Rumor: Boston to trade Wheeler, Savard to Columbus for 4th overall pick
I’d like to preface this post with a quick disclaimer: right now, this can only be classified as a rumor, although one that certainly seems to have legs. Proceed with caution.
Pro Hockey Talk has learned of a possible trade in the works, with the Boston Bruins dealing Blake Wheeler and Marc Savard to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. It’s likely that the Bruins would also include their 15th overall pick in the deal as well, leaving Boston with both the second and fourth pick in the first round.
Talking to another source, PHT was told that the Blue Jackets are interested in trading away their pick, although as of now there is nothing concrete in the works as far as a trade goes. Considering how reliable our source is for the information regarding this trade proposal, it seems as though there is certainly something substantial in the works although there is no guarantee this is going down. It’s also important to note that Boston including that 15th pick isn’t certain, although you wonder if Wheeler and Savard alone are worth the 4th. So you’d think something else would have to come back Boston’s way, although I doubt they’re looking to take on much salary in this trade.
Here is where things get dicey however, if this is in fact the proposed trade. Marc Savard has a full no-trade clause that he would have to waive and Blake Wheeler isn’t under contract for next season — he’s to become a restricted free agent after making $2.8 million last season. Savard would have had to agree to be traded to Columbus, something I haven’t even caught wind of being a possibility. While it’s certainly possibly, that right now is the big sticking point in this deal.
Columbus is also hoping to acquire top line center this summer (hence the rumors about a possible Spezza trade) and while Savard has decent numbers throughout his career I’m not certain he’s the level of center the Blue Jackets are hoping for on the first line. That being said, he would still help fill a void on the Blue Jackets roster and allow them some flexibility to not have to give up a ransom this summer to make either make a trade for center or overpay in free agency.
For Boston, this is a trade that works in freeing up cap space while also giving themselves the ability to instantly infuse the franchise with two outstanding and talented young players, one of which will certainly make an immediate impact. The cap space is important, especially if the Bruins are looking to make a big splash in free agency — Patrick Marleau , anyone?