Back in mid-November, I wrote that the Boston Bruins are keeping an eye on the Blackhawks. A lot. And that hasn’t changed. A Boston scout has been at the majority of Blackhawks’ home games this season.
So the question becomes about whom in Chicago they might be watching so often/closely?
Before the season started, the sense was that Boston might have an eye on Jonathan Toews to compliment Patrice Bergeron (OMG no opponent would ever win a faceoff again). But that was when there was some question about what David Krejci would look like coming back to the NHL after a year in Europe. Krejci has been great, so the need at center isn’t as big any more.
Which turns us to Patrick Kane.
The Bruins have the best record in the league, they’re playing ridiculously (historically) good hockey and there doesn’t appear to be a hole in their framework. So… why make a big swing?
On Friday, Jimmy Murphy at BostonHockeyNow wrote that the Bruins’ interest in Kane is there, but it’s complicated. From Murphy’s article:
“The same [league] source also stressed that so far, any talks between the Bruins and Blackhawks on the NHL trade market have been have been ‘strictly exploratory’, as have pretty much all NHL trade talks concerning Kane or Toews to this point. Stanley Cup and playoff contenders are mostly doing due diligence and advance scouting on players of Kane’s and Toews’ caliber.”
The same unnamed NHL exec told Murphy that the Bruins are all-in to get Bergeron a ring this season, and adding Kane to their stacked lineup could be the right level of swing to secure the right mix for that to happen.
However, keep in mind that both Kane and Toews still have those no-move clauses, and $10.5 million cap hits, and the teams they would likely entertain joining don’t have much cap space (across the board) so any deal coming to fruition for either player won’t happen for a while. Earlier this week, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reported Kane and Toews plan on speaking with the Blackhawks’ front office in January about their futures.