Roster Movement: Boston Bruins
This next piece is about a few of the guys on the roster who’s names could be circling the trade mill between now and the middle of the season. No one ever really knows who’s on the block and that’s not what I’m here to claim. With training camp around the corner some speculative conversation is always fun! We’re simply going to look at a few guys/contracts that could be on the move for one reason or another. Sometimes a team gets an offer for a middle six winger they simply can’t turn down and other times they’re the ones on the phones trying gauge interest on one of their pieces. But first let’s get the elephant out of the room now, David Pastrnak won’t be traded. B’s have the cap space needed to sign him , the management regime can’t afford to trade away another star and there’s zero similarities between Pastrnak's situation and those of Seguin or Hamilton. So for that I would imagine unless something catastrophic happens 88 will remain with the Bruins for the next six to eight years they’ll just have to get past the 6M dollar hump. The other one not worth mentioning is David Krejci, he’s already stated he loves Boston and wants to finish out his contract/career with the Bruins. That compounded with the fact that he has a NMC until the end of the 2018-2019 season means he’s not likely going anywhere unless he wants to. The last two season he could agree to a trade as his contract changes to a NTC but he’ll be 34/35 years old with 7.25M cap hit, there’s probably not going to be a lot of takers on that one. Anyways let’s take a look at a few of the other guys on the roster who haven’t cemented themselves in Black and Gold yet.
Ryan Spooner: His name has popped up a bit on various social media outlets and news reports over the last little while. He recently signed a year deal and avoided arbitration to stay with the Bruins. However I think he’ll be on a shortly leash with high expectations to produce this season. Likely back to where he’s comfortable at center could allow him to show his improvement and increase his trade value. Spooner didn’t adapt well to playing the wing and the B’s are flush with potentially better options at wing, so for the player under a new coach he’ll probably fall back to 3rd line center. Which can hopefully help balance the offense for the forward group as a whole and create a legitimate 3rd line threat. Spooner could definitely be on the move to a team looking to add some scoring depth and increase their power play. Spooner's offensive numbers over two seasons are pretty good when considering his TOI doesn’t usually average more than 13-15 minutes per game some of which is power play time. He’s under contract for one full season at 2.825 millionso he’s not breaking the bank for a third line center who can jump up to the 2nd line if called upon. I would imagine he’ll be on the radar of teams looking to increase their offensive output and willing to take a chance on a young, smooth skating kid with potential. Also I would imagine that the return for Spooner in a trade isn’t going to deplete the other teams prospect or pick cupboards either.
In all likely hood the ask is probably two late round or one second round draft pick, somewhere in that neighbourhood. Unless of course he’s included in part of a package deal. I always do come back to the lack of right wing depth the Bruins have, and if a 1 for 1 could be made for a middle six right wing I think the conversation should be had.
Adam Mcquaid: One of Boston’s favourite whipping boys! When Mcquaid is playing to his strengths and his minutes are limited everyone loves the guys. Tough as nails, will drop the gloves, not on a huge dollar contract and more than willing to stand up for his teammates. All attributes that would make him an attractive pickup for a team looking for some grit and leadership who have an opening on their 3rd pairing. However Mcquaid on the same roster as Kevan Miller seems a little redundant and with the B’s protecting Kevan Miller in this past June’s expansion draft over Mcquaid and Colin Miller I get the sense that he’s got some fans in the management group. This coupled with the signing of Postma should lead to the inevitable movement of Adam Mcquaid. I think if for nothing else they should move him to free up the roster spot for the likes of O’gara/Grzcelyk or maybe even Zboril and the little bit of cap savings. Is there an market for him? Probably, although may not be a big one I’m sure someone would snag him for a 5th round pick.
Matt Belesky: Simply put if he doesn’t start performing like he did his last year in Anaheim the Bruins can spend 3.8M elsewhere. It may take some more work to move him and may cost the Bruins a pick or a young winger to move this contract. Too often last season he was watching the games from the 9th floor and not playing. The Bruins would be wise to get out from under this contract, while not crippling the cap the 3.8M could certainly be used as breathing room. He has shown flashes of what he can do (think Lucic lite) and The B’s management group is hoping to see that form come back. Either to keep him playing in a middle role or to boost trade value. I unfortunately think there’s going to be a cost of moving this contract and may be in the form of a good prospect or current roster player. If that is the case then the return may appear to be better than expected for Belesky but unless Sweeney can work some magic it’s going to have a cost.
Frank Vatrano: I don’t think Franky is on the move in the near future, I do however think that if the great numbers he put up in the AHL don’t start to translate at the NHL level he may find himself with a new home. This is also taking in to consideration the line of guys in Providence and newly signed Agostino who could be looking to make a name for themselves by stealing his spot. When I allude to a current roster player used to move Belesky’s contract Vatrano is the first guy I think of. He’s young, has potential and is going to be relatively affordable for the next few years. Time will tell if Vatrano can start to produce and really solidify himself in the middle 6 of this Bruins roster.
The one good thing that the Bruins have going for them is they don’t need to rush any trades or movement. They have all the necessary skilled players to be competitive and aren’t in a jam with cap space where they absolutely need to make a move. They’re also not desperate to fill a roster spot with high end talent to the point that they’d sacrifice losing a trade. If there’s any trade winds blowing some would have to think the above mentioned players are at the top of Dealer Don’s moving list. Or one has to wonder if some of these guys are simply place holders until the likes of Debrusk, Henien, Ceharlik, JFK, Gabrielle, Kuraly and Senyshyn are ready to make the jump at different times and take over the roster? What do you think?
Thanks for reading….