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Source: Boston Bruins And Vancouver Canucks Had Trade Talks

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An NHL source has confirmed to Boston Hockey Now that the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks have engaged in trade talks since the Bruins were eliminated from the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning on August 31. 

It is not known whom the two teams kicked the tires on but Canucks GM Jim Benning has let it be known that he immediately started working the phones once his team was eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs back on September 4. Benning has some key restricted and unrestricted free agents to sign and he is looking to shed some salary via trades and acquire a top 4 defenseman as well.

Given the fact that the Boston Bruins have let it be known publicly that they’re looking for more offense and would like to add a scoring forward, the name that immediately comes to mind is forward Brock Boeser. There was no confirmation that Boeser was discussed but the feeling around the Canucks though is that it would take a Top 4 defenseman to pry Boeser away. The read here is that the Canucks would want Charlie McAvoy to be the return from the Bruins to make that trade happen. Another NHL source has confirmed to BHN that McAvoy is a non-starter as far as the Bruins are concerned.

Benning has also looked to other teams for a top 4 defenseman on the trade market but apparently wasn’t able to pry away one that in his eyes would be worth dealing away the former Calder Cup finalist Boeser. After scoring 29 goals in his rookie season (2017-18) and then 26 in 2018-19, Boeser lit the lamp just 16 times in 57 games this past season.

As the Canucks battled the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round of the playoffs, rumors actually surfaced that Boeser could be used to bring back a top 4 defenseman but the 23-year-old forward didn’t believe he was in danger of being dealt away

One Canucks forward that is definitely on the trade block is 24-year-old Jake Virtanen. The sixth overall pick from the 2014 NHL Entry Draft is a restricted free agent and following the series loss to the Canucks, Benning made it be known that he was disappointed with Virtanen’s performance this past season. 

“We’re going to have to make some tough decisions maybe even on some young players,” Benning stated in his end of the season press conference.

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After that, Benning went on Sportsnet 650 and hinted that Virtanen’s time as a Canuck could be coming to a close. 

“I thought he worked and competed hard in the playoffs. He scored that big goal for us in Game 6. To be perfectly honest with you, though, I was expecting more from Jake in the playoffs,” Benning said. “He can skate, he’s strong. He can get to the net. He’s a guy we’re going to have to talk about here going forward. We’ve been patient with him in his development, but he’s a guy I was expecting to produce more for us.”

The 6-foot-1, 226-pound Virtanen had 16 goals and 16 assists in 69 games this season and followed that up with two goals and an assist in 16 playoff games. 

A name that has popped up more in trade chatter recently is Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. BHN hasn’t been able to confirm whether or not Carlo was brought up in the talks between the Canucks and the Bruins but the guess here is that given the fact Carlo is suddenly a common name heard, that might have been who Sweeney could be willing to trade for Boeser if he was available. What about Virtanen though? 

This puck scribe wouldn’t do that trade but with 23-year-old Carlo heading into the final season of his contract that carries a $2.8 million cap hit and Virtanen definitely up for a raise, Benning could bite. The question is, do the Bruins really want to trade the defenseman they have envisioned becoming the steady rearguard that could eat up minutes in their top 4 and on the penalty kill, much like captain Zdeno Chara did in his prime years in Boston.

As reported here Saturday, it’s very unlikely that the Boston Bruins will be major players in the unrestricted free agent market that kicks off on October 9. The team’s parent company Delaware North, has taken a major financial hit from the COVID19 pandemic and recently had to make some layoffs both in their Buffalo headquarters and nationally. Considering that Delaware North makes their money in the hospitality and gaming businesses, things won’t be getting better anytime soon and all signs point towards the open wallet Don Sweeney has been given in recent free agency periods, being tightened. However, that doesn’t mean that Sweeney can’t explore potentially impactful ‘hockey trades’ to improve his team as long as the cap money makes sense. Sweeney is clearly working the phones to find that fit and improve his team.

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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Tony

I do not trust Sweeney and Neely to ‘rebuild’ ..
so, a 1 for 1 trade is less risky.

I would trade Carlo for Virtanen and a 1st round pick.

Forward Thinker

I bet you would do that but you are fantasizing. Maybe a straight across trade, but even that I doubt.

Honeynuts

That’s a nope. But thanks anyway. Yours Truly, Vancouver.

Darren snow

Virtanen is a stud. Green is a very bad coach and doesn’t know how to use Virtanen. Jake is going to be a star. He is the fastest player in the NHL from his blue line to the opposite goal line. He hits like a truck and had 18 goals. Green had him mostly on the third and fourth line playing the lowest minutes of any Canuck forward. He is easily a 30 goal guy.

Keith Porteous

Green is a bad coach? Really? Jake got 3rd line minutes because there were better right wing options.

Mike S

Eww

Bob

I would lay off the pipe if I were you

Last edited 1 month ago by Bob
Forward Thinker

There is zero chance of Boeser going to Boston for Carlo unless there is real sweeteners attached. Maybe Carlo plus a first with Tryamkin rights going to Boston.

Dickie Dunn

18 Goals in regular season for Virtanen not 16. Last three seasons 10, 15 and 18 which likely would have been 20+ in a regular season. Most of the goals 5 v 5.

Nick

*second round of the playoffs

Keith Porteous

Virtanen had 18 goals, not 16, and 18 assists for 36pts. in 69 games, with 3rd line minutes and very little PP time. Carlo for Virtanen and a 1st? You are dreaming.

tony

Carlo is a fantastic skater, has a nasty side too. 6ft5
22 years young already 3 years experience
Tons of upside , shutdown defenseman.
I would not want to trade him straight up.

tony

I’d prefer Josh Anderson over Virtanen.

Chuck

They are about the same age (Jake is 3 months older). Very similar underlying numbers, point shares, players are fairly equal for zone starts. Both players with over 100 hits. Amongst right wingers with 40+ games played Virtanen finished 34/71 in points, 25/71 for goals and Carlo finished 39/85 amongst RHD in points, 49/85 for goals. Virtanen was a much higher pick and has a lot of upside but you can also say Carlo has a lot of upside. I think a 1:1 swap would be fair if it is what both teams need but given Carlo plays defence Vancouver… Read more »

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW:  The offseason ramps up in intensity before the offseason even truly starts. The Boston Bruins talking with teams should not be surprising even if it is the Vancouver Canucks. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW:  The offseason ramps up in intensity before the offseason even truly starts. The Boston Bruins talking with teams should not be surprising even if it is the Vancouver Canucks. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW:  The offseason ramps up in intensity before the offseason even truly starts. The Boston Bruins talking with teams should not be surprising even if it is the Vancouver Canucks. […]

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