The Boston Bruins have risen up to the top of the National Hockey League standings, and have become a serious player in the trade market as they gear up for what should be a promising playoff run.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a team that they have reportedly attempted to make a deal with earlier this season, and there's a major indication that they are back at it.
Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now confirmed that Bruins assistant general manager is in attendance for the Penguins-Hurricanes game tonight, and that it is a sign of things to come.
This isn't just a team scout going into make a visit. Bruins reporter Jimmy Murphy mentions that there were talks between the two teams earlier this season and they went nowhere.
Ian Cole was at the centre of their talks, and in our estimation, the two teams probably couldn't come to a deal because their season's were both a bit in question. Boston was mired with injuries, and Tuukka Rask was struggling mightily. They've since gotten healthy and have been the most dominant team in the NHL over the last month.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is getting things going and Cole has been a scratch for several games.
The timing couldn't be anymore right for a trade, and both teams are better positioned to act on more established needs. In other words, they know their needs, and their position as a buyer or seller going into the trade deadline. Earlier this season, it was less clear.
The Bruins have depth at the centre position - this could finally be where Jim Rutherford gets his 3rd line centre. Talks definitely appear to be heating up as January comes to a close.
Bruins and Pens fans - what trade would you propose involving Ian Cole?