NHL Rumor Mill – November 30, 2021

by | Nov 30, 2021 | Rumors | 28 comments

Brendan Gallagher isn’t sure if he’d want to be part of a Canadiens rebuild, Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk requests a trade and the latest Evander Kane speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Canadiens president and co-owner Geoff Molson didn’t rule out the possibility of a rebuild if that’s what is recommended by the new executive VP of hockey operations Jeff Gorton and whoever the club’s next GM might be.

Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher (NHL Images).

Long-time Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher doesn’t seem certain he’d want to stick around if a rebuild is in the cards. “This is my 10th season now, and I’ve always come in with the expectation to win,” said Gallagher. He said he loves the team and the city and hadn’t thought about what he’d do if the club undergoes a roster teardown. Gallagher felt that was a conversation that will have to be had down the road.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallagher signed his long-term contract with the Canadiens based in part on former GM Marc Bergevin’s belief that the club was in a position to win. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun suggests a rebuild could complicate things for Gallagher and other Habs veterans on long-term deals like Jeff Petry, Josh Anderson, Tyler Toffoli, Joel Edmundson and Mike Hoffman.

It’s easy for fans and pundits to speculate a rebuild is coming but we don’t know what plans Gorton and the Habs next general manager will have in store. Nevertheless, it will be worth keeping an eye on this situation and how it’ll affect players like Gallagher.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss cited a report by TSN’s Ryan Rishaug indicating Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk has requested a trade. The 25-year-old winger has struggled with his offensive consistency in recent seasons.

DeBrusk’s agent, Rick Valette, said it’s felt a change of scenery would be beneficial. Rishaug said the winger will remain with the Bruins while the club tries to facilitate a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk frequently surfaced in the rumor mill over the last two years but this is the first time he’s asked to be moved. Management seemed reluctant to trade him over concerns he might blossom elsewhere. They remained patient but it’s apparent he’s not getting any better. Perhaps a move to another club with a different system and teammates might help him improve his play.

DeBrusk will likely have low value in the trade market. He might fetch a third-rounder at this point, though the Bruins might try to swap him for another player who’s also in need of a change.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reported Evander Kane’s agent, Dan Milstein, has been given permission by the San Jose Sharks to speak with other NHL clubs about a possible trade. He added several teams have expressed a certain level of interest in the 30-year-old winger.

LeBrun said one proposed idea could be a three-team deal in which Kane’s $7 million annual average value is divided three ways. Under that scenario, the Shark would absorb $3.5 million, then a middle team absorbs $1.75 million, leaving the third club only having to take on $1.75 million.

However, LeBrun believes whatever club becomes Kane’s next destination has to have a strong dressing room culture and structure in place and be confident in helping him get his career back on track.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s off-ice issues are well-documented and his $7 million annual salary-cap hit through 2024-25 are major stumbling blocks in an attempt to trade him. Nevertheless, he remains a talented scoring winger. A club that fits LeBrun’s criteria could be willing to take a chance if they’re only paying him $1.75 million annually. Whoever the middle team would be in this deal will need a suitable sweetener to take part in this deal and carry $1.75 million in dead cap space for four seasons.


  1. If Sweeney trades Debrusk for anything less than a number 1 pick or someone the caliber of JT Miller it’s time to run Sweeney out of town on a rail. No #2 picks or retreads. Everyone knows Jake is the one guy out of Sweeney’s horrible dreadful 2015 draft that could come back and haunt the bruins. Please post this.

    • Sorry. Jake is no longer worth a 1st. Probably 3rd the way he has played last couple years

      • If Sweeney trades Jake for anything less than a 1st he should be shown the door. How many times does this guy have to blow it before management realizes he’s destroyed this team.

      • Even if Sweeney wanted to, he CAN’T get a 1st rounder for a guy like DeBrusk, no way in Boston, not even close.

      • If DeBrusk was worth a 1st you wouldn’t want to trade him.

    • #1 absolutely no shot at that. DeBrusk is turning into a Spooner 2.0. He’s had plenty of opportunity to be the player he was advertised to be. As the article states trade for another underperforming player, a change of scenery is what he needs and I wish him the best, but time to go.

    • Debrusk is not worth a number 1. Number 1’s are players you can build a core with, obviously, Debrusk has become a 3rd or 4th liner in Boston. No team will pay a #1 for that level of player, especially when his contract is up. That is one head ache most teams don’t need.

    • Dreaming in technicolour

  2. Boston not trading Jake Debrusk for a third round pick.

    Debrusk will be trade as part of a package or for another change of scenery player.

    I would ship him to San Jose for Kane.

    Yes Kane has baggage and it’s not a duffle bag.

    however his on ice talents and the fact he stands up for his teammates, supposing even if they don’t like him.

    With all the stuff in his life at present and he knows how he is viewed; maybe he come in with his head down, mouth shut and ready to work.

    I’m ready to gamble bring Kane to Boston.

    • I feel the same about Kane to Pittsburgh … what’s to lose? If he doesn’t work out simply waive him and eat the $1.75 and then buy him out after the season … Pens new owners have billions & billions …

      • Agree

        $1.75 is nothing to new owners… waive (if he has not “turned it around” off ice) and then only $0.57M counts against Cap

        The trouble is finding a middle team to actually eat 3 1/2 years @ $1.75 M….that’s $6M +

        Canes paid $3.8 M for a first (Leafs dump)

        What does $6M “buy”?

