Boston Bruins: Are the B’s drilling for Oil?


Oct 15, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Bruins center

David Krejci

(46) receives congratulations from

Chris Kelly

(23) and defenseman

Zdeno Chara

(33) after scoring in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Over the summer the Boston Bruins were supposedly deep in trade talks with the Edmonton Oilers. No, they weren’t trying to bring Andrew Ference back to Boston. The discussion was based around both teams getting what they needed. The B’s needed a top line forward, and the Oilers needed some defensive depth.

That trade rumor circled around trading Nail Yakupov for Johnny Boychuk.  Just as that rumor started gaining serious momentum, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli traded Boychuk for two second round draft picks (and a possible third) to the New York Islanders. That trade worked great for the Islanders, as Boychuk has shown himself to be a dynamo for them.  That still left the Bruins with no one to put on that top line.

The Bruins certainly tried to find someone to work with Milan Lucic and David Krejci. Loui Eriksson didn’t work, Ryan Spooner didn’t work, and now it’s Simon Gagne. Sure the line did alright against the Buffalo Sabres , but they didn’t generate any points in that game.

Once again, the Bruins are looking for bodies that could do the job, and be cost compliant. Once again, the rumor mill has the Boston Bruins in talks with the Edmonton Oilers.

The Edmonton Oilers are a team with a rich tradition, an amazing fan base, and a reputation for collapsing like a soufflé in the oven. This is an organization that has spent the last few years getting every talented young player they could get their hands on.  The Oilers acquired this talent, but for whatever reason can get the talent to gel as a team. Ex-Bruin Andrew Ference was brought in to bring some solid defense and stable leadership. Ference can only do so much for his old hometown team though.

The Edmonton Oilers look like they’re about to hit the reset button on the reset button and start all over from scratch again. The Bruins are sitting on a number of trade picks. These two teams could suddenly find some serious common ground.

So, what kind of trade can the Boston Bruins make with the Oilers?

It seems the Bruins have sailed on from Yakupov, and are turning towards Jordan Eberle. Eberle could provide what the Bruins are looking for, but there are too many comparisons between Eberle and Providence Bruin David Pastrnak. They’re both in the 180lb range, and may not be suited for the type of old time hockey the Bruins like to play. He’s still regarded as a playmaker though. If the Oilers are about to enter fire-sale mode, the B’s could make an easy deal to acquire his services.

The Bruins have those draft picks available, but they’ll need to clear out some cap space as well if they’re going to try to bring Eberle over. So who on the Black and Gold could find themselves wearing Blue and Orange (other than Boychuk)?

Many fans would love to see Matt Bartkowski gone, but he’s a player that could probably clear waivers if the Bruins send him down to Providence. A lot of NHL teams aren’t going to want a million plus cap hit for a guy who tends to make mental errors at the worst possible time. It’s unlikely the B’s could trade him.

Chris Kelly seems to get mentioned a lot as well. Before the start of the season, the fans wanted to know why the B’s never used a compliance buy out on him. They wanted to know why he couldn’t be part of a trade deal. Chris Kelly has been playing some of his best hockey in a B’s uniform at the moment. He (along with Carl Soderberg and Eriksson) have that third line firing on all cylinders. While his trade value is the best it’s been in a while, it would be folly for the B’s to cut up their most effective line (at the moment).

This puts Loui Eriksson in the same boat as Kelly. The B’s were hoping for a Tyler Seguin without all the baggage in Eriksson. They’ve been disappointed by that call. (Consider how different the team would look if we kept Seguin though.) In his defense Eriksson got nailed with two concussion that really hampered his play last season. It would be out of character for Chiarelli to make such a monumental move and then try to hit the reset button.

An Eberle trade could solve some problems for both teams. We’ll see what Peter Chiarelli has up his sleeve in the days ahead.