NHL Rumor Mill – June 26, 2020

by | Jun 26, 2020 | Rumors | 30 comments

Updates on Jake DeBrusk and Carl Soderberg plus the latest on the Blackhawks free agents in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty believes Jake DeBrusk is in line for a raise but it likely won’t come from the Bruins. The 23-year-old winger is a restricted free agent after this season.

Could the Boston Bruins trade winger Jake DeBrusk in the off-season? (Photo via NHL Images)

Haggerty suggests DeBrusk could command between $4.5 million and $5.5 million annually on his next contract. The Bruins have over $63 million invested in next season’s payroll with DeBrusk, Torey Krug, Zdeno Chara, and several others to re-sign.

With the salary cap expected to remain at $81.5 million for next season, Haggerty speculated Bruins management might have to consider trading DeBrusk if it came down to a choice between the winger and Krug. He believes this would be the time to move him to get back close to the maximum value for a young, still-developing player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s too early to tell what Bruins general manager Don Sweeney will do once the off-season begins. Nevertheless, this situation could be worth monitoring.

Those cap constraints cannot be ignored. If they re-sign Krug for between $7-$8 million AAV and DeBrusk to $5 million, it won’t leave much wiggle room for the rest of the roster. Somebody else will have to go if they don’t move DeBrusk.


CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope reports Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman earlier this month said he hadn’t started contract talks with his pending free agents. Bowman said it’s far too early to become those discussions given the uncertainty over the salary cap.

The Blackhawks’ notable free agents include goaltender Corey Crawford and forwards Dylan Strome, Dominik Kubalik, and Drake Caggiula. Pope speculates they could end up waiting four months longer than usual to find out their fates.

Crawford is an unrestricted free agent but hopes to re-sign with the Blackhawks. Strome, Kubalik, and Caggiula are restricted.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most NHL free agents are in the same boat. The league and NHLPA have an agreement to tentatively extend all expiring contracts to Oct. 31. They can be re-signed by their current clubs before then but most GMs will wait until they know for certain what next season’s salary cap will be. 


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Jonathan Willis recently suggested Carl Soderberg could be a useful and affordable short-term free-agent addition for the Edmonton Oilers. The 34-year-old Arizona Coyotes center could fit comfortably among the Oilers’ middle-six forwards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers could use a more experienced and skilled third-line center, allowing them to drop Riley Sheahan to the fourth line. Soderberg’s at the age where he’s still an effective player but won’t get any expensive long-term offers. For the right price, he could be a decent fit with the Oilers for a year or two.


  1. With David Krecji and Tuukka Rask both contracts expiring after next season.

    Both players may resign with Boston but wont be close to the $7m they are making now. Lots of room to sign Debrusk.

    Whether they should or not is another question.

    • As I noted earlier, if Krug gets $7-$8 million annually and DeBrusk $4.5 – $5.5 million annually, it won’t leave much room to fill out re-sign or replace their remaining free agents.

      • I don’t watch Boston much, but just looking at stats, why would he be inline for such a big raise? He hasn’t played a full season yet. He doesn’t have arbitration rights. Honestly think he’ll be lucky to get more than 3m for 1-2 years.

    • I doubt Tuukka will be taking less the 7 million per year on his net contract still one of top net minders in the game. Krech will be for sure weather it is with Bruins or someone else I also doubt Sweeney moves DeBrusk he will find a way to get it done like moving a bottom 3 D man

      • Tuuka will ALWAYS be a favorite of St. Louis fans after having an .800 save percentage (4 goals on 16 shots) against the Blues in Stanley Cup Finals game 7 in Boston! Blues fans will be FOREVER grateful.

  2. The Bruins fan base would rather see Krug gone as far as what I hear as I live near there. I think Krug stays Chara is getting old and they would want to shore up there defense which has been there mainstay. Personally I would leave Chara out of the equation he is getting old. That’s my opinion. I am not a Bruins fan but I am a fan of Chara and my opinion is based on the business side not my personal feelings.

    • If I was GM of the B’s:
      Krug – walks with a big thank you and mutual respect.
      Chara – $4M all in with bonuses. Same as this year.
      Debrusk – $4M 2 year bridge. He has no real leverage, and he bets on the cap rising in 2 years then he signs for the bigger $$ if he produces. B’s may have more space then too.
      Dadonov – $4M X 4. Play him with DeBrusk and Krecji

      D Pairs
      McAvoy Chara. McAvoy runs the PP and thrives.
      Carlo Grezlyk. Carlo and Chara continue 1st PK.
      Clifton Lauzon/Moore (Trade one prior to season)
      7th Zboril (Needs to clear waivers next year I think) and he pushes Grezlyk for minutes and 2nd PP time.
      Vaak and Kampfer 8th and pushing for NHL job.
      My work here is done, plan the parade.

      • I don’t think Dadonov will sign anywhere for 4M AAV. He is probably a 6M forward even in this free agent market.

