Updates on the Bruins and Stars – August 31, 2016

by | Aug 31, 2016 | Rumors | 45 comments

Could center Ryan Spooner become a trade chip for the Boston Bruins?

Could center Ryan Spooner become a trade chip for the Boston Bruins?

 The Boston Bruins appear to be stockpiling forwards, plus speculation on possible Dallas Stars trade bait. 

BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy notes the Bruins signing yesterday of center Dominic Moore is a curious one, observing they already have depth at that position with Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, David Backes, Ryan Spooner and Noel Acciari. He points out the Bruins could move Backes or Spooner to the wing or they could lack confidence in Acciari. “Or they could be stockpiling assets to make another run at a defenseman on the trade market. Given Spooner’s talent level and cheap price tag of $950,000, he could be an attractive trade chip.”

Conroy wonders if Bruins general manager Don Sweeney will try to package some assets for a top-four defenseman. Sweeney said he’ll continue talking with clubs, but also suggests some younger blueliners in the Bruins system could challenge for jobs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My guess is Sweeney will go into training camp with his current roster and evaluate its performance in preseason play before deciding what moves he has to make for the upcoming season. Spooner, packaged with a first-or second-round pick or a good prospect, could land that elusive top-four blueliner. Feel free to weigh in on this in the comments section, Bruins fans. I’d like to see what you think Sweeney should do. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Asked by a reader which prospects he sees the Dallas Stars moving in a trade this season, Mike Heika named Jamie Oleksiak or Patrik Nemeth, as promising Julius Honka will need a chance at a roster spot soon.  “The guess is another team will want a forward if the Stars are seeking a goalie. That could be Val Nichushkin, Brett Ritchie or Jason Dickinson. It will depend on what the other team is seeking,” writes Heika. He doesn’t believe the Stars want to part with Honka.

Heika also doesn’t see them pursuing St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. He feels it’s time the Stars put their trust in their young defensemen. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars have considerable depth in promising young player to use as trade bait this season, especially if they decide to upgrade in goal. Though Nichushkin’s name has surfaced this summer in the trade rumor mill, they don’t seem ready to part ways with him. 


  1. I like Ryan Spooner’s game, but with how many teams have young (30-40 point) forwards available vs young D I still don’t think this get’s it done with an A level prospect. With Edmonton giving up Hall, it has just thrown me off from I think fair value is, vs what the Flames paid for Hamilton. That’s why I hope JVR comes hot out of the gate, with his cap hit and talent he might get you that 3/4 24 or under d-man. JVR would be a great fit on the Ducks to strengthen that left side.

  2. As Much as Backes claims he was told he would be the 3rd line C in Boston, paying your 3rd line C 6 mil per season doesn’t make sense to me & Boston has a far greater need for him to play RW. Not saying he won’t play C at times or as injuries dictate but here’s what I see. As always move wingers around. The only guarantee is Marchand & Bergeron are joined at the hip.

    Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak.
    Belesky, Krejci, Backes.
    Vatrano, Spooner, Hayes.
    Rinaldo, Moore, Nash.
    Spare. Acciari.

    Griffith, Randell & Rinaldo are all waiver eligible & Acciari not, so he may have to go down so as Boston doesn’t risk losing Griffith as yet. Rinaldo isn’t a full time player but gets spotted into roles; played 52 games last season. Boston needs to decide what they have & what they are going to do with Griffith. It’s time to give him a chance or cut bait.

    Spooner & or a prospect & pick could be cut but I don’t see that getting you a Fowler or Shattenkirk even as a pending UFA next summer. A 1st round pick maybe but that is a lottery pick so very risky. & if Boston moved their 1st next season that would only leave them with Edm 2nd in the 1st 3 rounds. Kind of odd for what I consider a team trying to rebuild on the fly.

    • I should have added that I see Vatrano bumping Belesky to the 3rd line as soon as he’s ready to assume that responsibility. It makes more sense to me, as it creates a better balance for the top 3 lines but Vatrano will have to earn that opportunity.

    • Make the pick lottery protected and it could work.

    • Kessel plays 3rd line

  3. Boston is not moving their first unless the deal absolutely blows their socks off. I still do not think the back end is that bad.. (yet)…. Spooner has real value -good and cheap and younger. Someone from their 2015 draft bonanza should emerge

    • Trading draft picks is not a wise move for a team like Boston. Bruins arent going to win a Cup so I think they need to hold onto their picks and young players. Short term pain for long term gain so to speak.

      • We are deep in prospects right now a first rounder ultimately would not be missed considering the talent pool

    • I agree. Boston’s D isn’t top 10 but it’s certainly capable of competing. It’s middle of the pack & could use a top flight guy like Fowler; to expensive to acquire, but C. Miller & Morrow need minutes to develop. It’s to bad they brought Liles back. He’s well past his best before date & just blocking those 2’s opportunity to advance.

