The NHL trade deadline is on the horizon and since returning from the Olympic break, the Boston Bruins have shown that they could use some help. The reigning Eastern Conference champions are without their second best defenseman, Dennis Seidenberg, for the rest of the season and should be looking to fill his role.
Last season, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli reeled in the ageless wonder, Jaromir Jagr, to add offensive depth, but not before losing out to Jarome Iginla, who ironically joined the team this summer.
There are a handful of defensemen that are supposedly being shopped, but Chiarelli shouldn’t limit himself and the team to such a small selection. These next couple of years might be the best chances at another cup for the B’s, considering Zdeno Chara’s age. With that being said, Chiarelli has to do everything he can to put the best team possible on the ice now, rather than later.
If one was to compare last year’s blue line group and this year’s, the former has a definitive edge and still wasn’t able to stop Chicago’s fast-paced offense. In the game 6 loss of the Stanley Cup finals, Dougie Hamilton was a healthy scratch, and he currently could be considered the team’s number three defenseman. With Adam McQuaid’s status up in the air, the Bruins could be with four defensemen with less than two years of experience- something that doesn’t really scream Stanley Cup contender.
If McQuaid is shut down for the season, the Bruins need at least one defenseman for sure. If no moves are made, either the front office isn’t trying hard enough or have too much faith in their youth. With the Penguins interested in adding offensive depth, with names such as Matt Moulson and Ryan Kesler floating around, an Eastern Conference finals rematch with Pittsburgh would mean trouble for Boston.
With Dan Girardi off the market after a recent extension, the value for a rental blue liner has risen. Supposedly, Chiarelli has stated that he does not want to give up a first round pick for Andrew MacDonald. Other than a handful of key roster players, nothing should be untouchable. Tuukka Rask should be the goalie for the forseeable future, meaning either goalie prospect, Malcolm Subban or Niklas Svedberg, should be made available. Chiarelli has never been a great drafter, so draft picks should also be made available.
Players on the market
Andrew MacDonald– Plays 25 minutes a game and leads the league in blocked shots. Not very physical and is small in stature at six-foot, 185 pounds.
Chris Phillips-Plays just under 20 minutes a game, but leads the Senators with over three minutes of shorthanded time. Turns 36 next week and lacks physical talent.
Nick Schultz– Only plays 17 minutes a game on the defensively-unsound Oilers team.
Andrej Meszaros– Bigger than most players on market at 220 pounds. Doesn’t log many minutes, but fills physical void left by Seidenberg
Trevor Daley/Stephane Robidas– Talks regarding the 30-year-old Daley have quieted, but Robidas’ name has popped up recently. Considering the two teams recent transaction history, something could be worked out.
*Update: Robidas has been traded to Anaheim*
Dustin Byfuglien– This big Winnipeg hybrid would cost the most in return and has a hefty salary. Has defensive lapses and may not fit into the Bruins’ system even if the two sides could work something out.
Increasing rumors have risen regarding the Columbus Blue Jackets and Bruins. Bruins scouts have attended the last three Blue Jackets games and names including Jack Johnson, Nikita Nikitin, and even Marian Gaborik have been brought up. Any of these names would require a high return, but one must wonder if Chiarelli has anything up his sleeve considering the organization’s recent interest in Columbus.