NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 15, 2022

Recaps of Friday’s games including Brent Burns’ return to San Jose with the Hurricanes plus updates on Jake DeBrusk, Ondrej Kase and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes nipped the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on a third-period goal by Sebastian Aho. Martin Necas also scored for the Hurricanes while Evgeny Svechnikov tallied for the Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was also defenseman Brent Burns’ first in San Jose since the Sharks traded him in July to the Hurricanes. His former club honored the former Norris Trophy winner with a video tribute while Sharks fans gave him a standing ovation. He was held without a point in this game.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

Steven Stamkos scored two goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Johnny Gaudreau scored in his first home game with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Winnipeg Jets got a 40-save performance from Connor Hellebuyck (including 21 in the second period) and two goals from Mark Scheifele to defeat the New York Rangers 4-1. Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers collected two assists while Dryden Hunt scored the only goal for the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Winnipeg head coach Rick Bowness missed this game after testing positive for COVID-19. The Jets also activated Mason Appleton from injured reserve for this game. The Rangers went with backup Jaroslav Halak for this game as Igor Shesterkin had started against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

Detroit Red Wings goalie Ville Husso kicked out 29 shots to shut out the Montreal Canadiens 3-0. Michael Rasmussen had a goal and two assists for the Wings, who fired 38 shots at Canadiens netminder Jake Allen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen made 37 saves as the Wings’ final two goals were empty-netters. He was the reason the score remained 1-0 until the final minute of the game, making 25 saves in the first period alone.

HEADLINES

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk will miss tonight’s home opener against the Arizona Coyotes with an upper-body injury suffered on Wednesday against the Washington Capitals. Bruins coach Jim Montgomery is hopeful DeBrusk will return to the lineup in the coming week.

DAILY FACEOFF: Hurricanes forward Ondrej Kase returned to Raleigh to be evaluated for a possible concussion. This is alarming news for the 26-year-old Kase, who has a history of concussions stretching back to 2015-16.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It may be time for Kase to hang up his skates. He’s been sidelined far too often by these injuries and risks permanent brain injury if he has suffered so already.

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers announced Duncan Keith is joining the club in a player development role. The former Norris Trophy winner retired this summer after 17 NHL seasons. He spent 16 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks before being traded to the Oilers.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman isn’t concerned about the Flyers’ sagging attendance. He observed the franchise has “great fan support” and pointed out that teams go through cycles where attendance may be lower in some years compared to others. “This team will get better, and the fans will be back in bigger numbers,” said Bettman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman’s right, Flyers fans will return as the team improves. They’re coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history but just two years prior finished among the top-four teams in the Eastern Conference during the regular season.

LA KINGS INSIDER: The Kings promoted Nelson Emerson to assistant general manager and Glen Murray to senior director of player personnel.

SPECTOR NOTE: I included this for those of you who may have wondered what became of those two former NHL players. Emerson had 488 points in 771 games during his 12-season NHL career while Murray had 337 goals and 651 points in 1,009 career games during his 16 NHL seasons. Speaking of “whatever became of…”

ESPN.COM: Former NHL coach Mike Keenan was named coach of Italy’s Men’s Hockey Team, giving him the opportunity to guide the host country at the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics. The 76-year-old Keenan’s last coaching gig was with Kunlun Red Star in the KHL in 2017.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2022

Recaps of Wednesday’s games, the Sabres sign head coach Don Granato and defenseman Mattias Samuelsson to contract extensions, Andy Greene retires and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid tallied a hat trick as the Edmonton Oilers overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 5-3. McDavid netted the game-winning and insurance goals, Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists while Darnell Nurse had a goal and an assist. J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist for the Canucks.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers dressed just 17 skaters as wingers Kailer Yamamoto and Warren Foegele missed this game with undisclosed injuries. Salary-cap constraints limited them to 11 forwards and six defensemen.

The Colorado Avalanche celebrated their 2021-22 Stanley Cup banner raising with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Artturi Lehkonen scored twice and collected an assist, Valeri Nichushkin tallied two goals and Mikko Rantanen had four assists. Jonathan Toews and Max Domi replied for the Blackhawks.

Montreal Canadiens winger Josh Anderson’s goal with 19 seconds remaining in the third period lifted his club to a 4-3 upset of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Cole Caufield scored twice and Nick Suzuki picked up two assists. John Tavares and William Nylander each had two points for the Leafs.

