New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider is going to be the most popular name in the rumor mill as the Feb. 24 NHL trade deadline approaches, and the Boston Bruins are one team firmly in the mix.
"While the New York Rangers remain in negotiation to keep winger Chris Kreider, but the Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins appear to have emerged as frontrunners for his services on the trade market," TSN's Frank Seravalli reported Tuesday.
The Bruins and Avs aren't the only teams that have shown interest in Kreider, though. Seravalli also noted, "The Blues and, to a lesser extent, the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals, are all believed to have inquired about Kreider’s availability."
Here's what our Bruins insider Joe Haggerty reported in January:
But when they do become full-out sellers at some point in the second half of the season, big Rangers winger Chris Kreider will be the Bruins top option for a top-6 winger at the trade deadline, according to multiple hockey sources.
The Bruins enter Tuesday with the league's best record but still have a very slim lead over the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning bolstered their scoring depth with the acquisition of forward Blake Coleman from the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. The Bruins would be wise to make a move(s) of their own to put themselves in the best possible position for what should be a very competitive Eastern Conference playoffs.
The primary need for the Bruins ahead of the trade deadline is secondary scoring. We know the Perfection Line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and 42-goal scorer David Pastrnak is likely to produce at a consistent level in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the same can't be said for the other players and lines.
Kreider certainly would address that secondary scoring need for Boston. He plays a power-forward style of hockey that would help him make a smooth transition to the Bruins lineup. He's tallied 42 points (23 goals, 19 assists) in 57 games for the Rangers this season. The Massachusetts native and former Boston College Eagles star also has hit the 20-goal mark in five of the last six seasons.
The Bruins have nearly all of their future draft picks and several intriguing prospects to dangle on the trade market for a forward like Kreider.