By Monday afternoon at 3:01 pm, there is a chance that the Boston Bruins roster looks different.
It’s common knowledge that the Bruins have made several inquiries and that General Manager Peter Chiarelli has been actively working the phones to make a trade. With the NHL Trade Deadline a little more than 24 hours away, the cloud of rumors that have been circulating over this team seems to put them in the discussion of being interested in almost any available rental.
Over the course of the season, you’ve heard about their interest in certain players – some different than others as of late. The prices to add most of these players, most rentals, could likely cost the team one of their 2015 2nd round draft picks along with a mid-to-high level prospect.
The players that the Bruins could add by Monday afternoon are not going to be impressive. They’re not going to have scored many goals and probably won’t have many points. If they’re forwards, they’d probably have projections to be a third-line player at best, but the expectation would be to play something close to second-line minutes.
They’re depth. If the Bruins make any trades by Monday afternoon, it’d be for better depth players, even if they’re interested in some of the “bigger” names available. It’s also going to cost the Bruins prospects or picks that might not contribute now, but could down the line. If the Bruins are to acquire one of the names they’ve been linked to, would it help? Would any of these players even make the Bruins better?
With any Bruins trade, there’s going to be skepticism before praise, but only because there have been many acquisitions that have burned the team before. The Bruins did not “win” the Tyler Seguin trade. The Bruins, as of right now, are not “winning” the Johnny Boychuk trade. The Bruins do not have the cap space to add a player, one that’s available at least, to make the impact that will turn them from the a wildcard team to a contender.
The twist here is that the Bruins are still legitimate contenders. We’ve seen it, in fact. We’ve seen a Bruins roster that plays their a solid, three-zone game for 60+ minutes on the ice. We’ve seen a team that can string together wins and be successful come the postseason. Most importantly, the biggest supporters of the team are the players themselves.
“We’ve got a good team in here,” said Brad Marchand after the Bruins’ 4-1 win over the Coyotes on Saturday, their last game before the NHL Trade Deadline. “We believe in this group of guys. It’s part of the game when guys move around and guys come in and out. Regardless of what happens, we’re gonna remain confident within our team. We can beat any team in this league on any given night and we know that, especially when our team’s healthy. If someone comes in, great. If they don’t, then that’s great too. We’re gonna work with what we have and do the best we can.”
The piece, or pieces, that the Bruins could add at the NHL Trade Deadline will be supplementary. The new players won’t turn the team around because the Bruins aren’t in a place where they really need to be turned around. The worst thing that Chiarelli could do is make a trade just to make a trade. The Bruins’ players believe that they have the team in the locker room to win games now. Adding a piece here or there could help, but at what cost? Is it worth giving up one of the teams second round draft picks for a guy who is contributing points similar to a third liner?
At the right price, some of the rumored players could be a positive addition or upgrade to the team’s lineup. For example, the team could use another stay-at-home defenseman who can play second-pairing minutes. Here’s another example: Daniel Paille probably isn’t going to be the answer as the third-line winger. See? Pieces here and there could help the team but if it’s at the cost of sacrificing players or picks who could have an impact on the future of the organization, it’s not worth it.
Monday is going to be interested in the sense that the Bruins will probably, most certainly, more than likely, make a trade. Linked to almost any name available, don’t be surprised if it comes down to the wire as prices on players drop. Rival GMs will certainly want to move stock for something now, even if it’s not much, than lose a player in the offseason.
By the time the Bruins take the ice on Thursday night, there should be a new face or two in the lineup. Just like the question of who that player would be, what happens once the puck drops is also anyone’s guess.
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Mike Miccoli covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers and has been a credentialed member of the media for all Bruins’ home games for the past five years. As a former player, coach and official, Miccoli has been around the game of hockey since the age of three. Along with his work on THW, Miccoli has also been published in the New England Hockey Journal, Improper Bostonian magazine and on BostInno.