Like everyone else I’m sick to death of hearing about the Bruins Cup Hangover. I’m even more sick of the absolutely asinine statement that we need to go out and find another Recchi. First, there aren’t many 40+ players in the league dying for a third Stanley Cup who have recently mentored two superstar forwards in two different cities. There are even less who possess an indomitable work ethic, a hall of fame resume walking in the door, and the rare at any age or talent level ability to command respect simply by breathing. Obviously the cure is going to need to be something different.
The most likely solutions given the Bruins management style, the players current status and the performance of other teams are:
- A small trade that takes someone off the roster and moves them for a player with a slightly different skillset but not one of the core players.
- A move from within that sends one or more players packing and promotes someone from Providence (or if we’re going to be guilty of hubris the CHL) as either a permanent solution or a stop gap until closer to the deadline
- Medium trade of no more than one or two top six forwards or top four defensemen (with or without picks and prospects attached) for another player or players who can fill those roles.
- A blockbuster trade that involves players getting more than five million a year, All Star level talent or involves three or more roster players on at least one of the teams, honestly not likely, but still possible if the right pieces fell into place or it turned into one of those now very rare three team deals.
Of teams and players who might be shopping or looking for a shakeup themselves here’s a few that might fall into the mix.
The Kings are reportedly shopping Dustin Penner, and getting the third line a stable left winger over constant juggling of a prospect and this years hope for magical coaching, could have larger effects. Good news: Pretty healthy over all, has hit the 30 goal mark in the past. Bad news: not especially physical clearly in a slump or not fitting in with LA. I wonder if they’d take the future considerations we got for Sturm in trade?
If we’re going to insist on getting older, why not go with one of Tim Thomas’s contemporaries and neighbors while flashing back to before the lockout? Brian Rolston would be a solid leader, good mentor and as long as he wasn’t allowed to take slap shots in practice good for the team in a number of ways, including likely the powerplay. Good news: Great shot, smart player. Bad news: 38 years old, 5 million cap hit, and an NTC that could make it hard to pry him loose given he’s just had another kid.
For a potentially cheap, and low risk high reward player, that we could send one of the roughly 72,345 centers in the system from Providence who might slide into their second or third line at the NHL level in exchange for one of the Senators AHL prospects, I think a call to Peter’s old stomping grounds about Filatov might be in order. He’s had an interesting couple of years, but has yet to actually play for a good team where he wasn’t clearly the most gifted offensive talent on the roster. While that isn’t quite true in Ottawa, Spezza has had his injury issues, and Alfredsson is old enough to be Filatov’s dad. Good news: Skilled, fast and likely cheap. Bad news: potential locker room issues or just plain head case depending on who you believe. (Note, was spotted in Ottawa for practice while this was being written.)
Since it’s always fashionable to draw up trades and potential trades with the Phoenix Coyotes, I guess I’ll throw one in too: Oliver Ekman-Larrson is a pretty iinteresting young defenseman. Good news: Young, has 3 goals already, is playing 18+ a night. Bad news: I can’t see the Coyotes giving him up cheap, especially not where they are getting good goal scoring as a whole.
Old friend Kris Versteeg has been in Sunrise for weeks now and despite a hot start it must be time for trade rumors to start about him. Good news: Been there, done that, only 25, RFA at the end of the year on a solid deal, currently a RW but plays some center. Bad news: There has to be a reason he’s on team three since leaving Boston for only passable returns.
With Crosby eventually returning to the lineup, and in theory a time when all three of their top centers are healthy, the Penguins are likely to need to move someone. Who? Who knows.
The Blue Jackets are a grade a mess with little true top six and top four talent and a goaltender best described as shaky. They could blow everything up either for immediate talent or lots of picks and prospects. The very well traveled Vinny Prospal is playing some of the best hockey of his career to little effect. With his 10 points in 11 games, and small cap hit, he could still bring a solid return to the team. Good news: Playing well, clearly still hungry. Bad news: 35, is currently leading the Blue Jackets in scoring.
Carter Ashton is buried in the AHL, and is the only rookie in their top five for scoring, The Tampa Bay lightning prospect might be available for defensemen or defensive prospect since the team is deep at right wing and giving up 3.00 goals a game already this season. Good news: Young, good size, good speed, good touch. Bad news: Probably wouldn’t come cheap.
Brandon Dubinsky is off to a slow, slow start in New York City, could Sather be talked into a mutual shakeup move? Would we be stuck taking Avery or worse Redden if that was they case? Good news: Once out of the slump would likely become a fan favorite, similar player to Bergeron. Signed for a couple years at less than I expect Krejci to get on his next contract. Bad news: Unless he’s gotten very desperate for a defenseman, say Boychuk or another NHL regular I suspect Sather either says “no” or demands an absurd return.
The New Jersey Devils are currently in twelfth place, the face of their franchise for the last two decades is under-performing, and their best home grown talent will be a UFA that get’s big, big offers if he isn’t signed buy July 1. Since no writeup of idle speculation is complete without the sensible of the surface but too ridiculous to make happen for real trade idea: Tuukka Rask for Zack Parise.