David Krejci had a goal and two assists in his first NHL game since 2020-21 as the Bostons Bruins beat the Washington Capitals 5-2. David Pastrnak led the way with a goal and three assists while Linus Ullmark made 33 saves for the win. It was a costly victory as Jake DeBrusk left the game in the second period with what appeared to be an injured right arm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krejci looked good in his return to the Bruins after spending last season playing in his native Czechia. However, it was Pastrnak who was the standout in this contest. He was dominant throughout this game and is already making the case for a big raise on his next contract.

The Carolina Hurricanes rolled to a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Martin Necas had a goal and two assists while Frederik Andersen made 31 saves for the win. Patrik Laine scored for the Jackets but left the game in the second period with an injured right arm following a collision with Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet on the severity of Laine’s injury. Jackets starting goalie Elvis Merzlikins missed this game due to a non-COVID-related illness.

Anaheim Ducks forward Troy Terry opened and closed the scoring in his club’s 5-4 overtime victory over the Seattle Kraken. Terry and Ryan Strome finished with three points while Trevor Zegras had two points. Kraken rookie center Matty Beniers had a goal and an assist.

HEADLINES

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres announced the signing of head coach Don Granato to a two-year contract extension. They also announced defenseman Mattias Samuelsson agreed to a seven-year, $30 million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Granato’s extension was no surprise given the improvement of the Sabres thus far under his watch. The length of Samuelsson’s deal raised some eyebrows given his limited body of NHL action with just 54 games over the past two seasons.

Sabres management evidently believes Samuelsson’s going to be a key part of their blueline in the coming years. The 22-year-old’s average annual value starting next season will be over $4.285 million starting in 2023-24. If he develops as projected this contract could turn into a bargain for the Sabres.

TSN: Andy Greene retires as a member of the New Jersey Devils after signing a one-day contract with them. Greene spent 14 seasons with the Devils and was their captain from 2015 to 2020 before getting traded to the New York Islanders. The 39-year-old defenseman finishes with 264 points in 1,057 career games over 16 NHL seasons. He was part of the Devils’ run to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Greene in his future endeavors.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Tampa Bay Lighting defenseman Ian Cole met with NHL security yesterday but there was no formal announcement or resolution in the aftermath. The league and the NHL Players Association declined to comment. Cole was suspended with pay pending an investigation following a social media post accusing him of sexual assault and grooming.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Vitali Kravtsov will miss the club’s current two-game road trip with an upper-body injury. It’s hoped he’ll rejoin his teammates next week but there is no definitive timeline for his return.

TSN: The Colorado Avalanche reclaimed goaltender Jonas Johansson off waivers from the Arizona Coyotes.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed winger Brad Lambert to a three-year entry-level contract. The 30th overall pick in this year’s draft, he will start the season with their AHL affiliate.

CAP FRIENDLY: The New York Islanders loaned forward Richard Panik to Swiss League team Lausanne HC for the season. His contract will still count against the Isles’ salary-cap payroll at the amount for players demoted to the minors.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Former San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson will attend a pregame ceremony in his honor before the club’s game on Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Wilson stepped down from his post for medical reasons last year.

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins named Kerry Huffman as their director of professional scouting.

The Tampa Bay Lightning extended their AHL affiliation with the Syracuse Crunch through the 2026-27 season.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 9, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 9, 2022

Should the Bruins attempt to acquire Patrick Kane? Will John Klingberg be with the Ducks for long? What’s the latest on the Islanders? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

SHOULD THE BRUINS PURSUE KANE?

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont wonders what it might take for the Bruins to acquire Patrick Kane if the Chicago Blackhawks winger became available in the trade market. The 33-year-old Kane remains among the league’s elite forwards. Adding him alongside Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci would give the Bruins two dynamic forward lines.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Kane carries a $10.5 million salary cap hit. Assuming he’d agree to waive his no-movement clause to join the Bruins, Dupont suggested they offer up winger Jake DeBrusk ($4 million cap hit), defenseman Brandon Carlo ($4.1 million) and either Jack Studnicka or Jakub Zboril. That package would make the dollars fit plus provide the Blackhawks with more ready assets than a return of futures.

The Blackhawks will also seek a first-round pick. Dupont believes that would be a deal killer unless it was made conditional on Kane signing a contract extension with the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dupont is merely speculating here. He’s not saying the Bruins have made a pitch for Kane or that the winger is willing to waive his NMC to come to Boston.

Any interest Bruins management might have in Kane will depend on where the club sits in the standings as the March 3 trade deadline approaches. Dupont’s suggested trade package isn’t bad but I doubt it’s enough to convince the Blackhawks to part with the future Hall-of-Famer. There could be other clubs with more tradeable assets capable of outbidding the Bruins.

WILL THE DUCKS MOVE KLINGBERG AT THE TRADE DEADLINE?

