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Right Wing Option for Bruins Top Line

Although Seth Griffith has done a decent job playing on the right side of David Krejci and Milan Lucic with an impressive game Tuesday night against Minnesota, it still feels that an upgrade at the positon is necessary if the Bruins wish to regain the production lost from 30-plus goal scorer Jarome Iginla last season. Their offence to this point has been adequate, but it is clear that the Bruins are lacking the type of consistent player that should be flourishing on the top line of one of the league’s best teams.

The trade deadline is still a while away, but it is necessary to start questioning what moves will be made in the Bruins organization to address the need of a right winger to play with Krejci and Lucic. They have other options in house like high-ceiling prospect David Pastrnak, Loui Eriksson, rusty veteran Simon Gagne, and they can always stick with Griffith if he can keep gelling with Krejci and Lucic.

Ultimately, there is one trade target the Bruins should seriously be considering if they want to remain a top-tier team with a feared number one forward grouping.

The Oilers know they need to shake up their roster after another lackluster start to the 2014 campaign and the player who is drawing the most interest from teams around the league is Jordan Eberle. Eberle is a 24-year-old right winger that could provide the Bruins with a great player entering his prime. Eberle has averaged 24 goals over the last four seasons on a hapless Oilers team. It is likely that Eberle would flourish and have his play elevated skating alongside star players like Krejci and Lucic.

The fact that there will be long term security at the position for a 25-30 young goal scorer, with four years remaining in Eberle’s contract, also make this deal mightily attractive. The $6 million annual cap hit will have to be addressed but it can be absorbed if the right package is constructed.

The asking price will be high for the top-line winger. Eberle critics think that his contract is inflated and that his ceiling is no higher than a 25-goal scoring winger. Others see a player that if put in the right situation, with the right coach and system, could turn into a household name in the NHL.

A bundle with Chris Kelly and Matt Bartkowski would be a viable option for an Eberle trade to the Bruins. The shedding of Kelly’s contact would be necessary so the Bruins can absorb the cap hit for the duration of Eberle’s deal. An upper-tier prospect like Malcom Subban (who may have to be included in order to make this deal more appealing instead of Ryan Spooner or Alex Khokhlachev) will be a key to the possible trade along with an early round draft pick. This type of package is expected to be along the lines of what will be needed to land a player of Eberle’s caliber.

The Griffith bandwagon officially started on Tuesday night, but if the Bruins want to have sustainable offensive success on their top forward unit for the duration of the season it is imperative that Peter Chiarelli and the front office pull the trigger on this gutsy type of trade that they have been so reluctant to make. It’s still early, but this could end up being the move that defines the Bruins by seasons end.

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