      • The backes signing really threw a wrench into what I thought they were gonna do which is getting younger. Hopefully Sweeney isn’t over his head a bit and gets a game plan he’s kinda jumping around

  4. I think Bruins management are picking names out of a hat…. A shame to see Julien lose his job this year due to front office foolishness .

    • If the Bruins want to get better Charlie needs to clean administrative staff and the coach. Too many good old boys in Neely and Sweeney. They lack imagination, creativity, and guts. The coach is a good one on a team with all veterans but he is a disaster with young players. The team has been lacking replacements for Boychuck and making it worse by trading Hamilton. If Florida can overhaul their entire defense in one season, the Bruins can find a suitable trade for somebody. The leadership overall is way too conservative.

  5. Moore is a great signing. Allows players to fight for jobs. If anything, could skate with Spooner as his defensive safety especially if they start the season with Spooner and Vatrano together. I like the idea above that Beleskey/Krecji/Backes could be a thing. Putting Bergeron/Marchand/Pastrnak together as well. Similar to what the Bruins did with “that guy” Seguin. The hunt for a Top 4 should still be had, but at what point do you stop blocking the younger players and start letting them play (Colin Miller!).

    • I thought the same thing last year when Pastrnak was with Krejci.
      Pastrnak will learn more on Bergeron’s line and can worry less defensively.
      Krejci is too slow to be skating with Pastrnak,would rather see Spooner and Pastrnak together they had great chemistry two years ago.

  6. I think Sweeney goes into the season as is and sees how it goes. It appears that Armstrong in St Louis and Murray in Anaheim are intent on doing the same anyway. I do not see any other targets for the Bruins for the Dman they seek. The longer the season goes towards the trade deadline, the lower Shattenkirk’s value gets in that he is a UFA and teams arent going to pay what they would have at the draft. At the trade deadline St Louis may develop a need, such as a center like Spooner, and the Bruins have the depth now to swing a deal. But like others have said, I would like to see Chiller and Morrow develop. B’s can always take a run at Shatty next summer.

    • Columbus; Jones, Murray, Savard & J. Johnson, & Minnesota; Suter, Spurgeon, Scandella, Brodin & Dumba, like Anaheim; Bieksa; NMC, Fowler, Vatanen, Lindholm & Despres, have to many Dman come the expansion draft so at some point something has to give for them.

      Columbus could choose the 8 skater formula protecting all 4 Dman but due to players on their roster at forward with NMC’s; Dubinsky, Hartnell, Clarkson & Foligno, unless 1 or more would be willing to waive them to be exposed or is traded prior, it would mean potentially losing a Saad; not going to happen, Atkinson, Jenner, Wenneberg. No team has positioned themselves worse for expansion than Columbus.

      A few teams have the Dman Boston needs & there are even some lesser options which would help.

  7. I think Winnipeg and Boston are Talking and Boston would like to get Trouba. Been some talk lately of Trouba wanting out of Winnipeg. We know Trouba has no rights (but it was reported that he’s been seen frequently in a track suit as of late) but is that enough for the jets to say lets move him?Kane said he asked for a trade every summer since he arrived in Winnipeg. As much as I love to see this deal happen what would it take? looking at the jets roster, they are set at forward and between the pipes lots of talent and solid prospects, their defense not as much and removing Trouba doesn’t help that and their top D prospect is Morrissey who is expected to have a shot to make the club this year. Winnipeg likes the big boys. A package with Mcquaid or K.Miller, along with one or two of their d prospect not name Mcavoy and Edmonton 2nd round pick.

    • I would love for Boston to get Trouba as he is young, big and skilled. I think the points you make above explains why Winnipeg won’t trade him, unless they get another high end young D in return. If I am WPG, I don’t trade him to Boston without Mcavoy included.

    • If that’s all it would take to land Trouba (Depth D middle type prospect and a second round pick) I suspect there would be 29 teams bidding on him. Judging by the returns Chevy seems to get in trades I think the price will be considerably higher.

      • Shticky, I didn’t say middle level prospect.Boston has a few top level d prospects

      • That’s kinda my point Dave I agree with Capers point that Boston has great prospects but when trading for a very good young player (especially a D) the cost is going to be something that is much more difficult to give up if it was a D prospect the jets were interested in it would likely need to be their best or prospect closest to being ready for the NHL

    • The cost in my opinion as a Bruins fan is someone we don’t want to move like Pastrnak. A fair trade in my opinion is one or two of our top defenseman prospects. Along with our first rounder and even a top forward prospect.
      Something like first round next year,Mcavoy,K.Miller, and Zac Synichyn or Debrusk.
      If not Mcavoy than Zboril and Carlo.