THE SCORE: The Anaheim Ducks trading John Klingberg at the March 3 trade deadline is among John Matisz’s 23 predictions for the coming NHL season. He pointed out that the rebuilding Ducks only signed the 30-year-old defenseman to a one-year, $7 million contract.

Klingberg also carries a modified no-trade clause preventing him from being moved before Jan. 1, after which he submits a 10-team no-trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks and Klingberg could surprise us by agreeing to a contract extension if his tenure goes well with them. Nevertheless, I concur with Matisz that the puck-moving rearguard is likely to be shopped by the March trade deadline.

HOW WILL BARZAL’S NEW CONTRACT AFFECT THE ISLANDERS?

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner examined how Mathew Barzal’s eight-year, $73.2 million contract extension could impact the New York Islanders going forward.

Kieffer Bellows and Oliver Wahlstrom will be restricted free agents next summer. Rosner speculates Bellows could become a trade chip while Wahlstrom’s next contract will depend on his offensive production this season.

Defenseman Scott Mayfield and goaltender Semyon Varlamov are slated to become unrestricted free agents next July.

Rosner wonders if Mayfield could become the odd man out on their blueline with the Isles having their top-four defense already under contract and promising Robin Salo in the lineup. As for Varlamov, the Isles could keep him if he’s willing to accept a 50 percent pay cut from his current annual average value of $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wahlstrom will likely be re-signed but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that he becomes a trade candidate if his performance doesn’t improve this season. I think they’d like to keep the steady Mayfield but another solid season on his part could make that too expensive to pull off.

Varlamov, 34, has terrific chemistry with Ilya Sorokin. Maybe he’ll accept a cut in pay to around $3 million for 2023-24 to return as Sorokin’s backup.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 5, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 5, 2022

The Canadiens leave all options open with the first-overall pick as the 2022 draft approaches, the Sharks name Mike Grier as their new GM, Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk rescinds his trade request, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is stirring up intrigue over what he’ll do with the first-overall pick in the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft. He claimed he hasn’t decided yet if he’ll choose center Shane Wright of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, winger Juraj Slavkovsky of Liiga club TPS in Finland, or center Logan Cooley of the U.S. National Team Development Program.

We’re trying to evaluate how a player projects,” said Hughes. He adds they’re being open-minded and flexible over which is the right situation for those players. The Canadiens GM also didn’t rule out trading the pick or swinging a deal with the New Jersey Devils to end up with the first- and second-overall picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes is doing what any GM worth his salt would do with the first-overall pick in a draft where there is no generational player like Connor McDavid available. He’ll get a very good player with that pick if he keeps it regardless of whether he chooses Wright, Slavkovsky or Cooley.

Hughes could surprise us by trading that pick, and if he can land the Devils’ pick without giving up a young core player such as Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield it’ll be an impressive move. However, I doubt he’ll be able to pull that off. I anticipate he’ll retain the first-overall pick and use it to select Wright given the Habs’ ongoing need for quality depth at center.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: cited ESPN NHL insider Kevin Weekes reporting the Sharks will name Mike Grier as their new general manager on Tuesday. He’ll become the first black person in NHL history to become the GM of a team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weekes has a solid record for breaking NHL news. Grier spent 14 seasons from 1996-97 to 2010-11 as an NHL player with the Sharks, Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres. He went on to serve as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers and in 2021 was named the Rangers’ hockey operations advisor.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: cited TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reporting Jake DeBrusk’s agent claiming his client has rescinded his trade request. The Bruins signed the 25-year-old winger in March to a two-year contract extension.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting to note that DeBrusk withdrew his trade request after the Bruins fired head coach Bruce Cassidy. Make of that what you will.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Evander Kane’s grievance hearing with the San Jose Sharks over the January termination of his contract isn’t likely to be scheduled before free agency begins on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun wonders if the two sides might reach an agreement on a settlement before then. That might be possible now that the Sharks finally have a new general manager in place.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev has changed agents and is now represented by Dan Milstein. Dreger’s colleague Chris Johnston reports Sergachev is expected to sign a contract extension in the coming weeks.

Pierre LeBrun reports pending UFA winger Ilya Mikheyev’s agent (Dan Milstein) may seek a multi-year deal worth between $4.75 million to $5.5 million annually. The 27-year-old Mikheyev spent the past three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, tallying a career-high 21 goals and 32 points in 53 games in 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mikheyev is a good depth forward but he’s not worth that much. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t underestimate the ability of NHL general managers to succumb to action fever and overpay for second-tier talent in the opening days of free agency.

