Ranking the Biggest Needs of the Boston Bruins at the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline
Two seasons after reeling in Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly late in the season en route to a championship, GM Peter Chiarelli will spend plenty of time on the phone over the next few days looking for a spark plug to jump start his slumping team.
Here is a look at some of the needs Chiarelli will look to address.
4. Defensive Depth
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As the season drags on, the durability of the Bruins' veteran defensive corps will continue to be tested. As a result, an extra defender could be necessary.
Matt Bartkowski filled in nicely during Johnny Boychuk's recent absence, but a veteran presence with more offensive upside could make a bigger impact.
One option to fill this role is Boston-native Ryan Whitney. The former Boston University captain has struggled to fit in with the Edmonton Oilers this season, but the experienced Whitney could benefit from a change of scenery.
He has 10 points in 26 games this season, with six assists on the power play. Like winger Jay Pandolfo, Whitney skated with a number of Bruins players during the lockout and could fit right in if a deal could be struck.
3. An Offensive Defenseman
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Though the Bruins are fairly solid at the back end, they could use more punch on the offensive blue line.
Dougie Hamilton has elite upside, but he lacks the maturity to be a true power-play force just yet. A veteran power-play quarterback could take a lot of pressure off of Zdeno Chara and company.
The 36-year-old Dan Boyle could be a perfect fit for the Bruins as the playoffs draw near. Boyle has 16 points in 32 games this season, with four goals and six assists coming on the man advantage. He's no slouch in his own zone either. The question is whether or not San Jose is open to trading its big-money blueliner.
Calgary's Jay Bouwmeester could also earn consideration, but the Bruins might be priced out of the sweepstakes as Calgary pursues some serious value.
2. Bottom-Six Scoring
Dallas' Derek Roy
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Boston's third- and fourth-line forwards have contributed a disappointing total of just 18 goals this season, compared to 57 from the scoring trios. Just one year after boasting elite depth scoring, the Bruins sorely need a boost on their third line.
With Chris Kelly out indefinitely after a 20-goal campaign last season, the Bruins will need to consider some options to help them maintain an offensive threat while rolling four lines.
Edmonton's Ales Hemsky could be a high-end option, especially if he could be packaged with teammate Ryan Whitney.
The Dallas Stars may also be willing to part with reliable center Derek Roy. Roy is a top-six talent who could allow Rich Peverley to move back to the right wing and reestablish Boston's depth down the middle.
A cheaper but much riskier alternative could be San Jose's Ryane Clowe, who has struggled mightily this year with just 11 assists and a goose egg in the goal column. Nonetheless, Clowe could add grit if scoring is too hard to come by in a seller's market.
1. A Top-Six Forward
Dallas' Jaromir Jagr
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The obvious way to find offense is to pursue a star capable of regularly bulging the back of the net.
After missing out on Jarome Iginla, the Bruins will have a hard time looking for an elite forward, but that doesn't mean a blockbuster deal is out of the question.
Martin St. Louis would be a tremendous acquisition, as the ageless wonder continues to put up points in bunches, but Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman is reluctant to sell his aging superstar, according to ESPN. Despite Yzerman's public opposition to a deal, surprises are always possible at the trade deadline.
Another name to watch is Jaromir Jagr. The legendary winger has 14 goals and 12 assists for the Dallas Stars this season, with six of his goals coming on the power play.
The aging Jagr is now two decades removed from a pair of Stanley Cups, but perhaps he could cap off his career with a third in Boston.