The Bruins are currently trying to address their secondary scoring, specifically at the second line wing and the third line center. The lack of production of the young players like Ryan Donato, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Danton Heinen, and Anders Bjork, who is now out for the season with another shoulder injury, may force general manager Don Sweeney’s hand.
Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are currently 7th in the Atlantic Division with a meager 49 points. They are also in the middle of a lengthy rebuild. Expect them to sell off pieces like winger Andreas Athanasiou and defenseman Danny DeKeyser to multiple teams.
RW Gustav Nyquist
The 29 year old Nyquist has scored 40 points in six consecutive years, including this year. He is second on the team, only behind young stud Dylan Larkin, who has 49, in points (45). However, he leads the team in assists. Nyquist is currently in the last year of his deal, incurring a cap hit of 4.75 million dollars.
The Bruins already swung a minor deal with the Senators, acquiring AHL forward Paul Carey in exchange for AHL defenseman Cody Goloubef. The Senators are also in a full rebuild, recently trading away winger Mike Hoffman (traded to San Jose, then to Florida) and superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson (San Jose). Expect them to attempt to ship away veteran forward Mark Stone, and maybe even star center Matt Duchene.
RW Ryan Dzingel
Dzingel is a scoring winger (20 goals), fairly young (26 years old), and someone who I would think the Senators would want to build around instead of dealing. However, the Bruins reportedly sent scouts to the Senators’ game against Pittsburgh, reportedly to scout Ryan Dzingel, but it could be to see someone like Mark Stone. Dzingel will be a free agent after the season, along with Stone and Duchene.
New York Rangers
The Rangers are currently seventh in the Metropolitan Division with 52 points and are in the midst of a full blown rebuild, trading longtime stars Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, and JT Miller in the past year.
RW Kevin Hayes
Every Bruins fan remembers the infamous Jimmy Hayes trade (Reilly Smith to Florida for Hayes). Kevin, who is 25 years of age, is actually Jimmy’s brother, a Boston College product and grew up in the Boston area (Dorchester) and obviously a whole lot better than Jimmy. Hayes is versatile, mostly a wing, but can play center, so I expect the Bruins to make a push for him, barring an explosion from Trent Frederic. Hayes currently has 11 goals and 25 assists for a total of 36 points. Hayes’s contract will expire after this season, and he is currently earning 5.175 million dollars.
LW Mats Zuccarello
The 31 year old Norwegian currently has 9 goals and 19 assists for the New York Rangers. Zuccarello has been a cog in the Rangers’ lineup since the 2013-2014 season and has tallied at least 49 points in each of those years. The numbers are a little down this year, but he had 2 assists in his last outing against the Bruins. Zuccarello will be a free agent at year’s end, and is currently earning 4.5 million per year.
The Hurricanes have already traded C Victor Rask to the Minnesota Wild for Nino Niederreiter, and will probably still try to swing defenseman Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce, or Justin Faulk.
LW Micheal Ferland
The 26 year old winger, acquired by Carolina from Calgary in the Noah Hanifin trade, has reportedly been a topic of interest for the Bruins. His play is somewhat similar to that of Tom Wilson, but not as dirty. He is known as a grinder, but can also score too. He has a total of 27 points, almost evenly split between 13 goals and 14 assists. His contract, which pays him a relatively meager salary of 1.875 million dollars, will expire at the end of this year.
Columbus Blue Jackets
I expect Columbus to buy or stand pat. They are currently in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division, and will probably not trade away any important veterans, except for a possible Sergei Bobrovsky deal in hopes of a lengthy playoff run.
RW Artemi Panarin
Panarin’s name has been swirling around the rumor mill since the summer, and will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. The Bruins have been mentioned as a possible landing spot, but I do not expect a deal for the 27 year old Russian winger. It’s always nice to dream though.
A playoff team last year, the Flyers have severely underperformed. Their goaltending situation has been a mess until the emergence of young Goaltender Carter Hart. They have started SEVEN goaltenders this year, and the instability in the crease and a significantly regressed defense has led to a poor record.
RW Wayne Simmonds
Wayne Simmonds is a perfect fit for what the Bruins are trying to accomplish. A scoring power forward, Simmonds has 16 goals and 8 assists for a total of 24 points this year. The 30 year old Simmonds has scored at least 24 goals in each of the past five seasons. He is also a free agent at the end of this year, and makes 3.975 dollars this season.
New Jersey Devils
Another playoff team last year, with reigning Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall, scoring winger Kyle Palmieri, and young up and comer Nico Hischier, the Devils also have goaltending problems. Normal starter Cory Schneider has not had a win since December 27th of 2017. Keith Kinkaid has been serviceable at best in Schneider’s absence, but still not good enough to suffice a playoff spot. The Devils are in dead last in the Metropolitan division with 47 points. The Devils will probably trade away a couple of veteran pieces like Marcus Johansson, but I don’t anticipate any major deals will be made with the Bruins.
