The Boston Bruins are gearing up for another run at the playoffs and they could use some help on their quest for the Cup. This help shouldn’t be on a rental basis they should pursue a player with term left on their contract or one they know for certain they can re-sign.
The Bruins second line scoring has been an issue for much of the season and it will continue to be a problem for them unless they acquire a long term solution. So why spend every season addressing this need for depth scoring and adding a UFA at the deadline? The Bruins have done this each of the last three seasons trading for Rick Nash last year, Drew Stafford two years ago and Lee Stempniak three years ago. None of those players are still with the Bruins so guess what? They still haven’t filled that second line gap. It has been expected that young guys would fill that second line role but every option they’ve tried has yielded limited results. Currently Cehlarik sits on the second line and has had decent production.
Instead of continually dealing for scoring help every season why not stock some of those picks you trade away for rentals and spend them on a guy with term left. I’m aware it’s not the easiest thing to do and players with term obviously cost more than players without term. So who might those players with term be?
There are those obvious pipe dream players that have term at decent cost but would cost a fortune guys like Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn and Ilya Kovalchuk. It would be worth it to acquire those guys using whatever tools you have but guys like McAvoy and DeBrusk shouldn’t be dealt. However, anything outside those two should be discussed. Each of those guys bring immediate stability to the second line. The second tier players like Nugent-Hopkins, Adam Henrique and Jeff Carter. These guys still won’t be cheap but picks and decent prospects could make a deal.
Lastly there are UFA’s that could be pursued but only if the Bruins could guarantee a contract extension for next year would be signed. That would be players like Panarin, Skinner or Zucarello. Trading for pending UFA’s that have no plan to sign with the Bruins is almost a waste of resources. With the Bruins having some cap flexibility they might as well use it since guys like Bergeron, Krejci, Rask and especially Chara aren’t getting any younger. This second line issue seems to rise up every year so rather than make a deal to fix it for one year make a deal to fix it for three. Or just do nothing and sign Panarin or Simmonds in the off season and hold the front down for now.
The Bruins are on a two game win streak and look to keep it going tonight against the Rangers.Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)