NHL Rumor Mill – September 5, 2023

by | Sep 5, 2023 | Rumors | 9 comments

Why didn’t the Bruins trade a goalie this summer? Could they pursue Jets center Mark Scheifele? Could Tomas Tatar end up with the Islanders? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


98.5 THE SPORT HUB: Ty Anderson offered up his thoughts on the Boston Bruins with training camps opening later this month. Despite an offseason that saw the departures of key talent such as Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, he believes the Bruins could still be competitive in the Atlantic Division this season.

Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (NHL Images)

Regarding why the Bruins didn’t trade a goaltender to address their needs at center, Anderson pointed out that Linus Ullmark had a no-trade clause that required his consent to be dealt to half the league. There was some scuttlebutt claiming that a team offered up a fair market offer for Ullmark. However, it would’ve meant “a corresponding trade that never happened” as well as Ullmark waiving his NTC.

Anderson thinks the Bruins weren’t keen to move Jeremy Swayman. There was a rumor claiming the 24-year-old netminder wanted a trade in order to be closer to his parents in Alaska. That speculation was “bogus” as Swayman’s parents no longer live in Alaska.

If the Bruins end up being a fringe playoff club by the trade deadline, Anderson hopes that they go into sell mode. Of their eight pending unrestricted free agents, only Jake DeBrusk should be considered an automatic re-signing. He believes the rest (including Milan Lucic, James van Riemsdyk, and Matt Grzelcyk) should be shopped as their value at the trade deadline could be higher than in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some interesting tidbits regarding Ullmark and Swayman. The Bruins appear determined to ride their goalie tandem this season as they try to cope with the loss of their top two centers.

The trade rumors surrounding Ullmark and Swayman have died down in recent weeks. Still, they could resurface at some point this season if the Bruins can’t adjust to the absences of Bergeron and Krejci.

Given Swayman’s eligibility as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer, they could be forced to choose between one or the other at some point. Much will depend on how both goalies perform this season.

I expect the Bruins will be sellers if they’re a borderline playoff club or out of postseason contention leading up to the trade deadline. As Anderson points out, the 2024 first-round pick they sent to the Detroit Red Wings last season for Tyler Bertuzzi is top-10 protected. A selloff of pending UFAs at the trade deadline, if they’re already out of contention, could ensure that they retain that pick, meaning the Wings get the 2025 pick.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy noted that the Bruins have been linked to Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele since Bergeron and then Krejic announced their retirements.

He cited Mark McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press suggesting Boston could make sense for the 30-year-old Scheifele, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. McIntyre wondered what the Bruins could offer up for the Jets, who would be interested in retooling their roster rather than rebuild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murphy questions if Scheifele would be a good fit with the Bruins given his reputation as difficult to coach. I have my doubts that the Bruins have sufficient depth in tradeable assets to make a competitive bid for him if he hits the trade block.

Even if they did land Scheifele, it remains to be seen if he would significantly improve the Bruins. It could work out well, providing them with the inside track to re-signing him. If not, they’ll end up squandering their precious few assets on a rental that didn’t work out.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Stefen Rosner noted there hasn’t been much news of late regarding Tomas Tatar. The 32-year-old winger is coming off a 48-point performance last season with the New Jersey Devils but remains available in this summer’s UFA market.

Rosner wonders if Tatar might already have a contract in hand with an NHL club but it hasn’t been officially announced yet. He points out that New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello has a reputation for such stealth signings during the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of the Tatar speculation had him linked to the Pittsburgh Penguins. So far, however, there’s no indication yet that he’s close to signing with them.

We can’t dismiss the possibility of a club like the Isles having already signed him but not announcing it until training camp begins. With training camps opening on Sep. 21, we’ll find out soon enough.


  1. Jets aren’t trading Scheifele to Boston. Bruins have nothing that helps Jets. A package around Swayman made sense in offseason but Jets would have also needed a trade of Hellybuyck at the same time. That’s not happening. Boston will slide as Zacha and Coyle are third liners.

    Jets will start season with Scheifele and Hellybuyck and try to sign both on their terms. If they don’t stay they will be TDL deals regardless of standings.

    • Tripper,
      Agree on Coyle. He’s a third liner. Consistency issues keep him from being anything more. But I think Zacha has it in him to be a #1 center, or at least a very good #2.

      • I agree, he and Pasta were very good last season so I could see him be fine as a low end 1st liner(partly thanks to Pasta).

  2. As much as it would be nice to have the bruins secure a 1st line ctr. It simply isn’t in the cards this year Next year with lots of cap space is when they will get a ctr with no cost of current assets If a fringe team at deadline they should sell off any pending ufa contracts. Time will tell.

    • I agree that next year they can get any available center but as a Bruins fan, I don’t want to wait that long. The Bruins got into cap hell- now at least make an attempt to get better THIS year with some creativity like the Lightning have done for years.

  3. Pens truly need Tatar

    They have 9 4th liners; 5 healthy top 6; with maybe 1 3rd liner (Eller)

    Pens really need a 3rd line; Tatar would be perfect

  4. So Trip your saying let me get this straight the team that had the most points ever in the history of the NHL that’s been around for 100 years has zip that could help the Peg lol yeah ok

    • They have no roster players the Jets would be interested in that are worth trading Scheifele. Furthermore, they have no decent prospects that are close to NHL players. So yes there is no match with Bruins.

  5. Well I will name 10 that if I’m Winnipeg I would gladly take for a player who walks for nothing next year.
    1- Swayman
    2- Jake the Snake
    3- Ullmark
    4- Coyle
    5- Pavel
    6- Mason
    7- Fabian
    8- Carlo
    9- Freddy
    10- Poitras