NHL Trade Speculation: Daniel Alfredsson Would Give Bruins Depth for Playoffs
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The Boston Bruins should add one more veteran forward to their roster to make sure the team has enough scoring depth for another Stanley Cup run.
Boston's scoring output hasn't been as impressive as it was last season, and there aren't any top-tier prospects in the AHL for the team to call up who are capable of contributing offensively in the playoffs if any of the Bruins' top-six forwards suffer a serious injury after the trade deadline.
Could Alfredsson be enticed to leave his one and only NHL club to take a shot at a first-ever Stanley Cup?
One team that I believe will show serious interest in Alfredsson, if and when the time is right, is the powerhouse Boston Bruins. With the trade of Tim Thomas’ contract, the B’s have lots of cap room to add pieces before the April 3 trade deadline.
The connections, of course, are obvious: GM Peter Chiarelli used to work in Ottawa’s front office and B’s captain Zdeno Chara is a former teammate of Alfredsson's. If there’s one team that could entice Alfredsson, I’m not sure there’s a better fit than Boston.
Alfredsson would be an ideal forward for the Bruins' third line, where former Senators teammate Chris Kelly plays center. Kelly and Alfredsson were together in Ottawa for five-and-a-half seasons before the 32-year-old Kelly was dealt to Boston at the trade deadline during the 2010-11 season.
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The Senators forward would add some toughness, leadership and offensive skill to the Bruins lineup, which are three qualities that most teams will be looking for at the trade deadline.
Even at age 40, Alfredsson is still a reliable offensive player. The Senators forward has scored 20 or more goals in 10 straight seasons in which he's played 57-plus games.
His power-play ability would be a valuable addition to the Bruins. Alfredsson has five power-play points (one goal, four assists) in 16 games this season.
Tyler Seguin is the only Bruins player with more than two points on the power play, so it's no surprise that Boston's power play is the fourth-worst in the league.
Affording Alfredsson won't be an issue for Boston. Per Capgeek, the Bruins have just over $8 million in cap space, which is more than enough to take on Alfredsson's $4.875 million cap hit, in addition to his $1 million pro-rated salary for the 2012-13 season.
If Marc Savard goes on the long-term injury reserve list, Chiarelli will have an additional $4 million of cap space to work with.
The Bruins wouldn't have to commit any salary beyond this season to Alfredsson since he's in the final year of his contract, which is ideal since Boston has a few key players who will need new contracts this summer, including No. 1 goaltender Tuukka Rask.
What would be the asking price for a player like Alfredsson? A first-round pick and a mid-level defensive prospect such as Torey Krug, David Warsofsky or Matt Grzelcyk would likely be enough to make a deal.
Ottawa has impressive depth and talent throughout its organization at all three forward positions, so acquiring a quality young defenseman would be a wise move for the Senators if they become sellers at the trade deadline.
Who would be a better addition to the Bruins?
Just like Calgary Flames star Jarome Iginla, Alfredsson is nearing the end of his career without a Stanley Cup ring, but his loyalty to the Senators is part of what makes him a well-liked and respected player around the league.
His desire and determination to win the Stanley Cup for the first time would give the Bruins something extra special to play for, which would be an exciting situation for a roster with only a few players that haven't experienced winning a championship.
Alfredsson is the perfect "rental" for the Bruins to add to their roster ahead of the playoffs this season.
Nicholas Goss is an NHL Lead Writer at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter. He was a credentialed reporter at the 2011 Stanley Cup Final and 2012 NHL playoffs in Boston. Nick has also covered the Bruins since the 2010-11 season.
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