Welcome to another edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The 2022-23 regular season is over and players as well as front offices will be evaluated. Now, with the season completed, the focus shifts toward deals that may go down this summer. What about free agency? Clubs are always working to improve their rosters for next season. Teams who were eliminated from the postseason need to assess what happened and make adjustments. Some teams are having difficulty creating enough cap space to make moves. Others are experiencing severe injuries to star players. Trades/signings are all but over for now, while teams are competing in the playoffs. In this Wednesday’s edition of NHL Rumors, we will look at the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, and the New York Rangers.
Washington Capitals – Carter Hart
Rumor: Per – Andrew Porter – audacy.com. New GM Danny Briere has to listen to any trade offers for Hart, and other players… it’s his job.
Briere stated that the team is in a position where they must consider offers for any player on the roster, including Hart. Briere stated, “I would say most likely Carter is going to be our goalie of the future,” Briere told Glen Macnow and Mike Sielski on their Saturday 94WIP radio show. “Now, I’m not in a position to turn down anything. If there’s teams calling about him, we have to listen. That’s my job as a general manager, I have to listen. I have to do what is best for the team and the organization. In saying that, I expect Carter Hart to be our goalie for many years to come.”
Daniel Briere said on WIP this morning that Carter Hart “would most likely be our goalie of the future.”
Briere: "Now, I'm not in a position to turn down anything. If there's teams calling about him, we have to listen. That's my job as a general manager, I have to listen. I have… pic.twitter.com/dkKyECFS5B
— Flyers Nation (@FlyersNation) May 27, 2023
Unless Briere expects to get a goalie in return, he would be relying on two young netminders going forward if Hart is moved. Felix Sandstrom and Samuel Ersson make up the Flyers’ depth between the pipes. They have a total of just 33 NHL starts between them. Hart’s stats don’t exactly jump off the page with a career 84-84-26 record. His goals-against-average is 2.96, with a .907 save percentage. In the five seasons with the Flyers the team has only gone to the playoffs once during the 2019-20 season. They lost in the second round to the New York Islanders. Still, he is considered a star player on a young team. If Briere gets a good offer for Hart, he must consider it. In other words, let the rebuild begin.
Boston Bruins – 5 players to consider moving due to cap restraints
Rumor: Per Dave Litman – nhltraderumors.me. The Bruins face cap issues and must clear some salaries out. Who goes? Here are five players who may be gone.
With the $4.5M overage penalty due to bonuses coming to Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, the Bruins are hurting for cap space. They may be one of many teams hoping that when Gary Bettman and the NHLPA meet to discuss a possible increase in the cap limit, the limit will go higher than the projected $83.5 million. If it doesn’t, then with 20 players signed totaling $75 million that leaves very little to re-sign eight unrestricted free agents and two restricted free agents.
Now, it could be lessened if both David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron retire, but that hasn’t been determined yet. Losing such key players as Jeremy Swayman and Dmitry Orlov could be catastrophic for the Boston club.
So, here’s who Litman feels should be traded:
- Jeremy Swayman – It would seem that the Bruins would like to keep the young 24-year-old netminder, but someone needs to go. He is an RFA and can expect to earn in the $4 million range with his exceptional level of play. While the team needs to keep him, will then make a trade for their other goalie?
- Linus Ullmark – He is signed through the 2024-25 season at a $5 million cap hit. It’s time to decide whether Ullmark or Swayman will be the starter between the pipes. The Vezina trophy favorite would grab some NHL rumors if he were on the trade block. Even though he had a less-than-admirable postseason with a 3-3 record, and a .896 save percentage, with a 3.33 GAA, he is no doubt a premier goalie in the NHL.
- Jake DeBrusk – He has been the subject of trade rumors in the past, and this is nothing new for him. He is in the final year of his contract with a $4 million AAV. He could bring the organization an excellent return if they determine to trade him. He had very respectable numbers this season with 27 goals, 23 assists in 64 games. His playoff performance wasn’t bad either with four goals, two assists in seven games.
- Matt Grzelcyk – He has been in NHL rumors a lot lately. While not the biggest D-man in the NHL, he is a very strong defensive blueliner. Not being as physical with just 51 hits in 75 games may be his downfall. Still, many teams will be lining up to add him to their rosters.
- Taylor Hall – At the ripe age of 31, Hall may be slowing down. He had some injuries and only managed 61 games this season. His 16 goals and 20 assists don’t quantify paying him his $6 million salary. He does possess a partial no-trade clause in his deal, so trading him may be difficult, but out of all the above-listed players, he makes the most sense to help remedy the team’s cap concerns.
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New York Rangers – Peter Laviolette
Rumor: Per – Phil Kocher – @PhilKocher. It appears that Laviolette is the leading candidate to take over behind the Rangers’ bench.
"I think a lot of people are beginning to lean Peter Laviolette on this one. I think if it is Laviolette, we're going to find out next week. That's kinda where I sit with the #NYR coaching job."https://t.co/Cc9Eep8XFp
— Phil Kocher (@PhilKocher) May 28, 2023
Then, just now (the head coaching/GM jobs are an ever-changing topic) it was announced by Pierre LeBrun that Laviolette is meeting with the Rangers again today (5/30/23). Keep your seat belts fastened as news as the front office jobs are filling fast. The 58-year-old Laviolette parted ways with the Washington Capitals after the end of this season, where he’d spent the past three years behind the bench. He has three Conference championships on his resume, with three different teams. Overall, he has a .587 winning percentage as an NHL head coach, over 21 seasons (752-503-25).
According to another NHL insider, Elliotte Friedman, “I think a lot of people are beginning to lean Peter Laviolette on this one. I think if it is Laviolette, we’re going to find out next week. That’s kinda where I sit with the (Rangers) coaching job.”
That concludes this edition of NHL rumors. Be sure to catch our next article, and thanks for reading!