There’s no question that Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney is surveying the NHL’s trade market with great interest. As teams jockey for playoff position ahead of the NHL’s February 26th trade deadline, the Bruins appear to be good spot. With a 29-10-8 record, the Bruins are a clear 10 points up on the last Wild Card spot and are really rounding into form with their latest five game win streak. With most of their biggest contributors healthy and in the lineup, there are few holes left for Sweeney to fill at the trade deadline. But, there are still moves to be made and according to The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinizawa, Sweeney will be busy.
“It’s a good bet the Bruins will target a more experienced all-around right wing before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.”
Interesting. So, who’s available? Shinizawa highlights three forwards in particular, each with varying levels of impact and differing price points. Vancouver Canucks veteran Thomas Vanek, who will be an unrestricted free-agent at season’s end, “would fit the Bruins’ profile,” according to Shinizawa.
The Boston Globe reporter then cites a Sportsnet report that indicates that Bruins “have considered Mike Hoffman.” Acquiring the Ottawa Senators forward would prove much more costly than Vanek however, with Shinizawa speculating that Senators GM Pierre Dorioin would demand significant assets (young NHL player, prospect, pick) in exchange for Hoffman.
Another name to add to the mix: Chicago Blackhawks veteran Patrick Sharp. Does the smooth skating Sharp have enough left in the tank for a final Stanley Cup run? Are the Blackhawks finally a deadline seller? There are more questions than answers in Chicago these days, so it remains to be seen what the team’s appetite is for dealing their veteran players. Still, Sharp does seem a natural fit on the Bruins’ right wing.
It remains to be seen whether Sweeney pulls the trigger on a potential deal to acquire some scoring depth or not, but one thing’s for sure: he’s got his sights set.