NHL Rumours: Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets

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The 2020-21 NHL season is fast approaching, with puck drop on Wednesday night less than a week away. That hasn’t slowed down a constant onslaught of NHL rumours, and Last Word on Hockey continues to supply your daily dose of rumblings from around the NHL. Despite the imminence of the season’s start, teams are still rushing to finalize rosters and solidify their futures. Today’s edition of NHL Rumours focuses on the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, and Winnipeg Jets.

NHL Rumours

Boston Bruins

Rumour: Per The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask does not plan to play elsewhere at any point remaining in his career.

Analysis: Unlike the ridiculous goalie carousel that was this past offseason, it appears as though Rask won’t partake in weirding out the entire NHL by joining a different team. The 33-year-old Finnish goalie is still one of the premier starters in the league and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. His departure in free agency would mean another team gaining a more valuable commodity.

Truthfully, Rask shouldn’t even consider retiring after this season for performance reasons. If he decides it’s the best choice for him personally, then so be it. But Rask is coming off one of the best campaigns of his career, posting a .929 save percentage in 41 starts and a remarkable 26-8-6 record. He’s won a Vezina Trophy, a Jennings Trophy. But while he was technically a part of the 2011 Bruins team that won the Stanley Cup, Rask has yet to carry his team all the way through. He’s lost in the Final twice, in 2013 and 2019. Rask obviously still has the drive to win a championship. And for the next few years at least, he should be able to supply the quality goaltending every Cup contender needs to win.

Florida Panthers

Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, on an episode of radio show Tim & Sid, states that the possibility is real that Henrik Borgstrom has played his last game in a Panthers uniform.

Analysis: Borgstrom’s life as a Panthers prospect has been interesting, to say the least. Their first-round pick in 2016, 23rd overall, has done well at every level except the NHL. He was only afforded one full season as an NHLer so far. In 2018-19, Borgstrom got into 50 games for the Panthers, scoring eight goals and 18 points. Those numbers certainly aren’t great, but they’re at least something to build upon. His usage that season wasn’t exactly conducive to higher production, either. Borgstrom played just 12 minutes a night. Outside of that season, however, Florida’s only played Borgstrom in eight NHL games.

The Finnish prospect’s displeasure with the Panthers organization is warranted. Borgstrom has been a top-tier producer everywhere he’s played, and at age 23, he still has the opportunity to grow into a full-time role. A trade is likely the best course of action for the player in order to continue his development, as the Panthers have mainly been interested in stunting it.

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: Winnipeg is still trying to move right wing Patrik Laine, but their trade talks with certain organizations have stalled, per David Pagnotta.

Analysis: If Brett Pesce and Martin Necas are truthfully what Winnipeg is asking for, that’s quite the deal. But, quite frankly, that’s the price you have to pay for a 22-year-old who’s already money in the bank for 30 goals a season. While Necas has that ceiling, Laine’s is still even higher especially given a change of scenery. It’s not necessarily fair for the Carolina Hurricanes to not even consider this move.

Pesce is a great defensive defenceman who undoubtedly had a down year. His trade value is at an all-time low, but Carolina isn’t exactly itching to move him, either. While the value proposition on this deal makes sense at the moment, it doesn’t make sense for Carolina to pull this trigger. What they’re giving up doesn’t make sense based on their needs, as it’s not often someone trying to contend trades two roster players for one.

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