With the NHL Trade Deadline just over a month away, should the Boston Bruins circle back with the Arizona Coyotes and see if Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still interested in playing for them?
More and more players are starting to pop up on various NHL Trade bait boards with the media and fans and as reported here two days ago, the top 4 left-shot defensemen are at a premium right now. Ekman-Larsson wasn’t one of the 15 players on the most recent TSN NHL Trade Bait Board but would it not behoove Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney to revisit those talks with Coyotes General Manager Billy Armstrong?
In fact, would that even be revisiting talks with Armstrong considering most of the Ekman-Larsson trade talks with the Bruins and the other team the Coyotes captain was willing to be dealt to, the Vancouver Canucks, were with former Coyotes interim and Assistant GM Steve Sullivan? Maybe it’s time for Sweeney to engage in NHL trade talks in earnest with the former Providence Bruins defenseman who won a Calder Trophy with the P-bruins while Sweeney was patrolling the Boston Bruins blue line.
In the latest edition of TSN Insider Trading, the panel didn’t mention Ekman-Larsson but they did mention that veteran Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski is available and garnering interest on the NHL trade market. The 35-year-old left-shot rearguard has one assist in 21 games this season and could be a back-up plan for Sweeney in any trade discussions with Armstrong but clearly, the 29-year-old Ekman-Larsson (eight assists in 11 games), would be the prime target in the desert. The main issue, as it always seems to be these days for every NHL GM, would be Sweeney finding a way to accommodate the six years left on Ekman-Larsson’s contract that carries an AAV of $8.2 million.
Now on to the rest of your BHN Links:
Speaking of NHL trade rumors, obviously, the biggest rumors out there right now are those surrounding Buffalo Sabres captain and North Chelmsford, MA native Jack Eichel. Given the fact Eichel played for New York Rangers head coach David Quinn, Eichel has long been connected to the Rangers in NHL trade rumors. Hall of fame puck scribe Larry Brooks though says not only is the Rangers’ cap situation preventing them from acquiring Eichel right now but that and the recent play of Mika Zibanejad may see Gorton let the Swedish forward walk in unrestricted free agency. (NY Post)
Another hot topic on TSN Insider Trading Tuesday night was the 2021 NHL Draft and whether or not it will be pushed back to June 2022 and combined with the 2022 Draft. Whenever that draft takes place, here’s a look at how the draft prospect rankings are shaping up. (The Athletic)
The coaching changes continued for the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night as the team announced that they have replaced goalie coach Stéphane Waite with Sean Burke and named him Director of Goaltending. The problem between the pipes IMHO, is that Carey Price is still their goalie not coaching. (Montreal Canadiens)
FOBHN (Friend of Boston Hockey Now), Arpon Basu wrote a great piece on how everyone except Price and Habs GM Marc Bergevin seems to be paying the price in Montreal. (The Athletic)
The big story here in Boston is that former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is returning to TD Garden as an opponent for the first time since before he signed with the Bruins on July 1, 2006. Unfortunately, there won’t be a standing ovation reminiscent of Game 5 in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final for Chara but his former coach and teammates believe he deserves one. (Boston Hockey Now)
There’s been some debate about keeping Bruins rookie Jack Studnicka at center or moving him back to the wing when center David Krejci returns. With Krejci returning tonight, head coach Bruce Cassidy has decided on the former. (Boston Hockey Now).
New Bruins defenseman Jarred Tinordi will make his Bruins debut tonight. (Boston Hockey Now)
National Hockey Now
Pittsburgh Penguins fans returned to PPG Paints Arena Tuesday night and while there were only 2,800 fans allowed, colleague Dan Kingerski is convinced they helped will the Sidney Crosby-less Pens to victory! (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Here’s the Philly perspective on that 5-2 loss for the Philadelphia Flyers to the Penguins (Philly Hockey Now)
Apparently, the Bruins aren’t the only team that New York Islanders forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau is lighting up these days. (NYI Hockey Now)
Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov is about to hit a major milestone. (Florida Hockey Now)
Is San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson finally finding his game again? (San Jose Hockey Now)
Our countdown to St. Patrick’s Day continues with Murph’s Music Pick Of The Day with some great Irish Punk from my good mates The Peelers from Montreal. And yes, I am ‘The Bastard Of Bunch!’