Apr 10, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand (63) reacts prior to the game against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Marchand’s Trade Fine for Bruins
Available for 82 games and tallying 53 points (25 goals, 28 assists), Brad Marchand had a fine 2014-15 regular season. Marchand has excelled for the Boston Bruins in years prior, so the idea of parting ways with the 26-year-old may seem out of the question to some.
After an unfortunate postseason saw Marchand total no goals in 12 contests, several of which he failed to convert open chances, it appears sending the Canadian elsewhere could serve Boston well. You can’t nix a player just because of certain performances in a highly-pressurized playoff environment. But if the Bruins could trade Marchand to give Chiarelli a specific option at defensemen, then a move may be made.
The key here, though, is the Bruins would require a defensive game breaker in their system, someone who’s very reliable anchoring a consistent, partially offensive line not only in the regular season, but also in the playoffs. That’s important: an offensive defender. Signing just another utility, purely defensive player like Andrej Meszaros wouldn’t do much to improve the Bruins as they stand now. Fluto Shinzawa of The Boston Globe said that the B’s demand a blue-liner capable of moving the puck forward rapidly and effectively. It easy to agree with this assessment.
The lack of a first-choice offensive-minded defensemen seem to have plagued the Bruins vs. Montreal, as the Habs agility and quickness overpowered the Bruins, forcing a collapse of their usual disciplined nature.
Yandle, 27, numbered 45 assists this season in Phoenix, and Edler, 28, had 22 points in 63 games for the Canucks. Both of them have values similar to Brad Marchand. Yandle’s worth $5.25 million per year, while Edler is good for $5 million annually. Marchand’s price falls in that range, as he is earning a $4.5 million salary.
Thus, from a financial standpoint, one of these trades makes sense. The Bruins have great depth at the forward position compared to many NHL counterparts, so losing Brad Marchand won’t crush the Black and Gold offensively.
You just don’t know the dependability of Edler as a defender. He notched the worst plus-minus rating in the NHL this year, with a minus-39 statistic. Then again, Yandle is only a slightly better option in that department, maintaining a minus-23 rating.
It’s about having these men facilitate an forward-thinking approach to the blue line, nonetheless. Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg (when healthy), and Johnny Boychuk fortify an aggressive, physically imposing group aiding goaltender Tuukka Rask.
Peter Chiarelli is now in the business of finding a defender able to offer speed over strength.