Does this 1-for-1 trade with Sharks make sense for Bruins?

May 8, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Kevin Labanc (62) looks to pass the puck during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Kevin Labanc (62) looks to pass the puck during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /
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The San Jose Sharks had a bit of a surprise move on Tuesday night, electing to sit forward Kevin Labanc in their matchup with the Calgary Flames.

Naturally, Boston Bruins Twitter went into speculation mode.

Could the Bruins make a one-for-one trade with Jake DeBrusk, who wants out of Boston, for Kevin Labanc?

The 25-year-old Sharks forward has struggled a bit this season with just six points in 19 games. He’s in the second year of his four-year, $4.75 million contract.

The Bruins should at least consider a one-for-one trade with DeBrusk and Labanc

Sharks coach Bob Boughner was critical of Labanc’s play as of late. This is what he had to say about scratching the Sharks forward.

"“He just needs to be better. We need more from him. We’ve tried him on different lines and we want to play with a certain identity and everybody’s got to be on that same page.”"

What Boughner had to say of Labanc sounded very much like what Bruce Cassidy has said about DeBrusk. That the coaching staff wants more out of him and after trying him on different lines, they’ve had enough and feel a night in the press box will do him good.

Looking at the numbers this season, DeBrusk’s and Labanc’s are fairly similar. The Bruins winger has four goals and three assists in 20 games with a -2 rating and 42 shots on goal. In 19 games, the San Jose forward has three goals and three assists with a -3 rating and 33 shots on goal.

The biggest difference between the two is while the decline of DeBrusk dates back to last season, this year feels like an outlier for Labanc. He is coming off a 28-point season last year in 55 games, while DeBrusk had just 14 points in 41 games in 2020-21. Labanc also has had seasons where he scored 40 and 56 points.

On the down side, Labanc isn’t great in his own end and is an undersized forward, listed at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds. The San Jose forward would also come at a higher price and length than DeBrusk, which certainly could straw Sweeney away.

But it could be worth the gamble. Labanc’s trade value, like DeBrusk’s when he was scratched, couldn’t be any lower than it is. Both players have shown flashes where they can put it together, but it seems now the message from the coaching staff is falling on deaf ears. Each can use a change of scenery and might be able to thrive with a different team.

If I had to make a decision right now, I say pass. Between the money, his size and the uncertainty of what you’re getting out of Labanc, I’m not sure it’s worth it.

But, I do believe it’s worth a phone call. See where the Sharks’ organization is at with Labanc, what they are seeing on their end.

I do think that the return for DeBrusk, unless packaged together with picks/prospects for a second-line player, isn’t be as high as some people think. And I could see Labanc being valued on the market higher than DeBrusk, so by that logic, Don Sweeney should pull the trigger on a one-for-one.

You see, it’s a toss up for me.

Dream scenario? Package DeBrusk together with picks and prospects to get Labanc as a secondary piece in a trade for Tomas Hertl. Now that is something Bruins fans should all be down with.

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We’ll soon see if the DeBrusk for Labanc chatter reaches Sweeney’s ears and if it puts anything in motion.