NHL Rumors: Bruins, Oilers, Seattle Arena, CBA Issues, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news out of Boston that forward Jake DeBrusk could be a trade candidate. At least one player is severely unhappy with the CBA negotiations and disputes could threaten a return-to-play delay. And, the Seattle arena gets a name and for some pretty cool reasons.

Could DeBrusk Be Moved By Bruins?

Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston believes Jake DeBrusk could be moved by the Bruins due to the money he’s about to receive as a 23-year-old restricted free agent. Haggerty suggests DeBrusk could command between $4.5 million and $5.5 million and with Torey Krug, Zdeno Chara, and several others to re-sign, the Bruins might not have room.

Jake Debrusk Boston Bruins
Jake Debrusk, Boston Bruins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Haggerty speculated Bruins management might have to consider moving DeBrusk and getting a strong return before his production declines (he didn’t have a great season), especially if the choice comes down to DeBrusk or Krug. Haggerty writes:

These days DeBrusk is going to command a big jump in salary to the $4.5-5-5 million average annual value and he still hasn’t quite developed into a consistently productive top-6 offensive threat on the second line. If there was a time to deal away DeBrusk in the midst of salary cap constraints, this would be the time to do it while getting back pretty close to maximum value for a young, still-developing player.  

Related: Bruins’ Draft History Under Don Sweeney

CBA Holding Up an NHL Return To Play?

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet is reporting that there is potentially a big issue between the players and the league when it comes to a return to play. It all has to do with the CBA negotiations.

Friedman notes:

“According to multiple sources, the potential agreement between the NHL and NHLPA caps escrow at 20 percent for the 2020-21 season. Original guesstimates were escrow at 35 percent if this year did not finish, 27-28 even if it did.”

That’s a huge drop.

Friedman adds that there would be a one-season-only 10 percent salary deferral by every player which feels a lot like a “payment plan you might negotiate with your credit card company.” Players would get that money back, but the escrow would be lower when repaid.

The big news for teams is that as part of the agreement, the salary cap will be kept close to the current $81.5 million for the next three seasons with it possibly rising up $1 million in 2022-23.

Artemi Panarin New York Rangers
Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The players will get a vote on these changes and there are some, like New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin, suggesting players hold out until the CBA is agreed upon. What could hold up the process is that different groups of players will want different things.

While not everyone agrees with this take, player agent Allan Walsh described it in the following way:

The inherent insidiousness of the NHL’s salary cap system on full display. Player with an $11.6M cap hit (salary of $14M) is rightly outraged by escrow. However, a player pending UFA this summer wants the highest possible Upper Limit for the most robust market for his services.

One group of players want escrow eliminated, the other wants highest Upper Limit possible (which will bring with it higher escrow). The salary cap pits players with competing self-interests against each other. Player v. Player…Just the way the NHL likes it!

Related: The Bizarre Naming History of TD Garden

Seattle Arena Gets New Name

On Thursday, it was revealed that the naming rights to the refurbished KeyArena where the NHL team will play home games were purchased by Jeff Bezos of Amazon. The new facility will be called Climate Pledge Arena and is billing itself as the first zero-carbon certified arena in the world.

Tim Leiweke, the CEO of Oak View Group, the company behind the $1 billion construction project, said the name was Bezos’ idea, and the point was to make the building represent a need to address global warming and sustainability. There is also an agreement to commit $100 million to charities focused on sustainability and ecology in the coming years, Leiweke said.

As per an article by Scott Burnside of The Athletic:

The arena will use reclaimed rainwater in the ice-making system.

The arena will be a zero-waste facility for all operations and events, and by 2024, single-use plastics will be eliminated. 

The all-electric arena will be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity via the use of on-site solar panels and other renewable energy sources.

At least 75percent of the arena’s food options will be from local sources to help support regional farms and producers, and more

source -‘Seattle franchise out to ‘answer this challenge’ with Climate Pledge Arena name’ – Scott Burnside – The Athletic – 06/25/2020

5 Years Today Since McDavid Was Drafted

On June 26th, 2015, the Edmonton Oilers franchise changed forever. The team selected Connor McDavid as the first overall pick. The Oilers won the draft lottery with only an 11.5% chance.

Tonight, the NHL will hold Phase 1 of this year’s draft lottery and it is being billed as The Frenzy For Lafrenière! It will air live tonight at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m on Sportsnet but could be rebroadcast is any of the top sports are not won by the seven non-play-in teams with the best odds.

Amazingly, that could include the Oilers…

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