Updates on the Bruins and Oilers – September 19, 2016
The Bruins remain in the market for a defenseman, plus there’s speculation free-agent blueliner Kris Russell could sign with the Edmonton Oilers.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty recently reported the Boston Bruins “have the salary cap space and they still have the interest in nabbing a puck-moving defenseman”. Noting the Bruins surplus of centers, Haggerty speculates either David Krejci or Ryan Spooner could become trade chips. He also feels there’s disappointment the Bruins failed to pry Kevin Shattenkirk away from the St. Louis Blues or Jacob Trouba from the Winnipeg Jets.
Team president Cam Neely said general manager Don Sweeney’s been working hard to land a defenseman, but doesn’t want to overpay to do so. If the Bruins are forced to look inward to address their blue-line need, Haggerty suggests promising Colin Miller as an option.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Krejci’s offensive skills, his recent hip surgery and expensive contract ($7.25 million per season through 2020-21) makes him a tough sell right now. He also carries a full no-movement clause. Spooner seems the more likely trade candidate.
Prying away Trouba from the Jets is a pipe dream. They want to keep him and he wants to stay in Winnipeg. No trade proposal or threat of an offer sheet will change that. The Blues reportedly set a high asking price for Shattenkirk, so little wonder Sweeney is reluctant to overpay for a guy who could become a UFA next summer.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites a report from TSN’s Paul Almeida and Dustin Nielson claiming the Edmonton Oilers are discussing a short-term contract with unrestricted free agent defenseman Kris Russell. Staples notes the Oilers need depth on the right side of their defense and points out Russell does have some power-play success. He also notes the Corsi analytics crowd isn’t a fan of Russel’s poor puck-possession numbers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bottom line is the Oilers still need some additional experienced blueline depth. As long as Russell’s on an affordable short-term deal, it shouldn’t be an issue. While he has years of what Staples calls “Corsi badness”, he’s also among the league’s top shot-blockers and has decent puck-moving ability.
It’s rumored Russell prefers staying in the Western Conference. Recent speculation had him hoping to return to Calgary. If that’s not possible, moving up the road to Edmonton could be the next best thing for him.