The NHL trade deadline is looming on the horizon, a mere 12 days away, and the Boston Bruins like 31 other teams have to make decisions about moves to make their team better now or selling expiring deals for assets to improve their future. For the most part, the Bruins will not be sellers.
Even with his shift to the top line and his increased scoring (including his first NHL hat trick against the Kings last week), Jake DeBrusk still wants to leave Boston. One of the issues that DeBrusk faces in the midst of a trade is that he is an RFA who is due a qualifying offer of $4.1 million. DeBrusk’s agent Rick Valette has stated that they’d be willing to work out an extension to make him more attractive to trade partners. Presumably Don Sweeney is looking at teams who would have equally attractive offers for JDB.
Other than shipping out DeBrusk, the Bruins are likely buyers rather than sellers. All season long, 2C was considered the weakness of the team. Charlie Coyle’s promotion to the second line was unsuccessful as he failed to build chemistry with Taylor Hall. While Coyle was scoring, his wings weren’t, which was a problem. Cassidy took time to analyse the problem and bet on Hall and Pasta being a playmaking/ scoring threat. All they needed was someone like Erik Haula. For the most part this setup works. But should a better 2C candidate become available should the B’s trade for him?
There’s been a lot of talk about trading for a left shot defenseman. This season has been a platooning between the three slots by Mike Reilly, Derek Forbort, Urho Vaakanainen (when healthy) and whatever is left. John Moore has been buried in Providence and presents some cap issues if he is recalled. That and he’s not all that good. Chances are that Sweeney will be looking at defensemen anyway because he likes depth going into the postseason. Without a NTC, Mike Reilly could be a player to go the opposite way should a trade partner want a player back.
Basically, the Bruins may need a couple of pieces to make a run. What those pieces are exactly remains to be seen.