It’s no secret the Boston Bruins have had their share of struggles throughout the first half of the 2016-17 campaign. The team hasn’t been able to string together any consistent play through a long stretch of games and different areas need improvement.
Bruins fans want a change. Who can blame them when the team has shown they aren’t ready to start games and have shown a lack of effort on almost a nightly basis.
A change needs to be made for this team to snap out of whatever funk they are in. Moving on from Claude Julien has been discussed over the last few days as a possible solution and that could come true if the black and gold continue this trend. Another solution that has surfaced is trading away a core piece of the roster, a big name player.
The player that the Bruins should consider moving is defenseman Torey Krug.
Why Trade Torey Krug?
Krug, like many of the other Bruins stars, hasn’t had the greatest first half of the season. He is known for his offensive play and being able to move the puck up the ice and create plays using his offensive instincts. It’s been a bit of a struggle for the 25-year-old defenceman. Krug has struggled offensively through the team’s first 43 games accumulating one goal and 22 assists.
He has also been a minus-1 player through the last five games and is a minus-5 for the season. Krug’s shooting percentage is down as he’s shooting just 0.8% after averaging 7.7%, 5.9% and 1.6% the past three seasons. These types of statistics aren’t what you’d expect out of a $5.2 million player, and one who is expected to be the team’s top offensive defenceman.
Looking at the roster, there really isn’t anyone else to part with. Guys like Brandon Carlo and Colin Miller are young, talented players with potential.
Defencemen like Zdeno Chara, Adam McQuaid or even Kevan Miller wouldn’t bring much in return. So, Krug is the Bruins’ best option for a trade.
Depth at the Position
When looking at the Bruins and the prospects that they have, the blue line is flooded with talent and that’s a good thing. Right now, the team has prospects like Charlie McAvoy, Jakub Zboril, Matt Grzelcyk, and Rob O’Gara.
These players have the potential to be very good at the National Hockey League level. The blue line is a future bright spot for Boston and any one of them, aside from Rob O’Gara (stay at home defenceman), could take over Krug’s place if the Bruins decide to move a core player.
McAvoy is essentially the ideal replacement if Krug is to be moved. The Bruins’ 14th overall pick in the 2016 draft is a younger, bigger version of Krug. He has the ability to move the puck up the ice with speed and has great hockey sense.
The 19-year-old had a fantastic World Junior Championship tournament for the United States tallying two goals and four assists for six points in his seven games. He was dominant throughout the tournament and it really gives Bruins fans hope for the future.
What also gives fans hope is his play with the Boston University Terriers of the NCAA. He’s totaled 14 points in 18 games, good for fifth on the team in scoring. There is a lot to like about McAvoy. He has a bigger frame at 6′ 1” 211 lbs (vs. Krug who is 5′ 9”, 186 lbs). With similar talents, he would be cheaper than Krug’s $5.2 million cap hit. He’s an all-around package and the right guy to step right into Krug’s place.
Who the Bruins Could Trade Krug For
With teams looking to make the playoffs, there really isn’t a list of players available for the Bruins to go after.
The guy that everyone is talking about is Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche. The former second-overall pick in 2011 would fill the Bruins’ needs for a winger.
Since entering the league, Landeskog has accumulated 259 career points in 385 games with the Avalanche including
107 career goals. He not only provides the Bruins with the ability to score but also brings leadership even at the young age of 24. Back in 2012, the Avalanche named him team captain at the age of 19 which goes to show what kind of a leader he really is.
Landeskog can be the guy that the Bruins can go and get and help their scoring needs. The Bruins are, in fact, 20th in goal-scoring.
According to Adrian Dater, a writer for Bleacher Report, the Bruins have made offers to Colorado for Landeskog but the thought of trading away Carlo was too much for the B’s which is understandable.
Hearing Boston has had talks with Avs over Landeskog. Sakic wanted Carlo, and B's said no
— Adrian Dater (@adater) January 5, 2017
The Bruins need help in the goal-scoring department and they have the depth defensively to give up a big name if they choose. The way the season has gone for Boston it seems that it’s time for a wake-up call and departing with a big name just may be the answer.