  8. Seems most of us are on the same page. I also believe Bruins are rebuilding on the fly. Even if they do land a top 4 D, they still are not a Cup contender. They would be a 7-8 seed, as you are giving up a quality center which hurts you in that position. (Spooner or Krejci) as well as the prospects.
    IMO if it requires giving up top prospects or a 1st round pick (which I think it would), you are just delaying the rebuild that is underway and will take years as it is.
    I think we all agree that the Bruins do not have a #1 Dman. I would suggest there is a good chance they don’t have a #2 either if father time treats Chara like he treats all mortals. He is 39.
    That leaves you Krug as a #3/4 and Chara as the same, and that is only for another year or 2. I do not have any faith in Morrow. Chiller has some upside, and degree he deserves a chance. The rest are bottom pairing guys.
    To me the question is are the Bruins trying to build a cup contender or just trying to get back in the playoffs and get the gate?
    As a fan I hope for the first option and would put up with losing if that is the plan. Recent moves suggest the latter is true.
    The last time the Bruins went through years of losing and missing the playoffs, revenues tumbled as Boston is a competitive sports town.
    The Jacobs family expect to make a good return for their money, the team is not a hobby for them. I get it, but can be frustrating as a fan as the rebuild on the fly plan doesn’t work.

    • What constitutes a Dman as a #1, 2, 3, 4 etc for you? For me it’s minutes played, deployment, points, plus minus, type of ice time; PP, SH, EV, hits, blocked shots etc.

      Krug is a #2 now & may have #1 capabilities, to early to tell just entering his 4th season in the NHL it takes most 6 years to fully devlop or around 400; Krug has 241 so far, regular season games. For me Chara is still a soft #1 or decent #2 but declining fast.

      • For me a #1 Dman is similar to yours. Plays in all situations and does them well, not just because he is all that a particular team has.
        Points, PP, PK, +/-, plays against the other teams top line, physical, skates well. First and foremost he can defend, including D zone position and gap control on the rush, can skate when attacked on the rush, can physically break up a cycle. (Where Krug struggles due to size against big forwards).
        Number 2 is a good first pass out of the zone, where Krug can excel.
        I guess you could include Krug as a number 2 if you can throw him over the boards against another teams top line every night and he may have to even more now. That doesn’t mean he should, they just don’t have many options. I see him more as a 3-4 and plays power play time with plenty of offensive zone starts.
        Not sure I answered your question?

      • Krug is very hard to watch for me.
        I dislike more about his game than like but maybe I’m old school. Undersized Dman always worry me. Krug doesn’t win many puck battles and struggles at separating bigger players(which almost all are) from the puck. His quickness, skating and shot are attributes but I question the overall hockey sense here. His PP decision making with the puck is lacking for me. His first pass out of his zone is average at best.

        I honestly can’t imagine him playing a top 4 role on a Cup caliber team. 5/6 guy at best on any team with serious aspirations. Hope he proves me wrong but I know I have seen enough. Just seems to me he gets dominated by most teams top 6.

      • Pretty much. Were essentially on the same page but not extrapolating those criteria in the same way for some reason.

        Krug has been a fixture on Boston’s 1st PP unit since his arrival. His role 5 on 5 has expanded each season since his arrival as he learns his trade. 2013-14 17:30 TOI/GP, 2014-15 19:35, 2015-16 21:36 TOI.

        He finished 20th in scoring for Dman last year. 67th in TOI/GP. He is never going to punish people or be that type of Dman but his gap control, positioning & his ability to read the play has improved each season & will continue to do so for several more years. His icetime should again increase this season but not necessarily by another 2 mins a game. He even started to see nominal exposure on the penalty kill last season but with Chara, McQuad & K. Miller will man those minutes, not a role he should have to play a ton of yet in his career.

        Those #’s for me put him as a #2.

      • Ya, Krug’s offence and puck moving are upper end for sure. I suppose if Carlo develops like the shut down guy they project him to be they could be a good top pairing in 2/3 years.

        I just prefer top pairing guys who can defend against the top lines night in and night out as being most important. Then bring some offence to boot.

      • PJ, the analytics on Krug disagree with you. He is a top four dman on ANY team. And he is trending up. Depending on his current season an argument could be made for him to be a top 2 dman.

  9. If Boston is looking to get a top 4 defenseman, they could always offer a contract to Quincey. Sure, he’s not as offesively talented as he used to be, but he’s also not a dumpster fire either. Sign him for a one or two year deal and throw him on your second pair

  10. Dallas will have to make a trade to alleviate the logjam with their young defense. I expect Oleksiak will be the one to go. Honka is staying put with another year in the AHL, possibly a call up later in the season. Plus no way is GM Nill giving up on Nichushkin. They’ll get a one or two year deal done with expectations of improvement. The goalie tandem with remain until trade deadline.

