The Boston Bruins find themselves in a tough situation right now. They are losers of three straight and are one of the most injury riddled teams in the NHL. To make matters worse, of the four players who are injured, Patrice Bergeron is leading the team in points, Mark Stuart is one of their better defense man, and Marc Savard is one of the best play makers they have.
The NHL trade deadline is just over a month-and-a-half away. The deadline this year is March 3, 2010, just a couple of weeks after the end of the winter Olympics. With the league having to take a couple of weeks off for the Olympics, this makes it even more difficult to get a deal done, as most teams will be worried about making deals happen before the Olympics began.
This is where the big question arises for the Bruins. Should they become buyers or sellers at the deadline, or should they just stand pat?
In the past couple of years since Peter Chiarelli has taken over as general manager of the Bruins, they have mostly stood pat at the deadline, and if they have made a deal or two, it hasn't been anything big.
In 2007 the Bruins were on the cusp of the playoffs as the deadline rolled around. There were a lot of people out there saying the Bruins should make a move so they could propel themselves into the playoffs, but instead Chiarelli decided to do nothing. He said that he felt this team could win with the guys they had now.
The team took it as a rally cry of sorts, feeling that Chiarelli thought the Bruins didn't need another player to make them a playoff team. The Bruins did just that, as they squeezed into the playoffs as the eight seed and took the top seeded Canadiens to a seventh game before being knocked out.
Last year the team wasn't in as much trouble as the year before. They had been tearing the league up for the most part, sitting in first in the Eastern Conference. They had been struggling, however, for the past month or so, and it looked like they might make a move or two.
The move they did make didn't seem like it was going to be that big. They acquired journeyman Mark Recchi from the Tampa Bay Lightning. At the time I was skeptical given Rechhi's age, thinking he didn't have much left in the tank. Well he proved me wrong big time.
Recchi made an immediate impact. In the final 18 regular season games he played, he finished with ten goals and six assists. He played in all 11 playoff games and had three goals and three assists.
Now to this year. The Bruins are back to a situation like 2007. They have been struggling lately but know once they get their injured players back, they should be much better. But that still won't be guaranteed, and management knows that.
The Bruins will be buyers when the trade deadline rolls around. The thing they have to look for the most is a goal scorer. The one thing the Bruins have struggled with all season long is putting pucks in the back of the net.
The defense for the most part has been solid and is the reason the Bruins are where they are right now. If they can go out and get a goal scorer, it could be just what they needed and could help propel them up the standings.
Ilya Kovalchuk's name has been thrown around a lot lately, as he is in his last year with the Atlanta Thrashers. Kovalchuk would be a great addition to the Bruins, and with Savard being able to feed him the puck, god only knows how many goals he could put up.
The Bruins most likely won't go after him, though, since they would need to sign him to a new deal in the offseason, and Kovalchuk wants $10 million a year. The B's simply don't have enough money for that kind of move, and I don't think they want just a rental player.
If they don't end up going after Kovalchuk, expect them to look for another goal scorer and one that they would be able to sign in the offseason. No matter what, this is an exciting time to be a Bruins fan, and I will have my eye on the computer intently on March 3 waiting to see what the Bruins end up doing.