The Boston Bruins seem to always be linked to Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel in NHL trade rumors but as my partner-in-crime Joe Haggerty pointed out recently, Eichel to the Bruins is pure fantasy at this point.
That was hammered home even more when, in my latest ‘Off The Record’ column, an NHL exec told me that Sabres GM Kevyn Adams is asking for four to six components in any Eichel trade on the NHL trade market. As ‘Haggs’ pointed out last week, the Bruins simply don’t have the assets to pull that off and why would the Sabres dance with their division rival on the NHL trade market and send the Chelmsford, MA, and former Boston University star home?
Since the Eichel trade rumors already have the silly season in full gear though, let’s just say the Boston Bruins may have one single player that could reduce the current ask for Eichel on the NHL trade market? Maybe that player even makes it a one-for-one hockey swap?
In the eyes of this puck scribe, the only untouchables on the Boston Bruins roster right now are Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Charlie McAvoy. Yes, you read that right! David Pastrnak is not on that list and no I did not just raid the local cannabis dispensary!
Pastrnak is entering his penultimate season on a team-friendly contract that carries a $6.6 million cap hit. Surely if he continues to be a 30-40 goal scorer and challenge for 80-100 points a season, Pastrnak, who will be 27 when his contract expires, is in line for a big pay raise. So, let’s just say Pastrnak’s new cap hit will be a minimum of $9 million per season. While David Krejci and the Boston Bruins share a mutual interest in bringing Krejci back for next season, what about beyond next season? Also, what will the Bruins need to pay to extend Bergeron, who is entering the last season of a contract that carries a $6.8 million cap hit? What about Charlie Coyle? Are the Bruins thinking of moving him to the wing?
Needless to say, there could be a giant void down the middle for the Boston Bruins in as early as 2022-23. Jack Studnicka is really the only center in the Bruins’ prospect pool that has top 6 potential. So, do the Bruins want to have a potentially overpaid winger without a No. 1 center in 3-4 seasons or would they prefer a superstar center, a year younger than Pastrnak, making $10 million centering their top line? Preferably by then, Studnicka is the No. 2 pivot and they can sprinkle in cheaper talent on the wings.
That’s why Pastrnak may be the only way the Bruins can acquire Eichel. Surely if they’re willing to deal with their prized sniper then Adams will come down on his crazy demands and can still save face with Sabres fans.
Now onto the rest of your BHN Daily Links!
Before I get into my usual order of links, a big welcome to the National Hockey Now family goes out to Sammi Silber and Washington Hockey Now! The NHN family keeps growing and we’re thrilled to have Sami on board! With that, here’s the links to her first posts today:
Nice to meet you Sammi and WHN! (Washington Hockey Now)
Who will the Capitals protect in the upcoming NHL Expansion Draft? (Washington Hockey Now)
Who won the Anthony Mantha-Jakub Vrana blockbuster from the recent NHL Trade Deadline? (Washington Hockey Now)
Will Evgeny Kuznetsov still be with the Capitals next season? (Washington Hockey Now)
Stanley Cup Semifinals
What the hell was that New York Islanders? (NYI Hockey Now)
Looks like the bad attitude that teams saw in Mathew Barzal, dropping him to 16th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, is finally rearing its ugly head at the worst possible time. (NYI Hockey Now)
In case you needed a reminder, Game 5 showed Steven Stamkos has still got game! (CBC)
Get up to date on the Vegas Golden Knights as they get ready for Game 5 against the Montreal Canadiens tonight in Las Vegas. (Vegas Hockey Now)
Are Phillip Danault and his linemates about to start lighting the lamp for the Montreal Canadiens? (Sportsnet)
National Hockey Now
Why was top Detroit Red Wings prospect Lucas Raymond left off the Sweden U20 roster? (Detroit Hockey Now)
Could Philadelphia Flyers forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel be a steal for the Seattle Kraken in the NHL Expansion Draft? (Philly Hockey Now)
San Jose Sharks forward Kevin Labanc a top-line forward? (San Jose Hockey Now)
Make no mistake, NHL officiating has stolen away attention from a pretty damn good Stanley Cup Playoffs! (Sportsnet)
The New York Rangers better bring their A-game every night next season or they will be eating hot dogs in the press box. (NY Post)