NHL Rumor Mill – September 1, 2022
Updates on the notable players remaining in the unrestricted free agent market plus some cost-cutting Bruins trade candidates in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski took a look at the status of several noteworthy players still available in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market.
P.K. Subban’s agent, Don Meehan, recently told the Montreal Gazette that the 33-year-old defenseman is being selective on where he’ll play next. He said there were “expressions of interest” in his client but those clubs also had other things in play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wyshynski believes Subban is ready to be a difference maker if the right fit can be found. He might not be interested in signing with a non-contender. Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy believes the Bruins should look into signing Subban to a professional tryout offer. However, it’s still possible he inks an affordable one-year contract with a club before training camp opens.
Evan Rodrigues hasn’t signed a new contract but it appears he’s garnered plenty of interest. His agent, Darren Ferris, told Wyshynski that there are “a good seven or eight teams” he’s having discussions with about his client.
Some of those clubs have cap constraints, including his former team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Calgary Flames have also shown an interest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hockey News’ Mike Stephens suggested the Seattle Kraken, Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators as potential destinations for Rodrigues. However, we don’t know if those clubs are among those talking to his agent.
Wyshynski expects Rodrigues will sign a one-year “show-me” contract and then try his luck for a more lucrative deal next summer.
Many observers felt last season was Keith Yandle’s last but the 35-year-old defenseman isn’t ruling out playing this season. His agent, Jerry Buckley, said he’s still talking to teams but his client wants to find the right fit if he’s to continue his NHL career. Buckley “highly doubted” Yandle will accept a PTO.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A PTO might be the only way for Yandle to continue his playing career if that’s what he wants to do. He’s the NHL’s reigning Ironman but his performance has declined in recent years.
No word on Joe Thornton’s plans. If his playing days are over, the 43-year-old forward reportedly could moving into a managerial role with the Spengler Cup Tournament.
Speaking of aging veterans, no word yet from 45-year-old defenseman Zdeno Chara regarding his intentions. He hasn’t announced his retirement but it’s assumed he’s played his final NHL game.
An NHL source claims “a lot of teams” are interested in Sonny Milano. So far, no one’s signed the former Anaheim Ducks winger.
Former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser is healthy and hoping to land with a new NHL club. Agent Matt Federico is confident his 32-year-old client will have a one-year, low-dollar deal in place before training camps open.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Matt Porter recently observed the Bruins are above the $82.5 million salary cap by $2.4 million. They can address this at the start of the season by placing sidelined stars Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy on long-term injury reserve. However, they must become cap compliant when those players are ready to return to the lineup.
It sounds like Nick Foligno ($3.8 million) will remain part of the main group this season. Defenseman Mike Reilly ($3 million) could be a trade candidate given the Bruins’ depth in left-shot blueliners. Winger Craig Smith ($3.1 million) could be shopped if a youngster such as Fabian Lysell or Jack Studnicka makes a push this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could be Smith who gets moved. There was a rumor last month claiming a team had made an offer for the 32-year-old winger but the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement.