NHL Rumor Mill – March 1, 2021

by | Mar 1, 2021 | Rumors | 66 comments

Could the Bruins acquire Jack Eichel? Is there interest in Canadiens goalie Carey Price? Could the Kings pursue Ryan Graves? What’s the latest on the Ducks? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa suggests the Boston Bruins should look into acquiring Jack Eichel should the Buffalo Sabres center become available in the trade market. They can only count on aging centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci for only so long.

Could the Boston Bruins pursue Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel if he becomes available in the trade market? (NHL Images).

Eichel’s no-trade protection doesn’t kick in until 2022-23, giving the Sabres a wide selection of possible trade partners before then. The Bruins could fit his $10 million annual average value within their salary cap payroll if they don’t re-sign Krejci and fellow UFA Tuukka Rask this summer.

The Sabres’ asking price, however, will be expensive, with a source suggesting it could cost the Bruins at least Charlie McAvoy and Trent Frederic. Multiple bidders with a deeper pool of promising players and prospects could drive that price even higher.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel would be a great fit between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. I don’t doubt the Bruins would inquire if the Sabres put him on the trade block but they lack sufficient available young players to outbid other clubs. They certainly won’t part with McAvoy. They’ll also re-sign Rask because they lack a viable replacement. They’d still have sufficient cap space to acquire Eichel after signing Rask but it would leave very little room to flesh out the rest of the roster for next season.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW (via FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW): Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL source telling him Bruins general manager Don Sweeney would still like to add a top-four left side defenseman. The source suggests Sweeney will keep tabs on blueliners like St. Louis’ Vince Dunn or Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm but wonders if ownership might limit how much money he can add to the payroll.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dunn would be more affordable than Ekholm if Sweeney is interested in either guy. The Blues defenseman is on a one-year, $1.85 million contract while the Predator rearguard is signed through 2021-22 with an annual average value of $3.75 million.


Murphy cited numerous NHL sources claiming several teams contacted the Montreal Canadiens last October about Carey Price’s availability. The Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche were believed among the interested clubs.

The Canadiens are standing by Price, who played well in last year’s postseason but is struggling this season. Murphy wondered if there would still be a market for the veteran netminder if the Habs decided a change of scenery might be best for all concerned.

One source told Murphy he feels Price still has value and could turn things around but his contract would be a sticking point. The best-case scenario would be trading Price in the offseason if he regains his form and plays well the rest of the season and into the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price has five years remaining on his contract. He also has a full no-movement clause so he controls his situation. If (and that’s a big IF) he agreed to be traded the Canadiens will have to pick up at least 20 percent (probably more) of his $10.5 million annual average value or take back a toxic contract in return to make the deal palatable to the acquiring club.


Murphy noted TSN’s Darren Dreger last week reporting the Los Angeles Kings sought a young, dynamic left-shot defenseman. A source confirmed they looked into Vince Dunn and suggested Ryan Graves of the Colorado Avalanche could be a viable trade target. There’s a good chance the Avs could lose Graves to the Seattle Kraken in this summer’s expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Graves could be a good fit with the Kings but I don’t think the Avs are in any hurry to move him this season. As Murphy’s source suggested, that could be a deal that takes place in the offseason before the expansion draft.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens cites a high-ranking NHL executive saying there would be interest in Anaheim Ducks veterans such as Adam Henrique, Jakob Silfverberg, Cam Fowler and even Ryan Getzlaf. However, the Ducks would have to retain some of their salaries if they hoped to move them.

Stephens believes that would mean the Ducks absorb 50 percent of Henrique’s $5.8 million AAV over the remaining three years of his contract. Getzlaf is a UFA this summer but carries a full no-movement clause and few teams can afford his $8.25 million cap hit.

Players that would be easier to move based on age, contract lengths and past performance include Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell. Josh Manson’s been mentioned in trade rumors but he’s been hurt this season and struggled during the last two years.

Stephens said Ducks GM Bob Murray is open to making a deal, pointing to recent reports suggesting shipping forward Danton Heinen to the Vancouver Canucks for Jake Virtanen. The sticking point is Virtanen will make $3.4 million in actual salary next season. As of Saturday night, that deal appeared dead or dormant.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks simply have too many expensive veterans on contracts far too long for teams to absorb under a flattened salary cap. If they don’t pick up part of those salary-cap hits they won’t be able to move them unless they take back toxic contracts as part of the return.

