The Bruins are sitting pretty atop the Eastern Conference as the March 4 trade deadline looms. While they have a great team with even better chemistry, injuries are, as usual, causing an issue; Marco Sturm is out for the year and nagging injuries have kept Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic out for a few weeks.
With the deadline two weeks away, there have been a few rumors floating around as to which way the Bruins may be moving.
One rumor has Oilers LW Erik Cole coming to Boston, while the Bruins ship young F Vladimir Sobotka and D Matt Lashoff to Edmonton. This is a smart trade for both teams.
As of late, the Bruins have lost a few high-scoring contests, but as the saying goes, "The best defense is a good offense." With a new, high-powered forward to throw in the mix, the Bruins could be a goal scoring force in the conference.
Cole would also help with playoff experience, and with a young squad, that is an important stat that you won't find anywhere on the stat sheets.
However, he will be a free agent when the July 1 signing period begins, so look for the Bruins to be cautious with this trade because they do not want to return to the days of trading young talent for a rental player (i.e. the Joe Thornton Trade).
For Edmonton, this trade makes sense as well, because Cole has said he is not happy in Edmonton, and most likely he will not re-sign with the team. Getting two young players who have produced for one of the best teams in the NHL is something that any GM would jump at.
Cole has had a somewhat slow year, and with getting two players who are cheap, under contract, and had experience at the professional level, the Oilers are most likely the team that will want to get this trade completed.
These players may cost a little more talent from the Bruins if they are to get them, and that is something that the Bruins are not willing to part with. Rumors of higher talent have included Lucic, David Krejci, and Phil Kessel, and while Krejci's contract is up after this season, he has produced to the point where the Bruins are going to want to bring him back.
Whether the Bruins make a trade or two, or stand pat, they will want to look out for teams like Washington and New Jersey—who gets Brodeur back within a few days.
Regardless, the Bruin's are still the team to beat in the East, and with the team they have now—a perfect balance between youth and leadership—even if they do not make a move before March 4, they will be fierce competitors in the playoffs and will look to bring a trophy or two back to Boston.