June 18, 2010
In this weird week before hockey news hits fast and furious again (NHL Draft, Free-Agent Frenzy, Hall of Fame, 2010-11 schedule release), any hockey trade rumor that offers something above teams swapping fourth-round picks is going to get major play.
Which is how you end up with "Brodeur for Semin!" in newspapers and on television.
Pro Hockey Talk has learned of a possible trade in the works, with the Boston Bruins dealing Blake Wheeler(notes) and Marc Savard(notes) to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. It's likely that the Bruins would also include their 15th overall pick in the deal as well, leaving Boston with both the second and fourth pick in the first round.
PHT followed up this morning with a source saying "it has been discussed," although with rumors that could be as simple as Scott Howson saying "What about Savard?" and the Bruins saying "See, there's this no-trade clause thingy..."
Now, it's likely that the Bruins want to trade a center with Savard, Patrice Bergeron(notes), David Krejci(notes), probably Tyler Seguin and prospect Zach Hamill all in the mix. That the Blue Jackets would prefer to add NHL-level help by trading the No. 4 pick is practically hockey gospel right now.
But looking at the facts, this rumor just falls apart logically.
Fact: Savard has a no-trade clause now and in his new 'lifetime' contract, which the Bruins of course handed him just six months ago, before apparently deciding to trade him to Columbus. (We have an e-mail into Savard's agent, asking if he's been asked to waive his NTC.)
When Savard signed that 7-year extension ahead of unrestricted free agency this summer, he told the Canadian Press he wanted to remain with a contender and a contender that played in Boston:
"I think I stated earlier in some articles that I wanted to stay in Boston for the rest of my career and it looks like I'm going to have that chance," Savard said at a news conference. "So I'm happy about that. Over the last few years, I've watched this town grow back into a hockey town. And, hopefully, our goal as a team and as a staff comes true, that we can bring a (Stanley) Cup back to Boston."
Well that doesn't sound like someone willing to waive his NTC for the comforts of Ohio ...
Fact: Cam Neely, the new Bruins team president, is a rather big Blake Wheeler fan. In the sense that he recruited him to the Bruins.
Fact: Aaron Portzline, the plugged in beat writer for the Columbus Dispatch, tweeted today, "It's bunk. A total fabrication. Hasn't been discussed. Think no more of it." He sounds skeptical.
Those are the facts. From a logical perspective ... look, there's no question the Jackets need a top-line center and the Bruins have some to offer and salary to unload. But Columbus also might want to use the most tradeable asset they have to improve a defense whose top four, in terms of ice time last season, was Jan Hejda(notes), Anton Stralman(notes), Rusty Klesla and Marc Methot(notes).
There's a singular obsession in the media with getting Rick Nash(notes) the Oates to his Hull; for the sake of the franchise, maybe improving on any of those defenders would be a good thing. Lord knows Steve Mason(notes) wouldn't mind.
Part of us loathes trade rumors that fail the sniff test. But then again, they're conversation starters: Like the fact that Columbus and Boston both have needs that are highlighted here, as our own Neate Sager explains on Buzzing The Net.
Just don't expect them to be fulfilled quite this way.