NHL Rumor Mill – February 3, 2020
The latest on Chris Kreider and Tyler Toffoli plus an update on the Blue Jackets in today’s NHL rumor mill.
WHAT’S THE PRICE TAG FOR KREIDER?
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Jeremy Rutherford was asked if he saw the St. Louis Blues pursuing New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He thinks Kreider could help the Blues but feels the asking price could be a first-round pick and a top prospect because he could be the top player available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Taylor Hall now off the market, Kreider is reportedly drawing interest from several playoff contenders, including the Blues. Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton could hang onto Kreider until deadline day in hope of driving up his value.
TOFFOLI A FALLBACK OPTION FOR THE BRUINS?
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty believes Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli would be a good fallback option for the Boston Bruins if they don’t land Chris Kreider by the trade deadline. While he feels Kreider is the Bruins’ top preference, Toffoli won’t cost them a first-round pick and a top prospect. Haggerty thinks the Kings winger is a more suitable top-six forward option than anyone the Bruins come up with internally to address that need.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toffoli lacks Kreider’s size, speed, and level of production, but he’s a versatile two-way forward who can play on the wing or at center. He’s also got Stanley Cup experience, which could prove invaluable to the Bruins. I agree with Haggerty that he won’t cost as much as Kreider. It remains to be seen, however, if Bruins GM Don Sweeney wants the best available player or the most cost-effective option.
LATEST ON THE BLUE JACKETS
THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline recently examined possible trade targets for the Columbus Blue Jackets and what they could offer up for trade bait. He feels GM Jarmo Kekalainen won’t be in “go-for-it” mode as he was last season, but he will try to help his roster as they jockey for playoff positioning.
Portzline said the Jackets could use a top-six forward. Chris Kreider and Tyler Toffoli could be on Kekalainen’s radar. Other options could include Toronto’s Kasperi Kapanen, New Jersey’s Kyle Palmieri, Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau or Montreal’s Tomas Tatar. Forwards Josh Anderson and Sonny Milano and defenseman Ryan Murray could be trade candidates. Portzline also thinks Kekalainen could part with late-round picks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given his club’s surge up the standings, I expect Kekalainen will monitor the trade market. Anderson could be the best trade chip to land that top-six forward.