NHL Rumor Mill – June 7, 2024

by | Jun 7, 2024 | Rumors | 32 comments

The Flames and Devils revisit their Jacob Markstrom trade talks, the latest on Jake Guentzel and Juuse Saros, plus a recent update on the Penguins in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils renewed their trade discussions regarding Jacob Markstrom. The two teams were reportedly close to a trade in February that would’ve shipped the 34-year-old goaltender to the Devils but the deal fell through.

LeBrun claims Markstrom is willing to waive his no-movement clause to go to New Jersey. He also indicated the Flames are getting calls from other clubs about the veteran netminder. LeBrun said there remains a difference of opinion on the return and what it would cost the Devils to land Markstrom.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (NHL Images).

One holdup during their previous discussions was the Flames’ unwillingness to retain part of Markstrom’s $6 million annual salary cap hit through 2025-26. LeBrun also suggested the Boston Bruins’ Linus Ullmark and the Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson could also be options for the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald is keen to land a reliable starting goaltender this summer. He’s got a few options but his preference is for Markstrom.

In February, there was talk that the Flames sought a first-round pick, a top prospect like Seamus Casey, and a young NHL player like Alexander Holtz or Dawson Mercer. Fitzgerald is willing to move his 2024 first-rounder (10th overall) and could part with Holtz but not Mercer. He could also be reluctant to part with Casey.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng noted that Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek recently made an admittedly wild prediction suggesting the Sharks could sign Jake Guentzel. The 29-year-old Carolina Hurricanes winger can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Peng noted the Sharks have plenty of cap space and need to surround promising players like Macklin Celebrini (whom they’re expected to select first overall in this year’s draft) with veteran players. However, he believes they’ll find more affordable options than Guentzel, who probably isn’t interested in signing with a rebuilding club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be this summer’s biggest free-agent surprise if Guentzel joined the Sharks. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.


NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Clay Brewer cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggesting the Juuse Saros camp could wait and see what kind of contract goaltender Igor Shesterkin receives from the New York Rangers as a baseline for their contract talks this summer.

Saros and Shesterkin both have a year remaining on their respective contracts. They’re allowed to sign extensions starting on July 1.

Friedman believes Shesterkin is set to become the highest-paid goaltender in NHL history. He believes Saros’ agent could seek 75 to 80 percent of what the Rangers netminder gets. Saros is currently earning an average annual value of $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The highest-paid goaltender is the Montreal Canadiens’ Carey Price with an AAV of $10.5 million. Shesterkin’s next deal could be between $11 million and $12 million annually.

Assuming Shesterkin receives $11.5 million annually on his next deal, the Saros camp could seek between $8.6 million and $9.2 million for their client.


THE ATHLETIC: Rob Rossi recently reported contract extension talks between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sidney Crosby are expected to intensify soon, perhaps during this week’s NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo.

Both sides are believed to be proceeding as though Crosby’s contract will be finalized this summer. Whether that happens on July 1 or soon afterward depends on how many roster changes management has in store for the coming weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby will sign an extension this summer and finish his playing career with the Penguins.

Rossi also reported that league sources said Penguins GM Kyle Dubas is trying to move winger Reilly Smith. He’d prefer a hockey trade and doesn’t want to retain salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a possibility but the return might not make the Penguins better. This could become a case where two teams swap players who didn’t pan out last season, hoping that the change of scenery helps them regain their form.

Dubas isn’t shopping Tristan Jarry but there’s a sense around the league that the 29-year-old goaltender is available. The Penguins are prepared to carry Jarry if they don’t find a deal that directly or indirectly (by clearing cap space) brings in a top-four winger or a top-four defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It looks like Jarry will be back with the Penguins next season.

The Penguins GM doesn’t see much of a trade market for defenseman Ryan Graves without retaining a significant chunk of his cap hit. It’s hoped that he bounces back next season with fewer expectations as a bottom-pairing option.


  1. One of the biggest intrigue going into the draft is the return for a starting goaltender.

    Markstrom has 2yrs years remaining @$6m per and Saros and Ullmark 1yr @ $5m

    I’ve read return as high as an early 1st round pick plus player, prospect to a third round pick.

    The gap is wide and return will depend on extension in place or handshake deal of signing an extension.

    Having 3 goaltenders available does it hurt the return? Or maybe for one team there is the guy they want and are willing to pay a higher price for the guy.

    If a team doesn’t think the return is good enough would they wait it out? Potentially to the tdl?

    I don’t think Boston start the season with Ullmark with Brandon Bussi requiring waivers to be sent down. He won’t clear waivers.

    The three goalies i mention will be moved for a third round pick. It will be interesting to see who is moved and what the return will be.

    • IMO I would be cautious acquiring Ullmark. Yes, he has great regular season stats, but when it comes to the playoffs his save percentage drops and his GAA almost doubles. He has only played 10 playoff games, but they have been with a good Boston team.

