NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2022

Check out the latest on Pierre-Luc Dubois, Alex DeBrincat, Johnny Gaudreau, Nazem Kadri, Jesse Puljujarvi and more in the Canada Day edition of the NHL rumor mill.

LATEST RUMORS FROM TSN’S NHL INSIDERS

TSN: Darren Dreger reports there’s “tons of trade interest” in Pierre-Luc Dubois after the 23-year-old center informed the Winnipeg Jets of his intention to test the 2024 unrestricted free agent market. Dreger mentioned the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens among the possible suitors but believes it’ll take a substantial offer to pry him away from the Jets.

If it’s the Rangers, Filip Chytil, Braden Schneider or Kaapo Kakko and a first-round pick would have to be part of the return. Otherwise, Dreger doubts Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has the stomach to move Dubois during this offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And if it’s the Canadiens, a young forward such as Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield would probably have to be part of that discussion. I doubt the Habs would part with either guy. They also won’t part with the first-overall pick for Dubois but would probably offer up the 26th overall selection they received from the Calgary Flames in the Tyler Toffoli trade.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

Pierre LeBrun reports the Chicago Blackhawks have been listening to offers for winger Alex DeBrincat for five or six weeks. However, the asking price is more than the first-round pick and prospect the Los Angeles Kings sent to the Minnesota Wild for Kevin Fiala.

LeBrun suspects it would be a “triple-asset haul” for Chicago, including a 2022 first-round pick. With the first round of the draft slated for July 7, things could come to a head over the next several days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrincat’s a more reliable offensive winger than Fiala, with two 40-goal seasons under his belt. Unlike the Wild, the Blackhawks are a rebuilding club so they’ll want a larger return focussing on long-term assets.

Bleacher Nation’s Patrick K. Flowers cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying the Hawks turned down an offer for DeBrincat that would’ve contained a couple of first-rounders. However, there are no details as to what else was proposed in that pitch.

Speaking of Fiala, Chris Johnston reported the Seattle Kraken were among the interested parties before he was shipped to the Kings. They have the cap space to make a splash in the trade or free agent markets this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Writing for The Athletic, LeBrun cited a source saying the Kraken intends to be active in this summer’s UFA market when it opens on July 13. He wonders if they might make a pitch for Johnny Gaudreau if the Calgary Flames winger tests the open market. Cap Friendly indicates they have $22.8 million in cap space with 14 players under contract.

And speaking of Gaudreau, LeBrun said he remains undecided about the offer from the Flames. He suspects the winger wants to keep Calgary in the fold but may want to see what’s out there in the free-agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Gaudreau departs, the Flames could be scrambling to find a suitable replacement. Maybe they’ll attempt to sign Nashville’s Filip Forsberg if he goes to market or try to swing a trade for DeBrincat.

Dreger said the Colorado Avalanche will try hard to re-sign Nazem Kadri before he becomes eligible for UFA status on July 13. He wonders if they can afford what could be an $8 million to $9 million annual average value to keep the 31-year-old center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With $26.8 million in cap space and 14 players under contract, the Avalanche can afford Kadri. However, that will take a big bite out of their cap space, hampering efforts to re-sign or suitably replace goaltender Darcy Kuemper, winger Valeri Nichushkin and winger Artturi Lehkonen. LeBrun believes they’ll prioritize Nichushkin even though they really want to retain Kadri.

Johnston reports the trade winds are blowing increasingly stronger on Jesse Puljujarvi. The Ottawa Senators are among two clubs believed to have an interest in the 24-year-old Edmonton Oilers winger. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Mark Spector (No, that’s not me!) reported several professional scouts told him the Oilers could get a second- or third-round pick or perhaps a third-line player with upside for Puljujarvi. He mentioned the Senators and Carolina Hurricanes as having an interest in the former 2016 first-rounder. Spector also wondered if the Arizona Coyotes, New Jersey Devils or San Jose Sharks will come calling.

On the topic of the Oilers, Darren Dreger reports GM Ken Holland will meet soon with Mike Smith to discuss the goaltender’s future. The 40-year-old has one season left on his contract and could spend it on long-term injury reserve. Dreger anticipates Holland will “dive deep” into the UFA pool with an interest in Toronto’s Jack Campbell, St. Louis’ Ville Husso and maybe others.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 30, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 30, 2022

Could the Rangers and Canadiens pursue Pierre-Luc Dubois? What’s the latest on J.T. Miller and Filip Forsberg? Are the Oilers poised to trade Jesse Puljujarvi? Who could the Senators buy out? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

RANGERS OR CANADIENS INTERESTED IN DUBOIS?

SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe cites a report by Francois Gagnon of RDS linking the New York Rangers to Pierre-Luc Dubois. The 23-year-old restricted free agent center has told the Winnipeg Jets of his intention to test the unrestricted free agent market when he becomes eligible in 2024.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

The Rangers and Jets have reportedly held conversations about Dubois. Rangers general manager Chris Drury is said to be very interested in him. They were also believed to have an interest in Jets center Mark Scheifele to give them a solid one-two punch at center with Mika Zibanejad.

Wiebe believes any deal would have to include discussions regarding young Rangers such as Filip Chytil, wingers Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko and defenseman Braden Schneider. He also indicated the Montreal Canadiens as also having an interest in Dubois.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To be clear, Wiebe isn’t saying the Rangers must ship all those players to the Jets for Dubois. He means at least one of them will have to be part of the trade package.

Wiebe isn’t suggesting a deal is imminent, suggesting this could be simply to stoke a bidding war for Dubois. He said the Jets’ primary objective remains signing the center to a one-year contract and then attempting to convince him to rethink his long-term plans. Still, it doesn’t hurt to investigate Dubois’ value in the trade market for future reference if he remains adamant about moving on in 2024.

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks is against the Rangers pursuing Dubois, suggesting it may have been the Jets calling the Rangers to check into their interest given their trade history. He believes Dubois will command a substantial raise (seven years, $50 million) on the open market, casting doubt over how the Blueshirts can squeeze him into their already tight salary-cap payroll. Brooks also doesn’t want to see them part with Chytil following his promising performance in the recent postseason.

As for the Canadiens, maybe they surprise us by offering up a package of draft picks (excluding the first-overall pick), one or two prospects or a prospect and a good young NHL player not named Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield to the Jets. Dubois is rumored to be eager to join the Canadiens as a free agent in two years’ time. If so, it would be worthwhile for the Habs to simply remain patient and wait for Dubois’ availability in 2024. Then it’s only costing money and not assets as well.

LATEST ON J.T. MILLER

CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal recently reported a source told him there are reports the Vancouver Canucks are listening to trade offers for J.T. Miller. The 29-year-old center is a year away from UFA eligibility. He also indicated Miller’s representatives aren’t surprised by those reports.

Dhaliwal said the two sides remain far apart in contract talks. He cited one source claiming the Canucks have been entertaining offers for Miller since February.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dhaliwal suggested a contract comparable for Miller is the Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad, who’s starting an eight-year, $68 million deal ($8.5 million annual average value) in 2022-23. That could prove too expensive for the Canucks, which would explain the growing chatter about Miller in the rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox suggests Miller could be the “optimal big-splash target for the Toronto Maple Leafs” if they’re willing to go for it. He acknowledged it would be a risky move, especially with Leafs GM Kyle Dubas being reluctant to acquire players without term. Still, he thinks the Leafs have the trade assets to tempt the Canucks. Fox believes it would be worthwhile to acquire a forward such as Miller to address their needs right now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see them pursuing Miller. The Leafs already have enough depth on the top-two lines. Their biggest need is a reliable starting goaltender if Jack Campbell departs via free agency.

UPDATE ON FILIP FORSBERG

THE TENNESSEAN: Gentry Estes reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile confirmed he’s offered pending UFA winger Filip Forsberg an eight-year contract.

Dollars might be the holdup as the Forsberg camp is reportedly seeking an annual average value somewhere in the low $8 million range as reported by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli. Estes also speculates another snag could be a no-trade clause as Poile as a rule doesn’t hand those out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal cited Forsberg’s agent acknowledging they’re not there yet on the money but both sides continue to grind away at it. There’s a reasonable chance Forsberg remains with the Predators as long as those negotiations continue over the next two weeks.

OILERS CLOSE TO TRADING PULJUJARVI?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Oilers insider Tom Gazzola reporting he’s been told Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi is on his way out of Edmonton. It appears both sides are comfortable with the idea that it’s time to move on.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puljujarvi is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. He has shown flashes of offensive talent over the past couple of seasons but it just seems that things aren’t getting better after five seasons with the Oilers.

