NHL Rumors: Bruins, Oilers, Lightning, Maple Leafs Big Addition, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet believes the Toronto Maple Leafs will add someone to the roster that will surprise everyone. He dropped a few hints as to where that player would come from, but held off the rest of the buzz for a later time. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers might take advantage of the Boston Bruins busy offseason and target one of their wingers. David Krejci talked about his future and Julien BriseBois of the Tampa Bay Lightning tried to explain how Nikita Kucherov was able to return on Game 1 and not be a salary cap circumvention issue.

Maple Leafs to Make Surprising Addition

While there’s a lot of chatter that the Leafs will stick with the four core, but also recent reports that Morgan Reilly might be a player the Leafs contemplate trading, Chris Johnston from Sportsnet mentioned on the Steve Dangle podcast that Toronto will make at least one move for a big-name player.

“There’s going to be like one player on this roster on opening night that is going to get everyone excited. I’m talking like a big name, a big promise player and no ones gonna see it coming,”

Evander Kane - Sharks
Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks, Oct. 9, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Johnston offered up some hints as to the type of player the Leafs would target, saying the player is from a team that missed the playoffs, they are on an American-based team, and they have multiple years left on their contract. Early speculation from people who saw/listened to the podcast think Travis Konecny and Evander Kane but there could be a handful of player who fit the bill.

In other Maple Leafs news, as per a report by iSport, Toronto defenseman Martin Marincin is set to sign with HC Ocelari Trinec in the Czech league.

Bruins Krejci Not Sure He’ll Return

David Krejci is a pending UFA this offseason and was asked if his plan is to come back to the Bruins next season, he said, “I’ve thought about it a lot… I’m gonna need a few weeks to think about a lot of things.” He noted that he doesn’t see himself playing for anyone but the Bruins and that his next deal won’t be about money, but he added, “we’ll see what happens.”

One rumor going around is that Krejci might be looking to head back to the Czech Republic to finish off his hockey career. in respect to that rumor, he explained:

“You guys write a lot that I always wanted to play in Czech, to finish my career in Czech, which has not changed. I still at one point would like to finish my career in Czech, for different reasons now than when I said it. I would like my kids to speak my language because my parents don’t speak any English…. I would like them to learn the language.”

BriseBois Tries to Explain Kucherov’s Return With No Salary Cap Issues

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois felt the need to address the chatter during his media avail about Nikita Kucherov being able to return to the team for Game 1 of the playoffs and not be flagged by the NHL for bending or breaking LTIR salary cap rules.

The GM noted:

“As for how this all came to be where Nikita was placed on LTI for the entire season and was able to come back for Game 1 and look as good as he has, when you place a player on long-term injury and get the salary cap exemption, you have to justify that to the NHL. We had to be able to justify the surgery, the rehab time, the return to play clearance to make sure that everything was done according to the rules. Those were the cards that we were dealt.”

He said there were a lot of scenarios the team presented itself with prior where the stars didn’t align as well they did.

Oilers to Target DeBrusk?

This isn’t the first time the Oilers have been connected to interest in DeBrusk, but the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson wondered if the should take advantage of all the offseason business the Bruins need to take care of and try to acquire the winger from the Bruins. DeBrusk, 24, seems out of place in Boston and the Oilers are looking for top-six left-wingers.

The Bruins need to free up some cap space if they hope to re-sign Taylor Hall, Krejci and Tuukka Rask when he’s ready to return in January or February after offseason surgery. Matheson writes:

DeBrusk, with a $3.65-million cap hit has speed and normally good hands and would be manageable for the Oilers if he’s on the second line. But his salary is $4.85 million this upcoming season. That seems too big to swallow, unless they can find a $3 million player to deal. Would Bruins be interested in Zack Kassian?

source – ‘OILERS NOTES: Is Jake DeBrusk a trade target for Edmonton?’ – Jim Matheson – Edmonton Journal – 06/12/2021