The Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames are both viewed as among the top teams in the NHL. The former has yet to make any big moves this season, while the latter has been extremely active. Yet, even though they are both buyers, they could benefit from striking a blockbuster with one another. They both have big-name forwards in the rumor mill who could use a change of scenery. Therefore, it seems possible that they could be surprising trading partners before the deadline passes. Let’s take a look as to why now.
Flames Should Move Sean Monahan
With the Flames acquiring Calle Jarnkrok, former top-line center Sean Monahan finds himself potentially playing fourth-line minutes from here on out. That is not the role a center of his ability should be playing, but due to the team’s depth down the middle, he could very well end up being utilized there. Frank Seravalli recently added the 27-year-old’s name to his trade board, and it absolutely would make sense for the team to move him.
If Monahan’s truly set to be the team’s fourth-line center, he would be an immensely expensive one. The 2013 sixth-overall pick carries a $6.375 million cap hit until the completion of the 2022-23 season. For a player who has been cold over the last couple of seasons, playing him in this specific role is not going to help him bounce back. Therefore, it may be best for both parties to move on. He does carry a 10-team no-trade list, but it’s hard to believe he would be against a change of scenery.
Safe bet Ruzicka is back in the AHL tomorrow.— Salim Nadim Valji (@salimvalji) March 17, 2022
Here’s how the #Flames -could- look on Friday when they host Buffalo:
In 60 games this year, Monahan has eight goals, 14 assists, and a minus-14 rating. Although those numbers are disappointing by his standards, he is only three seasons removed from an 82-point campaign in 78 games. Before then, he consistently recorded 60 points each season, too. If traded to a team where he can play top-six minutes again, it could be enough for him to rebound. The Bruins just so happen to need a second-line center and could be an ideal location for him.
Bruins Need to Trade Jake DeBrusk
The Boston Bruins have been actively trying to move Jake DeBrusk for months now. The 25-year-old winger requested a trade earlier this season, but the team has yet to find an offer that they have found acceptable. Since then, the 2015 first-round pick has actually managed to land himself a promotion, as he currently is playing right wing on the team’s top line. Yet, even with this, he has not had a change of heart and still wants a new home.
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Although DeBrusk has been generating interest around the league, the biggest obstacle restricting a move is his $4.41 million qualifying offer. Given his hot and cold stretches of play over the last few seasons, teams are understandably a bit concerned about taking him on. It has been reported that he is willing to sign a long-term extension at a lower cap hit to help a trade go through, but that has yet to come to fruition.
In 56 games this season, DeBrusk has 15 goals, 10 assists, and a minus-3 rating. Overall, it is safe to say that he has bounced back from last year’s disastrous campaign, as he only had 14 points in 41 contests during it. With this, if he were to be dealt by the team, they would need to land another winger before the deadline, too. However, this saga has gone on long enough, and both parties would benefit from ending their relationship.
Potential Blockbuster Between the Teams
Any trade involving Monahan and DeBrusk would be a major one at the deadline. Both players are former first-round picks who definitely would benefit from a move at this point. This kind of situation could make these teams ideal trading partners. A hypothetical swap with these two players could simply be a one-for-one deal. If completed, each team would receive an upgrade at a position where they could use some assistance.
When looking at Monahan’s fit on the Bruins, he would be a clear option for their second-line center position. With him still being only 27 years old, there’s reason to believe that he could find his previous form. With that, he would have the chance to play on a stacked line with Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak. That, in turn, should have the potential to help his numbers skyrocket again.
DeBrusk, on the other hand, could take over Trevor Lewis’ current spot in the top six. He is a much more skilled player than the latter and has proven this season that he can play on his off-wing. However, Blake Coleman also can play right wing, so they could switch spots on that line too. Furthermore, he makes less than Monahan, so it could open the door for the Flames to make another move after a hypothetical swap as well.
Nevertheless, these two contenders could be a perfect match to strike a deal before the deadline. It will be very interesting to see if both of these players are moved shortly. Monahan could truly thrive as a Bruin, while DeBrusk could do the same with the Flames. At the end of the day, it has all the makings of being a solid hockey trade. Let’s see if it happens.