Maybe Puljujarvi can reach his offensive potential with another club. If there’s a decent return to be had, the Oilers should consider it.

POTENTIAL SENATORS BUYOUT CANDIDATES

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch observed the first buyout window opens on July 1 until 5 pm ET on July 12. It’s believed Senators management is considering going that route. He believes forward Colin White is their top buyout candidate. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto is another. Goaltender Matt Murray has been mentioned but Garrioch doesn’t think that’s going to happen.

The Senators are still listening to offers regarding their first-round pick (seventh overall) in this year’s draft. GM Pierre Dorion is in the market for a top-four defenseman and a high-end winger.

Garrioch said the Montreal Canadiens have been calling teams with picks in the top-10 to see what it would take to nab one. There’s also talk the Arizona Coyotes, San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks are willing to take on contracts if a draft pick is added as a sweetener. He thinks it wouldn’t be surprising if Senators defenseman Nikita Zaitsev was moved that way.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 26, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 26, 2022

Does the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois hope to one day play for Montreal? What will the Canadiens do with Evgenii Dadonov? Could the Devils pursue Leafs goalie Jack Campbell if he goes to free agency? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

IS DUBOIS HOPING TO JOIN THE CANADIENS ONE DAY?

THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates believes Pierre-Luc Dubois sincerely wants to test the 2024 unrestricted free agent market as was reported last week by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. He felt the 24-year-old Winnipeg Jets center hopes to play for the Montreal Canadiens in the long run and hasn’t been shy about expressing that within team circles.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

I don’t think telling the Jets about his UFA plans is posturing in the slightest; I think it’s the truth,” wrote Ates. He doesn’t see them trading Dubois this summer unless they get a mind-blowing offer. He envisions the young center getting a one-year contract this summer, playing hard through 2022-23 as the Jets try to convince him to accept a longer-term deal, and trading him next summer if he doesn’t change his mind.

Under that scenario, the Jets allow Dubois’ agent to speak to other clubs about a contract extension prior to a trade. Ates doesn’t see the Canadiens or another club signing Dubois to an offer sheet this summer as the Jets can easily match it.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Prior to Ates’ report, Marco D’Amico weighed in on the possibility of Dubois being linked to the Canadiens. He recommends the Habs be patient in this situation, pointing out the Jets would seek an expensive asking price such as a top prospect like Kaiden Guhle, Calgary’s 2022 first-round pick, a center like Christian Dvorak and more. It would be better if they continue to replenish their already respectable prospect pool.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens could attempt to acquire Dubois this summer. However, the high asking price as envisioned by D’Amico isn’t worth it at this juncture when management is in the midst of rebuilding.

They could be among the suitors under Ates’ scenario for next summer. They could have more depth in promising assets to part with by that point if they want to make a competitive pitch. Then again, rather than give up assets in a trade, they could wait until free agency in 2024 to sign him if they have sufficient cap space to do so.

WHAT WILL THE CANADIENS DO WITH DADONOV?

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: D’Amico recently examined the Canadiens’ options to maximize the value of Evgenii Dadonov. They recently acquired the 33-year-old winger from the Vegas Golden Knights in return for sending them Shea Weber’s contract.

One option could be trading Dadonov before the free-agent market opens on July 13. That would enable them to shed his $5 million cap hit and perhaps use the savings to put toward signing a free agent or two.

Another would be laying the groundwork for a trade deadline deal. D’Amico suggested showcasing him during the season at right wing alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t rule out Dadonov getting moved during the offseason. However, I think he’s more likely to be shopped as a playoff rental player at next season’s trade deadline.

COULD THE DEVILS PURSUE CAMPBELL?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there’s chatter among NHL sources suggesting the New Jersey Devils could be in on Jack Campbell if the 30-year-old goaltender doesn’t re-sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs before the free-agent market opens on July 13.

One source speculated the Devils could try to get a head start by trading for Campbell’s rights if the Leafs can’t or won’t sign him. The idea would be offering up Mackenzie Blackwood, who struggled over the past two seasons.

