Scoring is a problem this season for the Boston Bruins. In their last dozen game stretching back to November 12, the Bruins tallied three-or-more goals in only three games and won only five games over that period.
The Bruins began this week 21st overall in goals per game (2.50). That’s a considerable decline from last season, when they finished third (3.15) in that category.
Injuries to first-line center David Krejci and top defenseman Zdeno Chara have contributed to this offensive decline. Another is management’s inability to find a suitable replacement for first-line right wing Jarome Iginla, who departed last summer via free agency. Right wings Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith have struggled to fill the void. Read more
During a “state of the franchise” press conference last Friday, Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish announced no major changes were planned for his floundering club. His comments, however, haven’t put to rest the trade speculation which has dogged the Oilers for weeks.
Leading up to MacTavish’s presser, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claimed the Oilers and Boston Bruins were revisiting trade talks and speculated Jordan Eberle could’ve been the topic of conversation. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports previous discussions between the two clubs involved Johnny Boychuk (who’s now with the New York Islanders) along with center Chris Kelly and either Niklas Svedberg or Malcolm Subban. Read more
The Los Angeles Kings recent re-signing of defenseman Alec Martinez to a six-year, $24-million contract extension leaves them with over $60 million invested in 14 players for 2015-16. There’s growing speculation over what GM Dean Lombardi will do to address this situation.
If the salary cap stagnates for next season they won’t have much room to re-sign such notables as Justin Williams, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Jarret Stoll. Looming on the horizon is a new contract for top center Anze Kopitar. He’s signed through 2015-16 and become eligible for unrestricted free agency in July 2016. Read more
The Toronto Maple Leafs have improved since suffering lopsided back-to-back losses against Buffalo and Nashville, finishing November by winning three of four games. While that’s silenced most of their critics, it hasn’t keep them out of the rumor mill.
On Monday, Darren Dreger told TSN 1050 he will be surprised if center Nazem Kadri is still with the Leafs by the trade deadline. Dreger feels Kadri hasn’t reached the level of consistency GM Dave Nonis expects of him.
The young center is slated to become a restricted free agent in July. His previous contract talks dragged on into training camp before a deal was reached. Read more
Last week there was speculation the Edmonton Oilers were close to shipping winger David Perron to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Artem Anisimov. The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reported Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was talking with other GMs but wasn’t close to making a trade, while Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman followed up claiming Jackets management weren’t keen on parting with Anisimov.
With Anisimov now sidelined two-three months with a torn triceps muscle, the Oilers must look elsewhere for a center. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reports Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was spotted chatting with Blues general manager Doug Armstrong during Friday’s Oilers-Blues game. Read more
Entering December trade rumors continue to dog the struggling Edmonton Oilers, who finished November winless in nine games. Various reports claim Oilers GM Craig MacTavish continues to seek help for his floundering team.
The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reports Oilers winger David Perron was rumored being shopped to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Artem Anisimov, but the Jackets seem reluctant to part with Anisimov. Matheson also cites sources claiming right wing Nail Yakupov was offered to an Eastern Conference club, but given Yakupov’s current performance (only seven points in 24 games) his trade value is low right now. Read more
While anticipation over possible moves by the floundering Edmonton Oilers dominates the NHL rumor mill, others clubs could become active in the trade market between now and the NHL Christmas trade freeze, which commences at midnight on December 19.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli would like to add “heaviness” to his roster to bolster his club’s size and strength on the puck. In a recent response to reader e-mail regarding possible trade targets, Haggerty lists Winnipeg’s Evander Kane and Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle as options, though the asking price could be more than the Bruins are willing to pay. Read more
ESPN.com’s Craig Custance recently listed his top-20 NHL unrestricted free agents for 2015. What’s notable about Custance’s list, apart from the lack of genuine superstar talent in next summer’s UFA market, is that it’s dominated by defensemen.
The notables include Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin, Boston’s Adam McQuaid, Carolina’s Andrej Sekera, Chicago’s Johnny Oduya, Pittsburgh’s Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin, Toronto’s Cody Franson,Washington’s Mike Green, the Rangers’ Marc Staal and the Islanders’ Johnny Boychuk. Read more