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Five Potential Targets


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#1 OFFLINE   **LS**

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:21 AM

Posted Image(Icon SMI)



By Bob Mand, Contributing Editor

With the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline just over a week away, the Boston Bruins are undoubtedly considering all of their options. Despite the elevated prices at this year’s deadline, there are a few names the Bruins should consider when attempting to fill holes in their lineup and solidify their squad for a run at a second consecutive Stanley Cup.

The following are five players (two forwards and three defensemen) that the B’s brass should look to in shoring up the Black and Gold. All play for teams with little or no chance at making the 2012 postseason and all are veterans headed to unrestricted free agency save one who has a year left on his current deal.

Bryan Allen, D, Carolina Hurricanes – The big (6’5) defenseman from the ‘Canes is unrestricted following this season, which is just what the doctor ordered for the B’s (who have five of six of their current defensemen locked-up for 2012-13 already). Allen isn’t impressively skilled on the attack but he’s a mobile and solidly physical defender in his own zone and would fit nicely in the B’s blueline rotation. He won’t put up a ton of points (he has never tallied more than 25 in a season) but is capable of chipping in the odd assist.



Allen isn’t a great puck-mover or plus player with the man advantage, so the Bruin d-man many argue needs replacing (Joe Corvo) would likely remain in the line-up. At the worst, Allen would battle Andrew Ference and Adam McQuaid for time in the bottom defensive pairing and (if unsuccessful) still be a significant upgrade over current seventh defenseman Steven Kampfer in terms of experience and own-zone play as they head into the postseason.

Allen has a no-trade clause but he’s indicated he would waive it in the right scenario … and going to the defending champs would likely qualify. Allen might be available for the Bruins’ first round pick or a mid-round pick and a mid-level prospect.

Mark Streit, D, New York Islanders – It’s not known whether the Islander’s captain is available (it doesn’t appear he’s being shopped) – but if he is the Bruins should certainly be kicking the tires on a deal. Streit is the quintessential offensive defenseman: While prone to some turnovers in his own zone, he’s an excellent passer is very capable of quarterbacking a powerplay and has a booming shot.

Streit currently logs over 23 minutes a night with the Islanders and has well over a half a point per game despite playing for the League’s fourth-worst offense. Perhaps the days of him scoring 50 points a season are behind him but he’s still putting up very respectable numbers.

By acquiring Streit, the Bruins would be able to rid themselves of Joe Corvo, who just hasn’t worked out as hoped as the Bruins’ designated attack-minded blueliner.

He has a year remaining on his current contract with a cap hit of $4.1 million dollars which is relatively inexpensive if not ideal. However, it would take quite a hefty offer for the Isles to part ways with their captain. The Bruins first-round pick and a top prospect would likely be the starting point of any negotiations.

Ales Hemsky, RW, Edmonton Oilers – If the Bruins are looking to ‘buy low’ on a guy with top-six chops, then it’s hard to ignore Edmonton’s oft-injured winger, Ales Hemsky. A point-per-game playmaking wizard when healthy, Hemsky’s had an awful season with the Oil which might have pushed his price tag down to near the B’s range.

With Rich Peverley’s MCL sprain (out 4-6 weeks) and Nathan Horton’s concussion (out indefinitely), they are running low on top-six right-wingers. Hemsky might only have four goals and twenty-four points this season but he’s more than capable of extremely productive runs and with the B’s offensive talent level, his production could skyrocket after donning the Spoked-B.



Other than a reasonably-high cost, some might wonder if a player known for his perimeter/finesse game could thrive in a system that stresses defense and physicality. Hemsky’s veteran teammate Ryan Smyth would have been a better fit in this regard but was recently pulled off the trade block. Still, it’s hard to visualize a better, cheaper option with upside than Hemsky with the exorbitant prices of the current marketplace.

Even though his price has come down since the end of last season, he’ll still command some serious assets as Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini has done a good job getting top dollar for some underwhelming players in recent years (Dustin Penner, anyone?). Expect the cost to be a first-round pick and mid-level prospect at the least.

Posted ImageGaustad would add valuable depth to a Cup contender (Icon SMI)

Paul Gaustad, C, Buffalo Sabres – Turning away from the finesse game, the B’s should take a look at a grinder like Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad. Gaustad is a big (another clocking in at 6’5) center who plays a sound defensive game and is an outstanding faceoff taker (with the eleventh-best winning percentage in the NHL). Gaustad wouldn’t be brought in for his offensive chops (he has career-highs of twelve goals and thirty-six points) but he’d add to the Bruins’ team toughness and won’t look out of place on any line.

Buffalo might be reticent to trade a guy like Gaustad within the division, so the going rate might be an issue but it makes a lot of sense for a team like the Bruins with minimal experienced depth after their –top-twelve forwards to make a move for Gaustad who could help immediately and brings a lot to the table, even in a secondary or tertiary role.

While the Sabres might initially balk at trading Gaustad to their rivals, the B’s might be able to pry him loose in exchange for a mid-level prospect and a mid-round pick.

Pavel Kubina, D, Tampa Bay Lightning – Rumors have swirled around the big (6’4, 258) Czech defenseman for several days now and he could easily be the next domino to fall in the prelude to the trade deadline frenzy. Kubina brings a solid stay-at-home presence and capable offensive performance despite being slow-footed and inconsistent.



Kubina is a fairly consistent scorer (despite less-than-ideal shot differential numbers) and averaged over 35 points per season from 2001-02 till 2010-11. However, he’s only on pace for 16 points this season and has just one assist in his last fifteen games.

If the price is right he could be a nice depth addition to the B’s blueline or even supplant Corvo. Other than the cost, Kubina holds a no-trade clause and has been asked by the Bolts to submit a list of teams he’d be willing to move to. Assuming the list includes the Bruins, this soon-to-be-UFA would make a solid addition to the B’s for a mid-level prospect and mid-round pick. 