The Devils might also be interested in New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev if he becomes a UFA this summer. He’d be brought in to work as part of a tandem rather than as a starting goalie.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan recently reported on the possibility of the Maple Leafs starting next season with a new goalie tandem. Right now, the Leafs lack the $5 million per season to keep Campbell out of the UFA market. General manager Kyle Dubas must also find a way to shed Petr Mrazek’s contract.

Koshan observed Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper, Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury and St. Louis’ Ville Husso as possible free-agent options for the Leafs. Trade targets could include Anaheim’s John Gibson, the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, the Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev and Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over two weeks remain for the Leafs and Campbell to work out a new contract. However, as Koshan points out, the closer they get to July 13 without a new deal, the more likely it is that Campbell tests the market.

Cap Friendly shows the Devils with over $25 million in cap space for 2022-23 with Jesper Bratt, Pavel Zacha and Miles Wood as their notable restricted free agents. They’ll have sufficient room to sign Campbell, especially if they were to ship out Blackwood and his $2.8 million cap hit to the Leafs or another club.

The Leafs could acquire Blackwood if they can find a way to shed Mrazek’s $3.8 million annual average value through 2023-24. However, I think they would see him as a backup rather than a starter.

Of those UFA options listed by Koshan, Kuemper and Husso might be willing to join the Leafs. I don’t think Fleury is keen to come to Toronto. There’s talk the Minnesota Wild wants to bring him back for another season.

As for the trade targets, Gibson shot down recent rumors claiming he wants out of Anaheim, Varlamov has a 16-team no-trade list and all seven Canadian teams could be on it, and the Kings could retain Quick after his solid performance this season. Georgiev will be available as the Rangers are believed to be seeking another backup for Igor Shesterkin.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 24, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 24, 2022

Could the Rangers shop Artemi Panarin? What’s the latest on Filip Forsberg, Blake Wheeler and Pierre-Luc Dubois? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

RIFT DEVELOPING BETWEEN PANARIN AND RANGERS GM DRURY?

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple raised some eyebrows in his roundup of offseason decisions facing the New York Rangers. What drew considerable attention was his report citing two league sources claiming general manager Chris Drury was “vocally unhappy” with Artemi Panarin’s performance in the 2022 playoffs.

New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (NHL Images).

Panarin had 16 points in 20 playoff games but wasn’t as consistent as hoped for. Despite the 30-year-old winger’s hefty contract Staple speculated he could request a trade if there’s a rift developing with Drury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what the reaction will be to this report. Panarin and/or Drury could ignore the story or issue public denials. I’m curious as to what other Rangers and NHL insiders have to say about this story.

A number of NHL clubs would be interested in Panarin if he became available in the trade market. As Staple pointed out, his contract is near impossible to move. He’s signed through 2025-26 with an annual average value of over $11.6 million and a full no-movement clause.

It was Drury’s predecessor who signed Panarin. He doesn’t have to feel any loyalty toward players that were brought in before he took over as general manager.

Drury also clashed last fall with Vitali Kravtsov after the winger declined demotion to the minors. He spent this season in the KHL and become the subject of trade speculation. The two sides seemed to bury the hatchet when Kravtsov agreed to a one-year, $875K contract but that hasn’t kept him out of the rumor mill.

PREDATORS OFFER FORSBERG AN EIGHT-YEAR CONTRACT

NHL.COM: John Glennon reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile confirmed his club offered an eight-year contract to Filip Forsberg. The 27-year-old left winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.

Poile indicated Forsberg won’t be signing with the Predators for anything less than eight years. He said the two sides are speaking regularly to bridge the gap and he intends to keep working to get a deal done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It seems like the dollars are the issue here. Forsberg will be seeking a substantial raise over the $6 million annual cap hit of his current contract after tallying a career-best 84 points in 69 games this season.

The most Forsberg will get on the open market is seven years. The Predators could be offering up a raise that’s less than market value in the hope that he’ll be tempted by the extra year of contract security if he signs with them before July 13.

LATEST ON WHEELER AND DUBOIS

WINNIPEG SUN/SPORTSNET: Scott Billeck and Ken Wiebe weighed in on recent reports indicating the Jets are gauging Blake Wheeler’s value in the trade market and Pierre-Luc Dubois’ intent to test the 2024 UFA market.

Both believe it will be difficult to move Wheeler’s contract, which carries an $8.25 million annual average value through 2023-24. Though his no-movement clause becomes a five-team trade list on July 1, the number of teams that can afford to take on the full remaining value of his contract could be less than his list of preferred trade destinations.

