There have already been numerous NHL trade rumors connecting the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks since both teams left the NHL bubble last August. As reported here and elsewhere, the Bruins have expressed interest in Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen. Now comes news that another Canucks winger is on the NHL Trade Market.
On the latest TSN Insider Trading, TSN Insider Darren Dreger reported that Canucks General Manager Jim Benning is about to begin talks with winger Tanner Pearson, who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. As Dreger pointed out, if Benning determines that there won’t be a ‘contractual fit’ with Pearson then he will turn to the NHL trade market to assure that Pearson doesn’t walk and leave the Canucks with nothing.
“If not, then he’s got to get something for Pearson,” Dreger reported. “You can’t allow him to walk at the end of the year. That’s the business at hand and, post-trade deadline, that’s when Benning will start looking at his top restricted free agents, namely Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes.”
Pearson, 28, has five goals and nine points in 26 games this season. Pearson has been with the Canucks since they acquired him at the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline from the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s in the final year of a four-year contract that carried a $3.7 million salary cap hit. His best years came with the Los Angeles Kings who drafted him with the final pick of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He won a Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2014 but battled injuries during almost six seasons with the Kings. He scored 24 goals in the 2016-17 season and then didn’t crack the 20-goal plateau again until last season when he lit the lamp 21 times and had 45 points for the Canucks.
The reason for the aforementioned NHL trade rumors surrounding the Bruins and Virtanen is they were and still are in search of some Top 6 scoring up front. With Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk struggling and scoring just one goal in 15 games this season, Bruins GM Don Sweeney is doing his due diligence ahead of the April 12 NHL trade deadline and DeBrusk’s name is starting to circulate on the NHL Trade rumor circuit again as well. During the Bruins’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night, NBC and NHL Insider Bob MCKenzie noted how Sweeney and his staff have successfully positioned themselves to have an expected $14.4 million in cap space to add preferably a top 6 winger and top 4 defenseman.
One thing seems to be certain, Benning, the former Bruins Assistant GM, and Sweeney are talking and now Pearson could become part of that conversation.
Now on to the rest of your BHN Links:
Before I start off with the BHN links as I usually do, Boston Hockey Now sends its deepest condolences to the Gretzky family and the many lives that Walter Gretzky touched. The father of ‘The Great One’ Wayne Gretzky and ‘Canada’s Hockey Dad’ passed away late Thursday night at the age of 82.
— Wayne Gretzky (@WayneGretzky) March 5, 2021
I never got to meet Walter Gretzky but I was lucky enough to know plenty of people that knew him well and they had nothing but great things to say about Wayne’s humble Dad and a hockey ambassador. Here’s a great profile on Walter by old colleague and friend Stephen Brunt:
“There’s no relationship like a father and son.” – Wayne Gretzky
As long as there is hockey, Walter’s story will be told. Stephen Brunt remembers Canada’s favourite hockey dad. pic.twitter.com/fhkv1YemyV
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 5, 2021
The Bruins and Caps will hook up for the second game of their two-game set at TD Garden tonight but there aren’t expected to be any major lineup changes as the Bruins try to bounce back from a 2-1 shootout loss to the Capitals on Wednesday. With center Charlie Coyle still out on the COVID List, my partner in crime Joe Haggerty thinks head coach Bruce Cassidy should give another shot to rookie Zach Senyshyn who has been lighting it up in the AHL with the Providence Bruins. (Boston Hockey Now)
Regardless of who’s in the Bruins lineup tonight, they better have more pace or Senyshyn and other players waiting for their chance to take a roster spot will get those chances. (Boston Hockey Now)
Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin received the maximum fine for his spear to the nether regions of Bruins winger Trent Frederic in the third period Wednesday night. As Haggs correctly pointed out to me on Twitter, this is par for the course when it comes to not suspending players for spears to the groin area or any area for that matter, but does that mean it’s the right call not to make someone sit for a game or more when they do that? Dreger and TSN colleague Pierre McGuire don’t think so. Both think that maybe it’s time the NHL Department of Player Safety, or as Dreger pointed out, NHL GM’s, change their approach to such dirty plays. (TSN 690)
Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving relieved head coach Geoff Ward of his duties and replaced him with former Flames head coach and two-time Stanley Cup champion Darryl Sutter late Thursday night after the Flames beat the Senators 7-3. Will this be the wake-up call the under-achieving Flames need? (Sportsnet)
Longtime Chicago Blackhawks defenseman and three-time Stanley Cup champion Brent Seabrook announced his retirement on Friday. (Chicago Blackhawks)
National Hockey Now
Is new Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Ron Hextall about to wheel and deal on the NHL Trade Market? (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Did an early first period timeout by Alain Vigneault save the Philadelphia Flyers season? (Philly Hockey Now)
FOBHN (Friend of Boston Hockey Now), Adrian dater has an exclusive injury update on Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar and forward Nathan MacKinnon. (Colorado Hockey Now)
Makar’s former teammate at UMass-Amherst, Mario Ferraro, is coming into his own with the San Jose Sharks (San Jose Hockey Now)
Why would the Vegas Golden Knights be worried about goaltending depth right now? (Vegas Hockey Now)
As we continue our St. Patrick’s month music for Murph’s Music Pick of The Day, here’s one of my favorite Irish albums from The Chieftains: