NHL Rumor Mill – November 14, 2020

by | Nov 14, 2020 | Rumors | 22 comments

The latest on the Bruins and Rangers in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: In his latest mailbag, Joe Haggerty was asked if the Bruins will sign a free agent. Right now, he doesn’t think so but that could change once the dates for next season are sorted out.

Will the Boston Bruins re-sign or trade Jake DeBrusk? (NHL Images)

It also hinges on their remaining moves, such as whether they’ll re-sign winger Jake DeBrusk or trade him. If they do the latter in exchange for a young defenseman, it could free up space to pursue a scorer like Mike Hoffman on a one-year deal. Either way, they could also be in a position to sign winger Anthony Duclair on a short-term contract.

Haggerty also mentioned the possibility of swapping DeBrusk for a defenseman when asked if the Bruins would trade for a rearguard to fill the gap left by Torey Krug’s departure. He also noted they were willing to part with Urho Vaakanainen and other assets (including a high draft pick) for Oliver Ekman-Larsson. However, he thinks the Bruins would have to convince the other club to absorb part of a defenseman’s salary or take back someone like John Moore in return.

Ultimately, Haggerty thinks the Bruins could go into next season with their current blueline corps. He has his doubts Zdeno Chara will be back, though Chara’s agent said his client is waiting on a season format before re-upping with the Bruins.

Speaking of Chara, Haggerty’s colleague Jimmy Murphy reports there’s speculation linking the big blueliner to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Bruins re-sign DeBrusk, which I expect they will, they’ll have to go into the bargain bin for a free-agent left-side defenseman or stick with their current blueline and see how things unfold during the season.

The Bruins have over $6.6 million in cap space, which should be enough to get DeBrusk signed to an affordable two-year bridge deal and leave some wiggle room for other additions. Depending on when the season begins, they could get some early cap relief by placing sidelined wingers Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak on long-term injury reserve and use it to add a player or two. However, they would have to shed salary to become cap compliant when those two return.

As for Chara, I don’t see how the Lightning, Leafs or Islanders could fit him in even if he accepted a bargain basement deal.

The Lightning must shed salary to sign restricted free agents Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev. The Isles must re-sign RFA center Mathew Barzal. Once that’s done, they are expected to officially announce the signings of Cory Schneider, Matt Martin and Andy Greene, which will use up whatever cap space they’ve got left. The Leafs, meanwhile, are over the cap by $1 million but are expected to bury salary in the minors.

Unless those clubs make a cost-cutting trade or acquire a player on permanent LTIR to allow them to exceed the cap, they don’t have room for Chara or anyone else.

THE ATHLETIC: Rick Carpiniello looked ahead at possible moves by the New York Rangers at next year’s trade deadline. He expects they’ll be sellers again, suggesting center Ryan Strome as a prime trade chip, especially if he has another big year skating alongside Artemi Panarin.

Carpiniello speculates the Rangers could attempt to package defenseman Tony DeAngelo for either a second-line center or a first-pair right-side blueliner. Rearguards Brendan Smith and Jack Johnson could also be shopped. Winger Pavel Buchnevich could also hit the trade block if youngsters Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko earn top-six minutes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s far too early to determine which Rangers will be trade candidates by the deadline. Much will depend upon where they are in the standings by then. I doubt they’ll shake things up too much if they’re holding onto a playoff spot. The play of Strome, DeAngelo, Buchnevich, Smith and Johnson will determine how much value they might have in the trade market by the deadline.

If we’re going to play the guessing game, Buchnevich could be the most likely to move. The Rangers have a surplus of wingers and he could slip down the depth chart, especially if Lafreniere is moved to right wing and plays well at that position. However, that’s not a certainty as we don’t know how well the youngster will adjust to the NHL level, let alone getting used to skating on his wrong wing.


  1. Whats Rick Carpiniello smoking today?
    No contender is adding JackJ or BSmith at TDL.

    • Hi ds

      You don’t need the word “contender” before “is adding JackJ”

      Properly stated…. “No team is trading for JJ” or “No team will take JJ”

    • The most amusing part of the Carpiniello fantasy is they would trade a Tony DeAngelo, a 3rd pair defender who plays less than 10. minutes a game, because of his “upside” and the yield will be a first-pair blueliner, and right-side one at that? I am now convinced most hockey scribes bang the keys just to attempt to say anything!

  2. Lou must do some fancy dancing for the Islanders to re-sign Barzal and squeeze in Martin, Greene or Schneider let alone bring The Giant back to Long Island, as sweet as that would be symbolically.

