NHL Rumor Mill – May 30, 2024

by | May 30, 2024 | Rumors | 37 comments

Check out the latest on the Canadiens and Canucks and find out which Kings forward reportedly requested a trade in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: Eric Engels responded to questions from Montreal Canadiens fans about the club’s offseason plans. Here are some of the notable tidbits:

He believes the Montreal Canadiens will retain their first-round pick (fifth overall) in this year’s draft. It’s rare to trade up from that position and it’s unimaginable that they would trade down.

Engels doesn’t see the Canadiens signing a big-ticket unrestricted free agent like Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl or Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen if they become available in the 2025 UFA market. He thinks that spending top dollar and giving maximum term to such players wouldn’t enable the Canadiens to maximize the value of that player. They’d be burning through the first couple of years of the player’s contract without having a realistic chance of winning the Stanley Cup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. The best time to chase a big-name UFA would be 2027 or 2028 if the Canadiens are in a position where adding such a player would help them become Cup contenders. That’s assuming the current rebuild progresses as expected. However, it could prove difficult because most top UFAs avoid a high-pressure market like Montreal.

Engels also doesn’t think the Canadiens are a realistic free-agent destination for Steven Stamkos if he tests the UFA market on July 1. He acknowledged Stamkos’ ties to Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis but thinks other teams would be better positioned right now to give him a chance of winning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The “Stamkos-to-Montreal” rumor came up only because of his ties to St. Louis. It’s not enough to convince the 34-year-old winger to sign with the rebuilding Habs if he becomes a UFA.

Montreal Canadiens winger Juraj Slafskovsky (NHL Images).

Asked about contract extensions for Kaiden Guhle and Juraj Slafkovsky, Engels believes Guhle could seek something comparable to the six-year, $27.6 million contract Alex Vlasic signed with the Chicago Blackhawks. He also thinks Slafkovsky would find it difficult to reject an offer similar to the eight-year deals signed by linemates Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

TVA SPORTS: Kevin Dube also looked at what Slafkovsky’s next contract might look like.

He listed New Jersey’s Jack Hughes (eight years, $8 million average annual value) and Nico Hischier (seven years. $7.25 million AAV) and Ottawa’s Tim Stutzle (eight years, $8.35 million) if the Canadiens are looking at a long-term deal.

Bridge deal comparables include Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson (three years, $7.35 million AAV), the New York Islanders’ Mathew Barzal (three years, $7 million), Columbus’ Patrik Laine (three years, $6.75 million), Anaheim’s Trevor Zegras (three years, $5.75 million) and LA’s Pierre-Luc Dubois (two years, $5 million).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s risk in both scenarios. A long-term deal could become burdensome if Slafkovsky fails to meet expectations throughout the deal. A bridge contract could lead to a far more expensive deal if he reaches his projected potential as a power forward.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Canadiens handle this situation. Based on Caufield’s contract, they could go the long-term route.

TVA SPORTS: Lists the pros and cons of the Canadiens taking a chance and acquiring Patrik Laine. The former 40-goal scorer has been hampered by injuries in recent years and in January placed himself in the NHL-NHL player assistance program due to mental health issues.

The pros include the Canadiens adding a big winger who’s proven he can score when healthy. The emergence of Suzuki, Caufield, and Slafkovsky means Laine wouldn’t have to carry the offense. The Canadiens can afford his $8.7 million cap hit. The 26-year-old winger is signed for two more years and if he doesn’t work out they can just let him walk.

Laine’s injury history is a major concern. He could struggle under the harsh spotlight in Montreal. The Blue Jackets could seek a first-round pick plus one of the Canadiens’ defense prospects as part of the return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are unlikely to acquire Laine. The Blue Jackets are under new management and might prefer to see how he performs this season. His injury history would hurt his value in the trade market.


THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance believes the Vancouver Canucks should “take a big swing to land a star forward” as part of their offseason “to-do” list. Several intriguing names, such as Toronto’s Mitch Marner, Winnipeg’s Nikolaj Ehlers, and Carolina’s Martin Necas are floating around the rumor mill.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been reported the Canucks looked into Necas when they were discussing a possible trade with the Hurricanes involving Elias Pettersson. That’s not going to happen now with Petterson signing an eight-year extension but there’s talk the Canucks remain interested in Necas. If they make that big swing, he’s the guy they’ll likely target but they’ll face competition from other teams if the Hurricanes peddle him following the playoffs.


MSN.COM: Brian La Rose cited The Fourth Period’s Dave Pagnotta claiming Arthur Kaliyev has asked Los Angeles Kings management for a trade.

Kaliyev is coming off his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. He showed potential as a secondary scorer during his first two seasons with the Kings but his performance declined this season. The 22-year-old winger became a frequent healthy scratch under interim coach Jim Hiller, now their full-time bench boss.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kaliyev frequently surfaced in the rumor mill during the second half of this season. He could become a promising reclamation project regarding trade return and contract for teams seeking an affordable young forward with some offensive promise.


