NHL Rumor Mill – March 29, 2021
With the April 12 trade deadline two weeks away, here’s a look at the latest on the Bruins, Blue Jackets and Jets in the NHL Rumor Mill.
BRUINS NEED A SCORING WINGER
THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney is once again in pursuit of a top-nine right-winger. “They need a forward,” one NHL source told Shinzawa. “For now and for the future. What’s your second line look like if you don’t?”
Shinzawa suggested New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri would be a leading candidate. He has no-trade protection but lives in Massachusetts during the offseason. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer, meaning the Bruins don’t have to worry about protecting him in the expansion draft. They could also sign him to a new contract if he’s interested following the expansion draft.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes Palmieri would make sense for the Bruins. However, he feels it won’t make sense for the Devils if the return is another prospect or a draft pick or two. He believes the Devils need to move past rebuilding and add an established scorer or two.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landing Palmieri might not be easy for the Bruins if the Devils want more than draft picks or prospects. It could cost them struggling (but still promising) winger Jake DeBrusk, who they’re reportedly reluctant to move because they fear he could blossom into a scorer elsewhere.
LATEST BLUE JACKETS SPECULATION
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks thinks Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen owes it to Nick Foligno to move him if the two sides fail to reach an agreement on a contract extension before the trade deadline rather than keep him for a playoff drive. He suggested the Jackets captain could be a good fit on the New York Islanders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks seems to be assuming Foligno would welcome a trade to a playoff contender. That might not be the case. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman thinks trading their captain isn’t something the Jackets want to do. Foligno’s 10-team no-trade clause would also complicate things.
NHL.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Tim Campbell was asked about the probability of the Columbus Blue Jackets trading struggling winger Patrik Laine at the trade deadline. He dismissed that idea, pointing out the Jackets gave up a lot to acquire the winger and won’t give up on him that quickly.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine won’t be traded but the Jackets have to get to the root of his (and Max Domi’s) offensive struggles. Part of it is the lack of skilled centers. Part of it could be John Tortorella’s coaching. Complicating matters is Laine’s status as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.
WOULD GOLIGOSKI MAKE SENSE FOR THE JETS?
THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates suggests Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski could give the Winnipeg Jets an opportunity to add an experienced blueliner without giving up high-end futures in return. While Golisgoski’s offensive production is in decline he’s still a capable, big-minute rearguard with a left-handed shot who could serve in a variety of defensive roles.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ates points out Goligoski would be a more affordable acquisition for the Jets than Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm or Columbus’ David Savard. He’s due to become a UFA this summer but his $5.475 million cap hit could be a sticking point.
Cap Friendly indicates the Jets do have over $3.5 million in LTIR space remaining and Goligoski has over $1.9 million in salary still to be paid. They can fit him in but could seek more cap flexibility by asking the Coyotes to pick up part of his cap hit.