Could Johnny Boychuk join the Oilers as a free agent? Could Tomas Kaberle join the Devils?
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Edmonton native Johnny Boychuk loves playing for the Boston Bruins, calling the club his hockey family. However, his eligibility for UFA status next summer combined with the Bruins’ tight payroll could make it difficult for him to remain in Boston. Matheson wonders if Boychuk might consider an asking price similar to that of Washington’s Brooks Orpik ($5.4 million annually). Matheson believes if Boychuk becomes a UFA the Oilers would be interested, though it remains to be seen if they could afford him.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty also reports on Boychuk’s desire to remain with the Bruins, as well as the potential financial difficulty posed in re-signing him. Citing the Bruins’ plethora of defensemen and the Oilers’ forward depth, Haggerty suggests a swap of Boychuk for Nail Yakupov could solve the problems of both clubs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Haggerty isn’t saying that swap will happen, pointing out the Bruins hopes of winning the Stanley Cup this season could take a hit if Boychuk were dealt before or during this coming season. Reports out of Boston this summer suggest Bruins management prefers to retain Boychuk, both for this season and beyond. Still, that could prove difficult. They have to re-sign center David Krejci, who’s also eligible for UFA status. They still haven’t re-signed Torey Krug and Reilly Smith yet for this season, and if they ink one-year deals the Bruins will have to re-sign them again next summer, when they’ll have arbitration rights. It’ll be interesting to see how the Bruins address their current payroll issue.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti reports the New Jersey Devils have been in talks with Tomas Kaberle regarding an unsigned training camp tryout. Gulitti also reports there’s nothing new regarding the Devils’ efforts to re-sign RFA defenseman Eric Gelinas and UFA forward Ryan Carter. The Devils currently have 14 forwards, meaning they’ll have to move one or two to make room for Carter.