NHL Rumor Mill – December 1, 2021
TEAMS CALLING ABOUT DEBRUSK
TSN: Darren Dreger reports Jake DeBrusk is generating plenty of interest since his trade request from the Boston Bruins over the weekend hit the news. He said as many as 12 teams, maybe more, have been in touch with the Bruins regarding the 25-year-old winger. The Bruins won’t move him right away with Brad Marchand serving a three-game suspension and their AHL affiliate in Providence dealing with a COVID issue.
Dreger listed the New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues among those he believes could be among the suitors. He cited DeBrusk’s potential as a 20-goal scorer and his 16 career postseason goals as stats that would matter to interested parties.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cited a source saying the Seattle Kraken are among the clubs linked to DeBrusk, with defenseman Vince Dunn or forward Mason Appleton as possible trade bait. The Kraken are said to be shopping Appleton, who has just three points in 11 games this season.
Murphy’s source also didn’t consider the Rangers and Bruins a good fit for a DeBrusk deal as both clubs seek a middle-six forward. It would also have to be a player-for-player swap with even money going both ways.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane pointed out the Flames would have to find the right fit for DeBrusk on their roster. They would also have to shed salary to fit the winger’s $3.65 million cap hit within their limited payroll.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Many of these clubs, like the Flames, Canadiens, Canucks, Oilers, Blackhawks, Hurricanes, and Blues, lack sufficient salary-cap space to acquire DeBrusk unless it’s a dollar-in, dollar-out type deal.
The Rangers have the cap space but, as Murphy’s source observed, they and the Bruins seek the same type of return. The Bruins could also use a left-side defenseman but the Blueshirts might not be keen to part with one.
Speaking of cap space, the Coyotes, Kraken and Senators can certainly afford DeBrusk and could have suitable assets to tempt the Bruins. Whether they’ll meet the asking price if it’s a middle-six forward or something else remains to be seen.
THE LATEST PRICE SPECULATION
TSN: Pierre LeBrun wondered about Carey Price’s future with the Montreal Canadiens following their recent front-office shakeup. He wondered where the 34-year-old future Hall of Fame goaltender would fit into a rebuilding plan if that’s what new executive VP of hockey operations Jeff Gorton has in mind.
Price is still working toward returning to the Canadiens lineup following offseason knee surgery and a month in the NHL’s player assistance program. He also has a full no-movement clause in his contract.
At some point, either later in the season or during next summer, LeBrun speculates Price and Gorton will have to discuss the goalie’s future. He also said there are some playoff contenders who are intrigued by Price’s situation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price isn’t going anywhere for the time being. Moving him won’t be easy if he doesn’t want to be part of a rebuild in Montreal. His $10.5 million annual cap hit through 2025-26 is as big a sticking point as his no-movement clause.
The Canadiens would have to absorb up to half of that cap hit to make a deal work, and then it might have to take a three-way deal with a third club absorbing half of the other $5 million to pull it off.