We continue tracking the latest “Bruins Buzz” heading into the NHL Draft and Free Agency.
As things stand, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is up in the air-traffic control tower trying to court different planes to his runways and thus far, he’s been in contact with landing a lot of planes.
LOTS OF OUTSIDE INTEREST IN DAVID KREJCI
As Jimmy Murphy mentioned on twitter yesterday there has been considerable interest in David Krejci with up to four teams in the mix.
— MurphysLaw74 (@MurphysLaw74) June 19, 2018
The St. Louis Blues are in need of a definitive first-line center despite Brayden Schenn‘s breakout 2017-18 campaign. The Arizona Coyotes have been desperately trying to find their main guy down the middle on offense. The Florida Panthers could use a mentor for emerging star Aleksander Barkov.
The Carolina Hurricanes remain the Bruins most interesting potential trade partner because of the continued trade talks between around defenseman Noah Hanifin. It’s hard to believe that the Canes would do Krejci for Hanifin straight-up, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Krejci as part of the deal.
With the Bruins in strong contention for the Stanley Cup don’t expect Krejci to be traded away for just picks and prospects. An established most likely cheaper NHL player would be what they would want to get in return.
DON SWEENEY IS TRYING TO MOVE DAVID BACKES
It’s no secret the Bruins would like to get out from under the 3 years and $18 million left on David Backes contract. The problem is how. Last week, NHL Insider Darren Dreger first reported that the Bruins were attempting to move the 34 year old forward and yesterday St Louis Hockey reporter Andy Strickland doubled down on that.
Some speculation David Backes could get moved out of Boston. No-move this season. Can submit list of 8 teams next year and 15 teams in final season of current contract #Bruins
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) June 15, 2018
As much as the Bruins would like to, moving Backes remains a challenge because of his injury history, his salary and the fact that he has a no movement clause this season.
In 131 games with the B’s, Backes has only put up 31 goals and 71 points. His 0.54 points per game ranks as the ninth-most among Boston players with at least 70 games played through that time period. Those numbers are not worth $6 million a year. Sweeney knows it. Unfortunately so too does the rest of the league.
BRUINS KOVALCHUK RUMORS GAINING STEAM
The Ilya Kovalchuk to the Bruins rumors continue to gain traction. NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman went On Sportsnet 590’s Hockey Central and listed the B’s among the top teams vying for the former NHL All-Stars services.
“One team I heard not to count out for Kovalchuk is Boston,” said Friedman. “I’ve heard they’ve got a legit chance along with Los Angeles and San Jose of getting him.”
If the Bruins sign Kovalchuk that would likely mean Rick Nick will be playing elsewhere next season as mentioned by Jimmy Murphy in yesterday’s Bruins Buzz.
The San Jose Sharks are expected to make a “real push” for Nash who might want to try and join his buddy Sharks star center Joe Thornton.