They believe the Jets will have to retain up to half of Wheeler’s cap hit to facilitate a deal. If they don’t want to do that, they’ll have to offer up significant sweeteners or take back a sizeable contract from one of Wheeler’s suitors.

Wiebe also suggested a three-team deal to spread the cap hit around. A contract buyout is another option though a rarely-used one by the Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I made the same suggestions a couple of days ago. There will be playoff contenders interested in Wheeler. I don’t see many of them taking on his full cap hit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 35-year-old winger is back with the Jets next season.

Dubois’ revelation was more troubling for Billeck and Wiebe. He’s a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. The Jets have two years to convince the 23-year-old center to remain in Winnipeg beyond 2024 and intend to work on doing so.

Billeck suggested dangling the captaincy if Wheeler is traded. He also speculated perhaps the Dubois camp is merely angling for a better deal in their current negotiations.

Wiebe speculated the Jets could trade Dubois before 2024. He also wondered if hiring Barry Trotz as head coach might change his mind. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff met with Trotz this weekend and is awaiting his decision.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landing Trotz as their new head coach could go a long way toward providing some stability and improvement to the Jets roster going forward. As Billeck suggested, he could help to convince Dubois to stick around beyond 2024 if he enjoyed playing for the well-respected bench boss.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 23, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 23, 2022

The Jets are reportedly exploring trade options for Blake Wheeler while Pierre-Luc Dubois indicates his time in Winnipeg could be short. Check out the details plus the latest on Tyson Barrie in today’s NHL rumor mill.

JETS SHOPPING WHEELER?

DAILY FACEOFF: Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler checks in at No. 3 on Frank Seravalli’s updated list of this offseason’s trade targets. He indicates sources say the Jets are exploring the trade market and engaging with teams on the possibility of moving the 35-year-old right winger.

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler (NHL Images)

Wheeler has a full no-movement clause until July 1, after which it reverts to a five-team trade list. He has two more seasons remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $8.25 million.

Seravalli suggested Wheeler’s contract might not be difficult to move. He suggests there could be a market among playoff contenders seeking a “point-per-game, play-driving winger with size and heart.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wheeler was all those things Seravalli described during his playing prime. However, age could be catching up with him. He got off to a slow start last season and was hampered by a bout with COVID-19 and an injury, though his performance improved over the second half as he finished with 60 points in 65 games. His leadership also came under criticism by Winnipeg pundits and fans amid rumors of divisions in the Jets’ dressing room.

Wheeler’s contract is an issue with the salary cap rising by just $1 million for 2022-23. It’s not impossible to move as there will probably be general managers willing to gamble on him remaining a point-per-game winger on a deeper roster. However, they might not be keen to carry an $8.25 million cap hit for the next two seasons. The Jets could end up taking back a comparable contract, retain part of his annual cap hit, or attempt a three-team deal to spread the dollars around.

DUBOIS TO TEST UFA MARKET IN 2024

THE SCORE: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting Pierre-Luc Dubois informed Jets management of his intention to test the open market when he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

Dubois is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. Friedman said the Jets have control of the process until then and intend to keep the 23-year-old center “and have him as a Jet for a long time.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets acquired Dubois last season from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic. They probably envisioned signing him to a long-term contract with perhaps an eye on him taking over from Mark Scheifele as their first-line center. Scheifele, by the way, is also eligible for UFA status in 2024.

This is not an ideal situation for the Jets. Dubois intends to just sign a two-year extension and then leave in 2024. Based on Friedman’s report, management seems to believe they can convince him otherwise. Unless they’re willing to open the vault and overpay for his services this summer, they risk watching him walk away in two years’ time.

That might explain Seravalli’s report claiming the Jets are gauging Wheeler’s value in the trade market. They might be trying to shed his salary to make room for a hefty raise for Dubois.

LATEST ON BARRIE

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples weighed in on Tyson Barrie ending up on Daily Faceoff’s list of this summer’s trade targets. He not only agrees with it but predicts the 30-year-old Oilers defenseman will be shipped out this summer.

