NHL Trade Rumors: Should Bruins Trade David Krejci for a Coyotes Defenseman?
The Boston Bruins aren't a team that has to make a move for a top four defenseman this summer, but if they could add a young star like Keith Yandle of the Phoenix Coyotes to their blue line, should general manager Peter Chiarelli make a move?
Elliotte Friedman of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada wrote about the Phoenix Coyotes and David Krejci in his popular 30 Thoughts column on Wednesday.
Think the Coyotes, who are looking for offensive help, really like Boston's David Krejci. I'm not as certain the Bruins are shopping Krejci, but they are loaded down the middle -- especially as Tyler Seguin readies for an expanded role. That is probably where all the Keith Yandle rumours come from.
Should Boston trade Krejci to Phoenix for a defenseman?
Yandle, who is from Boston, could be the defenseman that helps the Bruins blue line become more productive offensively. Joe Corvo was supposed to be that guy last season, Tomas Kaberle the year before, but neither of them had much success in black and gold.
The Coyotes need more playmaking talent since Ray Whitney was lost in free agency to the Dallas Stars. Outside of captain Shane Doan, if he re-signs, the only quality top six forward that the Coyotes can rely on going into next season is Radim Vrbata, but it's unlikely he will match his 35-goal total from last season. So it's clear that Phoenix needs to make some offensive upgrades.
Krejci can be their top line center for the length of his contract (three more years), and with the Coyotes on a tight budget because of ownership issues, adding a player like Krejci who is not too expensive and under contract for three more seasons makes him an ideal fit.
If the Bruins actually want to acquire a defenseman from Phoenix in exchange for Krejci, asking for top prospect Brandon Gormley would the smartest option. Gormley is 20 years old and one of the elite prospects in hockey. In 26 games for the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL this season, Gormley scored 10 goals with 17 assists. He is a future top pairing NHL defenseman.
Gormley, Yandle, and future superstar Oliver Ekman-Larsson make up a very talented group of defensemen in the Coyotes organization, so they have enough depth to move one of those players for a young top six forward.
Yandle is the oldest of the bunch, the most expensive, and the closest to unrestricted free agency, so the Coyotes would likely offer him first in any possible trade for Krejci. Having to "settle" for Yandle isn't a bad situation at all. He excels offensively and is reliable enough in his own zone. He's become a better two-way player over the last two seasons and has one of the best shots from the point in hockey. Yandle knows the Boston area well too, so he would certainly feel comfortable living in the area.
The Bruins, if they have the opportunity, should trade Krejci for Yandle. He would be a great fit and wouldn't have trouble with the pressure of playing in a city like Boston. The Bruins build their success on strong defense, so adding a star defenseman can only help their quest for another Stanley Cup championship.
Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and has covered the team firsthand since the 2010-11 season. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston.
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