  11. Rinaldo won’t play another game in a b’s uniform not enough talent low hockey IQ. I’m hoping Sweeney’s gearing up for a trade for a d and it’s got to be a good one!! Thus far I give the Sweenman a minus F. Neely and Sweeney have screwed this team for years to come!!

  12. It sure would be nice if the B’s could take advantage of a team with cap issues like the Isles took advantage of them with the two 2nd’s for Boychuk.

    Boychuk was about to take the reigns as the Bruins top Dman. To lose him for basically nothing that impacts todays roster was a huge error on PC’s part. The team has yet to recover from this move.

    • Agree the Boychuk and Seguin moves destroyed the team.
      Left us with older guys and younger guys.
      These two were in the sweet spot.
      Siedenberg and Krejci should have been moved at the time.

  13. I could live with shipping Hamilton out for what they got. Hamilton wanted out. Boychuk didn’t.

    • PJ, I was of the same opinion as you on the Hamilton trade, and in reality we won’t know until we see what the picks turn into in a few more years. Also, Hamilton may not turn into the stud everyone thinks he will be (although he sure has all the tools).
      Recently though, when you see what high end young D are going for on the trade market, you wonder if he could have held on for better. There are stories that he tried to package up a deal to take Hanafin once he had those picks and it didn’t work out.

      • Agreed. Needed much more for Boychuk than what they got. They undervalued him or at least didn’t think he was worth the 6 mil cap hit. Big mistake and they are paying the price today. Vets like 33, 37, 46 and 63 must be scratching their heads and wondering how a stud like Boychuk got away. A player they have been trying to replace ever since.

  14. Bruins have a lot of high end prospects there already losing some ( Koko ) because they don’t have room on the big team. In my humble opinion they are a playoff team but not a cup team. If they traded a first a young prospect and a player for a quality D man I think it would push them closer. Rask is the wild card he needs to pick up the pace and win some games for them.

  15. I think it’s funny Sweeny gets the blame for this team after 1 season. He moved out Savys contract rebuilt the farm in 2 drafts and I can remember the Bruins having this kind of potential waiting in the wings ever!!!!!!!! C Miller and morrow need to prove their worth this yr if they don’t cut it they need to go. Spooner and a first for a solid top 2 D I’d gladly give that up as I said the team has more than enough talent to replace spoonzzzz down the road! KoKo is horrible glad he’s gone spoiled brat

    • Would take a whole lot more than spooner and a first to get a top 2 dman just wouldn’t happen. Pasternak would have to part of the deal for sure I don’t even think krejci would garner a big return giving his injury problems

  16. Winnipeg trading Trouba creates a Trouba sized hole on their blue line. Im thinking they would want something like him back and obviously Boston does not have that to offer. Morrissey isnt ready to fill a 3/4 slot. So unless Boston sends someone young to upgrade the Jets top 6 forwards and picks Winnipeg does not match.
    I see more of a fit with ANA. To get a good young D its going to cost you in todays NHL and by cost that means close in age. No team should be giving up a young promising stud for an older vet unless there are good draft picks involved. Spooner is not a fit in ANA but perhaps Pastrnak is. Maybe Pastrnak for Fowler to start the foundations of a deal.
    Boston still needs to be patient.

    • Yup Boston will have to move Pastrnak for a top defenseman.
      I love Pastrnak but for Trouba I would do it.

    • Agree on the Trouba take. Bruins don’t have what WPG needs to get that deal done. I just can’t see them moving him without a top young D man back.
      Also think Fowler would command Pastrnak plus a lot. Kid can score but has a mile to go to be a trusted top 6 player on a contender. He will get his chance this year in Boston, whether he stays up there with Bergeron or Krecji is a big IF. He spends more time on his pants than any player they have and needs to add some strength as well.

  17. Why not trade picks for established NHL players after that disaster of a draft last year.

    Boston needs to blow up their roster and start over. The back end is old and pretty bad and they don’t have a single prospect who can replace Krejci and definitely not Bergeron. They do have some nice prospects, but they are complimentary players. The worst thing they could have done was sign Backes to that ridiculously long contract. All it does is put a Band-Aid on the inevitable; which is to tank, start over and rebuild, thus hopefully getting a Matthews/Eichel to build your team around. Either that, or enjoy finishing with 86-92 points every year and drafting 13th or 14th. It’s a tough will to swallow – trust me, I know. But now a days, building through the draft and getting that blue chip prospect is really the only way to do it (unless of course you get really lucky). Anyways, good luck with whatever they do to you die hard Bruin fans 🙂

  18. Since Spooner can play center or left wing wouldnt the Ducks have interest? Maybe Spooner & a 2nd for Fowler? I think he’d fit perfectly on Getzlaf’s wing.