BOSTON - Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson has been subject of trade rumors for weeks but one day before the NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, he's trying block out the possibility he could be playing elsewhere.
"All you can do, like I've been saying earlier, is just try to focus on the game you're going to play tonight," Eriksson said prior to the Bruins' game against the Tampa Bay Lighting at TD Garden on Sunday. "That's all I'm going to do and try to get the two points. It's a big game for us tonight."
Eriksson can be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Bruins, who are tied with the Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division with 74 points, are reportedly in negotiations with his representatives on a new contract. Eriksson is in the last season of a six-year contract with an annual NHL salary-cap charge of $4.25 million, according to war-on-ice.com.
Eriksson, 30, is tied for second on the Bruins in points (48) and goals (23) in 62 games. He's third among Bruins forwards in average ice time at 19:35, so it's understandable the Bruins would want to keep him. Eriksson didn't want to reveal how confident he was a contract could be done.
"I don't really want to talk about that right now," he said. "We'll see what's going to happen and all I can do is just play. Just help the team like I've been saying the last couple times that we've talked to you guys."
The trade rumors haven't slowed Eriksson's production. He has seven goals and one assist in his past 10 games.
"It's obviously a lot of things going around," he said. "And coming back to it again, I'm just trying to play the game and have fun with the team and try to win games right now."
Video: CBJ@BOS: Eriksson nets two in 6-4 loss
With the Bruins in the thick of the race for a place in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Eriksson isn't the only name involved in trade rumors. The Bruins, who are 8-4-1 in their past 13 games, don't seem distracted by the talk.
"I don't see anything different in our group right now from what it's been all year as far as the mindset or guys being worried," coach Claude Julien said. "And in the past I can honestly say there were guys wondering if they were going to be here at the trade deadline. Right now I think we have a pretty good focus on just playing the game and so it's been good that way. So as far as a distraction, I'm not sure it is right now and if it is, it's not showing.