By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Bruins remain in search of help down the middle, and have found two potential fits in the Wild's Charlie Coyle and Rangers center Kevin Hayes, as mentioned by Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman on Wednesday.
Friedman's report on Coyle is far from a surprise, and was first brought to light by The Athletic's Joe McDonald earlier this season. Coyle, a Weymouth, Mass. native, has five goals and 14 points in 30 games for the Wild this season. He's also just three years removed from a career-best 21 goals in 2015-16 and two years removed from a career-high 56 points in 2016-17.
Under contract for this year and next at an affordable $3.2 million cap hit, the 26-year-old Coyle would certainly fit the bill as the versatile third-line pivot the Bruins have been looking for, with a big role as a three-phase, all-zone player for the Wild.
Boston general manager Don Sweeney's rumored interest in Hayes, meanwhile, is finally hitting the web after what's felt like years of rumored interest in bringing the Dorchester, Mass. native back home for his hometown team.
Currently paced for what would be a career-year, Hayes has seven goals and 21 points through 30 games, and has been among the most deployed New York forwards from first-year NHL head coach David Quinn, as his 19:14 of time on ice per game ranks second among all N.Y. forwards. But in New York on a one-year, $5.175 million deal, the 26-year-old younger brother of B's bust Jimmy Hayes is a pending unrestricted free agent and it's easy to see how he may not fit into the Blueshirts' long-term plans. Especially in what's been a considerably successful asset load-up on the part of Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton.
In addition to Friedman's reporting, a separate source has confirmed to 98.5 The Sports Hub that the Bruins are expected to be among those most interested in adding Hayes to their roster via trade this season. The Bruins will clearly have a ton of competition for the 6-foot-5 center, as Friedman mentioned the Colorado Avalanche as a possible suitor, while a source has told 98.5 The Sports Hub that the Winnipeg Jets could and should also be considered a top contender for the 26-year-old.
If it means anything, the Bruins and Rangers made two trades last season.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a voting member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.