NHL Rumors: Bruins, Stars, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Canucks

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In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Boston Bruins are looking for ways to clear some NHL salary off of their books. Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars got a major contract done, but are they finished conducting business? Reports are they’re looking to make a trade.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are getting Ilya Samsonov back and Roope Hintz‘s new deal should be a marker for a couple of other pending UFAs around the NHL.

Bruins Tried to Move Money, Might Make a Trade

According to Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now, the Boston Bruins had been trying to trim some salary from their roster before they placed defenseman Anton Stralman on waivers this week. Boston needed to clear space to activate Derek Forbort and according to an NHL executive, reports are they tried to move defenseman Mike Reilly ($3 million) and/or forward Craig Smith ($3.1 million) before making the decision they ultimately did.

Brandon Carlo Bruins
Brandon Carlo, Boston Bruins, Dec. 2, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Further reports are that it would have taken a sweetener to move either player and there’s some thought the team might try to trade defenseman Brandon Carlo. The thought is that enough teams would be interested that Boston wouldn’t have to add anything to make that deal. Murphy quotes the NHL executive he spoke with who said, “Donny’s working hard to make room for Forbort and to gain any type of cap cushion he can going forward.” He added, “I wouldn’t be surprised to see a trade in the next 48 hours.”

Stars Looking to Add Top-Six Forward

Following the signing of Hintz to an eight-year contract extension, the Dallas Stars aren’t done making moves, if one report is accurate. Per TSN’s Darren Dreger on tonight’s edition of Insider Trading, the Stars are still looking to add a top-six forward, one that could preferably play with Tyler Seguin and Mason Marchment.

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Dreger isn’t sure that will be easy to do because the Stars have $1.1 in cap space. That said, the team wants to keep Jamie Benn’s minutes down because he’s playing much better with limited ice time.

Ilya Samsonov is Ready to Return for Maple Leafs

According to TSN’s Mark Masters, Toronto Maple Leafs’ goalie Ilya Samsonov says he’s pain-free after his knee injury and is “ready to play.” The goaltender has also said it’s “good to be back” and he’ll slot in tonight as the Maple Leafs take on the San Jose Sharks. There was a slight delay as it sounds like Samsonov felt he was ready a bit sooner, but head coach Sheldon Keefe made sure the team checked on him further to determine his status.

Ilya Samsonov Toronto Maple Leafs
Ilya Samsonov, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Samsonov said, “The last couple days I feel no pain. I’m so excited & ready to play … I’ve not lost a lot. I skated on second or third day after injury. I skated all the time. I feel good. My confidence, my conditioning is pretty normal.” Matt Murray has played well since returning and that could be one of the reasons the Leafs didn’t feel any pressure to rush Samsonov back in.

How Will Hintz’s New Deal Affect Other Pending UFAs?

Pierre LeBrun noted during TSN’s Insider Trading that Hintz’s new eight-year contract at $8.45 million per season will likely have an effect on the contracts for both Bo Horvat of the Vancouver Canucks and Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings.

There is chatter that Horvat is going to be looking for more than what Hintz just got and if so, the Canucks might have to shed salary to make that deal work. Rob Simpson of Vancouver Hockey Insider points out that “Boeser doesn’t have any version of a no-move clause while Miller’s doesn’t kick in until next season with his new deal.”

The Red Wings are fine with their cap if they want to sign Larkin to a similar deal. The question is just how badly the Red Wings want Larkin at that dollar figure and if they believe shopping him before the trade deadline is the better long-term play.

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