Nash price too rich for Bruins blood

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Nash price too rich for Bruins blood

PITTSBURGH With the NHL Draft weekend comes trade rumors swirling everywhere involving many players of interest.

Everybody knows Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is looking to unload Rick Nash for an impressive ransom, and there more than a handful of serious suitors for the power forward.

But everything CSNNE.com reported several weeks ago about potential Bruins involvement with Nash trade talk remains true. Howson and the Blue Jackets are looking for franchise building blocks in exchange for a franchise player in Nash -- a forward that also has topped 40 goals only twice, has never scored more than 80 points in a season, and cant count his playoff appearances on more than one hand.

According to multiple sources, the Bruins were informed a deal would take two players from a group of three including Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton or Milan Lucic, as well picks and prospects. Thats in line with the James van Riemsdyk chatter between the Flyers and Blue Jackets, and makes it clear that the cost for Nash would be too rich for the Bruins blood.They have no intentions of trading either Seguin or Hamilton players on the rise that could be in Boston for 10 years or more for a player in Nash that appears to be in a career plateau at age 28.

More realistic scenarios for the Bruins: Bobby Ryan with the Anaheim Ducks or Keith Yandle with the Phoenix Coyotes. Given the cap hits involved and the needs for both franchises, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli could be looking long and hard at potentially dangling center David Krejci along with a pickprospects package to make either one happen.

With both Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin potentially ready to man center positions on the top two lines next year, and Krejci ready to become the highest paid Bs forward at 5.25 million per season, the environment is there for a potential move to bring in greater offensive punch. The Bruins might be forced to move one of their defensemen group if Yandle were brought on board, but hes the kind of puck-moving power play quarterback Boston has been searching for since Chiarelli took over the Black and Gold.

Both Yandle and Ryan are signed for at least three years to come with cap hits slightly north of 5 million that would be evened out if Krejci were sent in the other direction.

There were whispers of a KrejciRyan deal before the Bs center signed his contract extension last season. Krejcis no-movement clause doesnt go into effect until July 1, 2013.

While speaking in general terms earlier this week, Chiarelli said the Bruins may revisit trade talk seeds this week at the draft that were planted with teams last spring.

A lot of the work you do leading up to the trade deadline does carry over so what I try to do is set up dealsplant seedsset up deals at the trade deadline for the summer or for the fall, said Chiarelli. So theres a lot of legwork that goes into making a trade. Theyre hard to do now, so my preparation for this trade market and upcoming trade markets starts back before the trade deadline.

Usually those deals that happen or that are talked about around the trade deadline are more for the moment, but you do get a sense of where guys feel where their roster might be in late-June, early-July from discussions at the trade deadline.

The Bruins dont appear too eager to jump on 7-8 million cap hit players like Nash or Zach Parise, but stay tuned in the secondary market on the next tier down as the Bruins listen to potential deals that might just fall into their laps this June.

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- There were both expected and unexpected absences from Bruins morning skate on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of tonight’s game at TD Garden against the Florida Panthers. Matt Beleskey was the expected absence after getting knocked out of Saturday’s game with a lower body injury caused by a Tyler Fedun check to his right leg, and Torey Krug was also missing from the ice after pulling workhorse duty over the last handful of games in the absence of Zdeno Chara.

Following practice Claude Julien confirmed that Chara was “probable” to return for tonight’s game vs. the Florida Panthers after missing the last six games, and that Krug is expected to play after succumbing to the same illness that felled Patrice Bergeron over the weekend. Beleskey was being checked by doctors on Monday, and it sounds like his absence might be a bit longer term than simply a “day-to-day” lower body injury. 

Noel Acciari took part in practice, and it appears they both could be closing in on a return to the lineup. Frank Vatrano also shot the puck around a bit at the very beginning of Monday’s skate, but came off the ice as the team began their preparations for tonight’s game. 

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. Florida based on the morning skate with Beleskey and Krug both absent:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Schaller-Krejci-Backes

Spooner-Nash-Czarnik

Blidh-Moore-Hayes/Acciari

Chara-Carlo

Morrow-McQuaid

K. Miller-C. Miller

Rask

Khudobin

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

This probably won’t come as a complete shock to those watching the way things have played out with him this season, but the Bruins have engaged in discussions with multiple teams about a Ryan Spooner trade, per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. 

The 23-year-old Spooner was mentioned casually a few months ago as possible fodder in a Jacob Trouba deal with the Winnipeg Jets, but that deal never really materialized prior to the Jets signing their young, frontline D-man to a two-year deal. The Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks have all expressed interest in Spooner, per one hockey source, as it appears that things simply aren’t going to work out for him in Boston. 

It’s been a challenging year for Spooner with pedestrian numbers of three goals and eight points in 24 games, but there are plenty of mitigating circumstances behind the slow start. Spooner has been pushed into playing left wing for the bulk of the season rather than his natural, preferred center position, and he’s been dropped to the fourth line by Claude Julien over the last few weeks. At times he’s also been pulled from the Bruins power play where he racked up six goals and 17 points working off the half-wall last season.  

Julien talked about the former second round pick in frank terms after this week’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes, which featured a Spooner snipe to the top corner during a successful shootout for the Black and Gold. 

“I think at times that [David Krejci] line goes quiet, other times it’s better. We’ve tried different guys on the left side right now and one [Spooner] might give them speed but doesn’t win as many battles,” said Julien of his search for stability at left wing alongside Krejci and David Backes. “The other way [with Tim Schaller] guys are a little harder right now, and they spend more time in the O-zone. So we’re really trying hard to find the right balance there.”

Trade talks have increased the past few weeks because A) the situation has worsened recently with Spooner’s prolonged stint as a miscast fourth line winger and B) the speedy, skilled forward will most likely be a man without a spot when 22-year-old left winger Frank Vatrano returns sometime around the mid-December range. 

According to one source, the Bruins are asking for a “top six forward” in exchange for a package including Spooner, and it’s a lead pipe certainty they’re looking for some goal-scoring given their 24th ranked offense this season. That represents a bit of an organizational sea change after the Bruins searched low and high for a top-4 defenseman in trade over the summer. The emergence of 20-year-old Brandon Carlo, and the Boston defense’s performance across the board, has lowered the Black and Gold’s priority list need to trade for a D-man. 

The Bruins have scored two goals or fewer in 18 of their 25 games this season and badly need somebody that can put the puck in the net from one of the wing positions. Unfortunately for the Bruins, there aren’t a lot of top-6 forwards readily available that could make an immediate impact. It’s highly doubtful any team is going to fork one over for an asset like Spooner that’s been downgraded due to the way he’s been utilized by the Bruins this season. He hasn't played with the same creativity or confidence this season after posting 13 goals and 49 points as their third line center last season. 

So it remains to be seen what the Bruins will get for Spooner after they offered him and a draft pick to Buffalo for rental forward Chris Stewart a couple of years ago. That was a deal Sabres GM Tim Murray turned down before trading Stewart for considerably less at the trade deadline.

The bottom line: the Bruins are working the phones discussing possible Spooner deals, and it feels like there is some motivation from B’s management to move a player that doesn’t seem like he'll ever be a proper fit in Julien’s system.