  1. I dont see Stamkos wanting to waste the rest of his career playing for Marty St Trade Me.

    • Shows how little you know about the relationship between Stamkos and St. Louis, Ron. Nevertheless, Stamkos isn’t going to sign with a rebuilding team if he leaves Tampa Bay, which I don’t see happening.

    • What’s the “Marty St Trade Me” reference?

      • He’s referring to St. Louis asking to be traded following the 2014 Winter Olympics. He was upset over Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, who was also the GM of Team Canada, initially leaving St. Louis off the Canadian roster. While injuries led to St. Louis being added to Team Canada, he felt slighted by Yzerman, creating a rift between the two men that led to St. Louis getting traded to the Rangers before the 2012 trade deadline.

      • Lyle, shouldn’t that be the 2014 trade deadline?

    • Why the disrespect ?

      • Mama didn’t hug him enough growing up.

        And he’s a flyers fan.

        Pretty much doomed to be miserable and thus try to spread that misery to others.

      • Part of the answer, Patrick, is that that’s Ron’s schtick.

        But he is not the only one who felt St. Louis was childish and me first with his tantrum about not being selected to the Olympic team. He may be a good coach for the Habs now, but quitting on your team because you didn’t get selected for the Olympics was intolerable, IMO.

        The irony is that he was later added to replace Stamkos. He played no games; Canada won gold, which proved he didn’t have what it took to represent Canada.

  2. If the Habs could sign Guhle for the same deal that Vlasic got it would be a steal for them.

    • I’m less concerned about Guhle’s next contract. He’s had a number of injuries, which could be a factor in the negotiations. I think they’ll get a reasonable deal done.

      Slaf’s next contract, on the other hand… I’d prefer to see how he progresses in season 3 and aim to get a deal done in 2nd half of the season or early off-season. Regardless of whether it’s a long-term deal or bridge.

      • Comparing contracts signed by player previously or even last year does not enter too much in the for the next years and later because the cap reality changes by a lot when signing bridge and 8 years deals now

      • Don, your point that aging of the contracts can mitigate bad signings has partial truth.

        But it does have an impact on the teams’ signing of other players for at least a year or two later – players judge their worth via their teammates’ contracts, if not the rest of the league.

        And then there are considerations about what cap space is left for other signings at the same time, and buyout considerations, a la the chatter about Kotkaniemi.

        So there are more considerations than “just” the length of a contract.

    • And what’s your take on that, George? He doesn’t seem to work-out anywhere he goes. Hard to see why he’s getting an interview.

      • Good question Everydayboots. He sure seems to wear out his welcome fast wherever he pops up.

        Hard to know what Green is thinking in that regard.

      • …Green is probably just seeing his own signing as the worst announcement possible and piling on with some more crappola for Sens fans. Cappuano has to go. I know that.

      • I can sense your disappointment in the Staios selection for coach, Dark G 🙂 … myself, I’m sort of ambivalent …. part of me hopes that it surely can’t be worse than Smith … one thing for sure, it will become clear early on in the coming season as to the direction the team is taking under the new regime.

        As for Yeo … no thanks. Toronto is welcome to him.

    • Why was Yeo “rumored” as a coaching option for Toronto? Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Yeo Burbe’s boss and who eventually took over Yeo’s job? That rumor has to be a joke (click baited), right? Lazy writers too lazy to make that awkward connection.

      • How ther Hell would I know? Or you. for that matter?

        I was simply passing along what a sports journalist wrote in an article, which was

        “A source told the Vancouver Province that Yeo left the Canucks for “an opportunity closer to home.” There has been speculation he’s also on the radar screen to be part of Craig Berube’s staff with the Maple Leafs because Yeo is from Toronto.”

        Read into it whatever you want. You usually do. But I daresay Garrioch has infinitely more contacts with “reliable sources” than either of us.

      • I understand what you’re saying but I’m not wrong in thinking it’s a bit of a stretch all things considered. Doesn’t Green and Yeo have a similar connection just different circumstances?

      • Why, exactly, is it “a bit of a stretch?” Berube – like Green – have yet to name their assistant coaches.

        As for Yeo to Toronto, if Garrioch isn’t a credible enough source for you, how about this one?


        Or does The Hockey News also engage in “click bate” in your opinion?

        If so, why read any source?

      • It does indeed look like Yeo and Alfie will be the assistants. Also appears after dev camp that Staois is cleaning house with the dev staff. No word on a goalie coach.

        Spend a billion on a team, bring in your people. I get it.

  3. Stamkos’ next destination is one of the big mysteries of this off season. Will he stay in TB at a reduced rate or move on? I don’t see him going to Toronto, Leafs have issues in the backline and in goal that should take priority.

    • What about Stamkos at 3x6M$ after Marner’s trade for a good def or a very good goalie?

