NHL Rumor Mill – June 26, 2023
DUBOIS REPORTEDLY HEADING TO THE KINGS
SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe believes the Los Angeles Kings are pursuing a trade for Pierre-Luc Dubois. He wonders if the two clubs can find a deal that includes a long-term contract extension for the 25-year-old Winnipeg Jets center.
It’s believed the Jets are focused on a return that would likely have forward Gabriel Vilardi or center Quinton Byfield as the centerpiece. The Kings, meanwhile, could also look at moving some salary by perhaps peddling winger Alex Iafallo (two seasons with an average annual value of $4 million) or winger Viktor Arvidsson (one season, $4.5 million).
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre reports the proposed return for the Jets is Vilardi and Iafallo. He indicated that sources claim there could be more involved in the deal from both clubs, including players, prospects or draft picks.
THE ATHLETIC’s Murat Ates tweeted he’s heard the Kings and the Dubois camp are talking about a contract extension. While there’s plenty to work out regarding the contract and the potential pieces of the trade, Ates believes things are well on their way.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Dubois saga that’s been a fixture in the rumor mill for a year could be coming to an end. Perhaps the deal is finalized today or maybe it gets announced during the upcoming NHL draft.
Dubois had long been linked to the Montreal Canadiens after his agent hinted last summer that his client would like to one day play for the Habs. It’s rumored they reached out to the Jets this spring about his availability.
It’s likely that the Jets’ asking price may have been more than what the rebuilding Canadiens were willing to part with or perhaps the cost of signing Dubois to an extension was too expensive.
LATEST ON HELLEBUYCK
Billeck pointed out that Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson has asked for a trade. Others who could be available include Arizona’s Karel Vejmelka, Philadelphia’s Carter Hart, Boston’s Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman, Calgary’s Dan Vladar, New Jersey’s Mackenzie Blackwood, Vitek Vanecek or Akira Schmid and Toronto’s Matt Murray.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The difference is Hellebuyck is a Vezina Trophy winner who’s a finalist for the award this season. Murray won two Stanley Cups but his injury history has damaged his trade value. Ullmark is a Vezina finalist this season but lacks Hellebuyck’s consistency.
The Jets could put off suitors for Hellebuyck if their asking price is too high. Nevertheless, I think they’ll get a solid return. He’s clearly the best goaltender in this year’s trade market.
UPDATE ON DEBRINCAT
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports some of the teams on Alex DeBrincat’s list of trade destinations can be dismissed immediately. The Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights were said to be on the 25-year-old winger’s list but they lack the cap space to sign him.
Garrioch claims that DeBrincat doesn’t want to commit to playing in Canada for the next eight seasons. The restricted free agent will have to be open-minded on possible trade destinations or he’ll be back with the Senators next season on a discounted contract after the club filed for salary arbitration. He cites the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals all need scoring.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Panthers and Golden Knights, all four clubs lack the cap space to take on DeBrincat unless they send some salary back to the Senators in the deal or make a separate cost-cutting move with another club.
As noted earlier, the Kings appear to be closing in on a deal for the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois.
The Blues had a multi-player deal in place with the Flyers that would’ve sent them Kevin Hayes (with 50 percent of his salary retained by the Flyers) and defenseman Travis Sanheim with blueliner Torey Krug heading to Philly. However, that deal appears to be dead after Krug reportedly refused to waive his no-trade clause.
SABRES, PANTHERS INTERESTED IN HANIFIN
THE ATHLETIC: reports the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers appear to be the prime suitors for Noah Hanifin. The 26-year-old Calgary Flames defenseman is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility. He’s informed the Flames that he’s not interested in signing a contract extension with them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres would have the advantage over the Panthers in the bidding for Hanifin. They’ve got plenty of salary-cap space as well as depth in promising young players and prospects to put together an enticing trade package.
COULD THE AVALANCHE RE-SIGN COMPHER?
Compher, 28, is coming off a career-best 52-point performance. Rawal speculates he could get offers of around $5 million annually in this year’s weak free-agent market. He also cited CHGO Sports’ Jay Zawaski claiming there’s mutual interest between Compher and the Chicago Blackhawks.