Playing 'Myth Busters' with B's trade rumors

Playing 'Myth Busters' with B's trade rumors
March 29, 2013, 11:30 am
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As the NHL trade market continues to form and change, the Bruins are going to have to evolve along with it. The way the market is evolving after the Pittsburgh Penguins have collected some of the top rental players has forced B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli into some adjustments. Normally, Chiarelli prefers dealing for “rental players” in the final year of their contracts prior to unrestricted free agency: it lowers the price for the players on the trade market and it allows the Bruins front office time to see if the player is a good fit for a longer-term deal once they arrive in Boston.

But that might change this year as teams are looking to shed players with term and big money left on their contracts. That means defensemen such as Jay Bouwmeester and Dan Boyle could be available in deals, and the Bruins might have to chase that kind of player target. If acquiring a player like Bouwmeester or Boyle with term on their deal, the Bruins will then have to make a decision on whether to carry that player next season or use an amnesty buyout to clear the decks with the salary cap lowering next season.

It’s not ideal, but it’s where the Bruins are at after watching Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray and Jarome Iginla migrate to Pittsburgh.

“It’s easier, or less difficult, to keep your same core and not stray from that. But I’m open to all avenues to improve the team,” Chiarelli said. “We’ve got a lot of tools we can work with. The path of least resistance is the one you referred to earlier, regarding just adding a rental player. That’s kind of been my path for a while this year. That may have to change now.”

With that subtle shift in philosophy, here’s a quick edition of "Myth Busters" when it comes to trade rumors out there:

Ryan Whitney: The Bruins are looking for a defenseman and there’s little doubt the Massachusetts native would love to play for the Black and Gold. The Bruins have made phone calls about Whitney and it seemed like things might have been progressing on that front Wednesday when the Iginla deal looked imminent. But now it’s cooled off a little as the Bruins regroup and go for Plan B. The Edmonton Oilers are said to be looking for a Douglas Murray-type return (two second round picks) or a goaltender (Niklas Svedberg) in exchange for Whitney, and neither of those is going to happen. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility to see a Jordan Caron-for-Ryan Whitney still happen if the Bruins need to get an offensive defenseman.

Any eventual deal for Whitney could be expanded to include Magnus Paajarvi or Ales Hemsky, and that would give the Bruins both the offensive defenseman and the winger they've been looking for in the trade market this spring.

Milan Lucic: The website, which I admit is highly entertaining and great for the NHL, had the Bruins potentially dealing the Bruins power forward to Edmonton for Ryan Whitney, Magnus Paajarvi and a first-round pick. To my knowledge, this was never discussed and Lucic was never in play to be traded anywhere. Chiarelli has been adamant that he’s looking to add to this year’s core and not looking to trade off any assets elsewhere. The return in this rumor from Edmonton is also not even close to Lucic’s value if they ever put their hard-hitting power forward on the trade market, either. Rest easy, folks. Lucic isn’t going anywhere.

Ryan Clowe: The Bruins have scouts attending the San Jose Sharks games and there is interest in the gritty winger/leader/power forward even though a shoulder problem appears to be affecting his overall performance. That being said he’d still be a physical upgrade and gritty presence in the Boston dressing room that they could use, and if the Bruins could get both Clowe and puck-moving defenseman Dan Boyle in the deal then it would answer many of their questions at the deadline. Boyle would immediately come into Boston and give their power play a lift: his 10 power play points and six PP assists would lead the Bruins and he’s playing upwards of 20 minutes per night for San Jose.
Jarome Iginla: Sorry. Force of habit here. Can you believe what this guy pulled in essentially putting the boot to both the Flames and the Bruins to make sure he ended up playing fantasy hockey with Sid the Kid? Wow.