Rakell’s AAV is $3.789 million through 2021-22 while Lindholm’s is $5.205 million over the same period. If Getzlaf is willing to move the Ducks will have to pick up part of his cap hit but could be willing to do so since it’s just for the remainder of this season.


  1. Carey Price is in the same boat as Bobvrosky. Over rated, and grossly overpaid.

    Only a fool would trade for Price and his anchor contract.

    Habs are stuck with him.

    • I really think Price is still an above average goalie. But that contract is looking more horrific given current economics. Goalies typically don’t age well, will Price be the exception? I do not see the Habs being able to move him.

      • Actually goalies do age well if they are positional more than reflex goalies, and that describes Price.

        Waite will help him get his angles back and adjust his lateral movement

        Carey is a very methodical goalie which makes him outstanding when he’s on and increases his longevity.

        He makes everything look easy usually including handling the puck like a third defenseman.

        He’ll get his mojo back

      • The Habs should approach Price about waiving his NMC for the expansion draft. Doubt the Kraken would bight. I they though he might provide leadership, maybe but I doubt it. It would mean the Habs get to protect Allen. If the Kraken bite, the only return for the Jabs is a massive cap savings which in this flat-cap time is huge. Worse case, you end up with a Price-Allen tandem for another year. Personally, I saw the Allen contract as a clear move to have him selected in the expansion draft.

      • Agreed habs. Goalie is actually the only position in the nhl that consistently ages well.

      • If the Habs gave something like a second round pick or prospect the Kraken might do it. They will need a big name to sell tickets. Same thing Pittsburgh did with Marc Andre Fleury. Might take a bit more as Price is on a much larger contract and has one nothing plus he’s 3 years removed from his last great season. Price has been a below average goalie for over 3 years now and is still living off his hart trophy season. If you can sucker Seattle into taking him then Montreal should pay whatever that cost would be and start the rebuild.

    • I doubt Bergevin would unload Price mid season and in fact, Price would probably be a throw in on a deal with Seattle pre expansion. That way you can protect Jake Allen and Seattle has an easier time getting to the cap floor.

      However if Bergevin were to unload Price mid season, they could pull off a block buster with DET:

      To MTL: Anthony Mantha, Franz Nielsen, Johnathan Bernier, Joe Veleno, Filip Zadina

      To DET: Thomas Tatar, Philip Danault, Carey Price, 1st , 2021, 2nd 2021, conditional pick 2022

      • Steve Yzerman just threw up in his mouth a little bit after reading that nonsense …

      • Nice trade proposal Craig. Montreal might need to eat a little salary or add a little but seems like a win for Montreal. They get some solid youth. Detroit might want a young player back but who knows the pucks might do it.

      • Picks. Sorry I keep using my phone and auto correct is killing me.

      • Not even close. There is zero interest in Price and Tatar in Detroit. Montreal would need to add significant sweeteners to trade either one, and Detroit would not be the destination. Why would anyone even consider this ? Danault is a nice number 3 C. The rest doesn’t get you Mantha, Zadina, Veleno, and Bernier. Back to the drawing board.

      • There is no way Yzerman would do that trade. He’s looking to build a team through drafting young talent. Why would he take all Habs diminished players and give back youth, especially Zadina. Not in a million years.

      • Hello Craig,

        Your proposal seem to take into considaration the value of the Habs player when they were at there highest. Tatar and Danault are both UFA and didn’t do much to improve there trade value. They are no where near there top value like they were last year when the season was stop for the Covid 19. Price value because of is big contract is not going to provide a lot of return.

        In my opinion to have a deal that make sense to Steve Y it should look more like this:

        MTL: Bernier or Greiss, Mantha and Nielsen (bad contract)

        DET: Price, Tatar and 2nd round pick

      • Zadina was a a number 4 overall ? Can’t remember. Regardless not moving for older assets.

        Maybe a Danault Caufield for Mantha Velano package.

      • It’s clear that most here dislike the Habs here and these Detroit trades are perfect examples.

        Frans Neilsen???
        Mantha is an off year but ok.
        Bernier, UFA at the end of the year
        Zadina and Veleno , two prospects that don’t cut it
        Seriously, and you folks say it’s too much???

        Don’t give me your tired, your poor,your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

        A trade needs pieces both teams want or need

      • Let me explain to you guys, the majority of GM’s in the league hold Price in high regard so a trade would involve significant pieces coming back.

