The 2017 NHL Trade Deadline is on March 1 and even with a better-looking team under Bruce Cassidy, a trade could be in order for the Boston Bruins. Who are some players who could be on their way to Boston?
The 2017 NHL trade deadline could very well be a very important one for the Boston Bruins. Although they are playing well with their newly integrated, more high-octane style of hockey under Interim Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, a move or two could be in order. There are plenty of guys that are realistic trade fits for the Boston Bruins, some more realistic than others. None of these players on opposing teams
Anaheim Ducks: Cam Fowler
Cam Fowler is the guy that I personally want the most, in terms of defenseman. If Anaheim were to move Fowler, it may not be at the trade deadline, but rather during the offseason or some other time in the future. Fowler wouldn’t be cheap, and a deal involving him would likely revolve around Ryan Spooner or Frank Vatrano, as the Ducks could use a left-wing scorer. The Ducks 2010 first-round pick is having arguably the best season of his career and could very break his highest career point total (40). He currently has 11 goals, 19 assists, and 30 points in 57 games. In an improving defensive core, Cam Fowler is still young at 25 years old and would be a very nice addition. Not to mention his current $4 million per year contract that expires after the 2017-2018 season is looking like a bargain.
Arizona Coyotes: Michael Stone, Radim Vrbata
Although the Bruins appear to have good depth on the right side of their defensive core, Michael Stone could be a nice addition. This applies for Justin Faulk, Tyson Barrie, and Matt Dumba as well. Like Cam Fowler, Michael Stone is making $4 million per year, but the difference is that Stone’s contract expires after this season, unlike Fowler’s. Stone’s numbers this year look like this so far: one goal, eight assists, and nine points in 42 games. Even though Stone isn’t having a great year, he set a career high in points last season (36) and likely wouldn’t cost a ton as a rental. He could resign in Boston this summer as well.
Radim Vrbata could be an excellent rental addition that like his teammate Michael Stone, might not cost all that much. Despite his advancing age, the Czech winger is still producing. He currently has 11 goals, 26 assists, and 37 points in 54 games. If the Bruins are serious about making the playoffs, adding a cheap rental like Vrbata could really help increase scoring in the bottom-six forward core. The same thing goes for Thomas Vanek, Patrick Eaves, and P.A. Parenteau.
Carolina Hurricanes: Justin Faulk
Justin Faulk’s name popped up recently in the rumor mill and a deal for him seems far fetched. His $4,833,333 cap hit through the 2019-2020 season is pretty reasonable for a player of his caliber. He is a wizard on the power play, which could really strengthen an already improving Bruins power play unit. To put his power play dominance in perspective, he scored 12 times on the powerplay throughout last season.
The asking price for a 24-year-old defenseman like Faulk would be pretty high, largely in part due to his affordable contract for a top-2 guy. He has 11 goals, 14 assists, and 25 points in 46 games this season. His minu-16 rating may be alarming to some, but Carolina doesn’t have the best goaltending situation out there. With Tuukka Rask on his side, we could see those numbers improve, although the likelihood of Justin Faulk coming to seems pretty unlikely.
Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Tyson Barrie
Trading for one of these guys makes sense for the Boston Bruins if they are sending a player(s) with a decent cap hit back. Some names that come to mind include David Krejci, most likely in a deal for Duchene, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller and Jimmy Hayes. The one caveat with trading Krejci is the fact that he has a no-movement clause. Whether he would be willing to waive that is unknown. The good thing with these three pretty big name Avalanche players is that none of them have no-trade or movement clauses.
Don Sweeney and Avalanche General Manager, Joe Sakic, talked during the second intermission of the Bruins vs. Canadiens game last night. Sakic was taking a look at some players that he might want to trade for in the future. He also attended the Beanpot at TD Garden to watch some Bruins prospects that he might be interested in. The Bruins prospects playing in the beanpot are Ryan Donato, Wiley Sherman, Ryan Fitzgerald, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Charlie McAvoy. Of the five prospects, Charlie McAvoy’s name has been mentioned in rumors involving the Bruins and Avalanche. He will hopefully be untouchable in these discussions due to his very high potential, as well as his in-game similarities to Los Angeles Kings star defenseman, Drew Doughty.
Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene
Other names that have reportedly been in play with the Avalanche have included Joe Morrow, Jakub Zboril Jake DeBrusk, and Brandon Carlo. Gabriel Landeskog is an underperforming former second-round pick that I’d rather not see the Bruins take a risk on. Especially because of the pieces being asked for from the Bruins. I’d rather have the Bruins wait and let someone like Peter Cehlarik, Anders Bjork or Jake DeBrusk step in and prove themselves. Matt Duchene is a guy that I don’t see coming to Boston unless David Krejci is involved in the deal.
Tyson Barrie is another right-handed guy on the market in my mind. I don’t see the Bruins trading for him because I feel as though Colorado would want a solid right-handed guy in return. The likelihood of Don Sweeney trading Brandon Carlo, Colin Miller or Charlie McAvoy at this point seems very slim. With guys like Michael Stone and Matt Dumba for example, there is a good chance you don’t have to give up any of those three guys due to contrasting trade values. Another reason that I don’t see Sweeney trading for Barrie is although he is on a bad team, he has a minus-26 rating and only three goals.
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Detroit Red Wings: Thomas Vanek
Thomas Vanek, like Radim Vrbata, could be another nice rental option for the Bruins. In a rental scenario like this, some may think a draft pick may be the best thing going the other way, but something else the Bruins have could appeal to the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings have a weak core of center prospects, while the Bruins center prospect core is pretty strong. Cameron Hughes, Trent Frederic, Ryan Donato, Ryan Fitzgerald, Danton Heinen, Austin Czarnik and Noel Acciari could help strengthen Detroit’s core of young centers.
