NHL Rumor Mill – July 10, 2023
Would Mark Scheifele be a good fit with the Bruins? What’s going on with the Flames? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
COULD THE BRUINS TURN TO SCHEIFELE?
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont feels the Winnipeg Jets will seek a return for Mark Scheifele comparable to what they got from the Los Angeles Kings for Pierre-Luc Dubois. He doesn’t think they’ll allow Scheifele to walk away next summer as an unrestricted free agent.
Dupont believes Scheifele could slot in with the Bruins as their No. 1 or No. 2 center for the next four or five years. However, he thinks it would cost them Jake DeBrusk, Pavel Zacha and perhaps prospect Fabian Lysell to tempt the Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’ve been few reports in the rumor mill regarding Scheifele in recent weeks as all the focus was on Dubois, Blake Wheeler (who was bought out and signed with the New York Rangers) and Connor Hellebuyck. That could change over the summer as teams in need of depth at center (like the Bruins) look for help in the trade market.
The Bruins have yet to learn if centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci intend to return for 2023-24 or retire. They’re reportedly not waiting to find out as they’re proceeding with their offseason plans as though they’re not coming back.
Whether Scheifele fits into their plans to replace Bergeron or Krejci remains to be seen. As Dupont points out, it could get expensive to attempt to acquire him from the Jets. The Bruins could be reluctant to make that kind of investment. If they do, they’ll have to ensure they have sufficient cap space to sign him to a lucrative long-term contract extension or lose him to the open market next summer.
LATEST ON THE FLAMES
Valji said the Flames’ Noah Hanifin is highly regarded around the league as a top-four defenseman. He suggested the issue could be the difficulty most teams are having in moving money under a flattened salary cap this summer despite Hanifin being on a team-friendly contract for 2023-24.
Speaking of Lindholm, the Flames management still believes they can re-sign him to an extension as he hasn’t given a definitive no toward returning after 2023-24. However, there is concern about the possibility of losing him to free agency the same way they lost Johnny Gaudreau to Columbus last summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames at least know that Hanifin has informed them of his intention to hit the open market next summer. They could find a suitable trade partner later in the summer or perhaps during training camp.
They’ll need more definitive answers from Lindholm and Backlund. They cannot have those two simply walk away for nothing next summer.