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NHL Trade Buzz: Bruins could be done after acquiring Kase

Maple Leafs unsure of deadline plan; Pageau, Kovalchuk may not be on move

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are three days remaining until the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline on Monday at 3 p.m. ET, and has all the important news, rumblings and analysis heading toward the deadline.

Here's a look around the League at the latest deadline doings:


Boston Bruins

The Bruins acquired right wing Ondrej Kase in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday for right wing David Backes, defenseman prospect Axel Andersson and a first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said Kase, who has missed Anaheim's past five games and is on injured reserve with flu-like symptoms, will fly to Boston, meaning he will not join them for games at the Calgary Flames on Friday or at the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

Kase is expected to be on the ice with the Bruins on Monday, when they will get a full evaluation of his health and determine when they can put him in the lineup.

Trading for Kase could be the Bruins' only move in advance of the deadline Monday. Sweeney said the Bruins are looking only to add to the roster, not take anything off it to make another trade.

"I don't know what will be or can be done," Sweeney said. "We'll continue to make calls and look at different opportunities. … For us, we've addressed what we think [we] need and it also doesn't take away from any of the players we have."

That could mean the Bruins are out of the running to try to acquire left wing Chris Kreider from the New York Rangers.

Boston was considered a potential landing spot for Kreider provided New York decides to trade him. The Rangers have not indicated if they are going to trade or re-sign the pending unrestricted free agent.

Ottawa Senators

Jean-Gabriel Pageau could re-sign with the Ottawa Senators before the trade deadline.

Pageau, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, is arguably the top center on the rental market, but TSN reported Thursday that contract negotiations have begun. If the Senators believe they're close to re-signing Pageau, they could keep him past the deadline and continue to try to come to an agreement.

Among teams that are likely interested in Pageau, who has an NHL career-high 24 goals in 59 games this season, are the Philadelphia Flyers, who are figuring out whether center Nolan Patrick will be able to play this season.

Patrick has been out since training camp because of a migraine disorder but is skating with the team even though he hasn't been cleared for contact. Once cleared, he would likely play games in the American Hockey League with Lehigh Valley on a conditioning stint.

The Flyers have to determine if they think Patrick will be a viable option for them at some point soon. If not, they could go all in on trying to acquire Pageau to be their third center behind Sean Couturier and Kevin Hayes.

The Senators are likely close to trading forward Vladislav Namestnikov, who was a healthy scratch in a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. Namestnikov has 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 54 games this season.

"It threw our lines off, all that, but it's part of hockey and it is what it is," Senators coach D.J. Smith said. "Everyone knows this time of year when you're in our situation this happens and you've got to be pros."

Tweet from @PierreVLeBrun: The Senators and J-G Pageau���s camp have finally commenced contract talks. More on Insider Trading.


Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs could be buyers and sellers at the same time if they decide they find a trade worth making involving defenseman Tyson Barrie, according to TSN.

The key to trading Barrie, who was removed from the first power-play unit in their 4-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, would be if the Maple Leafs found a deal that nets a return of either a different type of defenseman who could play right away, or draft picks and/or prospects who could be flipped before the deadline for Barrie's replacement, TSN reported.

The Maple Leafs appear to have little to no desire to re-sign Barrie, who has 33 points (five goals, 28 assists) in 62 games, so they would have to consider a trade if they can get something back that they believe makes them better this season and helps them in the future.

Barrie would be an ideal rental for a team that needs a puck-moving, right-shot defenseman who can play on the power play. Potential suitors with that need include the Vancouver Canucks, Vegas Golden Knights, Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames and the Nashville Predators, who are close to getting Ryan Ellis back in the lineup for the first time since Jan. 1.

Tweet from @TSNHockey: INSIDER TRADING: #TSNHockey Insiders discuss...🏒 Leafs talking Barrie trade?🏒#Canucks & Stetcher; Simmonds 🏒 Pageau/Sens talking contract; Namestnikov on deck🏒 Habs��� life with/without Kovalchuk🏒 Oilers��� cheap F optionsWATCH 🌍:


Montreal Canadiens

There's still a strong possibility that the Canadiens trade forward Ilya Kovalchuk before the deadline, but re-signing him to a one-year contract instead remains on the table, according to TSN, which reports that there have been contract talks.

Kovalchuk has been a fit in Montreal since the Canadiens signed him to a one-year contract worth $700,000 on Jan. 3 after he became an unrestricted free agent because his contract was terminated by the Los Angeles Kings.

He has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 21 games, including three-game winning goals, two in overtime. The Canadiens were eight points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with 19 games remaining.

The Canadiens, given their position in the playoff picture, stand to benefit by trading Kovalchuk before the deadline to get an asset in return. If Kovalchuk wants to continue playing in Montreal, the Canadiens could inform him they'll circle back to try to re-sign him on July 1.

Tweet from @DarrenDreger: Talked about what a Kovalchuk extension in Montreal might look like. 1 year...likely base salary of $3.5 that can climb to $5 mil with bonuses. Very Jagr-like. Parameters being discussed. Trade still a strong option, but extension talks ongoing.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Oliver Bjorkstrand will be out 8-10 weeks for the Blue Jackets with a sprained and fractured ankle, which could affect what Columbus does prior to the deadline. 

The forward, who was injured in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, is the latest injury for the Blue Jackets, who are also without defenseman Seth Jones (ankle, 8-10 weeks) and forward Cam Atkinson (ankle, 2-3 weeks), among others.

Prior to Bjorkstrand's injury, Columbus had nine players on injured reserve and an NHL-high 345 man-games lost to injury.

Columbus had a one-point lead on the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders for the first wild-card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference despite the injuries and going 0-3-4 with 13 goals scored since Feb. 8.

Adding a forward to replace Bjorkstrand, who has 21 goals in 49 games, and a defenseman to replace Jones would be ideal, but the Blue Jackets have five picks in the 2020 NHL Draft, none in the second and third rounds. They also have traded their second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

The good news for the Blue Jackets it that Atkinson, forwards Josh Anderson (shoulder) and Alexander Wennberg (upper body), and goalie Joonas Korpisalo (knee) could return in the next few weeks.

Buffalo Sabres

Zach Bogosian was placed on unconditional waivers by the Sabres for the purpose of terminating his contract. The defenseman would immediately become an unrestricted free agent if his contract is terminated.

Bogosian, who has been limited to 19 games this season because of injuries and being a healthy scratch, could be an interesting addition for a team that missed on the first wave of rental defensemen who were traded earlier this week, including Andy Greene to the New York Islanders, Marco Scandella to the St. Louis Blues, Brenden Dillon to the Washington Capitals, and Dylan DeMelo to the Winnipeg Jets. 

All were traded for one or more draft picks in the second, third or fourth round, but all it would take is a prorated contract to sign Bogosian for the rest of this season if his contract is terminated by the Sabres.

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