In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, there has been plenty of talk that management may be targeting Jakob Chychrun ahead of the deadline, though his recent injury may cause those plans to change. Another player who has been linked to the Bruins as of late is San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl. Meanwhile, the team has made it clear that despite wanting to go big game hunting, they have zero desire to move goaltender Jeremy Swayman. Last but not least, Jack Ahcan was able to score his first NHL goal on Thursday night.
Chychrun Injury Could Change Bruins Deadline Plans
Since Chychrun was made available by the Arizona Coyotes back in December, the Bruins are one of several teams who have shown interest. You can certainly understand the appeal, as the 23-year-old defenceman recorded 18 goals and 41 points in just 56 games last season. Even better is the fact that he is under contract for three more seasons after 2021-22 on a deal that carries a very team friendly $4.6 million cap hit.
The interest may no longer be there, however, as Chychrun suffered a lower-body injury in a game on Saturday against, ironically enough, the Bruins. There has yet to be an announcement on what exactly the injury is, but it is bad enough that he is being flown back to Arizona for evaluation. Depending how serious it is could determine whether or not the Bruins are still interested in making a move for him.
Bruins Interested in Hertl
As it turns out, Chychrun isn’t the only big name player on the market the Bruins have their eyes on. According to Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic, management has also discussed bringing in Hertl from the Sharks. (from ‘Fluto Shinzawa: Are Tomas Hertl and the Bruins a trade match? Breaking down the lineup fit and cost if the Sharks center hits the market’, The Athletic, 03/09/22).
Related: Bruins Should Consider a Chara Return if the Price is Right
Hertl, 28, is in the final season of a four-year deal that carries a cap hit of $5.625 million. Though he and the Sharks haven’t ruled out the possibility of a contract extension, talks of a trade are heating up given the teams struggles as of late. In 58 games this season, the Czech forward has 25 goals and 46 points and would be a great fit as the teams second line centerman, a role which they have struggled to fill since the departure of David Krejci this past summer.
Swayman Not up for Grabs
Earlier in the season, there were rumors that the Bruins were considering moving Swayman in order to get help at or prior to the deadline. It made some sense at the time given that Tuukka Rask was in the process of his comeback, though that didn’t work out as planned.
Since Rask’s retirement, Swayman has taken over as the number one goalie for the Bruins. In 28 games, he has put up a spectacular 2.06 goals against average along with a .926 save percentage. As a result, the team has made it clear lately that he is not being moved regardless of what offer may come their way.
“I can tell you this now, I’m so sure that Swayman won’t be traded, I’ll take care of your St. Patrick’s Day weekend tab if he is, just send me the receipt after,” an NHL source told Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now. “He’s off limits. Honestly, I really don’t think Swayman was ever available. Did teams like the Coyotes ask for him? Of course, they did. But, I think that was just them just doing their job and driving the price up before negotiating.”
It would be shocking to see the Bruins trade Swayman at this point given that he appears to be their new replacement for Rask. This organization has had some great goaltenders over their history, and the 23-year-old could be on his way to becoming another.
Ahcan Scores First NHL Goal
Just over a month ago, the Bruins announced that they were recalling Ahcan from Providence. The undersized 24-year-old defenceman was having a solid 2021-22 campaign in the American Hockey League, recording six goals and 21 points through 34 games.
Since being called up, he has appeared in five games with the Bruins, and in his most recent was able to score his first ever NHL goal. He was able to speak with reporters postgame about just how special the moment was for him.
“It’s just such a great feeling,” Ahcan said. “You picture it over and over again in your head, and I don’t think once it was like that, but it was a pretty awesome goal and nice to get it out of the way. I was down in the corner during the dying seconds of the power play, trying to keep the puck alive. I put it back to [Marchand], I think. And it just bounced and I put one hand over the defenceman’s stick, and I got it in the slot and it ended up hitting the post and going in. Nice first one to get.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Ahcan will develop into a full time regular defenceman, but this goal certainly won’t hurt. While his size may be an issue at times, he has proven at both the college and AHL level that he is capable of providing plenty of offence. He will be an interesting player to keep tabs on for the remainder of the season.
Up Next for the Bruins
The Bruins have three games on their schedule this week, with the first coming on Tuesday versus the Chicago Blackhawks. They will play once again the very next night against the Minnesota Wild, before suiting up for their final game of the week on Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets. All three games will be huge for them as they look to pass the Toronto Maple Leafs and get into third place in the Atlantic Division.