With the injuries piling up for the Boston Bruins and now potentially more COVID absences for key players like David Pastrnak and David Krejci, Bruins General manager Don Sweeney has been even busier on the NHL trade market. An NHL source told Boston Hockey Now that Sweeney would like to strike much sooner than later and not wait until the April 12 NHL Trade Deadline but the main question right now is can he or any of the other NHL GM’s of contending teams?
“It’s no secret Donny’s been on the hunt for a top 4 LD and/or top 6 wingers and I think he’s let it be known that’s maybe roster players from the Bruins in play than one may expect because lots of contenders right now are looking at UFA’s,” the source told Boston Hockey Now. “Hardly anyone has wiggle room but the Bruins do. They’ve played their cards right with the cap and could take on term and salary and also have UFA’s to offer. With more and more injuries on the back end, he’s been more active in seeking a d-man lately and wants to get it done ASAP!”
As for the Bruins set to become UFA’s and who would be available on the NHL trade market? As Bob McKenzie reported two weeks ago, the Bruins have let it be known they’re ready and willing to sign Tuukka Rask and Jaro Halak, and while this source hasn’t heard if that goes for Krejci as well, there’s been no indication they will be trading one of their best playoff players in team history and a player that just surpassed the 700-point mark with three assists in the Bruins’ 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday.
“Krejci isn’t going anywhere; they want a Cup and that just doesn’t make sense right now if they’re in the hunt,” the source said. “Everyone knows John Moore’s in play but look at Columbus for example. They want depth at center. I think they’d like more offensive skill there but you can bet they’re interested in a solid two-way guy and a local kid like Sean Kuraly. I can tell you I’ve heard his name more often lately than ever before. Word is the Bruins would also like to shake up that bottom six and more specifically the bottom 3 because they think the Kuraly’s and [Chris] Wagner’s have gotten too comfortable. They’ve got kids ready to take those jobs.”
It should be noted that another top NHL source put the odds of David Krejci being traded at ‘100,000 to 1′. The Bruins clearly want to win one more Cup with him, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Rask.
Speaking of the Columbus Blue Jackets and an unrestricted free agent on the NHL Trade market that Sweeney and plenty of other contenders, including the Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Montreal Canadiens are interested in, is Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard. Multiple sources confirmed to BHN that the Bruins have been scouting him lately.
As for players with the term, more sources confirmed that Sweeney continues to monitor the situation with Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm and St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn on the NHL Trade market. Both teams have been scouting the Bruins recently, including Blues Special Advisor to the GM and former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli who was at the Bruins’ two-game set in Pittsburgh last week.
Word around the amateur scouting circuit is that the Bruins are one of a multitude of teams very interested in NCAA free agent defenseman Matthew Kiersted out of North Dakota. It’s a thin NCAA free agent market this season and Kiersted is the big fish on the market!
Finally, for his most recent 31 Thoughts column, Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman spoke to Hingham, MA native, and current UFA Brian Boyle about his desire to still play. Boyle made it clear the desire is still there and he’d love to hook on with a team for the rest of the season still. The Bruins expressed interest this past offseason in the 6-foot-6, 245-pound, 36-year-old center who has 805 regular season NHL games and 118 Stanley Cup Playoffs games under his belt. If the Bruins were to move Kuraly or someone in the bottom six, Boyle could be a solid depth move on the ice and add more leadership and accountability to an already strong leadership core.