Pieces there to fit Bruins
The NHL trade deadline is two weeks from tomorrow, and we have yet to see any deals of substance around the Original 30. Last week’s biggest move was by Columbus (now less than two months from its 10th playoff DNQ in 11 seasons) adding a year to the contract of left wing Vinny Prospal, who will turn 37 Friday. Not likely to change the course of the franchise, but Prospal was on the “watch list’’ here last week as a guy who could add roster depth for a Bruins playoff run.
There should be some deals this week, which is the same week Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli acted last year to pick off the likes of Chris Kelly, Tomas Kaberle, and Rich Peverley. But it’s a very tight market, first and foremost because there remain so many clubs in contention for playoff seeds, especially in the West. Seven clubs, including the freefalling Blackhawks, remain in a demolition derby for the last couple of West seeds.
Hurricanes defenseman Jaro Spacek received a strong tickle from Chiarelli as a free agent in July 2009, but the Canadiens trumped everyone with a three-year deal worth just under $12 million. Spacek was dealt to Carolina this season in the Tomas Kaberle swap and likely will be dumped again by the cellar-dwelling ’Canes.
With Joe Corvo’s contribution so minimal, Spacek’s addition here could be key, both for insurance and to add some day-to-day job competition. He also is known for having a comic touch in the room.
Both Corvo and Spacek are unrestricted free agents as of July 1, so getting Spacek now could give Chiarelli a slight advantage at the negotiating table if he wanted to bring back one or both for next season.
A more vital player on the Carolina roster for the Bruins to consider is veteran center/wing Tuomo Ruutu. He has to be one of their targets, especially with Nathan Horton’s lingering concussion issues. Ruutu becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.
The biggest wild card could be whether the Ducks, who did not respond to the move to bring in new coach Bruce Boudreau, act on rumors to deal Bobby Ryan and/or Corey Perry. Ryan would attract huge interest on Causeway Street, though it likely would come down to Chiarelli having to offer a package that included one core player (Milan Lucic or David Krejci?) and stud prospect Doug Hamilton.