The ‘Keith Yandle to the Boston Bruins’ NHL trade rumors are back and until the Florida Panthers trade their powerplay quarterback for the last four seasons, they will only intensify.
Numerous NHL sources have told Boston Hockey Now, that if and when Panthers GM Bill Zito finally asks Yandle to waive his no-movement and no-trade clauses to facilitate a trade, he will waive them for the Boston Bruins. The bigger question though isn’t whether Yandle will waive to come home to Boston but does the team he grew up cheering for want the Milton, MA native, and his $6.3 million salary cap hit for the next three seasons?
Seemingly since Yandle emerged as one of the best power play quarterbacks in the league and had the first of ten 40 or more points seasons in 2010-11, Yandle has been linked to the Bruins in NHL Trade rumors. Of course, that season, then Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli opted to trade for then 32-year-old puck-moving defenseman Tomas Kaberle at the 2011 NHL Trade Deadline. Kaberle never really panned out for the Bruins but they did win the Stanley Cup that season.
Chiarelli and the 2010-11 Bruins were in a much different spot then than the current Boston Bruins are. After making lukewarm at best efforts to keep longtime captain Zdeno Chara and their longtime powerplay quarterback Torey Krug from walking in unrestricted free agency, the Bruins have committed to a youth movement on defense, specifically on the left side. As of now, Bruins team President Cam Neely, GM Don Sweeney, and head coach Bruce Cassidy are content with 26-year-old Matt Grzelcyk quarterback the first powerplay unit and 23-year-old Charlie McAvoy the second unit.
With Grzelcyk carrying a $3.6 salary cap hit for this season and three more and McAvoy in the second year of a contract that carries a $4.9 cap hit, why would Sweeney want the 34-yar-old Yandle and his $6.3 million cap hit for the next three seasons?
Well according to numerous reports, Sweeney did discuss with Zito what it might take to acquire Yandle this past December but nothing came of it. When Sweeney was asked why he didn’t pick up one of the many younger and cheaper left-shot defensemen available on NHL waivers this past Tuesday he had this to say:
“Well we certainly looked at every player that was on the waiver wire and discussed at length with the staff as well as our coaches in the last 24 hours,” he told reporters on Tuesday via Zoom. “But our group for now — knock on wood — is healthy, made some progression, and we just felt that rather than muddy that water if there wasn’t a clear advantage to adding a player — again if we weren’t healthy I probably would’ve been a little more aggressive and possibly looked for a little more depth. But for where we sit right now I think we’re comfortable to move forward with our opening day roster.”
The Bruins seem determined and committed to making that youth movement on the blue line work right now and also probably don’t want to be stuck with Yandle and have to expose one of Grzelcyk or Brandon Carlo in the Seattle Kracken NHL Expansion draft next summer either. So while it would be a cool story to see Yandle finally play for the Boston Bruins, the timing seems off right now.
Note: While all of that makes sense, I still say bring Yandle home because even at 34, he’s still a premiere puck-mover and powerplay QB.
Now onto your BHN Puck Links:
Speaking of that young Bruins blue line, as BHN partner in crime and good buddy Joe Haggerty pointed out, if they continue to play the way they did in a 3-2 season-opening shootout win over the New Jersey Devils Thursday night, that should silence any NHL trade rumors surrounding the Bruins’ defense. (Boston Hockey Now)
One Bruin that found himself in NHL trade rumors again this past offseason was relatively newly acquired winger Nick Ritchie. As Haggs points out though, Ritchie may finally be fitting in on the Bruins roster and in the dressing room. (Boston Hockey Now)
Another Bruins player that also became a much more popular name on the NHL Trade Rumor circuit this past offseason was Tuukka Rask. One of the reasons was speculation that Rask’s teammates were fed up with his attitude and off-ice issues. Well, if their actions on the ice after Devils winger Miles Wood ran Rask twice on Thursday night and after the game are any indication, the Bruins’ have their goalie’s back. (Boston Hockey Now).
The boys on TSN Insider Trading got into the Yandle and Pierre-Luc Dubois NHL trade rumors (TSN)
Are the Panthers better with Keith Yandle or without? (TSN)
Interesting piece on Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Calvert by colleague Adrian Dater I apologize for missing this week (Colorado Hockey Now)