Blues forward Keith Tkachuk is now reportedly the Bruins' top target prior to the March 4 trade deadline. Bruins' GM Peter Chiarelli said he would seriously consider making a move for a rental player this season because he believes his team can make a deep playoff run.
The Bruins are facing serious cap issues next season (Tim Thomas, David Krejci, and Phil Kessel are the top three priorities to be extended), so expiring contracts aren't as bad as they seem for Chiarelli.
Boston's recent 1-3-1 road stumble will not change Chiarelli's strategy going into the trade deadline, but it might help identify the areas to improve, e.g. the power play. The most instant and obvious upgrade would be Tkachuk, who will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end.
Tkachuk, 36, has a no-trade clause, but he submitted a list of six teams to where he would accept a trade and the Bruins are on it (Tkachuk is native from Medford, Massachusetts). Tkachuk has 18 goals, 11 power play goals, and 17 assists for 35 points in 57 games for the lowly Blues.
The Blues are currently five points out of the eight seed in the Western Conference, and should they falter in the next 10 days, look for Tkachuk to be moved for a high draft pick and prospect; a price that the Bruins are willing to pay.