Should the Boston Bruins look to the Rangers for a deadline deal?

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 23: Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney meets with the media following the NHL general managers meetings at the Bellagio Las Vegas on June 23, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 23: Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney meets with the media following the NHL general managers meetings at the Bellagio Las Vegas on June 23, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

There is no denying that the Boston Bruins are well ahead of schedule right now.  Not many expected much from this team given the youthful look of the opening night lineup.  Could a deal for a veteran make the team a favorite for the Cup?

The Boston Bruins and New York Rangers played last night, and it was a meticulous and thorough beat down.  The Bruins, after going down early, rallied back with a vengeance, scoring 6 unanswered goals in a 6-1 win.  Before last night’s game, the Bruins were 0-1-1 against the Rangers, and this retribution win was the last game the teams play this season against one another.

Boston Bruins
NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 07: Sean Kuraly /

The game saw the return of the suspended Brad Marchand, but also featured young Austin Czarnik replacing an injured Noel Acciari on the 4th line.  When Acciari returns, Czarnik will likely make his way back down to Providence.  When Kevan Miller returns to the blue line, the team will be back to the set-up that saw a lengthy point streak and made a charge towards the top of the Eastern Conference.

With the NHL trade deadline being less that three weeks away, February 26th, obviously things are going to start percolating soon on the trade market.  It seems Twitter is ablaze with reports that every NHL game has a number of scouts from teams looking to better their teams.  So, that being said, is it possible that last night’s game wasn’t the last dance for the Bruins and Rangers this season?

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It has become widely reported that the Rangers plan to be sellers at the trade deadline, despite only being a few points out of the playoff race.  Also being reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, there is no one on the current Rangers roster that is untouchable.  That is not something you see every day in the NHL.

That means that if the Bruins decided to be buyers at the deadline, they have a bevvy of Blueshirt options available to them.  That means if the Bruins wanted to do something similar to what they did in 2010-2011 and bring in some veterans to shore up a younger lineup, they have options in New York.

It all becomes a matter of three things:  (1) who would you want, (2) who do you lose, and (3) can you afford it.  And when it comes to affording it, it’s more than just monetary; it also takes into account can you afford to shake-up a roster that is 26-4-4 in their last 34 games.

Boston Bruins
VANCOUVER, CANADA – JUNE 4: Henrik Sedin /

The additions of Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly by then-Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli no doubt helped propel the Bruins to the promised land of Stanley Cup champions.  And Tomas Kaberle?  Well, he didn’t do anything to lose the Cup for the Bruins, so there’s that.  But would anyone on the Rangers team do that for the Bruins this year, even as a rental?

Just window shopping?

The Bruins blue line is all set.  In fact, it’s over-saturated with talent given the emergence of Matt Grzelcyk during Adam McQuaid’s absence.  The Bruins are in the unique position of having 5 NHL-caliber right-handed defenseman fighting for line-up three spots:  Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Kevan Miller, McQuaid, and Paul Postma.  On the left, you have Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, and Grzelcyk.

I’m not in love with Carlo like some are, and would have gladly seen him go in a deal for Matt Duchene.  I think his game has regressed a bit since last season not playing with Chara.  But adding someone like Ryan McDonough, a left shot defenseman, and a name thrown about in trade talks, wouldn’t do much for this team.  So, pass on McDonough.

I love Rick Nash.  There are a lot of things that I would do to get Nash on this team, some things that I wouldn’t even do for a Klondike bar, and I really enjoy those.  Could you imagine him on David Krejci’s wing on the second line, and killing penalties with Riley Nash?  We all saw his goal that he scored last night.  He still has it.  But I just don’t see financially how the deal can work for the Bruins unless they can shed some crazy salary in the deal, as they’re already pretty cap-strapped.

Boston Bruins
NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 07: Rick Nash /

In the article I cited before quoting Bob McKenzie, he believes the Rangers asking price is a 1st round pick, a high-level prospect, and either a lower-level prospect or lower draft pick.  That is a very high price for a rental player, even the caliber of Rick Nash.  That high-level prospect would likely have to be someone like Jakob Fosbacka-Karlsson, Jesse Gabrielle, or Zach Senyshyn, who are all very close to being NHL-level players.  As Meat Loaf said, “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.”  So sadly, it’s a pass on Rick Nash.

One Rangers player intrigues me, and that is Michael Grabner.  He would definitely be a rental because his contract expires this year, but at a very low $1.65 million full year cap hit.  He currently leads his team in scoring with 21 goals.  From every game I’ve watched him play this year, he still has a lot of gas left in the tank and tread on the tires.

At 30, he plays a very fast paced game, which would fit well in head coach Bruce Cassidy’s system.  I think he could seamlessly fit in with Jake DeBrusk and Krejci on the 2nd line, as even though he’s a left, he can play his off-wing well.  Ryan Spooner could then move back to 3rd line center, Riley Nash to 4th line center, and Sean Kuraly back to Providence.  Grabner’s asking price would also be a lot lower than the price for Nash, maybe a prospect or a pick (Bob McKenzie thinks a first).  This is a deal that I think could work financially and wouldn’t cost the team too much in the long run.


So where does that leave us?  Personally, given the success that the team has had with the current makeup of the roster, I’d be okay with the organization standing pat and taking the team as comprised into the playoffs, or at least not trading with the Rangers.  As much as I love the idea of the team winning the Stanley Cup again, I don’t want to see the future risked in order to bring in a rental player like Nash, when there stands a chance the team could get the job done as they stand now.

Next: Bruins Bromance with Bergeron and Marchand

Is there anyone on the Rangers roster that you think the Bruins should go after?  Do you have an idea of another player in the NHL that could make the team better?  Either reply in the Comments with what you think, or tweet at us @Causeway_Crowd or @BeerLeagueEsq.  We’ll see what you have to say, and maybe do a piece on your recommendations.