BOSTON (CBS) — Trade winds are beginning to blow for the Boston Bruins, a team that could use a move or two ahead of next Monday’s NHL trade deadline. According to one report, they may take care of two of the team’s biggest needs with one deal.
According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Bruins have shown interest in New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.READ MORE: Hall Scores Again, Swayman Solid As Bruins Blank Islanders
“Boston is all in, from what I’ve been hearing,” Pagnotta wrote Tuesday. “They want a mid-six winger and a blueliner by the deadline and could kill two birds with one stone if they can agree to a deal with the Devils. There’s also been some talk the Bruins or another interested club would want to explore an extension with Palmieri before committing, but that’s not presently the case.”
Palmieri, a right winger, scored eight goals and dished out nine assists in 34 games for New Jersey this season. The Devils shut him down last week when talks about a contract extension fell apart and it became clear that the team would be trading him at the deadline. He’ll be a free agent after the season.
The 30-year-old has averaged 23.3 goals, 21 assists and 66 games over the last six seasons, all of which have come with the Devils. He made his lone All-Star game last year, finishing the season with 25 goals and 20 assists for New Jersey. Palmieri, who played his first five NHL seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, has seven goals and five assists in 38 career playoff games.READ MORE: BAA, Doug Flutie Team Up To Make Boston Marathon More Inclusive
Kulikov, 30, is in his 12th NHL season and first with New Jersey. He has just two assists in 35 games, averaging 19:38 of ice time, and is a minus-2 for the season. For his career, split between the Devils, Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers, Kulikov is a minus-61. He’s finished with a plus-rating just three times in his career, most recently for Winnipeg in 2018-19 when he was plus-four over 57 games.
Pagnotta also touches on the potential that the Bruins may add a netminder at the deadline, with free-agent-to-be Tuukka Rask’s future a great mystery at the moment. Boston could make a run at Columbus goalie Elvis Merzlikins, who is 6-7-2 with a .916 save percentage on the season. The 26-year-old has one year left on his contract.
“There is some talk out of the Bruins organization that Tuukka Rask is playing in his final NHL season, and that could result in a move at some point,” wrote Pagnotta. “Darcy Kuemper is also on Boston’s radar.”MORE NEWS: Red Sox Game Vs. White Sox Postponed Due To 'Winterlike Conditions'
Kuemper, 30, is 7-7-2 in 18 starts for the Arizona Coyotes with a .914 save percentage and 2. 41 goals against average. He is also signed through next season.