        Whether you accept it or not Price won’t be moved in a yard sale. it’ll be to a GM that really wants him and will ante up

      • No GM will take Price for anything at his current contract. The 10mill a year is bad but I agree with Ray Bark – the LENGTH is the boat anchor on that contract. Just imagine what Price was like even two years ago – how much better he was. Now picture him in another two years? That contract is a GM killer. The Kraken won’t touch it – even Colorado or Edmonton, who might be willing to swallow the full 10mill for a couple years wouldn’t take it on without salary held back…

    • 100%

      • Pascal,

        Let me give you a hint about just how far Price and his age + contract+ poor play has fallen. The only way to get Detroit to take him would be a trade something like: To Detroit – Price (Montreal retains 60%), a 2021 & 2022 first round pick. To Montreal – Bernier + future considerations. Nobody wants Price. I believe Montreal is stuck with him until the inevitable LTIR or buyout happens.

      • Imago. I can’t tell if you are sarcastic with that 60 percent to highlight the impossibility of the deal or if you were sincere…

      • Agree with that Iago.
        Price makes $10.5M a year until he is 39 years old. 5 years after this season
        Prices has been average at best for 3 years and counting.
        Nobody is trading for that. Zero, none, nil, nada, zilch.
        If I am Edmonton I wouldn’t do it even if you ate half his salary. I wouldn’t take him for a 7th rd pick because the term is too long.
        Price isn’t getting traded until there is a year left and a rebuilding team gets a first for him, or like Iago said, he is on LTIR. Or FLA wants to trade Bob for him.

      • No Chrisms, that trade really wasn’t sincere. What I am saying is that I don’t want Price in Detroit for another 5 years even at $4.5M per. And habsfan30, I’d like to know how you know this about other GM’s. Price has not played like a number one goalie for several years now, with the exception being the Pittsburgh series last year. He will be very tough to move. You are right, a trade needs two teams offering assets that the other values, and I have no use for Price or Tatar. All I am interested in is getting back to cup contention, and neither of those two are going to help me get there.

      • Habsfan30, you must live on fantasy Island if you think other GMs want Carey Price even at 50% retained. That is one of the ugliest contracts in the NHL. Good thing you like him, you can keep him.

  2. Boston doesn’t have the quality to trade for Eichel, unless they are willing to move Pastrnak or McAvoy.

    I’m not sold on Eichel simply because he seems to be a head case.

    With that said Boston doesn’t have the elite prospects so for fun it would have to be quantity or quality; Here goes

    Ritchie, Coyle, Smith, Grzelcyk, Zboril and a 1st round pick.

    I trade the second line but Boston doesn’t have one.

    When i look at it on paper still don’t see Buffalo biting at that, other then Coyle nothing to see here ok maybe Grzelcyk.

    • You know I’m a diehard Bruins fan……. buffalo doesn’t pick up the phone for that offer. The Bruins got 2 firsts for Hamilton and 3 firsts for Wesley. Neither of those were franchise players. Buffalo is going to want EVERY high end prospect Boston has…. Vaak, Swayman, Frederic, and Beecher…. plus possibly more. Then throw in Carlo and add at least 2 firsts and then some. As I put in my previous post… Eichel is worth that, and even more but is that worth it for Boston? How far does it set them back. Bergeron and Marchand aren’t getting any younger.

      • My point of view is Boston is a division rival and they are getting long in the tooth at center so unless Pastrnak is included which isn’t happening there’s no trade there for me. Why help them out. Nothing against McAvoy as he would improve the Buffalo D 200% but he doesn’t help at the center position and unless I have an option in place in a trade I wait till the right trade comes along. I wonder if a 3rd team needs to be involved to make things happen.

    • JE isn’t worth either Macavoy or Pasta lol more like JE and 2 first rounders for either of them. Boston has zero need for him. DK will resign on a two yr contract then retire. That’s 2 upyrs for Studz to develop into a second line center. JE isn’t needed or wanted in Boston

  3. I honestly don’t think the Bruins should or will go after Eichel. He is definitely worth a huge package of players and picks but I think the combination of his salary and what it would cost the Bruins would make it unrealistic. The package Boston would have to send would deplete them of ANY depth in prospects (which isn’t much), picks and the active players would set them back, not move them forward. No way McAvoy goes anywhere, but who would Buffalo accept from the rest?