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets have appointed Scott Arniel as an associate coach under new bench boss Rick Bowness.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers goaltender Ivan Fedotov is apparently going to be serving in the Russian Navy. After being detained in St. Petersburg last Friday for allegedly dodging the draft, he was reportedly hospitalized with what his attorney called stress-induced gastritis. He was then sent to a Russian naval base near the Arctic Circle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fedotov, 25, played for CSKA Moscow last season but signed a one-year entry-level contract in May with the Flyers. There are rumors his gastritis was in fact poisoning but there’s no confirmation of this.

Fedotov’s plight is raising concerns that he’s being used as an example to other young Russian players thinking of leaving their KHL clubs to play in the NHL while Russia is at war with Ukraine. It could affect whether Russian prospects are chosen in the upcoming NHL Draft.

CALGARY SUN: The city of Calgary is continuing to work with the Flames in hope of finding a resolution toward the construction of a new arena to replace the aging Saddledome. A third-party intermediary called the Event Centre Visioning Group is continuing talks with both sides with the intention of getting them back to the negotiating table.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 29, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 29, 2022

The latest on the Flames and Bruins plus the market value of Andrew Copp in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

FLAMES EXPECTED TO START TALKS WITH GAUDREAU AND TKACHUK SOON

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Calgary Flames won’t waste time starting contract talks with Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. Gaudreau, 28, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer while the 24-year-old Tkachuk is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who is a year away from UFA eligibility.

Friedman believes the team will approach negotiations quickly and aggressively to find out where things stand with both players. That will determine whether they can re-sign them or what their next course of action will be.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Mcfarlane reports Gaudreau sounded like he’d very much like to remain with the Flames during his end-of-season press conference on Saturday. He spoke of how much he and his wife enjoy living in Calgary and admitted he could have a considerable legacy if he remains with the Flames. The winger indicated he’ll sit down with his agent sometime this week to discuss what’s best for himself and his family.

Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk (NHL Images).

Flames general manager Brad Treliving said earlier this season he’d move heaven and earth to retain his club’s best offensive player. During Saturday’s presser, he reiterated his intent to sign Gaudreau.

CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson and Daniel Austin report Tkachuk is open to a long-term deal with the Flames. “Absolutely,” he said. “I’ve loved it here. I’ve grown up here.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cost of re-signing Gaudreau and Tkachuk will take a big chunk out of their salary-cap payroll for years. It could end up costing a combined $20 million to keep them in the fold.

Cap Friendly shows the Flames with $55.575 million invested in 12 players for 2022-23. They can afford to sign Gaudreau and Tkachuk but won’t have much left for Mangiapane or to fill out the rest of the roster and address their roster weaknesses, such as bolstering the blueline depth.

As I’ve said before, Treliving will have to shed salary to make this work. Sean Monahan is frequently mentioned as a trade candidate but his $6.35 million cap hit, 10-team no-trade list and the ongoing decline in his performance due to nagging hip injuries make him difficult to move.

Mikael Backlund has been suggested as a trade option. He’s signed through 2023-24 with an annual average value of $5.35 million and a 10-team no-trade list. The 33-year-old’s age could be a concern but he’d still have value as a middle-six center.

LATEST ON THE BRUINS

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss believes the Bruins’ top-three offseason priorities are finding a top-six center, adding a scoring winger and bringing more young players into their lineup.

The Bruins will desperately need a center if captain Patrice Bergeron retires. If he returns, it’ll still be a pressing issue for their second line. Neither Erik Haula or Charlie Coyle are legitimate top-six centers. Free-agent options include Claude Giroux, Evgeni Malkin and Nazem Kadri but the Bruins would have to clear cap space to add one of them.

What happens with Jake DeBrusk could affect efforts to add a scoring winger. DeBrusk intends to take some time to determine if he’ll withdraw last November’s trade request. The Bruins can’t afford to move him unless they get a similar player in return.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa points out the Bruins need to clear salary-cap space if they intend to add a center. He proposed trading Mike Reilly ($3 million through 2023-24) or Craig Smith ($3 million through 2022-23) or buying out Nick Foligno ($3.8 million through 2022-23).

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy wondered if the Bruins will consider moving blueliner Brandon Carlo in a deal for a top-six center. He also noted Bruins fans clamoring for the club to shop Matt Grzelcyk. Murphy indicated Connor Clifton was “out there in the trade market” at various points this season so it wouldn’t be surprising if he is again.

If the Bruins aren’t going to go all-in building up their depth at center, Murphy suggested bolstering their top-four defense. Dallas Stars rearguard John Klingberg could be worth looking into in the UFA market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This summer will be challenging for Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. He faces the potential retirement of first-line center Patrice Bergeron, first-line left winger Brad Marchand will miss the opening two months of the season recovering from hip surgery, and he must free up cap room to address the roster weaknesses.