Austin Czarnik and Noel Acciari already have a good amount of NHL experience and are positionally versatile. If Detroit were to ask for a center prospect in return for Vanek, I don’t think giving up Czarnik or Acciari would be too high of a price to pay with the amount of depth that the Bruins have at the position. Nothing against Czarnik and Acciari, but trading one of them in a scenario like this could make sense.
Dallas Stars: Patrick Eaves
Patrick Eaves could cost a decent amount to acquire, even for a likely rental player. The 32-year-old ex-Boston College Eagle would be another guy that could add some scoring punch to the Bruins bottom-six forward core. Eaves already has a career high in goals (21) and points (35) with 25 games left to play. Eaves is a guy I could see the Bruins giving a one-year deal to this summer if they trade for him due to his breakout season. If they bring in a right-wing rental player, that player may end up staying on a one-year deal. This depends on how confident Sweeney is in the right side outside of David Backes and David Pastrnak, as well as whether Zachary Senyshyn is ready to play with the big guys in the 2017-2018 season.
I could see a Patrick Eaves trade looking like a slightly more expensive Lee Stempniak trade from last season’s deadline. Stempniak has since moved onto the Carolina Hurricanes. A rental winger that is a little bit on the older side, Eaves is 32-years-old, that can be physical and score at a solid rate. The one difference is that Patrick Eaves could very well be a 30 goal scorer for the first time in his NHL career.
Patrick Eaves is my ideal rental if I’m Don Sweeney and I really want to add some scoring to my bottom-six forward core. Maybe not in terms of price, as guys like Radim Vrbata, Thomas Vanek, and P.A. Parenteau could all very well cost less to acquire than Eaves. Dallas Stars General Manager, Jim Nill, may prefer to trade him to an Eastern Conference team versus a Western Conference team if he chooses to trade Eaves.
Minnesota Wild: Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba, Marco Scandella
The Minnesota Wild have a conundrum with these three defensemen. Trading them would be a smart move based on the fact that they risk losing one of them for nothing to Las Vegas in the highly anticipated expansion draft. Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba especially have been linked in trade rumors with the Boston Bruins here and there, Marco Scandella is another option.
Dumba seems to be the most favorable option for the Bruins based on skill and salary. One could definitely say that Dumba is better in some areas than Brodin and vice versa, but the difference in their skill sets isn’t striking enough to have to go for one of them versus the other. Dumba makes more sense when thinking of salary, due to the fact that Jonas Brodin is locked up long-term with a $4,166,667 cap hit through the 2020-2021 season. Brodin seems to have more of a role in their long-term plans than Dumba with a lengthy contract like that. Dumba, on the other hand, is only locked up through the 2017-2018 season with a $2.55 million cap hit.
Marco Scandella hasn’t been in the trade rumor mills as much as his defensive counterparts have, but there is still a chance he is the odd man out. That is if Wild General Manager, Chuck Fletcher, even decides to move one of the three defensemen. None of these three defensemen have been known to be exceptional point producers, but they could certainly strengthen the Bruins defensive core.
New Jersey Devils: P.A. Parenteau
P.A. Parenteau is another player in a long list of possible rentals on the wing. He still produces at a decent rate and is on pace for somewhere close to 40 points. Parenteau has been a member of six different NHL organizations over since the 2009-2010 season, so being traded at the deadline probably wouldn’t surprise him much, due to his contract situation. The 33-year-old Anaheim Mighty Ducks draft pick has been all over the place in the NHL, maybe Boston is his next destination.
St. Louis Blues: Kevin Shattenkirk
Probably the guy that has been linked to the Boston Bruins in trade rumors the most over the past year and a half or so, Kevin Shattenkirk. It’s no secret that he will not be cheap to acquire, due to the reported steep initial asking price for him in a trade. This reported asking price consisted David Pastrnak and both of the Bruins 2016 first-round picks (14th and 29th overall) around the time of the 2016 NHL draft. One big question that comes to mind when talking about trading for Shattenkirk is, whether he will resign in Boston when his contract expires this summer. Seeing the former Boston University Terrier locked up in Boston on a long-term deal would satisfy many Bruins fans. That, of course, depending on how much money they decide to throw his way.
Kevin Shattenkirk has established himself as one of the Western Conference’s top defenseman at the fairly young age of 28-years-old and would be a huge addition to this Bruins team. A rental trade for a guy like Shattenkirk doesn’t make much sense because he is such a big ticket item on the trade market. A big name defenseman needs to make its way into the Bruins system at some point not just to strengthen the defensive core, but to also make the eventual retirement of Zdeno Chara more palpable. Chara is still showing great passion for the game, so he might be around for a while longer, but having reassurance can’t hurt. Maybe that next guy is someone in the pipeline already. Having Shattenkirk and a homegrown stud or two wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Backup goalie possibilities
Some backup goalie possibilities include Michael Hutchinson, Darcy Kuemper, and Michal Neuvirth. Hutchinson’s $1.15 million cap hit runs through the 2017-2018 season, but Kuemper and Neuvirth’s deals expire this summer. None of them have great stats, but they all have cheap contracts and their current teams have guys that could step into the backup goalie role in their absences.
All of these players could make an impact on the Boston Bruins. Whether any of them will ever be a member of the Boston Bruins is the question, the newest Boston Bruin via trade could be someone that no one expects. All in all, the 2017 NHL trade deadline should be an interesting and exciting one.