Five Star Players the Bruins Should Avoid at the Trade Deadline
The Boston Bruins have a legitimate shot at winning the Stanley Cup. With the Trade Deadline approaching, the Bruins are in an exciting position. Like most teams, they do have much salary cap flexibility. Twelve teams have no cap space, and 27 have less than 3 million. It will be difficult to acquire players at this year's deadline, and teams will be forced to take on salaries to move players. The Bruins having little to no cap space is a tough situation, but it is not unlike the rest of the league. Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has a history of being both creative and aggressive with midseason trades acquiring impact players such as Charlie Coyle, Taylor Hall, and Hampus Lindholm. This year, things are going so well for the Bruins. They have to add, but it needs to be the right players. You do not want to mess with chemistry or take on long-term contracts with the lack of cap space the Bruins will have this summer. The Bruins must also add players who fit their culture and fill team needs. With that in mind, here are five players I hope the Bruins avoid at this year's NHL Trade Deadline.
5. Patrick Kane RW - Chicago Blackhawks
It may surprise many to see Patrick Kane on a list of players the bruins should avoid. Beyond Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane is the best player of this generation and the greatest American hockey player of all time. To date, Kane has 1,208 points, a Hart trophy, and a Conn Smythe, and three-time Stanley Cups to his name. Patrick Kane is a hockey legend. Despite carrying a massive 10.5 million dollar cap hit, Kane completely controls his future. Essentially every team contending for the Stanley Cup is right up against the salary cap and cannot afford Kane'sKane's contract. Chicago will have to retain a good portion of the money Kane is owed for the rest of the year. Kane also has a no-trade clause and can reject a potential trade to a city he does not want to go to. He is in complete control over his future.
His agent, Pat Brisson negotiated a similar situation with Claude Giroux last offseason. It was reported that the Bruins had a trade in place with the Flyers for Giroux last year, but Giroux declined and chose to play for the Florida Panthers in the hope of winning a Stanley Cup. This season, if a player wants to play for a team that best gives them a chance for the Stanley Cup, it's Boston. We may see a similar situation where Kane chooses to play for Boston to win another Cup. However, Kane has already won three cups and doesn't necessarily need to chase more. There have also been reports Kane would prefer to stay in Chicago, a city he has spent sixteen years. Throughout the trade speculation, nagging injuries, and the lack of talent surrounding him, Kane has not had a good season by his standards. The Blackhawks are the worst team in the NHL, and they need to start their rebuild, and they might have to move on from a player of Kane's caliber to gain assets. Patrick Kane is certainly the most accomplished player on the trade market, but given the emotions of being traded from a place he has been for 16 years and the reported nagging injuries, he may be the right player to add at the wrong time.
4. Jacob Chycrun D - Arizona Coyotes
The Arizona Coyotes have continued to shop star defenseman Jacob Chychrun on the trade market. Last season, the Boston Bruins were one of the teams linked to Chychrun at the deadline. Instead, Boston acquired Hampus Lindholm and signed him to a massive extension. It is safe to say that was a smart move for the Bruins. Almost a year later, Insider Craig Morgan of PHNX sports, the Bruins have continued to express interest in Chychrun. The Coyotes asking price remains the same, with two first-round picks and a second-round pick/high-ranking prospect. The 24-year-old is a good two-way defenseman, but he is not worth the price the Coyotes seek. I also love the Bruins current defensive core, particularly their top four. They have two terrific two-way defensemen in McAvoy and Lindholm, a rock-solid stay-at-home defender in Carlo, and the always-underrated Matt Gryzleck. Not to mention Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton, both in the middle of solid seasons for the Bruins. You cannot have enough strong defensemen for a Cup run, but nobody on the B's blue line deserves a decrease in playing time. The acquisition of Hampus Lindholm has bolstered the Bruins defense to a point where a player like Chychrun is no longer a need. I think the Bruins should look at a solid depth defenseman instead of acquiring costly defenders like Chychrun.
3. Brock Boeser RW- Vancouver Canucks
Brock Boeser was among the many talented prospects the Bruins missed in the infamous 2015 draft. Boeser is a solid top-six winger who can put the puck in the net. Like Jake Debrusk, his career was off to a scorching start; then his production declined in the years that followed. Still a four-time twenty-goal scorer, the 25-year-old Boeser will benefit from a change of scenery. The Vancouver Canucks are a mess of a franchise and are not a good team to play for. Boeser had requested a trade away from Vancouver at the beginning of the season due to family matters. He is one of the teams several interesting trade candidates. I have always been a fan of Boeser's game. He is a legitimate sniper and power play threat. He will undoubtedly be a solid addition to any team. However, he has a cap hit of 6.6 million for the next two seasons. It's not an unreasonable cap hit for a player of Boeser'sBoeser's talent, but given the lack of cap space the Bruins and the rest of the NHL have to work with, I would much rather save that money for a center or a future Jake Debrusk extension.
2. Kevin Hayes C- Philadelphia Flyers
Boston native Kevin Hayes is one of the newest names involved in trade rumors. Hayes plays for the Philadelphia Flyers, who are currently in the middle of a rebuild. The Dorchester native has been one of the few bright spots for the Broad Street Bullies this season, being second on the team with 37 points and first in assists with 27. Despite his solid season, Hayes has been a healthy scratch for the Flyers for unknown reasons. His coach is John Tortella, whose style likely does not mesh with Hayes's personality. Torts probably expects more of a two-way game from Hayes. Still healthy, scratching one of your players is harsh, but that is the way Torts is. Due to the potential friction and rebuild, The 6 foot 5 center may soon be on the trade block. Being a local guy, it makes sense for his name to be connected with the Boston Bruins. Hayes is an underrated playmaker in this league and will make an impact wherever he goes. However, the thirty-year-old Hayes has one of the worst contracts in the league. He has three more years left on his contract with a cap hit north of 7 million. Excellent person, good hockey player, bad contract. I think the Bruins should seek forward help elsewhere.
1. John Klingberg D- Anaheim Ducks
John Klingberg is a solid puck-moving defenseman, but I want nothing to do with him if I were the Bruins. No offense to Klingberg, but he is one of the league'sleague's most overrated players. He can move the puck very well and be a quarterback for a second power-play unit, but his defensive game is less than impressive, and his 7 million dollar cap hit is too much for a player of his caliber. A team can always benefit from more depth at the blue line, but a puck-moving defenseman is not something Boston needs with Charlie McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm, and Matt Gryzleck on the roster. If the Bruins seek to upgrade at the blue line, better and cheaper options are available.