NHL Rumors: Bruins and Blues Talking, Oilers Shopping, More

In today’s NHL rumors, the Bruins and Blues might be talking trade for a significant forward and the Oilers are looking to move as many as five assets at a time that trades can be difficult. Finally, the Buffalo Sabres may be looking at options for Jeff Skinner.

Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues Working on Deal?

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has been very active on the phone with other GMs around the NHL trying to engineer a trade. He’s tired of seeing the Bruins continue to unsuccessfully find a fit alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. They’ve tried Joakim Nordstrom, Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen, Anders Bjork and now David Backes.

Jimmy Murphy of CLNS Media is reporting that two sources have said that the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues have held “deep” trade talks and that those talks are speculated to center around forward Brayden Schenn.

Brayden Schenn St. Louis Blues
Brayden Schenn, St. Louis Blues, January 6, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It was originally believed the Bruins might be interested in Vladimir Tarasenko, but Schenn seems to be more a better fit due to the lower cap hit and shorter term left on his current contract. That doesn’t mean the cost to acquire Schenn will be much lower.

Rumors suggest to land Schenn, the Bruins would have to move a player like Danton Heinen, Matt Grzelcyk or Peter Cehlarik.

Related: NHL Rumors: Leafs Goaltending, Rangers Trades, More

Oilers to Move Quantity for Quality?

Darren Dreger was on TSN 1050 talking about the Edmonton Oilers and that he believes general manager for the Oilers, Peter Chiarelli may want to move as few as two and as many as five forwards off the roster. Dreger suggests that could be challenging, however. “And it’s almost impossible to make significant, impactful trades this time of year or in the regular season prior to the trade deadline,” he noted.

Edmonton Oilers celebrate
Edmonton Oilers celebrate (Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)

Pierre LeBrun added that he believes the Oilers top priority to actually improve their forwards and a top-four defender. “But it’s just that it’s so hard to fill that hole that you almost stop talking about it after awhile,” LeBrun said.

The reality is, Edmonton has a number of holes with the injuries plaguing the team. As we’ve seen with the smaller trades Chiarelli has made so far, a trade is probably not going to make a significant enough dent to really change the fortunes of the current roster. Edmonton is going to have to either win with the team they have or tread water until some of their injured players return.

Related: NHL Rumors: Benn, Seguin, Frolik, Oilers, More

A Jeff Skinner Trade a Reality?

The Athletic’s Ryan Stimson examined some possible trade options for Jeff Skinner if he and the Buffalo Sabres can’t come to terms on a new contract before the Feb. 25 trade deadline and what’s interesting is that there is some confusion by the team and the NHL as to whether or not Skinner’s no-movement clause remains valid after he voided it to accept a trade to Buffalo last summer.

Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner
Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner (53) celebrates his game-winning goal following the overtime period of an NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Buffalo N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Stimson writes:

…we need to accept that their timeline is one that still puts them a season or two away from contending. They still aren’t good enough 5-on-5 to be thought of as an elite team, and so targets in a Skinner trade should be younger players who have shown positive results in a wide variety of situations. No one is going to give up an established forward or back for a Skinner rental, so you’re looking in that 20-to-23 age range and then a pick to continue stockpiling.

source – ‘Stimson: Examining trade options for Jeff Skinner if the Sabres don’t work out a long-term deal’ – Ryan Stimson – The Athletic – 01/04/2019

Stimson suggests Skinner to the Nashville Predators for winger Kevin Fiala might be an option, as would Skinner to the Columbus Blue Jackets for right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand. Maybe the Sabres look at the Toronto Maple Leafs and target someone like Travis Dermott, Timothy Liljegren, and Rasmus Sandin. Perhaps the Edmonton Oilers for forward Leon Draisaitl or defenseman Oscar Klefbom (although this doesn’t make much sense from the perspective of the Oilers).

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