Tomorrow marks an anniversary of sorts. It will be 21 years and 11 months since the Boston Bruins consummated a trade with the Montreal Canadiens when Boston sent defenceman Patrick Travers to Montreal for defenceman Eric Weinrich.
It was the first deal between the two hated rivals since 1964.
It’s understandable why they didn’t trade with each other through the 70’s and 80’s. It was the biggest rivalry in any sport and the two teams were almost always near the top and not only competing against each other on the ice, but the front office. But since then?
Let’s flip too today. We are all aware of the situation in Montreal and we don’t have to rehash all that has gone on here. The question is: could the team storied franchises find it within themselves to trade with each other, here and now?
Jeff Gorton was hired as Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations. Gorton and Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney have a history together in the Bruins front office. Not to mention the two executives have a history of trading with each other while Gorton was GM of the New York Rangers.
And of course, Gorton hired Kent Hughes as the teams new General Manager. Hughes is the now former agent to Bruins centreman Patrice Bergeron. Sweeney was Assistant Manager at the time Bergy signed his last contract, but you can bet he took part in the negotiations. Hughes was also the agent for former Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin who Hughes negotiated a contract with Sweeney in 2016.
It’s believed the GM will approach the likes of Brendan Gallagher, Tyler Toffoli (who the Bruins have expressed interest in the past), and David Savard to see if the want to remain as part of the process he is about to embark on or whether they’d like to go somewhere else. The Habs will certainly need and want to move out some salary for next season to get their cap to a workable level.
And could the Habs have any interest in Jake DeBrusk? Does he fit into Hughes’ plan of building for now and the future?
I for one would love to see a trade between the two rivals. Hey, if Hughes doesn’t want to talk trade with Sweeney, maybe Bergeron can get a head start in a future GM position and call his old friend and former agent.
In all seriousness, the Habs have pieces the Bruins should be asking about. And the Habs should be listening to anyone that calls.
Twenty-two years has been too long for this hockey fan.