St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn is once again the subject of NHL Trade rumors. Not only the Pittsburgh Penguins are or were interested, but other teams are also circling the talented blueliner. Are the Boston Bruins interested again? Eyebrows were raised by a Philadelphia Flyers surprise scratch, which served to put the team on notice, but it also could mean bigger things down the road in Philadelphia.
The Calgary Flames snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday night, but they’re not safe yet. Sources tell OTR that a shakeup in Calgary is possible if conditions deteriorate further. And if a Calgary shakeup is necessary, big names will be on the NHL trade block.
More on that in the latest ‘Off The Record’:
1.Could Bruins Get A Trade Dunn With Blues?
On Saturday, my partner in crime, Joe Haggerty wrote a piece in which he posed this question:
Surprisingly, a good amount of Bruins fans gave an emphatic ‘No!’ on social media, citing the great start by not just the entire Bruins team but the young defensemen who the team management decided to go with instead of veteran defensemen Torey Krug and longtime captain Zdeno Chara. With Chara and Krug leaving via unrestricted free agency, Matt Grezelcyk (when healthy), Jeremy Lauzon, Jakub Zboril, and future star Charlie McAvoy have done more than hold their own.
After being a healthy scratch this past Tuesday against the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas Tuesday, Dunn was back in the lineup for the Blues Against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. But Haggs’ piece and the Pittsburgh Hockey Now story from Dan Kingerski that the Blues are once again having trade talks involving Dunn prompted this puck scribe to do some digging.
As reported here before the season started, the Bruins have had an interest in the 24-year-old puck-moving d-man, and it appears they have let it be known that interest is still there.
Off the record: “Look, I saw your report (the Bruins are) listening on Bjork,” one NHL source said of the recent BHN report that there had been trade interest in Bruins winger Anders Bjork. “Let’s just say this: if they could package Bjork in a trade for Dunn, I think Sweeney does that in a heartbeat. The kids are playing good, but Dunn is immediately a legit top 4 d-man for them and arguably the best left-hand shot they’d have.”
2. Will Flyers Send A Bigger Message If Needed?
Despite having five goals and three assists in eight games, Flyers forward Travis Konecny was benched Saturday night against the Islanders. That apparently caught the Flyers’ attention as they blew a 2-0 lead on the New York Islanders but won 3-2 on a Scott Laughton overtime goal.
The Konecny benching also raised plenty of eyeballs around the NHL and, of course, fueled trade speculation surrounding the 23-year-old winger who is in the second year of a six-year contract that carries an annual cap hit of $5.5 million. That speculation was squashed by Elliotte Friedman on ‘Saturday Headlines’ Saturday night as he cited a Flyers source telling him that Konecny was not on the NHL trade market.
An NHL source told Boston Hockey Now the same but also said that the Flyers are indeed looking to improve their team via trade and, like the Bruins, are in on Dunn. However, the Flyers would love to add a player that can give head coach Alain Vigneault the 200-foot game he was looking for from not just Konecny but the entire Flyers leadership core and stars like rotating alternate captain Jakub Voracek and captain Claude Giroux.
Off the record: “I don’t think it’s at that ‘let’s trade Voracek or Giroux’ point or something like that but was Konecny really the guy to single out there?” the source asked. “I’m not saying Giroux or Voracek are on the market by any means, but this team thinks they can contend, and they’re not going to be afraid to shake it up. Chuck [Fletcher] will do what he has to, and Alain clearly is on board with that, but I think as we go on here, Voracek and Giroux are guys to keep an eye on. This is a team ready for the young guys to take over.”
3. Flames Won’t Waste Time
After their 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night, the Flames had a players-only meeting to figure things out. They responded with a 2-0 shutout of the Habs Saturday behind 37 saves from Jacob Markstrom to snap a three-game losing streak.
Calgary forward Sam Bennett’s agent has made it known that he wants a change of scenery. However, our sources say Calgary GM Brad Treliving is not at that point just yet.
Johnny Gaudreau has been a mainstay on the NHL trade rumor circuit for over a year now. Still, the patient Treliving has resisted moving the embattled former Boston College star who is just two seasons removed from a 99-point campaign. Gaudreau is off to a great start this season with five goals and four assists in seven games. The 28-year-old winger carries a $6.7 million cap hit but has just one more season left on his contract.
If he were to struggle again, his name will surely hit the trade rumor circuit again but is he the guy people should really focus on?
Off the record: “I know Brad likes Johnny a lot; the whole team loves him,” the source said. “That being said, whether it’s him or another big name here, the expectations are high in Calgary. Markstrom can carry them far, and if there’s any sense there’s a need for a shakeup, this would be the year you see it there. That could mean Johnny or another guy that will make news. They’re not there just yet, but it could happen that Brad needs to make a shakeup.”