With the NHL’s trade deadline just 27 days away, you can expect things to heat up on the Loui Eriksson front in Boston.
Of course, things are already pretty hot.
Eriksson’s future as a Bruin has been a steady topic of conversation over the last few weeks. The key piece acquired in the Tyler Seguin trade, Eriksson’s in the last of a six-year, $25.5 million deal with a $4.5M average annual cap hit. That contractual status has Bruins GM Don Sweeney left with three options:
- Sign Eriksson to an extension prior to Feb. 29.
- Trade Eriksson by Feb. 29, and recoup some assets.
- Keep Eriksson to help in a playoff push/run, then address his contract at the end of the year.
Of all these options, No. 2 seems to be the mostly likely, assuming No. 1 doesn’t happen. No. 3 is a risky proposition.
So, here’s what we know about the Eriksson trade landscape. First, from the Herald:
Eriksson has a partial no-trade clause that calls for him to submit a list of 14 teams to which he’d accept a trade. He gave general manager Don Sweeney the list before the season and said yesterday that has not changed.
Next, from CSNNE:
One thing is certain: Eriksson is almost certain to be dealt ahead of the trade deadline if the Bruins can’t come to terms on a contract extension, and will net the Bruins at least a first round pick and a prospect as a straight rental player.
According to WEEI sources, the B’s haven’t made Eriksson’s agent, J.P. Barry, a contract extension offer since Christmas:
Eriksson’s camp found both the average annual value and the term of the contract to be too low to negotiate off of, however. According to the source, the offer was made “more to simply get things initiated.”
While the sides did not negotiate off that proposal, the Bruins and agent J.P. Barry later began having general conversations about the player’s market and his comps. It is in these conversations that the Bruins have yet to make an offer. As it currently stands, Eriksson’s camp is waiting for the Bruins to engage in more serious negotiations.
It stands to reason that Eriksson has plenty of leverage.
In the midst of a strong bounce-back campaign — and yes, as some have pointed out, it’s also a contract year — the 30-year-old Swede has 15 goals and 39 points in 49 games, and his 0.80 points-per-game average is his highest since scoring 71 points with Dallas in 2011-12.