While he may not want to make a trade in reactionary mode, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli may need to do something in advance of the April 3 trade deadline. Competing Eastern Conference general managers continue not only to bolster their rosters ahead of the deadline, but also acquire players Chiarelli was eyeing, sources told ESPNBoston.com.
After acquiring a player the Bruins were targeting in forward Brenden Morrow from Dallas on Sunday, the Penguins -- who as of Monday afternoon led the Bruins by seven points in the Eastern Conference -- added depth to their blue line by trading two second-round draft picks (2013 and 2014) to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Douglas Murray. It is not known if the Bruins were in on Murray, but they are looking to add defensive depth in addition to a forward.
The Montreal Canadiens, who entered play Monday two points ahead of the Bruins, acquired another player Boston reportedly targeted in former Bruin Michael Ryder last month. Habs GM Marc Bergevin isn’t done, sources say, and is interested in trading for yet another player the Bruins have scouted heavily and have interest in, San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe.
Chiarelli has shown patience in the past, but displayed coy aggressiveness ahead of the 2011 trade deadline when he traded for Tomas Kaberle, Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. He also acquired veteran forward Mark Recchi at the 2009 deadline, and he was a key member of the 2011 Cup-winning team. But this season patience could prevent Chiarelli from landing one of the few impact players available.
Three NHL sources said Chiarelli had his eyes on Morrow, Clowe and Flames captain and pending unrestricted free agent Jarome Iginla. But to this point, the prices have been too high.
All three sources said that since the Bruins don’t have the high-end defensive prospect the Flames are seeking as part of a package that also would include a first-round draft pick and a roster player, the Flames want the Bruins to include goalie Malcolm Subban, Boston’s first-round pick in the 2012 draft.
With the Bruins reportedly working on an extension for goalie Tuukka Rask, who is 26, he seemingly will be their starter for the foreseeable future. Factor in 23-year-old Swedish goalie Nicklas Svedberg knocking on the door from Providence, as well as Anton Khudobin (also 26) proving to be a serviceable back-up to Rask, and the Bruins appear set between the pipes for the long term.
The Flames, meanwhile, are rumored to be shopping longtime veteran starter Miikka Kiprusoff and would like to add some depth between the pipes in their system. That would explain why the Flames could be interested in Subban as the “high-end” prospect included in the deal.
One source wondered whether Subban, Peverley (whom the Bruins would be willing to move) and a first-round pick would satisfy Flames GM Jay Feaster and enable the Bruins to get Iginla. That is a steep price, and it would be reasonable for Chiarelli to wait and see if it went down as the deadline got closer. But he’d also be risking losing the chance to acquire Iginla to another Eastern Conference team, with the Penguins reportedly in the mix.
All three sources said Chiarelli has been very active in making inquiries for a few weeks. Numerous sources say the Stars will move center Derek Roy, but the cost will be very high and in addition to that, he will be looking for big money as an unrestricted free agent in July.
Based on his track record, Chiarelli isn’t going to be pressured into paying a ransom for a rental, so the belief here is he will pursue options that could net the Bruins a player or two who is signed past this season. Remember, the trades for Kelly and Peverley in 2011 were under-the-radar deals and it wouldn’t be surprising if Chiarelli is working on similar moves to try to spark the team, which has struggled on both ends of the ice of late.