NHL rumors: Bruins, Avalanche have inquired about a Jonathan Toews trade
Report: Bruins, Avalanche have inquired about a Jonathan Toews trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Patrick Kane generates most of the headlines among the Chicago Blackhawks players who’ve been mentioned in trade rumors and speculation ahead of the March 3 NHL trade deadline, but don’t forget about Jonathan Toews.
The Blackhawks captain, like Kane, is in the final year of his contract and could potentially be moved.
Toews, who has tallied 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 26 games, is no longer a top five center in the league, but he’s still a valuable two-way forward with loads of playoff experience and enough skill to make a meaningful contribution for a Stanley Cup contender.
Which teams could pursue Toews?
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Well, according to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche “are two clubs, among others, that have inquired about Toews.”
The real issue for the Bruins in regards to Toews is making the salary cap math work.
He has a $10.5 million cap hit, and even if the Blackhawks retained a good chunk of that number in any trade, it still would be difficult for Boston to fit him in. The Bruins have about $52,000 in cap space right now, per CapFriendly. The Bruins have a few contracts they could ship out (notably Craig Smith and his $3.1 expiring cap hit), but it wouldn’t be an easy exercise.
Toews’ on-ice fit in Boston would be a little weird, too.
The Bruins have three quality centers in Patrice Bergeron on the first line, David Krejci on the second line and Charlie Coyle on the third line. Would the Bruins really play Toews over Bergeron or Krejci in the top six? Highly unlikely.
Kane is a better fit for the Bruins because they need a top-six scoring winger more than a two-way center like Toews. Kane is also a better player at this stage of his career than Toews.
Nick Goss on the Toews/Kane debate
The best spot for Toews on the Bruins roster probably would be third-line center, which would slide Coyle to the wing. It’s not the most ideal scenario, to be honest. Kane is a better fit for the Bruins because they need a top-six scoring winger more than a two-way center like Toews. Kane is also a better player at this stage of his career than Toews.
Toews and Kane both have full no-movement clauses, which means they can veto any trade. It’s possible they won’t want to be dealt and would prefer to remain with the Blackhawks. Both players are Blackhawks legends, have spent their entire careers in Chicago and are largely responsible for the franchise’s three Stanley Cup titles since 2010.
But with the Blackhawks owning the league’s second-worst record and a rebuild on the horizon, Toews and/or Kane might not want to spend their last productive seasons playing for a non-playoff team.
As for the Bruins, this season might be their last really good chance to compete for a Stanley Cup title. They should be going all-in to improve this roster as much as possible before the trade deadline.
Source: Yahoo Sports