    I think the only untouchables in Boston should be McAvoy, Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak. Anyone else could be and should be considered movable to improve the club.

    I’d like to see the Bruins shore up the left side of the defense with a Dunn, Elkholm, Graves or Hanafin. Dunn I think would be the best fit in both salary and cost to acquire.

    With Krejci most likely leaving next year (unless he takes a considerable discount) Boston needs to look at center as well. Coyle is a decent stop gap on the second line but can he play there every game for a full season?

    The bad news for Boston next year is they have a lot of holes to fill. The good news is they have the salary cap space to fill those holes. Lets hope Sweeney doesn’t have a 2015 draft moment!

    • I agree with you Bosbrn32 Boston does have what Buffalo wants in McAvoy and Pastrnak but that is NOT happening.

      Then we know there is no trade here to be had.

  4. The only way Eichel goes to Bruins is if he stays in Buffao another year and says to ownership I want to leave and play for only the Bruins Similar to what Marty St Louis did with TB saying only NYR

    Every Team would love to have Jack my Bruns Included

    • Marty St Trade Me….. what a complete and total a**hole.

    • The NMC doesn’t kick in till 22/23 season start date of July 1st or possible later if 22/22 doesn’t start till novrmber pushing it to late July.

      Boston does not have the pieces to get Eichel.other teams do.

      It will cost Boston a ton more than an other conference team would pay.

      For any team trying to acquire him a C would need to come back who is under team control 3+ yrs snd other prospects.

      With the Rangers they don’t have centers.

      If buffalo waits till June 22 draft time to do this they’d have better grasp of center depth in what they need.

      • Dan, If Rangers traded for Eichel, they’d probably include Chytil. Good young C with 2C potential. With Cozens already on roster along with Mittelstadt and Thompson, that’s a decent group. They’ll have a high draft pick this off season plus they’d probably get Rangers pick that could be top 10. If they want him, Strome would be available.

    • If I’m the Sabres I get a trade done by next years TDL bc come July of 22 his NMC and a $7.5Mil bonus is due. I say it happens this summer at the latest if it happens bc Buffalo’s position weakens going into next year when wiser GM’s then Adams will take advantage of the situation.

  5. Doubt Buffalo would deal Eichel in division.
    Lindholm was a guy in Rangers rumors before season started. With kids getting regular minutes now, not sure they’d be interested. Boston claimed Tinirdi off waivers. Not sure why LA didn’t if they needed a left D. Still say Rangers would be a good trade partner for Kings if they’re looking for a young left D prospect. Rangers could use 1 of those centers they have. No room for all of them.

    • I can never understand that notion of not “trading within the division???” If you are determined to make a trade or have to make a trade and the best offer comes within the division you owe it to your owner, your players and to yourself to make the best deal. Rubbish

      • Ed Vanimpe. That’s a big if. I don’t think Boston has pieces to aquire Eichel without depleting roster. So, if you’re Buffalo, and if they say team who gets best player wins trade, why would you send Eichel to one of your rivals?

  6. Vince Dunn to the Bruins OR the Kings—let the bidding begin!! Might get that 1st rounder after all!?!?

  7. What about Travis Dermott for LA? Isn’t this a guy whose potential isn’t being nurtured in Toronto? There is recent trade history between these two teams also.

    Only sticking point is the health of the Leafs blueline, apparently Sandin is hurt, and you never know when Muzzin or Bogosian will get hurt. The Leafs may not want to lose some depth back there before the playoffs.

  8. Would like to see the Bruins deal for Hanifin, maybe using DeBrusk in a package. Or they should revisit an Oliver Ekman Larson deal, providing they could convince the Coyotes to retain some salary

    • Let s knock off 2birds with one stone.Proposal calgary sends HANIFAN and Monahan to bruins.B S send back DEBRUSK,EITHER 55,67,OR 58,Beecher and Bork.with that the bruins have their 2 top 6 centers in Monahan and Studnicka,keep Coyle as 3rd line center.

      • Fair deal I’d say, as a Bruins fan, maybe of the three lefties, 67?

      • where is Bergeron playing, wing?

      • Krejci would have to go the other way, for cap reasons and also to free up the 2C slot for Monahan.

      • So Calgary sends their best defenceman so far this year, who has just found his dream D partner (he and Tanev are great together), plus their number one center for a maybe 2nd line left wing (they already have one), Bjork, who is as good as Dominik Simon right now, and a prospect or two?

