NHL Rumor Mill – January 28, 2021
The latest speculation over Vince Dunn’s future with the Blues plus some chatter about Bruins winger Anders Bjork in today’s NHL rumor mill.
THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford weighed in on recent trade conjecture surrounding Vince Dunn after the St. Louis Blues made the 24-year-old defenseman a healthy scratch against the Vegas Golden Knights earlier this week. He wonders if it was a wake-up call or an indication a trade could be coming soon.
Several factors cloud Dunn’s future with the Blues. They include his poor start to this season, his restricted free agent status (with arbitration rights) next summer, the club’s limited salary cap space, the emergence of blueliner Niko Mikkola, and this summer’s expansion draft.
Rutherford examined the pros and cons of trading Dunn. A good return would be a first-round pick or a player of equal caliber to the defenseman. Given the Blues’ limited cap space, landing a first or even a second-round pick could be worthwhile. The Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks or Winnipeg Jets might be kicking tires on Dunn.
STLTODAY.COM: Jim Thomas believes the Blues will have to make a salary cap move, probably in February before sidelined winger Vladimir Tarasenko returns from shoulder surgery. He also feels they’ll try to get a good a draft pick as they can for Dunn because of their limited cap space.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers, Canucks and Jets need some blueline help. They all have their first-and-second round picks for the next three years, but are they willing to part with one of them for Dunn? If the Blues can’t get a first- or second-rounder, Thomas suggested they might have to look into a more complex deal.
The Blues placed Taransenko on long-term injury reserve to start the season but must ensure they have sufficient cap space when he’s ready to return to action. If Dunn isn’t traded it could be somebody else.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty believes trading Anders Bjork would make a lot of sense for the Bruins. Such a move, however, won’t happen until winger David Pastrnak makes his imminent return from offseason hip surgery and sidelined wingers Jake DeBrusk and Ondrej Kase recover from their recent injuries.
Once everyone is healthier, there might not be room for Bjork in the regular lineup. While the 24-year-old winger hasn’t blossomed into a scorer he has value as a speedy, versatile forward.
Haggerty said there are teams keeping an eye on Bjork. A rumored swap last fall with the Edmonton Oilers for winger Alex Chiasson didn’t materialize.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bjork could be shopped for another struggling forward or a draft pick at this point. While he still has potential his lack of production has really hurt his trade value.