While the Boston Bruins try to find room to fit all the pieces of a Presidents’ Trophy team in for next season, Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston believes young forward Jake DeBrusk could, unfortunately, be the odd man out.
With so many big-ticket players still to be signed, most specifically blueliner Torey Krug, DeBrusk could be the piece that moves, especially after a bit of a down season. In a battle of who the B’s choose if forced to, (DeBrusk vs. Krug) the belief is that Krug gets the nod. That’s not because DeBrusk isn’t useful, — in fact, he’s extremely useful and there would be plenty of teams interested in his services — it’s simply because Boston may find Krug more central to the team’s success.
Haggerty suggests that even though his production declined a bit, DeBrusk could still command between $4.5 million and $5.5 million and with Torey Krug, Zdeno Chara, and several others to re-sign, Haggerty speculated Bruins management might have to consider moving DeBrusk. In fact, the scribe notes this might be the best time to move the forward and for the most return. Haggerty explains:
These days DeBrusk is going to command a big jump in salary to the $4.5-5-5 million average annual value and he still hasn’t quite developed into a consistently productive top-6 offensive threat on the second line. If there was a time to deal away DeBrusk in the midst of salary cap constraints, this would be the time to do it while getting back pretty close to maximum value for a young, still-developing player.
But, there’s also a chance the Bruins believe this pause could be good for DeBrusk who will have a chance for a bit of a reset. Once playoffs commence he will have a clean slate with the weight of the regular season off his shoulders. If the typical 20-goal guy can get his goal-scoring back, the Bruins may find him indispensable.
Like many teams around the NHL this offseason, the Bruins may have to make sacrifices. And, with the news that salary caps could stay low for the next three seasons, winning teams like Boston’s won’t stay together forever.