NHL Rumors: Bruins, Flames, Oilers, Predators

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Boston Bruins are losing Jake DeBrusk for at least a month with his injury from The Winter Classic. Are the Calgary Flames looking at adding some scoring punch ahead of the trade deadline? The Edmonton Oilers need to figure out which style of defenseman they should add and the Nashville Predators might have an answer as they’ve made Mattias Ekholm available for trade.

Bruins Lose Jake DeBrusk

DeBrusk won’t play again for the Bruins for at least a month, according to reports on Thursday that note he’s been placed on long-term IR with hand and lower-body injuries that he suffered during Boston’s 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Even though he scored two goals in the third period, DeBrusk reportedly fractured his fibula during the game.

DeBrusk was having an incredible season with 30 points in his 36 games played. Chris Wagner has been recalled by the Bruins from the AHL.

In other Bruins news, Steve Conroy reports that the negotiations between the Bruins and David Pastrnak are ongoing. He notes that Pastrnak’s agent, JP Barry, said: “We are talking, too hard to say whether progress (has been made) or not but lots of dialogue from both sides. Radio report was rubbish.”

Flames Looking to Add Another Top-Six Scorer

According to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, missing the playoffs is not an option for the Calgary Flames, a team he describes as having been mediocre up to this point in the season. He notes, “Calgary still lacks punch up front and GM Brad Treliving has been on the prowl for a scoring winger since August.”

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As for what they might be looking for heading into the NHL Trade Deadline, the NHL insider adds, “More specifically, they lack punch that can push the pace and back defenders off. Could Calgary be a landing spot for one of Andreas Athanasiou, teammate Max Domi, or even someone like Anthony Duclair from Florida?”

Oilers Need to Figure Out What Style of Defenseman is a Priority

Seravalli also notes that the Oilers have a few holes to fill with limited cap space. They’re making a defenseman a priority and he notes that “The top objective as it stands now, it seems, is to add a left-shooting defenseman who is well-rounded.”

Mattias Ekholm Nashville Predators
Mattias Ekholm, Nashville Predators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

If they have to choose between a defender who is good on offense or primarily known for his defense, things could get tricky. He adds:

“The question being asked internally right now is whether that defenseman should stylistically be a puck-moving type or a defensive-minded defender. Edmonton feels like an ideal landing spot for someone like Vladislav Gavrikov, but maybe Mattias Ekholm is a nice blend of the two styles.”

Ekholm Is Available Out of Nashville

As he mentioned when speaking about the Oilers, Seravalli also noted as part of his trade bait list that Ekholm is available out of Nashville. He has the defenseman at No. 7 on his latest list of NHL trade targets. He’s in the first season of a four-year contract with the Predators and Seravalli claims he might not be the only player available from the Preds.

Age and cost are factors for any team looking at adding him. He’ll be 33 in May and carries an average annual value of $6.25 million through 2025-26. Unless the Predators are willing to retain salary in a deal, it would be hard to envision many teams eager to take on that kind of commitment.

Ryan McDonagh could also be available, but Seravalli isn’t sure the defenseman would waive his no-trade clause again to be moved for a second time in one year.