      • Just curious but what’s Markstrom and Saros’s playoff record and numbers?

      • BoxinBruin

        Markstrom – turns 35 next Jan – won 13 lost 13 2.90gaa 0.911 save %

        Saros – turns 30 next April – won 5 lost 11 – 2.45gaa – 0.911 save %

    • Kevjam, i don’t disagree with that point of view. The other caution you could mention is neither Swayman or Ullmark have true #1 starting games.

      Goalie starts last 3 season:

      Saros 64, 64 and 67
      Markstrom 48, 59 and 63
      Ullmark 40, 49 and 41
      Swayman 44, 37 and 41

      Swayman and Ullmark nice balance but what happen with an increase workload.

      • Clarification needed please on Ullmark! He has a 15 team list that he can be traded to! Does he have to agree to the trade or can Boston trade him to any team on that list! Confused by NMC and NTC!

      • Sr,
        NTC (No-Trade-Clause), means the team can’t trade the player to another team.
        NMC(No-Move-Clause), means the team can’t send the player down to affiliate team or anyware else.
        M-NTC (Modified No-Trade-Clause) means the team can’t trade the player to a certain number of team unless the player lift the M-NTC for that team.

  2. Why wouldn’t Brandon Bussi clear waivers?
    He’s 25, hasn’t had a cup of coffee, his AHLare ok but nothing to write home about.

    Teams all have goalies of his calibre or better, they need starters, #1 quality.

    Bruins have the luxury of having 2 top goalies for the cost of Price, Bobrovsky, Vasilevskiy after Swayman new deal.

    that tandem is the reason the Bruins didn’t fall off as many expected this year.

    • Habfan30, The Bruins are very high on Bussi, who has a .924sv% in 8 playoff games.

      Bussi is not a player Boston wants to risk losing.

      Swayman is an rfa who is going to demand a huge contract. Maybe around the $8m mark. Can’t be paying Swayman $8m and Ullmark $5m that doesn’t work.

      Boston had the luxury of having both because of Swayman cap hit. That advantage is now gone.

      Bussi will be the backup in Boston.

      What is also an outside possibility is Swayman prices himself out of Boston and find himself traded. What does that return look like.

  3. I’m a Devs fan & have little enthusiasm about Markstrom,or Saros. What to give up for Ullmark as well when he might bolt after next year. I’m in on Gustavsson in Minny. Less $$ & won’t require your 1st born child. Certainly not our 10th overall.

  4. Re; NJ Goaltending options….❓
    NJ, GM Tom Fitzgerald is willing to move his 2024 first-rounder (10th overall) Calagary would love that… and good young winger Holtz but not Mercer
    Is that a Great Deal for a 34 yr old goaltender..🤔⁉️

    I think i would be looking at 28 yr old Saros Or Ullmark with this deal Also,🤔
    That would really help the Preds Re-build getting a #10 pick as they dont pick till 22nd in the draft, and get a 22yr old RW for there top 6……✔️

    if the deal was for Bostons 30 yr old Ullmark,
    this wouild help Boston up front with 22 yr old RW Alex Holtz and give the Bruins a #10th pick to draft or they could use it trade for a Centre or Top 4 d/man the Bruins need both of these positions

    I would go for 2 Or 3 before option #1………

    Just thinking out loud, as nobody has mentioned it..🤔
    I wonder what NJ New Coach Keefe thinks about going after his old Maple Leaf goaltender who is a UFA now at 27 yrs old Samsonov…👀

  5. It’s looking like by most reports Ullmark will end up in either New Jersey or Carolina with #10 draft pick or Dawson Mercer or Necas as being the main players in play

    • I don’t see Carolina trading Necas for a goalie. They need to trade him for a 2nd line forward to replace his position. I also doubt they trade him in the Metro.

      • Necas really not playing on 2nd line, that’s part of the reason he wants out. He wants a top-6 role.
        He only gets in the top-6 when their are injuries (which has been a bunch with Svech hurt).
        But if Svech is healthy and Guentzel resigns, there is not a spot for him.
        Rumors are that Car is shopping Guentzel’s rights, so if they do trade him (or lose him), then maybe the keep Necas.

      • Foleyd7, He is on the second line. How many games have you seen Carolina play?

  6. There are wild rumours and then there are Guentzel to Sharks rumours, the stupid ones.

    All 3 goalies have their “flaws”, Markström is older but is big and despite his age doesnt have huge milage on him, also used to playing 60 games. 6m for two years is an advantage if you think the young goalies you have can take over.

    Saros has been really good despite being on the smaller side, but this season was one of his worst, is age catching up so that he cant compensate for his smaller size, also, are you paying him 9 m as of 25/26? That is a lot of money for him. used to playing 60 games

    Ullmark is also rather big but hasnt played +50 games in a season supposed to be a great teammate. Can he deliver in the playoffs, there are questions but he was injured last year and Montgomery made a mistake in not changing to Swayman.

