In his latest 32 Thoughts column for Sportsnet, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Boston Bruins have at least looked into acquiring Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun on the NHL trade market.
“Boston is also believed to be in the left-defence market. Would not be surprised if they’ve checked in on Jakob Chychrun and Vladislav Gavrikov, among others,” Friedman opined.
Vladislav Gavrikov was a name in NHL trade speculation mentioned here as well, just last week and it feels like a certainty he will be moved ahead of the March 3 NHL Trade Deadline.
As Friedman pointed out though, and as I did on the ‘Jeff Marek Show‘ on Wednesday, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is in the precarious position of balancing going for it leading into the NHL Trade Deadline to get another Stanley Cup for Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, and keeping the future in focus as well.
“They’ve got special chemistry, and tampering with that can be dangerous. But this is an absolute go-for-it year because you don’t know how long the group will be together. You also don’t know how long you’ll have your top two centres combining for $3.5 million against the cap — an absolute gift from Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. (Yes, they’ll have to deal with bonuses next season, but it’s still a gift.)”
This exactly the same position Sweeney found himself in when he made a push to acquire center Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks on the NHL trade market over the last month. Numerous sources have confirmed to Boston Hockey Now that the Canucks were interested in Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo and even more interested in winger Jake DeBrusk as part of any NHL trade package from the Bruins. The fact that neither of them were dealt and Horvat wound up with the New York Islanders likely means that Sweeney wasn’t interested in surrendering roster players and potentially altering the roster unless he could immediately lock up Horvat to a contract extension, as he did defenseman Hampus Lindholm after he was acquired at the 2022 NHL Trade deadline.
By the way, the feel here is DeBrusk was completely off-limits and will remain that way until after this season. As for Carlo? I’d say it’s highly unlikely, but a roster defenseman like him or Matt Grzelcyk may be also be what it takes if Sweeney truly wants to acquire Chychrun on the NHL trade market. However, it wouldn’t likely be to the Coyotes, but rather to another team to accomodate Chychrun roster-wise and cap-wise. Jakob Chychrun has two seasons left on his contract that carries a $4.6M AAV.
“If the Bruins want Chychrun, they’re moving a roster D,” an NHL source told BHN on Thursday. “I’d be surprised if they do go after him right now even though he improves them now and in the future. They would need to move a current guy on their defense to make it happen, whether it’s to the Coyotes or another team. You look at what happened with Horvat, and I think Sweeney’s goal is to add without an impact subtraction.”
My BHN teammate Joe Haggerty shared the same opinion here on Wednesday with regards to Bo Horvat and it makes a ton of sense given how dominant the Bruins have been this season. On that note, we’d say, at this point, the NHL betting odds that the Bruins acquire Chychrun are slim.