Boston Bruins Rumors

Pierre LeBrun

In the meantime, Chiarelli confirmed he’s working the phones trying to make a deal ahead of the Feb. 12 Olympic roster freeze and March 3 trade deadline.

“I’m looking every year [to make trades] but maybe more so this year because of the way we performed,” Chiarelli said. “Having said all that, we want to be in the playoffs and we want to succeed in the playoffs.”

The Bruins have plenty of ammunition at their disposal in trade talks. They have nine draft picks in the first two rounds over the next two years, including a pair of first-rounders courtesy of the Phil Kessel trade in September (Toronto sent over a first-rounder for both 2010 and 2011). Some of those picks are in play.

“But I can tell you one thing — I’m not trading Toronto’s pick [for this year],” Chiarelli said. “I am not trading it. That pick is too valuable.”

The Leafs are 28th in the overall standings, so that asset looks more like a lottery pick, which could wind up being the first overall selection.

While Chiarelli refused to discuss any specific names, another NHL source told ESPN.com that the Bruins are very much in the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes, along with Los Angeles in particular. While Vancouver, Philadelphia and Chicago also have reported interest, it appears the Bruins and Kings are the front-runners at this point.

But will anyone pay the price? The Thrashers, I’m told, are looking for a package that includes a first-round pick, a prospect and a player from the NHL roster. Kovalchuk is an unrestricted free agent July 1.

The Bruins next play Friday at Buffalo before hosting Los Angeles on Saturday.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4863310&name=lebrun_pierre


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