You don’t have to live within the Bay State to cook up some ridiculous ideas for Bruins trade rumors as the April 3 trade deadline approaches in the NHL.
As far as Edmonton, people are throwing crazy ideas at the wall for general manager Peter Chiarelli to either consider or laugh about.
The latest one comes from the Edmonton Journal, where David Staples this week pondered what the Bruins might do to add the skill and $5 million cap hit for one more year beyond this season of 29-year-old Ales Hemsky.
There’s no doubt that if a player with Hemsky’s capabilities comes available the Bruins, with their middling power play and roller-coaster offense, have to consider whether the player is a fit. I haven’t watched enough of Hemsky to advance a rock-solid opinion on him as a player. I just know that when the Oilers signed Hemsky to that $5 million contract, the scoffs could be heard across North America with the volume of a jet engine.
The biggest obstacle to acquiring a player like Hemsky, if the Bruins were so inclined, is the need to move off salary from next year’s roster in order to be in compliance with next year’s lower salary cap. The idea advanced by Staples that Nathan Horton would be an asset the Bruins could exchange, either in a straight trade or a sign and trade, is a fantasy. Horton has a no-trade clause, and considering how much he loves Boston he’s unlikely to agree to leave here on his own accord any time soon. That his contract expires at the end of this season also does nothing to help the Bruins with their 2013-14 cap if they’re taking on Hemsky’s deal.
As far as trading Johnny Boychuk, I would’ve called this a possibility, for the right player, around a month ago. But with Adam McQuaid down at least for the rest of the regular season, and Boychuk’s recent injury showing just how fragile Boston’s defense corps can be, dealing a top-four blueliner would weaken the team as much, if not more, than adding a star forward would strengthen it. I doubt Chiarelli envisions his team making a Stanley Cup run with Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug on the back end at the same time. The Bruins would have to swing a similar deal to make up the deficiency on D. Considering Chiarelli’s revelation that making deals this season is the hardest its been during his time on the job, it’s doubtful they’d be able to accomplish that amount of wheeling and dealing and be improved.
I know it’s the “silly season” in the NHL (until Wednesday) and I’m not going to use this blog to shoot down every “rumor” out there, but in this case the notion that the Bruins would trade Horton and/or Boychuk to add a player like Hemsky was worth devoting a few hundred words. If the Bruins do acquire Hemsky, it’s highly doubtful either of those core players would be going the other way.