This article was originally published at: The Hockey Writers.



The Hockey Writers
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#2 OFFLINE   erniebear

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 02:14 PM

My concerns are a forward right now, though the P-Bruins - Caron and Hamill - have worked out better than many thought. With Peverley out 4-6 weeks, I still think PC should be looking primarily at forwards, with defense on the back burner.

The only difference is if there are silent injuries (ones that affect play but arent mentioned - looking at you Chara) affecting the team play on the defense then that's on the same level as forwards. Have no idea the type of either position, just one that has a high probability of handling the scrutiny of Bruins hockey fans.
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#3 OFFLINE   SgtFrenchy

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 03:08 PM

Forwards are what they need. Scoring, scoring, scoring!
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#4 OFFLINE   erniebear

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 03:50 PM

Yes, scoring is needed; also making the scoring chances that lead to goals would work as well. But a defensive move is also something that has to be considered. There don't look to be a lot of sellers right now with 9 days left before deadline, but looks can be deceiving.

PC will be, or has been, looking for exactly those personnel and teams that have what he wants may demand more than he's willing to give up. Or they might be desperate to give up someone that will give a return of hope for the future. Anything's possible.
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#5 OFFLINE   SgtFrenchy

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:33 PM

What I've been noticing is stupid choices. Dumb passes that they're trying to "thread the needle" between two defenders.

Take the last game for instance. The Bruins had a 3 on 1 break, or maybe it was a 3 on 2 I don't remember, and instead of the winger passing to the guy in the middle, he passed all the way across the ice to the other winger. Well you know what happened there, he ran out of room and got pinched off.

So instead of a decent scoring chance, they got a broken play. They just need to make better decisions.
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#6 OFFLINE   erniebear

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:38 PM

Agreed. Bad decisions create turnovers which are killing them at both ends.

And scratch Kubina - he went to the the Flyers today.
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#7 OFFLINE   dragonlocks

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 10:54 PM

Why would Boston limit themselves to up and coming UFA's? With division standings leaving GM's scratching their heads wondering what the hell happened this season, a lot of upper echelon heads are on the chopping block. The first name that comes to mind is Jack Johnson of L.A. If you're looking to bolster your defense, improve passing, improve a good transition into the attack zone, increase your power play, and flat out bring out scoring potential no name comes to mind before Jack Johnson and his 4.3 million dollar cap hit. Maybe it's time to go big, (and young), and put that future trade considerations for Marco Sturm oath to the test.

Else Washington, Anaheim, and Tampa would be good target teams for trade discussions.

I'm not a fan of the up coming UFA market, not when their are so many options. Yet another option would be some high potential prospects moved to the "maybe some day" list from the teams that have been turning heads this season, mainly Florida. A battle hardened warrior may be a good trade for both clubs when your looking at the return of someone like Howden, Petrovic, or Bjugstad especially when the next man in line for the job will more than likely be Huberdeau.
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#8 OFFLINE   dragonlocks

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:16 AM

Also, I said at the beginning of the season when trades opened, and I still stand by it, if Boston wants to add a scoring winger, the first and only name that comes to mind is Radim Vrbata. With Phoenix only 2 points out of a Conference lead only behind San Jose, they may be willing to deal. The only problem is he had no desire to talk to anyone when the market opened and resigned as a UFA with Phoenix for considerably less than he could have got else where. Now, with his NTC, would he wave it, would Phoenix be willing to deal their lead scorer (28 goals), and would Boston be interested. Quite a few more stars to align than signing a UFA. However with Phoenix more than likely not making a deep run, and Vrbata at the end of his career, would he be willing to join a Cup worthy team before he retires. Also, him and Krejci have shared ice in the Czech Republic, and with Krejci struggling this season could that spark some chemistry. This trade could definitely be mutually beneficial, considering Boston has a plethora of talent to offer up. If the sacrifice was large I could see other aging veterans attached to a deal, possibly Pyatt? This angle sparks considerable interest to me. With playoff, Cup winning, talent added to their ranks, Phoenix has the potential to make a deep run.

This point has been edited by dragonlocks: 19 February 2012 - 08:21 AM

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#9 OFFLINE   erniebear

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 02:15 PM

If I was Peter Chiarelli, I wouldn't be limiting myself to anything right now. "Sources" (idiots that heard a tiny piece of a conversation) told Jimmy Murphy of ESPN Boston that Boston talked to CBJ about Nash, but they were asking for Rask and another big piece of the Bruins organization, which isn't going to happen but why not ask anyway? You could get an idea of what other teams might be looking for in trade.

Also, the current rumor is CBJ & TML GM's are in an "unscheduled" meeting; whatever that means.

Either way, the Bruins need scoring and better defense, so I'm sure none of the guys above will be in Black and Gold in about a week.....
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#10 OFFLINE   SgtFrenchy

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 03:39 PM

I'll be extremely upset if Rask is traded. Getting rid of his would be just plain stupidity.
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#11 OFFLINE   erniebear

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:41 AM

There is no reason he should be on the block or mentioned to be on the block. A goaltender can steal his team some games, but they can't play like crap in front of him.

He and Thomas need some players playing in front of them, badly.
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#12 OFFLINE   SgtFrenchy

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:13 AM

He and Thomas need some players playing in front of them, badly.

Yeah real bad. It's starting to get a little ugly.
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#13 OFFLINE   erniebear

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:25 PM

Yeah real bad. It's starting to get a little ugly.


Not as ugly as $2 hooker, but getting there. :shock1:

(yeah, I went there...)

Maybe Carter Camper will bring some of his good habits to St Louis, to practice or a road game or two. Anything's possible.
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