By: Gayle Troiani | Follow me on Twitter @LadyBruinsFan
Three games into the Stanley Cup Final between the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning, one thing is abundantly clear – most General Managers realize they are not just one to two players away from winning the ultimate prize.
Any team can win on any given day, but the way the Avalanche are dominating the best goaltender on the planet needs to resonate with not just the GMs but the fans.
While everyone in the Bruin fandom waits for Patrice Bergeron’s decision on whether or not he will retire or if David Krejci will return from the Czech Republic, the hockey world will continue to move forward.
Don Sweeney not only needs to find the new head coach for the black and gold; he needs to bolster the roster with size, offense, and depth.
The Bruins have a mere $2,383,333 in cap space, so simply going after free agents on July 13th may not be enough. Instead, Sweeney will have to decide which UFAs on the current roster will be extended offers and which he will allow to skate away to test the market. Sweeney may also need to trade players to free up more cap space. Charlie Coyle and his $5.25 million salary is an option to move if Sweeney decides to pursue some coveted free agents.
Andrew Copp should be at the top of that list, especially with Brad Marchand starting the season recuperating from the offseason hip arthroscopy and labral repair on both hips.
The Bruins were rumored to be in the mix for the 27-year-old center, but Sweeney opted to fill the need on the blue line with Hampus Lindholm, and Copp was traded to the New York Rangers.
The Bruins signed Lindholm to an eight-year $52 million contract with an annual average salary of $6.5 million.
On the other hand, Copp was considered a rental to help bolster the Rangers’ chances in the postseason.
The problem isn’t that Copp wasn’t a good fit in New York; it’s that Ryan Strome is also an unrestricted free agent, and doubtful the Rangers’ GM Chris Drury can afford to keep both. As a result, Drury must also decide on other UFAs, Frank Vatrano, and Tyler Motte.
According to CapFriendly.com, Copp should expect an increase in salary from $3.64 million to $4.5 million. On the other hand, Strome had a cap hit of $4.5 million for the 2021-2022 season and is due for a raise.
The Rangers’ cap issues could benefit the Bruins; adding Copp would fill the void for a second or third-line center.
The new head coach could keep the line of Taylor Hall-Erik Haula-David Pastranak together and slide Copp onto the line with Craig Smith and Trent Fredric, or the coach can shake things up between the six forwards.
Either way would give the Bruins the depth they lacked last season and during the playoffs. The offense was stagnant when opponents figured out how to shut down Pastranak and Marchand.
Copp is a complete player; scoring, playmaking, and penalty killing are just a few ways the 206-pound Michigan native could impact the Bruins immediately and in the future.