NHL Rumors: Bruins, Avalanche, Capitals, Jets, Devils, Flames

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, how will the Boston Bruins rebound after one of the most disappointing first-round losses in NHL history? Which players will be back with the team and is this the end for Patrice Bergeron? Meanwhile, what’s next for the Colorado Avalanche? They have a ton of free agents and some decisions to make. Are the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets good trade partners? Who gets the start in net for the New Jersey Devils in Game 7? Finally, did the Calgary Flames just fire Darryl Sutter?

What Happens With the Colorado Avalanche?

The Avs will have nine pending UFAs and four pending RFAs that require new contracts if they are sticking around. Among them, the biggest question perhaps surrounds UFA forward J.T. Compher and if he’ll get a bigger offer on the free agent market than the Avs will offer. He had a career-high 52 points and could be among the more popular targets for teams that need a two-way center and don’t have a lot of options with a smaller free-agent class.

J.T. Compher Colorado Avalanche
J.T. Compher, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Other UFAs include Lars Eller, Evan Rodrigues, Darren Helm, Andrew Cogliano, Matt Nieto, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Keith Kinkaid, Alex Galchenyuk, Charles Hudon, Josh Jacobs, Jonas Johansson, Gustav Rydahl, and Sergei Bokov. Considering some of the big names that need new deals among their RFA group, many of these UFAs may not return. RFAs include Ben Meyers, Alex Newhook, Denis Malgin, Bowen Byram, Samp Ranta, Wyatt Aamodt, Justus Annunen, Ryan Merkley, Nathan Clurman, and Mikhail Maltsev.

Related: NHL Rumors: Jets, Canucks, Maple Leafs, Wild, Kings

Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post wonders about Gabriel Landeskog and if his injury recovery will carry over into next season. He also asked, “Can Valeri Nichushkin, who mysteriously disappeared from this first-round series, be trusted as a key member of this squad going forward?” And if not, does the team get a major facelift? He writes:

If Captain Landy can’t regain full health and wayward son Nichushkin can’t be trusted, this Colorado roster might need an extreme makeover before it returns to serious Stanley Cup contention.

source – ‘Kiszla: One-hit wonders? The Avalanche championship dynasty crumbles less than a year after hoisting the Stanley Cup.’ – Mark Kiszila – The Denver Post – 05/01/2023

What Happens to Bruins Roster and Will Bergeron and Krejci Return Next Season?

With the upset loss to the Florida Panthers, questions will immediately surround veteran forwards Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci and what their future plans will be. No one expected the Bruins to be out of the playoff picture so quickly and many will ask if this loss makes them more or less likely to consider a return. Elliotte Friedman is reporting that Bergeron said he will take time to decide his future, and that he had a herniated disc in his back.

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Mike Johnson said on Sirius XM Radio that everything in his gut says this was probably the last game for Bergeron. The way he and Brad Marchand openly cried on the ice, it was as if both knew this was his last run. Johnson adds that age and injuries catch up to everyone and that at some point, you have to know when it’s just time to say goodbye. “At some point, you gotta stop.”

Kristen Shilton of ESPN.com writes:

Boston has to decide on its trade deadline additions too. Tyler Bertuzzi, Garnet Hathaway, and Dmitry Orlov need new contracts; which, if any, will stick around long term? Goaltender Jeremy Swayman is an upcoming restricted free agent; how can the Bruins negotiate a new deal with him as well? GM Don Sweeney will be busy figuring that all out.

Could Capitals and Jets Work as Trade Partners?

Sammi Silber of The Hockey News wondered if the Winnipeg Jets and Washington Capitals be would good fits for each other as trade partners. The Jets need to remove some of their core group to reshape the culture of their team and the Washington Capitals want to remain competitive as Alex Ovechkin chases Wayne Gretzky’s goal-scoring record. The Capitals also have a few trade chips they could offer up that would mean the Jets avoiding a full-blown rebuild.

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The Capitals’ two biggest trade rumors involve the potential exits of Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha and both of those players could do a lot for the Jets to keep them competitive if they lose names like Mark Scheifele or Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Akira Schmid to Start For Devils

Multiple sources were reporting on Monday morning that goaltender Akira Schmid was in the starters’ net for the New Jersey Devils at practice on Monday. The belief is that he will get the nod for Game 7 versus the New York Rangers.

Flames Firing Coach Darryl Sutter

According to Frank Seravalli, the Calgary Flames are reportedly moving on from head coach Darryl Sutter. He writes, “Sutter’s two-year contract extension was set to kick in on July 1.” We’ll have more on this tomorrow.