NHL Rumor Mill – September 16, 2023
The latest on the Bruins’ rumored interest in the Flames’ Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin and the Jets’ Mark Scheifele plus speculation about Rasmus Dahlin’s contract talks with the Sabres in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
BRUINS MUST WAIT TO PURSUE LINDHOLM, HANIFIN OR SCHEIFELE
THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes the Boston Bruins’ pursuits of Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm and Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele will have to wait to wait. He cites the high cost of acquiring either center and the Bruins being pressed against the $83.5 million salary cap as factors working against them.
Assuming that sets the market, the Bruins lack a first-round pick in 2024 plus the prospects they have in Raty’s category are few and far between and needed by the Bruins. It would also mean parting with Jake DeBrusk, who the Bruins consider a top-line winger.
The Flames or Jets could retain some salary to help either player fit within the Bruins’ limited cap space. However, Shinzawa believes that would add premiums to the trade cost.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy noted the Bruins had been linked to the Flames in the off-season rumor mill. Sources confirmed to Murphy that Boston general manager Don Sweeney had conducted his due diligence on the trade cost of Lindholm as well as Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin.
Like Shinzawa, Murphy noted the Bruins being squeezed for cap space and their limited number of tradeable assets makes acquiring Lindholm or Hanifin unlikely. He also pointed out that both players told the Calgary media earlier this week that they remain open to signing contract extensions with the Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff recently indicated that he has no plans to trade Scheifele right now. He said he’s been in contact with the 30-year-old center and intends to speak with him when training camp opens next week. It appears Scheifele will be starting the season with the Jets.
Lindholm, Hanifin and Scheifele could become available later in the season if they haven’t signed new contracts by the March 8 trade deadline and the Flames and Jets are out of playoff contention by then. However, the Bruins will only have less than $2 million in projected trade deadline cap space. They’ll still have difficulty outbidding other interested clubs that possess more cap room and trade capital.
Shinzawa suggests the Bruins would stand a better chance of landing Lindholm or Scheifele in next summer’s free-agent market if they don’t re-sign with their current clubs. Even with paying goaltender Jeremy Swayman a raise, he believes they’ll have sufficient cap room to chase one of those centers. The same goes for Hanifin if he hits the open market next July.
LATEST ON DAHLIN’S CONTRACT TALKS WITH THE SABRES
BUFFALO HOCKEY NOW: Michael Augello recently noted the Sabres seemed on the verge of signing defenseman Rasmus Dahlin to a contract extension. However, those talks seemed to hit a snag following the Ottawa Senators signing blueliner Jake Sanderson to an eight-year, $64.4 million deal.
It was rumored the Sabres were hoping to lock down the 23-year-old Dahlin to an eight-year deal with an average annual value in excess of $10 million. According to Andrew Peters, co-host of WGR 550’s The Instigators, the Dahlin camp seeks a five-year contract.
Augello speculates Dahlin and his agent Craig Oster are using the same playoff as Auston Matthews, who recently inked a four-year extension that will enable him to become a UFA at age 30. A five-year deal would make Dahlin eligible for UFA status at age 28.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dahlin would be well within his playing prime by that point. As Auguello points out, that would put him in line for a significantly higher payday on a long-term contract with the Sabres or another club via free agency.