With the Stanley Cup Finals just barely behind us, already we see the beginning of free agent frenzy. With a shallow free agent pool this offseason look for more trades being used as ways to make moves over testing the free agent market.
It seems that because of their No. 2 pick, Tim Thomas, and Michael Ryder, that much of the speculation so far this offseason has gravitated around the Bruins organization.
My effort here is to breakdown these early rumors and some that would need to be made earlier rather than later, if they are ever to happen. I'll also break down the trade and point out strengths and weaknesses of the rumor, and end by giving it an overall grade.
1. Nathan Horton coming to Beantown
It's been rumored for quite some time now that the Bruin's have wanted to obtain Nathan Horton, but their window is closing quickly. Florida is set on moving him, but his no trade clause kicks in July 1st, which could be the end of any kind of deal that may be in the works.
There has been no hints at who the Bruins might send back to them in return, and as most of you are thinking, no, its probably not the No. 2 pick. I'm pretty sure Chiarelli is all set on keeping that one. More realistically, we're probably more likely to see a Michael Ryder or a couple of prospects go the other way. In my opinion, the Michael Ryder option would be much more beneficial for the Bruins, dumping his way-overpaid salary and acquiring a player for about the same money, but can definitely put the puck in the net.
Many have questioned Horton's heart and work-ethic, but being put into a system much like the one Boston has in place can change a player like that. Give him a Savard or a Krecji dishing him the puck and I think we'll see a whole new Nathan Horton.
Overall Grade: B+
2. Tim "The Tool Man" Thomas leaving Boston
Rumor had it that the Blues were interested, but they are all set on Halak now, so they're out. However, there are still said to be quite a few teams interested including Philadelphia, San Jose, Washington, and Tampa Bay, so we'll see in the coming days, weeks, and months whether any of these follow through.
The upside to Washington would be the chance at making a deal to include Alexander Semin who the Capitals have been trying to shop. The asking price is said to be two high prospects and a draft pick, but maybe the Bruins could package something together with Thomas—would provide much needed relief on offense.
I loved Tim Thomas last year, nice feel-good story of a goaltender that couldn't catch a break and ends up winning the Vezina. But when he signed that long-term $5 million per season, my outlook changed so drastically. I could see a couple of seasons, one or two being ideal, but four and five became nonsense when you have Tuuka Rask waiting in the ranks for his shot.
Well Tuuka got his shot, and proved not only to be one of the best goaltenders in the League, but also that he can handle that relentless playoff atmosphere.
I could understand paying a starting goalie $5 million, but he’s no longer a starting goalie. He needs to go, and I don't even care if we don't get that much back in return because the cap space he's occupying has become even more valuable.
Overall Grade: A
3. Wheeler, Savard headed to Columbus for No. 4 pick
At first read this one upset me. I could understand some people giving up on wheeler because he doesn't have the style of play that we've learned to love in this great city. Or maybe you've given up on him because of his streaky underachieving play last season.
Whatever the reason, I'm with you, I am, but I'm still not ready to give up on such a young player with so much raw talent.
As for Savard, it would break my heart to see him go. He had a mediocre season last year, but give him a break it was injury after injury. He's the soul of our offense and we cannot so easily let him go considering how valuable his services actually are; just look at the power play numbers with and without Savard on it—that says it all.
Luckily, it doesn't make sense. With such poor offensive number the past year, you can't trade arguably your best offensive player, and another contributor for a No. 4 pick where you’re going to pick a DEFENSEMAN. If this even comes close to happening the organization should be ashamed.
Overall Grade: D-
4. Jason Spezza for the No. 2 pick
Whoever came up with this one did just that, they made it up. This would never work in any situation, especially with today’s salary cap.
That No. 2 pick has Boston fans all riled up, as it should. So if that pick were to be traded away there would be a serious riot around the organization.
But we're in luck. We can kill this rumor before it even starts. Spezza carries a cap hit of $7 million a year, one the Bruins can clearly not afford to take on right now. And if he was traded straight up for the pick Boston would not be unloading and cap space in the process, making this trade nearly impossible unless they intend on dumping some serious salaries.
Overall Grade: D+
Bruin’s fans have a lot to be excited about this off-season, and with these rumors heating up in this magnitude you have to feel that there are big-time moves coming in the near future.
But in any case, the future is looking very bright in Boston.