Loui, Loui…

…as in Loui Eriksson…as of 3:00 pm tomorrow, hopefully to be called “ex-Bruin” Loui Eriksson.  Not that I hate Loui.  But it’s time to go.

I have been cringing over the past week every time I heard reports of the Bruins negotiating an extension with Loui.  Hearing figures like 6 years, 36 million being thrown around.  WHAT??!!  IT’S LOUI ERIKSSON!!  Yeah, he makes 4 and a quarter mil now.  I suppose at least 5 mil is on the docket for him next.  But hopefully not here.  He’ll be 31 this summer.  Nice player.  But those numbers I couldn’t swallow for him going forward.  Spend it on someone else, I say.

So it’s pretty clear I think the B’s should deal Loui.  But you may ask, “are you giving up on this season when you suggest trading one of the teams’ best offensive players?”.  Glad you did ask.  And the answer is:  YES.

Well, it’s not really giving up on the season as much as it is that I do not believe this team has a realistic shot at winning the Stanley Cup.  You may respond, “well, they are only 4 points out of the division lead and no one other than Washington in the East has really, truly impressed.”.  And I would say, sure that’s what it looks like on paper.  But look at the facts.  They often get walloped by playoff caliber teams.  They cannot win at home.  Their defense is a sieve.  And so on.

Let’s face it, this team needs some work.  The rebuild started last year, presumably with the canning of Peter “no-movement clause” Chiarelli and the hiring of Don Sweeney as GM.  Then the Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton trades, the Matt Belesky signing, the 3 first round picks and all that.  It needs to continue now.  No one says they have to go to the bottom.  But they can’t stand pat either.

What would I do?  Once again, glad you asked:

*Shop Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask.  These guys are likely not going anywhere, simply because of whatever “no movement” clauses Chiarelli gave them.  I’ve actually been on the “trade Z” bandwagon for a couple of years now.  Again, not because I don’t like the player.  Or because he is done.  But his value was going to continue to decrease, especially now that he is about to turn 39.  And the fact that Claude plays him waaaaaay too much, especially in meaningless situations.  Then he is worn down by the playoffs.  Z absolutely still has value, just not here.  He would have value by being dealt.  And please spare me the “oh, he can stay here and mentor young players like Zach Trotman, Joe Morrow and Colin Miller” crap.  That would be nice, but I would prefer he leave and then have those 3 play 20 minutes a night the last 19 games of this year.  You know, to see if they are actually real NHL players.  But that’s me…

Rask is a good goalie in my eyes, not great.  Certainly not a 7 million dollar a year goalie for sure.  Then again, I wouldn’t pay any goalie 7 mil a year.  Too many guys can do the job for much less.  Tuukka very rarely “steals” games…at least in my view.  When Claude has the proper players in place, working his system to close to perfection, just about anyone can play net.  Ok, that may not be true.  But Tim Thomas, who spent over a decade in the minors and Finland and nowhere near the NHL, became a superstar in his 30s and won 2 Vezina trophies in this system.  I think someone not making 7 million could do about the same job as Tuuks here now…maybe cut it at least in half?

*Shop Torey Krug.  Maybe he’s improved as a defenseman.  Hard to tell on this team.  But Claude gives him 21 and a half minutes a night.  Maybe because there are few alternatives.  But anyway, offense is supposed to be his strong suit.  And he has 3 goals on the year, 2 less than Kevan Miller…who is well-known for his offense…not.  Krug makes 3.4 million.  He is a restricted free agent after this season.  So, what, you are going to pay a supposed offensive specialist, who this year is not much of an offensive contributor (on an improved offensive team, especially considering Julien is the coach…not known for his offensive systems), 4 or 4.5 million on a long-term deal going forward?  Not me.

*I would say shop Dennis Seidenberg too.  But someone has to play defense I guess.  Plus, 8 million over the next 2 seasons for another declining player won’t likely get you much.

*Waive Zac Rinaldo and Max Talbot.  Wait…already done.  But if they clear waivers, do not bring them back.  Who needs them?  Why can’t you plug Tyler Randell and some other younger dude into those spots?  What’s the difference?

*Free Alexander Kokhlachev.  Ok, no one cares about him but me.  And maybe he really does suck.  Claude sure hates the guy.  But he’s good for a point per game in Providence.  And Claude despised Ryan Spooner before he was forced to play him last year.  That turned out ok.  I say what the hell, if Alex doesn’t get moved, bring him up, along with Frank Vatrano (25 goals in 25 games) and Seth Griffith (60 points in 46 games) and make them a line for the rest of the year.  You’d rather see more of Rinaldo, Talbot, Joonas Kemppainen, Randell, Landon Ferraro, even Brett Connolly?  Please…enough…

*Pray that Chris Kelly doesn’t have a miraculous recovery and returns in April…where then Claude plays him 20 minutes a night, again at the expense of a younger, probably better, player.  Unlikely to happen since they said he would be out 6-8 months in November.  But crossing my fingers anyway.

Now, I’m not saying move all of the above for a bag of pucks and some goalie sticks.  But if you can get a decent return on any and all of the above, aren’t all of these trades worth considering?  May speed up the rebuild.

My prediction?  I’m not expecting much.  I think Sweeney, Cam Neely, Charlie Jacobs and all of management are straddling the fence on which way they want to go this year…never a good thing when hard decisions need to be made.  My initial inclination over the past couple of weeks was that they would add some depth pieces only and try to make a run this year still.  Think Greg Zanon, Mike Mottau and Corey Potter like.  I know, scintillating.  I still do have that feeling as we speak.  But I’ve been wrong before…


About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on February 28, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I know this is beating a dead horse and a sports pundit who lives in Ipswich will scoff at this comment, but the underlying theme of the predicament the Bruins are in is how horrible Pete was as a GM post Stanley Cup. Signing players to terrible deals – Kelly, not being able to draft, trading away players you were able to draft…aka Seguin…etc etc. But that is water under the bridge. On to the trade deadline.

    Agree with all your statements. I would throw in there Marchand…yes I cannot stand the player 30+ goals and all. But with his upcoming FA status and his peaking at the right time, not sure I am confident that he will resign unless the Bruins back up the Brinks truck. Not sure the Bruins will do this…so why not explore what you can get for him. I would think a legit DMan, one that is close to being top 4, as well as draft pick(s). The team getting Marchy would get him for rest of season, playoff push and under control for next season. Again I realize I am biased, but I think it would be worth exploring. Too bad we are a few hours away from the deadline…alas I fear nothing will really happen. Bruins could get into the playoffs and who knows. I do love people who clammer “get a few rounds in the playoffs.” Ugh since when has Claude had a great playoff run??? Stanley Cup finals not withstanding.

    Anyways…thanks Pete!!!

    • I absolutely would’ve investigated what Marchand would have brought back in a trade. Just as you said, the upcoming free agency being the impetus. Almost no one is untouchable on the team. I’d like to see if Pastrnak blossoms and see if Colin Miller and Joe Morrow develop into something. Of course, it would be tough for the team to deal Bergeron. But I’d at least listen on anyone. Stay tuned on something showing my frustration on the activity at the deadline. But I knew it was coming!

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