|Blount Happy to Be Back on the Field||Observations From Day Three of Patriots Training Camp||Connelly’s Top Ten: RIP Cecil the Lion||David Krejci: The Most Interesting Man on the Bruins|
The offseason is now in full gear in the hockey world and it promises to be an exciting one around the league. There are a lot of big names on the market, and although the Bruins roster is in very good shape, there is always room for improvements. Here are a few names the Bruins could be targeting this summer.
This electric winger was dealt to the LA Kings at the deadline and went on to be a key contributor on the team en route to his first Stanley Cup win. A Slovakia native, Gaborik proved his playoff prowess and clutch performance by leading all teams in goals. He will be the “belle of the ball” this offseason.
Realistically, the Bruins are tightly pressed against the cap as it is and Gaborik will command a hefty sum. But he’s exactly what the Bruins need and if some cap space can be moved around for it, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli should make a hard run at him. He’s got speed, the clutch factor, and is a natural goal scorer as much as anyone else in the league. It’s been a while since Krejci had someone like that on his line and it would certainly address our top line issue.
Cammalleri is one of those guys that everyone loves on their team. He’s versatile and can play any forward position, which is something that Claude Julien values. He’s excellent on the powerplay and can kill penalties as well. He’s still only 32, so he’s got plenty of gas left in the tank and is desperate for a Cup.
I would most likely put him on Bergeron’s line; they seem like they would just mesh well together and he will provide some scoring skill on that line. His injury risk is a concern however, as he has missed more than 15 games in four of the last five years (the exception being the lockout-shortened season.)
Although he’s not a name that’s been connected with the Bruins much, I think he’s a great match for this team and one of the more underrated in the league. He’s a responsible two-way player, likes to grind in the corners, block shots, has an offensive skill set that would surprise people, and is one of the fastest guys in hockey.
Bruins fans might remember him from the Canucks during the 2011 Finals, when Johnny Boychuk broke his back. However, he’s a great role player and can play up and down the line-up. I could see him fitting very well alongside Soderberg and Eriksson on that third line or perhaps addressing the need for more speed and skill on the fourth line with Thornton being gone.
The Bruins are pretty set at defense, but some guys may be moved around and I think Nikitin would be a great option if a roster spot opens up. He’s a reliable defenseman capable of playing top-4 minutes. At 6’4″, 215 pounds, he is a big boy who likes the play the body and he’s in his prime at 28. He’s one of those guys that you might not have even heard of, but when you seem him play you realize how good he is.
With the Bruins tight against the salary cap, they will likely look in-house for players to fill their roster and give some of the young kids a chance to earn a spot. However, They’ve been linked to more than one trade rumor already and sometimes things open up. Any one of these guys would be a great addition to a team that’s already among the best in the league. The future is bright for this Bruins squad.