NHL Rumours: Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Florida Panthers

NHL Rumours
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - FEBRUARY 27: Torey Krug #47 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Dallas Stars first period at TD Garden on February 27, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Hello and welcome to the Wednesday morning edition of NHL Rumours. The world continues to wait for hockey to return. However, that has not stopped general managers from doing their part to provide the hockey world with some news. Just like the NHL general managers, we here at the Last Word on Hockey will continue to bring the best analysis and news regarding the current season. Today’s NHL rumours feature the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Florida Panthers.

NHL Rumours

Boston Bruins

Rumour: Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston spoke with Boston Bruins defenceman Torey Krug during a media conference call, and reported that Krug hopes he has not played his last game as a member of the Bruins.

Analysis: Krug is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, whenever that is. With the state of the world being what it is, Krug nor the team has any real clarity of what the future will hold. Not only is Krug a free agent at the end of the season, but he hopes it was not his final game for the Bruins. He wants a shot at redemption for falling one game short of lifting the Stanley Cup last season. Krug has been with the Bruins since being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State. Since arriving with the Bruins, Krug has made an impact. He has turned into one of the best defenceman the Bruins have. This season in 61 games Krug has 49 points (nine goals and 40 assists).

Krug is expected to get a big payday this summer with the Bruins or with another team. He currently makes $5.25 million and based on comparable deals for other elite NHL defenceman, Krug was expected to get $6-$8 million per season on a long term deal. However, that could change with the salary cap being unknown. Originally the cap was supposed to be between $84-$88 million, which meant that Krug was gonna get a huge raise. But with a lower salary cap, the price per season could come down. A lower-salary cap is not something new to the Bruins, but it continues to haunt them. Krug continues to be open to all situations but has stated on numerous occasions he wants to remain a Bruin.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Rumour: During an interview with TSN 1050 in Toronto, current Pittsburgh Penguins forward Patrick Marleau says he plans on playing next season. 

Analysis: Patrick Marleau believes he still has something left to give for an NHL franchise. He came back this season with the San Jose Sharks, before getting traded to the Penguins at the deadline for a shot at the Stanley Cup. Like many players, Marleau’s dream remains on hold and wants to pursue that dream next season. Whether it is with the Penguins or another team remains to be seen. It was with reluctancy that San Jose signed Marleau to a contract earlier this season. However, Marleau did produce for the Sharks. That was always a perfect match for him after being traded away from the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes buying him out.

In 66 games with the Sharks and Penguins, Marleau has 22 points (11 goals and 11 assists). That is not bad for a player who is 40-years old. Of course, Marleau is not the player he once was, but he can add veteran leadership to a team looking to compete for a Stanley Cup. His speed is not what it once was and you could see that towards his final days in Toronto. However, Marleau has a nose for the net and knows what it takes to win. Even though he is still chasing his dream. Marleau still has a love for the game and wants to take one year at a time.

Florida Panthers

Rumour: According to Igor Eronko of Sports Express in Russia, the Florida Panthers are expected to sign Grigori Denisenko to an entry-level contract on May 1st.

Analysis: Denisenko was drafted by the Panthers int he first round, 15th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Denisenko has been playing in the KHL with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Denisenko is an excellent skater with a smooth stride that leads to quick acceleration and very good top-end speed. His quick feet and agility allow him to be very good off the rush. If Denisenko is given too much space, his skill will make opposing teams pay for their mistake. He has outstanding vision and passing skills. Not to mention his snapshot and wrist shot are very accurate as he features a quick release. Like most young players his defensive game is a work in progress.

His game style has been compared to Artemi Panarin, so the Panthers are getting an offensive talent. In 38 games this season, Denisenko had 12 points (six goals and six assists). However, do not let those numbers fool you, as he is still a young player in a man’s world. If all goes according to plan, the Panthers will get Denisenko in their system so he can adapt to the North American game. The Panthers have a history of working with Russians. Currently on the team is Evgenii Dadonov. Dadonov has been solid for the Panthers and could help Denisenko with the transition to the North American style. Denisenko has so much potential and could slot right into the top six for the Panthers.

That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours, keep your eyes open for the next edition coming sometime this week.

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Jim is a 2008 graduate of Saint Michaels College who is currently writing about the NHL for Last Word on Hockey. His work includes writing about the New Jersey Devils as well as NHL Notebooks for the Metro and Central Division. Jim has a passion for the game of hockey. As one coach put it "he is the student of the game." When Jim is not writing he can be found at the local rinks playing or being a referee. Throughout his time in the game, Jim continues to coach a local high school team. In addition, he broadcasted several New Jersey Junior Rockets games for the Eastern Hockey League. Reach him on Twitter: @JimBiringer


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