NHL Rumors: Taking Shea Weber’s contract, keeping Kotkaniemi, Kings and DeBrusk

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Today’s NHL Rumors begins with Montreal Canadiens’ captain Shea Weber and his massive contract.

Weber, 36, played 1038 regular season games. He’s registered 589 points and 714 PIM in those contests. The hard hitting defenseman has also picked up 42 points in 97 playoff games.

His current deal comes with four more years and a cap hit of $7.85 million.

NHL Rumors: Shea Webers contract

During the offseason, now dismissed GM Marc Bergevin said in French how injuries to Weber’s knees, ankle, and thumb made it difficult just to dress for a morning skate last season.

“So, coming back next season is really not a possibility,” Bergevin said, “probably not again in his career.”

The Habs stalwart on the blue-line has certainly felt the mileage of every singe one of the 1000+ games he’s played. Lingering injuries to his surgically repaired foot and ankle, plus his thumb have ended his career, which was reiterated by Elliotte Friedman on the most recent HNIC.

There is talk that a team that needs to reach the cap floor would be willing to trade for Weber’s contract for a high draft pick. All fingers point to the Arizona Coyotes as the team that will do this, but it is more of a Draft Day deal than one at the Trade Deadline.

NHL Rumors: Keeping Kotkaniemi

nhl rumors kotkaniemi
Oct 21, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Carolina Hurricanes forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi (82) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest stories of the offseason was the Carolina Hurricanes taking of Jesperi Kotkaniemi via offersheet from the Montreal Canadiens.

“The Canadiens will not match the Hurricanes’ offer sheet to Jesperi Kotkaniemi,” the team said in a statement. “Montreal will receive Carolina’s 1st- and 3rd-round 2022 Draft picks as compensation.”

Montreal felt that he was not worth the $6.1 million that the Hurricanes offered, which would have caused cap issues this season. In hindsight, they should have matched it because Kotkaniemi is having a nice go of it in Carolina.

Kotkaniemi, 21, has 23 points in 53 games for the Canes and they are working on extending him.

Sources say the Hurricanes met recently with Kotkaniemi’s representation and had productive talks on the framework of a long-term contract extension. Technically, Kotkaniemi is due a $6.1-million qualifying offer this summer as per his one-year offer sheet at that price, but both sides recognize he hasn’t played to that level. It was simply a mechanism to acquire the player.

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Related: Check out our latest NHL Trade Bait Tracker here.

Should the Kings go for Jake DeBrusk?

jake DeBrusk rumors
Nov 14, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) takes a shot during the first period against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Jake DeBrusk is one of the more intriguing names out there because he’s not a rental due to his RFA status. His trade request from the Boston Bruins still stands and they’ve granted his agent permission to speak with other teams about an extension to facilitate a deal.

One team that has been connected to DeBrusk and would be a fit are the Los Angeles Kings. Lisa Dillman who covers the team for The Athletic weighed in on the matter.

On some levels, DeBrusk to the Kings makes some sense. But the real bottom line is this: There is no genuine urgency for the Kings to make a splash at this year’s deadline, other than to satisfy fans (and some writers) who like to see eye-popping moves. Teams like Boston are in win-now mode. Teams such as Seattle or Arizona are thinking big-picture thoughts. The Kings fall in the middle. They are trending up but they are still not to the point where they need to make a bold move that gives them a short-term boost but might have lingering, long-term consequences.

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DeBrusk, 26, has recorded 15 goals and 25 points in 52 games this season.