Given that GM Don Sweeney has publicly said the Boston Bruins will look a lot different next season, trade rumors, departures, and roster moves surround a team that wildly disappointed after winning the Presidents’ Trophy. With questions about whether veterans will return and pending UFA trade deadline adds will all bolt, the Bruins need to find teams on the market that can and would be willing to help them make this supposed change.
According to Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now, more than one source has told him that the Bruins might be linked to the Edmonton Oilers in trade discussions this summer. Namely mentioning both Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan McLeod as potential targets, Murphy isn’t sure either trade is realistic, given both the salary cap complications and Oilers’ willingness to trade either player.
Murphy writes, “When asked Monday, about potential external replacements at center the Boston Bruins could target if Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retire, an NHL source told Boston Hockey Now that the Oilers ‘might move’ 30-year-old center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and that they’re looking for a defenseman in the return.” That seems odd given that Nugent-Hopkins just posted a 104-point season at a cost of $5.125 million per season, but a tight salary cap and the need for defensive help might force GM Ken Holland into some tough decisions.
If Nugent-Hopkins isn’t an option, or the Bruins can’t swing it due to salary cap concerns, another source told Murphy that the Bruins might look into 23-year-old, 6-foot-3, 201-pound Oilers center Ryan McLeod. Granted, Murphy did say it was mere speculation that the Oilers would even entertain offers for McLeod, but he is a pending RFA, and the belief is it might be difficult for the Oilers to sign all of their free agents this summer. McLeod is coming out of his three-year entry-level contract that carried a $834,167 AAV. He would fit for the Bruins in terms of salary, but that’s one of the things that also makes him attractive for the Oilers.
Who Are the Bruins Shopping In This Supposed Deal?
As for who the Bruins might be looking to trade, the name that Murphy mentioned was Matt Grzelcyk. He could be a fit on the Oilers blue line but Holland can’t afford to take on his one-year, $3.6 million cap hit without the Bruins retain salary in the deal. He writes, “The Bruins would need to take some used cap space back, and they just can’t do that right now.”
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