The initial report came on Monday when Boston Hockey Now reported the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens were interested in Columbus Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson. Wednesday night on the NBC Sports national telecast, TSN Insider Bob McKenzie added more fire to the story when he placed Anderson among the top three Bruins trade targets.
Columbus and Anderson quarreled over Anderson’s three-year, $5.5 million contract with a $1.8 million AAV, which expires after this season. Anderson held out until he received the deal. The popular scuttle around Columbus is GM Jarmo Kekkalainen expects a similarly difficult negotiation this summer, but Anderson’s production has dropped this season.
He has just one goal in 26 games.
“The feeling is Chara, Bergeron, and these guys aren’t getting any younger. And the time is now, and the window is open,” McKenzie told a national TV audience. “We saw that’s what they were last year and how close they came last year.”
The Bruins trade targets feature top-six wingers to bolster their second line scoring, and Anderson’s name is gaining steam behind the top targets.
“There are a variety of options. Chris Kreider is obviously the premier rental. Tyler Toffoli–he could be had for a lower price than Kreider, but very much available,” McKenzie said before he stoked the Anderson fire.
“And Josh Anderson. The Columbus Blue Jackets are not trying to trade him. He’s younger. He’s an RFA,” he said. “(He) had a career-high 27 goals last year, plays a power game. Had one goal in 26 games this season before injuring his shoulder this season.”
After a sideways December, the Bruins have returned to the form which catapulted them to the top of the Atlantic Division and well ahead of rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins lead Toronto by 13 points and Tampa Bay by five.
The Bruins won four straight before their Wednesday night rivalry game against fellow Original Six franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks. According to Capfriendly.com, the Bruins have about $3.1 million in cap space after they buried David Backes in the AHL.