Sunday Night – Post Olympics Rumors

Scoring Forward on Bruins Wish List as Trade Deadline Nears

Silly Season Begin

Selanne: Last Olympics for Finland, likely last NHL season

Jackets primed to resume seller role

Scoring Forward on Bruins Wish List as Trade Deadline Nears

James Murphy

Peter Chiarelli addressed the media after the Bruins’ practice on Sunday and acknowledged that he has been working hard to pull off some trades once the Olympic freeze is lifted at midnight Monday morning. Chiarelli pointed to scoring as an obvious need for his team and would like to add an offensively sound forward by Wednesday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline.

“I’m in on a couple of things, and we’ll see where they go,” Chiarelli told reporters at Ristuccia Arena.

“Obviously, you look at the statistics, and it’s our scoring [that needs to be addressed]. It’s bad, so you want to get some type of top-nine forward that has an offensive bend to his game. There’s not many out there.”

The Bruins will enter the post-Olympic stretch run dead last in scoring averaging (2.35 goals a game), and while they entered the break on a four-game win streak, they still desperately need a finisher.

On Friday, center Marc Savard expressed his desire for a scorer to whom he can dish the puck. Savard, for one, has clearly missed having a sniper like Phil Kessel on his wing.

“We can use that boost for sure because we haven’t had [as] much scoring as last year,” Savard said. “I’m not sure what [Chiarelli’s] plans are, but if [he doesn’t make a trade], like we’ve done before, we’ve got guys in here that can [win].”

Interestingly enough, a reliable source told on Sunday to “keep a close eye on Phoenix and Boston” as possible trade partners. The Coyotes have made it known that they are willing to deal 21-year-old forward Peter Mueller, the eighth pick in the 2006 draft, who scored 22 goals and had 54 points in his rookie season of 2007-08. The Coyotes would like to add a veteran forward and defenseman for a playoff push and have a wealth of good young players, so they could be willing to part with Mueller despite his age.

This source did stress that he did not know what players could go either way in a potential trade but said that something could go down as early as Monday. The source also said he had been told that the Bruins might already have other deals in place as well and could announce two trades as early as Monday.

Silly Season Begins

As the NHL trade deadline approaches, there will be plenty of chatter about moving parts between now and Wednesday at 3 p.m.. The Dispatch has learned the Philadelphia Flyers are one of the teams with a strong interest in Jackets winger Raffi Torres. The problem is the Flyers do not have a first- or a second-round pick in the upcoming draft. It’s believed general manager Scott Howson is seeking at least a second-round pick. We don’t think there are serious talks between the clubs, but only that the Flyers have a serious interest in Torres.

Selanne: Last Olympics for Finland, likely last NHL season

Teemu Selanne(notes) raised the bronze medal from his chest, the third Olympic medal of his storied career after bronze in Nagano and silver in Torino.

“It’s for sure the heaviest,” he said of the hockey hardware, awarded to his Finland team after its 5-3 comeback win over Slovakia on Saturday night. “I like this. It’s a cool-looking medal.”

In a way, he said, the bronze is more emotionally rewarding than the silver, as Finland experienced in its loss to the Swedes in 2006. “It was so bitter and disappointing. At least bronze, you win. Everybody’s smiling. Everybody’s celebrating,” he said. “Especially for me. I played my first national team game 23 years ago. Five Olympics. Finishing with the bronze is a dream come true.”

Selanne’s Olympic dreams as a player appear at an end. This was his 31st Winter Games contest, and the 39-year-old winger said it’s his international finale. “I think this is going to be my last year, for sure. Last Olympics, last national team game,” he said. “I learn over the years to never say never, but I think this is my last one.”

When asked if this season would mark the end of his NHL career, the Anaheim Ducks sniper answered: “Yeah, I think so.”

Selanne’s talked retirement before and come back to play, but this Olympic achievement for the Finns would appear to be a crowning one for the veteran. They rallied from a 3-1 second-period hole with four unanswered tallies in the third period, leaving the Slovaks stunned and angry after the game. New York Rangers winger Marian Gaborik(notes) slammed his helmet against the concrete on the way to the locker room. Defenseman Andrej Sekera(notes) smashed his stick on a metal rail, tossing one broken half to the ground as the other half landed on top of a reporter’s head. (He was unharmed, and collected quite a souvenir.)