        I’ll have two of whatever you’re having. Way too many homer trade proposals. Stop thinking only about what you want for your team and consider what may actually happen lol.

  9. I’m a Habs fan who thinks Price’s game has been poor for a couple of years and won’t bounce back. I believe his contract will be literally untradeable in two years if he has two more poor seasons (which I personally think he will)

    He’d never waive his NMC to go to the Sabres, but I’d actually look at this trade:

    Buffalo gets Price
    Habs get Skinner & Ullmark

    Yes, Skinner is also a brutal albatross contract but:

    – Like Price, he might bounce back. If Skinner even is a 28 goal scorer, that’s offence the Habs need
    – If Skinner doesn’t bounce back, his buyout after next season is $8M for one year, and $1-2M for almost all the rest. Price’s buyout after next year is $9M+ for four years. Impossible.

    That’s all based on the fact I think Price never bounces back and plays himself into the worst contract in the NHL. If he bounces back even a little, I’d say his contract is tradeable.

    A perpetually underwhelmed Habs fan

    • Would you consider Price a worse contract than Erik Karlsson?

      • No, Karlsson most over rated player in the NHL!

      • Is a poop taco more or less delicious than a poop sandwich?

        At least EK spends most of his time on injured reserve so his full cap hit doesn’t count? A real possibility EK ends up on LTIR long before his contract expires, then his contract can be traded to Toronto for their yearly cap juggling scheme.

      • I thought Karlsson was a horrible contract when SJ signed him, but also Price is way overpaid. Not a habs fan but always thought Price was a great player and seems like a good guy, too bad he has fallen off over the past few eyars. Montreal did drive up the price of starting goalies with that deal though, unelss I’m misremembering that contract was significantly higher than any other goalie in the league when it was signed.

    • I think Price is putting up a valiant fight, but, as Charles Barkley correctly pointed out, Father Time is undefeated.

  10. What does Peter Chiarelli have in common with Don Sweeney.Blotched trades and drafts.Sample for Chia,traded Taylor HALL and Tyler Seguin the no.1 and 2 pick the same year for virtually nothing if you can remember.Hall for Adam Larson who Edmonton is not going to resign and Seguin forERICSON,RELLY SMITH,Joe Morrow.Also B s 2015 draft when they passed over Chabot and BARZAL,KYLE CONNER.THIS IS WHY THE B Sare looking for help at ld and center where they have no [plan for retirement of 37 and 46.And they are trying to trade every year for the defensemen they were going to acquire in the 2015 draft,by trading their 3 picks,no.13,14 and 15.,Hanifan

    • I don’t necessarily blame the GM for bad drafting. Sweeney inherited the scouting staff from Chiarelli. The 18 year old draft is mostly a crapshoot! In 2014, aside from Edmonton picking Draisaitl, 23 teams erred when they passed on Pastrnak when the Bruins picked him. In 2016, at least 7 teams made a mistake by not picking McAvoy also, and on and on. I’d like to see a 20 year old draft instead, but it won’t happen

      • As a Bruins fan my consternation with the 2015 draft isn’t just that Boston missed on some players who have developed into stars but that 2 of the players they took ahead of them were not considered first-round prospects by most analysts (Zboril being the exception). Debrusk and Senyshyn probably would would have been available in second round (fortunately Carlo fell out of the first round and was available for Boston in the second).

        Whoever was at fault, its a risk to go against the grain and draft players higher than they are rated. When it works you look like a genius, when it doesn’t you look like an idiot…

    • Hall for Larsson trade wasn’t that bad. Larsson has been up and down a bit, up again this year, but he is still a really good defender with a nasty streak. Good leader. Guy plays tough and hard against the other teams good guys.
      Hall is long gone from Jersey for picks and prospects, none of which have impacted in the NHL.
      They might resign Larsson, depends if they keep Barrie who fits in pretty good. Totally different players, but Bouchard can run a PP and he will have another year of seasoning, not sure they have another guy who is like Larsson.
      Depends if Klefbom coming back and what Larsson wants for term and $ I guess? Only 28.

      The Seguin trade? I got nuthin. Brutal.
      PC was terrible overall in EDM too, especially at the end.

  11. Completely outside the box ! Huge leaf fan. Morgan Reilly to LA? This would give leafs Draft, prospect and forward. Morgan with one year left after this year is good value. Right time to move him. What could leafs get in return?

