B’s facing a bear market for potential deals

The Bruins are mired in a 1-7-1 slump. They’ve fallen out of a playoff position in the East. And they’re coming off their most horrid performance of the season, losing 5-1 Sunday in Carolina against the team with the worst record in the NHL.

It was times like this that not long ago Harry Sinden would be ringing up his fishing buddies and underperforming Bruins would be packing their bags. Peter Chiarelli doesn’t act quite so rash, but surely even his patience must be getting tested by the club’s current slump.

The problem is that there aren’t many options even if Chiarelli did want to make a deal. Beyond the difficulty of getting fair value while negotiating from a position of weakness, Chiarelli doesn’t have many potential trading partners. In the East, only two teams – Carolina and Toronto – aren’t within three points of a playoff position. Out West, only Columbus and Edmonton aren’t within four points of the final postseason spot.

That’s a tough market – 26 potential buyers, just four likely sellers. And of those four, Toronto might be tough to deal with considering the way the Phil Kessel saga played out this summer.

Edmonton had been a frequent trade partner for the Bruins, especially in Sinden’s day. And according to a report from Canada’s Slam Sports, the Oilers are willing to part with a half dozen different players. The picking a somewhat slim though, with forwards Shawn Horcoff, Robert Nilsson and Ethan Moreau and defensemen Sheldon Souray, Steve Staios and Lubomir Vishnovsky reportedly available.

Horcoff has 9-20-29 totals and is a minus-23 in 45 games this year. His career high is 22 goals back in 2005-06 and he’s got a cap hit of $5.5 million a year through 2014-15. Nilsson’s cap hit is just $2.0 million for this year and next, but he’s never scored more than 10 goals in a year and is a minus-18 this season. Moreau, Edmonton’s captain, could add some grit, but he’s also on the books for $2.0 million this year and next and is 34 years old.


25 Responses to B’s facing a bear market for potential deals

  1. reinjosh says:

    Does anyone think that Burke might go to Boston and offer up Kaberle (if Kabby waives his NTC or even in the offseason) for the Leafs first rounder this year?
    Essentially, the Kessel deal would then become 2011 First Rounder and Kaberle for Kessel, what Chiarelli claimed it was.
    That would be interesting.
    Although I can't see it happening, Burke would be to proud and the Bruins would likely find the pick to tempting to give up.

  2. nordiques100 says:

    the team cannot score. period.

    not sure if it is surprising or not considering many B's fans were boasting that the team was the deepest in the NHL bar none.

    Logically, one would then assume that they could withstand injuries. but like any team, they cannot.

    their depth was overrated. Ryder has been terrible, Sturm is no replacement for Kessel, wheeler and krejci have regressed. they can talk all they want, but they miss kessel and his speed and his 40 goals.

    some financial deals are haunting them. they of course could not have predicted that rask was this good and they didnt need thomas, but now they are stuck with thomas and his rather large contract. with a NTC, they cant get rid of him, but that would be ideal to use that cap hit for a forward.  

    the derek morris signing was not great. hunwick, ference, even boychuk, they're all similar blueliners. there wasnt a need for morris. that $$ could have gone to a forward.

    while yes, their future looks good, the team was kinda predicited to do something now.

    hopefully, with still time left in the year, the team can get some chemistry back. but until lucic can work himself back into game shape and savard gets back and they find a winger for him, and some of the others actually start producing, its not looking good for the B's

    and i think chara is playing hurt. he looks terrible out there. slow, he makes hal gill look quick. he isnt as menacing either. i have a feeling he is going around with like a bad hip or something which means he isnt feeling it.

    thats too bad. he is a terrific defender and that is why i cant picture him playing this poorly. he HAS to be hurt. thats the only explanation. but with all the other guys out, he has to stay out there and not rest up.

  3. bbruins37 says:

    they are an extremely deep team but when your top three centers go through injury problems, theres not much you can do about it.  and then you have big injuries to lucic and sturm.

    wheeler hasnt regressed at all. he's been streaky, but looks good out there. krejci has taken a while to get going coming off of an injury, but has looked great after that. it doesnt help him when ryder is playing like he is. hes completely fallen off.

    i didnt like the morris signing when it happened, but hes actually been terrific for the bruins. i dont know how often you watch the team, but he's often the best guy put there.

    hunwick and boychuk are nothing alike at all. not sure where you got that from. ference isnt great but he's a quality 3rd pairing guy.

    as for chara, he hasnt been playing like last season but he's still his usual self. he routinely shuts guys down. its just his goals have dropped off.

    when you have to deal with injuries like this the whole year its impossible to work up chemistry. once they do get everyone back (if that ever does happen), they should be able to start winning.

