Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 19, 2022
What’s the latest on Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane? Are the Devils trying to re-sign or trade Jesper Bratt? What are the Senators’ plans heading into the draft next month? Find out in the latest edition of the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.
UPDATE ON DEBRINCAT AND KANE
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reported Friday the Chicago Blackhawks are listening to offers for Alex DeBrincat. There’s no guarantee they’ll trade the 24-year-old winger but if they do it’ll be for a “young player/high picks/top prospect type of return.”
DeBrincat has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $6.4 million. He becomes a restricted free agent next July with arbitration rights. LeBrun indicated part of what teams are trying to figure out is what his next contract might look like. He added the Los Angeles Kings are among several clubs to express an interest in DeBrincat.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Charlie Roumeliotis wonders if Patrick Kane will want out of Chicago if the Blackhawks trade DeBrincat. The 33-year-old winger has hinted his potential future with the club could be tied to his linemate’s.
Kane is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. He can sign a contract extension starting on July 13 but could be reluctant to do so without more clarity on what the roster and the potential rebuild timeline could look like.
Roumeliotis suggests it might be better for the Blackhawks to trade Kane if he’s hesitant about a long-term extension rather than let him depart via free agency next summer for nothing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson has indicated his intent to rebuild the roster. He’s also said he’ll keep Kane and team captain Jonathan Toews informed about his plans.
Davidson showed a willingness to trade a young player for the right return when he shipped Brandon Hagel to the Lightning for two players and two draft picks. He could move DeBrincat for the type of return outlined by LeBrun. Time will tell if there’s a team willing to meet that expensive asking price.
Bear in mind that Davidson doesn’t have to move DeBrincat before next summer. The winger is two years away from UFA eligibility so Davidson can be patient in evaluating trade offers. He won’t just move DeBrincat for the sake of doing so.
Kane could decide it’s time to move on if DeBrincat is traded. He’s still an elite forward who can contribute to a playoff club. If Kane is looking ahead at next summer’s free-agent market, Davidson could attempt to move him this summer or at some point before next season’s trade deadline.
ARE THE DEVILS TRYING TO SIGN OR TRADE BRATT?
ESPN.COM’s Kevin Weekes tweeted yesterday that he’s been told there have been no significant contract extension talks between the New Jersey Devils and winger Jesper Bratt. He confirms there are several teams interested in trading for the 23-year-old restricted free agent.
NJ.COM’s Ryan Novozinsky reports Bratt’s agent called him a week ago and said the two sides have had multiple discussions regarding a contract extension. He followed up by reporting Devils officials confirmed the contract talks are ongoing, noting these things take time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt that there are teams calling Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald to express their interest in Bratt if contract negotiations fall through and he heads to arbitration. Nevertheless, it appears Devils management and Bratt’s camp are continuing to work toward a deal. Just because teams are calling doesn’t mean he’s going to be traded.
LATEST ON THE SENATORS
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch recently reported Senators general manager Pierre Dorion confirmed he’s received calls regarding what it might take for the club to trade the seventh-overall pick in this year’s draft.
Dorion confirmed he’s spoken candidly to those interested parties that his club might move the pick in return for a player who can help them get to the next level. Garrioch speculates the Senators GM might not get his best offer until draft day. Dorion didn’t rule out retaining the pick.
Garrioch also reported Dorion has been public about his search for a top-end winger and a top-four defenseman. He speculated the Sens GM could target a cap-strapped club like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild.
The Senators have been linked to Wild winger Kevin Fiala as he could be a good fit alongside Tim Stuetzle. Garrioch suggested Claude Giroux could be a good fit if the Panthers fail to re-sign the pending UFA forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can read my take on this story in my column for The Hockey News.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Brown would free up $3.6 million for the Senators. That cap space could be put to good use by acquiring a right winger via trade or free agency.