Rumor Roundup: Bruins actively searching for scoring

Lyle Richardson
Chara Bruins Fear Featured

Prior to the NHL Christmas trade freeze, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was actively shopping around in search of scoring punch for his struggling offense. The once-dominant Bruins enter this week struggling to hang onto one of the last playoff berths in the Eastern Conference. It’s a good bet Chiarelli will remain active once the freeze ends at midnight on Dec. 27.

For weeks Chiarelli was reportedly interested in Buffalo Sabres right wing Chris Stewart. With only seven points in 33 games, the 27-year-old Stewart isn’t an immediate remedy for the Bruins’ offensive woes.

Chiarelli was believed to be in talks with St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong, sparking speculation he was pursuing Patrik Berglund or T.J. Oshie. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Blues have limited cap space next season and pending free agents Vladimir Tarasenko and Jake Allen will seek substantial raises. So will forwards Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera when their contracts expire in 2016. Shedding Berglund’s $3.7-million cap hit or Oshie’s $4.175 million could address this problem. Read more

Top five teams who like to trade in first-round picks

Patrik Berglund, T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Tarasenko

With the holiday trade freeze upon us and the sprint to the trade deadline around the corner, some teams may be thinking about dealing a first-round pick to improve their chances in the new year.

First-round picks are precious currency of the salary-capped NHL. They often produce cheap, controllable young talent to complement high-priced veterans, and they’re also the most consistently valuable trading chip every team has available.

Since the 2004-05 lockout, many teams have built their rosters by wheeling and dealing in first-round picks. Sometimes a first-rounder helps seal the deal on a big-time player trade. Other times it’s compensation for a team selling off its vets at the trade deadline. And when the draft arrives in June, certain general managers love moving up or down in the first round with the help of an additional pick to sweeten the change in order.
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Dwight King skips puck past Martin Brodeur from center ice

Jared Clinton
Martin Brodeur featured Blues

Martin Brodeur didn’t have the best night last night in Los Angeles. He surrendered six goals, the Blues blew a 3-0 lead, and to top it off, he allowed a goal from center ice.

While this isn’t exactly in Rob Davison/Vesa Toskala territory, this is certainly in the conversation of craziest hops to end up in the back of the net. Check out Dwight King’s hopping, skipping, seeing-eye shot that finds its way past the veteran Brodeur: Read more

Top 10 Calder Trophy candidates: Can anyone catch Filip Forsberg?

forsberg2

There’s been no shortage of great stories this season, but one of the most surprising things is the cast of rookies who have quickly made names for themselves in the league.

The thing with rookies is they’re one of the most difficult groups of players to accurately forecast. With little known about how well adjusted they’ll be to the NHL, they can either boom or bust, and in some cases an injury or unfavorable situation can send the early Calder Trophy favorite to the bottom of the ballot.

Take Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin, for instance, who some people thought would run away with the award but doesn’t even appear on our list. Or John Gibson, the THN consensus pick for the Calder, who had a shot at leading the Ducks this season before injury derailed his season.

These are the top 10 Calder Candidates at this point in the season: Read more

From Comeau to Hemsky, cost per point helps show the most (and least) effective off-season signings

Ales Hemsky featured

When the Dallas inked Ales Hemsky to play alongside the newly acquired Jason Spezza it was heralded as a tremendous signing. So far, however, the Stars aren’t getting their money’s worth.

Following Saturday night’s game against the Devils, Hemsky has only registered eight points in 26 games and is on pace for the lowest full season point total of his career. Suffice to say, Hemsky is far short of where the Stars GM Jim Nill had likely hoped he’d see the winger’s point total. At a salary cap hit of $4 million for the next three seasons, Dallas isn’t getting the bang for their buck as they’re on pace to pay Hemsky nearly $170,000 for every point he’s on pace to score this season.

But it’s not just Hemsky, as several stars are making GMs second-guess some off-season signings. On the other hand, there are several who are far exceeding their salary expectations. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Several teams looking at moves leading up to holiday trade freeze

Buffalo's Tyler Myers (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

With the NHL’s holiday trade freeze beginning at midnight on Dec. 19 there’s growing speculation over possible moves leading up to the deadline.

ESPN.com’s Craig Custance reports Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray is willing to be creative after noting a recent decline in trade talks, leading Murray to acknowledge his asking prices could be too high.

Winger Chris Stewart, a recent healthy scratch against the Los Angeles Kings, is considered most likely to be dealt. The Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports the 27-year-old winger’s poor play could affect his trade value, as well as his chances for a lucrative contract via free agency in July. Vogl claims the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators could be interested in Stewart. Read more

Islanders dubious daily double was one for the history books

N.Y. Islanders vs. Minnesota (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

When the New York Islanders blew a three-goal lead and lost to the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night, they accomplished a dubious feat that had happened only five previous times in NHL history and hasn’t occurred in more than a decade.

The Islanders 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Wild marked the second consecutive game in which they had blown a three-goal lead. Just for good measure, they actually twice blew a three-goal lead against the Wild. That game came just three days after they coughed up a three-spot in a 6-4 loss on home ice to the St. Louis Blues, the game that gave Martin Brodeur his first victory in a Blues uniform. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Bruins scoring woes, injuries cause for trade talk

Boston Bruins Seidenberg Marchand Smith featured

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