Bruins News & Rumors: Ducks, Chychrun, Lafreniere & More

In this latest edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, the Bruins and Anaheim Ducks are reportedly in “some deep discussions.” With that, an NHL insider has named the Bruins as one of the teams currently interested in Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. Furthermore, following his recent scratch by the New York Rangers, could Alexis Lafreniere be a trade target worth considering?

Bruins & Ducks in “Some Deep Discussions”

According to Dominic Tiano, the Bruins and Ducks are having “some deep discussions.” Boston and Anaheim have certainly become common trade partners over the years, so it is not too surprising to hear that they could be doing business with one another again. Since the 2019-20 campaign, these two teams have made three trades, but last season’s Hampus Lindholm blockbuster was the biggest.

If the Bruins and Ducks do end up completing a swap, I’m not confident that it will be as massive as the Lindholm deal. Instead, I could see a rebuilding team like Anaheim taking on a player like Mike Reilly or Craig Smith with a draft pick since the Bruins want to clear out some salary. Alas, we will have to wait and see if these discussions lead to anything from here.

Chychrun is once again one of the biggest trade targets being shopped right now, but at the time of this writing, he remains a Coyote. However, that certainly isn’t due to a lack of interest, as there are plenty of teams that would love to have the 24-year-old defenseman on their roster. According to Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports, the Bruins are among them.

Jakob Chychrun Arizona Coyotes
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

With the Bruins having “Stanley Cup or bust” expectations, it makes sense that they have some interest in Chychrun. Even with last season’s Lindholm trade, I’d argue that their left side could use another high-impact defenseman. He would be a notable upgrade over Matt Grzelcyk and could be the final piece of the puzzle on the back end. However, with the 2016 first-round pick being a top-tier talent, it would naturally cost Boston a lot to acquire him.

Lafreniere Could Be an Intriguing Trade Target

The New York Rangers certainly raised eyebrows around the hockey world when they scratched Lafreniere for Thursday’s (Dec. 29) contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The response from fans was entirely understandable, as he is a former first-overall pick and had seven points over his last 10 games. I do wonder if this decision could be an indicator that the Rangers are willing to at least listen to offers for the 21-year-old winger. If so, he could be quite an intriguing trade target for the Bruins.

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Ian McLaren of Locked On Bruins recently brought up the prospect of a third line consisting of Taylor Hall, Charlie Coyle, and Lafreniere, and I believe that would be a very strong and entertaining trio. This is especially true if the hypothetical change of scenery led to Lafreniere tapping more into his immense potential. Acquiring him would certainly be expensive for the Bruins, but it would be worth it if he emerges as the legitimate top-six forward he’s expected to become.

Linus Ullmark Ties Bruins Record

Linus Ullmark’s sensational play is not showing any signs of stopping. During Wednesday’s (Dec. 28) contest against the New Jersey Devils, the 29-year-old netminder saved 30 out of 31 shots and secured his 20th win of the season. In the process, he tied Tuukka Rask for the most wins (39) in a calendar year by a Bruins goaltender. Needless to say, Ullmark has been out of this world with his play, and this latest accolade only displays that more.

Linus Ullmark Boston Bruins
Linus Ullmark, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Time will tell if Ullmark gets the opportunity to play in one more game in 2022, but it certainly is not guaranteed since he is expected to start for the Bruins during the Winter Classic next Monday (Jan. 2). Nevertheless, it’s been a wonderful year for him, and we will have to wait and see what he does for an encore in 2023.

Bruins’ Final Game of 2022 Is a Big One

It is hard to believe, but the Bruins are playing their final game of 2022 against the Buffalo Sabres on New Year’s Eve. Although the Sabres are currently fifth in the Atlantic Division, they have heated up immensely, as they have won seven out of their last 10 games. Due to this strong stretch of play, they are once again in the wild card discussion and will be working extra hard in an attempt to secure two points against the league-best Bruins.

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Although the Bruins currently have a comfortable spot in the standings, I’d argue that this is a very big game. If the Sabres continue to win so frequently, they very well could be the Bruins’ first-round opponent in the playoffs. Thus, this could be a little playoff preview.