NHL Rumor Mill – December 29, 2021
A look at several proposed Bruins trade targets plus some Red Wings speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently looked at some possible trade targets for the Bruins. He suggested Arizona Coyotes winger (and former Bruin) Phil Kessel as an option to replace Jake DeBrusk if they can trade the latter. The 34-year-old Kessel’s put up decent stats on a horrible Coyotes club and could provide the Bruins with middle-six scoring they need.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel for DeBrusk: who says no? Probably Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong. He’ll likely want a draft pick and prospect for Kessel, and that pick could be a second-rounder if you want him to absorb a healthy chunk of the Coyotes’ share ($6.8 million) of Kessel’s $8 million cap hit. That’s assuming the Bruins are on the winger’s eight-team trade list or that he’s willing to add them to that list.
Other options included pending other pending unrestricted free agents such as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Bryan Rust, Seattle Kraken’s Mark Giordano, San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl and Dallas Stars’ Joe Pavelski.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Penguins parting with Rust as long as they remain in playoff contention. They’ll likely keep him as an “own rental” if unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension before the March 21 trade deadline.
Giordano’s situation is an interesting one. The Kraken named him their first captain in franchise history and undoubtedly hope to re-sign him, but the 37-year-old defenseman isn’t getting any younger and his opportunities to play for a Stanley Cup contender are dwindling. He has a list of 19 preferred trade destinations.
The Sharks and Stars are just a handful of points outside of a Western Conference wild-card berth. They’ll retain Hertl and Pavelski if they should vault back into postseason berths.
Moving either guy won’t be easy as they each have three-team trade lists. Perhaps they could be convinced to widen those lists if their respective teams asked them to do so.
He doesn’t see the Wings parting with Tyler Bertuzzi even though he’s a year away from UFA status and missed several games because of his vaccination status. He doesn’t see any team parting with draft picks and prospects for a player like Bertuzzi who would miss a bunch of games in Canada this season.
Bultman suggested seeing what they could get for pending UFAs like Nick Leddy, Vladislav Namestnikov or Thomas Greiss if the Wings become sellers. If they’re buyers, he proposed a “fairly-young, change-of-scenery candidate like Boston’s Jake DeBrusk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind that Bultman is merely speculating here and isn’t saying the Wings will consider trading Bertuzzi, Leddy, Namestnikov or Greiss or pursuing DeBrusk. Still, it’ll be interesting to see what GM Steve Yzerman has up his sleeve at this season’s deadline after swinging the biggest trade of the day at last season’s deadline.
Where the Wings sit in the standings as the deadline approaches could determine what moves he makes. They’re currently holding the last wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. I doubt he’ll be a seller if they’re still in the position or higher in the standings by deadline day.