When the Bruins aren’t in the Stanley Cup final, they can sometimes use the NHL’s marquee event to get a last look at a free agent or two before summer.
However, Chicago and Philadelphia — who open the 2010 Stanley Cup final at United Center Saturday night — aren’t really boasting many players the Bruins would be interested in come July 1. In fact, only Philadelphia forward Arron Asham might fit the bill as a future Bruins.
After losing to Philadelphia goaltender Michael Leighton (UFA), the Bruins might’ve considered him as someone to back up Tuukka Rask. However, Tim Thomas isn’t going anywhere now that he’s rehabbing after hip surgery.
Chicago center John Madden (UFA) is always a solid complementary player to add to a contender, but Boston is loaded at center. Madden’s teammate Ben Eager will be a restricted free agent, but offer sheets to players like that can easily be matched unless you greatly overpay.
That brings us to Asham, who could be a new dose of grit and toughness up front if the Bruins let Steve Begin and Shawn Thornton leave as free agents. Asham made just north of $600,000 last season, so he’d come relatively cheap. And unlike Begin and Thornton, he’s shown an ability to finish with at least 20 points in six of his last seven seasons, and 10 goals this season alone.
So as you watch the best-of-seven showdown these next couple of weeks, keep an eye on Asham and determine if you think he’d fit well in black and gold. The Bruins will probably be watching him as well.