Well, Doc had some great points. Buying out Dennis Seidenberg would save the Bruins a bunch in cap space and give them some freedom in signing new talent. Brian Campbell is a better defenseman than John-Michael Liles for sure, however, with the age of this group, I’m nervous signing a 37 year-old to a two-year contract. With Adam McQuaid turning 30 in October, the Bruins would have three defenders on the wrong side of 30 with a buyout of Seids and addition of Campbell. I’m looking a little more long-term; give the youth that signed earlier a little more time to develop. That’s where the trade market comes in.
Many names have been floated about in the trade market as potential trade acquisitions for the Bruins: Jacob Trouba in Winnipeg, Kevin Shattenkirk in St. Louis, Jonas Brodin in Minnesota, and Sami Vatanen in Anaheim. I think the most difficult to pry away would be Shattenkirk, however, it should be Sweeney’s first attempt. Shattenkirk is a 27 year-old defenseman who could easily run the second pairing or maybe even slot into the number one position with a guy like Colin Miller. Shattenkirk is being made redundant in the Blues organization by the emergence of Colton Parayko. The Blues are a team strapped to the cap and are going to have to make some cuts to potentially re-sign David Backes, Jaden Schwartz, and potentially Troy Brouwer. The Blues are a team with strong depth down the center and left wing, but behind Vladimir Tarasenko, their right wing scoring depth is lacking. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But our RW depth is lacking too!”, and you’re right. If I’m Doug Armstrong, I’m asking for David Pastrnak, then Zach Sensyshyn in any deal. If I’m Sweeney though, I’m saying no way. Here’s my idea for a formidable trade: take RW Seth Griffith, who hasn’t quite found a place on this team, add in a first round and a 2017 second round pick, and a prospect. That should get Shattenkirk.
Anaheim proposes an interesting situation, as they currently sit at the 50 contract limit and have 28 contracts moving into next season. Their depth situation is a mess. An aging team, they are gearing up to win now, and that’s that. There’s a twist with the likes of trading for Vatanen: the Bruins have to sign him as he’s a restricted free agent (RFA). Being an RFA, the cost could be a little lower, possibly a second rounder and a center prospect.
I don’t like the thought of trading for Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin. One look at his HERO chart explains why I don’t think he’d be a good fit here in Boston.
My second choice for a trade is Jacob Trouba in Winnipeg. An RFA, Trouba is an interesting situation. The Jets have committed to Dustin Byfuglien with a 5-year, $7.6 million AAV contract. Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom, Tyler Myers, and Mark Stuart (hello old friend) all have contracts extending past the 2016/2017 season, with Paul Postma also extended into next season as well. Winnipeg, a known budget team, is going to be hard pressed to re-sign Trouba, whose HERO chart maps out to be a solid 2nd-pairing guy.
You have to think that Trouba will end up making more money than Mark Stuart moving into next season, and for a second contract, a 3-year $9 million dollar contract is not so bad. Since trading away Andrew Ladd, the Jets are hurting on the wings. The Bruins have their own RFA situation at hand to deal with in Providence, with Alex Khokhlachev’s entry level contract up at the end of the season. As we all have seen, Khokhlachev has really struggled in his time here. He’s a natural center that has shifted over to left wing and has seen little time with the big club, although he tears it up the AHL. Goaltending has also been an issue for Winnipeg. Ondrej Pavelec is the definition of “meh” when it comes to goalies; a goalie who can win games, but isn’t surprising when he lets in a weak one. According to Hockey’s Future, their goaltending prospects are weak as well. Take Khokhlachev, add in Zane McIntyre, and you’ve got yourself a deal for Trouba.
So, taking the ideas that Doc provided yesterday of buying out Dennis Seidenberg and signing Jason Demers, the general assumption of signing Torey Krug, Colin Miller and Zach Trotman, and now trading for (and signing) Jacob Trouba, the Bruins the following for defense:
Chara – Miller
Demers – Trouba
Krug – McQuaid
Now, that right there is a defense you can win with.