The glory years of the Ducks are behind them. Aging stars Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, and Corey Perry are all in their mid to late thirties, and the lone bright spot, goaltender John Gibson, does not represent a need for us. We could see a Jakob Silfverberg trade, but his production does not suffice a top six spot for the Bruins
There are no veterans of interest on the (still) rebuilding Coyotes. They do have some good young talent in the form of Boston University product Clayton Keller and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jakob Chychrun, but the only veterans available for trade are winger Michael Grabner and center Derek Stepan, who may be a little harder to move due to his large contract, which pays him five million per year for the next 3 years.
The Oilers recently parted ways with the worst GM in history, Peter Chiarelli, who was replaced by former Bruins front office member Keith Gretzky (known for the infamous 2015 draft, when he persuaded Don Sweeney to select Zach Senyshyn and Jakub Zboril instead of Thomas Chabot and Mathew Barzal). The only player the Oilers may be looking to trade would be winger, and former Bruin Milan Lucic, who is as close to impossible to trade as there is, after signing a massive seven year, 42 million dollar contract that runs through the 2021-2022 season. I don’t really foresee any major trade made by the Bruins with the Oilers.
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings recently parted ways with longtime defenseman Jake Muzzin, trading him to the Toronto Maple Leafs for two prospects and a first round pick. I expect more dominoes to fall shortly, as the Kings are headed for a rebuild. Expect veteran forward Dustin Brown to be shopped. Goaltender Jonathan Quick is probably on his way out as well.
C Jeff Carter
Carter, 34 years of age, would be a nice veteran addition to the Boston Bruins. Carter can still score, as he has 10 goals and 15 assists on the season so far. Although injury shortened his 2017-2018 campaign, he put up 22 points in 27 games, and had at least 60 points in the three years prior. Carter serves as an alternate captain for the Kings. Carter is signed through the 2021-2022 season, but will make 3 million in 2019-2020, and 2 million each of the following years. The asking price for Carter probably won’t be very high.
The Wild are currently in fourth in a relatively weak central division. They could either sell off veterans or attempt to make one last run behind all star goaltender Devan Dubnyk. They have already traded Nino Niederreiter to the Hurricanes for Victor Rask.
C Charlie Coyle
Coyle, 26, is from East Weymouth, Massachusetts and attended Boston University. Coyle currently has 26 points for the Wild, and, if they decide to sell, they will probably attempt to trade him. He is signed through next year, will make an average annual value of 4 million dollars. Coyle has been linked to the Bruins by multiple reporters, but will probably only be moved if the Wild decide to sell. He has scored at least 10 goals each of the last 5 years.
The Stars’ CEO has publicly ostracized stars Jamie Benn and former Bruin Tyler Seguin. However, I highly doubt that the Bruins attempt to swing a deal for either of them, given our obvious history with Seguin and Benn’s extended contract that keeps him through age 35.
Former Bruin Carl Soderberg may be on the trading block, but I don’t believe there are any other chips that are realistic that could satisfy the Bruins’ needs.
St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues are the most likely trade partner for the Boston Bruins. We have been linked to multiple Blues players. During the offseason, the Blues added to an already talented team by acquiring Ryan O’Reilly and signing Patrick Maroon, David Perron, and Tyler Bozak. They have been a massive disappointment, only amassing 49 points for a seriously underwhelming 6th place in a pretty weak division.
C Brayden Schenn
The Bruins have reportedly been involved in talks over Schenn already, and he would smoothly slide in at the third line center spot. Schenn currently has 9 goals and 21 assists for a total of 30 points. As a left handed shot, Schenn can also play on the wing, leaving room for top prospect Trent Frederic if he proves ready. Schenn’s contract will expire after next season, during which the cap hit will be 2 million.
RW Vladimir Tarasenko
Tarasenko is the Blues’ best player. His trade value will be quite high as a result, and so is his cap hit (signed through 2023 at an AAV of 7.5 million), but is worth the investment. He will be a free agent again when he turns 30 (which is in 4 years), but has a no trade clause that kicks in next year. It is essentially now or never when it comes to Tarasenko. He has 18 goals this year along with 17 assists for a total of 35 points. He has also scored over 30 goals each of the last 4 seasons, which would give David Krejci a great winger on his right side, something he hasn’t really had since Milan Lucic.
The Blackhawks don’t really have any realistic pieces for the Bruins. Aging stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are both signed to large contracts, forcing the Blackhawks to eat the majority of the salary.
Bruins trade chips
Danton Heinen, Ryan Donato, Trent Frederic, Jack Studnicka, Jeremy Lauzon, Jakub Zboril
Photo: (NBC SPorts)