Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 22, 2020

by | Nov 22, 2020 | Rumors | 16 comments

Check out the latest Bruins speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty reports Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy intends to take a firmer hand in coaching more offense from his defense. Some of his attention is due to the younger blueliners in the lineup, but also upon how to replace the production lost by Torey Krug’s recent departure to St. Louis.

Could the Boston Bruins revisit efforts to acquire Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson? (NHL Images)

No one among the Bruins’ current defense corps has tallied more than 32 points in a season. Cassidy suggests Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk could be candidates to replace Krug’s offense, especially on the power play. He also didn’t rule out another move by the Bruins to address that issue.

Haggerty noted the Bruins’ attempt to acquire Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson last month. It sounds like Cassidy is advocating for the Bruins to pursue an Ekman-Larsson type of defenseman, but that won’t be easy given their limited salary-cap space.

Haggerty also wondered if the door was fully shut on acquiring Ekman-Larsson later in the season. The Coyotes’ efforts to move the 29-year-old blueliner ended when a deal couldn’t be reached before his deadline of Oct. 9.

In a recent interview, Ekman-Larsson expressed his desire to remain with the Coyotes. However, the club is currently facing difficult fiscal times. Ekman-Larsson explained why he chose the Bruins as one of the two clubs he’d accept being traded to, indicating they showed interest in him before he signed his current contract plus he spent time in Boston during the 2012-13 lockout.

Ekman-Larsson said he’d leave further trade situations up to Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong. Haggerty speculates that could create an opportunity to revisit a trade to the Bruins at some point during the 2020-21 season. He acknowledged the Bruins would have to shed salary and perhaps convince the Coyotes to absorb part of Ekman-Larsson’s $8.25 million annual average value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible but I doubt an Ekman-Larsson trade could be done during the regular season. Teams have limited cap room in-season during the best of times. There won’t be much space for the Bruins to swing this deal during a shortened campaign. Such a move would probably happen during the offseason when teams have more cap space to work as some contracts come off their books through free agency or trades.

Ekman-Larsson’s cap hit through 2026-27 is a huge sticking point now. The Coyotes would want a team to take on the entire $8.25 million, which would be a tough sell in better economic times. They’ll be reluctant to have part of it counting against their cap for the next seven seasons.

Everything hinges, of course, on Ekman-Larsson waiving his no-movement clause. He could agree if Coyotes management presses the issue but they’ll likely want him to expand his list of preferred destinations. His trade status could remain a topic of conjecture throughout the upcoming season.

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz recently pondered David Krejci’s future with the Bruins. The 34-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and has no intention of retiring.

Krejci’s age could be a concern as his production and level of play will inevitably decline. The Bruins, meanwhile, have $45 million invested in 12 players for 2021-22 with restricted free agent winger Jake DeBrusk still to sign plus Brandon Carlo, Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie slated for RFA status next summer. Goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak become unrestricted at the end of this season.

Gretz speculates a two- or three-year deal worth around $5.5 million annually seems reasonable for the Bruins given their circumstances. If Krejci wants more, however, he’ll have to test the market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After being the highest-paid Bruin for several years, Krejci probably anticipates having to accept a pay cut to stay in Boston. He could be receptive to a deal like the one suggested by Gretz. We’ll have to wait until next summer to find out if Bruins management is willing to offer up that much.


  1. FINAL offer—LAST chance:

    Vince Dunn and MacEachern to Boston—Jake DeBrusk and a 3rd to the Blues.

    Problem solved for all.

    • I don’t know about that specific trade but I bet they are shopping Debrusk for a defenseman which is why they have not signed him yet.

      • Is an unsigned player attractive for the receiving team? The Habs traded for Josh Anderson before his new deal was done and found themselves on the pointy end or a dilemma: Anderson said, 1 year, or 7, nothing in between. The Habs ended up absorbing all the risk. Buyer beware …

      • Only way I’d do that, LJ – especially in this economic climate – is if the holding team gave me permission to talk to the player and his agent beforehand – unless the other team is prepared to take a lesser prospect and/or a low round pick without such permission. Otherwise, keep your pig-in-a-poke thanks.

    • DeBrusk to Florida for Yandle . He’s older than OEL and has a full nmc, but… might waive to play for his hometown team. Hasn’t missed a game in 7 straight seasons. Has consistently had better offensive numbers than OEL. Only has 3 years left on his deal.

      • Yandle? You kidding me? Maybe 6 years ago. I’m not reading young talent for someone who won’t be in the league in 3 years

    • Iowa prince..vince Dunn a solid dman deBrusk a solid player dont know much about macEheran..but solid for both it seems.

  2. That would be awesome if Bruins acquired a declining OEL at a ridiculous cost and term to fit their team which has jumped the shark. It would put them almost as far from the Cup as the habs where it will take years to even properly start a rebuild. Do it Bruins.

    • Far from the cup is your middle name? lol

      There isn’t a single dominant team in the league. Front runners VGK & TB face cap challenges. Av’s primed to be the next force. Huge logjam of wannabes after them.

  3. Matt, topic was replacing Krugs offense and possibility of trading for OEL. Also talk of resigning Kreci when he’s 35. Still talk of signing Chara and still have Bergeron who’s older. Either you’re playing for today or you start rebuilding. As I said, Yandle has put up better offensive numbers than OEL and similar point totals to Krug in the last 5 seasons since “Yandle of 6 years ago”

  4. The Bruins don’t have the cap space to trade for OEL and I believe they are done until the season starts.

    Maybe a PTO or 2, I would still like to see them sign AA.

    Also still take Hoffman on a short term deal but Sweeney would have to find a way to move out Moore contract.

    • OEL over rated…….period

      • I think it was a lousy contract, but the guy is a top 2 on most teams in NHL. I do agree too much $$ & term.

  5. Get Larson, and either trade krejci at the end of the season or sign him to far cheaper contract! Get busy SWEENEY!!! if anyone can find this slaggard wake him up and remind him to get moving. The bruins won’t make the playoffs with the team they have now.

    • Not a fan of Sweeney & no clue how he still has a job tbh. Team is getting old in a hurry & drafting not very good imo. After the top line when healthy nothing to get excited about.

  6. If there’s a season, the Bruins will finish in the top 5 in the league and contend for, if not win the Cup.
    Debrusk will sign just before, or in the early stages of camp.
    Chara will sign for one more once the league figures out the lay of the land.
    Rebuild time in 3 years.