NHL Rumor Mill – July 26, 2023
HOW WILL THE BRUINS REPLACE BERGERON?
If they go with internal options, Goss speculates Charlie Coyle will take over centering the first line between Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk. That will leave Pavel Zacha as their second-line center, assuming David Krejci follows Bergeron into retirement.
Trade targets could include Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets and Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames. Goss considers Lindholm the better fit given his all-around skill set plus the 28-year-old Flames center is two years younger than Scheifele.
BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy also considers Lindholm and Scheifele as the most likely trade targets should the Bruins go that route to replace Bergeron. He shares Goss’ view that Lindholm would be the better fit.
Conroy also looked at which Bruins could become trade chips to bring in someone like Lindholm or Scheifele.
He wondered if they might bite the bullet and break up their goalie tandem by shopping Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman. He also mused whether Jake DeBrusk has a long-term future in Boston after this season. Like DeBrusk, defensemen Matt Grzelcyk and Derek Forbort are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames are said to be trying to convince Lindholm to sign a contract extension while the Jets are hoping to do the same with Scheifele. One or both could become available in this summer’s trade market if they reject new contract offers from their current clubs.
Swayman would be the easiest to move as Ullmark has a 16-team no-trade list. Like Swayman, DeBrusk and Grzelcyk lack no-trade protection while Forbort has a three-team no-trade list.
A package of Swayman and DeBrusk could be quite tempting to the Flames or Jets. The Bruins could prefer moving one or the other packaged with Grzelcyk or Forbort and a draft pick. Whether that’s enough to land Lindholm or Scheifele is another matter, especially if other clubs with better trade assets get into the bidding.
IS BRETT PESCE OFF THE TRADE MARKET?
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ann Kimmel noted the rumors that linked the Nashville Predators to Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce. Given the Hurricanes’ recent signing of Tony DeAngelo, she wonders if that means Pesce is off the table.
Kimmel observed that the Hurricanes were among the clubs interested in San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. Acquiring him would’ve meant making a cost-cutting trade, which in part fueled trade speculation that Pesce could become a trade candidate.
With the DeAngelo signing, the Hurricanes now appear out of the bidding for Karlsson, meaning they don’t need to shed salary to free up cap space for the Sharks blueliner. That means they can afford to retain Pesce for at least this season before his UFA eligibility next July.
As for the Predators, Kimmel believes they’re likely to stick with their current blueline corps considering they’ve invested $30 million in defensemen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes could peddle Pesce if they’re looking at adding another scoring forward to their lineup. However, they’re now bumping up against the $83.5 million salary cap. Swapping Pesce and his $4.025 million cap hit for a scorer would have to be a dollar-in, dollar-out transaction.
POTENTIAL KINGS TRADE CANDIDATES
LA HOCKEY NOW: Austin Stanovic recently looked at several Los Angeles Kings players that they “wouldn’t necessarily be shopping if they dipped into the trade market.” However, he thinks they would be willing to move them without much fuss this season.
Trevor Moore, Viktor Arvidsson and Matt Roy could be moved because of their contracts or young players potentially stepping up and taking their spots on the roster. Young players with something to prove such as Arthur Kaliyev, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, and Tobias Bjornfot could also become trade chips as they attempt to prove they deserve a spot on the team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend on where the Kings are in the standings and what their roster needs are as they approach the trade deadline. Arvidsson and Roy surfaced in last season’s rumor mill near the trade deadline. Their names could pop up again whenever management decides to go shopping this season.