NHL Rumor Mill – July 29, 2023

by | Jul 29, 2023 | Rumors | 25 comments

A look at five centers the Bruins could target to replace Patrice Bergeron, possible cost-cutting trade options for the Senators, and more speculation over whether the Blues will trade a defenseman in today’s NHL Rumor Mill


THE SCORE: Josh Wegman listed five possible trade options for the Boston Bruins to replace recently-retired first-line center Patrice Bergeron.

Topping his list is Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames and Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve noted previous suggestions linking the Bruins to Lindholm and Scheifele. Lindholm is younger, more affordable and has better all-around skills than Scheifele. However, both players will be expensive to acquire right now, perhaps too expensive for the Bruins to acquire. Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy cited a source suggesting the Bruins would have to part with Jake DeBrusk as part of the return to land Lindholm.

San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture (NHL Images)

Wegman also suggested San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture. He acknowledged a number of obstacles, such as the 34-year-old Couture’s age, expensive contract and three-team trade clause. Nevertheless, he remains productive and would be worth looking into.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t hurt to check but I don’t see Couture ending up in Boston. His contract is simply too complicated to move.

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov is available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Too many red flags around Kuznetsov right now with the biggest being his inconsistent play and $7.8 million average annual value through 2024-25.

Wegman rounds out his list with Montreal Canadiens center Christian Dvorak if the Bruins decide to replace Bergeron by committee along with Charlie Coyole and Pavel Zacha.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll admit anything’s possible and the Bruins could consider that option if there’s nothing more suitable available in the trade market.

However, I expect they’ll likely start the season with Coyle and Zacha and see how things shake out. If they need an upgrade at center, better options could become available near the March trade deadline.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch pointed out the Senators will have to make a cost-cutting trade after signing Vladimir Tarasenko on Thursday to a one-year, $5 million contract. They have roughly $900K in cap room with restricted free agents Shane Pinto and Egor Sokolov to re-sign.

According to Garrioch, the most likely scenario sees the Senators shopping forward Mathieu Joseph before the regular season opens in October. He carries an AAV of $2.95 million through 2025-26.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Steve Warne also considers Joseph the most likely cost-cutting candidate, though he believes the Senators might have to include a sweetener in the deal.

Defenseman Erik Brannstrom ($2 million) is another option but the Senators might prefer retaining him given how many injuries they had on their blueline last season. Warne also speculated they could play hardball with Pinto and sign him to a one-year, $1 million contract and then ink him to a long-term in the new year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Better off to move Joseph than to deplete the blueline depth or get into a contract pissing contest with the promising Pinto.


THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford was recently asked by a reader how the St. Louis Blues intend to address their logjam on the blueline. He noted that general manager Doug Armstrong has said he intends to start the season with eight defensemen on the roster, which means they could send Scott Perunovich to the minors as he’s the only one who’s waiver-exempt.

Rutherford wouldn’t be surprised if Armstrong attempts to pull off a trade before training camp. However, he noted the difficulty the Blues GM had in trying to trade Torey Krug to the Philadelphia Flyers as he invoked his no-trade clause to block that attempt. Armstrong would also likely have to sweeten the pot to move someone like Marco Scandella.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armstrong is in a mess of his own making with his top-four defensemen (Krug, Justin Faulk, Colton Parayko and Nick Leddy) all carrying full no-trade clauses.


  1. Lyle and All,

    You are correct—It is time for Armstrong to clean up his mess (and swallow his pride)

    ANY of these options could work and shoule be explored (regardless of no trade clauses)—make a call!

    1. Call Chicago: possible reunion with Nick Leddy for maybe a 4th

    2. Call Arizona: send Scandella or Botuzzo for a 6th or 7th

    3. Call Anaheim: possible Krug + sweetener for 2nd

    4. Call Edmonton: trade Parayko for a 2nd

    FOUR phone calls


    • Iowa,
      Those deals only work if the players with NMC are willing to waive them to go. Otherwise, they are in the same situation as Krug to Philadelphia.
      Not saying it can’t be done, but some players have ultimate control.

    • Krug has no value and scandella has very little value. Parayko i like a lot but at this point in his career he is best deployed as a 2nd pairing rhd.

      You could get a return for Parayko, krug and Scandella you will have to pay to get rid of.

      I questioned both Krug and Faulk signings they both seemed like reaches. In what world is faulk better than Petro? Should’ve payed Petro saved faulk money and never signed Krug. Blues Already had young players ready to step in but GM likes vets it appears.