      • Ray Bark,
        What about Kevan Miller? Arguably when healthy the best Bruins D in the defensive end. If he is ok’d to play by medical he comes in pretty cheap considering time missed and the medical risk the team will take? Just saying. I would rather have Miller in there protecting my stars and keeping my defensive end clean than hoping Zorbil can play 24 minutes a night?

  3. Debrusk from what I saw last season is off.
    I am not sure if the concussion or what the issue. Not quite the same player from a couple of years back. Steps up in the playoffs which is important.
    I would move him if salary demand and structure don’t work. He should not be $5.5 and will have to take less.
    Soderberg’s last contract was a little rich. If he is expecting the same Oilers will have to pass. As a player and role (with money aside) a good fit

    Not understanding tonight’s entry draft completely. If in order, straight forward. What happens if number 8 hole wins the lottery ?

    • Then they wait till the play-in series is over and then finish selections

    • I think Debrusk has a bad head.
      I’m on the fence with regards to trading him though.
      He could pull a Bergeron and fully recover and thrive. Or he doesn’t.
      It’s hard to find natural goal scorers, and I do believe he is one.

  4. If Buffalo wins the lottery does that mean they trade Eichel? ;-0

    But you get the feeling the Devils win again

    • I think if Buffalo wins lottery, Eichel more likely to stay.

      • From the Sabres point maybe they clean house and ride Laf+Dahlin with a score for Eichel…

        what would you do?
        I mean Eichels dont grow on trees either…. but that room

      • ds. I don’t know where the “that room” comes from. You don’t hear that about McDavid, yet look what happened with Puljujarvi. If you’re rebuilding. I don’t see how you deal away a 23 year old star. Really depends on Eichel’s patience. 5 years already of losing.

      • Alot is OFF in Buffalo so none of us know.
        Eichel+ROR with the cast they had should of been a playoff team. ROR leaves and they obviously are not any better

  5. A general comment discussing the old idea of who gets the best player in any trade wins the trade. I think while that is generally true it is not always. Witness the Lindros to Philly trade.

    If Buffalo can bring in 3 or 4 young rebuilding assets and reset the team mental framework simultaneously, I would consider were I GM in Buffalo.

    I would be reluctant to trade Eichel but would not rule it out. A day late I know but I am old and slow on the uptake.

    • Ya OBD when you look at that trade today, the Nordiques/Avs won that deal.
      You could argue that Forsberg ended up being the best player in that deal long term. Lindros more dominant for a short time, like the most dominant player in the league, but Forsberg was right up there.

      • I used to think this way too but now that I look back on everything Lindros was the better player. Forsberg had the luxury of playing behind Sakic in the 2c spot.

        Teams would focus their entire team defense on stopping Lindros, not Forsberg. Don’t get me wrong, Forsberg was awesome, and a way more likeable guy, but if I’m choosing one of them to be on my team in their primes, hands down Lindros.

      • Hi OBD, Ray and Canadian King

        Re Lindros trade

        I look at the big picture and not the two key players (Lindros and Forsberg )

        Philly got Lindros

        Avs got , Ricci, Hextall, Duchesne (Steve) ; Huffman, Chris Simon (at time of the deal “future considerations) ; 2 firsts; $15 M

        Avs became very strong over the next few years… and won in ‘96 and ‘01

        To me … Avs won the deal

      • I totally understand and appreciate your view on this Pengy, but answer me this, would the AVS have won the cup with Lindros instead of Forsberg?

        My guess is hell yea. Sakic, Foote, Lindros, Roy, etc. That’s just disgusting. So the fact they won two cups with Forsberg doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have with Lindros.

  6. Pegulas recent actions and comments caused me to think of the off season free agency market from a different perspective. I don’t believe any player is “inline” for a raise or can “command” a contract. The uncertainty of future revenue triggers mandatory business plans and actions. The owners are forced to cut cost and shore up their business. Its not about cap space its about expenses. GM’s will not be steering the ship. Business owners will be making business decisions that will be driven by worst case revenue projections. Competing against other owners will take a back seat to focusing on their own balance sheet and long term survival.

    I would expect that the investors in the Seattle franchise have a whole different pucker factor. It wasn’t reasonable to expect a repeat of the Vegas expansion success but the Seattle expansion has some unique challenges that couldn’t have been anticipated. It will require a much more conservative strategy. I don’t expect Seattle to draft or trade for players with significant salary commitments.

    • Seattle has a min cap to reach from the e-draft.

  7. Good luck George

  8. Poor Ottawa. Poor Detroit.

    • If the standings had of ended the same way the jets would have won the lottery! 12th to 1st is the biggest lottery win yet, and yes Detroit and Ottawa lost the worst

    • First of all, its good that teams who were really bad weren’t rewarded.
      On the second thought, again Pittsburgh or NY Rangers/Chicago will get their 1st overall (sure Rangers got 2nd last year)

    • Hockey gods looked kindly upon LA and rewarded them for not tanking and winning their last 7 games in a row.