In today’s NHL rumors rundown, one scribe wonders if a trade out of Boston will help forward Jake DeBrusk explode offensively. Meanwhile, there is a ton of chatter surrounding Taylor Hall of the Buffalo Sabres and the asking price to acquire him in a deal before the deadline. The Montreal Canadiens are likely to make more moves after acquiring Eric Staal and are the Columbus Blue Jackets ready to give Patrik Laine huge money to stick around? Finally, what are the Carolina Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets going to do over the next couple of weeks?
Will the Bruins Trade DeBrusk?
Acknowledging the fact that DeBrusk has underperformed with the Bruins so far this season, Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic wonders if Boston has conceded to the idea of trading the forward and the scribe contemplated what happens if and when they do.
The conclusion the Bruins may reach is that DeBrusk serves them best in a trade. If so, they would be trading low. No opposing general manager would put his top cards on the table. The Bruins’ best bet would be receiving a similarly underperforming player.source – ‘The Bruins’ big fear: Trading Jake DeBrusk will motivate him to meet his potential’ – Fluto Shinzawa – The Athletic – 03/24/2021
He goes on to say that DeBrusk could explode offensively if moved as “trades can shock young players awake to a greater degree than healthy scratches, benches and one-on-one meetings.” He cited Tyler Seguin as an example.
While Shinzawa doesn’t sound confident a deal makes sense for Boston, a DeBrusk trade became more of a possibility with the reduced quarantine time from 14 to seven days for over-the-border trades.
Everyone Talking About Taylor Hall
Yesterday, the rumor mill was abuzz with chatter about Hall and the fact he said he’d waive his no-move clause to facilitate a trade out of Buffalo if the Sabres asked him. The chatter about what he might be worth led to Pierre LeBrun reporting, “Hearing that the initial asking price for Taylor Hall involves a first-round pick… Probably going to be tough to get that in this buyer’s market but it’s the right place to start two weeks out if you’re Buffalo.”
On Friday, Eric Staal was traded for a third and fifth-round pick in the 2021 draft which some suggested could be an indication about the realities of the Sabres getting a first-rounder for Hall who has only scored two goals this season.
Canadiens to Make More Moves
Speaking of Staal, the Canadiens surprised people with the acquisition of the veteran forward as GM Marc Bergevin said that the team was more likely to remain quiet than do anything before the deadline. TSN’s Frank Seravalli asks what’s next for the Canadiens who are tight up against the salary cap after acquiring Staal?
Seravalli notes the Canadiens will need to send down a player in order to activate Paul Byron from their taxi squad and he added, “wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the Habs try and make a corresponding move to try and free up some salary cap space.” The NHL insider suggest Cole Caufield could come into play now that his NCAA season has ended. “He’s another guy the Canadiens may want to add into the mix and they’ll need cap space to do it.”
Blue Jackets and Laine On a One-Year Extension?
When asked what an extension might look like for forward Patrik Laine during mailbag segment, Athletic writer Aaron Portzline responded, “If I’m Laine’s agent, I feel really, really good about my leverage in these talks, and yes I realize he isn’t playing well right now. Doesn’t matter.”
Suggesting Laine holds most of the cards and the Blue Jackets don’t want to risk losing the big asset that came back in the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade, both sides might agree on a one-year deal worth between $9 and $10 million. Portzline explains:
“You can safely assume he’s going to make well over $9 million, right? And I’m adjusting there for COVID, which owners will try to use as a negotiating tool against the players. It might hit eight digits. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see the two sides do a one-year deal that so that Laine is an RFA again the following summer.”source – ‘What’s wrong with Patrik Laine? Trade for a No. 1 center? Locking up Seth Jones: Blue Jackets Mailbag’ – Aaron Portzline – The Athletic – 03/25/2021
Portzline suggested a one-year deal makes sense so that Laine can get a better read on what will happen with the team, specifically what will happen with coach John Tortorella, who may or may not be back.
Hurricanes Could Move a Goaltender
As per a report on NHL.com: Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell told The Athletic he could consider trading one of his goaltenders. Alex Nedeljkovic and James Reimer have split the goalies duties since Petr Mrazek was sidelined, but with Mrazek close to returning and the Hurricanes with limited cap space, the GM might use on of his netminders as a trade chip.
Waddell said he could keep all three goalies, but suggested he’d like to add a right-shot defenseman to his blueline corps.
Jets Linked to Different Defensemen?
Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet wonders what the Jets might do if their primary targets of Mattias Ekholm and David Savard are off the table because of where their respective teams are in the standings. He writes, “Another player with term on his deal that could make sense for the Jets is Anaheim Ducks blue-liner Josh Manson.”
Wiebe points out that the Ducks will be guaranteed sellers and that Manson, 29, has one season left at $4.1 million but also notes his injury history is concerning. A backup name to monitor is Rasmus Ristolainen of the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres are selling and the Jets have shown interest in Ristolainen previously. If the price has come down on the blueliner, he could be an option.
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.”