Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bruins could trade for Kovalchuk

[ed: Within moments of posting this, I came across Joe Haggerty's article for WEEI, also asserting that the Bruins should pursue Kovalchuk before the trade deadline.]

Following on yesterday's post, let's look at some plausible scenarios in which the Bruins might be in a position to make a major trade this season.

Each of these would require Peter Chiarelli to make two "setup" moves:
1) Buy out the contract of Patrice Bergeron, reducing his cap hit to $1.5m.
2) Replace him as third-line center with a youngster, such as Sobotka or Hammill, or acquire a veteran in the range of $1m.
The overall effect would be to end up with a cap cushion of roughly $4m.

Given the above, any of the following could be offered at the trade deadline:

To ATL for Ilya Kovalchuk ($6.3m)
Chuck Kobasew ($2.3m) OR Michael Ryder ($4.0m)
AND first-round picks in 2010, 2011 and 2012

To COL for Milan Hedjuk ($3.9m)
Brad Marchand ($821k) OR Byron Bitz ($687k)
AND Toronto's first-round pick in 2010

To TBL for Martin St. Louis ($5.25m)

D Adam McQuaid OR D Jeff Penner
AND First-round picks in 2010 and 2011, possibly return Tampa's second-round pick in 2010

In any of these scenarios, Boston would come out of the deal with a fast, scoring winger for the top line. In return, they would give up quality players and prospects -- but without creating a weak spot in the active roster or in the upcoming drafts or in the prospect pipeline. The loss of Bergeron would be relatively easy to cover, considering Boston's depth at the center position, and an elite winger would more than compensate for the loss of Ryder or Kobasew.

Bottom line: If Chiarelli can clear a bit of cap space, he can easily compete for free-agents-to-be without cutting deeply into the prospect pool. Given that the Bruins are going to be a top contender for the Cup, it would be crazy for him not to position himself for a major trade this season.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Chrism said...

WTF... Why trade a total of a possible 50 goals from 3 player making a sealing 3rd line for 1 winger that can score 40 goals the reason why we're a good team is the fact we have the most 20 goal scores...

Tom said...

Perhaps the format is confusing -- as indicated by the word "OR", I don't see any need for the Bruins to move more than one roster player given the number of 1st-round picks they can offer.

In any case, Kovalchuk is consistently scoring 40-50 goals on a dreadful Atlanta team. Imagine him reunited with Savard (his new, responsible, point-per-game self) and playing with guys like Lucic and Chara... it's easy to imagine him scoring at a 60 or even 70-goal pace. That is the kind of talent that elevates a team from "contender" to "favorite" and guys like Ryder and Kobasew don't even begin to sniff that level of play.

I am all for winning with depth, but Kovalchuk would be the Bruins' answer to Crosby and Ovechkin.

The Bastahd said...

Big issue I have with those situations is the buyout... hate the idea of having such dead money on the cap going forward. Especially when Bergeron seems to be returning to form... I thought he was one of our better all-around skaters in the Carolina series.

Tom said...

I don't like the dead space either. Buying out Murray and Schaefer might have screwed us out of players these past two years. But Chiarelli hasn't shown any hesitation to do it when necessary, and Bergeron simply isn't worth $4.9m until he returns to scoring 30 a season. I like the guy and thought he was great in the second half last year, but he also had some 10-15 game scoring droughts and is one hard hit away from retirement.

Sean said...

Hejduk has a NTC and will stay in Denver; he loves Denver and met his wife there. You guys can go ahead and dream though!