Boston Bruins: The Bye Week Mailbag

USA - 2002: 1 col x 1.25 in / 47x32 mm / 160x108 pixels Chris Ware color illustration of a mailman buckling under the weight of his mass mailing-stuffed mailbag. (Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
USA - 2002: 1 col x 1.25 in / 47x32 mm / 160x108 pixels Chris Ware color illustration of a mailman buckling under the weight of his mass mailing-stuffed mailbag. (Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Time to empty the mailbag! Dan Watkins answers your questions about the Boston Bruins from the bye week!

The bye week is finally over! Before the Bruins return to action and take on the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night, lets answer some questions Bruins fans have about the team!

Q:Who is the most underrated Bruin from the first half? – Chris

A: Hi Chris, thanks for writing in! I wrote last week how important Kevan Miller has been to the team this season, not just on the ice but off the ice as well. Miller has been key for the development of Matt Grzelyck. The pair have given the team depth defensively as the third pairing. Miller has a +10 rating, and logs key minutes on the penalty kill. He has never been known for his scoring but has nine points this season (1-8-9) and is currently on a three game point streak. Which ties the longest streak of his career.

BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 6: Kevan Miller
BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 6: Kevan Miller /

Q: Who are the next two players that will be called up from the AHL that will have major impacts on the team. – Jerry

A: Hi Jerry, thanks for writing in! The two names down in Providence that everyone has their eyes on are Jakub Zboril and Zach Senyshyn, and rightfully so. The duo were two of the three first round picks (the other being Jake Debrusk) that the Bruins had in a row back in 2015. Zboril. A left shot defenseman, is playing big minutes for Providence and boasts a +17 rating which is second on the team. He missed three games back in November after a scary hit to the head, but hasn’t missed since and has been playing well. Senyshyn is a right wing and currently has 16 points (6-10-16) in 30 games. Both players are 20 years old and in their first professional seasons, I don’t think we’ll see them thrown into the mix in Boston if a spot opens up this season, but look to see them on Causeway street next season, leading the next wave of talented rookies that the organization possesses.

BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 26: Josh Anderson
BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 26: Josh Anderson /

Q: Do you think Don Sweeney will consider trading Zdeno Chara at the trade deadline? – Andrew

A: Hi Andrew, thanks for the question. Early on in the season and back over the summer this was a popular topic of conversation with both fans and the media. If the team was out of the playoff picture I believe there would be some serious thoughts about trading the 40 year old captain. But fortunately  that is not the case and the Bruins are not only in the playoff picture, but they are battling for possibly having home ice in the first round! Unless things take a turn for the worse over the next month, the team truly believes they can play with anybody, and make a deep playoff run trading your captain, who also happens to be the leader in ice time (averaging a mind-boggling 23:20 a game) would go against those thoughts.

PITTSBURGH, PA – JANUARY 07: Zdeno Chara
PITTSBURGH, PA – JANUARY 07: Zdeno Chara /

Q: Will the team be “Buyers” at the trade deadline? – John

A: Hi John, good question! The Bruins are currently tied for second in the Atlantic Division with five games in hand over Toronto, so naturally that would lead one to believe they will be active at the February 26th deadline. I don’t think that is the case however, as I don’t believe Don Sweeney & Co want to risk the future by potentially dealing off some of these prospects or young players that are already making an impact. I think if the right deal comes along he’ll pull the trigger, but I think more realistically a deal like the Drew Stafford trade last year would suit the team better, adding a veteran depth piece, one name that comes to mind is Thomas Vanek in Vancouver.

Q: Do you think the team will try to package Ryan Spooner and prospects for a rental player? – DJ

A: Hi DJ, great question! Spooner has moved to wing this season for multiple reasons. Most notably his struggles in the face-off circle. Also, there is a log jam at the center position. He will be turning 26 at the end of the month and I don’t know how much other teams value him. On top of that, Elliot Friedman of TSN was on NHL Network Monday and said that the Bruins are being picky about trading any top prospects.

"“I looked into this today and the No. 1 thing I was told is don’t think you’re getting their prospects,” said Friedman. “Last year, Colorado and them were talking Matt Duchene and they asked about Brandon Carlo and Boston said ‘We’re not doing that.’ And they’re not doing that now. Charlie McAvoy is not going anywhere. Brandon Carlo is not going anywhere. “Someone told me that they think there was a team last year that made a play for Trent Frederic, a Boston first-rounder last year, who just finished up strong at the world juniors, and Boston said, ‘We’re not doing that.’ “So I think if Boston does anything – unless it’s an absolute stunner of a move – last year they made a Drew Stafford trade for a late-round draft pick. I could see them trying that, like a Thomas Vanek or something like that."

BUFFALO, NY – JUNE 25: Boston Bruins General manager Don Sweeney speaks to the media during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY – JUNE 25: Boston Bruins General manager Don Sweeney speaks to the media during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images) /

Based on Friedman’s comments I don’t think that a big name like Wayne Simmonds, Evander Kane, or Max Pacioretty will be coming too Boston.

Thanks for the questions everyone, we’ll be doing another one of these soon! Tweet your questions to me @dwatty93 or Causeway Crowd (@Causeway_Crowd)