With the NHL season fast approaching, things are starting to heat up. The NHL rumours are going strong. Teams are beginning to finalize their roster with lots of moving parts in the background. Today we will look at rumours surrounding the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, and Boston Bruins.
Analysis: The Boston Bruins have lost both Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug this off-season. They have some holes to fill. Charlie McAvoy will be the one stepping up and filling in the role for the number-one defenceman, but the Bruins will still need to fill out the rest of the group. With Hutton still unsigned, it seems like a good fit for the two. Hutton had a very strong 2019-20 season with the LA Kings, bouncing back from a poor year in Vancouver.
If the Bruins end up signing Hutton, he could fit up and down the defence group. If he is able to repeat similar results to 2019-20, and not dip back to his 2018-19 performance, this could really help solidify the Bruins defence group after losing such core pieces.
New York Islanders
As the NYI/Barzal negotiations continue, multiple sources tell me the Isles are engaged in trade talks to stay cap compliant. One source said the NYI are "shopping multiple players" — aside from Hickey, I'm told Komarov is one of them (again). Don't think a deal is close, yet.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) January 6, 2021
Analysis: Mat Barzal has been a hot-topic of late as camp has begun and the Islanders do not have the cap space to sign him. Attempting to trade Komarov and Hickey is a step towards getting him signed, but unloading these players, especially Komarov, in a year with a flat cap will be difficult. There will likely have to be a sweetener in order to not take any money back for Komarov.
The Islanders have put themselves in a less than ideal position with their star centre still unsigned. To look for trade targets for Komarov, they will have to look towards teams like the LA Kings or Detroit Red Wings that have plenty of cap room and are rebuilding. This will be difficult, though, given that Komarov has a modified no movement clause.
With Komarov having his signing bonus paid and his contract backloaded, a team like the Ottawa Senators could also become an option. Komarov has familiarity with the Senators head coach DJ Smith. It could be a place Komarov is willing to go to. Any way you slice this, though, the Islanders are in a bit of a bind with little to no room for Barzal at the moment.
New York Rangers
Rumour: The New York Rangers could be looking at bringing in centre Brian Boyle to add to the lineup, according to Larry Brooks.
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) January 6, 2021
Analysis: The New York Rangers have a serious lack of centre depth on their roster. Their top centre is Mika Zibanejad , but after that their depth chart falls off hard. Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil are both in the top-nine, and their fourth-line centre is even more lacking. Bringing in veteran Brian Boyle makes sense.
Boyle played for the Rangers from 2009 to 2014. It is a very different team now than it was then, however, returning to a team is something we have seen often in the NHL. Boyle recently played for the Florida Panthers, posting six goals and nine assists through 39 games.
The Rangers seem to want to see how well their young players will do first, and possibly bring in Boyle after their season has begun. Based on their current roster, though, it makes perfect sense to bring in a veteran centre to not only fill an area of desperate need, but also help young players develop. We will have to wait and see what the Rangers decide to do.
This concludes today’s NHL rumours.
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