NHL Rumor Mill – May 19, 2022
More conjecture on the Bruins’ offseason plans, the latest speculation linking the Senators to Kevin Fiala, and which troublesome contracts the Coyotes could target in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LATEST ON THE BRUINS
THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes finding a center and holding firm on Jake DeBrusk could be among the priorities of Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, assuming he’s signed to a contract extension.
The need for a center will become more urgent if captain Patrice Bergeron retires when his contract expires in July. There’s no one within their system who can step up and adequately replace him, plus they still haven’t fully addressed David Krejci’s departure last summer.
DeBrusk signed a two-year contract extension in March. While his play improved down the stretch and in the playoffs, he hasn’t withdrawn the trade request made in November. Shinzawa believes Sweeney won’t be quick to move DeBrusk if he still wants out.
Shinzawa includes Bergeron among his list of Bruins he believes will depart this summer. He thinks the 36-year-old center is confirming to himself that it’s time to retire.
Nick Foligno, Matt Grzelcyk, Mike Reilly and Craig Smith are among Shinzawa’s list of trade candidates, though he acknowledged a buyout seems more likely for Foligno. He also recommended trading star winger David Pastrnak if there’s any sense of uncertainty over whether he’ll sign a contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergeron could retire and go out while still among the league’s elite players (especially if he wins the Selke Trophy this year) would cap a fine Hall-of-Fame career. Still, it wouldn’t be surprising if he returns for another season to buy the Bruins some time to find a suitable replacement or at least bolster their depth at center.
Pastrnak becomes eligible for unrestricted free agency next July. He loves playing in Boston and the Bruins obviously hope to retain him past 2023. However, Bergeron’s possible retirement and the club’s direction could leave him thinking carefully over his future. He’d be among the top players in the 2023 UFA market and would land a lucrative long-term deal. It’ll be interesting to see how his situation plays out.
There’s speculation the Bruins would welcome back Krejci if he felt like returning to the NHL next season. So far, however, there’s no indication he’s planning a comeback in Boston or anywhere else. As for DeBrusk, he said he hasn’t given much thought to his request but will spend some time considering it over the offseason before making a decision.
COULD THE SENATORS PURSUE FIALA?
THE ATHLETIC: Ian Mendes examined the pros and cons of the Ottawa Senators pursuing Kevin Fiala if the Minnesota Wild put the 25-year-old wing on the trade block.
The asking price could be the Senators’ first-round pick (seventh overall) in this year’s draft plus an affordable center or backup goaltender. A downside would be Fiala’s next contract as he could come in between $7.5 million and $8 million annually.
SPORTSNET: Wayne Scanlan recently suggested Fiala would check a lot of boxes as a fit with the Senators, though he also pointed out his next contract will be expensive. He also suggested Philadelphia Flyers winger Travis Konecny as another option, carrying three more years on his contract with a $5.5 million annual average value. He’s also familiar with Ottawa having played his junior hockey with the OHL’s 67s.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the expense of Fiala’s next contract, he will draw lots of interest if the Wild decide to peddle him. However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reported several teams believe Minnesota general manager Bill Guerin will find a way to keep Fiala. If he can’t, Friedman mentioned the Senators, New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings as potential trade destinations.
Konecny could be a viable alternative for the Senators if they’re in the market for a scoring winger and lose out on Fiala. He lacks no-trade protection and the Senators have promising young prospects that could tempt Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher. That will depend on how much tinkering Fletcher intends to do with his roster this summer and whether he sees Konecny as a trade chip or part of the club’s long-term plans.
WHICH TOXIC CONTRACTS COULD THE COYOTES TARGET?
GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan recently looked at 31 NHL teams’ troublesome contracts the Arizona Coyotes could target in their quest to add more draft picks and prospects this summer. His suggested options include the Montreal Canadiens’ Shea Weber, Toronto Maple Leafs’ Petr Mrazek, San Jose Sharks’ Kevin Labanc, New York Islanders’ Josh Bailey and the Philadelphia Flyers’ James van Riemsdyk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Morgan listed many other notables, including the Chicago Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews, Boston Bruins’ Nick Foligno, Calgary Flames’ Sean Monahan, the Florida Panthers’ Sergei Bobrovsky and the San Jose Sharks’ Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Those players, however, have full or partial no-trade clauses and probably won’t waive them to go to the Coyotes.
Weber, Labanc, Bailey and van Riemsdyk, however, lack no-trade protection and would be prime cost-cutting candidates. Mrazek has a partial no-trade clause but might accept a trade to the Coyotes if he knows he doesn’t have a future with the Leafs.
Fiala to the Sens??? Sorry, I just can’t see Dorian spending that much money on him.
Wait a minute….he might be allowed now that Melnyk’s daughters are in charge? Get a more competitive team in a hurry and sell the team? IDK?