    I would go with Markström, 2 years at 6m sounds pretty good when Saros wants 9+. But what Calgary wants and what they will get are two different things. I can see Holz, a 2nd and a B prospect. I would use the 10th pick to get a young D in the 22-24 range, Columbus, Montreal comes to mind. Mercer isnt going anywhere

  7. Boston would be OK with that! What is the probable timeline for these trades?

    • SR,

      I think a Draft day to keep it Exciting… A sign and trade for Saros and Or Ullmark, with NJ, Carolina, & Leafs as the 3 front runner’s for these two,

      Maybe Tree looks At his old Goaltender Markstroom in Calgary to help develope Woll..❓

      The Dark horse’s in the goaltending to be moved could be after the top 3 mentione above

      1/Thatcher Demko, Trade….❓
      2/Ilya Samsanov A 27 yr old UFA🤔
      3/John Gibson, from Ducks as his name comes up❗️
      4/Filip Gustavsson, $4.M could be a salary dump❓

      5/ Both of the Sen’s tenders.., 1 or 2 Goaltenders, Korpisalo, could go back to LA Kings if they dont want to part with a big package for a Top Goaltender, there first pick is 22.nd over all and they dont want to move Quinton Byfieldand or there 2 young LD & RD defence men, they could also look at Gibson from the Ducks❓
      Forsberg could be part of a package also moving
      out salarys…🤔

      • Im Not saying Korpisalo is a top Goaltender,
        The LA Kings offered him 4X$4.M
        The Sen’s offered him 5X$4.M
        thats why he maybe headed back there in some kind of deal maybe for ArthurKaliy❓

      • Carolina are going with the goalies they have, Leafs will go with a cheap 1B and have Woll as 1A, Brissoit comes to mind. Gustavsson is in play but I would be careful, he is not yet a no. 1 goalie. Demko isnt going anywhere

        Top teams in need of goalies are
        NJ, LA with Avs, Columbus, Ottawa(needs to move JK), Pittsburgh(moving Jarry), Leafs, Buffalo, Detroit and Seattle as dark horses

  8. There’s no way we get a 1st and a top prospect for Linus. Goalies just don’t pull that kind of return, and unless the $ adds up, it just won’t happen.
    I’d be happy to keep him to be quite honest. I like the combo.

  9. Interesting that Crosby is seemingly comfortable likely never playing in another playoff game again. Kind of surprising, given his competitive nature, but he’s already got Cups so I guess he’s ok with it.

    • Stanley Cups won score:

      Crosby 3 Cups

      Trouba 0 Cups

      Crosby wants play with Malkin and Letang, and may follow Mario Lemieux footsteps by playing only as Penguin.

      • What does Trouba have to do with anything I wrote? Lol

    • I actually think Sid is so competitive that he believes he can will the team to another cup.

      • Then he’s sadly delusional.

  10. What about

    Necas kk and a 1st to cgy for

    Kadri and markstrom

    Would that work for both teams?

  11. IhateCrosby: That would not work for the Canes ar all. Tempting. A player like Kadri is just what we need.

    But he is 33 years old.

  12. I definitely don’t want to see Crosby leave here but I definitely would not blame him.

    Our GM has lost every single trade and signing. Crosby lost his great winger (Guentzel) and the team is still getting older.

    Dubas needs to move out Accari, Eller, Smith, Nieto and replace with mid to late mid 20s UFAs/RFAs with size, grit and strength.

    The Karlsson experiment failed. No one takes him at the $10 M Cap hit. Many will take him at $5M.

    Retain $5 M and move him with Accairi for a top 9 winger in the $3M to $4M range plus a late rounder.

    Eller gets a late rounder.

    Bury Nieto

    take the late rounder from the Karlson deal, the late rounder from the Eller deal; Pens own mid rounder; and Gruden to move Smith.

    Now there is ample space for moves to make the team younger, bigger, stronger, grittier, better.

    That gets a team that can make the playoffs in ’25

    They must be holding up on term because Crosby seems to love the $8.7 M Cap hit.

    no matter what, Cap or actual $’s will have 87 in it

    Maybe owners are OK with having dead cap when Crosby retires; and are OK with longer term knowing he’ll only play 3 more years after this contract (ending at 40):

    6 years at $878, 787 salary; $10 M signing bonus in each of first three years. Cap hit is $5,878, 87

    He retires at 40 (after a year playing at 40); stays a Pen for life. Get’s paid his value for next 3 years (was massively underpaid last year and this year); and Pens do this by eating $5.9 M in dead cap for the final years of his contract when he retires.

  13. Necas + Coughlan for Ullmark + Beecher

  14. R. Smith from Pittsburgh to Montreal for Josh Anderson? Same cap hit. Change of scenery for both. The only downside is the term left on Andy’s contract while Smith is a UFA after this season.