Twenty-six days and counting until the NHL trade deadline, 26 more days of potential trades, and 26 more days of rumors—and oh my, does Boston love its rumors.
The big trade buzz officially hit the fan when Boston Globe writer Kevin Paul Dupont enlightened us with his take on the possibility of getting Tampa Bay Lightning’s All-Star center Vincent Lecavalier. He went on to put names like Milan Lucic, Phil Kessel, and David Krejci from the Boston Bruins in the same article, and that’s all it took.
KPD’s next hot topic, yesterday, was that the Bruins “would have great interest in ex-Hurricanes winger Erik Cole…” Players in return: Matt Hunwick and Vladimir Sobotka.
The Edmonton Journal also has the Bruins being interested in Edmonton Oilers forward Erik Cole, but in return for/interested in Hunwick, Sobotka, and now Matt Lashoff.
I really hope this is just a rumor and that these guys are just drinking too much orange Gatorade, if you catch my drift.
It’s not that these three Bruins prospects are untouchable, because they are most definitely not; it just all depends on what Boston gets back in return. And I hate to shatter the dream of the Cole fans out there, but this guy is not worth it.
The big thing nowadays is that the Bruins need a suitable replacement for forward Marco Sturm (who is out for season-ending surgery). A big forward—preferably a left-handed shot—to help on the Bruins power play (PP) would be helpful. After all, the Bruins finally scored their first power play goal (PPG) in four games during last night's win over the Ottawa Senators.
To think optimistically, the season-ending injury to Sturm does have some upside, as it frees up a small chuck of change in the salary cap.
However, Erik Cole is not the answer here. No how, no way.
Cole has some durability issues, including his time with the 2005-06 Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, where Cole appeared in just 60 regular season games. In fact, over the last three years, he’s averaged just 68 games per year. Although he has played in all 51 games this year with the Oilers, the question is when, not if, he gets injured again.
He was supposed to be the answer in Edmonton when Ryan Smyth was traded to the New York Islanders in 2007. He has not. His 22 points this season is just good enough for ninth-best on the squad.
Cole has managed to score a whopping four PPG this season with Edmonton, only fourth best on the team. Boston has six players with more and would be tied for seventh with Sturm (four PPG in 19 GP).
Erik Cole is an unrestricted free-agent at the end of this $4-million season, so there’s no chance Boston would resign him for 2009-10. GM Peter Chiarelli has said many times before, it’s all about chemistry.
The Bruins were in a similar situation last year, with goaltender Manny Fernandez and forward Patrice Bergeron both on the IR for most of the season, two enormous losses for the squad. Yet Chiarelli made just two trades after the injuries, one for backup goalie Alex Auld, and one defenseman Shane Hnidy. He didn't fill the voids, but look at what the B's still accomplished last year.
If Chiarelli is going to give up on three prospects, I highly doubt it’s going to be for a player like Erik Cole. Now, if it’s for a player like Doug Weight, then I think we got something.
We'll see what the next 26 days hold, though.