June 16, 2024

Three positions Bruins should address before trade deadline

The Boston Bruins have found themselves in a similar position to last year’s trade deadline. They’re playoff contenders, but have issues that need to be addressed.

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Despite having a 4-3-5 record since the All-Star break, Boston is sitting second in the Eastern Conference and is currently tied with the Florida Panthers at 84 points.

With the trade deadline just a week away, here are three positions the B’s should address by March 8.

Defenseman

Boston’s defense has been riddled with injuries this season and needs more depth. Matt Grzelyck and Derek Forbort have a combined 42 missed games this season, mostly due to injury.

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Both Forbort and Grzelyck have also had very lackluster seasons so far. In 34 games, Forbort has zero goals, four assists and only four points. Grzelyck has two goals, six assists and eight points through 46 games.

“Another stiff defender would be good,” Boston Bruins president Cam Neely told Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic on Monday about what the Bruins need to improve. “And you could always use help on offense.”

Mason Lohrei and Parker Wotherspoon have stepped up this season, but the team needs a veteran defenseman who can tag along with Charlie McAvoy.

Center

Going into the 2023-24 season, it was expected that the Bruins would need significant help filling the massive hole left by the respective retirements of veterans Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.

Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha have exceeded expectations this season, but there have been some lapses in the second half. In recent weeks, the Bruins has been linked to Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique, but the lack of cap space and draft capital has put the team in a difficult spot.

“Our cupboards are a little thin considering what we did last year and in previous years,” Neely said. “So something really has to make sense for us. There are other areas we can improve upon, whether it’s adding a little bit more grit at the bottom part of our lineup.”

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Scoring winger

After losing wingers Tyler Bertuzzi and Taylor Hall during the offseason, the B’s could look to elevate their offense by adding a player who would bring additional scoring depth. According to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, the Bruins “are scouting middle-six forwards” who could “add a scoring punch.”

Though Boston ranks seventh in goals scored (204), they are still lacking in offense. Jake DeBrusk has been inconsistent this year and is underperforming. On the other hand, Coyle and Trent Frederic are the only players other than Pastrnak and Marchand to have over 15 goals this season.

Free agency acquisitions James van Riemsdyk and Morgan Geekie have played well, but Boston would benefit from adding another winger to beef up its offense.

If the Bruins want to make a strong run at the Stanley Cup, the team will need to focus on acquiring a defenseman, a top-six winger and a center by the March 8 deadline.

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