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.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico believes the Canadiens are more likely to shop the 2023 first-rounder they received from the Florida Panthers as that pick drops in the draft order.
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.
Conventional wisdom around here says Boston should sell the farm and start a complete 5+ year rebuild. Record season schmecord season.
We both know that ain’t happening
I’m pretty sure that type of thinking wouldn’t exist if the cap wasn’t there. It sure looks like the cap is handicapping (successful) teams more than helping them. It blows me away to think that as good as the Burins were that they have to strip it down to be cap compliant. In an ideal world, the Burins should be about to add and not have to perform major surgery like the Hawks had to or the Lightening has, etc. This cap robs fans of their teams once they get something worth cheering and worth watching.
a salary cap isn’t there to help the really good teams. It’s there to spread the talent across the league. Look at Detroit and the things they were able to do before the cap. They had how many HOF players when they won in 2002? I’d rather have a bunch of really good teams than 3 or 4 great teams and the rest of the league is trash.
I used to dislike the Cap too, Ron, but the purpose is to stop financially strong teams from dominating.
What would happen to Arizona, for example, in a non cap world? That may be a bad example as I don’t believe Arizona is a fit place for a hockey team, but you can ride the concept.
Besides, it forces GMs to be smart and creative. It doesn’t take ingenuity to throw money at a problem. Overall, it’s part of a team earning its way to a championship, not buying it.
I don’t think you can point out one instance where a team’s spending is directly correlated to winning. All the rich clubs spent, to some degree, a boat load of money and couldn’t win when they had the ability, be-it, via team construction/payroll or paying top dollar for the free agents often out bidding smaller markets…but it’s for this reason, of allowing everyone a “fair” chance of landing a free agent that will magically turn things around or put you over the top.
The only positive results of this cap are basically sure a smaller market team can waste their cap on any FA that would like to play there…sort of. As we’ve seen, players have their own agenda and money sometimes isn’t one of them especially these days. The only positive from a league point of view, having a salary cap like we currently have is all about controlling player’s contracts, from their ELC FA signing, or extension, it’s all about not playing as much as you should be. (see what other leagues can pay and make)
A salary cap is valuable tool but it needs to be used properly to show its value and right now it isn’t. It’s always been kind of a joke.
It’s all about parity and TV ratings in every market that has allowed the NHL to get back to relevance across N. America. Without the cap it would be like the NBA or MLB…Anyone can pick the STF every year, and with the NFL being the model of the cap and king of all TV ratings it’s not going anywhere with the NHL having the best season’s and growth under the cap.
I don’t understand much of your response, Ron.
The parts that I do understand don’t add up:
Cup winners do spend to the cap. Tampa won two cups at the top of the salary cap. Do you not remember the controversy over them being a “92 million cap team” when Kucherov came back from regular season injury to the playoffs, when his salary didn’t count against the cap?
An internet search shows the Avalanche won the cup with a cap hit of 81.5 million.
As for the NHL not being able to pay as much as other leagues, and controlling player salaries that’s no different from the other North American pro leagues. Player salaries are higher there because the revenue for the MLB, NBA and NFL are way higher. And all have a salary cap (MBL calls it something else).
You can continue to dislike the cap all you want. But I can’t make sense of your argument.
Hey LJ, no problem, I think you might of misunderstood me when I said there’s no relative correlation between spending endless amounts of money and winning. That was in reference to when there wasn’t a cap as Ed referenced how teams (Detroit) “were able to do before the cap” which I understood as team with money could buy a championship and partly your argument too.
Yes other leagues have salary caps to help save money too and control player cost from going out of reach for some markets. I’m fine with that but as per my argument, this NHL hard cap is flawed and could be better or you can say, good for both us fans and owners. Other leagues like the NBA can pay their players more, get more sponsorship or money because? They have a cap, the NHL has a cap, why aren’t the numbers closer for both the players and owners? Hockey’s a great game and once was 3rd or 4th most popular sport in NA. it’s now 5th or 6th. I’m not blaming the cap on that but I can’t help think the way the cap is in the NHL won’t help that or any of the other issues that plague this league.
Can anyone honestly say the current cap is a fix-all for all that ails the game?
Nope, Ron, I cannot say the cap is a cure all. I still don’t understand why a salary cap counts in the regular season, but not in the playoffs. Tampa used this, and I do believe my Habs used it too.
