The Boston Bruins are an interesting team. They’ll certainly be one insiders keep a close eye on heading into this year’s trade deadline. Are they good? Are they great? Are they too top heavy and nowhere near the Stanley Cup contenders they used to be? These are all questions analysts will be asking, as might general manager Don Sweeney himself.
As such, expect a lot of chatter to surround this team over the next eight days. Most have pointed out that the organization would really like to add some secondary scoring or make an upgrade to their blue line. The concern out of Boston is their tight schedule to close the season, dealing with or managing injuries and simply ensuring the team has done their due diligence and explored the best options available on the market.
With that in mind, Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic has pointed out a handful of targets the Bruins might be keying in on.
As far as defense goes, Shinzawa suggests Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm, Arizona’s Alex Goligoski, Detroit’s Jon Merrill and Ottawa’s Mike Reilly are all on the list — we’ve left out Vancouver’s Alex Edler who Shinzawa had here too because Edler was added to the Canucks protocol list after he wrote this article.
At forward, Shinzawa lists, Columbus’ Riley Nash, New Jersey’s Kyle Palmieri and Miles Wood, Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell, and Detroit’s Bobby Ryan.
Who Are the Ideal Fits for the Bruins?
Looking at each of the names, Shinzawa categorized the players by “Somewhat Good”, “Good”, “Very Good” or “Ideal”. Among those he listed as “Ideal” were Ekholm on the blue line and Palmieri at forward.
Calling Palmieri a consistent scorer, his numbers are down a little this season, but he could be had for the right price and he doesn’t affect the Bruins NHL Expansion Draft plans as a pending UFA. It could cost Boston as many as three assets to outbid other interested teams.
Shinzawa writes that Ekholm is “a left-shot defenseman who affects play in all areas. He could be a top-pairing presence alongside McAvoy.” The downside here is that acquiring the defenseman will cost the Bruins a lot and it will affect their expansion draft plans. Shinzawa writes:
The Bruins would want to classify Ekholm, McAvoy, Grzelcyk and Carlo as off-limits. They would then have to shift to the eight skaters-one goaltender template. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Charlie Coyle have no-movement clauses and require protection. David Pastrnak would be the eighth protected skater. This would set up a Jake DeBrusk trade to avoid losing the left wing for nothing.
Of course, the Bruins don’t even know if Ekholm will shake loose as the Predators are fighting it out for the final playoff spot in the Central Division.
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