Milan Lucic/By S. Bradley

Milan Lucic/By S. Bradley

With names like Milan Lucic and Jordan Eberle floating around the Twitterverse and other hosts of NHL trade rumors, it’s worth starting to read published reports closely to discern what might be legitimate and what might be laughable.

One of my favorite chuckle-inducing lines Friday morning was in a piece written by someone trying to sound like an authority on who the Bruins and Edmonton Oilers could be talking about swapping. After naming a bunch of players without ever using the terms “no-trade clause” or “salary cap” in the story, the writer sums up what it’d take for the Bruins to land a high-end talent like Eberle thusly: “… and whatever draft pick package is needed to make it happen.”

This is the trade-rumor monger equivalent of yada, yada, yada. It says I’m just throwing things against the wall and the Bruins should make this trade regardless of what it takes because it’ll make me right. It also shows no vision for what the Bruins will look like in the future or any familiarity with the Bruins’ roster or how general manager Peter Chiarelli conducts his business. But stories like that generate page views (or so they say) and earn Twitter followers. Hip, hip hooray.

I could sit here and play fantasy GM and make up a bunch of trades that might work between Boston and Edmonton. I could also include Chicago, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Buffalo in the deals because Chiarelli was seen scouting those teams this week. But I don’t play fantasy hockey and I don’t live in a fantasy world.

Here are just some facts about Lucic, Eberle and some other random thoughts (my personal yada, yada, yada).

On Lucic

First of all, according to CapGeek.com Lucic has a modified no-trade clause. This usually means a list of teams the player is willing to go to must be submitted by a certain time. Does anyone think Lucic has Edmonton on his list?

Lucic is signed for just one more season beyond this year at the inflated cap hit of $6 million. If the Bruins want to retain him, they’re going to be in the unenviable position of continuing to overpay him or asking him to take a pay cut. Lucic is an excellent player that has a way of changing games with methods other than producing points, sometimes. He’s inconsistent and doesn’t have the scoring touch that typically earns a payday like the one Lucic hit a few years ago and will be seeking down the road. You know what players have similar cap hits to Lucic? Patrick Sharp, Henrik Zetterberg, Matt Duchene, Taylor Hall and, oh year, that Tyler Seguin guy. Lucic is not in the same class as a game-breaker as these players. But he’ll argue that he is in negotiations, and some in the Bruins front office might even agree with him because they’re in love with all that “big, bad” stuff that won them the Stanley Cup once in the past 42 years.

Any team that acquires Lucic will be in the same predicament. A team like Edmonton, with nearly a decade of losing at its back, would have to also convince Lucic to stay once they relinquish a player of Eberle’s caliber for Lucic. He’s almost a rental, and in fact would probably be more appealing to a team looking to add him to their mix without breaking up what they already have.

On Eberle

He makes the same $6 million that Lucic makes. Clearly Eberle deserves it more. If he’s willing to round out his game and play both ways — and people I trust tell me he would — he’d be a great fit for the Bruins and be the scorer they’re lacking. But he is signed for four more years at that $6 million. Dealing Lucic for him evens out the salary cap charge for this year and next. But what about beyond the 2015-16 season? The Bruins still want to retain Torey Krug, Reilly Smith, Dougie Hamilton and others for the foreseeable future. Depending on what happens with David Pastrnak, his contract could come up sooner rather than later. Let’s say you trade Smith instead of Lucic. Then you’re in a tighter position against the salary cap, which some are saying isn’t going to increase as much as many GMs previously hoped.

The bottom line is, the Bruins need to put together a package to get Eberle if he’s the player they’re determined to acquire. The Oilers want goaltending help. Well if the Bruins deal Niklas Svedberg, that leaves Malcolm Subban as the backup before he’s ready. Subban might not have the same value to Edmonton as the more seasoned Svedberg. The Oilers want a second-line center. Sorry to tell you, Chris Kelly is not a second-line center. And he has a no-trade clause too. Edmonton is not looking to burn down its whole roster to make the Bruins championship contenders. And in the Bruins’ salary-cap position, they’re unable to just take on the Oilers’ high-priced talent without making a difficult decision about breaking up their own core. Then the Bruins would have to convince a player with a NTC to move to Edmonton. Good luck with that.

None of this is to say an Eberle trade can never happen. A third team could get involved. The Oilers could get desperate. Many things could happen. But there are a lot more obstacles to getting a trade done than just picking out which players the Bruins are willing to cast off and then just putting together that package of draft picks.

Random thoughts

Simon Gagne

Simon Gagne

♦Neither Seth Griffith or Matt Fraser is going to make or break the Bruins season. But the notion that Fraser has earned a consistent spot in the lineup instead of Griffith is ridiculous. Both players have faults in their game and Griffith, as coach Claude Julien pointed out Thursday, is maybe one year ahead of schedule in terms of his NHL arrival. However, Griffith managed to score five goals in his limited time in the lineup. The more Fraser plays, the more his flaws come out. If the Bruins want to give both players a legitimate chance, at the very least Julien should rotate them in and out of the lineup. When the Bruins get back from their road trip, one or both should be assigned to Providence for more experience. Or, heaven forbid, both should be in the NHL lineup instead of Simon Gagne. The veteran forward scored a goal on the road trip, so it seems like he’s bought himself another three weeks of terrible possession numbers and a lot of zone-start sheltering. Other than the goal he scored in Anaheim, which any player on Providence could’ve scored with just a little net drive, Gagne has brought nothing to the Bruins. Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille have at least shown signs that they can skate again after a terrible start to the year. Adding some youth to their line might make it the slightest bit more productive, which is important now that it is ostensibly a third line.

♦I wrote a little about the misuse of Pastrnak in my CBS Boston column today. But now there are two things that make me want to bang my head against the wall. The first is that Pastrnak skated on that line with Kelly and Fraser, which was basically the fourth line, just a week after Julien said Pastrnak can’t be successful on a fourth line. Then there are reports in the local media about how Pastrnak said he likes getting hit and that he enjoyed getting pulverized in the game against the Los Angeles Kings. Pastrnak even went as far as to say he thrives on getting nailed.

I applaud Pastrnak’s courage and his determination to do what it takes to stay in the NHL. On the one hand it’s a breath of fresh air considering the lack of guts on some of the Bruins’ skilled players in recent years. On the other hand, though, you have to hope someone is teaching Pastrnak a thing or two about eluding big checks. He’s still just 18 and about 170 pounds. He has a bright future ahead and talking about enjoying getting hit and using the hits as a spark sounds more like a recipe for separated shoulders, damaged hips and (cross your fingers) concussions. It’s one thing to go into the corner and brave a battle to win the puck. It’s another to skate around loose as a goose and let guys cold cock you to make a play. The Bruins better get it through the young man’s skull that it’s better to not be hit than it is to be hit.

By the way, Pastrnak is on the preliminary list for the Czech Republic’s World Junior Championship roster. Now that might be a place for him to hone his skills if Boston is just going to throw him on a line with Kelly and Fraser.