Five Non-Rental Players The Bruins Can Target At The Trade Deadline

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(Image: Noah K. Murray / Associated Press)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

The NHL Trade Deadline is nearly upon us, and with it comes the rumor mill that has been running rampant all over Twitter. Whether it be about a big fish like Artemi Panarin or a lesser-known commodity like Ryan Dzingel, fans and analysts have shared opinions while insiders have provided reports that have sent Twitter into shambles.

There has been plenty to discuss about the Bruins, given the team’s scoring struggles and the recent loss of David Pastrnak–you can read about the injury in Garrett Haydon’s article breaking the news.

With plenty of concern about trading for a rental player given the Bruins’ recent history with those types of moves in mind (see Nash, Rick), here are five non-rental forwards that the Bruins can target to help the team for now and in the future:

Tyler Toffoli

Toffoli’s name came up in Mike Cratty’s recent article, detailing five scorers the Bruins could target outside of Artemi Panarin. Toffoli has had a down year while playing on the Kings–one of the league’s worst teams–with only 12 goals and 15 assists. The 26-year-old is only on pace for 18 goals and 40 points, compared to last year’s clip of 24 goals and the 31 goals he scored in 2015-16.

However, if given the right situation (alongside a gifted playmaker, like David Krejci), Toffoli could return to that form; he’s currently slotted in on the King’s third line alongside Mike Amadio and Brendan Leipsic–not exactly a combination that sets Toffoli up for success.

Toffoli is locked up for this year and next at a $4.6-million cap hit, and trading him would allow the rebuilding Kings to recoup some assets; it’s just a matter of what the Bruins might have to give up to get the winger.

Kyle Palmieri

The Devils have regressed quite a bit since their playoff birth last season, largely due to Taylor Hall’s inability to stay healthy, the team being ahead of schedule with its performance last year, and not being able to get a save from either goaltender. This gives reason to believe that the Devils may not be totally out of the woods yet with their rebuild.

Since arriving in New Jersey in 2015-16 after a trade from the Anaheim Ducks, Palmieri has been a perennial 20-30 goal-scorer. The 28-year-old has 24 goals and 42 points on a putrid Devils team this season and is on pace for 35 goals and 63 points.

With a cap hit of $4.65-million for this year and the next two seasons with a modified no-trade clause, Palmieri would be a fantastic addition to the Bruins’ top-six as he is not only capable of providing more-than-adequate offense, but he is also an excellent all-around player and leader. The Smithtown, New York, native also lives and trains in Boston over the off-season.

With that being said, we are left with three burning questions. First, would the Devils even be willing to move Palmieri? Second, would Palmieri waive his NTC? Then number three, if they are willing to move Palmieri, what would the asking price be? Presumably, I would guess the price would be high,  considering Palmieri’s age, production, importance to the Devils, and term remaining on his deal–but man, would he look great on the Bruins.

Brayden Schenn

Schenn’s name has been tossed around a bit this season, especially given the St. Louis Blues’ early struggles. The 27-year-old center has had an “okay” season with 10 goals, 25 assists, and 35 points, and is on pace for 16 goals and 51 points.

Schenn had a career season with 28 goals, 42 assists, and 70 points in his first campaign with St. Louis last season; before that, he scored at least 25-goals in two-straight years with the Flyers. Luke Schenn’s younger brother can also play both wing and center, bringing a complete 200-foot game, and doesn’t shy away from throwing his body around.

So, Schenn could be a potential solution at wing in the top-six, as he was featured on his off-side (right wing) during his days in Philadelphia, or he could also play third-line center if the Bruins were to choose to load up down the middle.

Schenn carries a cap hit of $5.125-million until the end of next season. Again, it’s just a matter of what the asking price would be.

Chris Kreider

Much like Schenn, Kreider’s name has been tossed about frequently in the same breath as the Bruins. The Rangers forward and Boxford, Massachusetts, native is signed through next season with a $4.625-million cap hit.

