The Columbus Blue Jackets aren’t finding much help in the trade market, plus a look at recent Boston Bruins rumors.
Blue Jackets explore trade market.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen “talked to many of his counterparts across the league in an attempt to trade for a defenseman (or two) who could bring stability” to their struggling blueline. However, Kekalainen claims there’s nothing available that suits their plans, or the asking prices are too expensive. Portzline wonders if those asking prices include “a player and two prospects? Two prospects and a player? Two first-round draft picks and a prospect?” He claims defenseman Zach Werenski,” the Jackets’ No 8 overall pick in June, is a constant request, it seems.” Kekalainen will continue monitoring the trade market while evaluating head coach Todd Richards.
Portzline also recently noted via Twitter there was considerable trade chatter the Jackets were shopping forward Kerby Rychel.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s no surprise Kekalainen isn’t finding any deals yet, as rival clubs hope to take advantage of his club’s poor performance by squeezing him to part with more than he’s willing to give. That’s why I’m expecting a coaching change instead of a trade in the near future.
Latest on the Bruins.
CSNNE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty addressed his report from last week in which he claimed sources said the Boston Bruins were gauging the trade value of veterans like Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand. He stressed that he never wrote a trade was imminent or that those players were being actively shopped or on the trade block, but rather they could become options in the coming months if the Bruins sink in the standings.
He also notes there was talk around Christmastime last year of the Bruins offering up winger Loui Eriksson to St. Louis for T.J. Oshie, who eventually was dealt to Washington in July. Haggerty notes Eriksson has turned into a good player for the Bruins, but they’ll only re-sign the pending UFA for the right price, which he believes to be around the $4.5 million range he’s currently earning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Bruins shop Chara, provided he’s willing to accept a deal, I don’t see that move happening until the offseason, when teams have more cap space and willingness to invest in an expensive player like him. Marchand, however, has a year left on his contract after this season, with a limited no-trade contract. He could be a more likely trade candidate near this season’s trade deadline if the Bruins decide to move him. Eriksson could test the free-agent market.