7 OA + White + Branstrom for KF then $7.5M x 8 for him
Johnny Z, I agree that Fiala to Ottawa is a long shot to the nth degree – but not because Dorion wouldn’t be prepared to fork over that kind of money (and assets) for a high-scoring RW, but rather he wouldn’t do it for one who’s been in the league for 6 seasons with 5 modest seasons before this one. Their history shows they were already burned once by taking a similar player a few years back when they got Jonathan CheeChoo. No, if he goes after a RW that might be available it will be someone who has shown some consistency in that sort of production.
Besides, if the Wild do deal him it will be strictly to free up cap space in the face of a pending nightmare, so taking back White ($4,750,000 for 3 more years and minimal production) and Brannstrom (an RFA coming off an ELC of $863,333 and likely looking at a bridge of around $1.4 per) would defeat that purpose.
Sort of like the Leafs and Nylander who, IF ever moved, could not bring back large cap hits since the reason for dealing him would be to free up cap to sign others.
The Sens don’t need him nor the cap hit he’ll command. The Sens are still a rebuilding team and not ready for a “cup run” anytime soon. If he was that missing piece that after a couple kicks at the can you then realize he’s the missing part, then ya blow a first and cap to get him.
It would be in the Sens best interest to continue building like they are and add guys that will help or support the young stars while they develop.
PS some of my posts from yesterday and a couple days back never published. 🙁
Have to agree there Ron. No one player they might acquire this off-season is going to turn them into an instant contender … baby steps … and maybe development to the point of being in the mix for one of the WC slots at the end of next season (IF Matt Murray avoids banana peels and black cats)
Agree, well put.
Krecji might return but it’s high time Sweeney got off his lazy ilbogotten carcass and phoned David himself STOP WAITING!! beg, borrow or steal but get him back! and they need a Solid second line centre, if Debrusk still doesn’t want to stay get him out Fluto is one of the more respected bruins sports columnists. If he believes Bergy will retire you have to take that with more than a grain of salt. Got to sign Pasty, Foligno never do nothing on the ice but real jokester in the dressing room gone, Reilly Gone maybe Matt too, disappointed in Smith this year he did nothing, gone. From what I’m hearing Sweeney’s last chance to right a sinking ship, is coming up fast He should have been fired years ago.Some people still believe there’s a chance If Bergy comes the windows still open I believe the window has been closed all season.
Fiala is absolutely the WRONG guy and too much money. I’ve been dreading this rumor/news since it started mid season. He’s a one season wonder who won’t live up to the money he’s gonna get this off season. I like the Konecny idea more, because of the cost certainty in his contract and the likely lower cost to acquire him.
As for the Bruins. Tough spot. I’ve not been super impressed with Sweeney. The Bruins have remained competitive in spite of him, not because of him. I think Boston has one more year with the big three if they can find a couple pieces that fit better in the line up. Bring Bergy back on a one year, prove to him you’re gonna go for it again with good second line signing, and a good D signing. The coach is good. The goaltending looks good.
Dark G, we’re in total agreement there.
Looking at pending UFA RWs, there isn’t a whole lot, but these 4 – if they aren’t re-upped by their current clubs – look to be the best bets
Nichushkin – Col 27y/o 25g 27a 52 pts 62 gp
Rust – Pitt 30 y/o 24g 34a 58pts 60gp
Reilly Smith – Veg 31 y/o 16g 22a 38 pts 56gp
Niedereiter – Car 30 y/o 24g 20a 44 pts 75gp
And for teams in the market for a Center, the list of decent options there is only slightly larger
Forsberg Nash 27 y/o 42g 42a 84 pts 69gp
Kadri Col 31 y/o 28g 59a 87 pts 71gp
Giroux Fla 34 y/o 21g 44a 65 pts 75gp (Pha & Fla)
Copp NYR 27 y/o 21g 32a 53 pts 72gp
Strome NYR 28 y/o 21g 33a 54 pts 74gp
Trochek – Car 28 y/o 21g 30a 51 pts 81gp
Rakell Pitt 29 y/o 20g 21a 41 pts 60gp (Ana & Pitt)
Stastny Wpg 36 y/o 21g 24a 45pts 71gp
Vatrano fits Boston’s needs. Plays with an edge and attacks the puck. he is from Mass too.
but not a center
I know he is very likely re-signing with Oil; and IS a lefty currently playing LW…. But Kane can and has, played RW….. and his 82 G pace this year was 43-32-75 and plus 48….
I expect many GMs reaching out to his agent
Again… highly likely he stays with Oil
Pengy, Kane is not the kind of RW Dorion would be seeking – he turns 31 in August and they’d have to negotiate a new deal and besides, even with all his offensive ability, he’s not going to turn Ottawa into a serious contender – not this coming season or probably the one after.
He’ll be looking for a younger player that has shown scoring consistency – such as Konecny who still has 3 years to go at $5.5 mil per and has a history here with some great years with the ’67s. And he won’t come cheap.
Also, I can’t wait to see what magic Holland weaves to clear enough space to re-sign Kane.
Sorry when I read
“ Looking at pending UFA RWs, there isn’t a whole lot, but these 4 – if they aren’t re-upped by their current clubs – look to be the best bets”
I mistakenly interpreted you meaning “best bets” re league as a whole
I realize now you meant “best bets” or “ most probable options” for Sens
Agree… Kane on Sens adds production… but not in the true window… and the contract they’d (Sens) need to pay , would not be worth it to them
Makes sense now with that lens
Eichel’s NTC does not go into effect til July. He would like Boston!