The 27-year-old currently has 24 goals and 43 points for a middling Rangers team and is on pace for 36 goals, 27 assists, and 63 points, all career-highs. The Boston College product is a prototypical power forward for today’s NHL; he can skate like the wind, makes a living in front of the net, uses his body, and can rifle the puck off the rush.

On the Bruins, Kreider would slot in to aid the top-six. Yet again, the predicament arises when considering New York’s willingness to move him, and the potential asking price.

Charlie Coyle

It seems like the Weymouth, MA, native has been linked to the Bruins in trade rumors for nearly his entire career. The Boston University product has 10 goals and 18 assists this season, on track for 15 goals, 26 assists, and 41 points.

At 26-years-old, a 15-20 goal-scorer and 40-50 point-getter is by and large what Coyle likely is at this point in his career. He has scored at least 15 goals twice previously in his career with 18 in 2016-17 and 21 in 2015-16. This season would also mark the third time Coyle has surpassed the 40-point plateau in his career as he had 42 in 2015-16, and 56 in 2016-17.

Like Kreider, Coyle can play a heavy, powerful game at 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds, and has the ability to answer the bell if he has to.

Coyle is locked up at $3.2-million through the end of next season and is capable of slotting anywhere in the top-nine, whether it be at wing or center. The Wild’s lines have been shuffled around nearly all season as Coyle has been featured at center and right-wing on the first, second, and third lines; a firm role alongside David Krejci or as third line center could provide certainty and do him a world of good.

Bonus/Wildcard: Adam Henrique

After spending the first six-and-a-half seasons of his career with New Jersey, Henrique finished with 20 goals and 36 points last season after being traded to the Ducks. The 29-year-old center has the exact same numbers as Coyle this year with 10 goals and 28 points–on pace for 15 goals and 41 points.

Including last season, Henrique has totaled at least 20 goals three times while reaching the 30-goal mark once. As for as points go, Henrique has had at least 40 points on three occasions to go along with one 50-point campaign.

A center who is defensively responsible and has a solid ability to put the puck in the net, Henrique has a $4-million contract that runs out after this season before a five-year, $5.825-million extension with a modified-NTC kick in. That contract extension alone makes it unlikely that Henrique is part of the “major surgery” general manager Bob Murray is considering that Elliotte Friedman talked about in his weekly 31 Thoughts column. Even with that being said, Henrique is just some food for thought, hence the “wildcard” label.

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Five Potential Scorers For Bruins Outside Of Big Ticket Artemi Panarin

Image result for Mark Stone(Photo Credit: Jane Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

A persistent storyline for quite some time surrounding the Boston Bruins has been their need for scoring. When discussing the topic, the second-line right wing and third-line center positions are of emphasis. Personally, I feel that the second-line right wing should be the bigger priority, and there are certainly good potential fits out there on the trade market.

Mark Stone

Acquiring Mark Stone would be quite the haul. He brings a great three-zone game to the table and could fit in seamlessly with David Krejci in the middle and either someone like Jake DeBrusk or Peter Cehlarik on the left. Stone leads the Senators in points and is tied in goals with Matt Duchene (25-31-56).

Currently making $7.35 million for this season, Stone is rightfully set for a raise in unrestricted free agency this summer. Despite having buyer’s remorse from the Rick Nash rental trade last season, Stone is a very plausible rental option due to the potential for significant positive impact in all three zones. On TSN’s latest trade bait list, Stone sat at number 10 out of 50.

With all rentals at the time of a trade comes the potential that they feel comfortable enough to in fact re-sign and shed the rental tag over time. For general managers, in this case, Don Sweeney, there is a lot to ponder in these scenarios and Stone will not come cheap. Adding a player of his caliber to the top-six forward core gives the potential for him to join the likes of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk, and David Krejci. That immediately becomes a much more terrifying top-six for opponents.

Ryan Dzingel

At first, I wasn’t on board with the idea of Senators right-winger Ryan Dzingel as a rental option if Don Sweeney feels comfortable with such a transaction, but I have come around to it. When looking at players like Dzingel or Stone, acquiring a productive player from a divisional rival may be tricky, but it’s certainly not impossible.

