The Boston Bruins recently fired their Stanley Cup winning Head Coach Claude Julien, who then was signed by the Montreal Canadiens after firing their head coach. There have been four coaching changes this year and 3 of them have come in the Atlantic. Boston sits in 4th place in the Atlantic but are tied with the Islanders and Panthers in pts. for the second wildcard spot, but both NYI and FLA have a game in band.
Who They Are? Stand-pat or sell
Boston is in a tough position because they are trying to compete for the playoffs when they really don’t have the assets right now. They are clearly trying to compete after firing Julien which is probably the best thing that could happen to him, he went from a struggling Boston team to a struggling Habs team but the Habs have more talent and are in first place in their division.
Upfront Boston has talented forwards such as Bergeron, Krejic, Marchand, and Pastrnak that they can build around, but it is on the back-end where they struggle. They traded dougie Hamilton away and whether I agree with that trade or not it seems that they could use him right now. They still have big Z, Zedeno Chara, but everyone else on the back-end needs upgrading, or is punching above their weight. Adam McQuaid is being sheltered playing only 18 minutes a night, he’s a third pairing physical d-man. Torey Krug is a good defenseman but is playing top pairing minutes. Brandon Carlo has played well so far but still makes rookie mistakes, which he should since he’s still learning.
Boston is pretty much even in terms of goal differential with only a +1 differential while ranking 17th in goals per game and 12th in goals against. They rank 13th in power play and 1st in the penalty kill. They are anchored by Tukka Rask who gets blamed for any of the bruins problems when in fact he is a top 5-10 goalie in the league. Also there is no replacement for Tukka so anyone who says trade him is either misinformed or an idiot.
2017: 1st, 4th, 6th, 7th, with add. 2nd (EDM) and 7th (FLA)
There have been some rumors around a Colorado/Boston trade but right now it seems that talks are stalled.Boston has a lot of cap space (15MM current, 17MM deadline) to add a big time player like Duchene and some prospects to get him, but it doesn’t seem like they want to pay the price COL is asking. They will need to give a raise to Pastrnak but that should not materially change their plans in terms of cap space.
Cam Fowler: Last year this guy was getting shopped around, now it looks like he is going to get extended by the ducks. If ANA can’t afford him and want to move him for assets now is probably not the right time to be doing so, as ANA is competing for a playoff spot. It is going to be costly for Boston to acquire Fowler and I really don’t think they want to give up Pastrnak plus to get him. Defenseman are going to be expensive highlighted by the Larsson-Hall trade of last year.
Justin Faulk: This name has been mentioned because of the massive depth that Carolina has, he is a top pairing defenseman who is signed for just under $5MM cap hit, he will be costly. There is basically no chance of getting Faulk just like there is no chance at getting Fowler unless it is a major blockbuster giving up a lot of assets.
Eaves/Vanek: Both are available and both will be costly, which should be a prospect and a pick. How good that prospect is yet to be seen but I personally don’t think BOS is in the market for a rental. Boston, even though they don’t want to hear it, are not stanley cup contenders and probably not a playoff team. They have two teams in front of them both in the wild-card and in the Atlantic. Going after a rental would be a dumb short-sighted mistake, but Boston likes making those (see: Julien, Claude)
Offseason Trade Target: Minnesota Wild Defenseman— quick note on the Wild and the Expansion draft and how the Bruins fit in. The Wild, unless they can make a deal, are going to lose some top defensive assets. They can only lose one of them so maybe they just bite the bullet, but if I am the GM of the Wild after their Stanley cup run (best goal diff in the league) I try and get some young controllable assets. They have a lot of money tied up in Parise/Suter so keeping the rest of the team under managable cap-hits is going to be important.