The Boston Bruins would benefit from some depth on the wing and appear to be looking for external options, but they’re far from alone.
The Bruins are among those interested in Carolina Hurricanes winger Micheal Ferland, According to Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman,
“The list is longer,” Friedman wrote in his “31 Thoughts” on Wednesday, “but Boston, Edmonton, Pittsburgh and Vancouver are among those interested in Micheal Ferland.”
Ferland presents an intriguing option. He currently serves as the left wing on the Canes’ top line next to Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, while also skating on the top power play unit. He was sent to Carolina from the Calgary Flames — the franchise he spent the first four campaigns of his career with — this past summer in the deal that also brought ex-Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the Hurricanes.
In 39 games this season, Ferland is slashing 13-12-25. The 2017-18 season far and away was the best of his career, posting a 21-20-41 line in 77 regular season games.
The Bruins have a need at the position, as they’ve struggled to find stability on the second line beyond David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk (Peter Cehlarik will get a shot in the second-line winger role Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers). Last year they filled that void by acquiring Rick Nash, but that came at a steep cost, and general manager Don Sweeney has admitted he’d prefer to not part ways with a first-round pick again.
So what would it take to pry Ferland from the Canes? The Athletic’s NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun offered a potential asking price.
“My sense is that Carolina would begin its ask at least this far out from the deadline at a first-round pick and a prospect,” LeBrun wrote last week. “Whether they get it, well, we shall see.”
The 26-year-old also will be an unrestricted free agent this season, which is part of the reason the Hurricanes, who are all but eliminated from postseason contention, would be inclined to move him — particularly if he doesn’t seem likely to sign an extension. That means whatever team would acquire Ferland would be doing so with the risk that he ultimately becomes a straight rental.
Earlier this week, Sara Civian, the Hurricanes beat writer for The Athletic, reported what Ferland’s ask might be. And though it’s not totally cap-crunching, it’s not exactly cheap.
“I’m told he’s asking for a ‘significant’ raise that sounds like it’s at least in the ballpark of Tom Wilson’s $5.17 million (average annual value), though the term — which could be the biggest issue — is unclear,” Civian wrote.
It sounds like Ferland will have plenty of suitors, so he, along with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds, likely will become the most highly sought-after forwards leading up to the Feb. 25 trade deadline.