BOSTON (CBS) - On Toucher & Rich Thursday morning, Rich and Jon Wallach (with Fred out sick) talked to Joe Haggerty of Comcast SportsNet New England about his latest column involving Milan Lucic and other Bruins trade rumors.
In regards to Lucic, the 27-year-old left wing has just one year remaining on his contract. After the 2015-16 season, Lucic will hit unrestricted free agency still in his prime.
There appears to be some trepidation on the part of the Bruins to extend the three-time All Star before next summer, considering how he is coming off a down season (18 goals and 44 points in 81 games). When Lucic hits free agency, Boston may not have the appetite to pay him the kind of money he will command on the open market.
Add all that up and there's plenty of reasons for Lucic to be mentioned so often in trade rumors, which Joe Haggerty says he has.
"The Bruins are trying to use Milan Lucic to potentially go out and get another top-four defenseman to really help out and round out their depth at that position," Haggerty said.
The Bruins insider is hearing Keith Yandle (New York Rangers) as a return in the potential trade, as well as Alex Edler, Dan Hamhuis or Kevin Bieksa from Vancouver.
Haggerty added that the chances of Milan Lucic getting traded are "very, very good."
"Maybe -- finally -- they can find a top-four defenseman in his prime that can fill in for the vacant spot that Johnny Boychuk left when he was traded. They have Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, but they're on the back nine of their careers and they aren't as good as they were a few years ago," Haggs said.
Haggerty added, "They need a top-one, top-two defenseman who can log those serious minutes, and I think the Bruins are trying to use Milan Lucic to get that kind of player."
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