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Bruins Likely Out of the Running to Add Mark Scheifele Via Trade

The Boston Bruins’ potential pursuit of Mark Scheifele faces hurdles due to cap constraints and trade limitations.

Following the retirements of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, the Boston Bruins face the task of filling a void in their lineup with a top-tier center. The team’s intention to start the season with Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha in key roles isn’t ideal, prompting speculation of a trade to bolster their center depth. Despite their interest in players like Mark Scheifele from the Winnipeg Jets, hurdles abound.

The Bruins, hamstrung by salary cap constraints and limited trade assets, face difficulties in orchestrating a blockbuster trade. Insiders like Ken Weibe of Sportsnet and Murat Ates of The Athletic suggest the likelihood of a Scheifele trade to Boston is low, given the lack of appealing trade assets available for the Jets.

This all despite the fact that if Scheifele doesn’t extend his contract with the Jets, NHL trade speculations pointed to the Bruins targeting him in next summer’s free agency.

Mark Scheifele Winnipeg Jets trade
Mark Scheifele Winnipeg Jets trade rumors

While Scheifele could alleviate the Bruins’ needs, the situation is complex. Jets’ goaltending considerations are intertwined with the equation, but Boston hesitates to part with goalies Jeremy Swayman or Linus Ullmark unless substantial improvements are made in other areas.

Frankly, it might not matter because the Jets still haven’t traded Connor Hellebucyk and Ates explains that goaltenders don’t command first-line center prices in today’s NHL market. It’s not clear that one of Swayman or Ullmark would get this deal done.

Boston’s proximity to the salary cap ceiling further complicates matters. Trading for Scheifele, whose cap hit is $6.125 million (UFA 2024), using Ullmark ($5 million, UFA 2025) would be cumbersome both cap-wise and regarding player value. Swayman’s potential could intrigue Winnipeg, but his inclusion would further complicate the cap-hit dilemma.

Could The Bruins Do This? It’s A Long Shot…

Balancing cap considerations necessitates moving a forward like Jake DeBrusk ($4 million, UFA 2024) or Trent Frederic ($2.3 million, UFA 2025), or defenseman Matt Grzelcyk ($3.688 million, UFA 2024). The Bruins’ roster includes players with no-trade and no-move clauses, making a transfer to Winnipeg unattractive. Boston’s depleted prospect pool and recent draft pick trades also hinder potential trade scenarios, minimizing the feasibility of a balanced trade based on future considerations.

As Boston navigates this intricate landscape, the hunt for a first-line center remains a significant challenge, requiring strategic moves that align with the team’s cap limitations and trade assets.

Next: 5 Potential Trade Options to Replace Patrice Bergeron in Boston

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  1. Pingback: Bruins May Make Final Pre-Season Trade Push for Mark Scheifele

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