While the trade talk most certainly will heat up on Yawkey Way this week with Major League Baseball’s trade deadline fast approaching, on Causeway Street the silence is deafening.
It doesn’t make for a very interesting off-season when the biggest news of the summer centers on the hiring of an assistant coach and the signing of a depth defenseman. After getting ousted early in the second round of the playoffs by the Montreal Canadiens and then losing their leading scorer Jarome Iginla in free agency to Colorado, the natives in Bruins Nation are restless for some sort of news that the club is looking to improve some way, some how.
Even before the start of free agency, general manager Peter Chiarelli was throwing cold water on any suggestions that his club would be players for even mid-level free agents or impact players via trade. When asked on his July 1st conference call whether the B’s would be looking to sign any free agents or make any deals going forward Chiarelli said, ” I wanted to let the market settle down and then there are some guys that will maybe take less that I’ll look at. We’ve got seven or eight names on our board and we have seven or eight names that are subject of trade discussion so I’ll look at some stuff and we’ll see where it goes.”
The Bruins’ GM went on to say, “I don’t know where it will go, often times there is a first wave then the second wave really sometimes doesn’t have them for a week or so. And it may not even be a second wave it may be coming in little signing, small signings. So it’s just a matter of just continuing to go into the market, make your phone calls and see where there is a fit. There are a couple guys that I think would fit with our team so we’ll see where it goes.”
So far it has gone nowhere.
Other than signing some of his own spare parts, including the increasingly useless Jordan Caron, Chiarelli has not done anything that has satisfied the fanbase’s craving to see the club get better up front after the loss of Iginla. As CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty pointed out in his piece last week, the B’s boss, given their current cap jail status, is happy to sit tight for now but things could change come September when camp starts and perhaps Evander Kane tries to shoot his way out of Winnipeg.
As Haggerty writes, “That would be costly for the Bruins, though, in terms of salary-cap space and assets, such as Brad Marchand, that could be going in the other direction for a big-bodied, fast-skating player who has proven he can score 30 goals in the NHL.”
Costly? Yes. But worth the price? Definitely.
That would be the type of move that could re-energize the core group and provide the little shake up which may be needed for a team that, quite frankly, looked scared and vulnerable stepping on to the Garden ice for game 7 against the hated Habs.
Marchand, for all the energy and grittiness he brings for the most part in the regular season, has been invisible in the playoffs the last 2 years. Since scoring 2 goals in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2013, the Nose Face Killah has killed the Bruins in the post-season, going goalless ever since while providing a scant 7 assists.
That is simply unacceptable.
In Kane, the Bruins would be getting a player Hockey’s Future calls “A superb skater with excellent acceleration. With his quick release, Kane is a threat to score every time he steps on the ice.” And while he has had attitude issues in the past, the Bruins have dealt with similar issues with Marchand as well, and the B’s locker room is stacked with leaders like Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron.
Add to that Kane is 4 years younger than Marchand and his bruising style of play screams Bruins hockey. No brainer, right?
Sure it is easier said than done to make a deal like this work in July, but keep in mind the B’s depth in goal and with Tuukka Rask signed long-term and Niklas Svedberg set to back up the Fabulous Finn in 2014/15, Malcolm Subban could be the chip along with Marchand that gets the deal done.
If takes until September to make it happen, so be it. Meanwhile Bruins fans will have to be content spending the rest of the summer enjoying the sound of silence.