In today’s NHL rumors rundown, are the Boston Bruins operating under the assumption that this could be Patrice Bergeron’s final season? Meanwhile, could the Toronto Maple Leafs try to upgrade at forward and/or make a pitch for goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury? The Dallas Stars are talking to Joe Pavelski about an extension and the Columbus Blue Jackets could be a team to watch heading into the NHL Trade Deadline.
Bruins Need to Add Another Center
Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic examined the Bruins’ March 21st trade deadline plans and noted that they could be stuck in a position of having to go all-in but perhaps not being good enough to warrant doing so. Suggesting the Bruins could use a player like Tomas Hertl, a second-line center to back up Patrice Bergeron is the team’s priority.
The scribe writes:
The Bruins are in a tricky spot. They have to plan for what could be Patrice Bergeron’s last season while continuing to build for the future. I do not see them moving everything out the door for rentals. They would prefer help with term in regard to their acquisitions…. And yes, depth acquisitions won’t put the Bruins in the Carolina/Florida tier. They need an impactful No. 2 center above all else.source – ‘Could the Bruins trade Patrice Bergeron at the deadline? Or Brad Marchand? Should they try to go all-in? Mailbag’ – Fluto Shinzawa – The Athletic – 02/24/2022
Will Maple Leafs Upgrade at Forward
Jonas Siegel of The Athletic says the Maple Leafs might take a look at trying to upgrade at forward, specifically in the spot being filled by Alex Kerfoot. Acknowledging that Kerfoot is having a good season, good might not be good enough when it comes to a first-round matchup against Florida or Tampa Bay.
Noting the Maple Leafs have done this in the past with additions like Alex Galchenyuk, Siegel writes:
Kerfoot is probably best suited to playing the rover role, filling holes as needed up and down the lineup. He’s like two peppers on the heat scale. The Leafs could use an extra kick for Tavares and Nylander.source – ‘Should the Maple Leafs prioritize a top-six forward — instead of a defenceman — at the trade deadline?’ – Jonas Siegel – 02/25/2022
Options ahead of the trade deadline include names like Joe Pavelski (pending UFA who the Stars may or may not trade), J.T. Miller, Rickard Rakell, Paul Stastny, or Andrew Copp of the Winnipeg Jets.
Could Maple Leafs Make a Pitch for Fleury?
Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wonders if the Maple Leafs will be among a handful of teams who inquire about the availability of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Suggesting that with only three weeks to the NHL’s trade deadline the Leafs’ failing goaltending is becoming an issue.
Fleury wouldn’t mind being traded to a contending team. He wouldn’t mind another shot at a Stanley Cup. There may be a lineup of teams looking to acquire him in the coming weeks — a lineup that should include the Leafs, Edmonton, Boston, Washington and Colorado.source – ‘SIMMONS: Is Marc-Andre Fleury the answer in goal for the Leafs?’ -Steve Simmons – The Toronto Sun – 02/27/2022
Simmons doesn’t believe Jack Campbell is as bad a goaltender as he’s been of late but also wonders if the tandem of Campbell and Petr Mrazek can compete if Campbell doesn’t find his game right away. Simmons doesn’t have an answer for how the Leafs make it work on the salary cap, other than to suggest Jake Muzzin’s LTIR situation would be involved.
Stars and Pavelski Talking Extension
Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff notes Pavelski and the Stars organization appear to be talking about a contract extension. While 37 years old, the veteran forward has 53 points in 50 games this season and in the final year of a three-year deal that pays a $7 million AAV.
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Seravalli writes, “Sources say the Stars and Joe Pavelski’s camp have engaged in preliminary contract extension talks, which have gone well and seem to indicate there has been some traction there.” The NHL insider also writes that Pavelski seems to be open to staying. He notes, “The early indication seems to be yes, Pavelski and his family like it in Dallas, and that provides a path forward.”
Four Names to Watch Out of Columbus
Seravalli also notes that the Columbus Blue Jackets are one of the trade deadline’s biggest wild cards. He believes they could be a team to watch with a handful of big names potentially being on the move. He notes that Max Domi, Joonas Korpisalo and Jack Roslovic are players on his trade board, but he’s adding forward Alexandre Texier.
He notes that the Blue Jackets have been taking calls on Texier and that the player has generated significant interest. He would be on pace for 25 goals in 82 games and his skill has raised some eyebrows. Seravalli writes the Blue Jackets are believed to be asking for a first-round pick as well as a roster player in exchange.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”