Even with the eventual return of Johnny Boychuck and Adam McQuaid sidelined from injury, the Boston Bruins were always going to look to add a defenseman before the trade deadline. The B's defensive woes have been somewhat put on the back burner as a result of the team's offensive woes. Unlike Bruins teams from recent year's teams past, this group doesn't have the presence of Tim Thomas to bail out the unit's every miscue. No one is saying that Tuukka Rask isn't capable of living up to high expectations, but if this team is going to succeed it will need to find a greater amount of balance and consistency from both it's goaltender and defenseman, and that starts with making an addition from outside the organization. 1) Ryan Whitney: The Bruins ideal trade target. There are plenty of reasons the veteran defenseman has been associated with the Bruins. Whitney, a Braintree, Mass. native, is considered an above average top four defensive that would make an immediate impact with the Bruins. At six foot four and two hundred and nine pounds, and a shot the could add to go alongside Zdeno Chara's on the powerplay. Whitney also brings solid playoff experience, the highlight of which was winning the 2008 Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks. Whitney isn't quite the All-Star he was a billed as when he was drafted by the Penguins fifth overall in 2002 (wouldn't it be nice to stick it to them for once), but at thirty years old is the best available piece out there looking for a player to put them over the edge. Whitney does have a hefty five and a half million dollar cap fee, but that should work to the Bruins advantage, as they are a team who has plenty of cap space. Whitney's age (30), also makes it possible the Bruins might be able to sign him to a two year contract once his current deal is up at the end of this year. 2) Mark Streit: A great option, but at what cost. Like Whitney, Streit brings a set of skills that would be very valuable to the Bruins. Streit has captained an Islanders struggling Islanders franchise, and would likely benefit from a change of scenery. Streit was very impressive in leading the Swiss national team in the past Olympics, and nearly lead to the far less talented squad to an upset to eventual gold medal winner Canada. With the news that the Islanders have just extended Lubomir Visnovsky, it is possible that the Islanders are taking a more realistic look at trading their Captain. The problem for the Bruins besides Streit's age (35) is that the Islanders are currently in the thick of the playoff hunt, and might ask too high a price for a player that is currently holding their blue line together. The Bruins would likely have to overpay for Streit's services, and given that they already have been unwilling to do so for their three previous trade targets, it is doubtful that they will be willing to do so here. 3) Could the Bruins make a different deal with the Calgary Flames? It appears that the firesale has begun in Calgary, so naturally the next two heads on the trade block are goalie Mikka Kippursoff and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. At twenty nine, Bouwmeester is in the prime of his career, and could potentially be the heir apparent to Zdeno Chara on the Boston blue line. With his tremendous upside come the question marks. Bouwmeester has very little postseason experience, and has underachieved in both Calgary and Florida. Bouwmeester also has a monster six and a half million dollar cap hit that the Bruins would be loathe to absorb. Whether or not Bouwmeester actually comes to Boston it would be very interesting to see whether Flames general manager sends Bouwmeester in a deal that could be at some sort of mea culpa for the Jarome Iginla situtaion. 4) Will Peter Chiarelli look at an Eastern Conference cellar dweller for help? With the Tampa Bay Lightning firing coach Guy Boucher, the team seems to be in free fall and out of the playoff picture. All of the players listed above have big cap hits that the would likely make them one-year rentals for the playoffs, but the Lightening have two defensemen that have a drastically lower cap hit. Eric Brewer has the higher number (at just shy of four million per season), but represents the far more consistent and desirable of Tampa Bay's defenseman on the block. While Marc Andre has bounced between six teams, and has had a few injury problems, his contact comes in at a paltry 1 million dollars a year with just one year remaining. The Bruins have to add a defenseman at the deadline, and Andre Bergeron is a player with a low cost that could serve as a low risk mid-level reward for a team that needs someone or something to break them out of their recent streak of malaise. Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.