September will certainly be a month of excitement for the Boston Bruins. The remaining Bruins who aren’t in Boston will return home to the TD Garden to start the informal practices that begin in about a week. The organization will be testing its new line configurations (most notably Loui Eriksson on the top line), and make the tough calls on how they will handle their roster and salary cap crunch.
It’s pretty clear that Johnny Boychuk will not be leaving for Edmonton in a trade for Niall Yakupov. That being said, Boychuk may still end up as a last second trade. His three and a third million dollar cap hit may be a little too much for the Black and Gold to swallow. The organization has just over three million dollars left to hit the cap ceiling, and they still haven’t signed Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. The Bruins have nine defensemen ready to go, and moving Boychuk would make the most sense financially.
While Boychuk is the most expensive name on the trade list, he’s not going anywhere this year. He’s the total package for the Black and Gold, and is loved by the fan base (especially with Shawn Thornton‘s departure). The Bruins have quality players they could move and gather themselves some solid draft picks and future considerations down the road without hurting their effectiveness. Several Bruins spring to mind as players most likely to be trying on a new sweater next season.
David Warsofsky is young, has solid potential, and is listed as NHL ready by Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli. With so many quality blueliners ready to go this season, he could be easily traded for a draft pick or for an emergency forward during the season. He’s cap friendly to most teams ($600,000), and could supply other NHL teams with a bottom pair defenseman.
Adam McQuaid is certainly talented enough to play in Boston. He’s fearless, aggressive, and is totally prepared to drop the gloves to defend his team. The problem for McQuaid is he’s been hampered by injuries the last two seasons. (Then again, the pundits that called McQuaid ‘injury prone’ often questioned Patrice Bergeron‘s effectiveness due to concussions a few seasons ago.) Kevan Miller came up from Providence and earned himself a place on the Boston roster through his hard work. As his salary ($800,000) is just over half of McQuaid’s ($1,566,667), Boston will likely take the discount and shop McQuaid around the league.
Matt Bartkowski finishes out the list of potential last second trades. Bartkowski was a solid player last season, but he tended to make sloppy penalties and caused several defensive breakdowns (which the Canadiens exploited during the Bruins in the playoffs). Those mistakes did not endear him to the fan base. He further damned himself to many of the fans by demanding salary arbitration. A lot of people thought the $1.25 million was too much for a player who played sixty four games without scoring a goal. (Any Boston player that finds himself in the same boat as P.K. Subban will usually draw the ire of the faithful.)
One or more of these players will not be skating for the Bruins on opening night. The Bruins organization will hopefully make the right moves to keep the team on track for a Stanley Cup Championship this year.