Mailbag: Sturm situation could get sticky once he’s ready

Sturm/By S. Bradley

At the risk of relishing in misery, I think it’s always more fun to do a mailbag when the Bruins aren’t playing well.

Every reader has his or her dander up and the questions become more panicked and pointed. Obviously, this edition of the mailbag has those characteristics with Boston headed into Philadelphia Wednesday having lost four of its last five games.

So, without further ado, here’s the mailbag:

PCL wrote: I know that this is just speculation and not a great source as it’s found in his “30 Thoughts” column but Elliotte Friedman has something pretty interesting at No. 6 this week: “Interesting: a few GMs are expecting to see Marco Sturm on waivers pretty soon.” I know it’s on people’s/everyone’s minds and has even been mentioned here in the comments, but what’s your thought on it?

MK: First off, Elliotte Friedman’s “30 Thoughts” column is a great source for any info. Elliotte is one of the most connected and hardest working reporters out there.

As far as Sturm’s concerned, he’s one of general manager Peter Chiarelli’s favorites and I doubt that the Bruins would risk doing this and either losing him for nothing or sending him to Providence (AHL). That being said, I would throw sentimentality out the window and do it.

If someone claims him, well you’re going to lose him as a free agent in a few months anyway. And if he clears, you send him to Providence to get up to game speed. Should you want to recall him and lose him on re-entry waivers, that half cap hit only counts for a few more months. It’s the same thing with Michael Ryder. Losing him on re-entry waivers wouldn’t do much to tie Boston’s hands, the Bruins would just have to be willing to pay the cash for a guy to go play elsewhere the season’s last few months.

Jim wrote: Do the Bruins have enough offense to be considered a championship-caliber team? If not, should they use whatever assets they currently have and “go for the gusto”? Or, should they be patient and continue to improve through drafting and player development?

MK: The Bruins are never going to challenge the Washingtons of the world for offensive supremacy, but that’s never been their goal. Considering how far they got last year with such little offense, they definitely have enough this year – when fully healthy – to get by on their goaltending and defense.

Of course, fully healthy means Marc Savard being vintage Marc Savard as a No. 1 center and everyone falling into place behind him. As we’ve seen, David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron can’t quite hold down the No. 1 center spot consistently for long periods of time. And that affects the whole lineup. The problem with shopping for offense is that the Bruins don’t have much cap room and their top need is a better defenseman. They just have to hope that Savard and Sturm can return to form when healthy and that they get enough hot streaks from Nathan Horton, Blake Wheeler, Ryder and others.

Wheeler/By S. Bradley

Steve wrote: I realize that switching up lines can help get the message across that the players need to step it up, but recently it seems like lines are changing almost game to game. How can Claude Julien expect any chemistry when guys don’t play more than two games together?

Also, is it just me or does Wheeler seem to be playing a more physical and consistent game as a center? I know as a team overloaded at that position, he probably won’t be there for long, but I would rather have Seguin at wing and Wheeler at center until Savvy comes back and Krejci is 100.

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