Staples believes Barrie’s puck-moving skills will draw interest in the trade market. With Evan Bouchard and Cody Ceci as right-shot defensemen superior to Barrie at even strength, the latter’s $4.5 million cap hit is a luxury the Oilers can’t afford. He suggests shipping him out to clear cap space to add a goaltender or to re-sign Evander Kane.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie carries a reasonable short-term contract and lacks no-trade protection. I can see him getting moved in a cost-cutting deal this summer.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 3, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 3, 2022

More speculation about the Jets plus an update on the Senators’ off-season plans in today’s NHL rumor mill.

JET GM CHEVELDAYOFF FACING A CHALLENGING SUMMER.

SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe believes how Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff proceeds with Mark Scheifele and Pierre-Luc Dubois will determine the club’s future.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

Meeting with the media yesterday, Cheveldayoff said Scheifele, who made eyebrow-raising comments on Sunday about his future in Winnipeg, has not submitted a trade request nor have the two held an exit interview yet. The Jets GM also attempted to diffuse Scheifele’s comments, as well as those of several of his teammates over their frustration and disappointment about the team’s failure to reach the playoffs. He chalked them up to their competitive nature.

Wiebe believes Scheifele would draw plenty of interest if Cheveldayoff were to put the 29-year-old center on the trade block this summer. He’s signed through 2023-24 with an annual average value of $6.125 million.

Dubois, meanwhile, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights completing a two-year, $10 million contract. Cheveldayoff met with the 23-year-old center yesterday and was encouraged by what he heard, though he added the contract negotiations will take time.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre believes this is a mess of Chevelodayoff’s making. With his new contract, he’s got three years to clean this up, suggesting the number of players making their frustrations public isn’t normal or healthy behavior.

McIntyre claims Scheifele isn’t the only player seeking an exit plan but he’s the only one to say so out loud. While he expects the center is likely a goner this summer, he also believes his frustration is a disturbing trend, citing the recent departures of several Jets including Dustin Byfuglien, Patrik Laine, Jack Roslovic, Jacob Trouba and Andrew Copp. He also pointed to head coach Paul Maurice’s unexpected resignation last December.

WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen called on Cheveldayoff to ship out Scheifele, citing the latter’s comments about the club’s plans and whether he fits within them. He also believes the Jets GM should hire a tough coach who will demand accountability from the players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ woes appear tied to a broken culture within the dressing room that’s been ongoing for some time. Some of those earlier departures McIntyre mentioned could be put down to difficult contract negotiations. Some, like Laine, Roslovic and Trouba, weren’t happy with their roles with the clubs.

At the time Maurice stepped down as head coach, he claimed the team needed a new voice behind the bench. That suggests some of the core players may have been tuning him out while others could share the same concerns that led to some of those aforementioned departures.

Hiring a tougher coach could help provided he earns the players’ respect. As for trading Scheifele, he’s under contract for two more seasons. Cheveldayoff can afford to take his time to evaluate trade offers. Scheifele could return with the Jets next season unless he’s the main reason behind his teammates’ discontent. That could spur the Jets’ general manager to seek a trade sooner rather than later.

LATEST ON THE SENATORS

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said his club won’t spend to the $82.5 million cap next season but they will increase their salary budget. He also indicated he’ll be starting contract talks soon with restricted free agent center Josh Norris. The club has also held contract discussions with defenseman Erik Brannstrom, who shares the same agent with Norris.

Dorion said he would like to bring in a player to help his young talent play meaningful games by the end of next season. That player could be acquired via trade or free agency. Dorion didn’t rule out the possibility of shopping his first-round pick in this year’s draft provided the Senators don’t win next Tuesday’s draft lottery and they remain seventh in the selection order.

Garrioch said it’s no secret the Senators would like to add a top-six right winger to skate alongside center Tim Stutzle. While promising young defenseman Jake Sanderson could become an impact player, they might want to add a little more support around him by acquiring a veteran blueliner.

The Senators could be among the clubs interested in Ottawa native Claude Giroux if he hits the open market this summer. Garrioch reports they’ve also been linked to Kevin Fiala but Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin could find a way to re-sign the pending restricted free agent winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Senators have $59.1 million invested in 14 active roster players for 2022-23 with Norris, Brannstrom and forward Alex Formenton as their notable restricted free agents. Re-signing those three could push their payroll closer to $69 million. They’ll still have room to add a veteran or two but they might be unable to chase someone like Giroux or Fiala if they’re not going to be a cap team next season.