The Boston Bruins did not have the expected start to the 2017-18 season, but have gone the extra mile to go up in the standings and remain in playoff contention, despite several injuries that has affected the roster.
Now, GM Don Sweeney is looking at the market to make sure the Bruins, who have a 19-10-5 record after 34 games, keep competing for a playoff spot and can enjoy a long run.
Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe recently reported the Bruins have a right wing and a left-side defenseman on their post-holiday freeze wish list, and might already have a place to shop for the forward.
Shinzawa suggests the Bruins go looking in Vancouver as Thomas Vanek, who’s on a one-year contract with the Canucks, could address that right-wing need.
Vanek is used to filling in as a rental player and could be good help for the Bruins, he who has recorded 10 goals and 23 points in 37 games in Vancouver.
Tougher challenge on the blue line
As for the Bruins' desire to upgrade on the back end, Shinzawa believes it will be more difficult.
“We’ve talked about if we could ever find a guy that could eat up some minutes,” said Cam Neely. “Move the puck well, skate well, but not necessarily have to be that offensive defenseman.”
The Bruins have always thought highly of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin but the asking price would be expensive, perhaps Brandon Carlo either prospects or draft picks.
The Los Angeles Kings were once shopping Alec Martinez and could be willing to move him again. Detroit Red Wings' Jonathan Ericsson or the New York Rangers’ Brendan Smith could also be targets for Boston.
One thing is sure, the Bruins are expected to re-sign Zdeno Chara and then see what needs to be added.