Are the Chicago Blackhawks in trade talks with the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres?
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman was not at TD Garden in Boston Sunday night watching the Bruins and Sabres complete a home-and-home set but has scouted both teams in person two times in the last two weeks and at least one Blackhawks scout has been at TD Garden for the four Bruins games there prior to Sunday night.
“Yeah Stan Bowman has been hot on the trail at a lot of their games,” one NHL pro scout acknowledged to Boston Hockey Now.
With the Blackhawks in that precarious position of still being in playoff contention but knowing they likely won’t make it, it would be hard for them to just blow it all up and trade the likes of a Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews, and it’s hard to believe they may ever do that. However, with Calvin de Haan and Brent Seabrook both out for the season, they’re most definitely looking for defensemen, both for the present and the future. It just so happens that the Sabres and Bruins have blueliners to deal and both need scoring depth up front, which the Blackhawks conveniently have as well.
Is Brandon Saad Available?
On Saturday, Elliotte Friedman reported that the Bruins were one of multiple contenders interested in acquiring New York Rangers winger and unrestricted free agent-to-be Chris Kreider. The Bruins interest in Kreider is not new as general manager Don Sweeney has long coveted the former Boston College star and Boxford, MA native, but could he also be interested in 27-year-old Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad?
Numerous NHL sources have told Boston Hockey Now that Saad’s name is “out there”. Unlike Kreider though, the 27-year-old 6’1 206-pound Saad has one year with a $6 million cap hit remaining on his contract. Saad has hit the 20-goal plateau four times and the 30-goal mark once since his rookie campaign in 2012-13 when he and the Blackhawks beat the Bruins in the Stanley Cup final. He has eleven goals and eight assists in 37 games this season.
Bruins And Sabres Have D To Trade
The Bruins could be willing to move defenseman John Moore who carries a cap hit of $2.7 million for three more seasons and fellow rearguard Kevan Miller if and when he returns. Miller is in the final season of a four-year deal that has carried a $2.5 million cap hit. One NHL scout told Boston Hockey Now Sunday that Bruins prospect Jakub Zboril’s name has been bantered about as being available. The 22-year-old, whom the Bruins drafted 13th overall in 2015, is in the final season of his entry-level contract.
As for the Sabres, it’s no secret they need scoring help and a game-breaker to play with Jack Eichel. After signing an eight-year contract extension worth $72 million following a 40-goal campaign last season, Skinner has struggled and now is out at least a month with an upper-body injury. This could increase their push to acquire a forward even more and they do have two defensemen they’ve let it be known are available in Rasmus Ristolainen and Zach Bogosian, and word around the league is that fellow blueliner Marco Scandella could be had vis trade as well.