One dream, one realistic, and one bargain player the Bruins must target in NHL free agency

There are plenty of directions the Boston Bruins can go in NHL free agency, and the following trio of players would make sensational targets in July.
Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins
Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Dream deals, logical deals, and bargain deals are integral parts of any free agency period, and it’s no different for the Boston Bruins. While there are quite a few routes the Bruins can go, including trying to find a way to sneak Chandler Stephenson onto the roster, he’s just one of a few sensational fits out there. 

For this article, we’re not just talking about good fits but those who we can insert in one of three labels. There is the dream free agent, who would more than help this Bruins team even if they came at a higher price. 

We also have the realistic free agent, who factors in as a good consolation prize, but at a lower cost than the dream free agent. Finally, we got the bargain free agent, who would provide excellent depth and at a low price - think low-risk, high-reward. 

Dream Free Agent: Anthony Mantha, F/Vegas Golden Knights

While you may not consider Anthony Mantha as a “dream free agent,” just think about how much more effective the Bruins scoring would be if they signed him and he built off of his scoring success from this past season. It won’t be easy for the Vegas Golden Knights to find a place for him, considering their overall lack of salary cap space. But knowing how general manager Kelly McCrimmon finds ways to keep people around, seeing Mantha potentially return to Vegas also wouldn’t be so surprising. 

But if he tests the market, he shouldn’t come at such a steep price that he would be out of Boston’s reach, even if the Bruins re-sign Jake DeBrusk and when they extend Jeremy Swayman. Mantha’s 23 goals this past season all but imply the Bruins would get another 20-plus goal scorer should he come to Boston. And he’s also someone who would factor in as an ideal depth forward, as was the case in Vegas. 

Mantha’s time in Washington jumps out more than anything else, as he was one of the best scorers on the team amidst a rough situation. The Capitals were a poor group offensively before they moved him to Vegas, yet Mantha was one of the few constantly helping to keep the puck in the offensive zone - 50.8 Corsi For at even strength vs. a 44.5 offensive zone starting percentage. 

For a team like the Bruins, this wouldn’t be as big of a deal, but it’s also hard to deny that Mantha would further augment their play in the offensive zone.