There has been a surprising amount of trade talk for this time of year over the past 48 hours but nearly all of it has focused on the Ottawa Senators and what they will eventually do with superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson. In spite of that though there is now talk that two other teams in the National Hockey League have been quietly working on a trade of their own.
On Thursday NHL insider Bruce Garrioch was touching on the recent trade talk surrounding the team he specializes in, the Ottawa Senators, when he began discussing the talk that Vancouver had thrown their hat into the ring. Canucks general manager Jim Benning indicated this week following the rumors of his team's involvement that he was not willing to trade his young assets or the organizations first round pick in 2019. That pretty much completely eliminates them from contention on the Karlsson trade, assuming Benning is telling the truth of course, but Garrioch believes there may be a second option for Benning to improve his blue line.
According to Garrioch talk has surfaced suggesting that the Benning and the Vancouver Canucks are currently in talks with the Boston Bruins, and presumably Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, regarding a potential trade involving veteran Bruins defenseman Torey Krug. This is a particularly interesting revelation because we know that the Bruins have discussed a trade involving Krug with other teams around the NHL earlier this summer and we know that Benning is looking to add to his blue line based on his inquiries regarding the availability of Karlsson.
The Bruins were repeatedly connected to the Edmonton Oilers when the trade rumors surrounding Krug first broke and although we heard rumors suggesting players like Oscar Klefbom and surprisingly even Milan Lucic could potentially be involved in this deal nothing ever materialized. When you consider that former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli is now at the helm of the Oilers you could see why the two sides would be comfortable discussing a deal together but by all accounts those talks have died out.
The Vancouver Canucks are another interesting option however because not only are they another Western Conference team, Sweeney almost certainly does not want to trade Krug within the division, but they also have a veteran defenseman that they could send back the other way. The Canucks have at different times over the past two seasons linked to trade talks regarding veteran defenseman Chris Tanev, but either due to an overall lack of interest or Tanev's ongoing injury issues that deal never materialized. Given the very legitimate concerns surrounding his long term health Tanev probably wouldn't be enough to get a deal for Krug done but he is almost certainly a piece that the Bruins would want in any trade involving one of their defensemen going to the Canucks.
Although Krug has often been criticized for his defensive liabilities, and often rightfully so, it seems that many often overlook just how effective of an offensive defensemen he truly is. Krug ranks among the NHL's truly elite in terms of point production from the blue line and given the Canucks interest in Karlsson it makes a ton of sense that they would view Krug as a similar, if slightly lesser, option.