NHL Rumor Mill – August 25, 2023
Could the Bruins still pursue the Flames’ Elias Lindholm or could they instead set their sights on the Canucks’ Elias Pettersson? Alexis Lafreniere has a two-year deal with the Rangers but will he finish it with them? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
LINDHOLM OR PETTERSSON FOR THE BRUINS?
Murphy noted there have been numerous reports in recent weeks indicating the contract talks between the Flames and the Lindholm camp have picked up. He also mentioned a source telling him a month ago that the Bruins would have to include winger Jake DeBrusk in the deal if they make a pitch to the Flames for the 28-year-old center.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Bruins are the only team pursuing Lindholm I doubt they have sufficient trade capital to outbid other clubs that will also have an interest in the Flames’ center. Like Lindholm, DeBrusk is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Flames could prefer a good young player with more cost certainty as part of the return.
Murphy also wondered if the Bruins should shift their focus in the trade market toward Elias Pettersson. The 24-year-old center is the subject of trade rumors after telling Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman this week that he’s in no hurry to sign a contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks.
Pettersson is slated to become a restricted free agent next July with arbitration rights. Murphy points out that the Vancouver center is four years younger than Lindholm and in his playing prime during the duration of his next contract. There’s no telling what the Canucks would set as an asking price if they put Pettersson on the trade block.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are in no rush to peddle Pettersson, who is undecided if he’ll sign a short or long-term contract with the Canucks. Unlike the Flames with Lindholm, they still control Pettersson’s rights after next season.
The Canucks’ performance this season will be the determining factor regarding the length of Pettersson’s next contract. He probably doesn’t want to tie himself too long to a club stuck in a perpetual rebuild.
If the Canucks shop Pettersson, the Bruins will face the same issue as they would if they were pursuing Lindholm. They lack tradeable assets to win a bidding war in the trade market. If you think the Flames will set a high price for Lindholm, the Canucks’ will seek more for Pettersson.
THE LATEST ON LAFRENIERE
SPORTSNET (via NHL Watcher): During his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman touched on what the future might hold for Alexis Lafreniere, who signed a two-year bridge contract with the New York Rangers earlier this week.
Friedman thinks the Rangers could consider moving Lafreniere if the 21-year-old winger fails to improve under new head coach Peter Laviolette. He believes his current contract with its current average annual value ($2.325 million) is a number suitable enough for other clubs to handle.
“To me, it’s a two-year deal, but it’s a one-year deal in New York and then we will see,” said Friedman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been a struggle for Lafreniere to play up to the expectations that come with being a first-overall draft pick. His situation hasn’t been helped by the instability behind the Rangers bench since his rookie season in 2020-21. Laviolette will be his third head coach.