While the month leading into the NHL trade deadline is full of trade rumors, the month prior to the NHL Entry Draft, which takes place June 25-26 in Los Angeles, and July 1, the start of free agency, has become rumor season part Deux.
With the Bruins holding the second overall pick in the draft, as well as three more in the first two rounds, and general manager Peter Chiarelli openly saying that he is exploring the trade market to improve the team, the Bruins have already been the subject of numerous rumors over the past two weeks.
So let’s take a look at three rumors that probably won’t go away until the draft or July 1, and whether there could be any validity to them.
1. The Bruins and Oilers swap the first and second overall picks to ensure the Bruins get Taylor Hall
Chiarelli didn’t help to diminish the smoke on this one when he admitted that he had spoken to Oilers GM Steve Tambellini over beers about possibly switching spots at the top of the draft. But in a recent report by Scott Burnside of ESPN.com, Tambellini pretty much made it clear that it will take a knock-your-socks off type deal for him to consider dealing the top overall pick.
"Someone said would you trade the pick? I said, honestly I can't imagine what it would take for me to actually say this makes sense for the Edmonton Oilers organization that I move this pick," Tambellini told ESPN.com. "If I can't think about it, I guess I always have to be open to suggestions. But I can't really think of what that is right now."
According to sources close to Taylor Hall, right now it is highly unlikely that Tambellini and Chiarelli strike a deal to swap the picks, but there is still a good chance the Oilers take Tyler Seguin instead of Hall.
2. The Bruins trade one or more of their remaining first (No. 15) and second-round (No. 32 & 45) picks, plus a roster player and/or prospects, to obtain another top ten (preferably top five) pick so that they can draft one of the top three defensemen available in the draft
Chiarelli has made it very clear that he wants more puck-moving blue liners and there are three solid two-way defensemen available at the top of the draft in Erik Gudbranson (Kingston Frontenacs, OHL), Cam Fowler (Windsor Spitfires, OHL) and Brandon Gormley (Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL). We reported that this was the case and ESPN.com draft guru Gare Joyce agrees.
The Panthers hold the third overall pick and, while they were reportedly rebuffed in an attempt to acquire the second overall pick from the Bruins, NESN.com was told on Sunday that there have been talks about the Bruins still trading for the third pick so that they can get one of the aforementioned defensemen.
However, keep in mind that Dale Tallon was one of the main architects of the current Stanley Cup finalists, the Chicago Blackhawks, and he built through the draft, holding on to top picks like 2007 second overall pick, Patrick Kane.
3. The Bruins try again to trade for Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle
At the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal, the Bruins and Maple Leafs reportedly had a deal in place that would have sent Phil Kessel (who ended up in Toronto in another trade) to the Leafs for Tomas Kaberle, but there was apparently confusion on draft picks going each way and the deal fell through.
Earlier this month, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Leafs GM Brian Burke had once again made Kaberle available in an e-mail reminding other GM’s that Kaberle’s no-movement clause will be lifted on July 1 and goes back into effect in August.
If the Bruins had interest last year, what’s to say they don’t now?
Kaberle would instantly bring that puck-moving, transition defenseman that Chiarelli wants and could quarterback a power play. He has one year left on his contract, though, so both he and the Bruins would probably want to make sure an extension could be signed.
If the Bruins are unable to strike a deal for one of the top defensive prospects in the draft, they may set their sights on the 32-year-old Kaberle, who had 49 points last season.