NHL Rumor Mill – April 26, 2022
The possibility of Patrice Bergeron departing the Bruins as a free agent this summer plus the latest Sharks speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy acknowledged it seems like a given Patrice Bergeron will either sign a one-year contract with the Bruins this summer or retire as a Bruin. However, he feels there’s a slight chance the 36-year-old future hall-of-famer could test the market if the club fails to go on one more serious Stanley Cup run over the next two months.
Numerous sources tell Murphy that Bergeron will draw plenty of interest from other clubs if he tests the market on July 13. One of them could be the Montreal Canadiens. His former agent, Kent Hughes, is now the Canadiens’ general manager.
Murphy doesn’t expect Bergeron to “go to the dark side” by signing with the Bruins’ biggest rival. Nevertheless, he wouldn’t blame him if he decided to sign with a Stanley Cup contender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can understand a bit of nervousness among Bruins fans over Bergeron’s future. After all, long-time captain Zdeno Chara was cut loose two years ago and wound up signing with the Washington Capitals last season and the New York Islanders this season.
Chara, however, was a fading star when he and the Bruins parted ways. Bergeron may have slowed slightly but he remains among the NHL’s elite two-way forwards and the Bruins’ first-line center. I daresay management has a strong desire to keep him in the fold beyond this season.
It’ll come down to what Bergeron seeks on his next contract. If he wants a deal beyond three years in length and demands a big raise over his current $6.875 million, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney will thank him for his years of service and bid him good luck in his future endeavors. If Sweeney low-balls Bergeron with a one-year deal at a considerable pay cut, the Bruins captain will walk.
I don’t see either scenario unfolding. The two sides agreed to shelve contracts talks until the season is over. Bergeron’s made no secret of his love of being a Bruin and playing in Boston. I can see them working out a two-year deal with an annual cap hit between $5.5 million and $6 million annually.
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien wonders what it’ll take for the San Jose Sharks to rebuild, rather than retool after how this season went down for them. He believes they can only blame so much on bad luck, pointing out that Pacific Division rivals such as the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights could be sturdier next season.
O’Brien pointed out the Sharks still missed the playoffs this season despite career years from rising stars like Timo Meier and bounce-back performances from veterans like Erik Karlsson and Logan Couture. He wondered how much of their failure to reach the postseason can be laid at the feet of head coach Bob Boughner.
Given Doug Wilson’s resignation as general manager, O’Brien speculates the only rebuild could come in the front office. They might have to shed some salary to re-sign restricted free agents like Mario Ferraro and recently-acquired goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen.
O’Brien suggested trading Meier, a restricted free agent next summer who’ll be in line for a raise over his current $6 million annual cap hit, if they wanted to jump-start a rebuild, along with attempting to move Couture and Brent Burns if they don’t want to be part of a rebuild. He also wondered if they would attempt to buy out Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As O’Brien pointed out, Sharks ownership isn’t interested in a rebuild. Whoever takes over from Wilson as general manager will have to find a way to retool the roster into a playoff contender. That could involve replacing Boughner as head coach.
Retooling the roster won’t be easy with veteran core players like Couture, Burns and Karlsson carrying expensive contracts with no-move or no-trade clauses. We can rule out the possibility of Meier hitting the trade block this summer. Buying out Vlasic will be expensive for next season ($3.687 million) and in 2024-25 ($4.187 million) and 2025-26 ($5.187 million) before dropping to a more affordable $1.687 million annually over the remaining four years.
The Sharks will have to make a cost-cutting deal or two to free up cap room for guys like Ferraro, Kahkonen and unrestricted free agent Alexander Barabanov. Fortunately, they won’t break the bank. Trade candidates could include a goalie like James Reimer or Adin Hill, winger Kevin Labanc and defenseman Radim Simek.
The only way Bergeron goes anywhere else is if Sweeney doesn’t offer him a contract.
Sweeney imo hung onto Krug and Chara to long. Should’ve traded both for assets when they still had value. Yes the Blues can have Krug with that contract.
Bergeron game has declined, only because he has lost a step and a half. However, his hockey smarts and still being one of the very best on the draw he is elite in them categories.
I don’t think he signs a one year deal; it will be a two or three year deal at $6 to $6.5
Unlike Chara and Krug; you keep Bergeron and if for some reason (concussion history) he decides to retire, that’s ok.
Well I can totally agree with you on Krug, they should have know that they could not afford him or they were resigning him so they should have traded him to get something back.
Chara is always the interesting one to me. I still think he had a role on the Bruins. I would take him over Grez and Cliffon. He was still a plus player on a crappy Islanders team this year and has value plus was the heart and soul of the team.
Bruins wanted Chara to stay and offered more then caps. But wanted him to mentor the younger guys who needed nhl ice time so he would get days off here and there. He said no
Great assessment on Bergeron and what would be fair to both sides Lyle.
