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Bruins Trade Talk

Bruins Trade Talk: Bruins Trade Chips, More Ullmark Chatter



Boston Bruins

Not that this is a surprise, given they don’t have many to offer, but the Boston Bruins reportedly will not be using draft picks and prospects as NHL trade chips. Instead, Bruins general manager will likely be trading away current roster players if he does indeed wheel and deal again heading into the March 8 NHL trade deadline.

The Bruins continue to be linked to Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin, and according to Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, they and the Florida Panthers – not, as reported by some, the Tampa Bay Lightning – are the frontrunners to land the Norwood, MA native and former Boston College defenseman.

“So I think the teams are Boston. …and I have one person who keeps sending me DM’s saying how come you keep saying Tampa, Toronto, and other teams can’t do this, but Boston and Florida can?” Friedman explained on the latest 32 Thoughts Podcast with him and Jeff Marek. “I’m going to just repeat what I said last time: I think Boston and Florida have players, not picks, but they have players they could move, if they choose to, that can get the pieces. So, again, what is Boston willing to do if they want Hanifin, and he’ll extend there?

One thing about Boston is I think they’re looking for a center; I think they’re looking for a defenseman, but they don’t have picks, right?” Friedman asked rhetorically. “I’ve had a few people that pointed out to me – this will be the second time I said it – the Bruins actually have players they can move.”

If you’re an NHL betting person, those are the teams to bet on to land Hanifin in a trade.

As reported here on Thursday, Friedman mentioned that NHL trade chatter surrounding Linus Ullmark has perked up again amongst NHL executives and pro scouts. Could the Bruins directly use the reigning Vezina Trophy winner as trade chip to directly or indirectly land a top trade target like Hanifin?

“Now, there’s a lot of whispers about Ullmark,” Friedman pointed out. “I’m really careful about this at this time of year because a lot of it becomes almost like circumstantial evidence. You know, Swayman, he played a couple of games in a row. You know they like they like to alternate, but I will say this: teams out there do believe that the Bruins are trying to upgrade their roster, and all you have to do is look at what they are capable of and say it’s not coming out of the draft, and do they really want to deal their top prospects? Some of whom have already played in the NHL? I don’t think so.

So, if they want to make changes, it probably has to come off their roster, and that’s why I think people are looking at Ullmark. Now, I don’t think it’s impossible – he has some control – but the whole thing is, if the Bruins are trying to win the Stanley Cup, then why would you subtract from one of your greatest strengths? And the only thing I can think of there is if they get something so good that they just feel they have to do it. But I’d be very curious to see what that would be. Don’t forget, Ullmark has some control here, so he can say in certain situations, ‘Sorry’ but again, at this point in time, I’m trying to figure out what they’re thinking because I do think they’re trying to upgrade but they probably have to take off their roster to do it. So, what do they think is a good idea, or what gets something that they really think helps them?”

Marek pointed out that he was hearing the same NHL Trade chatter on Ullmark but noted that, obviously, unless the Flames traded or set up a trade of goalie Jacob Markstrom, they do not need another goalie. Still, though, Marek believes the Bruins, if they want to win a Stanley Cup, may need to break up the luxury of having the Ullmark-Swayman tandem.

The NHL betting odds that the Bruins trade Ullmark by the NHL trade deadline are probably still 50/50 but the fact that chatter is increasing again is something to keep an eye on.


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