With the Bruins in the hunt for a 2nd line winger, rumors are abundant. As teams are shopping their players around the league, a name in Boston that is reportedly being brought up by opposing GM’s is Danton Heinen. He is a young, cost-controlled, defensive winger with offensive upside and is versatile enough to play on any line – so it’s natural for GM’s around the league to keep tabs on him.
Should the Bruins trade Heinen to fix the 2nd line?
The short answer to this question is NO. Absolutely not, and here’s why:
For starters, trading Danton Heinen for a 2nd line solution is just solving one problem by creating another. Essentially the Bruins would possibly fix the 2nd line woes but will now have a glaring hole on the 3rd line wing. And at the end of the day, trading for any solution to the 2nd line is just a shot in the dark, as the player may never even pan out (Rick Nash). To me, it makes no sense to trade a roster forward for a 2RW – be it Anders Bjork or Danton Heinen, as they’ll have to quickly scramble to find a 3rd line winger to replace them.
Secondly, the makeup of the Bruins third line (Andres Bjork-Charlie Coyle-Danton Heinen) is just too great of a design to tinker with. Their chemistry is just a no-brainer, and it’s the same reason Johansson-Coyle-Heinen worked so well in the playoffs. Bjork and Coyle are possession dominant, and primarily play “keep-away” when they get the puck, much like Johansson did. When you add a guy on the other wing like Danton Heinen, who generates possession by forcing turnovers and suffocating the other teams’ possession, you now have a line that can be a real headache for opposing teams. Removing Heinen from that line only makes the Bruins weaker – not stronger.
Although the third line is beautifully designed, they aren’t able to be effectively deployed. They have been separated for what feels like months – rotating between the three of them at taking a stab at filling the 2RW void. The inconsistency, which Coyle himself discussed his desire to avoid, disables the line from playing together and finding consistency in their games. Instead, Heinen has seen himself floating throughout the lineup nightly, and it’s hard to find your game in a situation like that.
It’s okay to feel dissatisfied with Heinen’s play recently, but if the Bruins acquire an appropriate 2nd line right wing, Heinen and the rest of the third line will be able to return to form. Perhaps we will see them play the way we saw the third line dominate in the 2019 Playoff run.