Thoughts on the Bruins and trades
|12.17.14 at 4:21 pm ET|
The Bruins aren’t great and they aren’t going to be unless they make some sort of move. Here are some thoughts and some speculation, which I hate doing:
– As you’ve probably heard by now, the Oilers might not love Taylor Hall so much. He’s one of the best wings in the world and makes $6 million a year through 2019-20.
Sean Gentille of The Sporting News did a post on Hall and floated an idea of what it would cost to get Hall, with Dougie Hamilton, Malcolm Subban, Chris Kelly and a first-rounder making up his speculated package.
I wouldn’t trade Hamilton and the internet more or less agreed, but Gentille wasn’t wrong in suggesting that’s what it would take. Assuming the Oilers come close to knowing what they’re doing, Hamilton is the guy they should want if they were ever to talk trade with the B’s. Again, I wouldn’t do it.
Another thought on Hall: If the Bruins were to get him – which, no – you’d have to get rid of Milan Lucic or Brad Marchand, as Hall is a top-six left wing and so are they. Both Lucic and Marchand have modified no-trade clauses.
– My media buddy who thinks trading Tuukka Rask should be in play at any point ever is a nice person and also an incorrect person.
– It’s whizz or get off the pot time with Loui Eriksson. Either play him on a top line with David Krejci or trade him.
Eriksson’s a great third-line player who hasn’t gotten a long look with Krejci and Milan Lucic since he got to Boston. He doesn’t score, but the Bruins can either learn that he can with Krejci or they can see if there’s a team out there that believes he’s being underutilized with the B’s.
Once Krejci is back, the Bruins’ concern shouldn’t be breaking up their third line. It should be finding out whether they have the makings of a good first line.
– I have no idea what Ryan Spooner’s trade value is, but the Bruins would be able to get a lot if any of their fans became general managers.
– Eriksson also has trade protection. The Bruins with either no-trades, partial no-trades or no movements are: Patrice Bergeron, Lucic, Krejci, Marchand, Eriksson, Marc Savard, Chris Kelly, Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and Rask.
– Though the Bruins (less than $1 million in cap space) have to move a player who makes decent money in order to add anyone who makes decent money, their obvious area of strength when it comes to trade assets is affordable young defensemen. Dougie Hamilton should be the only one who they consider untouchable.
– Players cost money. You can’t say “Just get rid of Kelly ($3 million cap hit) and Bartkowski ($1.25 million cap hit) and you’ll have $4.25 million to spend.” Wrong. Someone has to take those roster spots, so assuming you moved two players to make room for one player, you’d still need to account for whoever would take that second player’s spot, so subtract at least $800,000-plus per additional player moved to get a decent idea of how much money they’d actually save. The league minimum is $550,000.
That’s why, in the case of slightly overpaid low-money guys (Gregory Campbell makes $1.6 million, Bartkowski makes $1.25), getting rid of a bunch of them really won’t save you a lot.
– Kelly is one of the few guys on this team with an apparent pulse. I wouldn’t be in any hurry to trade him.
– The Bruins had to stick Torey Krug and Reilly Smith with below-market one-year deals of $1.4 million this season. Both should be in their long-term plans, but they’re going to have a hard time paying all of their free-agents to be (RFAs Hamilton, Krug and Smith, UFA Carl Soderberg). If they can’t pay them all, they’d be plenty attractive to other teams.
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