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NHL Rumors VI: Bruins, Vrbata and Blue Jackets

  • Nicholas Goss of NESN.com: The Boston Bruins have a surplus of NHL-caliber defensemen, which is a problem every other team wishes it had.

    “I think we have a good group right now, and I include (David) Warsofsky because I believe he’s as close to an NHL player as you’re going to get from Providence,” Chiarelli said Tuesday during a conference call.

    With the overload of D-men, it will likely result in the Bruins making a few roster moves prior to the regular-season opener, including the possibility of a trade(s).

    “As I said, we have nine (D-men), so I’ve got to do something,” Chiarelli said. “I can do it now. I can do it during the summer. … You saw what (free agent) prices were today for defensemen. I’m happy with the (D-men) that we have. We have more than enough. I’ve had guys call me for our (D-men) from the moment we lost (to Montreal). They want our (D-men). They’re coached well, they’ve developed well, so I’m pretty comfortable with that we have. (We have) to figure out the right formula; that’s what our jobs are.”

  • Sarah McLellan of AZ Central: The Vancouver Canucks weren’t the only team in the mix to land the 33-year old Radim Vrbata. Although his agent, Rich Evans wouldn’t confirm it, Montreal, Boston and San Jose were also rumored to be interested. At various times, Vrbata’s camp was speaking to more than nine teams. One offer tabled was a four-year deal.

    “The free agent process, it ended up wearing him down a bit,” Evans said. “But once we agreed to terms with Vancouver, he got his energy right back.”

    Vrbata didn’t receive an offer from the Coyotes prior to July 1st. The Coyotes proposed a four-year deal but the money was way less than what Vrbata ended up accepting from the Canucks. The Coyotes were prepared to include only a limited no-movement clause and not a full one.

  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has said he will match any offer sheet Ryan Johansen could sign, and he can, because the team is about $18 million under the salary cap.

    “If he signs an offer sheet, he signs an offer sheet,” Kekalainen said. “Our ownership is strong, and I said before, we would match any offer he could possibly sign.’’

    Only 10 clubs have the draft picks and appear to have the salary cap space to make a run at Johansen: Arizona, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, San Jose and Winnipeg.