NHL Rumor Mill – August 22, 2017
Updates on David Pastrnak, Will Butcher and Alex Kerfoot in your NHL rumor mill.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa suggests a bridge contract might be the best way to resolve the negotiation impasse between the Boston Bruins and restricted free agent winger David Pastrnak. The Bruins are apparently reluctant to pay Pastrnak more than $6 million per season while his agent could point to Bruins center David Krejci’s $7.25 million annual cap hit as justification for more.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty addresses the notion of trading Pastrnak, point out Bruins management are done “sprinkling their talent around the rest of the league.” He addressed the suggestion by two of his colleagues of shipping Pastrnak to the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Noah Hanifin, pointing out Hanifin hasn’t yet developed as projected. If the Bruins were to shop Pastrnak, Haggerty believes they’ll want a comparable player in return. Ultimately, the best possible solution is to re-sign Pastrnak.
Haggerty also acknowledged the possibility the Bruins are leaving themselves at risk of Pastrnak signing an offer sheet with a rival club. Such a tactic, however, is rarely employed. Haggerty feels if the Bruins were fearful of Pastrnak getting an offer sheet, he would’ve been re-signed by now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Pastrnak trade speculation flared to life last week when NHL analyst Brian Lawton took to Twitter saying he wouldn’t be surprised if the winger got dealt because of his contract problems. That notion was swiftly denied by Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, but the absence of real trade speculation in recent weeks and the apparent lack of progress in Pastrnak’s contract negotiations has kept his name floating in the rumor mill.
I don’t believe the Bruins have any intention of trading Pastrnak and I don’t see him getting an offer sheet from a rival club. There’s still plenty of time for the two sides to work out a new contract. Pastrnak is coming off an entry-level deal and has little leverage. He can either threaten to play in Europe (which he reportedly doesn’t want to do) or not report to training camp in hopes of either landing a favorable new contract or forcing a trade. Be it on a long-term deal or a bridge contract, I expect Pastrnak will be skating with the Bruins this season.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports a source claims the Penguins are not among the front runners to sign 2017 Hobey Baker Award winner Will Butcher.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the New York Rangers are among two or three clubs believed to be under consideration by former Harvard University center and Hobey Baker Award finalist Alex Kerfoot. The 23-year-old opted not to re-sign with the New Jersey Devils and became an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 16. He’s also believed mulling an offer from the Vancouver Canucks. His decision could come today.