Bruins’ Chiarelli should center his focus on Senators’ Fisher

The Senators aren’t going to part with Fisher cheaply. They’d probably want two prospects and a high draft pick, or two picks and one prospect. Heck, Hamill could already be auditioning for the Sens and the rest of the league. With the window for the Bruins to make a Cup run while many of their players are peaking and other teams are dealing with their own questions marks (Philadelphia’s goaltender) and injuries (Pittsburgh’s missing centermen — Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin), Boston has to consider trading any of the draft picks they own for next season other than Toronto’s first-rounder, and maybe even a prospect they’re high on. Guys like Joe Colborne, Ryan Spooner, Jared Knight and Max Sauve have been impressive at their individual levels of development, but the Bruins have to start think more of the here and now rather than 2013.

While it might seem like overkill to have Fisher signed beyond this season, think about the Bruins if Savard doesn’t come back. Or maybe Savard returns, and suddenly you have a glut of centerman. At least the Bruins can say they took their best shot to win in ’11 and then just make a trade in the fall to clear the pile-up at the position.

Even if Fisher were married to Joan Rivers, pursuing his services would be more than worth it for Boston’s title chances. That he would come to Boston with a wife who almost automatically takes over as the town’s best-looking babe is just another perk of the trade.

For everything he could do to help the Bruins this season and beyond, on and off the ice, Mike Fisher should be the team’s target No. 1.

Here’s a look at some other centers skating for teams that should be sellers between now and the trade deadline:

Chris Kelly, Ottawa

$2.125 cap hit this year & next

The consolation prize if you can’t land Fisher, Kelly doesn’t have as much offensive upside (or bring as great a spouse). However, he’s a responsible defensive player with a solid work ethic.

Jason Arnott, New Jersey

$4.5 cap hit, UFA this summer

The veteran has dealt with his share of injuries the last several years and his production has dropped off. But he has won a Stanley Cup and would add the size Boston’s missing down the middle (he’s 6-foot-5, 220 pounds).

Stephen Weiss, Florida

$3.1 million cap hit, plus two more seasons

Would a reunion with his old Florida running mate inspire Nathan Horton? The Bruins might be willing to find out. Panthers general manager Dale Talllon strikes a hard bargain though, and he might be looking at Weiss as a guy he’s going to continue his rebuild around.

Brad Richards, Dallas

$7.8 million cap hit, UFA this summer

This is the guy that would take the most to acquire, and I’m talking the Stars would ask for a David Krejci or Tyler Seguin in return — and that defeats the purpose of trading for a center, especially one that’s a free agent after this season. The longer the Stars stay near the top of the West, they less likely they are to move Richards anyway.

Tim Connolly, Buffalo

$4.5 million cap hit, UFA this summer

Everything Fisher is, Connolly isn’t. He’s always been a crafty playmaker and solid power-play producer when healthy. He’s probably too soft and deficient defensively to fit into the Bruins’ lineup, especially considering what Buffalo would ask for in return.

Click Here

Page 2 of 2 | Previous page