  4. Dunski23 says:

    Ya as a B's fan I had a feeling the Thomas deal was going to hurt as soon as it was made. The Lucic deal I also felt was a little steep, but he also brings a lot of intangibles. Lucic flat out puts people in the seats. I think his deal should have been closer to 3.5 just under what Clowe got. They play the same game, but I feel Clowe is just a little better.

    Derek Morris I feel was actually a good signing. He plays well with Chara and he is on pace to have his best season since 03-04. He'll probably end the season with about 32 points and between +3 and -3, not bad considering the rest of the defense.

    In the end I think Boston will make some moves, without killing the future, make the playoffs, win a round or so, and leave the fans wanting more, and back next season in good position. Hockey in Boston is really only followed by the die hard. If they don't make the playoffs this year I feel a lot of the band-wagoners from last season will hop off immediately if not sooner

    Does anyone know about the skill set of the Center prospects the B's have. with Krejci, Bergeron, and Savard around it will be hard for our top prospects to get playing time with the big club. I know Cam thinks Bergeron is as good as gone, but I think he may stick around meaning players like Colbourne, Hamill, Caron, and Arniel won't be utilized for a long time. Can any of those four change their game and become good wingers to fill out the team. The only real Wing prospects they have are Marchand and Lehtonen. Lovecchio and Riendeau are possible too, but not as refined

  5. Kramer says:

    I thought of this: A Board game like Monopoly but with hockey

    GO = NHL Head Office
    Boardwalk = Hockey Hall of Fame
    Park Place = Air Canada Center
    Pennsylvania = Ovechkin's house
    Jail = 20 game suspension
    Free Parking = All-Star break
    Chance = NHL draft
    Community Chest = Free agency
    4 Railroads = 4 playoff rounds

    If you land on my square with one hockey rink, you owe me 1 draft pick; if two rinks, then two draft picks. etc

    I'm gonna fiddle with this business idea some more.

  6. futurebruin says:

    I just thought of this.  My own to-do list for the Bruins' offseason.  It's early, but I had fun coming up with it in Geometry.  Also, don't bash me if the salaries don't check out.  I don't expect them too and if you think it's good enough I'm willing to make a revised list with salaries checking out.

    Bruins Offseason To-Do List
    Release Mark Recchi
    Release Andrew Ference
    Sign Ray Whitney 2yr/$5M
    Sign Paul Kariya 1yr/$3M
    Re-Sign Steve Begin 2yr/$4.25M
    Trade Michael Ryder for 2011 4th Round Pick (Tampa Bay)
    Re-Sign Daniel Paille 3yr/$8.85M
    Release Miroslav Satan
    Sign James Neal 4yr/$20M
    Re-Sign Blake Wheeler 3yr/$6M
    Re-Sign Mark Stuart 4yr/$10.65M
    Extend Patrice Bergeron 5yr/$21.25M
    Trade Dennis Wideman for 2011 3rd Round Pick (Los Angeles)
    Trade the rights to Vladmir Sobotka for 2011 1st/2nd Round Pick (Phoenix)
    Sign Joe Corvo 2yr/$4.5M
    Purchase the Contract of Zach Hammill from Providence (AHL)
    Purchase the Contract of Trent Whitfield from Providence (AHL)
    Purchasethe Contract of Adam McQuaid from Providence (AHL)
    Re-Sign Johnny Boychuk 3yr/$2.7M
    Draft Taylor Hall/David Seguin/etc.
    Re-Sign Derek Morris 2yr/$4.75M
    Release Shawn Thornton
    Trade Marco Sturm for 2011 1st Round Pick (Ottawa)

    Lucic – Savard – Neal
    Whitney – Bergeron – Wheeler
    Paille – Krejci – Kariya
    Begin – Hammill – Bitz

    Chara    Stuart
    Corvo    Morris
    Boychuk Hunwick


    Paille –

  7. reinjosh says:

    Ryder will not be traded, especially to the lightning, a team that cannot afford to pay the salaries they already have.

    Dallas might (likely, very likely) match that deal for Neal. 5 million for him isnt bad. And they will likely sign him before he hits RFA status. So forget about that.

    what do you mean by purchasing?

    I'm not sure Sturm will get you a first.

    I can tell you right now you won't be getting Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin (not david). More than likely you will get a 3rd through 5th pick.

