The Boston Bruins appear to be way too focused on signing coveted free agent John Tavares that general Don Sweeney seems to have forgotten about his own free agents this summer. During the NHL entry draft on Friday, Sweeney didn't sound very optimistic on any of his own unrestricted free agents, which include backup netminder Anton Khudobin, who was such a vital part of the Bruins' success overall last season.
“I've talked to really all of them and it seems to be inching rather than moving in the direction I'd like it to,” Sweeney said. “As you get closer to the deadline it doesn't mean you've closed the door on any of it. And as much as they may think (of other options), we also have to think and prepare otherwise.”
It seems like Sweeney's comments were heard at the Vancouver Canucks' draft table, and now the Canadian team is looking to pounce on one of the free agents. According to Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province, the Canucks have reached out to the agent of Bruins pending free-agent center Riley Nash, who believes the Canucks could be poised for a turnaround in their fortunes in the near future.
“However, Nash believes a turnaround for the Canucks isn’t as far off as most believe. He has played against Brock Boeser and pumped the rookie’s tires Monday. He knows all about Elias Pettersson and Adam Gaudette, and knows the game is now about youth, speed and skill,” writes Kuzma.
“Nash is convinced the Canucks are ahead of the transition curve. And because they need a responsible centre who can move up and down their lineup — while also providing a two-way presence, touch of scoring and mentorship — he could fit the bill after a career, 41-point season (15-27) at a US$900,000 salary.”
While Nash is enjoying his vacation in South Africa, the thought of signing in Vancouver is not far off his mind.
“We’ve done our research and it’s pretty interesting. We’re obviously aware of what’s going on in Vancouver and I think they have a pretty good future ahead of them.
“It (turnaround) might come faster than a lot of people think. Boeser had a great year until he got hurt and proved he could put up a lot of goals (29) and points (55). Pettersson is obviously a world-class talent and I’ve heard a lot of good stories on him."
Nash has elevated his game in the past season, and the Canucks have surely noticed. More than the Bruins have, it seems that they have already lost on the quick centre...