NHL Rumor Mill – May 9, 2023
Check out the latest on the Bruins and Canadiens in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
LATEST ON THE BRUINS
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cited an NHL source claiming big roster changes are coming for the Bruins during this offseason. Given all their unrestricted free agents and their limited cap space, the source believes Bruins general manager Don Sweeney will have to make some trades he otherwise wouldn’t do.
Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Tyler Bertuzzi, Dmitry Orlov and Nick Foligno are among those eight pending UFAs. Murphy cited Puck Pedia showing the Bruins will be over next season’s projected $83.5 million cap by $1.5 million due to bonus overages incurred this season.
Goaltender Linus Ullmark recently surfaced as a possible trade candidate but his value in the trade market could be affected by a recent report claiming he was battling a debilitating and painful injury. Murphy listed Taylor Hall, Matt Grzelcyk, Derek Forbort and Jakub Zboril as possible trade bait.
THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa was peppered with questions from readers about possible trades by the Bruins during his latest mailbag segment.
Shinzawa doesn’t rule out trading the 31-year-old Hall or perhaps Jake DeBrusk, who is eligible for UFA status next summer. He acknowledged Grzelcyk could be moved with one year left on his contract.
The Bruins will have to look into replacing Bergeron and Krejci if both retire. Centers who might be available include Winnipeg’s Pierre-Luc Dubois, Calgary’s Elias Lindholm and Philadelphia’s Kevin Hayes. Shinzawa doubts they have sufficient assets to put together a competitive bid unless Jeremy Swayman, Mason Lohri, Fabian Lysell or Trent Frederic are heading the other way.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sweeney has some difficult decisions to make. Much depends on what Bergeron and Krejci want to do. It’ll take some clever wheeling and dealing on his part to find suitable replacements.
The Bruins GM must shed salary to clear sufficient space to ice a 23-man roster for 2023-24. Hall, Grzelcyk or DeBrusk could be skating with other clubs next season.
UPDATE ON THE CANADIENS
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Before Monday’s NHL draft lottery, Stu Cowan reported Canadiens GM Kent Hughes was asked if he was willing to make a blockbuster trade for Connor Bedard if his team didn’t win the lottery.
Hughes seemed to dismiss that notion. He pointed out that the Eric Lindros trade between the Quebec Nordiques and Philadelphia Flyers in 1992 saw the Flyers give up a lot to get him. “It ended up going in one team’s favor when it looked like the other team.”
Cowan was skeptical that whatever team won this year’s lottery would be willing to trade Bedard.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Chicago Blackhawks won the lottery last night. They’re not parting with that pick no matter what. The Canadiens are in a good position (fifth overall) in a deep draft to land another solid asset to their prospect pipeline.
Should the Panthers be eliminated from the second round, that pick will be 17th overall. If the Panthers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, it drops to 29th overall. The Habs also hold the 37th overall pick so moving one or the other won’t be a big loss if it fetches a notable return.