NHL Rumors: Bruins, Blue Jackets, Devils, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, one scribe asks if Jack Eichel to the Boston Bruins is a possibility? He then describes what might happen with defenseman Torey Krug. Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets are out as an NHL hub city, one possible candidate for the New Jersey Devils’ GM job isn’t interested, and Chris Thorburn officially retired.

Eichel to the Bruins Unlikely

Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports asks if this would be the right time for the Boston Bruins to take a run at Buffalo Sabres star Jack Eichel? Considering there is talk of so much change in Buffalo and Eichel has voiced his frustrations with the team, Haggerty asks, ‘Is he looking for a change of scenery?’

Jack Eichel Sabres
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres, Dec. 14, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Haggerty then notes that in order for the Bruins to even consider this move, any deal would likely start with prospect John Beecher, Jake DeBrusk, and a package of draft picks. He adds, they might have to include one of Charlie McAvoy or Brandon Carlo. That makes a trade unlikely.

If they were, somehow, able to manage it, the Bruins would then have to move out David Krejci and his $7.5 million salary.

In fact, Haggerty admits that the team is already going to have trouble extending defenseman Torey Krug. He writes:

It’s a tough spot for both player and the hockey club because of the financial uncertainty. It’s more likely now that Krug is going to sign for as much money as he can get now given the uncharted waters ahead. Krug would have been able to command an annual salary in the $8 million AAV range based on his offensive production over the last handful of seasons, something few of his peers can boast.

Related: 7 Best Rookie Seasons in Boston Bruins History

Blue Jackets Informed They Are Out

The Columbus Blue Jackets were informed Monday that they are no longer under consideration as a hub city or host during the 2019/20 NHL playoffs. The news was relayed by Blue Jackets’ reporter Jeff Svoboda who writes:

The Blue Jackets were informed this morning Columbus will not serve as a hub city as part of the NHL’s return to play plan. Columbus had been one of 10 cities under consideration to be one of the two hubs.

Columbus Blue Jackets Jarmo Kekalainen
Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Gary Wiepert)

Columbus did make some sense as an option since they have two major-league arenas — Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center is only a 10-minute drive from Nationwide Arena. There was no reason given as to why they’ve been excluded so it’s difficult to know what the main criteria are the NHL is looking at when making their decisions.

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic quotes Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekäläinen:

“They had a lot of positives about our presentation, but they’ve gone in a different direction. It’s disappointing, but we were also among the last few cities to be considered. You take the positives along with the disappointment and you move on.

source – ‘Columbus, Minnesota will not be hub cities when NHL season resumes’ – Aaron Portzline – The Athletic – 06/22/2020

The NHL had been considering Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver. The belief is that Las Vegas and Vancouver are the frontrunners.

Related: The Good & the Bad: The Columbus Blue Jackets Under GM Scott Howson

Brodeur Not Interested in GM Job

As the New Jersey Devils continue to search for a new general manager, Matt Larkin of the Hockey News writes that former Devils’ goaltender Martin Brodeur is not interested in the job.

Martin Brodeur Ken Daneyko
Former New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur and teammate Ken Daneyko share a laugh during Martin Brodeur’s statue unveiling ceremony on October 22, 2016. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Now in hockey operations, after the team fired Ray Shero, Brodeur has earned a ton of respect behind the scenes. He might find interest in the job down the line but says he’s not ready to take on that challenge yet. Brodeur explained:

“I’m not saying that one day, I won’t say, ‘You know what? This is the time for me to do it, maybe,’ But right now, I value my time off too much to get myself involved. Not that I’m not involved, as in my role I need to be pretty much present, but I’m able to kind of make my own schedule and not rely on the general manager setup.”

Chris Thorburn Officially Retires

At 37 years old and after over 800 NHL games, forward Chris Thorburn has decided to retire from hockey. On Monday he announced via the St. Louis Blues website that he was leaving the game.

Chris Thorburn – Winnipeg Jets vs Philadelphia Flyers – November 17, 2016 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He statement reads, in part:

“Thank you to everyone who supported me, believed in me, and influenced me throughout my hockey career. The Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues all took a chance on me and for that I am forever grateful.

“To finish my hockey career with the St. Louis Blues and finally get an opportunity to lift the Stanley Cup over my head, I could not have scripted a better way to go out.

“It was an unbelievable ride with a storybook ending. As tough as it is to close this chapter, I am excited for the new adventures ahead for myself and my family.”

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