We’re almost through one month of play in the season, but we have plenty of NHL rumours. Some general managers are trying to salvage their season while others are already thinking ahead to next year. Even next year’s free agent class is being talked about. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: Craig Custance of The Athletic (subscription required) went over a list of the Top 20 unrestricted free agents in the upcoming class of 2020. One of the names that stuck out was Bruins’ defenceman Torey Krug. The 28-year-old is a native of Royal Oak, Mich. and has a previous relationship with Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill.
Custance states that talks between Boston and Krug are continuing as well as his strong play. Krug has a goal and seven assists for eight points in 11 games. He also has great possession numbers with a 57.2 Corsi for and a 5.9 relative Corsi. He makes $5.25 million a season and is in line for a good-sized raise.
How deep is the UFA class of 2020? Where do talks stand with some of the big names? Let's dive in: https://t.co/hUMFClyIy7
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) October 26, 2019
Analysis: The Red Wings have a lot of money coming off the books with the deals of Mike Green, Trevor Daley, Jonathan Ericsson and Alex Biega expiring. Those deals ending will free up a lot of money for general manager Steve Yzerman.
Detroit is in the middle of a rebuild but could be a dangerous player in free agency with all that extra money coming off the books. Adding someone like Krug would help the development of younger defencemen like Filip Hronek, Dennis Cholowski and Moritz Seider.
Boston general manager Don Sweeney always has to juggle around the salary cap number. The Bruins also would like to keep Charlie Coyle on the team and have the contract of Zdeno Chara expiring at the end of the season. Sweeney will have to find a way to make things work to keep Krug on the team and they want to add secondary scoring for a playoff run.
Rumour: Rob Rossi of The Athletic (subscription required) talked about the team’s newfound cap flexibility after dealing Erik Gudbranson to the Anaheim Ducks. General manager Jim Rutherford was very coy on what he would do with that extra cap space.
One topic was possibly dealing backup goalie Tristan Jarry and a forward for a rental scorer at the trade deadline. Rossi went on to list the group of forwards as Nick Bjugstad, Zach Aston-Reese or Dominik Kahun. Jarry has been impressive with a .939 save percentage for the Pens and that could entice a team to deal for him.
— Rob Rossi (@Real_RobRossi) October 26, 2019
Analysis: DeSmith was sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in order to bury his salary in the minors. Jarry has been a more than capable backup and will fetch some interest from a team looking for a long-term solution in net. DeSmith is thought to be the future in net, but makes $1.25 million while Jarry makes $675,000.
“I think everybody thought DeSmith was going to be one of the goalies here, and he certainly deserved to be; he was coming off a good year,” Rutherford said to The Athletic on Friday. “But, you know, the fact of the matter is we saw more in Jarry.”
Rutherford is chasing one more Stanley Cup for Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. He’s a Hall of Fame general manager that’s made several shrewd deals in his long career. Rutherford probably has something up his sleeve to get that coveted scorer.
New Jersey Devils
Rumour: Larry Brooks of The New York Post said that the Devils may be in the market for goaltending help. He speculated that Antti Raanta of the Arizona Coyotes would be a good candidate to come over to Newark.
Brooks pointed out that the Devils have great offensive potential, but goalie duo of Cory Schneider and Mackenzie Blackwood have been lacklustre so far this season. New Jersey is tied for the second-worst goals against with the New York Rangers with 3.78 goals allowed per game.
The Finnish goalie makes $4.25 million for this season and next season. Arizona gave Darcy Kuemper a $4.5 million contract extension and general manager John Chayka might have gone with Kuemper as his future in net. However, he may keep both goalies to give the Coyotes their first playoff appearance since 2012.
Analysis: It’s no secret that the Devils have the offence to get back into the race if and when it gets on track. However, their woeful goaltending has been problematic. New Jersey is among the five worst teams in the league so far this season.
Raanta does have playoff experience and won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015. He is 2-0-1 with a 2.62 goals-against average this season. Acquiring Raanta would likely mean the end of Schneider’s time with the Devils. Blackwood seems to be the future in net for the club.
Getting another goalie may also convince Taylor Hall to stay with the Devils. His contract comes up at the end of the season and a move by Ray Shero may help Hall stay put. The former Hart Trophy has a big decision coming and he may not want to stay on a rebuilding club.
BOSTON, MA – MAY 2: Torey Krug #47 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period of Game Three of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 2, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Lightning defeat the Bruins 4-1. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)