    • In return you could probably get Dubas fired. If you trade Reilly you immediately need to look for a 1st pairing Norris calibre defenseman, which is what Reilly is and one of if not the most difficult position to fill. He’ll be resigned, great player that they need. There aren’t many instances where any team trades an all-star player away and gets value in return, usually pieces come back and Toronto doesn’t need to fill holes, they have pretty good depth but can’t afford to give up their best defenseman. Not tomention what is their incentive to trade Reilly? Top of the league and they should make a run this year, you don’t do that by trading away your #1 d.

    • if Reilly was traded I can’t see it until the off season. The return would have to be a young blue chip D man on ELC +. Reilly deserves a nice contact starting 22/23 and if the Leafs want to retain him then someone from their current core group is going to have to be moved to fit that $ under the cap

    • I’m on board with trading Reilly but not because he’s not a good player for the Leafs…he’s just not what they need. They need guys that can play defence and pass the puck out to the forwards.

      To TOR: Ekholm, Granlund
      To NSH: Reilly, Engvall Vesey

      Ekholm is better defensively and is cheaper for next year. Reilly/Engvall/Vesey is $7.15M in salary. Ekholm/Granlund is $7.5M

      • What r u talking about. Rielly is exactly what we need. We have a bunch of defensive defenceman but no other offensive defensemen.

  12. Double minor, good points, but Carlo, Zboril, and DeBrusk were ranked 21,22 and 27 by ISS in 2015, so they weren’t far off, and they scored with Carlo but missed badly with Senyshyn.

  13. @fcl
    Motivation selling high! Morgan Reilly no longer best D on leafs. No cap space in future for next contract. Muzzin and Brody better option and bang for buck at this time and moving forward. Plus with Sandin in the wings. Great young talent on affordable entry level contracts are more valuable. The fact he is regarded as a #1 D should garner a great haul in return. I do agree he is good and I like him, but leafs need to be proactive. Sparky Anderson ( Baseball ) said the best time to trade a star is during their best years.

    • When you’re at the top of the league and trying to win a championship the best time to keep your star players is when they are in their prime. They’re trying to win, you don’t trade away a core player at the point they’re at now. They have some prospects that might pan out but you don’t trade away approve and guy in favour of a prospect when you are in win now mode. they’ve always managed their budget well and I’m sure they know what they’re doing now, I think a lot depends on what goaltender they go with after this season.

  14. I am reading about noted interest from the Kings of L.A, for Graves. But what would they be willing to give up to the Avs in return?

  15. Been a Bruins fan since 1970 and their is no way Sweeney will make any block buster trade. Is big move is picking Tinordi off of waivers. The Bruins are getting long in the tooth. Offer up DeBrusk and Carlo and maybe a pick or prospect. Do not resign Krejci and move Rask he has hinted he might quit after this contract anyways. And it seems like descent goalies come up all the time. Plus if Rask comes back he will want a raise and it’s not worth it.

    • This year with the cap staying the same and every team watching what they are doing….. they are all in the same boat. Sweeney has left the team with over 2 million in cap space for this TDL. Something many GMs have not done.

      Only way you don’t resign Krejci is a) he wants too much (no more that $5mil a year) or b) you have another plan in place. Nugent-Hopkins only wants to play in Edmonton, so who else fits option b?

      Rask said he would only continue playing for Boston. He has hinted he wants to return. So there are a couple options there as well. a) make sure he wants to play past this year. If so, resign him to an extension now, at less than what he is currently making for no more than two years. b) if he isn’t sure he wants to continue playing, or you can’t get an outright answer, trade him at the deadline to get something. I’ve said in the past…. to Colorado for Grubauer and Graves. (Greatly improves Colorado for the playoffs in goal, and fixes the Bruins left side on defense.)

      Honestly, I’d be ok with Sweeney not adding this year at the TDL. If he doesn’t feel they can honestly make a run at the finals…. due to injuries or lack of effort, make some trades and become sellers to add some assets to the cupboard. He has a ton of money next year and only needs to resign Carlo and maybe Ritchie (Never thought I’d say that before the year started). He then needs to decide who is in net. Does Rask come back, or do you sign an Ullmark, Grubauer or Mrazek. Or do you try and trade with NYR, Pitts or NYI. A backup is easily grabbed.

      Sweeney got a lot of heat for the 2015 draft, some of the FA signings and some of the trades. Next year will make or break him.