NHL Rumor Mill – November 24, 2020

by | Nov 24, 2020 | Rumors | 13 comments

What’s next for the Bruins after signing Jake DeBrusk? What’s the latest on Matt Dumba’s trade status? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: D.J. Bean praised Bruins general manager Don Sweeney for signing winger Jake DeBrusk to an affordable short-term bridge contract yesterday. The move also leaves Sweeney with “somewhere between $2.9 million and $3.7 million”, enough to bring in a left-side defenseman or another left winger, though they’ll have to shed some salary to address both issues.

With Jake DeBrusk signed, will the Boston Bruins bring back Zdeno Chara? (NHL Images)

Bean suggests there’s enough to bring back Zdeno Chara for next season in perhaps a third-pairing role. However, they’ll have to bid Chara adieu if they decide to sign unrestricted free agent winger Mike Hoffman.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty took note of my recent Bleacher Report piece listing the Bruins fourth among my top-five destinations for Hoffman. I pointed out the Bruins’ limited cap space puts them at a disadvantage with the three teams ahead of them in my ranking.

Haggerty speculates Hoffman could be waiting for the right team to make some cost-cutting moves to free up sufficient cap space to sign him. That could bode well for a club like the Bruins.

In a recent mailbag segment, Haggerty suggests Anthony Duclair as an affordable alternative if they can’t sign Hoffman.

He also said acquiring Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larson wouldn’t be an idiotic decision. He praised Ekman-Larsson’s offensive abilities while suggesting his size wouldn’t make him a defensive zone liability like the smaller former Bruin Torey Krug.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Bruins have $2.9 million in cap space. Unless they shed salary they can’t afford to bring back Chara and add a third-line left winger or a second-line right wing.

Hoffman reportedly seeks a one-year deal between $5.5 million and $6.5 million. If he won’t budge from that asking price, the Bruins can’t sign him without making a cost-cutting trade.

Haggerty’s suggestion about Hoffman waiting for the right team to clear some cap space to sign him is a reasonable one, but I don’t think that helps the Bruins. I don’t see who they can move that would free up sufficient cap room without weakening the roster elsewhere.

The same goes for acquiring Ekman-Larsson. While he could agree to waive his no-movement clause before next year’s trade deadline if the Coyotes approached him again about going to Boston, I don’t see how the Bruins could free up sufficient room to take on his $8.25 million cap hit. They’ll want the Coyotes to pick up a healthy chunk but I don’t see them agreeing to that. The only reason they explored trading Ekman-Larsson was to get his full cap hit off their books.

NHL.COM: Tom Gulitti reports Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin reiterated he’s not shopping Matt Dumba. The 26-year-old defenseman was the subject of trade speculation in recent months, but Guerin said he’s prepared to start the season with Dumba, praising his energy and competitiveness.

There was talk Dumba could be available after the Wild signed Jonas Brodin to a seven-year contract extension. The club might not be able to protect Dumba in next year’s expansion draft with Brodin, Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon under contract for five more seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brodin, Suter and Spurgeon all have full no-movement clauses meaning they must be protected by the Wild in the expansion draft unless they consent to waive those clauses. Dumba lacks that protection. Guerin could decide to protect those four defensemen but it would mean leaving an extra forward exposed.

Guerin saying he’s happy to start the season with Dumba doesn’t full slam the door on the speculation over the blueliner’s future in Minnesota. Assuming there’s a 2020-21 season, don’t be surprised if he resurfaces in the rumor mill if the Wild are struggling before next year’s trade deadline.


  1. Posted below on Morning Coffee…. more in line with topics here on the Rumours section:

    “ Re DeBrusk…. IMHO , good deal both sides

    Bruins with $3M in space (that’s with 24 players Sals [including the 3 LTIRs]… so sloughing a league min player to get to 23—- effectively $3.7 M (if all LTIRs play game 1 …. they won’t)

    Chara or Vats (replacing another league min on roster)… still has Bruins with $2 – $3M in flex…. that’s w/o LTIR

    If it were a 1/1 start (uhhhh … very unlikely)…. then with 1 month (at least 1/5th of season) of LTIR for Pasta and Marchand, plus the $2M – $3M above….. Hoffman is still a possibility; Duclair could fit in for sure. Haula?”

  2. Any team that needs a winger should take a chance on Duclair specially with the cap not going anywhere low risk possible high reward.. As for Ekman Larsson i wouldn’t trade for him even though he’s a elite d man and they are hard to come by the length and dollars at the end of his contract are reasons enough.

  3. Vince Dunn is the piece Boston needs to round out the lineup.

  4. Boston is heading for a freefall down the standings.

    Wild have no worries about protection dumba as they don’t even have 4 forwards Seattle would want.

    • Wendel. I don’t know if Boston will have a “free fall”, but they are at risk of having an off year. If they’re starting season without 2 of their stars in a shortened season, might be hard to make up ground if they have a bad start. Add to that, they could be playing in a new division. Looking at point totals in eastern conference last season, 5 of the bottom 6 teams where in Atlantic. Your Leafs where barely better. Throw Boston in with some Metro teams in a proposed north east division and schedule should be considerably harder.

    • I’d take Minnesota Wild’s Greenway and Erikkson Ek in a heartbeat

  5. If the bruins don’t shore up their blueline with a good rushing d equivalent to Krug or better and they also need a good scoring second liner this club could miss the post season! The only thing Sweeney is good at, The only thing he is good at, is signing players to decent contracts, he couldn’t trade a pouch of redman for bag of beans, his draft record is horrible gm’s laugh at him behind his back/ Get busy Sweeney do something everybody else has!

  6. Matt and Charlie will easily fill in for Krug,s offense and will be better defensively. Boston dominated the league last year and will again next year no problem. They have GM of year Coach of the year best young winger in the game Pasta best defensive center man in Bergeron best pest and game changer in game in Marchand top 3 goalie in league and maybe best back up period. Watch the year Studnicka has as rookie of the year also. Bergeron Krech and Coyle down middle my God what a team now back put your masks on and hide in your houses I’m down in Arizona have a tee time at noon.

    • The Bruins will be knocking on the SC door again but once again not big enough to finish the job, this offseason they were looking to get bigger & tougher it didn’t happen ….. the 21-22 season is where there will be a major makeover of this team

    • Clown of the year candidate right here folks. I think that Arizona sun is scorching your brain.

  7. Not worried about the Bruins over the next couple of seasons. Except start of 2020-21.
    You have to dig a well before you are thirsty. Sweeney might want to pick up on that old adage
    OEL will be tough to move period

  8. Hot rumor in Isles Land is that either Ladd or Boychuck is retiring.
    No doubt with a helping hand by LL.

    We’ll see, but if true that should take care of Barzal.

    • No way Ladd or. Boychuk retire and leave millions on the table maybe long term disability like Hossa etc. But have to be hurt

      Bruins will be one of best teams again this year too much talent and great goalies and coaching.