The Boston Bruins have already made a few changes to their lineup ahead of Monday's trade deadline when they acquired Nick Holden from the New York Rangers for a third-round pick and pick and sent oft-scratched forward Frank Vatrano to the Florida Panthers for a third-round pick earlier this week.
However, the Bruins have been linked to Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh for the last few weeks, and many NHL experts believed that the acquisition of Holden would not change their desire to bring the Blue Shirts' star defenseman on board for a long playoff run. After all, Rangers management in general manager Jeff Gorton and president Glen Sather made it clear in an extensive letter explaining they were entering a sellout mode en route for a rebuilding phase for a better future in the Big Apple.
But there seems to be a huge stumbling block for the Bruins, that may ruin the McDonagh blockbuster trade after all. On Thursday, NHL insider Pierre LeBrun explained that despite the interest for McDonagh, the Bruins needed his price to come down to consider making a move.
Furthermore, head coach Bruce Cassidy seems completely against the idea of adding him to his roster, who he says, has already created great chemistry and a winning attitude en route for a long postseason. He made the argument for keeping the team's current group together and not risk altering the team's chemistry during an interview with NBC Boston on Thursday.
“I think it’s been factored into conversations between me and [Bruins general manager] Donnie [Sweeney] that we have a group with some real togetherness there this season,” Cassidy said openly. “At the end of the day if you can add and make your team better then you always have to look at it, and Donny is looking at that right now.
“Adding Holden I think he’s done that and we’ve added some more depth. But after that I do worry about if we subtract somebody from the room. If you’re adding and you’re not subtracting, i.e. future assets, then as a coach you always prefer to go that way. But Donnie will do what’s best and as a coaching staff we’ll take it from there so to speak. But there is a good chemistry with that group…a very good chemistry in that locker room.”
Cleary, Cassidy believes in his players, and might also be worried about the price tag on McDonagh. The Bruins could have to trade a young NHL player, a good prospect and a high draft pick to acquire McDonagh. While it could be a move that would push Boston forward, it could also cost them in the long run.
On top of that, Boston's defense remains quite impressive, thanks to players like Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug, as the Bruins lead the league with 2.41 goals against per game through their first 58 games, while they are fifth in the league with 3.24 goals for per game.
Another need to fill prior to Monday's trade deadline appears to be up front as a veteran winger may be more pressing to acquire before the playoffs.