    You want to go into sports management right? Try getting the salaries to work right away and try giving reasons why trades would be done (like why a team might want this player, why they would give up that price). It would help you better.

  8. bbruins37 says:

    all ill say is hopefully not to alot of those.

    begin at 2.125 is nuts. sobotka can easily replace him.

    paille will not be asking for that much and if he is, theres no way we'd take him back.

    trading wideman would be so stupid. he's having a bad season, but hes been great therwise in boston. trading him at his all-time low would be pointless.

    wheeler isnt going to sign for just 2 a year.

    i do like the idea of bringing in one of whitney to replace recchi though.

  9. bbruins37 says:

    handing the reigns over to rask would not be smart at all. he's outplayed thomas this season (not by too much though), but thomas has been great for years.

    caron is a great wing prospect.

    im at a crossroads on what to do. its really appealing to free up some cap space for next year by trading some contracts, adding to our picks, drafting a top player with the leafs pick, and maybe even going after kovalchuk if we free up enough room. but then again, this lineup hasnt been healthy all season, and you know theyll compete once everyone gets back (if that ever happens). theres plenty of options because of that kessel trade.

  10. Dunski23 says:

    That's a lot of stuff…some of it could work, and some of it I see happening. There are also some things I don't see happening. I think Dallas would be outside their minds if they let Neal go. Sobotka is good, but hasn't proven worthy of a first or second in return for him. Your suggesting way too much money for Paille and Begin, they are good pieces, but neither are worth 2 Mil+…as you have it now both would be making more then Wheels. Not sure what Sturm would get in return…could be a first…I'm thinking less, but I could be wrong. I would hate to see a Bruins team without a true heavyweight. Bitz has the size, but he's not a good enough fighter, and as much as I like watching Looch fight the B's aren't paying him 4Mil to do so. I like Thornton for a few reasons. He has decent skill for a tough guy, and he isn't overly intimidating. Guys will fight Thornton. He is small for a heavy so guys are more willing to fight him. Boogaard is available, but I think he suffers from what Laraque did…guys don't really want to fight him. However, if New Jersey doesn't resign Clarkson I would love to have him on the B's. Oh and it's Tyler Seguin not David lol

    But anyway there is some good shit there just research a little more and go over the salaries and some of it could work

  11. Dunski23 says:

    I'm not saying handing the reigns over…I just think Chia threw a lot at Thomas to make sure he resigned. It seemed like an impulse signing to me. I really think it could've got done for less, but chia gave Thomas an offer he couldn't refuse. I like Timmy, he's still the number 1 guy in my eyes and will be for at least another year, but I think he'll decline and be a 5Mil backup a la Manny Fernandez

  12. Dunski23 says:

    3rd-5th…I want Fowler or Gormley to build the defense. And if Toronto somehow climbs up drastically or the Bruins fall Nino Niederreiter…he looks like he'll be a pretty good left wing prospect…plus he has a pretty sweet name

  13. futurebruin says:

    Your right, Ryder probably won't be traded(Lightning of all places lol I just thought of a random team with an underperforming scorer).  Your right about Neal as well(again just a fantasy, and I figured 5mil for Neal would be too much for Dallas due to their financial status, your also right that hell probably be re-signed).  By purchasing, I mean permanently putting them on the NHL team.  Sturm might get us a first if he keeps performing well.  And I didn't just say Hall and Seguin(sorry I messed up the name lol).  If you look closesly I said etc., meaning the other top guys in the draft that we could get.  I know that we probably won't get Hall or Seguin, but it's still possible.  The Leafs could still tank and end up closer to Carolina than they are to Edmonton.  Again, don't bash me for the salaries not adding up.  I wrote this into my notebook while bored in Geometry class, then typed it up in about a 40 minute Study period in my school library, so it's not like I had time.  Again, I must stress that most of this is just fantasy thinking other than like maybe 4 or 5 of these deals.

  14. futurebruin says:

    Thanks man.  I will next time, so I'll make sure it isn't written in the middle of class lol.  Just remember, I'm a High School Sophomore, so go alittle easy.

  15. bbruins37 says:

    5 mil for a goalie as good as him is a steal. you can argue the term (ideally i would have liked to see 3 years), but its not bad. the only way this turns out bad is if rask starts outpreforming him consistently. but who could ever have predicted that coming into this season?

