NHL Rumor Mill – July 14, 2020
Check out the latest on Brock Boeser, Alex Pietrangelo, and Torey Krug in today’s NHL rumor mill.
CANUCKS NOT SHOPPING BOESER
TSN: Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning vehemently denied recent rumors he was exploring trading Brock Boeser. Appearing on TSN 1040 on Monday, Benning claimed the team has been happy with the 23-year-old winger since drafting him in 2015. “I don’t know where this stuff comes from,” said Benning. “I have no intention of trading Brock Boeser.”
THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal Boeser spoke to Benning and received assurances he wasn’t on the trade block.
“I’ve felt I’ve always been pretty honest with the media, and I feel like it was really unnecessary — and even the timing of the tweet was questionable with us getting ready to make a deep run. The last time I checked, the trade deadline has passed,” said Boeser.
They also cited a reply from THN 1040 Matt Sekeres, who reported Friday a Boeser trade was among several options being mulled over by the Canucks’ front office to free up salary-cap space.
“If you were expecting a sitting GM to confirm he might have to trade a good young winger because he has made a mess of the salary cap, well, perhaps you are also waiting for COVID-19 to magically disappear in the heat.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drance and Dayal doubt the Canucks would move Boeser even if they were kicking around the idea. They point out it’s almost impossible to win such a trade in this off-season. Such a move would also damage the club’s chemistry as they’re better with Boeser in the lineup.
Maybe Benning and his staff were considering the idea. Sekeres makes a good point that we can’t expect the Canucks GM to admit it. We should also remember Sekeres said it was among several options they were looking at. It doesn’t mean they were giving it serious consideration.
UPDATES ON PIETRANGELO AND KRUG
THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary cites Alex Pietrangelo telling NHL.com’s Louie Korac he remains hopeful of re-signing with the St. Louis Blues. The 30-year-old defenseman is in the final season of his seven-year, $45.5 million contract and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent.
Pietrangelo said he and GM Doug Armstrong haven’t held any contract talks because of the uncertainty over the remainder of this season. He believes they’ll resume once the playoffs are over.
Brandon Maron, meanwhile, cites Torey Krug telling The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa he understands he might have to consider playing for another team after this season. The 29-year-old blueliner is also slated for UFA status at the end of this season.
Krug said he’s currently focused on the upcoming playoffs, but admitted he probably has to prepare himself for unrestricted free agency. Then he’ll see what happens with the Bruins and other teams.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pietrangelo and Krug are the top defensemen and among the best players in this year’s UFA market. Both will attract considerable interest if they become available.
The constraints of a flat salary-cap for 2020-21 will affect their efforts to remain with their present clubs. Cap Friendly indicates the Blues have over $79 million invested in next season’s payroll with Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn to re-sign. The Bruins have $63.5 million but must also re-sign or replace Krug, Jake DeBrusk, Zdeno Chara, Anders Bjork, and Matt Grzelcyk.
Both clubs could face cost-cutting trades to re-sign those blueliners. Blues goaltender Jake Allen and forwards Jaden Schwartz, David Perron, and Tyler Bozak have surfaced as possible trade candidates. DeBrusk was mentioned as a trade option if Krug’s new contract takes a big bite out of their cap room.