Welcome to another edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The 2022-23 regular season is more than halfway done and players will be evaluated. Now, with the trade deadline less than a month away, rumors are sizzling.
Clubs are always working to improve their rosters for next season. Some teams are having difficulty creating enough cap space to make moves. Others are experiencing severe injuries to star players. Trade rumors/signings are still possible. In this Wednesday edition of NHL Rumors, we will take a look at the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Boston Bruins – David Pastrnak
Rumor: Per – Nick Goss – Yahoo Sports. Boston Bruins star David Pastrnak still isn’t signed beyond the 2022-23 NHL season, but it does sound like the two sides have made progress toward reaching a contract extension.
It looks like Pastrnak will get paid on level with the top stars in the league, and for more money than Boston’s front office was originally budgeting. But, isn’t he worth it? Goes without saying, the Bruins without Pastrnak are not the same team. He has 38 goals and 34 assists in just 51 games this season. That means he has five fewer points than all of last season. His career totals are also amazing. He has 576 points in 561 games.
Pastrnak wants to be involved in the Bruins’ long-term vision so they can stay competitive in the next era after Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Brad Marchand are done. That may mean that the club will need to find a way to pay Pastrnak up there in the $11 million range. He’s that good. With about $21 million in projected cap space for next season, I think Mr. Pastrnak deserves the new contract and has arrived as a star NHL player.
The Bruins don’t have anyone else like Pastrnak at any level of their organization. He is a generational scorer and someone who could be the face of the franchise for another decade. That’s why he will re-sign and get the big money he so deserves. He’s on pace to score 61 goals with 115 points. That’s in range of Bruins’ great, Phil Esposito.
Buffalo Sabres – Boone Jenner
Rumor: Per – @nhlnetwork. Boone Jenner adds toughness and can score, so should the Sabres go after him?
The Sabres are a team looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. They have gobs of cap space with $51.1 million in their coiffures. Jenner hits people and has 76 hits in 40 games this season. He can score too with 14 goals and 12 assists to his credit. The Sabres can certainly afford his $3.75 million cap hit good through 2025-26. The Columbus Blue Jackets are not going to the postseason and might as well be sellers to improve in the future.
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Another possibility for the Sabres surge to the playoffs could be Vladislav Gavrikov. He’s big and a stay-at-home defender who can be added to Buffalo’s already strong blueline with Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power.
The Sabres owe it to their fans and supporters to improve their rising team just a bit more to get them to the postseason. Adding Jenner and Gavrikov could be options they need to explore further.
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Chicago Blackhawks – Sam Lafferty
Rumor: Per – Frank Seravalli – dailyfaceoff.com. At least four teams have interest in adding the bottom-six forward. He kills penalties and has a reasonable contract.
If you're looking for a player who may bring a surprising return at the Deadline, it might be #Blackhawks forward Sam Lafferty.
Speed to burn. Quality penalty killer. Term on contract. Inexpensive cap hit.
The Hawks have mined a diamond in the rough:https://t.co/F9p3vOMlk1
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 5, 2023
Lafferty has speed and scores short-handed goals. His $1.15 million contract through next season makes him a very attractive target for teams. Lafferty is a very skilled faceoff artist, collecting a 52.6 percent success rate in the circle. When the playoffs begin teams will be looking for those pivotal faceoff wins at key moments in the game. It would be that Sam Lafferty would definitely help a potential playoff team like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs or the league-leading Boston Bruins.
Now, we just wait to see where he goes since the Blackhawks are in full rebuild mode and will be big-time sellers before the trade deadline.
That concludes this edition of NHL rumors. Be sure to catch our next article, and thanks for reading!
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