Haggerty: Landeskog fills a need, but is price too high?

Haggerty: Landeskog fills a need, but is price too high?

The Bruins need scoring and desperately need more size on the wing and there just so happens to be a player out there available via trade that fits both of those categories.

The Colorado Avalanche have been a hot hockey mess for the last three seasons and it looks as if GM Joe Sakic is ready to break up his core group after they didn’t live up to early promise over the past few seasons. Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog is among those players available for the right price and Matt Duchene’s name has been out there in trade rumors dating back to last summer around the July 1 start of free agency.

Prior to this season, the 24-year-old Landeskog has been a regular 20 goal/50-60 point guy for the Avalanch. He’s been their captain and he plays a bit of the power forward game at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds. He’s the kind of player you could envision performing very well alongside David Krejci as Nathan Horton, Jarome Iginla, Loui Eriksson and Milan Lucic have in the past.

Bleacher Report national writer and former Avalanche beat writer Adrian Dater reported earlier this week that the B’s approached the Avs about Landeskog, but the Bruins balked when Sakic wanted Colorado Springs native Brandon Carlo as the centerpiece of the deal. The Bruins understandably said no to dealing the 20-year-old shutdown defenseman who has already shown a very high ceiling, even if he’s hit a bit of a rookie valley over his past 15 games with a minus-10 rating.

According to Dater, the Bruins countered with 2015 first-round pick Jakub Zboril instead of Carlo and the Avalanche were looking for more of a proven player than the Czech-born defenseman fresh off the World Junior tournament.

So, can the Bruins and Avalanche find a deal? Doubtful because I don’t think the Bruins will acquiesce on Carlo given how well he’s going to fit in with the Bruins style of play moving forward and because he would be the “shutdown guy” for the Bruins once Zdeno Chara is done in Boston. The other problem is that Landeskog is signed for the next four years at roughly $5.5 million and the Bruins will need to shed some salary in order to bring on a player with his affordable, but still substantial price tag.

That would mean moving Torey Krug ($5.25M) or even Krejci ($7.25M) in order to free up the space for Landeskog and also potentially weakening yourself at two other positions in order to strengthen at the wing.

The bottom line is this: The Bruins aren’t going to get Landeskog from Colorado if they’re looking to offer Jakob Zboril, Ryan Spooner and a second-round pick. Instead, they’ll need to sacrifice something good to make a deal like that happen. “Good” in this instance means a talented young NHL player on an entry-level deal who has already impressed people in NHL circles. The 6-foot-5 Carlo is the guy that fits that lofty billing.

The Bruins need to decide whether getting into the playoffs this season is important enough to trade off a promising young piece in Carlo for a guy in Landeskog who would be with the Black and Gold for the next four years beyond this season. That’s exactly the type of “seismic move” that the B’s need to make while looking to shake things up and break free of the midseason morass that’s seen them lose 10 of their past 15 games.

As of Saturday, it also saw the Bruins out of the playoff picture for the first time since before Thanksgiving as the Toronto Maple Leafs have passed the B’s for the final Atlantic Division playoff spot.

If the Bruins are about developing the kids and riding things out for the next couple of years as they mature, then they shouldn’t make a Landeskog deal. That’s where this humble hockey writer falls in the raging debate, while still holding onto the opinion that constructive a Cup-level core group takes years of successful drafting and player development.

But if the Bruins upper management group is feeling pressured to make a move for instant playoff gratification, then the Landeskog deal is the kind of move that would end up happening while potentially addressing some of Boston’s needs right now.

The question, as always, is what exactly constitutes the master plan for the Bruins and how important is it that the Black and Gold get back into the playoffs this season? The answers would seem obvious, but, then again, nothing is ever really obvious with the group currently captaining the Causeway Ship. 


 

Bruins lay an egg in 4-0 shutout loss to Islanders

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Bruins lay an egg in 4-0 shutout loss to Islanders

BOSTON -- The Bruins were due for an embarrassing no-show against a bad team after playing some pretty good hockey over the last two weeks, and it arrived on cue versus -- once again -- the New York Islanders. 

A dreadful second period by Boston allowed the Isles to coast to a 4-0 win at TD Garden Monday afternoon, giving the Metro Division's worst team its second regulation victory over the Bruins in two months. If the B's miss the playoffs by four points or less, they can look at both defeats as big reasons why they didn’t end up making the cut. 

After a scoreless first period, the Islanders broke down the B’s defense for the game's first goal. The Adam McQuaid/Torey Krug pairing was caught behind the net and David Krejci was late covering the slot as Casey Cizikas set up Nikolay Kulemin for the first of his two goals on the afternoon. 

Less than two minutes later the Islanders doubled their lead when Josh Bailey was able to sneak a bad-angle shot past Tuukka Rask to the short side. Three minutes after that, a high-risk Joe Morrow play at the offensive blue line turned into an odd-man rush for the Islanders and once again Cizikas fed Kulemin from behind the net for a goal that upped the Isles' lead to 3-0. Bruins fans serenaded the B’s players with boos as they exited for the second intermission. 

Rask was pulled after allowing three goals on 15 shots through the first 40 minutes, but that did nothing to give Boston any energy. Jason Chimera capped off the B’s bag of stink with a shorthanded Islanders goal in the third period with little resistance from a trailing group of Bruins turning in a flat performance.
 

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
 
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
 
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.

*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.

*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
 
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
 
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
 
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
 
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.