Possible trade options for Bruins on deadline day

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Possible trade options for Bruins on deadline day

The NHL trade deadline day has finally arrived and the Bruins are still on the clock.

Through a dearth of available, attractive players, an unwillingness to deal players off their current NHL roster and a lack of top-level prospects at the AHL level, its been a challenge for Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli.

But there are still deals to be made for the Black and Gold, and they need to get a couple of transactions done with holes along the forward and defenseman ranks. The Bruins need another right wing as insurance should either Nathan Horton or Rich Peverley have difficulty getting healthy in time for the playoffs, and an experienced extra defensemen is another roster spot that needs an upgrade.

With that in mind here are some of the best players left that could be linked with the Bruins:

Mike Knuble He made sense on many different levels for the Bruins (net-front presence, leadership and size around the net), but it appears that the Capitals wont be selling after a few wins right before the deadline. Its too bad given the limited role hes been handed in Washington.

Ryan Malone Another big body that could fill the Horton role with David Krejci and Milan Lucic, but hes got a no-movement clause and carries a contract that would heave Chiarelli heartburn. Three more years at more than a 4 million cap hit isnt what any NHL GM is looking for with a limited player that hasnt lived up to his billing in Tampa Bay this year. Hes on a pace for 17 goals and a minus-21 this season and its difficult to see things getting better at 32 years old.

David Jones, Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi Jones is the most attractive of the trio of Colorado Avalanche forwards with 27 goals scored last season and on pace for another 20-goal season this year. Winnik is a former University of New Hampshire star that has carved out a decent career in Phoenix and Colorado. Galiardi is a 23-year-old that had 15 goals two years ago. None are particularly sexy names on the trade market, but there arent many of those left available for the price Boston is willing to pay.

Sheldon Souray and Michael Ryder Possibly the oddest rumors have the Bruins trying to chase down a reunion with Ryder as the Stars appear to be sellers despite sitting in playoff position. No shot of this happening with the Bruins being forced to commit to another contracted year of Ryder if they brought him back, and its still doubtful Dallas blows up their roster. Souray is intriguing and could be an option for the Bruins if theyre willing to pay that price. Its expected Souray would cost prospects rather than any roster players.

Ray Whitney Anybody that thinks Whitney is still available in trade isnt much of a hockey fan. The Phoenix Coyotes are kicking butt and taking names, and is looking to add players rather than subtract.

Andrei Kostitsyn and PK Subban The Habs have reportedly kicked around the notion of trading both players, but there is little shot theyd trade either player to their mortal NHL rivals. No way would the Habs risk getting beaten by Subban in a Bruins uniform on a regular basis. Not gonna happen.

Bryan Allen A 31-year-old veteran defenseman that can play the physical game and wouldnt come with an extreme price tag. Allen can play close to 20 minutes a night and would be good insurance in case of postseason injuries along their blueline.

Drew Stafford The kind of forward that could create an impact for a Bruins team looking for another offensive option with Horton and Peverley down, and hes always played well against the Bruins. The question is the price tag for a Buffalo team that should be coming to grips with this season.

Samuel Pahlsson Would only cost a middling prospect and would be a creative solution for Chiarelli and Co. It wouldnt really arrive as a solution for Hortons absence, but would allow the Bruins to move some players around to find solutions. Moving David Krejci to wing has given the Bruins a little bit wider net to cast for forward replacements and it's clear Columbus is motivated to move the center.

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Haggerty: Bruins plan to take it slow with McAvoy, unless . . .

Haggerty: Bruins plan to take it slow with McAvoy, unless . . .

BRIGHTON -- Nobody doubts that 19-year-old Charlie McAvoy is going to be a game-changer down the road for the Boston Bruins.

The Boston University sophomore, expected to be in the NHL next season, is the crown jewel of a draft-and-development movement led by general manager Don Sweeney over the last three years. And if McAvoy hits the ground running with the Providence Bruins over the weekend, he may even make his NHL debut with the Bruins sometime in the next 10 days, even though playing in as much as a single game with Boston this season would burn a year off his entry-level contract.

"[The NHL] is still to be determined. It will be contract first and [the AHL] as a good first step for us," said Sweeney after signing McAvoy to an ATO (Amateur Tryout Agreement). "He's made the decision to leave [college] and we're excited about that process. It leaves some options open [for McAvoy], but first and foremost gets him playing and acclimated to pro hockey."

But there's also the reality that a 19-year-old like McAvoy is going to face challenges in pro hockey. Mastering the defenseman position at the NHL level is an extremely complicated process. It's the reason we see a lot more teenage forwards take the league by storm than teenage D-men, who typically need more development time in the AHL to hone their skills at both ends of the rink.

"[The challenge] would be getting him to figure out what works at this level and what doesn't, just like if he were in Providence," said interim coach Bruce Cassidy about the theoretical possibility of McAvoy playing in Boston soon. "We've used seven defensemen here over the last eight weeks and they've done a good job for us, so we'd have to see where he fit in and go from there . . . I've seen him here and there, but I don't know enough about his individual game at this point to know what he would specifically need to do . . .

"[Defense] is a tougher position in the NHL because mistakes are magnified. If you're a forward you've got another layer of defense to support you, so you can get away with some of that stuff. I think that's why you see generally that most of the rookies that age in the NHL are forwards."

Torey Krug signed with the Bruins out of college five years ago and had a one-game cameo with them before spending the entire next season in Providence. Krug says now that, looking back, he knows he wasn't ready to play in the NHL coming out of school and needed a season to sort things out defensively against bigger, stronger, smarter and faster opponents.

"The speed itself wasn't much of an issue, but if you fall asleep even for a second it's going to turn into a scoring chance for the other team," Krug said of the adjustment from college hockey to the NHL. "These games are not easy to play in, even for veterans in the league . . .

"I thought offensively I was ready [right away], but defensively I had a lot to learn. It's a tough league to play in. Offensively it was fun, but defensively I had my share of hiccups realizing I had to go down to Providence to work on some things."

McAvoy isn't expected to follow Krug's path. He'll get development opportunities at the AHL level at the end of this season just like fellow young D-man Brandon Carlo, who used last spring's AHL experience to vault directly into the NHL this season as a 19-year-old playing top-four minutes right from opening night.

It's also the track taken by Zach Werenski last year with the Columbus Blue Jackets. An AHL playoff run fully prepped him for his breakout season as the league's best rookie defenseman.

"It's a long time ago, but I used that [ATO] myself as a benefit and I've always been an advocate of it, and I think Robbie O'Gara, Danton Heinen and Carlo all [did it]," said Sweeney. "All the players that have been able to come on and play at a very high level against men, generally in a playoff stretch drive or the playoffs themselves, it's a unique [experience].

"When you first turn pro, you're introduced to it at a really high level and you have to adjust to it on the fly. It's about structure and understanding the voices you're hearing. And reading and reacting at the pro level are all very important [skills]. [I think] it's a great on-the-job training exercise and right now Brandon is the best example of it. He's been able to jump into our lineup this year, and that's a testament to him and also the work he did last year."

So the Bruins should take their time with McAvoy, though also allow that he could be a dominant exception to the rule and become a force right out of the chute. It certainly appears Sweeney is going to leave that door ajar,  to make sure the Bruins don't miss out on anything with a young defenseman who's already drawn comparisons to Norris Trophy winner Drew Doughty.