With the NHL Trade Deadline just over two weeks away, it appears that Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser and Conor Garland have become a potential trade targets for the Boston Bruins once again.
“I’m told that they’ve been doing their due diligence on a few Vancouver players and Boeser is one of them,” an NHL source told Boston Hockey Now Saturday morning. “It’s also no secret that they like Garland, so I’m sure they keeping tabs on him.”
The Bruins and Canucks have been scouting each other recently and that led to more speculation that the Bruins were in the running for highly coveted Canucks center J.T. Miller. The Bruins have been one of at least a handful of teams linked to the 28-year-old, 6-foot-1, 218-pound center who has one more season left on a five-year contract that carries a $5.2 million cap hit. However, this past week, reports surfaced that the Vancouver Canucks would prefer not to trade Miller.
According to TSN NHL Insider Chris Johnston, the Canucks are still willing to listen offers for Miller but because they’re suddenly right back in the playoff hunt, the Canucks are more inclined to just keep Miller for at least the remainder of this season.
“The asking price is believed to be slightly more modest when it comes to Vancouver forwards Brock Boeser and Conor Garland. Perhaps that is a reason they may be more likely, one or both of them, to be moved at the Trade Deadline rather than Miller,” Johnston said Thursday on TSN Insider Trading.
“There are NHL teams that have been in contact with Vancouver over that. At this point the Canucks are still on the fringe of a playoff position, although they are getting closer to making some decisions. As we look to what those potential trades might look like, I believe that they are looking for some players, as opposed to just future assets like draft picks.”
Even J. T. Miller himself recently shot down the NHL trade rumors that have been swirling around him for the past month and went as far as calling the rampant speculation ‘BS’:
“I could see where our brains could be lost in all this speculation and all this BS, but I really don’t indulge in it to be honest with you,” Miller told our man in VAN, Rob Simpson on Thursday. “I think if I really start to think about that stuff now it could affect my play. We need to win the game today and we need to beat Toronto and then we go back to our home.”
However, Miller knows that while the team hasn’t approached him about any potential trades, things can change in a hurry.
“I’ve been told I wasn’t being traded, before, with the Rangers, and was traded last second at the deadline,” Miller pointed out. “Anything can happen, but that’s out of my control, I’m just trying to play my game and help this team win and get in the playoffs, and that’s the only thing I’m thinking about.”
With a king’s ransom set for the Canucks to even consider moving Miller, the NHL trade buzz with the Canucks has shifted back to Boeser and Garland. The Bruins have expressed interest in and focused on both players in the past, most recently on Conor Garland, as reported here last month. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Scituate, MA native is in the first season of a five-year contract that carries a $4.9 million cap hit.
Boeser is is the final season of a three-year contract that carried a $5.8 million cap hit. The 6-foot-1, 208-pound winger is eligible for arbitration or a $7.2 million qualifying offer. Boeser was drafted nine picks after the Bruins selected Jake DeBrusk in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. With DeBrusk still wanting to be traded from the Bruins, could a DeBrusk for Boeser trade make sense?
Cue the Alanis Morissette.