NHL Rumor Mill – December 4, 2021
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek doesn’t see the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames as potential trade destinations for Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. He felt the Seattle Kraken are a better fit, suggesting a swap of DeBrusk with Mason Appleton going to the Bruins.
TSN: Darren Dreger believes New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald could be in the market for a scoring winger or two. He expects Fitzgerald will check with the Bruins about DeBrusk, though the cost of qualifying his rights next summer might not be a good fit for the Devils.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duhatschek mentions Appleton as he carries an affordable $900K for this season. Like DeBrusk, he’s a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights. His cap hit is much lower than DeBrusk’s $3.675 million, enabling the Bruins to free up cap room for their anticipated signing of goaltender Tuukka Rask in January. Whether a DeBrusk deal is possible with the Kraken, the Devils or another club remains to be seen.
Dreger was referring to DeBrusk’s actual salary for this season of $4.85 million. Under last year’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) that extended the CBA, DeBrusk’s qualifying offer will be $4.41 million. That’s because he signed his current contract last November after the MOU was implemented. Under the new rules for qualifying offers, it’s based on the lower of the salary of the final year of the deal or 120 percent of the annual average value.
Duhatschek also suggested the Carolina Hurricanes as a trade destination for Evander Kane if the San Jose Sharks were willing to absorb half of his $7 million annual salary-cap hit. He pointed out the Hurricanes tend to swim against the NHL tide and were willing to take a chance on Tony DeAngelo when nobody else would. Kane’s edgy play and goal-scoring ability would provide the Hurricanes with another weapon in their offensive arsenal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duhatschek’s not the only pundit to suggest the Hurricanes as a potential suitor for Kane. However, they’re currently in LTIR country by $2.9 million with Jake Gardiner on the shelf. Even if the Sharks picked up half of Kane’s salary, the Hurricanes couldn’t afford him unless they send some salary to the Sharks or another club in a separate deal.
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Olivia Reiner reports Flyers captain Claude Giroux said he’s not thinking about waiving his no-movement clause. The 34-year-old forward said he’s more worried about the club’s upcoming games and how they’ll climb out of the early-season hole they’ve dug for themselves in the standings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux’s status as an unrestricted free agent next summer gave rise to some speculation suggesting he might waive his NMC before the trade deadline if the Flyers remain out of playoff contention. Giroux could ask to be traded if he and the Flyers haven’t agreed to a contract extension by then. However, the more likely scenario, in that case, is GM Chuck Fletcher asking him to provide a list of acceptable trade destinations if the Flyers become sellers leading up to the March 21 trade deadline.