They're about the same age, with similar points totals, similar experience and similar cap hits, and by the time the 2012-13 NHL regular season begins, they both could have new zip codes.
But is it really a good idea for the Bruins to trade David Krejci in exchange for Bobby Ryan, one of the hottest names on this offseason's trade circuit?
One reporter’s opinion is obviously a far cry from the 25-year-old right winger coming to Boston. But a trade with the Anaheim Ducks for a 6-foot-2, 218-pound right wing that’s put up 136 goals and 259 points in 334 career games is the one deal that conservative GM Peter Chiarelli might not be able to say "no thanks" to.
There are several reasons this move objectively makes sense for the Bruins. This is a team that has an abundance of talented centers but is a bit thin on the wings, and despite the fact that Krejci's and Ryan's outputs have been similar, Ryan is a goal-scorer—and that, as Haggerty says, will always be considered a more valuable commodity.
Ryan wants out of Anaheim because he's tired of being the subject of abundant trade rumors each season, and if all the Bruins must give up to get him is one of their best centers and a first-round draft pick, they could be willing to do it.
But like Ryan, Krejci has struggled when he's been the subject of trade rumors. The speculation and the uncertainty has, at times, negatively impacted his performance on the ice, as evidenced by his slow start to the 2011-12 season.
After Chiarelli signed Krejci to an extension in December, Krejci told ESPNBoston.com's James Murphy:
I know that my agent and Peter talked in the summer. I didn't know what was going on but honestly it was on my mind a little bit especially when things weren't going my way at the beginning of the season. It got me thinking a lot. But then we got the deal done and I'm happy to be here for more years and now I can just focus on hockey.
A deal between the Bruins and the Ducks would likely be completed prior to the start of the season, but the fact remains that Krejci is comfortable in Boston, and the only time he becomes uncomfortable is when the trade rumors begin percolating.
There's also the fact that Krejci has become a staple of a stellar second line for the Bruins that has also featured Lucic and, at times, Nathan Horton or Rich Peverley. When that line is on, the Bruins win, plain and simple. During Boston's Stanley Cup run in 2011, Krecji, Horton and Lucic accounted for 25 goals—12 of which came from Krejci—and 28 assists for 53 points.
Krejci and Lucic are the centerpieces of that unit, and disrupting that balance by moving either of them could have enormously negative effects on this Bruins offense—even if one of them is replaced by Bobby Ryan, one of the most productive wingers reportedly on the trade market.
Krejci has been far from perfect during his career in Boston. There has perhaps been no player as streaky, no player as frustrating and no player as inconsistent. But he's been able to offset that frustration by stepping up when he needs to the most, as he did during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in '11.
Krejci is comfortable on this team, and he's become crucial to its success, finishing in the top three in points in each of the last four seasons. When he needs to be, he can be a leader, a scorer, a distributor.
He can be whatever the Bruins need him to be, and that—more than a bona fide goal scorer—should be a treasured commodity. Chiarelli shouldn't be all too eager to give that up, no matter whom he’s getting in return.