Less than a week away from the NHL's trade deadline, the waters remain very still. However, although there hasn't been too much action early on this year, this very well could be the calm before the storm. The Boston Bruins appear to be assessing the market in hopes of making a move to aid their Stanley Cup defense this season.
This season, though, the Bruins may be better off remaining idle at the deadline. Although they hold a mere two-point lead in the Northeast division, the Bruins still hold the two-seed in the Eastern Conference and are tied with New Jersey for the second-most points in the East.
Despite some recent bumps in the road, the Bruins have top-notch goaltending between Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask. Here we will explore the top 10 reasons why the Bruins should not take the risk of making a trade at this year's trade deadline.
As clearly illustrated by their Stanley Cup victory last season, the Boston Bruins already have tons of talent on their roster. From the defense, led by captain Zdeno Chara, to the forwards like Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand, the Bruins excel in every aspect of the game.
Boston can score, hit, play defense and goaltend as well as any team in the league and they are afraid of no team. They will undoubtedly have to concede some of their premier talent to land another piece and it may not be worth it because all of these guys have come to mean so much to the team.
The city of Boston has some of the most loyal and passionate fans of any city in the country. Boston fans live and die by their teams and certainly have been known to voice their opinions. They are not shy and often let slumping players hear about their faults.
As was seen last season with the Red Sox, in particular Carl Crawford, the media and spotlight in Boston can be overpowering and affect one's performance. If the Bruins land a top-notch player at the deadline, especially one from a smaller-market team, the spotlight could be blinding.
Boston will need every ounce of effort and talent from whoever they could potentially land in a trade and if he can not adjust to the atmosphere in Boston, the Bruins could be in trouble.
The fact that the Bruins keep coming up in trade talks is worrisome. For the defending Stanley Cup champions who are second in the East to be frantically searching for a new piece would be a little rash.
Just because they don't have the most points doesn't mean they cannot become the best team heading into the playoffs. Momentum riding into the playoffs is just as, if not more, important than seeding. If the Bruins were to go out and make a trade out of fear, it could wind up hurting them in the long-run.
Boston should be focusing on playing the hockey that they are capable of because they have already shown that this team can win it all.
It is no secret that the prize of this year's deadline is Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash. Nash, 27, can throw his weight around in addition to putting the puck in the net. However, while Nash would be a great addition for any team, there is a lack of available stars this year as many teams still remain in the hunt.
Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu was supposed to be on the trade block, but reports surfaced Wednesday that he would remain with the team after agreeing to a four-year extension. With Ruutu off the market, Columbus may have been able to raise the price on the second-best talent on the market as forward Jeff Carter has also been rumored to be available.
However, after these two Blue Jackets, the market is very thin this year and the Boston Bruins may have to overspend to get a player that would not normally demand so much in return. The Bruins have a great roster already and to break it up to get a player like Nash would only be detrimental moving forward.
The Bruins have been in talks with Columbus to perhaps acquire Rick Nash, but it appears that the price may be too steep. The Blue Jackets are reportedly asking for goaltender Tuukka Rask and 2011 first-round pick Dougie Hamilton for Nash, neither of whom the Bruins are interested in dealing.
Tuukka Rask is undoubtedly the Bruins goalie of the future as Tim Thomas continues to age into his late-30s. For them to let go of a goalie of his caliber just to acquire another scoring threat would be ill-advised.
It is rare to see a defending champion in such a good position (second in the conference) with so many question marks about their chances of repeating. Although the Bruins are tied with New Jersey for the second-most points in the East, they don't have to worry about the Devils insofar as they retain their division lead since the Devils don't lead its division.
Ottawa may be two games back and riding a four-game winning streak, but the Sens have played four more games than the B's, so Boston has the games in-hand to distance themselves in the upcoming weeks.
Again, despite being seven points behind the Rangers for the top seed, Boston has the talent and experience that the Rangers lack so they shouldn't be sweating their current position in the slightest.
This year's version of the Boston Bruins is largely in part the same team that brought Lord Stanley's Cup home to Beantown a season ago. With the same leaders on the ice behind coach Claude Julien, the Bruins have long since jelled as a unit and are capable of playing some of the most complete hockey in the league.
Should the Bruins make a trade at the deadline, they would have to break up the core of the team that has already brought them to the promised land. Anyone they bring in will have to get used to playing with the existing unit and sometimes that can be difficult, such was the case with Ilya Kovalchuk last season in New Jersey.
The Bruins are starting to get bitten by the injury bug, which often creates a certain level of panic amongst fans. Recently Boston has lost forwards Rich Peverley and Nathan Horton to injury and both are expected to miss significant time.
However, both are expected to be back in time for a playoff run and they have the depth to take over. These injuries will heal and this team is more than capable of clinging to first place in the Northeast Division. The other leaders on the team will pick up the slack and the balance of the team will undoubtedly stay intact.
The Bruins currently boast a 36-20-2 record in 58 games thus far this season for a total of 74 points. However, given other statistics, the Bruins record may actually be slightly unlucky.
Boston currently ranks second in the league with 3.2 goals per game and fifth in defense at 2.3 goals per contest. For a team with a plus-60 goal differential that also ranks 13th and seventh in power play and penalty kill percentages, respectively, the Bruins could very well be a first-place team.
The system and players on the team right now are clearly getting the job done. The last thing the B's want is to disrupt this balance they have at the moment.
Clearly the Bruins have done something right. This team is virtually the same team that won the Cup last year and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Bruins have established a winning formula in Boston and the fans have really gotten behind their team.
This team can hit, it can score and it can stop the puck as well as any team in the league. However, no team puts it all together like the Bruins. This mix of players they have right now is working and they are suited to compete in the long-haul.
The Bruins may have struggled against the Rangers so far this season, but they are better suited for a long playoff run. A trade would only hinder their chances of repeating as champions, despite the notion that they may be improving. The Bruins are are still the champs and this squad will be hard to knock off.