NHL Rumor Mill – May 11, 2023

by | May 11, 2023 | Rumors | 19 comments

The Bruins’ roster could look different next season, the latest on Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha plus some Flames speculation in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty reports Bruins general manager Don Sweeney admitted yesterday that salary-cap constraints mean he can’t re-sign pending unrestricted free agents Garnet Hathaway, Dmitry Orlov and Tyler Bertuzzi right now even if he wanted to.

Sweeney also said his club isn’t setting a timetable for answers from Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci as to whether they’re returning next season or retiring.

Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images).

Haggerty noted that the Bruins only have around $6 million in salary-cap space. He anticipates that Sweeney faces a busy summer shedding salary while finding more affordable talent and young players to build around their roster core.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa suggested Taylor Hall and Matt Grzelcyk as cost-cutting trade candidates.

Hall was a difference-maker because he regularly played on the Bruins’ third line and there were times when he was strictly a five-on-five player. They cannot afford to carry a $6 million player that low in their lineup.

Grzelcyk could be moved to free up cap space or for help up front. Mike Reilly’s trade value is limited and Derek Forbort would fetch a mid-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the salary cap rises higher than expected for next season, Sweeney has little choice but to make a cost-cutting trade or two. That means moving one or two players that he’d prefer not to part with but has to in order to become cap compliant and still ice a full roster.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber cited player agent Sergei Fedotov suggesting Evgeny Kuznetsov’s time with the Washington Capitals should come to an end sooner rather than later.

Fedotov isn’t Kuznetsov’s agent but is a long-time friend of Kuznetsov who represents prospect Matvei Michkov and several other players. He says the Capitals center no longer has the joy or spark in his game that he had in 2018. He believes things started going downhill for his friend over the past few seasons, citing his positive test for cocaine in 2019 plus other disciplinary issues.

Kuznetsov has a family now and Fedotov said he is doing fine in his personal life. However, he believes the veteran center needs a change of scenery to get more spark from hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuznetsov denied a report from a Russian source claiming that he requested a trade in March. However, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan expressed his unhappiness with the soon-to-be 31-year-old’s performance this season.

Kuznetsov’s on-ice struggles won’t help his trade value. He also carries a tough-to-move contract with a $7.8 million cap hit through 2024-25 and a 10-team no-trade clause.

Silber also reported that the Capitals could retain Anthony Mantha. With a new head coach coming in, perhaps Mantha can change and improve his game. Trading him could free up salary-cap space but his trade value is low right now.


CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve MacFarlane suggests Calgary Flames forward Tyler Toffoli’s trade value has never been higher following a career-best performance this season. He’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and was a supporter of former Flames coach Darryl Sutter.

MacFarlane believes it’s unlikely the Flames will re-sign Toffoli. He considers the winger among their most likely trade candidates this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With his affordable $4.25 million cap hit and lack of no-trade protection, Toffoli would garner plenty of interest if the Flames are willing to entertain offers for him. However, that will depend on what plans the club’s new general manager has in store. That person has yet to be hired.

SPORTSNET: In his latest mailbag segment, Pat Steinberg included Toffoli among his list of potential cost-cutting candidates for the Flames. Others with a year remaining on their contracts include Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov.

Steinberg noted the return of Oliver Kylington and the possibility of re-signing Troy Stecher could provide the Flames with sufficient blueline depth that they could afford to trade a defenseman like Hanifin or Zadorov.

He wouldn’t be surprised if the Flames shopping backup goalie Dan Vladar to make room for promising Dustin Wolf. He felt Wolf has nothing left to accomplish in the minors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be interesting to see if the new general manager will consider any of those options for the Flames this summer.


  1. I don’t know why some GMs struggle with the cap. They make everything more complex than it needs to be!

    They just need to take notes from armchair gms on blogs.

    Trade bad contracts / players for good / cheaper players.

    Aging players for budding superstars.

    Unwanted players for much more desirable players.


