Twas the night before the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline and all through the league, plenty was stirring, but nothing was Bruin. …yet. After acquiring forward Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Ryan Donato and a fifth-round pick last Wednesday, Bruins general manager cautioned that there may not be another domino to fall, meaning the Bruins may not get their highly coveted top 6 scoring winger.
“I don’t know if we’re going to necessarily do anything else,” Sweeney said in a media conference call Thursday. “We’re going to continue to make calls and receive calls. We will continue to look at the marketplace and see what may or may not fit with our club.”
According to numerous NHL sources, Sweeney and his staff have done just that and by no means closed up shop prior to Monday’s 3 PM deadline. One NHL source indicated to CLNSMedia.com late Sunday night that the Bruins were still monitoring the Stone situation in Ottawa to see if the price – believed to be two first round picks and a “Grade A” and NHL ready prospect – would go down. The same source said that the Bruins, Knights, Canadiens, Predators, and Islanders were all talking to the Panthers about winger Mike Hoffman too. Unlike Stone, Hoffman wouldn’t be a rental as he has one year left with a $5.1 million cap hit.
“Hoffman makes more sense for a guy like Sweeney right now, who is very hesitant to pay a high ransom for a rental again,” the source said referring to the Bruins acquiring Rick Nash right before the 2018 trade deadline.
The Bruins weren’t the only ones waiting for the Senators to drop their demands on Stone and as Sportsnet NHL Insider Nick Kypreos pointed out on Hockey Headlines Saturday night, the Senators’ demands had the market for Stone about to dry up.
“The market is drying up on Mark Stone for the Ottawa Senators, for no other reason than because they’re ask is so high,” Kypreos said. “They’d love to mirror the pieces that they got with Duchene. The difference is the prospects out of Columbus are regarded as maybe Bs and Cs, and what they’re looking for Stone is grade-A — guys that actually can step in and play right away. And right now, there doesn’t seem to be any teams biting.
Kypreos did list the Bruins as a suitor for Stone still.
“If we were to handicap just the teams that solely are interested in Stone, we’d have Winnipeg at the top, followed closely by Calgary, and maybe Nashville and Boston on the outside looking in,” he said. “And if I’m Ottawa right now, I hope the market can reset between now and Monday at 3 p.m. ET in hopes of maybe one more crack at it. If not, maybe to Elliotte’s point, you try to get him signed.”
So as of 10:30 PM Sunday night, that was where the Bruins stood. By no means have they decided Coyle is enough, but as Sweeney said if they can’t get that scoring winger, then they will still be happy with what they got in Coyle.
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