The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lighting aren't just battling for the NHL's best record and first place in the Atlantic Division.
The trade deadline is Monday, and the Lightning made a move over the weekend to acquire veteran forward Blake Coleman from the New Jersey Devils. The Lightning gave up forward Nolan Foote and the Vancouver Canucks' 2020 first-round draft pick (previously acquired by Tampa Bay) to pry Coleman out of New Jersey.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Tuesday in his weekly "31 Thoughts" column that the Bruins were among the teams outbid by the Lightning.
2. Tampa outbid Boston for Coleman, but Edmonton made a real push. A couple of teams said they heard he was the guy the Oilers would give up a first-rounder for.
This report might frustrate Bruins fans, especially since it was the Lightning that ultimately got Coleman, but it makes sense for Boston to save its top trade assets for a player better than Coleman. One player who fits that description is New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider, who is more talented and a better fit for Boston than Coleman.
TSN reported Tuesday the Bruins and Colorado Avalanche have emerged as the frontrunners for a Kreider trade, although other teams are interested in him.
The Lightning aren't the only Eastern Conference contender that's made a trade before the Bruins. The Washington Capitals acquired defenseman Brenden Dillon from the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. The Pittsburgh Penguins traded for veteran forward Jason Zucker in a deal with the Minnesota Wild earlier this month.
The Bruins enter Tuesday with a slim one-point lead over the Lightning for the top seed in the East. Both teams have played 60 games, and they will meet twice more before the end of the regular season.