In this latest edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat is continuing to be linked to the Bruins. Furthermore, with the trade deadline less than two months away, Boston has several different potential trade targets to consider if they feel that the Canucks’ asking price for Horvat is too high.
Bruins Continuing to Be Linked to Horvat
Just days after NHL insider Frank Seravalli argued that the Bruins could be the ideal landing spot for Horvat, he listed Boston as the top potential fit for the star center in another recent piece for Daily Faceoff. In it, he discussed that Horvat could not only be a fantastic addition for the Bruins’ playoff run, but also for the long term due to Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci nearing the end of their careers.
Ultimately, it makes sense that Horvat is continuing to be linked to Horvat, as there is a clear fit here on paper. In the short term, he would give Boston a ridiculous trio down the middle of him, Bergeron, and Krejci as they prepare for their playoff run. Yet, if they then can sign him to a long-term extension, this could be the kind of move that helps the Bruins remain as contenders even when their older players start to retire. A Horvat trade would require Boston to give up at least their first-round, a top prospect, and an NHL-caliber player, but it would be worth it if he proves to be the final piece of the puzzle.
Other Potential Trade Targets for Bruins
Although I feel that Horvat should be the primary trade target for the Bruins, I also see several other players who could benefit them. If the Bruins want to beef up their center depth at the deadline, options that would require them to give up less include Ryan O’Reilly, Jonathan Toews, Sean Monahan, Adam Henrique, and hometown kid Kevin Hayes. All five of these players could serve well on the Bruins’ third line, so we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of them making a push for any of them.
Related: Bruins’ 2022-23 Trade Targets: San Jose Sharks
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Yet, I’d argue that the Bruins’ big trade deadline splash could come by them adding a winger. The trio of Bergeron, Krejci and Charlie Coyle down the middle has been very good this season, so adding a center for this season may not be a necessity. However, adding a top-six winger could allow Boston to move a player like Pavel Zacha to the third line and strengthen the Bruins’ depth in the process. Patrick Kane is, of course, the big prize being linked to Boston, but other notable options include Timo Meier, Andrei Kuzmenko, Vladimir Tarasenko, Brock Boeser, Max Domi, and Tyler Bertuzzi.
Lastly, the Bruins learned during their 2021 Postseason loss to the New York Islanders that they can never have too much defensive depth. As a result, I would not be too surprised to see Boston end up bringing in a defenseman before the deadline passes. If they wanted to make a major splash, Arizona Coyotes star defenseman Jakob Chychrun would be a significant upgrade over Matt Grzelcyk in Boston’s top four. However, if they wanted to add to their right side, other options include Luke Schenn, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Merkley, and Shayne Gostisbehere.
Joona Koppanen Sent Back Down to Providence
After several seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL), Joona Koppanen received his first call-up to the NHL earlier this week. Yet, his call-up has now come to a close, as the 6-foot-5 forward has been sent back down to the Providence Bruins after playing in just one game.
During his lone contest with Boston, Koppanen was not too much of a factor, as he had zero points, a minus-1 rating, and two hits. Yet, the entire Bruins club did not show up against the Seattle Kraken that night, as they lost 3-0 and suffered their first regulation loss of the season at TD Garden. Alas, although Koppanen is heading back to Providence, we should not rule out the possibility of him receiving another chance at the NHL roster before the season is over.
Bruins Preparing for Massive Game
After losing to the Kraken in a rather deflating manner, the Bruins will be aiming to bounce back when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday evening (Jan. 14). This is a very important game for Boston, as they are playing a fellow top-tier team who happens to only be just nine points behind them in the Atlantic Division. A regulation win would put them a comfortable 11 points ahead of them in the standings, but a regulation loss would shrink their lead to only seven points. If the latter occurs, that certainly would give the Maple Leafs more life in the division race.
Although the Bruins have memorably had success against the Maple Leafs during the postseason, they have had their struggles against them in regular-season play as of late. The Maple Leafs swept the Bruins during their three-game regular-season series last year and also defeated Boston their lone time playing them this campaign. As a result, expect Boston to come out buzzing as they try to defeat the Maple Leafs for the first time since the 2019-20 season. Keep in mind, the Bruins and Maple Leafs did not play against one another during the shortened 2020-21 campaign.