Should the Boston Bruins enter the NHL trade sweepstakes for 6-foot-6, 248-pound Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov?
During the Bruins’ game against the Canadiens in Montreal on Saturday night, there was some chatter that Bruins general manager Don Sweeney could look into a potential trade fit between the Bruins and Flames for Zadorov.
“I look at the Bruins right now and the way they’re built – they’re big, hard on the forecheck and playing playoff style – I’m thinking Sweeney’s in on Zadorov,” an NHL source opined to Boston Hockey Now on Saturday night. “I know for a fact Sweeney’s looked into him before. They’ve been listening on [Matt] Grzelcyk. That could be a great 1-for-1 one for guys headed for free agency?”
A Zadorov for Matt Grzelcyk trade straight up would be a cap-compliant hockey trade. A left-shot for left-shot trade with Grzelcyk, 29, in the final season of a four-year contract that carries a $3.6 million cap hit and Zadorov, 28, in the final season of a two-year contract that carries a $3.7 million cap hit. Both are solid puck-moving defensemen, but Zadorov would add more size to a Bruins team seemingly relying on size, stingy defense, and goaltending this season. If the Bruins were to pull off a trade like this, they would also reportedly block two Eastern Conference foes from acquiring Zadorov.
On Friday, the NHL betting odds of Zadorov increased dramatically. ESPN NHL Insider Kevin Weekes reported that Zadorov was back on the NHL trade market after requesting a trade from the Flames.
**Breaking News 🚨 📰**
Fresh off a goal and big hit tonight against the @MapleLeafs , I’m told that D Zadorov through his agent @GoldStarHockey Dan Milstein has requested a trade from the @NHLFlames . #HockeyTwitter pic.twitter.com/TRZqwcgyd5
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) November 11, 2023
Zadorov’s agent, Dan Milstein, confirmed the trade request as well and essentially ruled out his client making up and kissing with the Flames.
I don’t think so. Not when the best D barely gets the ice time… https://t.co/pR01lz58t0
— Dan Milstein (@HockeyAgent1) November 11, 2023
TSN NHL Insider Chris Johnston then reported that Zadorov would welcome a trade to the Maple Leafs.
With Nikita Zadorov looking to be traded out of Calgary, word is the pending UFA defenceman would welcome a move to Toronto.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 11, 2023
On Saturday, fellow TSN NHL Insider Darren Dreger then tweeted that the Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, and the Vancouver Canucks appeared to be the initial frontrunners to acquire the 16th overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Tor, Van, and NJD are the clubs with strong interest in Zadorov. Tanev, solid right shot Dman is a huge draw and, of course, Hanifin. The Flames are in no hurry to sell assets. If a team steps up in a big way, everything has to be considered. I’m not sensing urgency from Cgy.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 11, 2023
With their 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, the Boston Bruins are now six points ahead of the Maple Leafs and nine points ahead of the Devils in the Eastern Conference standings. They are clearly the NHL betting favorite to win the division and the conference right now. Should they enter the NHL trade sweepstakes for Nikita Zadorov and make a statement in the Eastern Conference arms race early, or just stay the course for now?