An Anders Bjork trade makes a ton of sense for the Boston Bruins.
It obviously wouldn’t happen until the Bruins get David Pastrnak back this weekend and it may be pushed back a bit with the current injuries to wingers Jake DeBrusk and Ondrej Kase. But once the Boston Bruins have a full, healthy complement of forwards, they are going to have too many players for not enough spots in the everyday lineup.
My BHN partner-in-crime Jimmy Murphy is reporting that talent evaluators around the NHL are keeping a close eye on Bjork as a commodity that’s going to be moved at some point.
Bjork has never blossomed into the offensive force that the Boston Bruins were hoping he would become, but he definitely still has potential as a 24-year-old former star player at Notre Dame. At the NHL level right now he’s going a great job on the PK as a speedy, aggressive forward and he’s begun to develop his battle and compete to go along with the speed.
The bottom line, though, is he’s got zero points, a minus-1 rating and a paltry two shots on net while relegated to the fourth line because Trent Frederic and Nick Ritchie have been better than him. It probably wouldn’t be much of a return for Bjork beyond a draft pick unless he could be packaged with an “A” prospect like Urho Vaakanainen for a young top-4 defenseman.
The rumors had the Bruins looking at a Bjork-for-Alex Chiasson swap during the fall that never came to fruition, but it seems that once again the Bruins are looking at dealing the speedy, versatile forward. Now on to the puck links:
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman has his always excellent 31 thoughts blog and a number of the entries are about Lee Stempniak living in Weston, Mass and working for the Arizona Coyotes. Some great stories from Stempniak, including him helping out with the Rivers School hockey team these days. Stempniak is a great guy. Glad to see him continuing on in the hockey world. (Sportsnet)
*The Ottawa Senators are struggling to start this season despite owner Eugene Melnyk saying they were poised for the playoffs ahead of the season. Who could have seen that coming?
The Senators have lost 5 games in a row. How will they climb themselves out of this one? 🤔@HockeyScanner joins @SNkylebukauskas to examine the Senators’ early season struggles and what head coach D.J. Smith can do to shake things up.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 27, 2021
*Boy, the San Jose Sharks are a mess. How can a power play that has Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns be anemic? (San Jose Mercury News)
*Interesting that NBC elections guy Steve Kornacki has a Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks jersey in his green room.
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) January 26, 2021
*FOH Greg Wyshynski’s NHL Power Rankings for the Worldwide Leader include the best new faces for each of the 31 NHL teams. (ESPN.com)
*What an epic exchange between Jake Muzzin and Matthew Tkachuk during last night’s Maple Leafs/Flames tilt? I love this All-Canadian North Division action.
Jake Muzzin is a legend pic.twitter.com/DfAYwIohIL
— Mike Commito (@mikecommito) January 27, 2021
*Love the Kobe Bryant tribute mask from Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson, which he was wearing when he made 31 saves in a shutout of the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night. (BarDown)
*For something completely different: Why are so many NHL quarterbacks unhappy with their situations right now? (USA Today)