Boston Bruins: Who gets traded and when (Forward Edition)?

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Nov 21, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Boston Bruins left wing

Loui Eriksson

(21) chases the loose puck as Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman

James Wisniewski

(21) trails the play during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins will be making a trade in the near future. They can’t afford not to. The Boston Bruins are sitting on the outside of the playoff bubble, and it has to be making Cam Neely and the team’s front office very nervous. Several other teams’ general managers have been spotted sniffing around the TD Garden. The B’s own Peter Chiarelli has been going on field trips himself.

So, something is coming down the pipe. Who will the Bruins being giving up? At this point, I don’t think that the Black and Gold are afraid of trading anyone who doesn’t have a no-trade clause. That takes almost all of the B’s ‘top six’ out of the mix, as well as the top defensive pair of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg.

The Bruins have probably accepted by now that the Tyler Seguin trade was a bust. Sure Reilly Smith and Loui Eriksson are scoring, but Tyler Seguin has more goals than both of them put together. Loui Eriksson is four million plus, but has a no-trade clause. Something he’s not likely to waive unless it is a team with Stanley Cup potential. Reilly Smith is a steal at one point four million. He has no trade clause. He will be expecting a bigger pay day after taking such a cap friendly deal to play this season.

That puts Eriksson as ‘unlikely’, and Smith as a ‘maybe’.

The Bruins ‘could’ trade away the Merlot Men, but it’s unlikely that other NHL teams are looking for fourth line players right now. It’s possible closer to the trade deadline, but not very probable.

That makes both Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille as ‘not going anywhere’.

That leaves Carl Soderberg. Soderberg is a combination of both schools of thought. He brings a decent amount of speed and a large physical presence. He has good hands and he knows when to use them. He’s not afraid of physical contact, and he’s got a shooter’s eye. Of the potential trade targets on the bottom six, he’s the player the Bruins should be trying to keep.

Peter Chiarelli seems to have an odd attachment to players. He will keep questionable players and dispatch good and/or fan favorites. He got rid of fan favorites Shawn Thornton and Johnny Boychuk, and couldn’t make the moves to keep Jarome Iginla. In response to this, we got Simon Gagne (now on leave), and a pack of AHL players to help pick up the slack.

Some of those AHL players have shown some solid potential. The Bruins organization might be able to move some of the AHL talent in order to get a solid scoring forward for Boston. Craig Cunningham, Matt Fraser, Ryan Spooner, and Alexander Khokhlachev could find themselves in new organizations within the coming weeks.

Spooner and Khokhlachev are trapped in limbo. They’re almost too good for the AHL, but the Bruins can’t move them up until some large holes open up on their roster. They’ll have worth down the pipe as potential top or second line centers.  They were both offered up in an Iginla deal that went bust when the future Hall of Famer signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins two seasons ago.

Matt Fraser and Craig Cunningham should be staying in the Bruins organization. Fraser is solid, and Cunningham revealed his bag of tricks in the disappointing shootout loss to Ottawa. Cunningham is a smaller, more skilled player. If Chiarelli is finally getting Coach Claude Julien on the ‘better skill bandwagon’, he’s the player you’re going to want to keep for a year or two until he’s fully ready to be a mainstay in the NHL club.