Jake DeBrusk’s days with the Boston Bruins are numbered following his trade request over the weekend. It appears there are plenty of teams interested in the 25-year-old winger despite his recent on-ice struggles.
Adam Proteau observed the coaching staff’s lack of confidence in DeBrusk was reflected in his declining production and ice time since his career-best 27-goal effort in 2017-18. It also made him the subject of trade speculation in the past. The rumor mill went into overdrive once DeBrusk’s trade request was confirmed by Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.
TSN’s Darren Dreger listed the New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues among at least 12 teams believed to have contacted the Bruins about DeBrusk. NBC Sports Boston’s Nick Goss included the Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators among his list of possible destinations. Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy mentioned the Seattle Kraken as a potential suitor.
DeBrusk’s contract could also be a sticking point. Cap Friendly indicates he’s earning a $3.675-million annual salary-cap hit but is earning $4.85 million in actual salary. He’s also a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer.
The Canucks, Flames, Canadiens, Blues, Blackhawks and Oilers lack sufficient cap space to acquire DeBrusk unless it’s a player-for-player, dollar-for-dollar swap. The Hawks, for example, could offer up Dylan Strome and his $3 million cap hit. Like DeBrusk, he’s a struggling forward who could benefit from a change of scenery.
Murphy observed the Rangers have sufficient cap space but a source doubted they would be a fit with the Bruins because both clubs seek a middle-six forward. The Kraken also have cap room and Murphy claimed they’re shopping forward Mason Appleton.