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. 


 

AHL allowing players on minor-league deals to go to Olympics

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AHL allowing players on minor-league deals to go to Olympics

Players on American Hockey League contracts will be eligible to play in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

President and CEO David Andrews confirmed through a league spokesman Wednesday that teams were informed they could loan players on AHL contracts to national teams for the purposes of participating in the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The AHL sent a memo to its 30 clubs saying players could only be loaned for Olympic participation from Feb. 5-26.

The Olympic men's hockey tournament runs from Feb. 9-25. Like the NHL, which is not having its players participate for the first time since 1994, the AHL does not have an Olympic break in its schedule.

The AHL's decision does not affect players assigned to that league on NHL one- or two-way contracts. No final decision has been made about those players.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly denied a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report that the league had told its 31 teams that AHL players could be loaned to play in the Olympics. It was an AHL memo sent at the direction of that league's board of governors.

When the NHL announced in April that it wouldn't be sending players to South Korea after participating in five consecutive Olympics, Andrews said the AHL was prepared for Canada, the United States and other national federations to request players.

"I would guess we're going to lose a fair number of players," Andrews said in April. "Not just to Canada and the U.S., but we're going to lose some players to other teams, as well. But we're used to that. Every team in our league has usually got two or three guys who are on recalls to the NHL, so it's not going to really change our competitive integrity or anything else."

The U.S. and Canada are expected to rely heavily on players in European professional leagues and college and major junior hockey to fill out Olympic rosters without NHL players.

Morning Skate: Why the Leafs for ex-Bruin Dominic Moore?

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Morning Skate: Why the Leafs for ex-Bruin Dominic Moore?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while all the while knowing that the North Remembers.

*Dominic Moore talks in this piece about his reasoning behind signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs and leaving behind the Bruins in the process. Moore was a solid fourth-line cog for the Black and Gold last season and a good signing for the B’s, so it will be a challenge for them to get the same kind of play from that spot this upcoming season from what we assume will be a younger player.

*Are the Carolina Hurricanes losing fans? As much as any franchise their crowds are completely dependent on how the team is playing. A good season and the Canes fans can be pretty good, but they simply don’t show up if the team isn’t good.

*Gary Bettman talks about a number of subjects at a meeting of all four major sports commissioners, including the challenges he’s had with the NHLPA since taking over the job.

*Part of the Dallas Stars comeback plan is improving the penalty kill, and that was behind some of their pickups this summer.

*The Hockey News is in the throes of the summertime, so today is the day they decided to rate the top 50 Russian hockey players of all time. I wonder if Dmitri Kvartalnov cracked the top-20. I’m expecting not.

*Ranking the best plays in Philadelphia Flyers history is another time-honored summertime activity. Where can I rank the Flyers getting swept by the Bruins on their way to the Stanley Cup in 2011?

*For something completely different: Dude, stop invading all of our television shows. The Game of Thrones appearance will be the most egregious, but Ed Sheeran is also going to pop up in the Simpsons.