Dzingel is two goals away from matching his career high of 23 from last year through just 53 games and has 41 points. As a rental, capitalizing on a player who is thriving in a contract year might be a smart move. But a rental of a young player like Dzingel having a career year will be pricey. Dzingel punches in at number 34 on the latest TSN trade bait list. Back in early February, TSN insider Darren Dreger said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins made a play on Dzingel. His speed and offensive instincts would fit in the Bruins’ top-six forward core.

Tyler Toffoli

When it comes to a player with term left on their current contract, Tyler Toffoli could be a great option. While he isn’t having a great season, he is playing on one of the NHL’s worst teams. In 55 games, he has scored 11 goals and added 15 assists. Regardless, past seasons should qualify him as a viable target. He has reached the 30-goal plateau once before and scored 24 last season, and is a pretty well-rounded player outside of his goal-scoring ability.

Toffoli is set to make $4.6 million per year for this season and next before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020. He is not on the latest TSN trade bait list, but his name has been thrown around and it could be a route that the LA Kings explore options to improve in the future. Toffoli could fetch a solid package of assets in a trade.

Gustav Nyquist

If Gustav Nyquist is willing to waive his NTC, he is a tantalizing trade option. The 29-year-old winger is currently making $4.75 million before hitting unrestricted free agency this summer. His 14 goals and 47 points in 55 games make him a threat for at least 60 points this season. The 33 assists that he has amassed are best on the Red Wings. Nyquist sits seventh on the latest TSN trade bait list. He’s a pure scoring threat on the wing.

Mats Zuccarello

The Bruins made three trades with the Rangers in 2018. Who says they couldn’t make their first of 2019 by the trade deadline? Mats Zuccarello would be a great piece. With nine goals and 22 assists, good for 31 points in 41 games, Zuccarello is having himself quite the contract year, like Nyquist.

The 31-year-old Norwegian winger is currently making $4.5 million ahead of a possible increase in pay this summer. For the remainder of the season, Zuccarello’s speed and elusiveness, along with a polished skill set would be a great boost to the Bruins’ offense.

Don Sweeney has a lot of options to ponder over the coming weeks as the opportunity to load up before a potential playoff run lies ahead. Roll with what you have, or be bold and make a splash, the direction of this Bruins team lies in Sweeney’s hands, in part.

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Bruins Game 55 Preview: Los Angeles Kings

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

For the second consecutive weekend, the Bruins will have a matinee game – this time against the Los Angeles Kings. Last weekend, the Bruins defeated the Washington Capitals, 1-0, on Super Bowl Sunday and then followed it up with a 3-1 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday in Patrice Bergeron’s 1000th NHL game. On Wednesday, the Bruins gave up a 3-1 lead in the third period to lose 4-3 in a shootout to the Rangers. The Bruins are in the second wild-card spot with 66 points, two points behind Montreal with a game in hand.

Even though the Los Angeles Kings are the worst team in the Western Conference with fifty points, they are in the middle of a three-game winning streak including wins over the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers all this week. Two of the three wins were post-regulation wins – one in the shootout and one in overtime. Los Angeles is five points out of a possible playoff spot, but the Blues, who have the second wild-card position, have two games in hand.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 16-8-4 2.30 GAA .924 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 3-1 Win vs NYI

LAK: Jonathan Quick (Not Confirmed) 11-13-3 2.92 GAA .904 SV% Last Game: 30 Saves in 3-2 Win vs PHI

Who’s Hot

Anze Kopitar signed an eight-year contract worth an annual average of $10 million per season back in 2016 and he has been worth his money in the past few games. In the last six games, the Jesenice, Slovenia native has 3-6-9 totals including a five-game point streak that lasted from January 19th to February 7th. The 31-year-old leads the Kings with 16-24-40 numbers in 53 games this season.

