The Boston Bruins still have New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider circled as the top Bruins trade target, but an NHL source confirmed that the Bruins and their archrival Montreal Canadiens, are amongst a long list of teams that have looked into Columbus Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson.
Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekäläinen has let it be known he will listen to offers on the 6-foot-3, 222-pound Anderson, who is in the final year of a contract with a $1.8 million cap hit. He is set to become a restricted free agent next July. There is no word on what Anderson would cost, but the word is he can be had for a prospect and a 2020 second-round pick.
Part of the reason, a big winger like Anderson, who scored 27 goals last season, wouldn’t cost a team a first-rounder is that Anderson has struggled this season. The broad-shouldered winger with a little scoring pop has just a goal and three assists in 26 games, has been injured and Columbus believes they will end up in another contract stalemate. Anderson held out prior to signing his current deal, and Columbus is testing the trade waters.
Until this season, Anderson had been on the trajectory to potentially become a perennial 30-goal scorer. Anderson scored 17 goals (2016-17), 19 goals (2017-18) before lighting the lamp 27 times last season. He’s also more than willing to drop the gloves if needed.
Murph’s Take on Bruins Trade Interest
As I pointed out on Friday, the Bruins have long coveted such a winger to play on the right side of Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci. It’s not surprising they would be interested in Anderson. He would also come at a much cheaper price than Kreider who many believe could net the Rangers a first round pick and a top prospect. The biggest question with the Bruins though is would Kekäläinen be willing to bolster the lineup of an already deep Bruins squad his team may have to face in the playoffs again?
If the answer is yes, the Bruins are more than willing to use their picks and prospects in a potential trade and as suggested here Friday and as GM Don Sweeney told the media last Friday, potentially unload David Backes to gain some cap flexibility.