    • AZ doesnt want Scandella or botuzzo

    • There are only about 4 teams that can take on Cap space more than $5.5M and that have a open roster spot open before they hit 23 players❗️

      Teams like
      Wings, Preds, Sharks, have space for one player, The Duck have to sign 3 players, that leaves one spot open, they have 14 forwards signed & 2 in goal, and have space for 1 d/man to make 7…

      its very very tight out there for Cap Space
      at this stage the oilers cant take on Paraykos cap… thay have no space
      Any sweetners are thing like 1st round picks or a very good prospect

      The Hawks have have cap but no space and allready have 3 buy outs……

  2. Save the dime on the 4th. Oilers can not take on that kind of salary.

    It would take a lot more than DeBrusk to acquire Lindholm or Scheifele

    • Captain Obvious, Boston pick is top 10 protected.

  3. Bruins might have no choice but to move one of their Goalies for a top line center … who’s looking for a goalie that has one available ?

  4. Boston was up 3 games to 1 in the first round with Zacha and Coyle as their top C

    Scheifele is a better C than Lindholm.

    If Boston looks like their going to fail, make sure to fall to the bottom. keeping their 1st round pick.

    • If they fall to the bottom, Detroit will be the happy team. They own Bostons 1st

    • I would take Lindholm over Scheifele. Sure MS is the better scorer, but Lindholm is younger, better in the locker room(I think, at least less maintenance) and much better defensively

  5. Curious. If Leaf’s put Murray on ltir, does Ottawa get cap relief on their 1.5m that they’re retaining?

    • Also, what’s the status on Norris and Forsberg? Are they expected to be ready to start season or could they go on ltir?

      • I have wondered about Norris and Forsberg as well with a cap hit of $10,700,000. Dorion can’t do math very well as the Sens could be in a pickle when either return.

      • Ottawa does not get the cap relief. Weird outcome for sure.

    • Slick, this was discussed the past week. Leafs obtain relief because he is on their roster. Ottawa’s cap hit for Murray remains the same, i.e. no relief. Cap Friendly pegs the retained salary amount as $1,562,500.

      However, contract was most likely insured, so Ottawa’s actual cash payments will be lower.

      • Hey Rob

        Both Norris and Forsberg are included in the Sens cap space

        The Sens have about 895,000 to sign Shane Pinto and the big Russian winger Egor Sokolov
        that why they have to clear $2.5-$3.M in cap space to get these 2 signed❗️

        it looks like Mathieu Joseph will get moved at $2.75M to get this done may cost them a pick to move him i dont know…🤔

    • Slick62 no cap relief for Ottawa. Only Toronto

      Weird but it is how it is

    • No cap relief for the Sens the way it all came down only cap relife for the Leafs on this one….

  6. Another option for Boston would be Coots from Philly if his back problem is better(by all accounts it is). Getting selke winner to replace mr selke makes sense.

    What would the deal look like?

  7. Army

    Give me my Bromance’s phone number and I will sweet talk him into waiving to come to Pens….

    To Army and Blues

    Petry (@ 50% retained by two-through team)

    1st (‘24 Pens Lottery Protected)


    Prospect NOT named P-O J, Pickering, Smith, Poulin or Yaeger

    NOTE: Blues free up $3.4 M in Cap

    To third team retaining 50% on Petry in to-through:

    2nd (‘26 Pens)
    4th (‘24 Pens)
    3rd (‘24 Blues)

    To Pens


    Tanger/Pettersson (👍👍👍)
    Freidman/P-O J

    • “👍👍👍” was supposed to go after Parayko/Graves

      • Peng,

        I actually had been contemplating a different move involving the Leafs. What say you:

        To Toronto: Parayko ($2million retained), Neighbors, and 2024 2nd

        To St. Louis: Nylander


    • @ Pengy! Saw some chatter about Pitt being one of the preferred destinations for Hanafin. What about:
      An extended Hanafin for Yager, 2024 1st & Granlund?

  8. Boston should target Scheifele as 1C and Lindholm as 2C. To get MS, it will take Swayman, Frederic and Carlo and they’ll have to take back a Jets D-man. This won’t happen until Jets get value for Hellybuyck. So this deal may not be there before the season starts.

    To get Lindholm it will take Debrusk and a prospect. Bruins would have their centres.