NHL Rumors: Jets, Ducks, Sabres, Oilers, Canadiens

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, what might be a few of the potential landing spots for Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets? Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks have hired a new head coach. The Buffalo Sabres have identified a goaltender as their top priority and the Edmonton Oilers are looking at upgrades for their top six. Finally, the Montreal Canadiens have locked up Cole Caufield to a long-term, eight-year deal.

What Teams Might Be Interested in Mark Scheifele?

Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun writes that a Scheifele trade would be extremely difficult for the Jets given what he means to the team, but the franchise may have no choice but to look at deals for the forward in the final years of his contract and a pending UFA at the end of the season. Like Connor Hellebuyck and Pierre-Luc Dubois, the Jets can’t afford to let anyone leave without getting a solid return.

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Scheifele has a 10-team no-trade clause, but Billeck named a couple of teams he thought might show interest. The Boston Bruins could be a potential landing spot if both Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retire. The Jets could target Jake DeBrusk and Brandon Carlo.

He also mentioned that the Carolina Hurricanes are looking for a star and might be willing to make a big trade to land an offensive difference-maker. Should they be open to a deal, he writes that the names the Jets might target include Seth Jarvis, Martin Necas, Brett Pesce, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Babcock, Dubas & Shanahan

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The Detroit Red Wings could be an interesting target as they have lots of cap space and could use a center behind Dylan Larkin. Billeck wonders if the Red Wings might try to target both Scheifele and Hellebuyck in the same trade.

Finally, he writes about the Calgary Flames and notes:

Elias Lindholm for Scheifele straight up? Lindholm was non-committal about his Calgary future, although it will be interesting to see if the Darryl Sutter firing changes his mind. Lindholm is a 2024 UFA as well, so the Jets would want an extension.

source – ‘Mark Scheifele trade may be hardest to make for Winnipeg Jets’ – Scott Billeck – Winnipeg Sun – 06/01/2023

Ducks Hire New Head Coach

As per the team’s social media account and official website, the Anaheim Ducks announced: “We have hired Greg Cronin as head coach. Cronin brings 36 years of prior coaching and player development experience, including 12 years as an NHL assistant coach.”

GM Pat Verbeek said, “While we did cast a wide net in searching for the next head coach, it became clear to me that Greg would be the ideal fit for the position.” He added, “Being a young team, I felt we needed a teacher of the finer points of the game, and someone who has worked extensively over time with talented young players, helping them develop into successful NHL players. Greg has done all that and more, and we are excited to name him head coach of the Anaheim Ducks.” 

Sabres Top Priority is a Starting Goaltender

Lance Lysowski and Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News write that the Sabres held their latest off-season roundtable discussions and general manager Kevyn Adams and his staff identified their top priority is to find a number one goalie. 

Devon Levi Buffalo Sabres
Devon Levi. Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

They write:

I need Mr. X, an NHL-caliber goalie to play 35-40 games next season and almost go 50-50 with Levi. But enough about Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck. He’ll cost too much as a rental and take too much of Levi’s ice time in the future. Levi is your 50- to 55-game goalie in the 2024-25 season, and you need a one-year bridge to get him there.

source- ‘Sabres roundtable: Is a No. 1 goalie on the shopping list? Who is next to break out?’ – Lance Lysowski , Mike Harrington – Buffalo News – 06/01/2023

Oilers Could Target a Top-Six Winger With Size

TSN’s Ryan Rishaugh spoke with Jason Strudwick on their Got Yer Back Podcast and discussed free-agent targets for the Edmonton Oilers. Saying the team would probably only do something this summer if they could move Kailer Yamamoto’s contract, Strudwick is still uncertain the Oilers will find someone they like better for less money.

Rishaug mentioned names like Ivan Barbashev, Pierre Engvall, Evan Rodrigues, and Ryan Donato, but Strudwick wonders if the Oilers will take a flyer on someone like Connor Brown. After a season where he suffered a major setback due to an injury, he might be looking for a place to sign a one-year deal and showcase himself.

Canadiens Sign Cole Caufield

The Montreal Canadiens have inked an eight-year contract with their star forward, Cole Caufield, ensuring his long-term presence on the team. Valued at an average annual value (AAV) of $7.85 million, the substantial $62.8 million deal solidifies the Canadiens’ commitment to their talented young core.

The deal avoids any concern of an offer sheet and allows both sides to jump over a bridge deal and get the younger winger locked in. The Canadiens strategically locked him in at this value during their rebuilding phase. As the team matures into a contender, Caufield’s contract is poised to be regarded as a remarkable steal.