PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
–The Boston Bruins had a pregame ceremony for Denna Laing prior to yesterday’s game against the Canucks. She also had a special message for the Bruins organization and their fans. (Above)
–The St. Louis Blues could benefit from the departure of the NFL’s Rams. (Post-Dispatch)
—Justin Abdelkader remembers what it was like to score the game-winning goal in the NCAA Championship game. (The Players’ Tribune)
–Find out how Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr stays in shape.
–The Hartford Whalers logo is as popular now as it’s ever been. (ESPN)
–With Jonathan Drouin in the middle of a dispute with the Lightning, SI looks at the most famous contract holdouts. (Sports Illustrated)
The Boston Bruins aren’t denying it: there’s a chance they might need to trade Loui Eriksson.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney addressed the rumors during a NESN interview on Thursday, admitting that the two sides have entered in discussions, and the “first priority” would be to re-sign the pending unrestricted free agent.
Yes, there, is a “but” …
Sweeney acknowledged that the Bruins may need to shop Eriksson around if they realize that they can’t find a compromise.
As far as what the Bruins want (beyond the vague “improving our team” note, which may or may not mean that they want a roster player rather than a prospect and/or pick)? Well, that’s left up to your fertile imaginations …
Click here for the initial post about the rumors.
The good news is that Loui Eriksson has finally been the quality forward the Boston Bruins were hoping for when they traded for him in that Tyler Seguin deal.
The bad news for the Bruins is that Eriksson’s pulling off this strong work in the final year of his current contract.
Eriksson and the Bruins have begun early contract extension negotiations, according to reporters including ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun and TSN’s Darren Dreger.
If Dreger’s sources are correct, Eriksson’s initial asking price is pretty steep: a five or six-year contract in the neighborhood of $6 million per season (so $30 million or $36 million overall).
Eriksson turns 31 in July, so that term could be risky, and that cap price could make it awfully tough to re-sign Torey Krug (contract expires after this season) and the likes of Brad Marchand (his expires following the 2016-17 campaign).
Granted, opening contract requests are designed to be at the extremes for both sides, so this wouldn’t be the absolute asking price … although Eriksson could likely command a pretty penny in unrestricted free agency.
Actually, that’s another concern for Boston. They may need to figure out if they can re-sign him; if not, they may opt to move him during the trade deadline to avoid losing Eriksson for nothing.
LeBrun discussed as much:
Very preliminary contract discussions have begun between the Bruins and pending unrestricted free agent winger Loui Eriksson. The 30-year-old is enjoying a fine season and is second on the Boston Bruins in scoring. But whether or not the Bruins and his agent J.P. Barry find common ground on an extension before the Feb. 29 trade deadline remains to be seen.
Long story short, the Bruins have some big choices to make when it comes to Eriksson.
As far as reports go, Michel Therrien’s job remains secure. Maybe a little less so, as losses burn a little bit more for the Canadiens when they come against the Bruins.
Boston beat Montreal 4-1 on Tuesday, giving the B’s three straight wins. They solidified their hold over one of the East’s wild card spots, even if the margin of error remains fairly minimal.
From margins of error to a comedy of errors: just about everything related to the Habs is unsettling, including their spot outside of the East’s playoff picture. It’s a mess that likely would have been unfathomable back in October, when the Habs seemed to be running away with the East’s crown.
Montreal is now on a five-game losing streak, with a mere standings point earned. They’ve lost six of eight games in 2018 alone.
The scene seems even grimmer according to onlooker’s such as Arpon Basu of LNH.com.
Yikes, just yikes. Are we absolutely certain Therrien’s job isn’t in jeopardy?
It wouldn’t be a Boston Bruins – Montreal Canadiens game without at least a controversial moment or three.
Brendan Gallagher provided one of them on Tuesday, as he may or may not be guilt of a slewfoot on Zach Trotman of the Bruins.
(Watch the video above and decide for yourself … with polite words, if you don’t mind.)