I’m fine with a cap, but I think you should be able to buy your way over it by 10%. For every million you are over you have to pay a million to a pot shared by all teams.
That’s one idea Kent and I’m sure there are many more that could make sense and benefit all. Let’s hope more people especially the ones that are in the position to make changes do. To me this cap is similar to rent control, you want to keep the prices down but the cost is there’s a risk you’re also developing slums because eventually you wont be able to afford the up keep. In this analogy the “up keep” is keeping the team you built together. I won’t come up with a solution but I do believe there’s a better cap system out there that can solve more of what needs fixing to turn this league into a more profitable and sustainable product, no matter what idiots are running the show.
There is absolutely no sincerity behind Chrism comment.
This is the same comment he’s made about every team that’s been eliminated from the playoffs. Why? Because people have suggested the Penguins are overdue for a rebuild.
So apparently, because Pittsburgh needs to rebuild, so does every other team.
They’re not happy (Pittsburgh fans here) at the suggestion of a rebuild.
Most mental help professionals would call it denial. Followed by extreme anger judging by some of the abuse I’ve suffered from another Pittsburgh fan here.
Actually there are valid arguments for and against a rebuild of the pens after this past season. The argument that is frequently put forward is that the pens should have started rebuilding years ago. While they were still qualifying for the playoffs. Which is as asinine as suggesting Boston should do the same after a record breaking season despite the cap and possible retirement challenges.
So, that’s the ultimate goal of every team – qualify for the playoffs? Doesn’t matter that they can’t get past the first round – just qualify, retain essentially the same core group, and annually hope that “next year will be different.” Year after year after year.
Not this fan.
Yes george. Your teams goal is to qualify for the playoffs. Every year. Championships are nice but only one team gets one per year. You play for the chance at one. Particularly when that core is still productive. A lot can happen in best of 7 series. Even the winningest team ever can be bounced. Using pens as an example… they took the eventual ecf to the brink last year playing a third string goaltender due to injuries. They were supposed to give up?
Not sure why people always use that analogy of “lost to eventual cup champs, ECF’s champs etc.
Pittsburgh has been bounced 4 years straight in the 1st round followed by a miss. Yes, a one point miss by losing to Columbus in game 82, who ironically were 1 point from being the worst team in the nhl.
It’s a pattern. When Toronto struggled for years to pass the 1st round, nobody took issue with it. Simply put, they weren’t constructed right / not good enough. Regardless of who they lost to in the 1st round, they lost in the 1st round!
Given the age of Pittsburghs core, it should be an eye opener.
This isn’t a young team learning “how to lose before learning to win”, this is an aging group with nothing in the pipeline, and not much talent beyond the aging top 6, very questionable defense and now possibly no starting goaltender.
This was a team that experienced winning, and has taken steps backwards since.
Those are not promising signs!
This team should have at least considered a short retool 2-3 years ago when they could have sold off pieces like Malkin, Rust, Letang etc. for futures or younger talent. Rather than re-signing the same players at 34-35 years old.
That window was missed, and now they’re window to complete seems slammed shut.
Making the playoffs all those years was also a pattern. If you make the playoffs but go out quick it shows the need for proper roster tweaking not unloading core still productive members. The pen’s obviously failed to properly make the tweaks. No right thinking gm would alienate the fans by making the moves you’re suggesting when you are suggesting them. Finally both Malkin and tanger had clauses in their respective contracts making it at best unlikely to move them and certainly not for a decent return. They coulda let them walk for nothing last summer but in a rare decent hextall move he got them signed for decent value.
A lot of bigger markets move big player names without alienating the fan base.
Not every decision is a popular decision. They’re business decisions.
If markets like Toronto, NY , Boston, Detroit make these type of moves , why couldn’t Pittsburgh?
It’s not exactly a microscope market like the teams mentioned above.
Winning trumps unpopular decisions. In some cases, just heading in the right direction does.
Pittsburgh has a history of empty seats and financial struggles. Is rotting the core going to help that? Are people coming on to watch fading stars play 82 games and go home ? Doubtful.
Again, one of the weakest prospect pools in the nhl, aging core and not much cap space considering the holes they have to fill just to get to 22-23 players, doesn’t look promising.
It is just postponing the inevitable, while their assets depreciate more and more every year.
