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BHN Puck Links: Bruins East Favorites, NHL Trade Talk



NHL Trade

The Boston Bruins weren’t part of an active NHL Trade and free agency market two months ago and according to NHL sources, aren’t one of the many teams who have been burning up the phones for the last week, so how can they be favorites to win the East Division?

As my partner-in-crime Joe Haggerty pointed out here last week, a division with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, the Eastern Conference finalist New York Islanders, the Washington Capitals, and the rising New York Rangers will be no cakewalk as some in the Boston media claimed it would be. Don’t forget the developing New Jersey Devils are only two seasons removed from the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Buffalo Sabres had a great offseason. 

Zdeno Chara is focused on signing with the Bruins but are they focused on signing him?

Will the Boston Bruins be part of an NHL Trade market that’s about to boil over?

Per colleague Sheng Peng, The San Jose Sharks and the Arizona Coyotes will share the same arena this season and the Sharks will host the Coyotes in the season opener at their home away from home.

That and more in your Boston Hockey Now Puck Links! has listed the Boston Bruins as favorites to win what many are considering the toughest division in the 2021 NHL Return realignment. After losing Torey Krug and likely Zdeno Chara (more on that below) and the signing of Craig Smith as their biggest offseason move, sorry but I’m not touching this bet. 

Having to face the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Artemi Panarin, Alexis Lafrenière, Igor Shesterkin, Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall, Carter Hart, Mathew Barzal, Barry Trotz, Alexander Ovechkin, John Carlson and so much other high-end skill eight times this season will be a daunting task. As currently constituted, this team just isn’t up to that task. (

The folks at examined the East Division and the other three to rank the toughest one. Guess who got that title? (

There’s been a rather uncomfortable situation brewing between the Bruins’ longtime captain Zdeno Chara and the team. It’s becoming hard to cover and watch but it appears the Bruins don’t want Chara back as much as he wants to come back to them. 

Pierre LeBrun of TSN with the Chara side. (TSN

Haggs with the Bruins side. (Boston Hockey Now)

Another indication that the Bruins are likely moving on from Chara was team President Cam Neely telling me yesterday that the team intends to jump into the ‘about to boil over’ NHL Trade market as the season rapidly approaches. (Boston Hockey Now)

If the Bruins are going to have a chance at the Division title, then they need Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak healthy. It sounds like the ‘Little Ball Of Hate’ could be ready before ‘Pasta’ is served for the B’s. (Boston Hockey Now)

Imagine if the Boston Bruins had to share TD Garden and Warrior Arena with bitter rivals like the Montreal Canadiens or Toronto Maple Leafs? Or if they were the away team against the Habs or Leafs to open this season? While it is 2020 and that could technically happen if the seven Canadian teams end up moving south of the border for the season, the Bruins can enjoy their home digs to themselves for now. However, that’s not the case for the Arizona Coyotes as they will have to be roommates with the San Jose Sharks for the season and be the road team against the Sharks to start this 2021 campaign. (San Jose Hockey Now)

The Colorado Eagles, who are the AHL affiliate of the Avalanche, have picked up the option on head coach and former Northeastern bench boss Greg Cronin. Cronin was a neighbor of yours truly during my childhood and teen years and as he does with every team he coaches, taught me how to hold my own in a fight. As a boisterous but rather small young lad, those lessons came in handy for me at times. (Colorado Hockey Now)

Good to see former LA Kings grinder Jordan Nolan catch on with the Penguins. By all accounts, Nolan is a great teammate and hard worker. The Pens could use some of that. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

Finally, 21 years ago today, my friend Jobeth’s father and a man who always had time for me and gave me some much-needed direction, was shot dead in cold blood on the streets of Holyoke, MA. I remember it like it was yesterday. Heard the Bob Marley song below right after I found out and that’s Murph’s Music Pick Of The Day. 

Thank you for your service Officer John A. DiNapoli. You will never be forgotten. 


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