        No matter what … Sharks eating half

        As I said earlier today… if HexBurkie are allowed to speak to Kane and get confidence that Kane has “changed”…. Take him at 50% retained for Zucker (freeing up $1.5 M in Cap for Pens

        If he does not “turn it around” and is waived; outside of the cash (as you have said…. New owners ripe with $$)… $1.08 buried; $2.42 above, less the $1.5 saved above….. cap risk is $0.92 M (annual rate)

        Or…… Kane at only 22% retained for Zucker…. Zero cap change…. With only 22% retained…. Sharks would have to give up a 3rd minimum; maybe even s 2nd

        Again…. Only worth it if (A) they can get a to-through trade partner (but who takes on over $6M…. and that’s got to be at least a 1st and a 2nd for $6M +; or (B) -thr more logical route…. HexBurkie actually get to interview with Kane; AND have confidence that he’s a changed man

        The on ice Kane over Zucker…. Tremendous difference in production and grit and size

        How about s hush hush deal by new owners straight to Kane…. Give us 3 1/2 years of zero controversy…. And we’ll wipe out your gambling debts ….. 🤓🧐 LOL

      • I agree with the strong culture statement, and the Penns have it.

        If it were to happen, I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Burke talks to Kane.

        It’s basically, you have a chance to reinvent yourself… prove you’re not radioactive… if you don’t… and F-up here and your career is done.

        Kane is on death ground then… do or die.

    • I am with you Caper. If SJ is willing to eat some of his salary (and if a 3rd team gets involved like the article indicates) it could be a win for the Bruins. They need more grit and secondary scoring.

      Might be a chance to get rid of a contract like Moore at the same time.

      I dont think SJ is getting much for Kane on the market and this might be a win for both teams, and players.

      • Let us eat 3 million to trade a guy like Mane AND take a bad contract in return, said no team ever.

        No chance SJ eats salary and takes a guy like Moore in return. Essentially paying John Moore nearly 5 million, when SJ already has 31+ tied up on Karlsson, Burns and company.

        Try again.

    • Caper that is something the. Bruins should do. Kane 1/2 retained for Jake Even offer a mid rd pic for 3rd team to east some extra cap So let us say
      Debrusk and a 5th for Kane 1/2 retained. With the 5th and an added sgark late pick to some 3rd team to eat some cap space

    • Caper that makes all the sense in the world especially if you can add a 3rd team to eat some cap space with a med low pic from each SJ and Boston Fills a BIG need for Bruins and removes the headache for SJ and gives them a player with top 6 upside

  3. Gallagher needs to look in the mirror, as he seems to have forgotten how to put the biscuit in the basket ..

  4. Gallagher is a heart and soul player – gives it is all but unfortunately given his size, his all isn’t enough anymore. Years of abuse in front of the net has taken its toll. The contract he signed was more for past performance. It was a mistake. Should have traded him and used his $6.5million to improve elsewhere. GMMB let his heart get in the way of this one. Whether Gallagher wants to stay or not shouldn’t matter. He should be playing for a contending team. The Habs won’t be contending for awhile. GM Gorton should trade him to the highest bidder.

  5. How about Gallagher for Debrusk and either Moore or Clifton? Kane is talented with grit but has too much baggage to fit in with a close-knit team like the Bruins.

    • In terms of cap space seems a wash for both club and seem to be a win-win trade scenario, but rarely those two club trade together.

  6. Vancouver – JT Miller, 2022 1st round pick (unproteted)
    Boston – Debrusyk, 2022 3rd round pick

    Jim Benning – hello Francisco? Its me Jim. Remember how we talked about obtaining more draft picks? I just got us a 3rd rounder from Boston. Now, about that extension……

    Prove me wrong….lol

    • I wish that trade would happen. But I think the 1st would have to go to nuks . Not from nuks. Miller a much better player then. Jake

  7. Memo to Gallagher: want to play for a contending team? Play like a contending player. You have 4 goals in 23 games. Might that have something to do with the dumpster fire your team is?

    Same memo to almost every other player on the Habs’ team. When I say almost I am giving myself time to think of any other player not named Allen who needs to up their game.

  8. I find it interesting that a couple of you think a 3rd round pick or two would suffice to eat 4 years of a cap hit. Speaking purely as a fan of a club that has the space, why would I help you out for that cheap price? 1.75 mil is 2 entry level contracts so either 2 A level prospects on entry level deals or a couple of 1st rd picks (one from each club). This is where I think the conversation should start, if not, why waste the cap room? I am not saying this is realistic but cap space has a lot of value, just look at all the teams without it, I can’t see any team with it not expecting a nice return for it.

    • Look at the historical value teams have gotten for this service. It’s not as high as you’d like it to be.

      • Chrisms, usually when there is a 3rd team and retain a 25% of the salary that player salary end at the end of the year which I think explain why a 4th is enough, but for this Kane salary almost 2M is for the next 4 years. My guess is that the compensation will be bigger than a 4th, maybe more like AzWingsFan recommend or maybe prospect plus pick?

      • Hi Chrisms. Pascal, AzWingsFan

        Canes set a precedent paying $3.8 M for a 1st (that they though would be in the 20-25th spot)….Marleau deal with Leafs

        Retaining $1.75 M for 3 1/2 years is over $6M…, mid rounders just won’t be enough

    • can AZ get 2 2nds for taking on Kane at full salary?

      then send to another team retaining salary to stay above the floor for a player and pick

      ie the above proposal to BOS for DeBrusk and a pick.