By: Pierce Brody | Follow me on Twitter @PierceBrody3
The Boston Bruins are ramping up their preparations for the upcoming NHL deadline on March third. They’re leaving no stone unturned as this season has been unfolding as a massive success. Reports have surfaced that the Bruins sent scouts to watch a recent game on Tuesday between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks. With the deadline beginning to ramp up with Vladimir Tarasenko and Bo Horvat trades, it is fair to wonder what current NHL leaders may have up their sleeves.
The Blackhawks have been one of the more disappointing teams in the NHL in recent years. They have a talented roster of players capable of making a real impact on the ice but cannot seem to make those same winning impacts as they did in their dynasty a decade ago. Despite retaining Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews for the length of their careers, along with the addition of defenseman Seth Jones, Chicago is still struggling to live up to its former glory.
Kane is rumored to be one of the prime options on the trading block, along with Toews. However, concerns over Kane’s lingering hip injury have already scared off teams like the Rangers, who opted for the Tarasenko trade instead. The asking price for Kane is reportedly a first-round draft pick and a highly-regarded prospect, while Toews is said to command a single first-round pick. This premium may present a challenge for the Boston Bruins, who may not want to give up their
There is, however, a possibility the Bruins are looking more around the periphery of the Chicago squad to bolster their playoff hopes without severely altering the team chemistry. One potential area of need is bringing another defenseman aboard. The regression of the penalty kill when Derek Forbort is not playing is one cause for concern. Less concrete concerns still exist with the possibility of another Brandon Carlo injury or regression by Forbort or Connor Clifton.
Chicago may have the answer for the Bruins if they are willing to pay. Jake McCabe is the classic defensive defenseman that could come in handy if one of the lesser-known Bruins commodities decides they can’t keep holding up the back end. However, Frank Seravalli says the current asking price is a much more palatable second-round pick and a B-level prospect.
While moves for the more prominent names in Chicago or the higher-end defensemen on the market may be too rich for the barren Boston pipeline, a package around a few early middle-round picks or a pick and a player like Marc McLaughlin is more in the Bruins’ price range.
There are certainly some other Hawks possibilities that the scouts may have been watching for. If the Bruins were looking to add on the front end and bolster their already well-spread goal-scoring offense, Max Domi or Andreas Athanasiou have looked like potential deadline rentals from the moment they signed. A trade for Domi could add more versatility to the Bruins’ bottom lines as an experienced center and wing. In addition, the price will likely be lower than the McCabe trade cost. Last year’s trade to the Hurricanes offers some perspective, with the Blue Jackets netting just a mid-level prospect.
The Bruins certainly have room for improvement and are doing their due diligence on what moves might make that happen. However, there is still a lot of time left before the deadline buzzer, so we’ll have to strap in and see what Don Sweeney and company have planned.
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