    • “Carpiniello speculates the Rangers could attempt to package defenseman Tony DeAngelo for either a second-line center or a first-pair right-side blueline”

      I thought DeAngelo was a “first-pair right-side blue liner”.

      If he’s not, then how do they expect his worth is such that he will land that player?

      If he is, then it’s even more bizarre an idea.

      And then there’s Fox and Trouba, right?
      Both right-siders and already Rangers.

      Carpiniello needs to give his head a good shake.


      • omigosh, I should have read your comment…as I said the same….

  3. Carpinello must have been partying with Jimmy Murphy.

    • Have been saying this for many weeks … Bruins should sign Duclair & trade DeBrusk in a package for a LD ….. Haggs get your own material

  4. Why aren’t the Bruins signing DeBrusk and going after Vince Dunn? They have the cap space and the Blues don’t have the room to sign him.

    • I will still continue to say that a swap of DeBrusk for Dunn is in both teams best interests.

      The Blues have some other young LD (Mikkola and Perunovich) and the Bruins would have $$$s for free agent signing.

      • Maybe he’s tried and the Blues said “no thanks” figuring, all things considered, that Dunn is, in their view, a much better bet.

  5. Its obvious that Debrusk wants more the Boston is offering; otherwise he be signed.

    Still like to see Boston sign Athanasius. You be able to be had at a decent price.

    • Pasta didn’t sign until well into training camp. No rush, I guess. AA is interesting, but He’s not a very good 200′ player. He can learn though. I’d take a swing for the right price……but, Jakub Lauko is just as fast and we’ve already got him signed.
      Oscar Steen is probably ready to taje the next step as well.

    • Sop, agree the price would have to be right for AA; however I wouldn’t compare him to Lauko, AA is 6’2″ to Jacob 6′ and AA is a former NHL 30 goal score and Lauko hasn’t scored 30 goals at any level.

      • True enough, Caper. I have high hopes for him though.

  6. Chara’s career earnings are estimated by cap friendly to be $97,993,695. Let’s call that 100 million. He and his wife are financial planners, all of which is to say he has enough money for 10 lifetimes.

    He has three school aged kids. Thus I view the speculation that he is going to sign elsewhere just bored hockey writers filling in space. My guess is that he is waiting to see how much of an impact on family life the new schedule will have before re-signing with Boston.

    • Well stated LJ

      IMHO…. Big Z is a Bruin or retires

      Murphy must be following the teachings of another with Irish heritage …. Timothy Leary

      In that same dream did Murphy also have Leafs bringing Chelios out of retirement and signing him? Salming?

      Is Lou calling Potvin?

      Was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds playing on the phonograph?

      Was he binge watching Kubrick movies?

      • That post made me laugh Pengy.

    • Wise comment LJ….I think the veteran players many of whom have enough to live on are motivated by things like….where the kids will go to school, have a championship yet…will I bored if I don’t play ….do I or don’t enjoy the road trips….

      Money in any sense of a normal person’s sense of it is not the concern

  7. Tall tales of Chara going to the Leafs have been circling at least since last October, when Howard Berger wrote in “Between the Posts” “the Maple Leafs would march into enemy territory with an altogether different ambiance were No. 33 along for the ride.” According to his story, the Leafs were weighing the merits of signing either Chara or Joe Thornton. Berger wrote that Leaf fans overwhelmingly supported signing Chara, saying
    ” I conducted a poll the other day on my Facebook page, asking Leafs fans to choose between Thornton and Chara. Among those that answered the question (some said “neither”), Chara was the overwhelming victor, 16–2. On my Twitter page, it was 8–0 for the big blue–liner.”

    • What a bunch of dummies answering that poll. Thornton replaces Gauthier a significant upgrade. If signed Chara would play in place of lehtonen , dermott and sandin all quality dmen already better and each with good upside. Chara is only better than marincin and maybe rosen the leafs 6 and 7th best LD.

  8. If Strome has another great year why in the world would they trade him? If Panarim and him play well isn’t that enough to keep Strome on as 2nd line C and as Panarim’s playing partner? These people sometimes amaze me with their “knowledge” of hockey. The most important thing about being a winning team is chemistry between the players on the same line or on the same defense duo. Once you find that chemistry between players, you don’t break it up. Also I can’t see the Rangers moving Alexis Lafreniere to his offside. Hard enough to get used to the NHL level without having to switch sides. I don’t see the Rangers as sellers. They have a good young team that needs to develop together and in a few years they will be playing for the cup.


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