Haggerty: Bruins need a shakeup, but not involving McAvoy or Carlo

Haggerty: Bruins need a shakeup, but not involving McAvoy or Carlo

It’s fairly obvious the Bruins are desperate for some help this season, something to spur them into a winning stretch that can help punch their tickets to the playoffs.

A big, sometimes-physical winger who has annually posted 20-plus goals is exactly what the Bruins need, which is why there's been so much chatter linking Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog to the B’s in trade rumors. TSN and NBCSN Insider Bob McKenzie addressed those rumors and brought up an unthinkable notion, from a B’s perspective: That in order to land Landeskog, they would have to part with a blue-chip defenseman prospect like Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy.

The notion of trading McAvoy or Carlo should be a non-starter, even for a talented 24-year-old player like Landeskog who has years of solid productivity in front of him. It appears the Bruins agree, especially now that Carlo has impressed in his first half-season in the NHL and McAvoy dominated all the big moments in helping Team USA win the World Junior championship.

Scouts have likened McAvoy as similar to the Kings' Drew Doughty, and good hockey clubs don't trade those kinds of players. It would be pure insanity for the B's to deal McAvoy for just about anything, given that he looks like a future No. 1 defenseman who could be in Boston as soon as next season.

“[The B’s big concern is] how can they continue to supplement their offense” McKenzie told TSN 690 in Montreal. “Their name is front and center in all of these trade rumors with the Colorado Avalanche . . . 

"But whether it’s Landeskog or [Matt] Duchene or anybody that Colorado may or may not be willing to trade -- I keep hearing names like . . . Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy. I’d be really, really surprised if, on a blueline that’s trying to be reconstructed, that the Bruins would consider giving up -- I can’t imagine they would give up Charlie McAvoy. Not after what I saw at the world junior championship. He looks like a real keeper. And Brandon Carlo has been exceptional this year. [He’s a] different type of defenseman, but nevertheless.

"[The] number one thing the Bruins need to do -- aside from make the playoffs -- is to overhaul their defense. And when you draft young defensemen like Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy and they look to be as good as they’re going to be . . . boy, it’s awfully difficult to part with them.”

It’s more than difficult. It would be willfully negligent to deal future core players like Carlo and McAvoy in a short-term quest to quality for the Stanley Cup playoffs this season.

This is why the Bruins are in such a difficult predicament: As a team in transition, they shouldn’t give up their best young players when it’s clear they're not Cup-worthy this season. But it sure doesn’t appear they can get back to the playoffs unless they do something with a team that’s been spinning its wheels for the last month.

Backes set to star in Animal Planet special this weekend

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Backes set to star in Animal Planet special this weekend

It’s only a coincidence that it will air the same week that the Boston Bruins went Hollywood with their annual three-game road trip through California, but David Backes and his wife Kelly are going to get some solid TV time this weekend. The animal-loving couple are going to be featured Saturday night in the all-new Animal Planet special "Stars to the Rescue," which highlights the Backes family’s excellent work to ensure every animal has a ‘furever’ home.

The lifelong animal lovers have adopted five rescue pets that all made the move from St. Louis to Boston this summer, and launched Athletes for Animals in 2013, a non-profit organization supporting professional athletes and animal advocacy efforts. The 32-year-old Backes chose a Boston animal shelter as his first setting to meet with the Boston media this summer after signing with the Bruins in free agency, and spoke glowingly about his inspiration for marrying two of his passions: helping animals and sports.

“The full story is that in college we wanted an animal or two, but it just wasn’t responsible because we were renting and the landlords didn’t approve," said Backes, the proud owner of four dogs (Maverick, Rosey, Marty and Bebe) and two cats (Sunny, Poly). "We just didn’t really have the time or resources to support them, so we volunteered at the local shelter for the three years I was in school.

“When my wife [Kelly] and I moved to St. Louis, we wanted to connect with the community, be a part and use our voice to influence social change to do our part making the world a little bit of a better place. So we said, ‘Why not connect with the animal welfare rescue community?’

“We absolutely love doing it: Walking dogs, scooping litter boxes and cleaning kennels. Let’s use our voice to kick this off and see what we can do, and it really just snowballed from that to then trying to tie other guys into it. It’s not limited to the animal stuff, but the animals that don’t have a voice, and the kids that don’t have a voice, really tug at our heart strings. We want to help them with this blessing of a great voice we’ve been given as professional athletes, and to really use that to give them some help.”

The “Stars to the Rescue” special premieres on Saturday night at 8 pm on Animal Planet where there will be a full segment on the Backes family, but here’s a clip where Backes talks about his well-publicized involvement with a number of stray dog rescues during his 2014 Olympic Hockey stint with Team USA in Sochi, Russia.

Backes isn’t the only Boston athlete featured during the Animal Planet special as it also chronicles the stories of other well-known athletes and celebrities and the dogs they can't live without: Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, Baltimore Ravens’ Ronnie Stanley, Selma Blair, ESPN Correspondent Michelle Beadle, WNBA star Elena Delle Donne, former Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield and more. From training buddies to comforting companions, “Stars to the Rescue” shows first-hand how these celebrities first met their cute rescued canines and how their dogs have impacted and transformed their lives for the better.

What we learned in Bruins' 4-1 win over Kings: Back on track

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What we learned in Bruins' 4-1 win over Kings: Back on track

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