NHL Rumors: Bruins, Canadiens, Capitals, Flyers, Oilers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Washington Capitals have some roster decisions to make and one scribe looked at the players he’s not sure will be back with the team next season. The Edmonton Oilers may also be facing roster challenges based on next season’s salary cap.

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Meanwhile, one scribe details why he believes Pierre-Luc Dubois soured on playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Finally, Justin Braun has retired from the NHL.

Ullmark Not Injured In Altercation

Following an altercation (he wanted to fight) with Matthew Tkachuk, goaltender Linus Ullmark did not finish Game 4 of their series. Reports are Ullmark received treatment. But, the goaltender is fine. Reports out of Boston indicate that he actually could have finished the game but the Bruins chose to sit him.

Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic writes:

Ullmark and Tkachuk were given 10-minute misconducts. According to Montgomery, Ullmark was eligible to stay in the game. But Montgomery opted to end Ullmark’s night early and put in Jeremy Swayman as a precaution. The No. 1 goalie is already experiencing wear and tear that kept him out of Game 3’s morning skate. The last thing a compromised Ullmark needed was another enemy taking a garbage-time run.

source – ‘Behind the Linus Ullmark-Matthew Tkachuk fight that almost happened’ – Fluto Shinzawa – The Athletic – 04/23/2023

Why Dubois Bailed On Blue Jackets

While appearing on The Sick Podcast with Tony Marinaro, The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline said Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois may have turned his back on the Columbus Blue Jackets because they were positioning themselves to match an offer sheet from the Montreal Canadiens.

Related: 4 Key Storylines of Canadiens 2023 Offseason

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Rumors that Dubois was clashing with then-Jackets coach John Tortorella might have been exaggerated. Instead, the belief is that Dubois was under the impression an offer sheet was coming from Montreal (where he’s long wanted to play) and that Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen made two trades in the final hours before the free-agent market opened that year to ensure Columbus had sufficient cap space to match any potential offer. Essentially, it stopped any offer coming from the Canadiens, which upset Dubois.

Pierre-Luc Dubois Columbus Blue Jackets
Pierre-Luc Dubois, Columbus Blue Jackets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He explained that the thing with offer sheets is that you don’t want your players to sign them and you want the other team to think you’ll match. Once Columbus scared Montreal off, Portzline believes the relationship changed between Dubois and the Jackets’ management.

Capitals Players that Could Be Moved

Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic took a look at which players the Capitals might try to move on from this offseason and said that the team will probably listen to offers on Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha. There is a chance those two stay put. He mentioned the rumors of Kuznetsov wanting out but then shooting down the report. Also, when it comes to Mantha’s future, he writes:

It feels like there’s a schism here. On the one hand, the decision-makers see the 28-year-old’s size, skill and potential and want the coaches to press his buttons. On the other, it feels like the coaches are exhausted trying to find the buttons to press. As I’ve said before, it wouldn’t be surprising if Mantha’s future is linked to Laviolette’s. Also: I don’t see a buyout happening. 

source – ‘Capitals 2023-24 roster tiers: Who stays and who goes this offseason?’ – Tarik El-Bashir – The Athletic – 04/04/2023

As for the players most likely to find new homes, he mentions Connor Brown, Carl Hagelin, Matt Irwin, Conor Sheary, and Craig Smith.

Justin Braun Announces Retirement

After 13 seasons in the NHL, defenseman Justin Braun has officially announced his retirement from the NHL.

Braun was drafted in the seventh round, 201st overall, by the San Jose Sharks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut with the Sharks in the 2010-2011 season, where he spent the first nine seasons of his career, playing in over 600 games with the team. In the 2019 offseason, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Throughout his career, Braun has been known for his solid defensive play and his ability to move the puck up the ice.

Some Oilers Might Be In Play This Offseason

Regardless of what happens in the playoffs this season, Allan Mitchell suggests a tight salary cap situation in Edmonton will mean some players are in play over the summer. He writes:

“There will be some tweaks, and cap is an issue. This 21-man roster would come in around $1 million over the projected cap, so names like Campbell, Kailer Yamamoto, Brett Kulak or Cody Ceci might be in play. It’s also likely Holland finds room for Derek Ryan or Mattias Janmark (possibly both) over the summer.”