By: Jillian Torres
With the NHL trade deadline fast approaching, many fans of the Boston Bruins are wondering what big moves they will make before the clock strikes 3 PM EST on Monday, March 21, 2022.
While the Bruins currently sit 4th in the division and in the second wild-card spot, many wonder if they have a shot at making a run for the cup this year. But for the Bs, there are a lot of decisions that will need to be made by GM Don Sweeney ahead of the deadline if the Bruins want to be a force to be reckoned with.
Sweeney himself said in a press conference earlier this month, “Ultimately, you’ve got to have depth at every position, and you’ve got to be playing your best hockey”.
The Bruins were recently left to play without the dynamic duo of Bergeron and Marchand, loosing Brad Marchand to a six-game suspension and Patrice Bergeron to a head injury he received during
February 2nd’s matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins. During this time the Bruins were 1-2. The first loss came after a brutal beating from the Carolina Hurricanes on February 10th. If this isn’t an indication that the B’s need reinforcements, I’m not sure what is.
With rumors swirling of Bergeron potentially playing in his final season with the league, this need becomes all the more necessary. In order to continue being a successful organization the Bruins need to
become a team that can count on its lower lines to provide more scoring opportunities and put pressure on opponents. The “perfection line” themselves cannot carry the team to their seventh Stanley Cup title.
Looking towards the depth chart, the Bruins are in dire need of second-line center and left shot defensemen. While young players like 22 year old Jack Studnicka, and 24 year old Trent Frederic have shown promise, a veteran player may be just what this team needs. JT Miller, a current center for the Vancouver Canucks has been rumored to be a player the Bruins have their eye on. So far this season, Miller has 17 goals and 31 assists. Numbers like these could definitely liven up the Bruins. If this trade were to happen, Charlie Coyle would slot into center on the third line. While this is a lower line, Coyle has shown promise as a top third-line center. Who knows – maybe a little friendly competition
between the two NHLers could jump-start #13. With all that said, Miller comes at a price. He has one year left on his contract with the Canucks, with a $5.25 million cap hit. Most likely, the Bruins would be looking at sacrificing a first-round draft pick, a few players (potentially a prospect and roster player), and likely even more. Jake Debrusk is someone who could fit into a trade like this after requesting a trade on November 29th of last year. Sweeney has been holding out on a Debrusk trade, wanting to get full market value for the 2016 draft pick. A trade like this one could be beneficial for both parties, a veteran center for the Bruins, and the fresh start the young winger has been looking for.
For defensemen, Jakob Chychrun has caught the interest of the Bruins. Matt Gryzelck and Charlie McAvoy have been the top D pair for the Bs but, to put it simply, they need some help. Unfortunately, it is likely that a trade with Colorado for Chychrun would mean losing Jeremy Swayman and likely a draft pick.
With the recent retirement of longtime Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask, it wouldn’t be ideal to lose Swayman. However, the Bruins could be in the market for a new goaltender to anchor their roster. Marc-Andre Fleury has been the main name thrown around but once again we must evaluate – what would this cost the Bruins? While there is no denying the talent of Fleury, the tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman might be enough for the Bruins to survive, and it would be far more beneficial to focus on the depth chart than being in the market for a new goalie.
All things considered, the next month will be a time of deliberation for the Bruins organization. Don Sweeney – it’s time to decide just how far you’re willing to go to get this team to their next Stanley Cup.