Pierre Lubrun of ESPN reported earlier today that Lightning G.M. Steven Yzerman was spotted “chatting closely” (presumably on the draft grounds) with Boston Bruin’s G.M. Peter Chiarelli. This comes on the heels of word leaking to various news sources that the Bruins are listening to offers on Tyler Seguin.
There are a number of ways to link the Bruins and Bolts right now. First, the Lightning have recently bought out long-time captain Vincent Lecavalier, and the Bruins are among several teams reported to be interested. Could Chiarelli have been asking Yzerman for a good-faith scouting report on Lecavalier?
That same buyout, of course, has left the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 6’4 hole in the middle of their second line. Tyler Seguin, 21, is a proven scorer at the NHL level. He played a lot on the right wing this past season, with mixed results (32 points in 48 games, +23 – not too shabby, but his play was often criticized). Last season, playing primarily at center, Seguin posted 67 points in 81 games as a 20 year-old. Could Yzerman be feeling Chiarelli out about an asking price? (Note: The phrase “king’s ransom” is being reported.)
The X-factor in all of this is Nathan Horton. Reports out of ESPN and TSN say Horton has informed the Bruins that he intends to explore free agency this summer and will be moving on from Boston. Now that the Lightning have $7.7 million of extra cap-space to work with, they will undoubtedly be kicking the tires on him. Could Yzerman have been feeling Chiarelli out about Horton’s contract expectations?
Forget trade deadline – pre-Draft Day might be the new date to mark on your calendar for swirling NHL activity. The rumors are hot and heavy out there right now. Lecavalier’s buyout appears to have opened a flood gate.
On that front, if Yzerman was hoping to fill the hole at 2C with Brad Richards, he might have to wait a year. The New York Rangers have announced they won’t be using their second compliance buyout on Richards.
Things are brewing in every corner of the N.H.L. The latest rumors have the Vancouver Canucks changing plans (abruptly) and putting Cory Schneider in play. And if you’re wondering: yes, that means after all this mess Roberto Luongo is probably going to end up starting for Vancouver in October. Rumored destination for Schneider? Edmonton.
Stay tuned. Things might get interesting.