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  • Tim Burke

Three "smaller" trades the Bruins could make to chase the Stanley Cup

I have extensively written about the NHL Trade Deadline in the last week. I have written about who I believe are the top ten players available at the Trade Deadline and whether the Bruins should explore a trade for that player or avoid adding them to their roster. Another direction the Bruins could go in is to add players who are not necessarily the biggest names on the market but can help them win the Stanley Cup. This is my preferred direction for the bruins as they can keep their NHL roster intact and instead sacrifice draft picks or prospects. There is not one player on this Bruins roster who I want to be traded, but I believe they need to add in terms to strengthen their depth, and I believe these players will be more affordable than the bigger names on the market.

The Bruins could add three "smaller" names that interest me, and they are not big splashes that put this team over the edge to win the Stanley Cup. But if the Bruins are seeking depth at both forward and defense, these are names to keep an eye on.

3. Brian Dumoulin D- Pittsburgh Penguins

The former Boston College star has had a terrific career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but his time in Pittsburgh may end soon. The 31-year-old Dumoulin has struggled mightily this season due to injuries. Coming off MCL surgery, he has not looked the same. The Penguins are on the verge of missing the playoffs, but they tend always to play their best hockey in the second half of the season. Pittsburgh has a tough decision to make, given where they stand and how competitive the Eastern Conference is this year. Do they continue to be deadline buyers, or do they make the move to sell this year? If they sell, Dumoulin may be the perfect trade candidate. An upcoming Unrestricted Free Agent, Dumoulin was part of Pittsburgh's top defense pairing with Kris Letang for two Stanley Cup champion teams. Due to injuries and a dip in play, he is no longer considered a top-pairing defenseman but is still a valuable addition Boston can add to their team. He won Stanley Cups before, he is a solid stay-at-home defenseman and at 31 still has plenty of good hockey left in the tank he can provide for a team. Playing in Boston, where he went to school, and playing close to his home in Maine, may reenergize Dumoulin. We saw it happen to Charlie Coyle only a few years ago. The only question is whether Dumoulin is available at the deadline or whether teams will have to wait until July 1st to acquire him. Either way, he could be a solid addition to the Bruins this season or next.

  1. Luke Schenn D- Vancouver Canucks

The Bruins are a possible destination for Canucks defenseman Luke Schenn according to NHL Insider Pierre Lebrun. Like Dumoulin, Schenn is also a two-time Stanley Cup champion and is highly likely to be dealt with in the potential fire sale that will take place in Vancouver. Schenn will be a hot commodity at the trade deadline, given his affordable cap hit and playoff experience. For Boston, his style of play will be a welcome addition and beloved by fans, as Schenn is one of the league's tougher and more physical players. His 203 hits currently lead to the NHL, and the Bruins could use more physicality in their lineup come playoff time. Schenn provides the defensive depth the Bruins will need to make a playoff run and is an excellent role player. It has been reported that the Bruins have already contacted Vancouver about the availability of Schenn, and I would not be surprised if he is in a Bruins uniform by March.

  1. Noel Acciari RW- St. Louis Blues

The Bruins fourth line of Nick Foligno, Tomas Nosek, and AJ Greer has been a pleasant surprise this season, but I believe it is a line the Bruins could upgrade. AJ Greer has been an effective player and has brought a lot of energy to the bruins lineup, but given the historic Bruins season, they may feel the need to add a forward that can play a more prominent role than Greer. A reunion with Noel Acciari is something the Bruins may be exploring this season. He is currently playing for the St. Louis Blues, who are expected to be sellers at this year's deadline. The former Bruin also has a very affordable cap hit, making him an attractive trade candidate in this market. Acciari is the perfect bottom-six forward. He plays a very physical style of hockey, wins puck battles, is a relentless forechecker, and is a solid penalty-killer. His overall game provides the Bruins with more than AJ Greer currently offers, playing just over eight minutes a game. ​​Acciari also knows the Bruins culture, as he played in Boston for the first four years of his career, so adding him to this team should not mess with the chemistry of the locker room. The Rhode Island native was one of my favorite Bruins players while he was here, and I think he could be the piece this team needs to make a Stanley Cup push.

If the Bruins added a solid bottom-six forward and depth defenseman, I would be satisfied with their Trade Deadline. Adding Schenn and Acciari would make this team significantly better, as both players can make a big impact with their physical style of play. Given the state of the Bruins, all options need to be on the table to make a push for the Stanley Cup, but "smaller" moves such as the ones above are the route I believe they should go in. There are plenty of interesting trade candidates who are not necessarily big splashes. It will be a fascinating trade deadline for Boston and around the league, and I am excited to see how it plays out.




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