popular response “name a time when a #1 goaltender brought back a return.”

    The reality is there hasn’t been a #1 goaltender traded very often. Which makes sense, most teams don’t trade a #1 dman, Centerman or goaltender.

    Four goaltenders showed up in a search.

    Montreal decided to keep Patrick Roy and traded Jaroslav Halak for two prosepct from the Blues Ian Schultz and Lars Eller

    Buffalo Sabers traded Ryan Miller and Steve Ott to St. Louis Blues for Chris Stewart, William Carrier, Jaroslav Halak, 1st (Jack Roslovic) 3rd (Linus Nassan)

    Vancouver Canucks traded Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers for Shawn Matthias and Jacob Markstrom.

    Most trade involving a goaltender usually has a goaltender going back the other way.

    Not often do you see a #1 goalie being traded. The return will depend on how desperate the team(s) are in trading or acquiring.

    If you look at the trade of Patrick Roy out of Montreal, Mike Keane went with him and the return was Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky and
    Jocelyn Thibault. Colorado definitely won that trade.

    The Roy trade was forced and took only three days after the bench incident.

    • “Montreal decided to keep Patrick Roy and traded Jaroslav Halak for two prosepct from the Blues Ian Schultz and Lars Eller”
      You mean Price, but yeah, Halak was the hero at the time.

      • Johhny Z and Pat, thanks for the correction. I was reading it directly from the trade and still typed the wrong name.

    • Caper, Montreal didn’t decide to keep Patrick Roy and trade Halak. They kept Carey Price. Like you wrote later on, Roy was traded 14 years before Halak.

      And I think you forgot Cory Scheider in your list. He maybe wasn’t their #1 at the time, but he was traded for a first.

    • I assume you are referring to Carey Price, hot Roy.

  7. Ullmark for Marner makes a lot of sense, until you get to MM’s NMC…………

    • Marner doesn’t exactly scream Bruins hockey to me!? Not to mention the next contract he’s going to want.

      • If you look at Ulmark s playoff # s they scream backup goalie but his regular season # s under bruins defensive system are good

      • Muskoka Mitch is the exact opposite of what a Bruin traditionally is.

  8. The way Slafkovsky played when he was put on the top line, I think he’d be wise to bet on himself. See how the season plays out and go from there. If he builds on last years showing and improves on his goal and point totals, he’ll probably decide on a bridge deal after which he could be setting himself up for a huge payday.

    • Always a gamble for a player (Bird in the bush etc) but also a gamble of any career ending injury; and then he just gets paid one more year

      Were I Slavs agent ; I’d suggest middle ground…., 3 @ $5M Cap hit; with last year actual Sal being $8M – $9M; forcing a high match to keep his rights

      Or….Hughes could Trade Slav to Dubas straight up for Accairi and Eller…. How would that sir?? LOL

    • I wonder how the shadow of a big raise for Slafkovsky will influence the Habs decisions on trades and UFA signings.

      I’ve been back and forth about what I think the Habs will do but the more I think about it the less likely signing an expensive UFA seems. One always overpays due to a bidding war, and the Habs have to move d out via a trade.

      Which is why I don’t think Necas will be coming to Montreal. He essentially has the same bargaining clout as a UFA, given that he becomes an RFA in a year and knows there is cap space and interest around the league. When the Habs traded for Dach they signed him for 3.3 per; Newhook for 2.9 per.

      That’s the model I expect them to continue with so I am not expecting a flashing new forward to be acquired.

      • LJ, I see it differently. Dach and Newhook had shown potential but hadn’t yet established themselves as top 6 NHL forwards. They were also 21 years old at the time. But now that the Habs have progressed somewhat in the rebuild I think Hughes will make a move for a slightly older forward with some track record.

  9. Just a thought on the goalie discussion, Binnington had a great year and reestablished his value as a number 1 goalie. I think the Blues would be comfortable going with Hofer, who was also great, and a veteran second goalie.

    The Blues need more scoring and Berube loves Binnington’s leadership and competitiveness so would a trade involving Marner work? Toronto would have to take one of Faulk, Krug or Leddy I would think. So Binnington and a dman for Marner and a prospect or a pick. What do yall think?

    • Snold49

      You must be joking that tte Leafs would take Binnington and MUST take one of Faulk, Krug, or Leddy.

      Marner is a Top 10 RW that is 26 years old. They’re not trading him to STL for that load of garbage and adding a pick too.

      I can’t see the Leafs being interested in Binnington. He comes off as a bit of a head case. Players they may be interested in are Toropchenko or Neighbors. Parayko of a few years ago would have been a good option, not so sure about him now.

      • I thought Snold49’s proposal was one of the fairest ones I have seen on the whole Marner situation.

        Not a fan of Binnington’s snap act either, but seems to have toned it down of late.

    • Leafs would not want any of Faulk, Krug or Leddy and their cumbersome, overpaid contracts.
      These three are barely NHL caliber players at this stage of their careers.
      Toronto definitely does not add a pick in any Marner trade, St Louis adds the pick.
      Binnington, Toropchenko and Leafs get their own 2nd round pick from the Acciari trade returned.

      • Allan

        That is a bit more realistic.

        Keep in mind that Binnington is far removed from his Stanley Cup winning performance. With 3 years left at $6M he’s almost a cap dump.

        Marner is a top RW in his prime. If he waives to go to STL (unlikely) Toronto would definitely want Toropchenko, I could see them trying to get a defenceman too but not one of Krug, Faulk, or Leddy for the reasons you stated.

        If Marner waives, Leafs will have better options than STL.

  10. I think the closest/most recent comparable was Kuemper in the summer of 2021 from ARI to COL.
    Arizona retained $1M and received:

    Conor Timmens (32nd overall in 2017)
    1st RD pick in 2022.
    Conditional 3rd RD pick if COL wins SC and Kuemper plays over 50% of the playoff games. Both of which happened.

    So a 1st, a B prospect (high pick who hadn’t done as much as hoped), and a conditional 3rd.

    Kuemper played well leading up to the trade, and was good enough for COL the year he was their.

    You would be hard pressed to find 5 tenders who have been better than Ullmark over the last 5 years during the regular season. Including a Vezina. Playoffs, different story.

    I think a similar return is a reasonable expectation.

  11. Would Utah like to trade L Crouse to the Bruins ?

    • No Joe

      Utah is dying to trade Crouse to Pens

      • LOL

  12. The Boston Bruins’ vision has been clear for a little while: They want to be a big team that’s difficult to play against, but not devoid of skill.

    With that in mind, their reported interest in Lawson Crouse should be of little surprise.….

    Sweeney you got this ?

  13. Mitch for Brady straight up.