All Smoke And No Fire

All Smoke And No Fire

The 2020 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone with no significant moves for the Boston Bruins. In the days and weeks leading up to the draft, there was no shortage of speculation. We heard Krug’s rights could be moved per yahoo sports. Then we heard Jake Debrusk was being shopped for a first-round pick from Boston Hockey Now. We even saw rumors starting to swirl around Rask and Carlo during the firestorm. The Bruins have been connected to everyone and half the roster seemingly has had a trade rumor connected to them. If history has shown us anything it’s all this noise should have meant nothing was coming. However, with management comments after the early playoff exit, we all expected moves to be made and significant ones at that.

Why A Move Makes Sense

With the COVID cap crunch affecting the majority of the league, this was a chance for a team like Boston to flex its financial might. A big market team with some cap room and the knowledge they would be making money when the league was back to normal. That is the type of team that could take advantage of a cap-strapped team. The team’s across the league are trying to cut salary and players that normally wouldn’t be available are. Even stepping away from the Bruins the league as a whole has not seen a real significant move. Outside of a strange overpay by Montreal for Josh Anderson that sent Domi and a third-round pick to Columbus. Then the Matt Murray trade that sent him to Ottawa for the 52nd pick and a prospect it’s been very quiet.

Could the very thing we all thought would cause these crazy trades, COVID, actually be preventing them? In a post-first-round interview, Sweeney mentioned the added difficulty a remote draft might have contributed to making a trade. Instead of all being on the draft floor or just calling another draft table it’s all over other technology. Sweeney also mentioned other team’s being concerned with the costs of acquiring players for their picks. With the Boston Bruins’ main trade assets being Debrusk an RFA Krug and his UFA negotiation rights and Rask with a 7 million dollar cap hit, it’s easy to see how cash-poor teams would be reluctant to make a move. The Bruins did make one trade sending their 7th round pick to the Leafs for a 7th round pick in next year’s draft.

Still To Come

While it’s been quite so far the offseason is just getting underway. The OEL trade is still possible with the deadline fast approaching. If the Boston Bruins fail to come to terms with Krug look for a quick move to get OEL as his replacement. With Arizona no longer able to get a 2020 first-round pick that can only help the Bruins trade offer. Another potential move that could still happen is the Bjork for Chiasson swap we reported on some time ago.

The return of Jesse Puljujarvi now gives the Oilers an imbalance of right vs left-wingers. His return now allows a right-wing like Chiasson to be moved to address the weakness on the left side. Finally, we still have the start of free agency. Possibly the craziest time during every NHL offseason. The start of free agency could see the Bruins add some players making current roster players expendable in a trade to teams who missed out. The Bruins have a great shot at landing someone who immediately makes the team better.

Final Thoughts

While we might all be feeling a little frustrated now there is still plenty of time. We were all hoping for a big move at the draft but it’s unlikely any player picked would have made an immediate impact on the team. Sweeney still has plenty of options to improve this team. With teams still looking to cut salary trades are still out there. Even the buyout bargain bin could provide a cheap addition that provides some value. With that in mind let’s all take a deep breath because the offseason is just beginning. Until next time stay safe out there and LET’S GO BRUINS!!

Featured image courtesy of Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff.

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