The Boston Bruins have put together a pretty solid record this season despite their inability to put together a full sixty minutes consistently. With third period meltdowns sprinkled throughout an otherwise excellent start to their lockout shortened 2012/13 NHL season; it is clear the Bruins still have a few holes in their game. The loss of veteran third line center Chris Kelly only adds to the Bruins’ forward depth needs heading into the playoffs and into the April 3rd trade deadline.
Here a few names I believe the B’s will kick the tires on. Some might be considered pipe dreams given the return they will command, while others would be reasonable fixes.
Calgary Flames right wing #12 Jarome Iginla
Jarome Iginla, RW, Calgary Flames: Iginla has been linked to the Bruins, and just about every other team, for the better part of the last five seasons. The Flames have tried and failed numerous times to get the necessary assets together to build around the big winger and compete for the Stanley Cup. At the age of 35, Iginla is a bit past his 50 goal scoring days, but he provides more than score sheet will show you. He is considered to be one of the best leaders the game has ever seen and an ultimate team first guy. He has 7 goals, 12 assists, and a -3 in 26 games this season.
Iginla would be an excellent fit on the Bruins’ roster given the fact that his play style is what the B’s covet in a player. He is a big body, a physical presence, a solid goal scorer even at his age, and a leader who always take accountability on the ice. The B’s also have the necessary cap space to absorb his $7.5 million cap hit. The Calgary Flames are fading in the Western Conference and will likely begin to sell off some assets to gain future pieces. It is not a matter of “if” they decide to move Iginla, but “when”. Iggy will also have to waive his no trade clause to leave Calgary. He has also been linked to Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. Expect him to be moved soon.
Anaheim Ducks right wing #10 Corey Perry
Corey Perry, RW, Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks have been pretty outstanding this season. They have the 2nd best record in the NHL with 44 points through 27 games. The Ducks ship has been mostly led by excellent goaltending work from Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth, and a dominant season from center Ryan Getzlaf. Getzlaf recently signed a major extension in Anaheim so it is a possibility that 2011 Hart Memorial winner Corey Perry could be on the outs. Perry has 9 goals, 15 assists, and a +14 through 25 games. He is also a player who plays the type of style the Bruins love and he would undoubtedly be a great fit here.
The problems with Corey Perry are mostly from a financial standpoint. He is an unrestricted free agent so it is likely he will test the market and not remain with whatever team acquires him. Add that prospect to the fact Chiarelli has never been a big time off-season spender, and you have yourself a quandary. If you do manage to sign Perry to an extension, it will likely be more than any Bruins player makes now. The B’s are heading into an off-season where Nathan Horton, Andrew Ference, and Tuukka Rask are all in need of extensions. Rask’s performance has been excellent this season and will likely command big dollars. Another problem with Perry is the Ducks asking price which will likely be a roster player, a top prospect, and a first round draft pick. So with that package, and the likelihood of him skipping town when the season ends; it just doesn’t seem likely that Perry will be a Bruins sweater come early April.
San Jose Sharks left wing #29 Ryane Clowe
Ryane Clowe, LW, San Jose Sharks: The Sharks have cooled off in a big way following their excellent 7-0 start to the season. It might be time to blow it up in San Jose after years of failed attempts at winning a Stanley Cup after following regular season domination. Among the many struggling Sharks is left wing Ryane Clowe. Clowe is a big bodied winger with a solid all-around game. He is also a pretty solid goal scorer, though you wouldn’t know that this season. Following a coming out year in 2011 where he scored a career high 24 goals, 38 assists, and a +13 in 75 games, Clowe has somewhat declined a little in San Jose.
His playoff numbers are outstanding, which is a promising cause for a team to take a chance on him at this year’s trade deadline. He has also had a down year having failed so far to score a goal. He has 9 assists, and a -7 so far this season. He would probably come real cheap for the reasons listed above, and it has been rumored that the Bruins have been scouting him all season. He would help add some size to the B’s third line. He is almost surely being moved, and I believe he is the mostly likely of the five players on this list to become a Bruin by the trade deadline.
Philadelphia Flyers left wing #26 Ruslan Fedotenko
Ruslan Fedotenko, LW, Philadelphia Flyers: Fedotenko may not be the sexiest name on the trade market, but he does have a penchant for scoring timely goals. He scored 12 goals, 3 of which were game winners, in the Lightning’s 22 game run to the 2004 Stanley Cup. Fedotenko had a brief stint with the Rangers before joining the Flyers in the off-season, and it appears as if they are looking to move him for some assets. I believe he is an excellent fit with the Bruins for a variety of reasons. He carries a small cap hit, which means the B’s could feasibly add him, and another player if possible. He is also one of those random clutch players that may not wow you night after night, but always manages to elevate their game come playoff time.
Fedotenko has 1 goal, 8 assists, and a +6 in 29 games for the Flyers this season. He is ripe for the picking on the trade market and the Flyers need some defensive depth, something the Bruins have to spare right now.
Pittsburgh Penguins winger #48 Tyler Kennedy
Tyler Kennedy, C, Pittsburgh Penguins: The emergence of rookie Beau Bennett has made some on the Penguins’ third line expendable. Brandon Sutter and Matt Cooke have been solid this season, which leads me to believe the rumors surrounding Tyler Kennedy are true. Kennedy is rumored to be in Coach Bylsma’s dog house this season as his play has fallen off considerably. He has gone from last season’s numbers 11 goals, 22 assists, and a +10, to 4 goals, 3 assists, and -2 in 29 games this season. That kind of decline usually happens when a player has run his course with a certain team and is in need of a fresh start.
I believe Kennedy would be a great fit on the third line with Peverley and presumably Jordan Caron. I am unsure as to whether or not the Penguins would move him to a conference rival, given the fact that the Bruins are major competition to the Pens this season. I am also unsure as to what the Bruins would offer Pittsburgh in return. Whatever the case may be, if the Bruins get the opportunity to add Kennedy, they should take it. Kennedy is good in all three zones, and brings a Stanley Cup ring with him wherever he lands.
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