It’s exactly the market in Pittsburgh you don’t understand. Sports in Pittsburgh are a big part of the identity of a major portion of the city’s population. Winning does cure all but losing in a way that shows the owners arnt trying their best is a major sin. When the pens were on the verge of moving it was t that the team was losing that turned away the necessary hard core fans… it was the fact the ownership tried to sell them on borderline nhlers as star players. If the team is losing but ownership’s still trying the core fans will stick by the team. Trading away core players while still contending For the playoffs would have had a devastating effect on the box office. The sports fans in Pittsburgh also understand the importance of sentimentality in sports. Large markets don’t need the blue collar sports fans. In fact most blue collar sports fans couldn’t go to those teams games if they wanted to. Pittsburgh does.
I totally disagree. It’s sad Pittsburgh fans are that fair weather. Losing is just part of sports. Some fan bases made a culture out of it. Boston Red Sox, Chicago cubs, NY Knicks, etc. it’s part of life.
It’s unfortunate, but it’s just part of life people need to accept.
Hell, I’m a Jets fan! Been a fan for 40+ years and wasn’t even born when Joe Namath lead them to a super bowl!
It’s part of life. People who vacate seats over a temporary lapse in winning aren’t true fans at all.
You’d risk losing your team over a temporary hiccup? That’s just bizarre! Pittsburgh has had been more fortunate than most NHL teams. Not only in cups, but also players like Crosby, Malkin, Lemieux, Jagr falling in their laps.
To jump ship over a few losing years isn’t blue collar at all! It’s a sign of immaturity over not getting your way. That’s being childish, not a fan!
Sundin, Leetch, Bourque, Gretzky, Messier,, Thornton, Hull, Shanahan, Lindros, Forsberg Etc. All players traded.
Sentiment is something that only live in the minds of fans. It’s that type of thinking that gets gms fired and teams spinning into the ground.
Fans won’t be showing up to watch Crosby put up 40 points on a 3rd line when he’s 40 years old.
I almost understand Washington holding on to Ovechkin, he’s chasing a record and that will draw interest. Unfortunately for Washington fans, it will come at the expense of winning!
This isn’t me picking on Pittsburgh, I’d say the same for a team like Tampa who is in MUCH better shape if they were to trade away say, Stamkos and Hedman. They still have a bunch of talent behind those two players.
Point, Cirelli, Sergachev, Vasilesky etc.
Sometimes, it’s just time to move on!
Brian Leetch had the most classic response to a reporter that kinda defiantly asked “how could the NY Rangers trade you “
“Well, they weren’t winning with me!”
Loved this guy in NY, but why wouldn’t you at least get some assets for your fading stars? Because the fans won’t like it?
Will the fans like watching 42 yo Malkin and Crosby losing and zero in the pipeline behind them for 7-8 years because they chose to chase something out of their reach?
You failed to grasp the point of my post. It’s not the losing. It’s the commitment of the team and the owners.
Winning as you said solves all. The pirates are prime examples. This year butts are back in the seats. But it’s superficial. As long as nutting owns the team the pirates will rely on revenue sharing. Maybe the Reynolds signing converts more fans. Tbd. The fans arnt immature. They just actually have self respect. They will not support a team that’s not trying to compete. Cities like ny have many of the same fans. But their cities teams don’t have to cater to them. The population is so large they find butts for seats.
Losing itself isn’t the issue. It’s whether the team is trying to win.
Did the jets ever deliberately not try to field their best team? And while doing so tell the fans they were doing their best to win? If so and you were still financially supporting them then those fans arnt “mature”. They’re just suckers. Or as we say in the burgh…. Jagoffs
Isn’t that just the thing? Fans come in every variety, some are the boom or bust types, there’s fair weather fans, bandwagon riders, the traditionalist, the staunch hardcore, the naive and ones in the know. You both make valid points that really illustrate the many ways one can feel or think about any given thing about their team. Not that it needs to be said…Good dialogue.
Chisms, I’m going to respectfully disagree with you on the not having the best team right now means you’re not trying to win. Teams and fans that expect all decisions to be sentimental end up like the Wings for the last decade and the Oilers for almost all of the last 24 years before Mcdavid. For the Wings it was signing veterans that had been there for the cups for years because the owners wanted to keep the string of years in the playoffs alive. For the Oilers it was wanting to hire oilers from the boys on the bus days to run the team.
The teams need to have a pipeline of good young players, Wings have been near the bottom for years now, San Jose as another example, held onto Vlasic, Burns, Marleau and Thornton way to long and once they were paying these players on what they had done and not for what they were going to do, it was over. Sharks haven’t been good in 5 years now. It’s a cycle and if you can’t work it, it’ll be the decade of darkness.