Patrice Bergeron is going to be honoured for his 1000th NHL regular season game today against the Kings and he has not slowed down his play, even with the milestone. The Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec, Canada native has four points in his last four games including three goals in the last two games. Bergeron 19-28-47 totals in thirty-eight games this season and he continues to be one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL.

Tyler Toffoli was a second-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Kings and has been one of the better scoring players on the roster over the past few seasons and he has been as of late as well. Toffoli has 3-2-5 totals in his last three games, including two goals in thirty-five seconds against the Devils on Feb. 5th. Toffoli helped the Kings set a franchise record for fastest three goals to start a period, scoring three times in only 112 seconds.

Tuukka Rask has been solid in the crease for the Bruins. In each of his last ten starts, the Bruins have earned a point with Rask going 8-0-2 in that time. He has an impressive 1.63 goals-against-average and .945 save percentage in the ten games played. Rask’s 2.30 GAA is tied for the third-best in the league and his .924 save percentage this season tied for fifth.

Who’s Not

Drew Doughty is the number one defenceman in L.A., even more so with the loss of Jake Muzzin to the Maple Leafs in a recent trade but he has not been the best this season. He only has one point in the last four games and was a minus rating in two of those games – bringing his season total to a -18 rating, the worst on the entire Kings roster.

Jake DeBrusk is supposed to add some more goals and assists on the second line for the Bruins but he has failed to do so this year, only scoring fourteen goals and five assists for nineteen points in forty-five games. The 2015 first-rounder has only one point in his last seven games and has not scored a goal since January 8th (11 games). In response, DeBrusk was skating on the third line ahead of today’s game.

Alec Martinez is currently in the middle of an eleven-game pointless streak dating back to December 6th. Martinez has put up thirty plus points in the past few seasons with the Kings, but in 2018-19, he is currently on pace for around twenty-two points. Martinez is 31 years of age now and he needs to bring more responsible scoring on the backend, even though he is a defenceman.

Milestone Watch

Boston Bruins:

  • D Zdeno Chara is two goals away from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (23) from tying Derek Sanderson (24) for second-most SHG in Bruins history
  • F Brad Marchand is one game-winning goal away from taking sole possession of 7th most GWG in Bruins history
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one game-winning goal away from taking sole possession of 3rd most GWG in Bruins history

Los Angeles Kings:

  • F Jeff Carter is three points away (697) from 700 career NHL points
  • F Dustin Brown is two points away (598) from 600 career NHL points
  • F Dustin Brown is three goals away (272) from tying Butch Goring for 6th most goals in Kings history
  • F Anze Kopitar is one game-winning goal away (47) from taking sole possession of 3rd most GWG in Kings history
  • F Dustin Brown is one power-play goal away (91) from tying Rob Blake (92) for 5th most PPG in Kings history

Bruins vs Kings Outlook

When the Bruins and Kings battle it out, it is more often than not an entertaining contest. Both teams like getting physical and have the players to do so and in the same breath have players and goalies that can score or make big saves. Equally, both the Bruins and Kings need this win for playoff seeding values, as the Kings may try and make a push for the post-season.

Last season, the Bruins won the two-game season series against Los Angeles, losing a 2-1 overtime game in October, but returning with a 2-1 regulation win in November 2017. This meeting is the first of two meetings within seven days for the two franchises, as the two will make the trip to Los Angeles, California for the second game next Saturday.

Expect another close, back-and-forth hockey game this afternoon. Boston’s power-play (tied for 2nd best in NHL at 27.1%) may be a big factor as the Kings have the third-worst penalty-kill percentage in the league, killing off only 76.1% of the penalties they take. On the flip side of that, the Bruins average the most penalty minutes taken per game, while the Kings take the third-least amount of penalties per minute on average in the NHL.

Either way, this 1pm EST puck drop will put a start to a great hockey game at TD Garden. Make sure to follow me on Twitter (@tkdmaxbjj) for post-game coverage. Here are the projected lines for the contest for your Boston Bruins.

David Backes is in for Trent Frederic and Matt Grzelcyk is unlikely to play today as he is dealing with a lower-body injury.

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