First off my apologies to the many Bruins fans that thanks to my report of a deal "agreed in principle" between the Ducks and Bruins, had instant visions of Chris Pronger in a Bruins uniform when the Bruins host the Phoenix Coyotes Thursday night. Yes I did report that a deal was "agreed in principle" that would see a unnamed roster player (not Phil Kessel), Boston defenseman Mark Stuart, prospect Joe Colborne and a first round pick in 2010 go to Anaheim in exchange for Pronger and forward Travis Moen. Unfortunately, as can happen in any trade or business deal, it appears to have fallen a part due to the two teams not seeing eye to eye on the salary cap implications of the deal and the Ducks raising their demands on the return.
As is the case with any business transaction, anything can happen until both sides sign on the dotted lines. Lesson learned by this humbled scribe. That being said, I can tell you that anything still can happen with regards to this possible trade and that the players and picks involved were indeed discussed as part of this deal that is still on the table. While it is reported that the Blues are very much the leading suitor right now, the lines of communication are still open between Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and Ducks GM Bob Murray despite numerous reports that the Bruins were out of the running for Pronger.
I will also tell you that as has been reported in various media sources, Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron is in play. Bergeron has two years left on his contract at $5.0 million and $5.7 million respectively over the next two seasons. My sources tell me that Bergeron was in fact the “unnamed” roster player, but it is not known if the Bruins didn’t want to deal him or the Ducks didn’t want him as part of the package for Pronger.
One source told me today that the Bruins offered Bergeron instead of Kessel and that obviously makes more sense for the Bruins than the Ducks. If the Bruins were able to unload the two years and money left on the Bergeron contract then they’re more likely to be able to keep restricted free agents Kessel and David Krejci and unrestricted free agent Tim Thomas. I’m told both Bergeron and Kessel were never both requested together in a package for Pronger as some have reported.
The Blues, Devils, Capitals and possibly the Habs are pursuing the former Hart Trophy winner. No deals “agreed in principle” but the gut feeling here is that Pronger is moved.
- James Murphy
James Murphy has covered the Bruins and the NHL for the last seven seasons. He has written for the Hockey News and currently writes for NESN.com, NHL.com, Insidehockey.com, and the Boston Metro Web site, www.metrobostonnews.com. Murphy also hosts the "Inside Hockey Radio Show" every Saturday from 2-4 p.m. ET on "NHL Home Ice" XM 204 and Sirius 208, WBNW AM 1120 in Boston (Youcastr.com) and the Team 990 in Montreal (www.team990.com).