Boston Bruins Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz and Marcus Johansson Extension NewsJune 26, 2019
The NHL draft was less than a week ago, but with trade season heating up, it's become but a speck in the rearview mirror.
Teams who had a draft pick capable of changing their entire franchise, as the New Jersey Devils did in selecting forward Jack Hughes No. 1 overall, have still been active on the trade market; they also pulled off a megatrade to acquire defenseman P.K. Subban from the Nashville Predators.
And for those teams whose draft prospects may never see top minutes...well, their fans can still dream of greatness via trading for a talented player.
The Boston Bruins had to endure losing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in heartbreaking fashion to the St. Louis Blues and then selecting at No. 31 overall in this year's draft. They chose center John Beecher, who has the physical maturity to develop into something special but could also very well turn into a bottom-six player.
While the jury remains out on Beecher, the Bruins know all too well now which shortcomings they need to address on their squad in order to make another run at the Cup in 2020.
Some of these moves will need to come from within their own roster and some could be filled by external candidates. Let's break down the latest buzz surrounding the B's.
Marcus Johansson Extension Talks Continue
Just before the NHL draft commenced, The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported talks between Bruins general manager Don Sweeney and player agent JP Barry were set to begin regarding an extension for Marcus Johansson.
The forward, who will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1, joined the Bruins at the trade deadline this season and brought valuable production down the stretch. Playing on the third line, he netted 11 points in 22 playoff games, including two power-play goals and one game-winning goal.
Understandably, Sweeney (and every other general manager in the league) wanted to get a better sense on the NHL salary-cap number for next season before opening up contract talks for Johansson.
Now that figure ($81.5 million, $1.5 million lower than projected, per ESPN) has been revealed, the Bruins GM should be able to bring about a resolution on the 28-year-old Swede before he becomes a free agent.
This Bruins team got so much production from its bottom six forwards, playing a crucial role in reaching the Stanley Cup Final.
Bruins Have Interest in Rangers Forward Chris Kreider
It appears all but certain the New York Rangers will deal forward Chris Kreider this summer; the team has been actively shopping him around.
Reportedly, the Bruins could be one interested buyer.
According to NBC Sports Boston's Joe Haggerty, "The B's have interest in Kreider, who would be a strong power forward fit for the Bruins at the right price."
Anyone who watched even one game in the Stanley Cup Final series against the St. Louis Blues knows the Bruins could use another top-six forward. Team president Cam Neely knows it perhaps better than anyone.
"Yeah, well, obviously I know it's been talked about at length about another top-six forward, so we'll see where that ends up," he said, per Haggerty.
Kreider would be a pricey acquisition, with one year left at $4.625 million on his contract and likely looking for $2-3 million more than that in his next contract.
His production doesn't lie, though; the 28-year-old netted 28 goals and 52 points this season on a career-high 201 shots on goal. The former Boston College Eagle would be yet another hometown-hero-returns story, as well.
It's unclear how much Boston would be willing to give up to land a player like Kreider; Haggerty guesses that one of their prospects and their 2020 first-round pick, assuming it's once again late in the round, could get a deal done.
Bruins Kicking the Tires on Wild Forward Jason Zucker
The Bruins already knocked it out of the park trading with the Minnesota Wild once this season, acquiring Charlie Coyle at the deadline in time for a long playoff run.
Why not go back to that well?
According to The Fourth Period's Shawn Hutcheon, the Bruins were asking around about Jason Zucker right before the NHL draft. Perhaps their interest was only tied to their ability to move assets in this year's draft, but with the 27-year-old still in Minnesota, a move remains possible.
Zucker scored 21 goals and had 42 points in 81 games last season en route to winning the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his humanitarian work.
General manager Paul Fenton was asked about moving the forward this summer, and some felt he could have answered the question better. Zucker's wife, Carly, for instance, put the team on blast, causing something of a stir on Hockey Twitter:
If the Bruins are looking to get involved in the Jason Zucker sweepstakes, they'll have to pay up. His deal runs through the 2022-23 season, with a $5.5 million cap hit.