    • Very good, CO! For example Taylor Hall should be easy to move as a cost cutting measure. Oh, wait, he’s often injured (only played 61 games), he’s a third line winger, he managed only 36 points this year and he has 2 years remaining at $6 million per. Yup, GMs will be standing in line for a shot at getting him.

    • They’re all ex-players…too many shots to the head!

  2. I was thinking along the same lines. There is a lot of teams selling this year, more than I can recall in a long time.

    A few teams have a second 1st rd’r, but not sure where all these players will go.

    Flyers alone have 5 to 7 players or contracts that could be moved.

    Boston probably has around 3 to 4 players.

    Toronto should probably move out which ever player doesnt want to resign between Matthews & Nylander. You can’t let either of these guys walk for nothing.

    • The question would be would either Matthews & Nylander want to return with the critics in the fishbowl after blood at every turn. or leave and prove them wrong. aka “The Kessel effect”

  3. I stupidly bet against the Bruins being competitive last offseason. Not making that mistake again. Somehow they’ll get everyone back and signed.

    • Dark G… I agree they will find a way to be competitive…they always do.

      They have that culture ! They were supposed to suck until Christmas this year and were far and away the best regular season team by far..

  4. The reason there are so many sellers right now is because a number of GMs took on secondary roles as actuaries/speculators. They operated under assumptions that the cap would have gone up significantly by now and they were wrong. The teams that have kept some space will be able to reap benefits in the coming years.

  5. If the Bruins can get rid of a few players it is not all doom and Gloom, but the key is getting rid of those players.

    I think Grez is desired and should get moved, I also think that they wont we able to resign debrusk so you trade him. I also think they could find a taker for Ullmark at 5 mill. Thats 12.5 mill or so in CAP space and who I would move.

    If you can find someone to take Reilly that’s another 3 mill in space.

    • I agree that Boston will move either Grzelcyk or Forbort. I’m undecided on what Grzelcyk’s value would be. He’s a talented D-Man, was among the leaders in +/- last year (for what that’s worth) and has some offensive ability. He’s also been fairly injury prone, and was a healthy scratch for some of the Florida series.

      Whoever gets moved out, I’m hoping that Mason Lohrei has a great camp after signing his ELC and finds a spot on the roster. Excited for what this kid brings.

  6. Start the Taylor hall to Ottawa rumours for a song and dance.

    If the Cat does leave I hope the team can do better than Hall to replace him.

    Although Boston might have to accept a song and dance to part ways with him and the entirety of his contract.

    • They can do better than Hall from within! And it wouldn’t cost them $12 mil off the cap for the next two seasons.

  7. Sens offer up Debrincat for Smith, Swayman and Hall.

    Sens also offer player and pic for Vladar. Perfect for them IMO

    • @John G

      LOL Smith+Swayman+Hall isn’t getting you Alex DeBrincat, And how do you suppose that Boston can afford to pay DeBrincat $8,000,000+ with their current cap situation?

      And why would DeBrincat commit long term with a Bruins team. That more than likely is heading for a full blown rebuild in 2-3 more years.

      Trade is bad for Ottawa, Don’t see Don Sweeney moving Jeremy Swayman. Plus i doubt that Hall waives for Ottawa.

    • Smith???????????

      • That’s Smith as in “how do we get rid of this albatross?”

  8. The B’s have to sign Orlov . Bertuzzi would be nice . Those can only happen If Hall moved and Bergeron and Krejci retire.
    If Flames trade Hannifin that new GM should be fired. They need to let Lucic walk and Lewis retire to cover Huberdeu’s raise. Wolfe was AHL player of the year and goaltender of the year last season. If Love becomes the head coach it will happen. I would move Markstrom for salary reasons only but likely Vladar will be traded

    • Orlov was a really good pick up for the Bruins..

      • if the bruins can resign Orlov and Bert at the cost of Bergy and krecji and loose Gryz than i say its worth it in the long run. Krecji was a bust in the playoffs he looked old and slow. Gryz is odd man out and no point in just one more year with Bergy if we can sign Bert long term


  1. NHL Rumor Mill – May 11, 2023 – Between The Pipes - […] Source_link […]