With the NHL’s February 29 trade deadline approaching, the Bruins, per usual, are at the center of many trade rumors. Most of the rumblings focus on moving forward Loui Eriksson out of town.
The Bruins need help on the blue line along with, as always, help on the right wing. Should they look to this deadline to find the help? Or should the team sell, and prepare for the future? Cam Neely, Don Sweeney, and the rest of the front office have a lot of important decision to make in the upcoming days.
Let’s sift through some of the rumors and some of the nonsense to help “Trader Donny” make a smart move at this year’s deadline.
Shattenkirk is a long shot for the Bruins. A deal involving the former BU defenseman is something more likely to happen this summer, due to Shattenkirk becoming a free agent in the summer of 2017.
A former 2007 first round draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche, Shattenkirk is exactly what the Bruins need: a puck moving defenseman that can thread the needle and is a stud on the power play. Torey Krug and Shattenkirk running the powerplay? That would be scary.
With the Blues’ cap problems, signing Shattenkirk long term may not be in their future plans, so there is a possibility, a slight one, that Sweeney gets this done at the deadline.
The 24-year-old Anaheim Ducks defenseman is a RFA at the end end of the season and will be get himself a big pay day this offseason. Vatanen, who eats up 20+ minutes a game, would be a great fit for the Bruins, who desperately lack defense help.
A Loui Eriksson for Sammi Vatanen swap would happen in a perfect world for the Bruins. But while the Ducks need offense, it may cost more then just a rental in Loui Eriksson, to bring the top-four defenseman to Boston.
If Neely and Co. are willing to part with a Eriksson along with a draft pick, I think this is a trade that could benefit both sides.
No. 6 on TSN’s Potentially On The Move List, the 28-year-old Calgary defenseman will also be due a nice pay day this off season. The year-year-vet has done stops in Calgary, St. Louis, and Columbus.
The left-handed shot would be a great addition to the Bruins struggling blue line, but not for an over-pay. If I’m Don Sweeney, I put a prospect and 2nd round pick on the table, nothing more.
James Van Riemsdyk
The Leafs are in complete rebuild mode with Brendan Shanahan behind the realm. The former UNH standout is owed $4.25 million through 2017-18 by the Toronto. This is a deal I only see getting done if the Bruins trade Eriksson. The Bruins have two first-round-picks in the upcoming NHL draft and with the Leafs in complete rebuild, those could be appealing to Shanahan.
Van Riemsdyk would fit perfectly playing alongside David Krejci. The 6-foot-3-inch left wing has 14 goals, 15 assists playing with virtually nobody in Toronto. The Middletown, New Jersey native is just two seasons removed from his 30-goal season in 2013-14 and could provide the Bruins with the big, physical, scoring winger they have longed for since the days Milan Lucic was scoring 30.
The 33-year-old 11-year-veteran, has spent the last six seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. Hamhuis could provide the Bruins with some veteran defensive help on the back end, but the price may be a little too high, I would only give a package of draft picks for the 6-foot-1-inch, 209 pound defenseman.
Hartnell has always been an easy player to hate for Bruins fans, especially during his days in Philadelphia. Due to his style of play, I think he’d be pretty popular in Black and Gold.
Hartnell is having a fantastic year in Columbus with 18 goals, 19 assists for 37 points and would plug into the Bruins top-6 forwards immediately. The Bruins first round picks could entice a team in Columbus who is in complete rebuild, but it may be tough for Sweeney and Co. to get the Blue Jackets to deal one of their few bright spots this season.
Dumba is in the final year of his entry-level contract with the Wild, who desperately need offense. Welcome, Loui Eriksson.
The former top-10 pick wont be due a huge payday this off season due to some inconsistency in his game. The 21-year-old, 6-foot defenseman has an immense amount of skill and would be perfect to pair alongside Zdeno Chara to help his development.
The price shouldn’t be too high on Dumba for a team who desperately needs offense. An Eriksson swap could get the deal done.
Yandle’s name always seems to be on the Bruins radar. Maybe that has something to do with the Mass native skating with the Bruins during every lockout, and basically every chance he gets.
Yandle is a UFA at the end of the season and could provide the Bruins with the puck-moving defenseman they are looking for.
For a Rangers team who lacks offense and always seems to be in Win-Now Mode, Loui Eriksson could bring back a return of Keith Yandle and a potential draft pick.
Playing GM is fun, but being GM is tough work, especially this time of year. Don Sweeney has a lot of work to do. Hopefully he makes the right decisions.