I honestly feel MTL are looking for a trade up scenario…something between them and WSH. Maybe: Anderson and the Florida 1st for Mantha and WSH’s 8th ova pick in 2023.
Craig, why would Montreal drop back three places to get Mantha, who underperforms at 5.7 million and becomes a UFA after this next season? On a rebuilding team, no less.
Much of the speculation – including mine – is that the Habs are much more likely to trade their pick from Florida along with one of their too many D, anyone not named Savard (french speaking) Matheson, Guhle or Wifi (not going to spell check his real name).
LJ, Craig is suggesting that the Habs trade the Florida pick to the Caps – not the #5 overall.
The Caps are in the same situation that the Pens are in right now. A team that has been solid over the years and with a recent Cup win, but whose core is getting older and without a strong prospect base. This presents a quandry. Do they try to load up a bit at the expense of youth for a final run before the old guard moves on? Or do they try to get younger even if it makes another Cup with this group less likely?
I think the Caps are better off holding on to the #8 pick
LJ I’m proposing MTL trade the FLA 1st (looking more like between the 29th-32nd ova pick in 2023), packaged with Josh Anderson and take on Anthony Mantha’s salary in return to move up to 8th ova.
Right, thanks for the correction, Howard and Craig.
Ok, now that I read it properly it I see where you are coming from Craig. It’s an interesting idea from the Habs point of view now that I understand it.
Mantra may have some Off upside but overall he’s weak at best. No skills/instinct/desire at D-side, basically a mystery why an NHLr. Sorry to say this but watch him in front of the net. Same same, not developing.
Imagine bruins are going to have roster turnover next year. That is not news but common sense based on their cap hell no insider information required It will be interesting to see how Sweeney gets through this situation
It isn’t all gloom and doom for Boston.
Bergeron was Boston second leading goal scorer and nominated for the Selke again.
Considering his decision to play hurt against Florida and the Bruins lost all 3 games he played and Bergy Finnish with a -6 in 3 games. He will be back.
Reilly, Forbort, Grzelcyk out the door. That’s a savings over $8m
Need to find away to sign Bertuzzi
Zabrol is cheap he will get a regular shift.
Don’t bring Foligno back.
Want a pp specialist Addison available in Minny but he is a right shot.
Still need a Miller, McQuaid type on D. Dillon has a year left at $3.9 but might be out of the price range.
Boston done very well with Zacha and Coyle centering the first two lines. Should’ve keep it that way for the very least game 5.
There will be moves, maybe trade with Arizona for Shea Weber contract, no need for Arizona to be greedy with $27m tied up in ltir. Share the greed.
This will be an interesting off season for Sweeney.
Caper, speaking of agreeing (or not) … Forbort, Grzelcyk and Reilly “out the door” suggests trades involving 3 players seen as detriments to the Bruins who each have a year to go on their contracts, which total $9,687,500 off the cap.
Looking around, and with the cap scheduled to only inch up at least once more and so many teams with little cap room to cover their own RFAs or UFA they’d like to keep, finding dance partners for 3 viewed as liabilities may be easier said than done.
Most of those few with ample cap room are in various phases of a re-build and are likely looking at trade possibilities for players they see as long-term acquisitions. Do any of those 3 meet that criterion?
George of the 3 d men mentioned only Reilly would be hard to move the others would not be issue to trade Non were a detriment to bruins. Only the cap is. Changes are coming due to cap but bruins will be ok just different they have too much talent
I thought about your comments about cap challenged teams signing marquee players from yesterday, George.
It will make signing any good player difficult for both teams and players, trading mediocre players difficult, increase the value of this year’s – and possibly next year’s – draft picks. Watch for some teams to have to move players they don’t want to move for picks. This kicks the can down the road a year or two and possibly relieves cap difficulties.
I also wonder whether it makes buy outs more likely.
