NHL Rumor Mill – March 11, 2021
A look at some of the latest additions to TSN’s trade-bait list in today’s NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Frank Seravalli added Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell and Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk to his updated trade-bait list. Also included were Buffalo Sabres defenseman Colin Miller, Dallas Stars blueline Jamie Oleksiak and San Jose Sharks winger Marcus Sorensen.
Seravalli reports Ducks general manager Bob Murray is listening to calls about Rakell, who has 12 points in his last six games. Two sources claim Murray’s set a high asking price but didn’t elaborate. The 27-year-old winger has a year left on his contract with an affordable $3.79 million salary-cap hit.
Rakell could provide the best return for a club looking to jumpstart the rebuild process. Moving him would also provide more ice time for younger players and he’ll soon be due for a new contract with a pay raise.
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens recently reported changes could be in store for the Ducks’ lineup leading up to the April 12 trade deadline. Murray said he’s been “openly talking and listening about lots of things.”
Stephen noted Murray had inquired or attempted to acquire forwards such as Pittsburgh’s Kasperi Kapanen, Winnipeg’s Pierre-Luc Dubois and Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen. He’s also reportedly shopped Adam Henrique and Danton Heinen.
Murray isn’t interested in trading captain Ryan Getzlaf unless he asks to be moved to a contender before the deadline. Getzlaf is in the final season of his contract and has a full no-movement clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray could be seeking a first-round pick and either a top prospect or promising young NHL player as part of the return for Rakell. The winger’s streaky scoring could be a stumbling block but he should continue drawing interest from playoff contenders looking beyond this season.
Murray will find moving Henrique a tough sell because of his $5.825 million annual average value through 2023-24. Heinen ($2.8 million), a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights, would be more affordable but not as enticing as Rakell. His stock has tumbled since his career-best 47-point rookie campaign in 2017-18.
Seravalli reports teams are calling the Bruins about DeBrusk. He believes the return would also be high because he’s a proven playoff performer. DeBrusk was a healthy scratch earlier this week against the New York Islanders. The Bruins are hoping for a big response from him.
THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports Bruins GM Don Sweeney acknowledged he may have to shake things up to bolster his club’s flagging secondary scoring. Bolstering the scoring has taken priority over the Bruins’ need for blueline reinforcements.
Shinzawa points out they have the cap space to make an addition but have a shortage of tradeable assets. He’d have to sell low on the struggling DeBrusk, he’s already traded away two of his last three first-round picks and there’s a shortage of prospects.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The concern for Sweeney is selling low on DeBrusk only to see him turn into a reliable scorer with another club. How he performs when he returns to the lineup will determine if the Bruins GM has to go shopping for help before the trade deadline.
Sweeney could be among those general managers interested in Rakell. He has a recent trade history with the Ducks but his current lack of trade assets means he’ll likely be outbid by rival clubs. He might also have some interest in more affordable options on Seravalli’s list such as Detroit’s Bobby Ryan, Nashville’s Mikael Granlund or Vancouver’s Tanner Pearson.