The Bruins have been at the heart of rumors regarding unrestricted free agent Cody Franson, who many believe could be a very strong addition to the Bruins’ blueline. However, just because Boston may be in on Franson doesn’t mean that they can’t explore other options, say, Dustin Byfuglien for example.
First things first, Dustin Byfuglien plays a Bruins style of play. The 6-foot 5-inch defenseman is extremely useful on both ends of the ice, and can even play forward, should the Bruins need it. Either way, the veteran D-Man possesses an extremely large offensive threat. In 597 career NHL games with both the Blackhawks and the Jets, Byfuglien has scored 133 goals, and tallied 211 assists, many of which came from the blueline.
On top of that, Byfuglien is a body-basher. He plays hard-nose hockey, and throws his weight around extremely well. This would fit in perfectly with Boston’s “big bad style”, especially given the fact that the team lost Milan Lucic this summer.
Theoretically, Byfuglien could play either forward or defense for Boston. If the Bruins do end up signing Franson, they’ll have a pretty crowded blueline (especially since they want the 6th spot to be open for competition), which means the addition of Byfuglien could end up with him playing forward. However, he’s also seen success on the blueline, so it would be perfectly logical keeping him there.
The question is, what would it take to add Byfuglien? The Hockey Press has that all figured out:
PROPOSED TRADE ( Idea ):Winnipeg Jets trade Dustin Byfuglien to the Boston Bruins in exchange for 2016 1st round Draft Pick, 3rd round draft pick, Alexander Khokhlachev, Chris Kelly
However, in order to get Byfuglien, Boston would need to shed some more cap space. Byfuglien carries a cap hit of $5.2 million, and Boston currently has about $4.75 million in room. However, dumping Kelly’s contract would free up another $3 million, which would make it affordable for the Bruins. Of course, all of this becomes more difficult if the Bruins do end up getting Cody Franson.
Trading for Dustin Byfuglien makes sense for the Bruins, assuming that they can get him at a decent price. He plays a Bruins-style of hockey, and would add some excellent offensive threat for the B’s. At thirty years old, he’s still got plenty of time left for hockey, even though he ony has two years left on his contract.
What do you think? Should the Bruins try to make a move for Byfgulien, or would you rather see them hold off?
Cam is a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Maryland. He’s the Boston Bruins Beat Writer at The Hockey Writers, and is an avid college hockey fan. Find him on Twitter @CamHasbrouck!