Over the previously few years it has been noted over and over again that the Boston Bruins‘ bottom-six forward group needs to get bigger and tougher. While the team has also lacked secondary scoring, their next issue when it comes to offense is their inability to effectively win board battles, especially from what is supposed to be their checking lines in lines 3 and 4.
To fix this issue, the B’s were looking to add a big body at the 2019-20 trade deadline. The top name on their list was then San Jose Shark Barclay Goodrow. However, Boston would miss out on Goodrow as the Sharks would receive an offer they just couldn’t refuse as the Tampa Bay Lightning offered a 2020 first-round pick who turned into Ozzy Wiesblatt.
With them missing out on their top guy, Don Sweeney went with “Plan B” and acquired Nick Ritchie. Ritchie ultimately started off his career in Boston quite roughly. But this season he rebounded, as he set a career-high in goals. Let’s be real, though. Ritchie just isn’t Goodrow.
Now, nearly a year-and-a-half later, the Black and Gold could have another chance at bringing in Goodrow. The Lightning are expected to let him hit free agency as they just will not have the cap room to sign him (barring an ‘injury’ to Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, or another guy with a large cap hit that the Bolts can put on long-term injured reserve [LTIR]). And, per Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now, the B’s are expected to go after this chance and “go hard” after Goodrow.
What Barclay Goodrow would bring to the Bruins and where he would fit in the lineup.
Goodrow is a big-bodied (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) right wing that will bring you physical play (over 100 in each of the last four seasons). He will hit the opposition, fight the opposition, and make their lives difficult when going after loose pucks and pucks along the boards.
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Basically, he’s another Nick Ritchie. Except, he’s a bit more physical and can move and skate much better than Ritchie can. In turn, he’s better at puck recovery and better defensively. The only thing Ritchie has on Goodrow is career-high in points and goals. But that wouldn’t be what Goodrow is signed for.
Goodrow would most likely slot in at third-line right wing, playing alongside Ritchie and Charlie Coyle — assuming Ritchie and David Krejci are re-signed and Ritchie doesn’t go to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.
However, Goodrow is a bottom-nine forward. He can play anywhere from your second line (he got top-six minutes on a rather poor 2019-20 Sharks team) to your fourth line, but slots in well on the third line because he scores a bit more than your average fourth-liner.
The issue with signing Goodrow will probably be his cap hit. His most recent cap hit was just $925,000 on a two-year deal. After his last two seasons, he’s looking at a significant pay raise. Per Murphy’s source, that number could be around $4 to $4.5 million per year. They did not specify contract length.
With Boston already having some significant free agents to re-sign (Krejci, Tuukka Rask, Taylor Hall, Brandon Carlo, Mike Reilly, and Ritchie) and then they also have to bring in a veteran goaltender to fill in for Rask while he recovers from offseason hip surgery. The B’s have just over $28 million in cap space for this offseason, which should be enough to add Goodrow and re-sign the guys previously mentioned, but it also depends on the length of the contract as the Black and Gold will also have to extend Charlie McAvoy and Patrice Bergeron after this upcoming season.
Overall, Goodrow is just what the Bruins need to add to their bottom-six forward group. A third line of Ritchie, Coyle, and Goodrow would really wear down the opposition and prove effective for the B’s. However, Goodrow’s asking price along with how much interest from other teams may prove to be a significant barrier in Boston getting Goodrow.