The Finns? All smiles, especially Selanne. “Hockey is a funny game. You never know what’s going to happen,” he said.,224759

Jackets primed to resume seller role

A year ago, Blue Jackets fans enjoyed the rare treat of seeing their club enter the NHL trade deadline as buyers rather than sellers.

The organization was good to its word, making the first deal of the day in acquiring forward Antoine Vermette from Ottawa for goaltender Pascal Leclaire and a second-round draft pick.

The Blue Jackets should be active again as the Olympic break trade freeze ends tonight at midnight. But they likely will return to a familiar pattern of moving unrestricted free agents such as winger Raffi Torres and defenseman Milan Jurcina for draft picks and prospects.

With the deadline set for 3p.m. Wednesday, the Blue Jackets sit in 14th place in the Western Conference, nine points out of the final playoff spot.

“We are certainly listening, listening to what the other teams needs are and what we see our needs to be,” general manager Scott Howson said. “The conversations are getting more frequent and more intense.”

Eager general managers have been talking throughout the break, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see trades made Monday and Tuesday.

With so many teams still in playoff contention, the Blue Jackets are one of the few clubs, along with Edmonton, Carolina, Toronto and Florida, thought to be in full sell mode. The biggest prize, forward Ilya Kovalchuk, was traded to New Jersey from Atlanta on Feb. 4

The Jackets are not expected to deal any players under contract beyond this season, but some minor-league prospects could be in play. They will try to rebuild their defensive corps in the offseason, starting at the NHL draft and through free agency.

Torres and Jurcina are attracting significant interest. At least four teams are thought to have inquired about each player. Forward Fredrik Modin, asked to waive his no-trade clause, is not commanding as much attention.

Howson and Eustace King, Torres’ agent, spoke during the break but couldn’t reach a contract extension. Torres has 19 goals and enjoys the reputation of being a clutch performer in playoff stretch drives and the postseason. The Pittsburgh Penguins are thought to be among the teams interested in him.

The Jackets are looking to get at least a second-round pick for Torres, who recently became
a father and wants to remain with the Blue Jackets. Howson likes Torres but expects prospect Nikita Filatov, a left winger, to return from Russia next fall.

“It’s been tougher on my wife than me,” Torres said of a potential trade. “I try not to think about it except when I’m talking to (the media). I’m just taking it day by day.”

4 Responses to Sunday Night – Post Olympics Rumors

  1. cam7777 says:

    Congrats to Team Canada.  You could not have asked for a more perfect ending to this tournament.  I was thinking once overtime started, how cruel it would be for Ovechkin, who I'm sure was watching, to have to watch Sidney Crosby put the game winner in the net.  Awful for him, but absolutely perfect for Canada.  He will be our Captain at the next Olympics, which will be equally as epic.

  2. leafy says:

    Agreed. Sid the Kid comes through in the clutch. Jonathan Toews and Rick Nash have shown they truly are superstars. Iggy and Niedermayer are the veteran leaders.  I'm really proud of the whole team. We are simply the best.

  3. bbruins37 says:

    i was getting ready to bash crosby for disappearing for their 3 most crucial games (he was pretty awful between the start of the russia game and the end of the third against the americans) and bab***** for putting getzlaf on for whatever reason in the last minute bur all is forgiven now. very exciting game.

    just imagine what the stories would have been if the states would have won in overtime though: mike green and steven stamkos being left off the team destroy canada's gold medal hopes…crosby disappoints in the national spotlight…luongo proves he can't play when it matters….USA's development program trumps canada's with their WJC win and olympic gold with a very young roster…etc., etc. crazy the difference one goal makes

  4. bbruins37 says:

    yeah toews was a beast this whole tournament, and i thought nash was by far the best player on the ice today. i really didn't see why the commentators were praising niedermayer so much, but he is the captain so i guess he has to get some credit.

    what a great win. what better way to cap off the olympics than to have the face of canadian hockey pot the game winner in OT against our new biggest rivals to set the record for golds in an olympics. unreal.

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