Boston Bruins

NHL rumors: Latest updates on Lindholm, Bruins, Canucks before trade deadline

The action leading into Friday's trade deadline appears to be heating up.

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A surprising report surfaced Tuesday when The Athletic's Chris Johnston posted on X that the Boston Bruins could potentially land Elias Lindholm from the Canucks if Vancouver is able to work out a deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins for Jake Guentzel.

One of the first questions on everyone's mind was: How would that even work? Could the Penguins, Bruins and Canucks execute a three-way deal?

The Fourth Period's Dave Pagnotta provided some more context on that subject, and the trade scenario as a whole, in a story published Wednesday morning.

"Over the weekend, the Canucks upped their interest in Guentzel, whom they tried to acquire earlier in the year," Pagnotta wrote. "At the same time, also over the weekend, the player they acquired instead of him, Elias Lindholm, was being discussed with the Boston Bruins. As Chris Johnston revealed yesterday, the possibility of shipping Lindholm to Boston still exists.

"What I was told late last night and earlier this morning was the likelihood of a formal three-way trade between the Canucks, Bruins and Penguins is slim. Possible, but slim. If the Canucks acquire Guentzel and move Lindholm out, it would be in separate moves.

"The Bruins wanted Lindholm locked into a contract extension when they tried to acquire him from Calgary before the Flames dealt him to Vancouver. I am curious if that desire remains. Lindholm was looking for around $9 million per year prior to the season."

The Athletic's Josh Yohe reported Wednesday the Canucks are being very aggressive in their Guentzel pursuit:

The Bruins should want Lindholm locked up to a contract extension in the immediate aftermath of any trade. Based on how few draft picks and quality prospects they have, it makes little sense for the B's to make a major move for Lindholm if he's just going to be a rental. However, if the price to acquire him is far less than what the Canucks originally paid to get him from the Flames, then maybe it's OK if he's only a rental.

Lindholm is exactly what the Bruins need -- a legit top-six center who can drive offense at even strength, contribute to both the power play and penalty kill, win important faceoffs, etc. So it makes sense to give him an extension if a trade can be executed. An extension worth around $9 million isn't cheap, but top-six centers in their prime are very expensive to acquire in any fashion these days.

The Bruins are projected to have around $26 million in salary cap space this summer, per CapFriendly, and that number would go up if goalie Linus Ullmark is traded at some point.

The Bruins' top priority at the trade deadline should be acquiring a physical defenseman who can kill penalties. But a middle-six forward is needed, too, and Lindholm would be a great upgrade to the roster.

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