NHL Rumor Mill – October 27, 2020
The latest on the Bruins, Red Wings, Capitals and Jets in today’s NHL rumor mill.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: DJ Bean wonders if the Bruins intend to trade Jake DeBrusk. The 24-year-old winger is a restricted free agent who averaged 20 goals per season over the course of his entry-level contract. He’s also surfaced in recent trade rumors.
Bean considers DeBrusk as one of the Bruins’ best trade chips if they were serious about making a big splash this offseason, “but perhaps they aren’t.” If not, he ponders how much the winger should get on his next contract and for how long. Bean suggested something around $4 million annually on a short-term deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bean also acknowledged the flattened salary cap could explain why the Bruins haven’t signed DeBrusk yet. They could still make that big offseason move or perhaps wait until training camp/preseason to make that splash with the young winger as the centerpiece. Otherwise, a two-year contract worth $4 million annually for DeBrusk seems the most likely route.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan observes the Detroit Red Wings should have around $8 million in salary-cap space once their restricted free agents are signed. He noted Wings general manager Steve Yzerman didn’t rule out adding another player via the free-agent market.
The most prominent unrestricted free agents include former Wing Andreas Athanasiou, Zdeno Chara, Anthony Duclair, Mikael Granlund, Erik Haula, Travis Hamonic, Mike Hoffman and Sami Vatanen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman could dip into the market to add a veteran on an affordable short-term contract. I doubt he’ll bring Athanasiou back after his disappointing performance last season. I still expect Chara to return to the Bruins while Hoffman reportedly seeks a one-year, $6-million deal. The Wings’ defense corps could benefit from adding a veteran like Hamonic or Vatanen.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: explored the Capitals options to add a 13th forward. Among them could be trading Nick Jensen.
The 30-year-old defenseman would be an obvious trade candidate, though the current economic conditions make it difficult to move a player who’s struggled in Washington with three years left on his contract. However, Jensen’s a right-shot blueliner carrying an affordable $2.5 million cap hit, though the Capitals might have to include an asset in the deal.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jason Bell reports the Jets might be shopping Sami Niku, but the 24-year-old defenseman isn’t seeking a trade. His agent said his client has not asked to be moved. Niku and forward Jack Roslovic have surfaced in trade rumors of late. The blueliner is a restricted free agent.