  16. bbruins37 says:

    theres a pretty decent gap between 3rd last and 4th last right now, and with it being expected that the leafs have a firesale to actually gain some picks, its looking pretty solid it will be a top 3 pick (pending the lottery outcome). also, the canes have been looking great lately, and are 3 points behind the leafs with 2 games in hand, so if they continue to stay hot, a top 2 pick is looking pretty good.

    i really dont know what's wrong with the defense. alot depends on if chara is resigned obviously, but overall we have alot of good young defensemen.

  17. bbruins37 says:

    while looking that up i saw that the devils are 16-0-0 when leading after the first, and 23-0-0 when leading after the second. that nuts. thats jacques lemaire for you though

  18. Dunski23 says:

    What also helps the B's chances of a top three pick is the ability for teams to move up 4 spots. Toronto could finish in 24th place and Boston still has an outside chance at a top 3 pick.

    Oh and what I meant about Gormley and Fowler is that it is looking like they will go between 3rd and 5th, and that they have the skill to come into Boston next year and possibly make a difference on the blueline. The other players who are projected to go around there (Connelly and Gudbranson to name a few projected to go in those slots) look like they would need a few more years of juniors and minors, but Fowler and Gormley look like they could make a difference now. It might just be me, but I feel if Boston is picking in one of those three spots and one of those guys is available it's a good pick (and that of course is assuming Hall and Seguin are the first two picks)

  19. TimTheBone says:

    i've never played the game so i dont know how its set-up……but dude your idea has been done…. NHL monopoly exsists as well as Montreal Canadiens Monopoly

  20. TimTheBone says:

    3-6th???… hardly…. Carolina is Hot right now and toronto is tripping over their feet once again…. its quite safe to say Edmonton will have the #1, and the next two picks will be battled out between Carolina and T.O erhmmm i mean boston

  21. Kramer says:

    That's not fair. I spent a lot of hours on this for nothing.

  22. reinjosh says:

    steal? no
    Goalies at or around 5 (plus 1 or minus 1 million) dollars I would rather pay that Thomas.

    Fleury – 5 million
    Bryzgalov – 4.25 million
    Brodeur – 5.2 Million
    Nabokov – 5.35 Million
    Kiprusoff – 5.83 Million
    Backstrom – 6 million

    Steal? not a chance. Hiller at 1.5 million is a steal.

  23. bbruins37 says:

    fleury at the same cap hit? ugh… brodeur obviously took the hometown discount, and its starting to look like backstrom was really benefitting from lemaire (plus he makes a mil more). kipper has been mediocre the last couple seasons until this season, and nabokov has been merely good since the lockout before this season. bryz has dropped off lately, and his track record doesnt compare to thomas'. but of course being a bruin, he sucks.

  24. Tachmo says:

    This is my analysis:
    Boston has (1) first line player in Savard. Savard has no one to play with.
    Boston is stacked with mediocore 2nd line depth players. Bergeron, Krejci, Wheeler, Sturm, Lucic, Ryder, Satan. These guys are terrific offensive players when the pressure is off and they aren't the key guys. Boston doesn't have a big # 1 line, they have nobody to score. Forget about Whitney as he won't solve any problems.

    They need a legitimate player to step in with Savard. Kovalchuk is the perfect fit and throw Lucic on the other wing.

  25. bbruins37 says:

    youre vastly underrating bergeron. remember, his role right now is to go out against every other team's top offensive line, and he still manages to lead the bruins in scoring. the fact that the bruins are so deep at center means that we can afford to put himin a checking role. he's capable of 70+ points as we've seen. krejci had a rough start because of the injury, but has looked pretty damn good of late. and you cant just forget about last season. i think we have three centers that are top line talents; all capable of putting up points, and all very good defensively (even savard is good defensively under julien now).

    on the wings, you're right, its a bunch of second line guys, except for lucic. he's the perfect complement for a top line as he clears space, and can keep up offensively. i think wheeler has the potential to be a top guy someday though.

    you, along with everyone else, are REALLY underrating whitney (as has been the story for him his entire career). he is without a doubt a top line guy. his consistency is pretty remarkable, as he's always around that point per game mark. even this year, on one of the worst teams in the league, he's putting up some good stats. he's a wizard with the puck (hence his nickname), and can set it up or score himself. he'd look good with anyof our crafty centers. also, he's a bruin-killer, so it would be nice to get him for that reason as well.

    i dont think kovalchuk is a good idea. do you really want to give up a top prospect, a first, and a roster player (ive heard everything from lucic to krejci to wheeler to even rask)? i think whitney would be the best bet right now

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