by Matt Barry | Follow me on Twitter @oobcards
The rumor is mill is humming with Boston Bruins trade talk as general manager Don Sweeney looks to revamp the roster in preparation for the 2020-21 season. As the Stanley Cup Finals wrap up, look for the Bruins to be active almost immediately. There have been whisperings that the Bruins have inquired about Oliver Ekman-Larsson from Arizona and Brock Boeser from Vancouver. But the name that seems to build the most momentum is Columbus’, Josh Anderson. To say I am a little apprehensive is an understatement.
Haven’t we just seen this story unfold before? The Bruins needing some size on the wing and overreaching and overpaying for a big body who does not produce offensively and becomes a liability more than an asset. Sweeney traded Danton Heinen for Nick Ritchie during the 2019-20 season in hopes that Ritchie would be that player. At 6’2″, and 235 pounds, Bruins fans, who love big, physical hockey players, thought that Ritchie was the answer. However, the 24-year old never brought the type of massive game that the team so desperately desired and was a passenger more than a driver.
The #NHLBruins are winger hunting. They’re monitoring the Josh Anderson situation with #CBJ closely. They made a strong play for him at the deadline. Will revisit it again if the opportunity arises https://t.co/xkEFTxKeOL— NHL Rumors (@NHLRumorsDaily) September 21, 2020
Anderson is 6’2″ and 222-pounds and scored 27 goals for the Blue Jackets in the 2018-19 season. That season he was a +25 and played like the immense power forward he should be. But this past season, injuries prevented him from duplicating what was by far his best season. In twenty-six games, Anderson scored just one goal with four total points. The big question mark with the Burlington, Ontario native is whether Anderson can get back to the form that had him improving year after year or has his peak come early. The Jackets seem willing to trade the big winger, and the Bruins have been in serious talks to acquire him.
The Bruins should look to trade for Anderson if the cost is not too prohibitive. Would the Jackets take maybe Anders Bjork and a pick for Anderson? I might get behind that. Or it could be that a young defenseman like Jakub Zboril or Urho Vaakanainen with Bjork or Karson Kuhlman could get it done. I just do not think you trade a Jake DeBrusk or Brandon Carlo for Anderson and would be too disappointed if that scenario happened. The Bruins need a legitimate second-line scorer, and Anderson would have to be a top-six forward if acquired. The risk becomes great if the assets sent to Columbus are aplenty.
2019-20 Player Review: Big Josh Anderson is a big question mark https://t.co/Mq99gGnli2— Pale Dragon (@PaleDragonCbus) September 22, 2020
If Josh Anderson were to be obtained on a favorably deal and the Bruins could acquire another offensive threat in another trade, then my feelings may change. For now, Anderson seems to be the name most linked to Boston, and now Bruins felt they are left to wait to see who exactly will be sent away for Anderson services. In past deals, the Bruins have given a little too much in return. Maybe the third-round pick for Zac Rinaldo in the 2015-16 season is giving me some flashbacks of terrible trades past. I want to believe that Sweeney and team president Cam Neely can reload this roster with savvy moves, but I have my doubts. I have been wrong before and would love to be wrong again.