The Bruins are screwed at center if Bergeron retires. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns for one more season to buy the club time to shore up their depth at that position.

DeBrusk or Carlo could be used as trade bait to add a center or a winger. However, interested clubs could insist the Bruins included a decent draft pick or prospect in the deal.

Trading Reilly or Smith or buying out Foligno will help clear cap space. Those savings, however, are no certainty that Bruins management can find the right players to address their roster needs in this summer’s trade and free-agent market.

A LOOK AT CONTRACT COMPARABLES FOR COPP

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek examined the possible contract comparables for Andrew Copp. The 27-year-old forward was a great trade acquisition by the New York Rangers. He’s slated to become a UFA in July.

Marek speculates Copp’s next deal could be somewhere between what Phillip Danault got from the Los Angeles Kings last summer and what Zach Hyman received from the Edmonton Oilers. Danault got six years and $33 million while Hyman’s was seven years and $38.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Danault and Hyman are each earning $5.5 million annually. Copp’s current contract pays him $3.64 million this season.

The Rangers are believed to be interested in re-signing him but he could price himself out of their market. They’ve got $12 million in cap space with Ryan Strome also slated to become a UFA while winger Kaapo Kakko is coming off his entry-level contract and backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev is an RFA with arbitration rights.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 25, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 25, 2022

Check out the latest roundup of Bruins and Canadiens speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: On Sunday, Kevin Paul Dupont speculated this could be the summer Bruins general manager Don Sweeney takes some bold risks to address his depth at center, especially if it appears captain Patrice Bergeron intends to retire.

Colorado’s Nazem Kadri, Florida’s Claude Giroux and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin could be available in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market. The best fit would be Kadri as the 31-year-old is coming off a career-best 87 points this season. Dupont felt it almost unfathomable that the fiery ex-Maple Leaf would be considered a fix for the Bruins’ depth at center but he doesn’t dismiss the possibility.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk (NHL Images).

Winger Jake DeBrusk and defenseman Brandon Carlo could be used as trade chips in pursuit of a prime center in his mid-twenties. Dupont also suggested the Bruins look into acquiring promising Kirby Dach from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dupont pointed out the Bruins had an interest in Alec Martinez last summer before the left-shot defenseman signed with the Vega Golden Knights. The 35-year-old Martinez carries a $5.25 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Bruins with $80.1 million invested in 22 players for 2022-23. They’ll have to shed salary to re-sign Bergeron or ink his replacement via free agency.

Packaging DeBrusk and Carlo would free up $8.1 million and could bring in a quality center in his playing prime. Nevertheless, I don’t see any team willing to part with that type of player for that package. This is why I wouldn’t be surprised if Bergeron returns for at least one more season to buy the Bruins time to find a suitable replacement.

As Dupont observed, the Blackhawks haven’t re-signed Dach yet. However, they’re not in any hurry to do so. He’s coming off his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. I can see the rebuilding Hawks signing the 21-year-old center to an affordable bridge contract.

The Bruins addressed their need for a top-four left-shot defenseman by acquiring Hampus Lindholm. I don’t see them going after Martinez, especially if they need cap space to address their greater need at center.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of Dach, Jimmy Murphy referenced Dupont’s suggestion that the Bruins should look into acquiring the young Blackhawks center. He felt that’s something the Canadiens should also consider.

While they’re expected to select top prospect Shane Wright with this year’s first-overall pick and recently signed promising Riley Kidney to an entry-level deal, their NHL roster still isn’t that deep at center and they could use someone of Dach’s size and skill. Murphy suggested offering up the Calgary Flames’ first-round pick that they received in February’s Tyler Toffoli trade bundled with a roster player like Jeff Petry, Josh Anderson or Mike Hoffman and a top prospect.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said he’s in the market for a first-round pick as his predecessor traded away this year’s selection as part of last summer’s Seth Jones trade. If the Blackhawks were looking at playoff contention next season, perhaps Davidson would be enticed to acquire a veteran player like one of those mentioned by Murphy. However, the Hawks GM has frequently indicated he’s rebuilding the roster, so I don’t see him parting with Dach for that offer.

Murphy colleague Marco D’Amico points out why the Canadiens don’t need to worry about a rival club attempting to sign away Alexander Romanov this summer with an offer sheet. As per the collective bargaining agreement, he hasn’t accrued three professional seasons, making him ineligible to receive an offer sheet coming out of his entry-level contract.