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NHL Trade Buzz: Bruins not comfortable despite dealing for Coyle

Capitals add depth, playoff experience with Hagelin; Rangers could be closer to moving Hayes, Zuccarello

by Tracey Myers @TraMyers_NHL / Staff Writer

Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are four days remaining until the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. ET, and the Buzz is picking up. Do the Boston Bruins have more trades planned? Are Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes nearing the end of their time with the New York Rangers?

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


Boston Bruins

General manager Don Sweeney is happy with the Bruins roster after they acquired forward Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild for forward Ryan Donato and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on Wednesday. Sweeney's also not sure if the Bruins will do anything else prior to the NHL Trade Deadline.

"Will we look at adding more depth? Possibly. We feel good about where we're at, but you're never comfortable," Sweeney said on a conference call Thursday. "We are going to continue to make calls, receive calls and we will continue to look at the marketplace and see what may or may not fit with our club. We'll cross our fingers that we'll stay healthy. We'll continue to look at areas, but we're excited." 


[RELATED: 2018-19 NHL Trade Tracker]


Coyle is a native of Weymouth, Massachusetts, about a half-hour south of Boston. The 26-year-old had 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 60 games for the Wild this season and has 242 points (91 goals, 151 assists) in 479 career games. Coyle has played wing and center, but Sweeney expects Coyle to be used mostly at center with the Bruins.

"I like his size and strength there," said Sweeney, who's discussed with coach Bruce Cassidy where Coyle fits best. "Where will Charlie feel most comfortable? Where does [Cassidy] feel he can make the most impact? There's an area there. With [forward David] Pastrnak out of the lineup, there's the ability for him to move Charlie around, but let's get him most comfortable. He's played a lot of wing, but he's a natural center, so that's probably where he'll start."

The Bruins (36-17-8), who have won seven straight games, are second in the Atlantic Division, 16 points behind the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning and four points ahead of the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins play the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; NHLN, FS-MW, NESN, NHL.TV).

Video: A more in-depth look at the Charlie Coyle trade


Minnesota Wild

The Wild acquired forward Ryan Donato from the Boston Bruins for forward Charlie Coyle and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on Wednesday, and general manager Paul Fenton said the trade should put Wild players "on notice" that recent poor play would not be tolerated.

"We have underperformed since we've come out of the (mandatory five-day) break. It puts people on notice that it's not acceptable," Fenton said before the Wild played the New York Rangers Madison Square Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV).

The Wild (27-27-6), who are 1-6-3 in their past 10 games, are one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. They're also one point behind the Chicago Blackhawks (26-26-9), but the Wild have a game in hand.

The 22-year-old Donato had nine points (six goals, three assists) in 34 games with the Bruins. Donato was expected to start Thursday's game on the Wild's third line with Joel Eriksson Ek and Luke Kunin.

"We are looking to be a playoff team and Ryan can help us get there," Fenton said. "I'm not putting a pressure on Ryan. I'm saying he becomes one of the pieces that helps us get there. We don't have anyone that is going to just single-handedly take us there."

Washington Capitals

Gaining depth and playoff experience prior to the trade deadline never hurts, and the Capitals did both when they acquired forward Carl Hagelin from the Los Angeles Kings for a third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2020 Draft on Thursday.

The 30-year-old has plenty of postseason experience with 47 points (22 goals, 25 assists) in 121 playoff games. He also won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. This season, Hagelin has eight points (two goals, six assists) in 38 games with the Penguins and Kings.

Hagelin is very familiar with the Capitals; he has faced them in six playoff series (three times with the New York Rangers in 2012, 2013 and 2015, and three times with the Penguins in 2016, 2017 and 2018). 

The Capitals appeared to be planning something when they placed forward Devante Smith-Pelly on waivers Wednesday. Smith-Pelly cleared waivers on Thursday, paving the way for the Hagelin trade.

Smith-Pelly, who helped the Capitals win their first Stanley Cup championship last season, scored seven goals in the 2018 postseason, including three in the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. However, he has eight points (four goals, four assists) in 54 games this season and will be replaced by Hagelin, who is an excellent penalty-killer and one of the fastest skaters in the League.

The trade helps the Kings (23-30-6), who are nine points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card in the Western Conference, continue to build toward the future. The Kings, who acquired Hagelin from the Penguins for forward Tanner Pearson on Nov. 14, have 10 picks in the 2019 NHL Draft. 

The Capitals (33-20-7) are second in the Metropolitan Division, three points behind the first-place New York Islanders and two points ahead of the third-place Penguins. Washington visits the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, TVAS, TSN4, NBCSWA, NHL.TV).


New York Rangers

Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes have long been rumored to be potential trade options for the Rangers. Now it's looking more likely that each will soon play for another team.

The New York Post reported Thursday that contract talks with the two forwards have stalled. Zuccarello and Hayes can each become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Neither player has let trade rumors affect his production. Zuccarello, a 31-year-old right wing who has 37 points (11 goals, 26 points) in 45 games, has 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in his past 15. Hayes, a 26-year-old who primarily has played center with the Rangers, has 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 50 games, including nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past 10. 

The Rangers (26-25-8) are nine points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Zuccarello and Hayes are expected to be in the lineup when the Rangers play the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV).


[RELATED: NHL Trade Buzz: Wild trade Coyle to Bruins]

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