Mailbag answers: Part II

Lucic/By S. Bradley

I never expected the reception my request for mailbag questions received this week. There were so many, that I had to break up the mailbag into two parts – and I probably won’t get to a few of the questions.

How very Bill Simmons of me.

Anyway, coming on the heels of yesterday’s Part I of the mailbag, here’s Part II:

Ben writes:

It looks as though the Bruins lack scoring/depth at LW (at least with Sturm out). Do you see Chiarelli looking at adding a LW or LW prospect via a trade? Or do you think that Seguin and Colborne at the LW position will be enough to satisfy the Bruins need as a team for more scoring as well as them getting NHL experience?

MK: Ben, I don’t really see the Bruins’ depth at LW as that much of a problem. Even without Sturm, they have Lucic, Recchi (who can play both wings), Paille and Wheeler, who has played more LW than RW in the NHL. You add in Colborne and fellow prospects Marchand and Sauve, and you might have enough to get by. As a right shot, Seguin would probably play on the right side. As a team overall, the Bruins should have more offense than last year now that Horton’s around. Of course, if that will be enough offense for them to win the division, or go deep in the playoffs, remains to be seen.

Just for kicks, here’s a little line chart I came up with:

Lucic-Savard-Horton

Recchi-Bergeron-Seguin

Wheeler-Krejci-Ryder

Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Horton and Seguin might be swappable, or you could give Ryder a chance to resurrect his game alongside Savard.

Matt writes:

Is it a foregone conclusion at this point that Ryder will play his last season with the Bruins in Providence? It seems to me to be a stupid idea to trade Savard or Thomas simply to clear space when both have value on the varsity roster. We don’t know what we will get from Rask and this team needs Savard’s abilities, even with his passive play. This is a no-brainer to me. Ryder to Providence.

MK: If comments on this blog and others are any indication, the gas money and rent it would take to make Ryder a member of the P-Bruins would easily be raised from a collection can passed among Bruins fans. Obviously, this is an option the Bruins are looking at or they would’ve shipped out Savard, Thomas or Wheeler already and been done with it. With the 10-percent offseason cushion and $3.5 million LTIR allowance from Sturm’s injury at his disposal, Chiarelli is obviously playing his cards close to the vest and trying to see how things play out.

There’s obviously hope from the Bruins’ brass and coaches that Ryder, playing for another contract and under Julien (his so-called button-pusher), will find his game again. The competition from younger players should also do something to fire up Ryder. If it doesn’t, then Chiarelli can revisit the trade market or get permission to pay him $4 million to play down on the farm. I also still wouldn’t rule out a buyout once Wheeler’s arbitration situation is settled.

Jim Turcotte writes:

Is including Hamill enough of an incentive to get another team to take on Ryder’s expiring contract?

MK: Following up on the previous answer, the Bruins have plenty of prospects and picks to use as deal-sweeteners. But do they really want to do that if they don’t have to? Hamill is the type of player that could continue to develop at Providence and emerge as a third-line center, at least, by next season. He’s still young and the Bruins knew he would be a bit of a project when they drafted him. Those picks they have from Toronto and their own picks could also make a team think about taking Ryder on. Of course, Chiarelli might be wisest to let Ryder play some preseason games, let other teams assess their needs and then try to make a deal that doesn’t hurt the prospect pool or draft pick collection.

Anthony Amico writes:

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