NHL Rumor Mill – July 20, 2023
DEVILS STILL MONITORING HELLEBUYCK AND GIBSON
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils are said to be willing to start this season with Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid as their tandem. Nevertheless, they appear to be keeping an eye on the goalie market in case a suitable option becomes available at a reasonable asking price.
On June 29, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported the Devils were interested in Hellebuyck but wasn’t willing to pay too much to land him.
Friedman indicated that some sources tell him they wouldn’t be surprised if Hellebuyck remains with the Jets for the coming season. He said they don’t want to rebuild and hope to make the playoffs next spring. It’s not just about trading Hellebuyck but also if they have a suitable replacement for him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hellebuyck is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July and has indicated he has no interest in playing for a rebuilding club. That prompted speculation that he would be moved at some point during this offseason.
The Jets have brought back Laurent Brossoit as Hellebuyck’s backup but they have no one in their system capable of replacing him.
Hellebuyck lacks no-trade protection. He carries a cap hit of over $6.1 million for this season but will earn $7.5 million in actual salary. That’s a major sticking point for any club interested in acquiring him.
The Jets risk losing their starter next summer to free agency if they retain him for the coming season. However, they could move him by the March 1 trade deadline if they’re out of playoff contention by then. Perhaps they might get a better offer for him at the deadline from contenders hoping to address their goaltending.
Friedman noted that Gibson remains in Anaheim despite the Devils’ interest in him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this month, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli claimed Gibson requested a trade from the Ducks, indicating that he’d played his final game for them. The goalie’s agent quickly denied this story and there hasn’t been anything new about his situation since then.
Gibson is signed through 2026-27 with an annual salary of $6.4 million and a 10-team no-trade clause. His stats have suffered over the past three seasons backstopping the rebuilding Ducks. It’s believed there are teams that consider him a good goalie on a bad team. However, his contract remains a major trade obstacle during another season under a flattened salary cap
LATEST ON THE BRUINS
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL pro scout suggesting Jake DeBrusk will draw plenty of interest in next summer’s free-agent market if he and the Bruins fail to reach an agreement on a contract extension. The 26-year-old winger could also get shopped by the March 1 trade deadline if the Bruins falter by then.
DeBrusk is in the second season of a two-year, $8 million contract and eligible for UFA status next July. Murphy believes Bruins management should maintain an open line of communication with DeBrusk’s agent heading into this season. They don’t want the winger’s contract situation to become an unwanted distraction.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk was a frequent topic of trade chatter for several years before signing his current contract. He netted a career-best 50 points in 64 games last season and tied his career-high of 27 goals. Another solid performance this season could see him land a new contract with the Bruins before next July.
Murphy also looked at how the Bruins can become cap compliant for 2023-24. They have over $5 million in projected cap space but must re-sign restricted free agents Jeremy Swayman and Trent Frederic. He speculates defenseman Derek Forbort could become a cost-cutting casualty.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forbort carries a cap hit of $3 million for this season. He also has a three-team no-trade list. The bigger obstacle, however, could be finding a club with the cap room willing to take him off their hands. It could end up costing them a draft pick to get it done.