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FutureStarrBoston Bruins in Mix For Blues Forward Report
The 2023 NHL Trade Deadline is rapidly approaching and the Boston Bruins appear to be one of the teams in pursuit of some of the top players available. With General Manager Don Sweeney on the phone, there appear to be several names in contention.
Boston Bruins have many potential trade targets, but three names stand out as potential additions. If these moves are made, they would help solidify Boston's core and increase their chances of winning the Stanley Cup this season.
According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Boston Bruins are among teams interested in acquiring Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun before the NHL trade deadline. Along with Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks, Chychrun has been mentioned as a potential acquisition.
Though it may appear unlikely that a team like the Bruins would pursue Chychrun, his services could very well be available for an attractive price tag. Pierre LeBrun from The Athletic has reported that the Coyotes are looking to trade two first-round draft picks and a top prospect in exchange for Chychrun; an offer which certainly appeals.
However, the asking price seems a bit high given that he still has two years left on his contract at an affordable $4.6 million per season. A team like the Los Angeles Kings, who are still trying to regain their place as legitimate contenders, would be an ideal home for the Florida native who is in his early stages of career as a top-four defenseman.
Chychrun could potentially be of interest to the Buffalo Sabres, who are not far away from making a run at a Stanley Cup. With a 20-18-2 record this season and potential playoff positioning, adding an experienced defenseman to their already strong blue line would be a major boost for their future prospects.
Unusually, the NHL's 10-team no-trade list doesn't begin until after this season, suggesting the Ducks are taking a deeper look at Florida native and considering whether he could be an asset beyond this current campaign.
Chychrun may not be a superstar, but he's an astute player who understands his worth and possess the necessary skill set to make an immediate impact. He could be an effective weapon on the power play and in the neutral zone where he can score and provide valuable secondary offense.
With only seven days left until the NHL trade deadline, teams are scrambling to finalize deals before it arrives. Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luke Schenn has been the subject of many rumors recently, with several teams reportedly interested in him. Now The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta reports that Schenn may be "getting close" to being traded.
Pagnotta reported that Schenn is being sought at a price of $333,000 plus an additional item. According to Pagnotta, teams such as Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames are interested in signing the veteran defender; however, Tampa Bay Lightning are out of the running.
Sweeney prefers physical, shutdown style of play on the right side of the blue line; and he would make an ideal addition to a team looking to enhance their depth. Furthermore, his shot block percentage is impressive and makes for an effective bottom-pairing player.
His $850,000 cap hit is manageable, too, making him an appealing target for contenders seeking affordable blueline depth.
Schenn has established himself as a reliable and efficient bottom-pairing defenseman who can contribute on five on five. He leads the league with 203 hits and has blocked 70 shots this season.
In addition to his impressive play on the ice, Schenn has been an impressive leader within the Canucks locker room and earned himself the respect of all in the organization. Sweeney has been searching for someone with these leadership qualities ever since he took over the team.
He has been an integral factor in the Canucks' remarkable comeback. His play was a major reason they went from being an average team to one of the top five NHL clubs within a year's time.
In a league that is eager to acquire big defensemen, it may be tempting to extend Schenn's contract beyond the March 3rd trade deadline. However, it would likely be more beneficial for him to move on and use his second-round pick on an even better offensive prospect. After all, Schenn has been one of the top players in the league this year with an $850,000 cap hit and is one of few right-handed defensemen available on the market.
With the NHL trade deadline less than one month away, there are numerous rumors circulating around which teams might be looking to offload or purchase players. One particularly intriguing report that surfaced today was Boston having discussions with St. Louis Blues forward Ivan Barbashev regarding a potential deal.
It's no secret that the Bruins are looking to add a versatile forward from their center six before the trade deadline, and Barbashev could be an option. Though he may not be a household name on the market, his versatility, defensive skills and scoring prowess make him an intriguing target for Boston.
He's averaging 16 minutes of ice time per game this season and has scored eight goals and provided 15 assists - a far cry from his 26 goals and 34 assists a year ago, but still an impressive feat.
The Bruins don't need a top-six forward, but they do want someone who can contribute regularly in the offensive zone. That makes Barbashev an ideal addition for Boston; he can play center or both wing spots and his power forward style of hockey is ideal for them.
Another factor that could potentially draw the Boston Bruins to Barbashev is his relationship with head coach Jim Montgomery. Montgomery served as assistant coach for the Blues last season, so he has some insight into what types of players and environments will best allow Barbashev to excel.
If the Bruins decide to pursue Barbashev, they'll need to find a way of keeping him within their budget of less than $4.5 million. While that could prove challenging, it isn't impossible.
The Blues are currently 10 points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference and still have much work to do before the deadline. Without their top wingers Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola, they appear more likely to be sellers rather than buyers at this point.
Though they won't be selling off all of their assets, there are a few items that need to be moved before the trade deadline. The Bruins could potentially acquire Barbashev for a second-round pick in exchange.
With trade rumors spiraling out of control, the Boston Bruins may be looking to add depth at forward. With only three weeks until the 2023 NHL trade deadline and many teams facing cap space crunch, there are plenty of players they could consider adding to their roster in order to build a winning team for the long term.
One player reported to be in consideration for the Bruins is Craig Smith, a veteran winger who has struggled this season to stay healthy. Since signing a two-year deal last summer, Smith has produced only 14 points in 54 games this season and his $3.1 million salary cap hit has limited GM Don Sweeney's options in finding an willing trade partner.
Since the start of the season, rumors have swirled that Boston Bruins might be interested in trading Smith. While he could potentially be available, it appears unlikely he will be dealt before the NHL Holiday break from December 19-27.
Though Smith hasn't been the reliable player the team expected, he still offers some value as a reliable scorer for Boston's middle six. Additionally, Smith can play on the power play - something Boston lacks this year.
But Smith has not always lived up to the price tag Boston has placed on him this season. In fact, he has struggled to score goals throughout his career and is currently averaging just 26 shots per game this year.
He has not scored in 18 games and only one goal since October 27. It appears that the Bruins are dissatisfied with his overall production, so it will be interesting to see if they make any moves at the trade deadline to address this concern.
Smith may not be the answer, but he can be an important component for the Bruins as they strive to extend their successful streak this year. Smith can help them plan ahead and give everyone in the lineup some much-needed assurance.