NHL Rumors: Jets, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Flames

In today’s NHL rumors rundown there is no more hiding the fact that Pierre-Luc Dubois wants out of Winnipeg. Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Calle Jarnkrok. Is his new four-year deal an indication the Leafs have another move coming?

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Finally, what’s the delay on Nazem Kadri signing as a free agent? Is he waiting for something?

Canadiens Pursuing Dubois, Player Wants Trade Now

According to Arpon Basu of The Athletic, Dubois’ agent is not hiding the fact his client wants to wind up in Montreal. Dubois has long been rumored to be working his way towards the Canadiens and it appears his agent is starting to put the wheels in motion to hurry that process along.

Pierre-Luc Dubois Winnipeg Jets
Pierre-Luc Dubois, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Basu writes that Dubois’ agent Pat Brisson has made his client’s desires as public as possible because Dubois is without a current contract. Basu adds:

A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Athletic that Dubois attended the NHL Draft in Montreal because he believed a trade would be completed on the draft floor. As first reported by Radio-Canada’s Martin Leclerc, Montreal offered three players to the Jets in hopes of securing Dubois’ rights. You’ll recall that Montreal selected Slovak right winger Juraj Slafkovsky with the No. 1 pick and then acquired Kirby Dach from Chicago.

source – ‘What we’re hearing on the Canadiens, Jets and Pierre-Luc Dubois’ – Apron Basu – The Athletic – 07/15/2022

Apparently, the Canadiens have continued to pursue a Dubois trade even after acquiring Kirby Dach. “It is believed that Winnipeg is holding up the deal in an effort to secure a player Montreal has no interest in moving.”

Maple Leafs Trading Alex Kerfoot?

With the signing of Calle Jarnkrok by the Maple Leafs on Friday, there was some immediate chatter that maybe Jarnkrok could be a solid replacement for Alex Kerfoot with a cap hit that is $1.4 million lower. Nick DeSouza of Leafs Nation offers an example of what some Leafs’ scribes are thinking.

Alexander Kerfoot Toronto Maple Leafs
Alexander Kerfoot, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He writes:

If the Leafs move Kerfoot for picks, I wonder if they can still steal one of [Evan] Rodrigues, [Danton] Heinen, or [Sonny] Milano for a low AAV. Depending on how the [Rasmus] Sandin and [Pierre] Engvall contracts go, they might have to also move [Justin] Holl to do so.

Kerfoot is a free agent next season and he’ll likely get close to $5 million or more next season. If the Maple Leafs are not going to keep him, perhaps the best plan is to trade him now and get something for the asset.

Kadri Is Waiting for Teams to Clear Room

Elliotte Friedman said during his last 32 Thoughts podcast of the season, that he thinks Nazem Kadri is waiting for some teams he’s got his eyes on to clear cap space. Friedman says, “I think what Kadri is doing, I’ve heard, is he’s waiting because I think there’s some teams that want to sign him and they need to clear room. I think Colorado’s still a possibility and I think the New York Islanders would be someone else, but I wouldn’t assume those were the only two.”

Nazem Kadri Colorado Avalanche
Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche (Getty Images)

Friedman also doesn’t believe the Flames are looking to make a big offer for Kadri. Rumors suggest they could shift towards Kadri after losing Gaudreau, but the NHL insider doesn’t think that is the case. He says the Flames aren’t going to look away if Kadri is interested, but the team is being careful about how they spend their money and won’t be offering a huge contract to sign there.

He also thinks the Blue Jackets made a big pitch for Kadri before learning they had a real shot at getting Gaudreau. He says the Blue Jackets were determined to make a splash in free agency.