Bergeron could get more than that on the open market
But there’s something to be said about taking a hometown discount to help your team in a salary cap era and the rarity of a career with one team.
I believe 37 said he will be doing 1 yr deals moving forward
His expiring deal ended up being quite a hometown discount. You think he’ll come in even cheaper moving forward?
I believe if healthy he will sign between 6-7 yr
Oh. I thought you meant 6-7 years! Ha!
The man has been chronically underpaid. Maybe he is good with that due to loyalty, family situation, etc. but he’d get 8 plus on open market. Short term deal.
In theory if Bergeron resigned for a hometown price AND the Bruins added another 1C/2C they would be in a better position for a run next season. But both McAvoy and Lindholm get big raises this summer which almost equal #37’s current salary.
So where does Bergeron and or replacement cap come from? Ullmark relocating?
They currently dont have the money to sign Berg how are they going to sign a 2c?
those are the trade candidates do you think anyone is going to get you a 2c?
I think one of. Forbert. Rielly or Gryzlick. Are traded. Probably Debrusk as well Buyout for Foligno. And possibly trade of Nosek
Cassidy shuffled the lines in mid-late January/early Feb.
Created a new 2nd line of Haula, Pasta, Hall.
Since Feb 1, the 5 on 5 scoring leaders on BOS in order:
1 – Haula
2 – Hall
3 – Pasta
4 – Smith
5 – DeBrusk
6 – Marchand
Some of those guys have missed time and Haula doesn’t get 1st PP minutes so didn’t include PP.
Haula is their 2C and at a bargain deal if he keeps producing, and is a responsible player defensively. Keep rolling with it IMO, it’s working.
Forbort leads them in PK time, so need to replace if they trade him, so likely keep.
I would keep Lazar if he is willing to sign a reasonable deal and likes Boston. But he may get more elsewhere and not like he has made big $ in his career so will likely have to take it. Need to replace though.
They keep Ullmark too IMO. He may start game 1 of playoffs? I would start him 1st, don’t put that pressure on Swayman right off the bat.
Leaves DeBrusk if he still wants out, scoring at a good pace and has value, but then have to replace him on open market I suppose. Get that 1st rd pick back.
Foligno is the obvious over paid for performance guy but B’s don’t buy guys out much. I guess they don’t like paying players not to play.
They find a partner to move DeBrusk is my guess.
hate to say it caper but, Kadri would be the perfect 2c for the bruins.
Not sure how they could make it work though.
Would love Kadri on the Bruins. He’d be the perfect 2C for us.
mp I take Kadri any day of the week. Boston has a little more then $4.5 in cap space and main to resign is Bergeron.
If they can move out Reilly, Forbrrt and Foligno contracts that would free up $9.8m in cap space.
Easier said then done.
We can save another 1.5ish with Lazar, Blidh, and Brown’s contracts all set to expire.
Kadri will be seeking, and most likely get, “first line center that isn’t McDavid or Matthews” money. Would be tough to fit with Bergeron re-signing too, but if Bergeron does retire maybe he would be a great 1C for Boston for the next several years until they find another one.
Wow. Not sure I’d even want this scenario but Malkin doesn’t get resigned and that money goes to Bergeron to play with buddy crosby. Keeps him in the black n gold. 😁
Now, knock that off!
oh that is an interesting situation.
Malkin and Letang off the books.
Sign Bergeron and Klingberg.
I’d prefer both of Hughes clients.
Gotta admit sid berg carter would be a pretty elite top 3 centers.
A good read on the Sharks, Lyle. I’m glad you included Barabanov as someone they should keep. A lot of Vlasic’s buyout rumor will depend on what the Sharks escape via the upcoming Kane decision. I hope to see them try to trade Ryan Merkeley, as I can’t stand watching them have one more guy on the blueline who can’t play D. They need a couple of sturdy defenders back there, and there might be one or two available when the Jets decide who they’re going to keep after the season.
Watching the U18 my God may be the worst hockey I’ve ever seen non stop giveaways and mistakes horrible hockey.
Watch the Flyers, far worse.
There’s only so much time in a day to be doing something like that!
Re: Bergeron. Having just passed Bourque, he is only a handful of goals behind Rick Middleton to take 3rd in franchise goals behind Espo and Bucyk. He’s also 24 points from 1000. He’ll be back to achieve those milestones.
Never looked at it that way but have to agree with you on that one. And yes I did have to check this information online but he did win gold at pretty much every level, 4 selke and a cup. There’s nothing else that he can realistically or almost guarantee but those milestones. I’m a bruins fans by default cuz I hate the Habs.
If the B’s dont lock him up, a short term contract on colorado would be scary.