In today’s NHL rumor rundown there is news out of Tampa Bay where the Lightning are working on an extension for Brayden Point and leaning towards a bridge deal. Meanwhile, in Columbus, the Blue Jackets are being patient when it comes to Zach Werenski and there isn’t a big concern he’ll miss any of training camp. The Bruins might have interest in a free agent but need to figure out their salary situation first and the Edmonton Oilers have a bit more info on the status of Jesse Puljujarvi.
Bridge Deal for Point
Dan Rosen of NHL.com writes in his recent mailbag segment that he believes the Tampa Bay Lightning and Brayden Point get a deal done if the deal is a bridge contract.
Rosen explains that a three- to five-year deal would keep the cap hit a little lower before he cashes in on his next deal. For example, should Point sign for four years at $8.5 million per season, he could line himself up for a deal that offers $11 million or more for eight seasons.
Blue Jackets and Werenski
According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, the Columbus Blue Jackets are being firm in their offers to RFA defenseman Zach Werenski but that it might be just a matter of there not being any action in the RFA market that he hasn’t signed an extension yet.
Portzline quotes GM Jarmo Kekalainen when he writes:
“It’s a bit of a waiting game by the agents’ side. They’re waiting for somebody else to go first (and set the market). That’s the way it goes, I guess.”source – ‘‘Waiting game’: Zach Werenski contract talks are amicable so deal by camp remains the hope’ – Aaron Portzline – The Athletic – 08/07/2019
This is not a matter of the two sides not talking as Bill Zito is handling the negotiations for the Blue Jackets and he’s spoken with Werenski’s agent Pat Brisson several times this offseason. Talks have centered around a three-year bridge deal, as well as a five-plus year deal.
The Blue Jackets have said how much they want Werenski to be a part of the team moving forward and how much Werenski seems to want to be a part of the team. There is no desire from the player’s side to miss any of training camp.
Bruins Interested in Brian Boyle?
Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now is saying a source has noted free agent forward Brian Boyle as perhaps interested in joining the Boston Bruins and the Bruins interested in adding Boyle.
Murphy wasn’t able to use the source to say how far any potential talks have gotten and it’s important to remember the Bruins have major cap questions and their priority to try and sign Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy. Take this rumor with that in mind. If the Bruins could even entertain the idea, they likely need to have something planned for David Backes and that doesn’t seem terribly likely.
Puljujarvi to Play for Karpat?
There hasn’t been much in the way of an update on forward Jesse Puljujarvi since he said he wouldn’t return to the NHL without a contract or a trade out of Edmonton. One update came today as Finnish outlet MTV Uutiset reports (via Google translate) noted that if Puljujarvi can’t find a deal in the NHL he might play for Karpat this season.
According to Puljujarvi’s agent Markus Lehto, several NHL clubs have expressed interest in his client but he would not speculate on whether a trade will actually happen.
Puljujarvi was developed in the Karpat junior system and played two seasons for the Liiga club before joining Edmonton. This wouldn’t be unfamiliar territory for him.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”