Rich Peverley Injury: Bruins Must Make Trade with Winger to Miss over a Month

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 04:  Rich Peverley #49 of the Boston Bruins skates during an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on January 4, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Boston Bruins winger Rich Peverley will miss four to six weeks because of an MCL sprain in his right knee, according to the team's official Twitter account.

This is a huge blow to the Bruins because they are already without winger Nathan Horton, who has missed several games recently because of a concussion and has no timetable for a return.


What does this mean?

The Bruins now must hope that forwards such as Benoit Pouliot, David Krejci, Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron, all of whom have been disappointing of late, can step up their games and help fill the void on offense created by Horton and Peverley's absence.

Peverley brings great versatility to the lineup since he can play center and on the wing, and also gives the Bruins tremendous speed on the ice.

Here are the new lines head coach Claude Julien used at Friday's morning skate in Winnipeg, via the team's Twitter account.






What's next?

The best course of action for the Bruins is to find an upgrade from outside the organization through trade. There are some quality veteran players the Bruins could target at the trade deadline, which is February 27.

Ray Whitney of the Phoenix Coyotes and Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers are two veterans Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli could acquire. Both are upcoming unrestricted free agents in the summer, and would likely be rentals since it's unlikely Boston would re-sign either of them in July.

A major move could also be made, and the superstar that seems most available is Columbus Blue Jackets star winger Rick Nash. According to CBS, the Bruins are one of five teams on Nash's list of clubs he'd waive his no-movement clause in his contract to go to.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 01:  Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets waits for a faceoff during the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on February 1, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Nash is an immense talent and is a proven 30-plus goal scorer despite playing with few talented teammates in Columbus. His salary cap hit is $7.8 million, one of the highest in the NHL, and he would cost a lot, with a package of Tuukka Rask, prospect Dougie Hamilton, and a first-round pick as a possible price. That's a lot, but it may be worth it if the Bruins offense really struggles leading up to the deadline.

The Bruins have to do something with Peverley missing over a month and with Horton possibly not returning at all this season. Chiarelli must find a top-six forward to add to the team so they can make another deep run in the playoffs and defend their Stanley Cup championship.


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Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and was the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Boston.