Highly unlikely that Knights flip him…. But what would be Bruins offer if at all?
Since the trade by Knights had a built in “uncertainty” (of success of operation) value…. Since he now is playing and healthy… would the return not need to be higher?
What’s your offer
It sure would solve their cap crunch!
Eichel for Coyle, Studnicka, 2023 1st, 2022 4th
Sabres got Tuch, Krebs, 1st and 2nd… and that was with uncertainty …. Not knowing if surgery would work
Surgery was a success …. So Bruins offer would have to beat What knights gave up
Krebs is better than Studs IMHO;Krebs is also younger
For sure Tuch far better than Coyle; also 4 years younger
4th vs 2nd
It’s a longshot for sure that Knights would trade Eichel…. But if they do… Bruins would have to offer more and/or better players
Dark G, re Lyle’s blurb above “which troublesome contracts the Coyotes could target in today’s NHL rumor mill …” do you think Arizona might take on Colin White if accompanied by one of Ottawa’s 2 2nd round picks – their own and TB’s” and perhaps a mid-prospect?
I want to keep White and put him with better players but as that seems unlikely…..I still think there’s a play to trade him to Boston since he’s from there.
I think Arizona can really pick and choose which garbage they want to take, and the price for dumping there might be more than what people realise.
Dark G, elsewhere in this thread I speculated as to what Ottawa’s 4 lines might look like if they acquired Konecny. But that speculation aside, should white be given a chance at RW on that 2nd line, also bumping Brown down to the 3rd.
Makes more sense given their cap hits, as it’s lunacy to be paying White’s cap hit for a 3rd or 4th liner.
Feels like someone wrote this article for George, 7-8 mil for fiala thats a hard pass.
I personally think hes over paid at 5mil. He doesnt drive play or grind on the boards. His value is scoring while others do the hard work.
Wouldn’t trade a first round pick for him let alone a top ten pick.
Guerin made his bed with his buyouts so why would anyone give him a first rounder for a guy he wont be able to resign.
Too true mp. For a 7th overall and a top prospect there have to be teams smack up against the cap who’d be prepared to relinquish a Top 6 RW that has shown production consistency.
my Flyers would have to listen to that offer for TK.
Maybe 7th & Bernard Docker something along that line.
I would love to see that mp. Konecny on Stutzle’s line.
Tkachuk – Norris – Batherson
Formenton – Stutzle – Konecny
Joseph – Gambrell – Connor Brown
Sokolov – Gaudette – Watson
(find a new home for Colin White – some $$ withheld.
And no, Pengy, it ain’t gonna be the return of Dadonov 🙂
You’re very likely correct George
I do however expect McCrimmon to call Dorian just to inquire….Sens would not be on his (Dado’s) NT list since he handed his list in while he was still a Sen
Ideal situation for the Bruins is that PB signs for 1 year and DK is signed as a UFA for a year … that would set them up with a VG 1st and 2nd lines … tinker with the 3rd & 4th lines get bigger, tougher & quicker …. The Bruins have 4 Dmen they can count on unless they trade one of them, they need one more shutdown Dman with size and toughness and a puck carrying Dman not MG the guy is to small …. Go with the two goalies they have …..
What about Boston acquiring Johansson from Nashville?
Next season, the cap floor is a little over $70M. If the Yotes don’t re-sign any of their UFAs or tender their RFAs, it looks like they’ll need to spend about $21M to get up to that floor.
I wonder how ticket sales are going at ASU. I wonder if they’re looking at the cap floor as a de facto cap ceiling. Or maybe they go the other way and spend a lot more to hemorrhage money and try to force Bettman’s hand in letting them relocate?
You have to wonder, too, what they’re going to charge for tickets at that 5,000 seat arena to try and make up at least some of what they lose by not drawing larger crowds. Or was their average attendance up to now no better than 5,000?
Yeah, I think they are trying to offset the lower attendance with higher prices ($250-$300-something for great seats).
that will suck the arena is 5 miles from me, i was hoping to catch a game or two in a small building.
Cap floor next season is actually $61 million, so the Coyotes don’t have so far to go to reach it.
Alex Meruelo has a gambling licence (read: licence to print money) from the state of Arizona, but that licence requires him to operate a major-league sports franchise in the state. The Coyotes aren’t relocating unless they lose more money than the gambling operation stands to earn.
Now THAT is interesting and something I never knew re the Coyotes operation.
If he does that’ll be the shortest conversation on record. That bridge has been burned and the ashes scattered to the 4 winds. Dorion is quite happy with Holden (currently playing for Canada at the World’s) and the 3rd round pick he got for this year’s draft.
If Dorion enters into any serious discussions with another GM about the availability of a RW, it won’t be someone his age with a year to go before becoming a UFA, and modest production while costing $5 mil off the cap. They gambled once on him – that was enough.