This is expected to be a summer of discontent for the Boston Bruins after being the best team of all time just to get knocked out in the first round to the Eastern Conference champs Florida Panthers.
But a bright side to the dark cloud that hangs over the Boston Bruins as an addition is Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
There have been reported trade rumors surrounding the Bruins and the Oilers as the Bruins may be trying to get Nugent-Hopkins in a trade during the offseason, but only if there are Bruins centers that depart this offseason like if Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci both decide to retire.
This was first reported by Jimmy Murphy of BosHockeyNow, as he heard multiple sources within the Bruins organization that they are shopping for an Oilers center and he seems to think that Nugent-Hopkins would be a good fit for the B’s.
Murphy also suggested that the Bruins would move a defenseman if a trade were to commence. One name that would come to mind would be Matt Grzelcyk, but as Jim Parsons of The Hockey Writers notes is that the Oilers would not want Grzelcyk.
However there are some roadblocks that would prevent a trade.
Nugent-Hopkins has a no-trade clause
If the Bruins tried to move for Nugent-Hopkins, he has a no-trade clause which means that he gets to decide where he wants to go in a trade.
Nugent-Hopkins probably doesn’t want to leave the Oilers, likely because he doesn’t want to leave Edmonton.
He just had a 104-point record-breaking season with the Oilers last season. Unfortunately, the Oilers got knocked out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Semifinal round against the Western Conference champions the Vegas Golden Knights. I believe that Nugent-Hopkins would have unfinished business with the Oilers.
Boston Bruins would not have the cap room for him
The Boston Bruins are strained for cap room this offseason, and adding Nugent-Hopkins would not help the cap situation for Don Sweeney.
Nugent-Hopkins has six years left of his 8-year contract that he signed as an extension after the during the 2022 offseason. He has a $5.125 million cap hit while the B’s just have under $5 million in cap space.
You would have to move big players just to make the trade work well, and I don’t think Sweeney wants to trade his key pieces to the magical regular season team, given that there could already be many departures in the offseason.
Honestly, I don’t see the Bruins moving for Nugent-Hopkins solely because of those two good reasons. However, that is not to say that he would be a fantastic piece to the Bruins lineup.