As the Boston Bruins sit atop the Atlantic Division, talk surrounds the team and what they’ll do. Already in the news after waiving David Backes, what the team might do as it pertains to the trade deadline will now be front-and-center news over the next few weeks.
One team the Bruins are keeping an eye on is the New York Rangers. The reason is, Boston wants the Rangers to become official sellers and team ready to move a talented winger in Chris Kreider. NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty mentions the Rangers have keyed in on Kreider as their primary target between now and the February 24.
Bruins Know Who, But How Is Still a Question
Great, the Bruins how now identified their target. Step two is how they make it work.
First, positionally, Kreider isn’t an ideal fit. As a left-winger, he’s better (and different) than some of what the Bruins currently employ but they’ll need to be some shuffling of players to fit Kreider in on the left wing where the Bruins are deep. Haggerty points out the team already has Brad Marchand, Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork, and Danton Heinen as left-wingers, meaning Bjork and Heinen might be moved over to the right side.
Second, the Bruins aren’t exactly floating in cap space. CapFriendly projects the team will have $712 in cap room. That doesn’t exactly work when you consider Kreider is being paid more than $4.6 million this season. Simple math tells us that even if the Rangers retained the maximum 50% of Kreider’s salary in trade, Boston would need to make other moves.
Of course, there are also player bonuses to factor in. Zdeno Chara has already trigger one and could trigger more if the Bruins make the playoffs. All bonuses (should the team be at or near the cap) will be carried over into 2020-21 season. Kreider virtually guarantees the Bruins start next season short-handed in terms of funds.
Finally, we have to assume the Bruins are not the only team calling about Kreider if he becomes available. One of the more popular targets for a number of teams, Boston will have to outbid four or five other franchises to secure his services. That won’t be cheap.
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