The Boston Bruins were reportedly chasing Buffalo Sabres’ winger Chris Stewart, but a high price may have scared them off. Meanwhile, the New York Islanders and GM Garth Snow feel they can sign a big-time blueliner, and Martin Brodeur could be close to finding himself a new home.
It appears the Boston Bruins could look elsewhere for help at right wing. While they reportedly had interest in Buffalo Sabres winger Chris Stewart, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman claims it doesn’t appear a deal can be made at this time.
Friedman claims the asking price was either two young players or a young player and a draft pick. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty commended Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli for walking away, noting Chiarelli is pleased with the improved stability his forward lines have shown in recent games.
While Stewart has two 28-goal seasons on his resume, Haggerty points out he hasn’t scored more than 18 goals and 36 points since 2010-11. The 27-year-old winger has only one assist in his first 10 games this season, scarcely the type of production worth high draft picks or top prospects.
If Chiarelli is still in the market for a right winger he’s probably not finding many options beyond Stewart. Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers were fixture’s in this month’s rumor mill, but the Oilers recent improvement has toned down the trade chatter about the pair.
Considering Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is sidelined four-to-six weeks with a knee injury, Chiarelli’s focus could shift from bolstering his right wing to adding a veteran defender if Chara remains out longer than anticipated.
SNOW SEES BOYCHUK AS LONG-TERM FIT
Speaking of the Bruins, when the New York Islanders acquired Johnny Boychuk earlier this month it was assumed GM Garth Snow could find it difficult re-signing the blueliner. Boychuk, 30, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Having spent most of his career with the Bruins, it was believed his preference was playing for a winner.
Snow, however, doesn’t see it that way. NBC Sports’ Mike Halford cited a recent interview in which the Isles GM stated he wouldn’t have parted with two second rounds pick for Boychuk if he didn’t want him for the long term.
While Snow declined to speak publicly about contract talks, several factors could work in his favor to retain Boychuk. A change in ownership, the upcoming move to Barclays Center, the Islanders strong start this season and Boychuk’s role in their improvement could convince the veteran defenseman to remain on Long Island beyond this season.
Re-signing Boychuk, however, won’t be cheap. He’s currently among the top-ten defensemen in points, and his increased role with the Islanders could also boost his free-agent value. The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa speculates Boychuk could command “north of $6 million” annually, perhaps more if his hometown Edmonton Oilers get into the bidding.
STARS ALIGNING FOR BRODEUR?
The Dallas Stars find themselves with backup goalie issues this season. This summer they took a chance on former Tampa Bay Lightning backup Anders Lindback, but the inconsistency which plagued him last season with the Lightning has carried over into this season. Lindback dropped both of his appearances in October, sporting a bloated 4.58 GAA and a woeful .850 SP.
SI.com’s Allan Muir reports the Stars could call up minor leaguers Jussi Rynnas or Jack Campbell. So far, however, neither goalie has played well. Stars GM Jim Nill has around $3 million in cap space, prompting Muir to suggest that’s enough space to sign a free-agent veteran like Tomas Vokoun.
Another possibility could be former New Jersey Devils netminder (and future Hall of Famer) Martin Brodeur, who’s been waiting since the summer for a club to give him a call. Brodeur said he’d like one more chance to play for a winner. He also claims he’s not seeking a number one goaltender position, so he’ll be no threat to current Stars starter Kari Lehtonen.
With his years of experience and leadership, Brodeur could be a stabilizing influence for the young Stars, while easing some of Lehtonen’s workload this season.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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