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Plan B for Bruins Now That Bo Horvat is Off the Trade Market

The Boston Bruins were rumored to be interested in Bo Horvat. Now that he’s been traded, what is Plan B?

It was believed the Boston Bruins were going to be big players for Bo Horvat ahead of this season’s NHL Trade Deadline but the New York Islanders beat them to the punch. In fact, it is being reported that the Islanders deal was good enough for the Canucks that GM Patrick Allvin didn’t even bother to shop the trade around to other teams, finalizing the deal with Lou Lamoriello with weeks left to decide what he wanted to do.

So, with the Bruins now sitting on the sidelines or waiting to see if Horvat shakes loose again should the Islanders falter or if the center tests free agency, they’ll need to go after someone else if the former Canucks’ center is no longer an option. Given the price the Islanders paid, Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic suggests the Bruins might have had trouble pulling off the deal anyway and this gives them a chance to refocus.

Bo Horvat Boston Bruins trade talk
Bo Horvat Boston Bruins trade talk

Shinzawa is reporting that Bruins president Cam Neely has prioritized finding a player with term. That makes sense considering the talk surrounding Horvat was that Boston wanted to make sure he would sign an extension before making the deal. The reality is, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are both nearing the end of their respective careers and the Bruins need to know what the future looks like. A rental isn’t ideal, even though it would help them this season as the top team in the NHL.

It’s not that the Bruins are opposed to adding pending UFAs. They did so last season when they acquired Hampus Lindholm, but they also immediately signed him to a long-term extension. Neely said, “We have tried to get out of the rental mode,” He added, “You give up a lot of assets. Historically, rentals … one team wins a year. When you give up a lot of assets for a player that’s on an expiring contract, you have to decide, ‘OK, are we willing to do that?’ ”

Among the list of names Shinzawa suggests the Bruins might be looking at are Max Domi, Ivan Barbashev, Jack Roslovic, and Ryan O’Reilly. Some are pending UFAs, but all are players the Bruins might see a future with. Are the Bruins going to start shopping for players that are on somewhat team-friendly deals but could look to secure their future by signing after they land in Boston? Will the team trade for a player who is currently a rental, but Boston sees as someone they might want to negotiate with? Or, will they go after a player like Horvat, who they already know they’d like to sign and talk about an extension before the deal is made?

Next: Carey Price Moving News Could Hint He’s Done With Canadiens

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