(Editor's note: This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect the news that the Coyotes are reportedly trading Conor Garland and Oliver Ekman-Larsson to the Vancouver Canucks.)
When it comes to NHL trade rumors, the Arizona Coyotes are the team that pops up the most. And when it comes to Coyotes trade rumors, the Bruins seem to be the team that pops up the most.
So, it should come as no surprise that on Friday, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reported that there has been “continued dialogue” between the two teams this week.
A couple hours later, Pagnotta added that the Coyotes are "very engaged" in trade talks involving center Christian Dvorak and that the Bruins are one of the teams "in the mix."
And then a couple hours after that, the Coyotes reportedly agreed to a mega-deal that would send winger Conor Garland and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to the Canucks.
The Bruins had been connected to both Garland and Ekman-Larsson. While Garland would have been a great, young addition to their second or third line, they were wise to ultimately avoid Ekman-Larsson given his steep decline in recent years and albatross of a contract (six years left at $8.25 million per year).
It's unclear if the Coyotes are still looking to trade Dvorak after that trade, but he would certainly be an interesting option for the Bruins if they are. Dvorak is 25 years old and signed for four more years at $4.45 million per year. He put up 17 goals and 14 assists in 56 games last season while leading all Arizona forwards in ice time (18:24 per game) and playing in all situations.
With the lingering uncertainty around David Krejci's future, the Bruins could be more in the market for a top-six center than previously anticipated. Dvorak would certainly fit the bill.
It's also worth pointing out that Taylor Hall, reportedly on the verge of a new four-year deal with the Bruins, played quite a bit with Dvorak during the 2019-20 season. In fact, he was the Coyote that Hall played the most minutes with. In 425 minutes with Hall and Dvorak on the ice together at five-on-five, the Coyotes had 52.3% of goals, 55.2% of expected goals, and 49.4% of shot attempts.
If Krejci does indeed end up moving on, the Bruins could certainly do worse than Dvorak for his replacement. Phillip Danault is the top free-agent center, but there could be quite the bidding war for his services. A veteran like Paul Stastny could be another free-agent option, but that would only be a short-term fix.
With the Coyotes reportedly willing to listen on basically any player other than stud defenseman Jakob Chychrun, another player who could make sense for the Bruins if he's available would be goalie Darcy Kuemper. The 31-year-old is signed for one more season at $4.5 million, and it’s possible the Coyotes would even retain some of that.
Kuemper has battled some injuries the last couple years, but he’s generally been very good when healthy, with a .921 save percentage over the last four seasons. He finished fifth in Vezina Trophy voting in 2019 and seventh in 2020. He could be exactly the kind of goalie the Bruins are looking for to complement youngsters Jeremy Swayman and Dan Vladar, especially with questions around if or when Tuukka Rask will return.