Five Star Players the Bruins Should Add at the Trade Deadline
The Boston Bruins continue to dominate the National Hockey League, but with the NHL Trade Deadline approaching, other contending teams around the league will be looking to improve their roster. Teams like Toronto, Carolina, and Tampa Bay will all make the necessary additions to their roster to compete for the Stanley Cup. Even though the Bruins are dominating the league, they need to add to their roster as well. When speaking to Boston media Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney had this to say about the state of the Bruins going into the trade deadline. "I think we're deep, but we are probably going to have to continue to add and supplement." The Bruins will add at the deadline, and given their status as a powerhouse and Cup favorites, they will be linked to a lot of the big names available at the trade deadline. Now, I will be discussing the big-name players I hope the Bruins will add.
5. Jonathan Toews C- Chicago Blackhawks
Even at 34 years old, Jonathan Toews is a player that teams can only dream of adding to their Stanley Cup contender. The former Selke Winner's name is right alongside Patrice Bergeron for best two-way centers of this generation. Toews is also a Conn Smythe winner and captained three Stanley Cup championship teams. He is no longer the player he once was, but his off-the-charts hockey IQ allows him to continue to be a difference-maker in the National hockey league. Whether the play is at five on five or special teams, Toews can contribute, and there is no doubt he will make an impact wherever he goes. He recently stated that he would like to finish his career with Chicago but sees the writing on the wall with the organization currently stands. Like Kane, Toews carries a massive 10.5 million dollar cap hit which will take a lot of work, even if Chicago retains his salary. However, his situation resembles Giroux and Kane's, where his No Trade clause allows him to choose his future. Can Toews win a fourth Stanley Cup? He is already one of the game's most accomplished players and respected leaders. Everyone would want Toews on their team. Many Stanley Cup contenders will want him when the deadline rolls around. Boston's current place in the standings puts them in a position to acquire a player like Toews or Kane if they want them.
4. Vladimir Taresenko RW- St Louis Blues
One of the most underrated goal-scorers in the game, the only thing that stopped Vladimir Taresenko from superstardom was his health. The Russian winger has one of the sport's most lethal shots and six thirty-goal seasons. He is currently on the injured reserve but is expected to be back healthy by the trade deadline. Health is a concern for a team looking to acquire Tarasenko, but the winger will be a UFA and would be an excellent rental candidate. Boston fans would love him. He is one of the most exciting players when he's healthy with his speed and terrific shot. His 7.5 million dollar cap hit is costly, but his contract expires at the end of the year, and considering the cap issues every team in the league is facing, the Blues would need to take on salary for Tarasenko to be moved at all. If the Bruins are seriously seeking forward help, Taresenko can give them plenty of offense when healthy. He could fit in well with this team playing on the right side of Taylor Hall and Charlie Coyle. They could move Frederic down to the fourth line with Foligno and use AJ Greer as the team's 13th forward. This will be a challenging deadline to add players, but Taresenko would be a trade worth exploring.
3. Ryan O'Reilly C- St. Louis Blues
Ryan O'Reilly has been one of my favorite players in the National Hockey League for the last five years. Like Kane and Toews, The Blues captain is a player from a winning environment. Bruins fans should be familiar with Ryan O'Rielly's game as the Blues Captain was the Conn Smythe winner in 2019 when the Blues defeated the Bruins in 7 games in the Stanley Cup final. The 31-year-old O'Reilly is in the middle of a difficult season with the Blues. He is currently on Injured Reserve but is expected to return by the Trade Deadline. Personally, I think O'Reilly is the most logical replacement to replace either Bergeron or Krejci at the center. He is not in line for the massive payday Horvat and Larkin will receive this offseason; he is three years younger than Jonathan Toews and is a terrific two-way center. Like Bergeron, he does all the little things and possesses an excellent hockey IQ that will keep him among the game's best for years to come. I think adding a player of O'Reilly's caliber will take the pressure off of Bergeron and Coyle to be shutdown centers and increase Boston's chances of winning the Stanley Cup.
2. Timo Mier LW/RW- San Jose Sharks
Timo Mier is an outstanding hockey player and superstar in the making. Mier's combination of speed and strength is something to marvel at. He is one of the most dynamic wingers in the game and, like Horvat, is an upcoming Unrestricted Free Agent. Boston's four centers are Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Charlie Coyle, and Tomas Nosek. There are plenty of questions about the future of that position for Boston, with Bergeron and Krejci at the end of their legendary careers. Still, this team does not necessarily need another center to compete for the Stanley Cup. They have four excellent players in that position. If there is one area where the Bruins should seek an upgrade, it's at Right Wing. Mier is the best winger available. Long term, he is not the best fit for this team. The hope is that David Pastrnak, Jake Debrusk, Taylor Hall, Brad Marchand, and Pavel Zacha will contribute to the Bruins top six on the wings for the foreseeable future. But when searching for rental options to help make a push toward winning the Cup, Timo Mier is the best available option.
1. Bo Horvat C- Vancouver Canucks
Bo Horvat is unquestionably the best player available at the NHL trade deadline. The Canucks Captain is a solid two-way center and two-time thirty-goal scorer in the NHL. Horvat is an Unrestricted Free Agent this year, and the subpar Canucks sit 6th in their division. Vancouver President of Hockey Ops Jim Rutherford confirmed to reporters that the team would be moving Bo Horvat at the Trade Deadline. There is not a team in the National Hockey League that would not love having Bo Horvat on their team. Horvat is one of the game's best two-way centers and is an elite face-off man and goal scorer in this league. The 27-year-old will generate a significant return for the Canucks and a huge payday on his next contract between 8-10 million.
Can the Bruins make it work? It is possible. It will require moving draft picks and top prospects. But can Horvat solve the biggest question mark the Bruins organization faces? Who takes the top center spot when Bergeron retires? Unlike most, I don't think Bergeron retiring after the year is a forgone conclusion. But he is 37, and the writing is on the wall. He will retire from the game sooner than later, and eventually, someone has to replace the greatest center in Bruins history. Bo Horvat is certainly qualified to be an effective replacement. The cap situation will make it extremely difficult for Horvat to be a Bruin long-term, but Don Sweeney is creative enough that it could work. A player of Horvat's talent and strength would also be an excellent addition to the best team in hockey. I think Horvat to Boston is a long shot, but if the Bruins want to make it work, they can.