The tweets come in by the dozen every day.
Bruins fans constantly want to know about the odds of their team coming up with a trade for either Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester or Phoenix’s Keith Yandle. It seems the hunt for a puck-moving defenseman never ends, and with the trade deadline coming up Wednesday it only figures to heat up.
Well, both these players are at two extremely different points of their career. Here’s my capsule reasoning why I don’t think we’re likely to see either player in black and gold in the near future. Maybe that will reduce the tweets to a more manageable level.
At 29, it’s too early to call Bouwmeester washed up. But in my casual, occasional opportunities to see him play, I’ve been less than impressed at his performance as a “puck-moving” defenseman. If possible, it seems Calgary has done more to hurt his development than Florida did.
His 6-9-15 totals are pretty decent through 33 games this season. In 82 games last season, he put up just 5-24-29 totals. He hasn’t missed a game in ages, which is either a credit to his durability or a statement on his willingness to pay the price.
Regardless of your opinion of Bouwmeester’s play, the veteran carries a cap hit of $6.68 million for this season and next. Many have offered the idea that the Bruins pick him up for this season and if things don’t work out use the amnesty buyout. Well, have you have known Jeremy Jacobs, or any multi-millionaire to pay someone $2.2 million to go away? That’s not a move anyone should endorse.
Bouwmeester might be an upgrade on the back end, but his price tag probably means neither the Bruins nor any team will take him off the Flames’ hands.
At 26 years old and signed through 2015-16 at a cap hit of $5.25 million, Yandle is a cornerstone player, and would be on any team. The thinking is that the Coyotes, who are quickly sliding from contention, will be doing more moving out of Phoenix than into the playoffs in the near future, and might be willing to part with a piece that could help them build for the future. Well, if the Coyotes are going to be sold and have their situation improved, they’re going to need an attractive product. Yandle will most likely be part of that product.
Even if Phoenix was entertaining offers, the Bruins really couldn’t get into the bidding in-season. First there’s the commitment to Yandle’s cap number for several years. Second, there’s what the Coyotes would want in return. They’d need at least one proven NHL scorer, and then prospects and picks. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli is not trading a core player at this stage of the shortened season. David Krejci, Milan Lucic or Brad Marchand would have to be in the picture. In the offseason, the Bruins can ponder such franchise-changing maneuvers. While trying to improve for a stretch run, they’re not even going to consider this.
So there you have it. The likes of Edmonton’s Ryan Whitney is probably the best the Bruins will be able to do in terms of a back-line upgrade in 2013. Whether that will better the Bruins’ Stanley Cup aspirations is arguable, but it would definitely be better than remaking the look of the team on the fly with just 15 games remaining.