NHL Rumors: Bruins, Jets, Canadiens, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is speculation surrounding defenseman Zdeno Chara. Was Monday’s loss his last game in the NHL? Might it have been his last game for the Boston Bruins? Meanwhile, TSN’s Frank Servalli has added two key names to his recent Trade Bait Board, both of whom are from the Winnipeg Jets. And, did Max Domi just fire his agent in preparation for a tough negotiation or a trade?

Could Zdeno Chara Retire Or Leave Bruins?

After being eliminated from the playoffs on Monday night, questions will now surround Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. It was mentioned during the NBC broadcast and handshake line as the Bruins were saying goodbye to the postseason that Chara might say goodbye to the team and the NHL.

Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

In post-game comments, Chara didn’t provide a concrete answer about whether or not he’d be leaving the game, but he did say that it was something he needed to think about. “I haven’t made that decision. I obviously just finished the game and I’m going to be open minded”, the veteran defenseman said.

When coach Bruce Cassidy was asked for his thoughts on Chara potentially leaving, Cassidy was also non-committal. He noted, “Those are decisions that will be made by the player and management going forward.” He added, “I’ve said all along, grateful to have an opportunity to coach Zee. It was early in my NHL career, so to speak, later in his playing career. He helped me a lot.”

The Bruins have a lot of work to do this offseason and it’s possible Chara doesn’t fit into their plans. Between an uncertain future for Tuukka Rask, a big free agent decision in Torey Krug and trying to find the right deal for RFA Jake Debrusk, even at $2 million, a Chara extension is hardly a slam dunk decision if he wants to return.

Related: Trading Laine, Ehlers Makes Little Sense for Jets

Jets Laine and Ehlers on the Trade Bait Board

Both Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers were added to Frank Seravalli’s TSN Trade Bait Board on Tuesday. He does admit, “By no means is Laine a lock to be traded,” but he points out the road the Jets will have to travel in free agency could be a bumpy one and the team needs to fill crater-sized potholes left by the departures of Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers, Jacob Trouba and Ben Chiarot on the blue line.

Patrik Laine Winnipeg Jets
Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Money will only go so far if the team is looking to build an entirely new defense corps and with only a few strong defensemen available on the open market. The result could mean needing to move out salary which is where Laine (or fellow winger Nikolaj Ehlers) come into play.

Because the Jets are unlikely to move Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler or Kyle Connor, the often polarizing Laine makes the most sense and would carry the most value in a deal. Because the expectation is Laine will command big money coming out of his bridge deal, the Jets may not want to take on that commitment. And, when you consider he’s stood still (even declined slightly) in production from year to year, it’s hard to blame the Jets if they feel big money is better spent elsewhere.

Related: Canadiens Have Holes on Defense and the Assets to Fill Them

Max Domi Fires Agent

According to Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette, it appears Max Domi has let go his longtime agent Pat Brisson. Cowan points out Brisson was very close to Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin and there has been plenty of talk that Domi may be moved this offseason. This firing only lends more credibility to those rumors.

Cowan writes:

A source confirmed Sunday night that Domi has fired agent Pat Brisson, who is a longtime close friend of Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin. Former Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty also fired Brisson as his agent two years ago after Bergevin attempted to trade him to the Los Angeles Kings.

source – ‘Stu on Sports: Max Domi’s days with Canadiens appear to be over’ – Stu Cowan – Montreal Gazette – 08/31/2020
Max Domi Montreal Canadiens
Max Domi, Montreal Canadiens (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Domi is a 25-year-old pending restricted free agent with arbitration rights and is likely going to command a bit of a raise. The problem is, in Montreal, where he plays in the lineup is a real question. The team has younger and brighter stars emerging at his position and the franchise is unlikely willing to commit big dollars to a bottom-six center.

If Domi is hiring new representation, it could be because he’s preparing for a trying offseason where he’s going to need someone to get him a strong deal or is willing to fight back against Bergevin if the Habs GM over trade talk or if he gets taken to arbitration.


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