By: Lucas Pearson | Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_
The Bruins need more scoring from people not named Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand. Have you heard that before? It’s worth saying we’ve seen a little more secondary scoring in the past few games, but before that, the top line had combined for 36 goals compared to the REST OF THE TEAM’S 39. Take out Nick Ritchie’s eight, and you have a whopping 31. That is not good.
As a team, the Bruins average 2.69 goals per game, which is the eleventh worst in the league. Here are a few teams that average less than Boston: Devils, Coyotes, Predators, Red Wings, Ducks, and finally the Sabres. You have teams like the Stars (who are missing their top scorer Tyler Seguin) and the rebuilding LA Kings who still manage to average more a game than the Bruins. This core is not getting any younger, and it’s time for the Bs to make a big-time move if they truly want to win a cup. We’ve heard Matias Ekholm’s name floated around, and while he would still be an excellent fit, I’d look to one of his teammates to help upfront. That teammate is Filip Forsberg.
Filip Forsberg has been a bonafide scorer since he’s gotten to the league. He’s got an excellent release, and his skill is apparent whenever he’s on the ice (as seen in the video above). The Swede has averaged the 32nd most goals per game over the past seven seasons, more than the likes of Jack Eichel, Nathan MacKinnon, and Alexander Barkov. He’s the big, dominant scorer the Bruins have needed in their lineup for years, and this is the perfect time to go after him. Nashville has struggled and seems poised for a rebuild, or at the very least a retool. He makes a moderate $6 million a year for the rest of this season and the next.
As for the price? It would obviously be high. It’s not too often you see a 30 goal scorer with term get traded, but I did my best to find a few comparables to a Forsberg package. Brayden Schenn was traded from the Flyers to the Blues with three years remaining at $5.125 following back-to-back 25 goal seasons. He was able to fetch Jori Lehtera (who was a bit of a cap dump) and two first-round picks. Another top-six player traded to the Blues was Ryan O’Reilly, who carried a contract worth $7.5 million over another five years.
Granted, he wanted out of Buffalo at the time; however, the center still netted a couple of expensive depth players (Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka), a promising Tage Thompson, as well as a first and second-round pick. Finally, I would be remiss not to mention Mark Stone, arguably the top player dealt at the deadline over the past five or ten years. Vegas sent the highly touted Erik Brannstrom, middling prospect Tobias Lindberg and a second-round pick for the UFA to be.
Nashville could ask for the struggling but still full of potential Jake Debrusk to center the deal. I‘d think the Bruins are still a 1st and a prospect, along with the likely addition of John Moore for salary purposes. How would a package of Jake Debrusk, Urho Vaakanainen, John Moore, and a first-round to Dave Poile and the Predators? Maybe the Bruins don’t want to sell-low on Debrusk, or Nashville simply wants picks and prospects over an NHL regular.
Would an extra first, and let’s say Anders Bjork in place of Debrusk, work better for both sides? I’m not sure; maybe it’ll take even more, but I’d say almost anything outside of McAvoy, Carlo, and the top line would make it worth it for the Bruins. However, I am sure about one thing, and that is how good Filip Forsberg and that sweet stache would look in the black and gold.