NHL Rumors: Canucks, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Bruins, Blackhawks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Vancouver Canucks are still finding it difficult to know what to do about Brock Boeser’s next deal. Could the Montreal Canadiens show interest in Pierre-Luc Dubois if he becomes available?

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to play Jake Muzzin before the playoffs and Alex DeBrincat talks about his future with the Chicago Blackhawks. Finally, is there any chance Patrice Bergeron tests free agency?

Could Canucks Try to Negotiate Boeser Down?

Brock Boeser has not been the same player this season as he was last season. Producing at a much slower pace, and during a contract yet, that might help out a team looking to retain a player since the value of the contract would go down. In Boeser’s case, his $7.5 million qualifying offer means the Canucks don’t have that luxury.

Brock Boeser Vancouver Canucks
Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

As such, Harman Dayal of The Athletic writes:

“The Canucks either have to commit big money to a player whose production is less certain than it seemed a year ago or they have to trade him while his market value is likely to be at an all-time low (the qualifying offer will likely be an obstacle for other teams as well).”

source – ‘Brock Boeser’s future, Quinn Hughes’ potential and more: 9 biggest takeaways from Canucks’ season’ – Harman Dayal – The Athletic – 04/25/2022

Related: Canadiens Have a Lot of Roster Decisions to Make This Offseason

Dayal adds that what the Canucks might do is see if Boeser will agree to a number below the $7.5 million and if he doesn’t, trade him during the summer.

Canadiens Interested in Dubois?

As per Marco D’Amico of Montreal Hockey Now, if Dubois becomes available this offseason, the Montreal Canadiens will be linked to him. Elliotte Friedman recently reported that the Winnipeg Jets might end up trading Dubois if the two sides can’t come to an agreement and the Canadiens have been linked to Dubois before.

Pierre-Luc Dubois Winnipeg Jets
Pierre-Luc Dubois, Winnipeg Jets, celebrates his first period goal with teammates at the bench. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

Back in January 2021, Nick Kypereos pointed out that Dubois’ first destination choice was Montreal and that the Blue Jackets ask focused on getting Nick Suzuki, plus. Alexander Romanov was deemed untouchable at the time. It’s not clear how Kent Hughes views Dubois and how much he might be willing to spend to acquire him, assuming he’s interested.

Muzzin Will Play for Maple Leafs

We reported yesterday that there was some thought Jake Muzzin might not get in the lineup for the Toronto Maple Leafs even if healthy. He will play, as per head coach Sheldon Keefe and get his first start against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.

Michael Bunting will miss the final two games of the regular season and Alex Kerfoot is being bumped up to the top line. John Tavares (rest), Timothy Liljegren (undisclosed), and Nick Robertson are all expected to be back in the lineup as well.

Could Bergeron Test the Free Agent Market?

Most insiders believe that Patrice Bergeron and the Boston Bruins will come to terms on an extension, like a one-year deal for next season. That said, Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now writes that “there is that slight chance, the 36-year-old future hockey hall of famer could test the market if his teammates don’t help him go on one more serious run for his second Stanley Cup in the next two months.”

Patrice Bergeron Boston Bruins
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

If that happens, the Canadiens are clearly a team that has connections to the veteran. Hughes was Bergeron’s former agent and assistant GM Jeff Gorton was the Bruins’ executive vice president of hockey operations for a time. The issue with this theory, of course, is that the Canadiens are not considered a playoff favorite and Bergeron wouldn’t be increasing his odds of winning in the next one-to-two seasons.

DeBrincat Not Worried About Kane and Toews Plans

When asked how he would feel if Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane chose to leave the Chicago Blackhawks and not stick with the team during a rebuild, Alex DeBrincat said, “That’s their decision, that doesn’t really affect me.”

DeBrincat has no desire to go anywhere and noted, “I’m still young, I want to help bring this team to the playoffs and win.” He said he’ll take on the role of also helping any new additions or young guys comfortable and turn the organization into a winner again.

Kane volunteered that if DeBrincat stays he’s likely to want to stay as well. He said, “Obviously I’ve developed some chemistry with DeBrincat over the years. If he’s here and he’s a big piece, then that makes it easier for me too, right? Because I’m playing with him every day…and it makes it fun to be out there with him.” Some are seeing this is an attempt by Kane to ensure the Blackhawks don’t even consider trading DeBrincat, something that has been rumored.

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