NHL Rumors: Bruins, Wild, Rangers, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, a few reports coming out of Minnesota contradict yesterday’s news that Kirill Kaprizov has a viable offer on the table from the KHL. What’s really going on there? The Boston Bruins are looking for a second-line center, but there’s actually some belief the team might get David Krejci back at some point. Apparently, the New York Rangers interest in Jack Eichel isn’t nearly as heavy as some would have you believe and the Toronto Maple Leafs hired, then fired a new goaltending coach for the Marlies after fan reaction to the hiring was swift and not positive.

Could Bruins Get Krejci Back?

Krejci announced that he was headed back home to the Czech Republic this season to play in front of family and friends, leaving the Bruins to either add another second-line center or go with someone like Charlie Coyle in that position. Now there’s news that the Bruins believe the door isn’t closed on a Krejci return.

Boston Bruins David Krejci
Boston Bruins David Krejci (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now, he quotes Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy who said in an interview on TSN 1200:

“I don’t know if that will happen or when it will happen at all, but he didn’t say I’m retiring and done from the National Hockey League. So, that’s good news for us in the sense that maybe in a couple of months, he’ll feel satisfied with what he needed to do, or maybe not.”

Kaprizov’s Deal in KHL Not a Threat?

It was reported yesterday by Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff that Kaprizov had a one-year, double-digit offer on the table from the KHL and there might be consideration to take that offer. The reality was that the threat of an offer was more likely a play to put pressure on the Wild and GM Bill Guerin to consider a short-term deal. It’s a play many insiders don’t think will work.

Andy Strickland reports after seeing Seravalli’s tweet that this is, “One of the worst bluffs in sports history! CSKA budget has been spent plus there’s a cap that comes in around $12 million U.S.” His tweet got a response from Aivis Kalnins who covers the KHL closely: “Literally what Andy said. I have no clue why people are buying it and why people are reporting KHL as a possible challenger for Kaprizov.”

Kalnins goes on to report that Kaprizov still wants to re-sign with the Wild and that any KHL offer has been on the table for a long time. The only way Kaprizov returns to the KHL is in an emergency situation.

In other Wild news, Michael Russo of The Athletic reports that progress is being made on contract negotiations between the Wild and RFA forward Kevin Fiala. Russo writes:

It sounds like there has been some headway lately in talks and the hope is the two sides can settle on a new contract before his Aug. 17 club-elected arbitration hearing. If no contract can be mutually agreed upon, Fiala can choose between a one- or a two-year award from the neutral arbitrator.

source – ‘Pressure mounts in Kirill Kaprizov talks with Wild as KHL threat is heightened’ – Michael Russo – The Athletic – 08/09/2021

Related: 5 Best NHL Backups

Rangers Not Really that Interested in Eichel?

The one team that seems to get a lot of press when it comes to any Eichel trade talk is the Rangers, but recent reports now suggest the narrative of New York being keenly interested or trading Mika Zibanejad is not terribly accurate. I had already pointed out that Zibanejad would have to waive his no-move clause to go to Buffalo or another team like Vegas would have to get involved. Now, The New York Post is reporting that Rangers GM Chris Drury doesn’t know where all the talk of him being interest in Eichel is coming from.

Jack Eichel Buffalo Sabres
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

As per the report, Drury had been telling agents that he didn’t show serious interest in Eichel and wasn’t sure why they are constantly linked to him. Brooks called all the Eichel talk “no more than the ongoing blizzard of contradictory tales and innuendo posted on social media.” He noted that some of it was coming from the account of an “MSG-Network analyst” who is close with Drury.

It’s hard to know if much of this is a game of cat and mouse as even Brooks reported back in June speculation of a three-way deal between the Rangers, Golden Knights and Sabres. Perhaps this is a couple of GMs not wanting to tip their hand.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Two-Year Stanley Cup Window Has Begun

Maple Leafs Fire Dusty Imoo

Two days after hiring Dusty Imoo as the team’s Toronto Marlies goaltending coach, Brendan Shanahan has announced that the Maple Leafs organization has rescinded their offer and Imoo will not be joining the Marlies after all. A storm of negative backlash hit social media after it was shown that Imoo employed questionable social media practices and he engaged in conspiracy theories, insurrectionism, anti-vaccine, transphobic hate speech and many other things that crossed the line of what is acceptable by the organization’s standards.

Shanahan made a public announcement noting, “We made a mistake by not thoroughly following our organizational protocols when considering this candidate for position of goaltending coach for the Toronto Marlies.”