Unless you’ve been asleep for the last twenty-four hours, then you probably already know that disgruntled forward Jake DeBrusk has asked the Boston Bruins for a trade. The trade request was confirmed by both President Cam Neely and General Manager Don Sweeney.
It’s unknown at this time whether the Bruins granted DeBrusk’s agent Rick Valette permission to seek a trade – in other words, speak directly to other teams and report back to Sweeney.
Of course, every Bruins fan wants to know “what is DeBrusk worth on the market?” Well, that’s the million-dollar question. All I can say is that the more teams involved, the better the return and according to Ryan Rishaug of TSN, as many as 8 teams are involved.
Yours truly can tell you that the Chicago Blackhawks and St Louis Blues are two teams with interest. There is a history of long negotiations between Sweeney and Blues GM Doug Armstrong. However, when it comes to Armstrong, I can only say this: If you go back a couple of years to the Brayden Schenn rumors, there were a couple of times Sweeney thought he had a deal, only to have Armstrong up the ante at the last minute. For those of you that don’t know me, I had that news well before the mainstream media, so I’d be leery of negotiating with Armstrong.
The last few seasons have not been what DeBrusk had wanted and also not what the Bruins wanted of DeBrusk. A change of scenery may be best for both sides.
Any team wishing to acquire DeBrusk will be responsible for a big portion of his $3.675 million cap hit while also picking up a larger portion of his $4.85 million salary. Now, let’s pause for a moment. Plenty of reports out there are also saying that because DeBrusk is a restricted free agent, that the acquiring team will have to qualify him at a minimum of $4.85 million.
That is in one word FALSE! Under the memorandum of understanding between the NHL and the NHLPA, any contract signed after July 10, 2020, it is not based on the final year’s salary (as was the case with Charlie McAvoy for example) but instead it is 120% of the AAV and in DeBrusk’s case, $3.675 million X 120% or $4.410 million. That may not sound like much in hockey terms, but DeBrusk is also arbitration eligible and that could make a difference.
What could a return look like?
It’s anyone’s guess. But depending on the teams involved, it could vary substantially. More then half the teams – 16 of them – that could be looking to acquire DeBrusk’s services are into Long Term Injury Reserve space and for many of them it would require sending salary back to Boston to make it work. Of the fifteen remaining teams, only ten have enough cap space today to be able to make a deal with picks/prospects only and not have to move salary back to Boston.
Whether the Bruins would settle for a pick or a prospect or do they want a body back?
We may find out soon enough.