Boston Bruins find themselves in the wildcard position in the Eastern Conference. They sit just two points below the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are second in the Atlantic Division. With the Trade Deadline taking place in 26 days, the Bruins have still plenty of time to assert their priorities. However, it has been no secret for the Bruins that they are trying to land a top-six winger. Here is a recap of four wingers Boston might be looking at before the Trade Deadline.
Four Options For The Bruins At The Trade Deadline
First, Wayne Simmonds is exactly that type of player the Bruins are looking for. Simmonds is a big, heavy and tough guy and a right-winger. Something ideal for David Krejci on his second line. Simmonds can definitely find the back of a net with 15 goals to his name already this season.
Second, the Bruins must be very aware of Wayne Simmonds. His salary cap hit is affordable, just $3.975 million for the rest of the season. Nevertheless, he is already 30-years-old and after recording back-to-back 30 goal seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers between 2015 and 2017, he doesn’t seem like that kind of force anymore. This season, he has 15 goals, but just eight assists in addition and is -11 in 50 games.
Simmonds will be a rental and many teams will surely take a shot at him. He would be ideal for the Bruins in terms of size and skill, not so much in terms of his recent play and given the fact he is already 30. On the other side, he is a goal-scorer and the Bruins should consider trading for him only if the price is not remarkably high.
Here comes the most ideal and costliest option for Boston. Panarin is definitely a guy all 30 teams not named the Columbus Blue Jackets would love to acquire. The Russian winger has 288 points in his 290 career games. This year he has tallied 55 points in 47 games so far. He is a right-shooting winger playing mainly on the left wing.
.@PierreVLeBrun, on TSN’s Insider Trading, says he believes the Bruins (and Predators) will, “if they haven’t already,” call Columbus about Artemi Panarin. Biggest impact of any rental winger.
— Matt Porter (@mattyports) 29. januára 2019
Even thought Panarin isn’t that sort of a player like Wayne Simmonds in terms of toughness, he is nearly a point-per-game producer. He would make the Bruins top-six better immediately and without any kind of doubt. That said the Bruins would have two big problems with acquiring Panarin.
Primarily, they would need to offer a lot for him. Columbus certainly doesn’t want to sell him cheaply and there are other teams waiting for Panarin too. The Bruins would probably have to give up a first-round draft pick, top prospects with NHL experience and a roster player like Jake DeBrusk. The Blue Jackets are seemingly loaded on their blue line and they need more of offensive help. Especially after losing Panarin.
Second, even if the Bruins acquired Panarin, they would still have a massive problem with the salary cap situation. They would be like a fool to give up nearly half of their prospect pool without assurance of Panarin´s extension in the summer. With already having more than three million tied up in dead money and David Backes is still there with his six million deal, the Bruins would need to make huge adjustments in order to pay Panarin.
You might be surprised by this option surrounding the Bruins, but Boston was at least checking on Burakovsky availability in Washington. Burakovsky has been struggling mightily with the Capitals during the current campaign. Austrian-born versatile winger, representing Sweden, has scored just six goals and added six assists for 12 points in 44 games so far this year.
“I had a conversation with somebody who’s pretty tight and knows the situation well,” and #Canucks, #NHLBruins, and #Habs “might circle back before the deadline” on Burakovsky. #Caps https://t.co/qY4JwBJrxk
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) 30. januára 2019
The Capitals are looking to trade him for quite some time now. Would there be a fit for Burakovsky in Boston? Andre Burakovsky has an affordable salary cap hit of $3,000,000 and he is set to become a restricted free agent in the summer. He is versatile and already experienced scoring some big goals for Washington, like for example two goals in Game 7 in Tampa Bay last season in the playoffs. Plus he is still just 23-year-old.
Burakovsky wouldn’t probably cost as much as Simmonds or Panarin. Compared to those two, he would be more of a hope moving forward than immediate offensive help. However, it is worth mentioning that the Bruins may pull the trigger otherwise than with Simmonds or Panarin.
A few days ago, Elliotte Friedman mentioned, that the Bruins are one of the many teams interested in Micheal Ferland. Ferland is a versatile winger while shooting left and is still relatively young with 26 years under his belt. In the last offseason, he was traded from Calgary to Carolina. Ferland has scored 13 goals and 25 points so far this season with the Hurricanes in 41 games.
From these four options, Ferland would definitely be the cheapest one for the Bruins. Canadian winger has a very solid salary cap hit of $1.75 million and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer. He would most probably mean just a short-term, low-cost offensive help for the Bruins.
Ferland is mainly a power play guy with the Hurricanes this season and the Bruins don’t necessarily need help on their man-advantage as they possess the second best power play in the NHL. However, he is undergoing a nice campaign in Raleigh. If the Bruins refused to make a huge splash on the trade market, Ferland would be a solid and low-cost addition until the end of the season.
Will the Bruins Bite?
The Boston Bruins would benefit from any of those players mentioned above. However, how much they would pay remains a question. Panarin is surely the best option out of these, but also the most demanding one. Ferland and Simmonds seem just like reinforcement for the playoff push and Burakovsky appears as more of a piece moving forward.
Unless there is the right mix of the price and performance for acquiring any of these wingers, the Bruins should probably look elsewhere. Or they might not look at wingers at all, their bigger need is undoubtedly at center. Pushing for huge top-six acquisition while leaving third line center spot uncovered would in all likelihood be an issue for Boston.
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