Boston Bruins: Big Trade Day Impacts Bruins Off-Season Options

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Bruins: Big Trade Day Impacts Bruins Off-Season Options Prior to the 2016 NHL Entry Draft

The hockey world was taken by storm on Monday when multiple teams exchanged pending free agents for draft picks. For the Boston Bruins, it was a day where they saw the rights to both Jimmy Vesey and Keith Yandle get traded to the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers respectively. Additionally, the Dallas Stars traded away the rights to pending-UFA defenseman Alex Goligoski to the Arizona Coyotes on June 16th.

As the days leading up to the 2016 NHL Entry Draft wind down, the Bruins are seeing more and more potential options to help fix their roster get swept up by other teams.

While Joe Haggerty of Comcast Sportsnet New England believes that the Jimmy Vesey Sweepstakes may not be over for the Bruins, it’s hard to argue with the appeal of Jack Eichel and a Buffalo Sabres team that looks to be trending in the right direction. If the Bruins do end up signing Vesey this off-season, they will be filling a much-needed role on a team that needs a fresh insurgence of reliable youth.

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According to Vesey’s agent, however, the 22-year-old Reading, Mass. native could very well still become a free agent by August 15. “Jimmy’s intent at this time has not changed and is prepared to become a free agent on August 15,” his agent, Peter Donatelli told reporters.

In terms of defense, however, the Bruins will have to work fast if they plan on acquiring a “puck-mover” as they’ve claimed they’re searching for as of late.

As reported by both Darren Dreger of TSN and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, the Bruins appear to be leading the way for a potential Kevin Shattenkirk deal. The Bruins biggest need is a top-2 defenseman who can help solidify their defense. The 27-year-old St. Louis defender could do just that, while also contributing offensively as he’s been one of the better producer’s from the back-end in recent years.

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The Bruins need to make a strong push before all of the top options remaining in the league are traded, or signed to extensions like Sami Vatanen with the Anaheim Ducks.

Acquiring Shattenkirk won’t fix all of the Bruins issues as they will likely need to acquire another top-4 option through free agency or trade to really round-out their defensive group.

One player who has been linked to the Bruins as of late is Kris Russell, but by all accounts, the Bruins should avoid him at all costs. The former Calgary Flames defender was acquired for a very high price at the 2016 trade deadline by the Dallas Stars, but his value often seems over-exaggerated due to his willingness to block shots. While many consider Russell to be a legitimate top-4 options in the NHL, the numbers he produces are more consistent with bottom-pairing defensemen – something the Bruins have in troves.

Next: Jimmy Vesey Sweepstakes Take a Bad Turn

It’s a difficult time to be an NHL General Manager as there is pressure to make a move, but also pressure to make a good move. It’s been said so many times that its become one of sports greatest clichés, but sometimes the best move is the one that isn’t made. For Don Sweeney, the best move needs to make sense for the Bruins, but every avenue should be explored to appease the city of Boston.