      • I still don’t think Marner get’s traded this off season, unless he refuses to sign an extension, or is unreasonable in his demands.

        I’m guessing he wants to stay, and we know Tavares only has a year left, and is on the back nine. I am skeptical they get nearly what people think for Marner due to his full NMC, big ticket, and only a year away from UFA. He’s a good player, but that makes it tough, and he can simply say no. I don’t think they get near what he is worth in this situation.

        Just wait a year, add around the edges this off season, be aggressive next off season or even at the TDL if you accrue some LTIR space.

        Trading him for 50-70 cents on the dollar, just seems like a really bad idea when you may very well lose another important forward next off season.

        I would try to extend him.

      • I agree with you Ray. If Marner wants to stay, there’s nothing to be done. Don’t trade him for 50-70 cents on the dollar, but does he want to be Toronto’s whipping boy for another years?

        Trade him for what he’s worth. Trade him to fix TML defence or a goalie that will help bring the cup and sign Stamkos to replace him.

        Do you really want to wait another year and miss that opportunity?

      • Dead on ray. He can dictate it to be one or two teams. Ufa in a year. He’d get back an asset for sure. But not at all commiserate with his on ice value. Soros for Marner does make sense if he was agreeable. But ufas soon.

      • Have to agree there Ray. I mean, over the course of his 8 seasons all he’s done is rack up 82-game averages of 28g 63a (the latter a reflection of his play-making abilities) 91 pts for a 1.1 points-per-game average. He’s also been a consistent + player in that span.

        Not quite McDavid numbers, whose ppg average is 1.5 – but 1.1 is still damned decent.

        Should the Leafs ever find a taker in a deal, everyone will know the decision to move him was not predicated upon his production, which is among the best in the frigging league, but simply to free up cap space – and knowing that no one will be doing Treleving any favours by offering equal quality in return.

      • Cap space is great, but it doesn’t produce offence or defend. If your talking UFA’s, who, and why would they choose Toronto if they’re all that.

        Hey I like visiting TO, great city with great energy, just saying these guys will have options, and there aren’t many available. You will overpay if they are good players now that the cap is increasing. What are you gaining? If your hunting for D, RD specifically, it will likely be a trade, and demand will outpace supply.

        Likely doable, if you are willing to lose those deals, but will the Leafs be better? Especially after next season.

        Or better waiting for when Tavares comes off or gets a reduction.

        Having said all that, if he won’t sign and extension, the next question has to be will you waive your NMC and to where. No choice. Then see what the return is and make the call.

        Have fun with it Tre!

        Pat, I think the players are more concerned with what their team mates and coaches think vs fans or media types. Marner seems to like it on the Leafs.

      • Stamkos to the Leafs would be another Tavares like mistake.
        The guy is already 34 years old and though he can still put up points he was a team leading -21 this past season and a team leading -5 in this years playoffs.
        Paying Stamkos $6M of Leafs limited cap space for the next 3 years when Leafs need defensive upgrading and goaltending would be a serious misallocation of funds.

  4. Stars win the cup…Pavelski retires… Stamkos goes to Dallas to win another cup and finish his career. ..easy peasy

    Before you laugh, remember all of the aging players that Nill has brought in over the years.

    • Problem with that Starsfan, is Dallas isn’t winning the cup this year, won’t even get to the SCF.

      And if they run into the Oil next year in the WCF, Stamkos won’t be enough then either.

      Dallas is good, just not good enough, and Nill is still getting some lessons by his mentor; Mr. Holland.

    • Stars are good enough today and their core will be better next season. enough cap to replace Pavelski and add a defenseman

  5. (Laine): The Blue Jackets could seek a first-round pick plus one of the Canadiens’ defense prospects as part of the return.

    Seriously, who writes this stuff?

    Nobody is giving up anything of value for $8.7 million dollars’ worth of Laine. Certainly not until he’s proven he’s anywhere close to his former level.

    I’m thinking it would be more along the lines of “here’s a 3rd rounder and we’ll take him off your hands”. Or maybe something of decent value if CBJ eats half of the cost.

    And if he does come back to his ol’ self, then CBJ won’t want to deal him.

    • I read that and thought similar. Maybe a good d prospect that’s not mont top three.

      • That may be a reasonable cost for Laine.

        But again, I point out Laine is in the player assistance program, and has voiced concern over his confidence level. Neither Montreal nor any other high profile NHL city would be a good place for him.

  6. Kaliyev needs to work on his foot speed and quickness in general . Good size , shot and scoring ability .

    Oilers have had one injury post season, Henrique . Used only 7 defence men and that was by choice . if they stay heathy they have a chance.
    Pavelski’s age is showing now. He should retire win or lose. Ala Bergeron

    Jacks 8×8 will look better and better

    Laine is in a non win situation . Has to play his way out of it which will be hard being made of peanut brittle . One thing for sure is “ a one is never done “