NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens

NHL rumours
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 10: Mitchell Marner #16 and William Nylander #29 of the Toronto Maple Leafs share a light moment during action against the Ottawa Senators in an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 10, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

It’s time for another batch of NHL rumours for your Saturday. Things are heating up, so we’re giving you two sets of rumours on the way to July 1. Teams are trying to nail down coveted free agents and clear out space to make it happen.

Today we look at rumours surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman appeared on Toronto’s FAN 590 and said the Leafs could offer Mitch Marner a two-year, $8 million bridge contract and put off the big decision on scoring a big-time deal.

Marner is a restricted free agent and wants a big-money deal that some think will go over $10 million. However, Friedman said that the salary cap would likely go up and allow more wiggle room for general manager Kyle Dubas.

Analysis: This could be a temporary fix that allows Marner to stay with the Leafs and get the big money deal he wants down the road. Bridge deals are “prove it” deals and Toronto would likely get everything Marner has because he wants that big payday.

This deal would also allow Dubas to address some of the defensive concerns they may have. Toronto could lose Jake Gardiner and Ron Hainsey on July 1.

Remember, a team that does offer sheet the restricted free agent risks losing four draft picks if Toronto doesn’t match it.

New York Rangers

Rumour: Larry Brooks of the New York Post said the Rangers are getting ready to offer newly acquired defenceman Jacob Trouba a seven-year deal worth $7.5-8 million a season.

Analysis: The Rangers have done a great job in adding some young defence in Adam Fox and still have Brady Skjei and others. Trouba will be the cornerstone of that blue line group that’s trying to get back to the post-season.

The Rangers are also in the Artemi Panarin sweepstakes and could look different than the Eastern Conference also-rans that struggled last season. General manager Jeff Gorton may be able to turn the ship around quicker than many thought he would.

Boston Bruins

Rumour: The Bruins are still in the hunt for bringing back unrestricted free agent forward Marcus Johansson according to NESN TV.

Brian Hedger of the Columbus Observer-Dispatch said the Columbus Blue Jackets are in the market for the man that tormented them in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Analysis: Boston still has to sort out its RFAs before they go after Johansson. He was a key cog in the Bruins’ run to the cup final after coming over from the New Jersey Devils.

Columbus will likely lose Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky and Matt Duchene in free agency, so it will have money to throw at free agents. Johansson may have to make a tough choice about whether he wants money or a title.

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: David Pagnotta of the Fourth Period said that the Montreal Canadiens would buy out defenceman Karl Alzner if they land a big-time defenceman in free agency.

Jonathan Willis of The Athletic (Subscription required) lists Alzner as a credible buyout candidate. He places Alzner 10th on his list of candidates.

Analysis: Things have not gone well for Alzner in Montreal. He’s become a liability on defence and someone that Habs fans would like to see go. The Canadiens are targeting an upgrade to partner with or take the pressure off of Shea Weber.

However, the buyout would be a headache on the Habs salary cap. His cap hit would be over $4 million in the 2020-21 season. Montreal would probably do better to trade him than buy him out.

TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 10: Mitchell Marner #16 and William Nylander #29 of the Toronto Maple Leafs share a light moment during action against the Ottawa Senators in an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 10, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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