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.