I think Boston will regroup next season with lots of New faces and much Cheaper players to fit them all in under the tight Boston Cap…
Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Will Retire.✔️
Tyler Bertuzzi, Dmitry Orlov and Nick Foligno are pending UFAs and will be gone to New Teams✔️
and Nosek & Hathaway will both be gone
The Boston Bruins goaltender’s
Linus Ullmark Will be back and i think
Young Hot shot Goaltender Swayman will get an offer sheet…… from an other team and they would NOT be able to match it as they are right up at the Cap with 9 X UFA & 2X RFA Players⁉️
They Only Have $6.M to Re-place 11 Roster Positions in Total….❓
So they will have to trade1 or 2 big Salary players out to create cap space $7.M to $9.M❓
If Swayman gets an offer sheet from an other team thats going to make it even worse
GM. Don Sweeney will earn his paycheck this year
I bet Bergy returns. I also bet. No offer sheet for Swayman. GMs are afraid of future retaliation
I have to agree there Mrbruin4 – of all the positions on a team, the goalie is always the one surrounded by a lot of finger-crossing.
Yeah, there have been long-term dominant goalies in the “modern age” like Brodeur, Fleury, and a handful of others, but by and large it’s a position that has been giving most teams the biggest headache. Witness Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary among others.
So, to offer-sheet one is probably seen as a non-starting gamble among most GMs.
Who is going to want these pillions?..Just because Sweeney needs the cap room? Where is the value for any of those being a 3rd pair D @$3m, A 3rd line C and a 5’9″ LD man making $3.7m?..Frederic @$1m is probably the best value but lots of 3C’s not needing a raise…Good luck to Donzo!
I know what your saying, but when a Goaltender who hjas been average and up and down for years then you get a good one they come along in bunches…. younger guys like these 3, every now and again. But a Good one is very hard to find then there is Rush development thats screws up goaltenders… at one point they will start to get it Ken Holland did with Skinner…
They can make all the difference with a good defence in front of them
-Dallas, Jake Oettinger 2nd year✔️
-Bostons Jeremy Swayman 2nd year✔️
-Edmonton’s Stu Skinner 2nd year✔️
All 3 of these guys will be 25 this year and Starters for the next 8-9 years+ and be in the top 10
The Oilers still need to fix the Nurse & Ceci paring as they Suck❗️
I think Carlo gets moved for center help. A lot of teams need RD. Resign Clifton.
Which ctr would you think he can bring back in trade?
Here in Philly we are having a sale, a sale i tell you!! For the low price of a 2nd rd pick you can have Kevin Hayes(2mil ret). He would slot in nicely and we will take Carlo back and trade him for picks.
Wince some think Coyle and Zacha filled in well in Bergy’s and Kreji”s absence, it would not have to be 1 or 2 C
Raz or Veleno + for Carlo
Hayes 2M retained
Coyle and Zacha are both better all around players than Hayes.
Carlo may have been their best D-man in that series, would be a mistake to trade him IMO. he is now fully seasoned.
With Caper on moving a D, but can’t move both Grz and Forbert if you want to compete. Move one of them and a forward IMO. Reilly will cost something to move, but not much. Or bury him and use him when injuries hit.
So no Bedard or Fantilli for the Habs. Too bad!
There will be great prospects available at #5, no doubt. But the Habs may find themselves in a bit of a pickle. The top 2 – Bedard and Fantilli – appear to have separated themselves from the rest. Then the next 3 – Carlsson, Mitchkov and Smith – have also created some separation. If Columbus and San Jose decide to pass on Mitchkov and go with Carlsson and Smith, the Habs will be faced with choosing Mitchkov, likely the best remaining player but with a huge risk factor, or a prospect who may not have as much upside but who will at least be available to them.
I personally believe that the risk that Mitchkov may never leave Russia is too great to take at #5. Hopefully, Smith or Carlsson will slip to #5.
I’d definitely take the Russian. He could be on par with Bedard If he never even makes it to the us it was worth the shot. Canadians have lots of young talent.
The ultimate goal of every team is to win the Stanley Cup, the realistic goal is to make the playoffs preferably with an entertaining group that fans enjoy watching.
The days of winning 5 cups in a row are long gone and even a 3-peat is unlikely.
Failing to win the cup or win it again isn’t a reason to “rebuild” or unload your core, especially if they are entertaining through the regular season.
I think what will help the NHL and it’s current hard cap situation is if they allowed the teams to sign a homegrown player to an “exception contract” or “Larry Bird” contract, where that max deal doesn’t count against the cap. That would give team almost an extra 10 million a year, which will help teams from gutting players just to remain compliant. That’s how you lose interest in a team. Say with the Bruins, they need to shed a lot of salary, Lord knows what they will look like next year. So there is a chance all the good will built up this year, will be lost. Of course, peeing down there leg in the first round doesn’t help either!
This guy gets it.