The Bruins and other buyers on the NHL Trade market don’t appear to be ready to mortgage the future for Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall who is set to become an unrestricted free agent again after this season.
According to the panel on TSN Insider Trading, unless the Bruins or any other interested team can put an extension for Hall in place as part of a trade for the 2010 top pick overall, the Sabres shouldn’t expect more than a second or third-round pick for the embattled but skilled winger who is about to be on his fourth team in just two seasons.
On Thursday, Sportsnet Insider Chris Johnston tweeted that Hall has greenlighted his agent Darren Ferris to at least explore potential extensions with interested teams and according to TSN Insider Darren Dreger, that potential and the Kyle Palmieri trade on Wednesday, has opened the market for Hall up at least. Dreger also wondered if maybe that could have Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello willing to make another splash before Monday’s NHL Trade Deadline.
“Ongoing conversation and discussions between Kevyn Adams, the general manager of the Buffalo Sabres and multiple teams I’m told are now in,” Dreger said Thursday night. “We shouldn’t be surprised by this, it seemed like there were fewer teams involved prior to the trade with Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac going to the New York Islanders from the New Jersey Devils. That seems to have loosened things up a little bit but to a point, managers are talking to Taylor Hall’s agent, Darren Ferris, and they’re wondering what an extension to a contract might look like.
Now, the Islanders were in pretty heavy on Taylor Hall and there are some out there who believe that maybe Lou Lamoriello isn’t done and he circles back on Taylor Hall and the Buffalo Sabres, so it’s a developing story.”
Numerous sources indicated to Boston Hockey Now Friday, that the Bruins will indeed be part of that ‘developing story’ heading into the NHL Trade Deadline Monday but that, as I reported in ‘Off The Record’ two weeks ago, there was a chain reaction of laughter when Sabres GM Kevyn Adams initial ask of a first-round pick, with or without an extension, was reported by NHL insiders such as Dreger and LeBrun.
As reported by my-partner-in-crime, Joe Haggerty, reported Tuesday, the Bruins were also in on Palmieri – and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov – before he and Travis Zajac were traded by the New Jersey Devils, but the inability to sign him to an extension, their goaltending situation and a combination of factors, led to them ultimately pulling out of the sweepstakes for the five-time 20-goal scorer.
Based on conversations with those aforementioned sources above, Bruins GM Don Sweeney isn’t opposed to acquiring UFA rentals before the NHL Trade Deadline, but such rentals would more likely be depth players that come at a much cheaper price than a Palmieri or potentially Hall.
Could Bruins Quack Again Before NHL Trade Deadline?
As reported here Wednesday, Sweeney has had his top pro scouting lieutenant and Assistant GM John Ferguson Jr. scouting the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, and the Anaheim Ducks in the California Triangle.
Since that report that speculated on a potential Ducks package of forward Rickard Rakell and defenseman Josh Manson heading to the Bruins, a trusted NHL source, not referenced in that report, confirmed those two players to likely be the exact Ducks players Ferguson and the Bruins have been scouting.
“They have loved both those guys for a while now,” said the source who has been part of other NHL Trade discussions regarding these specific players. “They’d obviously fill two needs there with a potential top 6 winger and a top 4 defenseman in Manson that’s more dynamic than most think.”
As for those other two Cali Triangle teams JFJ has been scouting, while not enjoying the Golden State weather and golf courses, keep an eye on Kings forwards Alex Iafallo (likely not unless he signs an extension), and Dustin Brown (Kings would need to eat some of the year left with a $5.2 salary cap hit). While it’s highly unlikely the Kings would trade 27-year-old bruiser and defenseman Kurtis MacDermid just under a year into a two-year contract that carries only a $875,000 cap hit, that doesn’t mean the Bruins won’t try.
“Donny, Cam, Fergie, they definitely want insurance on size and grit on the blue line,” the same source said. “Kevan Miller is great but unfortunately, who knows with him and the injuries? They got [Jarred] Tinordi but let’s be real, he’s AHLer. Now MacDermid, he’d be a steal.”
Subban Still There If The Bruins Want Him
Three weeks ago, yours truly suggested the once unfathomable NHL Trade proposal for Bruins and Montreal Canadiens fans:
Well, recently, this faithful puck scribe decided to check in with some sources close to Subban and one thing is for sure, if Subban came to a contender like the Bruins and a sports city like Boston, he would embrace the opportunity as if it was his last in this league.
“I can tell you this right now,” a source close to Subban said. “PK is happy playing for Lindy [Ruff], and likes helping these kids in Jersey, but he wants to be back in the playoffs more than anything. Take a look at his playoff stats. That’s when he shines. He feeds off that and the crowd and his team feed off him. I don’t think the Bruins need to look far for a reminder of that.”
Just in case Bruins fans needed a reminder:
My two cents: If Bruins can get Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald to eat more cap space than he already just did in the Palmieri trade and surrender just a mid-level prospect and fourth or fifth rd pick, why not?