With the Boston Bruins entering the All-Star break, it is clear to fans far and wide that while this team is still very strong and talented, they are lacking depth pieces to help them get the distance and on pace for back to back Stanley Cup Final runs.
In my previous article, I discussed multiple potential trade scenarios the Bruins will most likely look into, with names like Chris Kreider, Tyler Toffoli, and others potentially having their fate turned towards Legends Way. However, one name that stuck with me more than others, and much to other fans’ displeasure, was New Jersey Devils forward, Blake Coleman.
I believe people are drawn to the bigger names like the others mentioned above simply because of their names. They have earned their respect in the league through their consistent play and determination to win, but a lot of the player’s fans are hollering for are very expensive, and this Boston team is very tight financially.
According to CapFriendly, the Bruins are projected to have ~$566,824 worth of cap space left to spend, and with such little wiggle room, it doesn’t make much sense realistically for Boston to try and take on a contract like Kreider or Toffoli’s (both ~$4.6M). What makes much more sense for this organization is another “Marcus Johansson” acquisition; a cheap rental with good enough production to provide depth on the wing. With Blake Coleman only due $1.8M at the end of this season, if Boston can off-load some salary from Backes or Moore with the added touch of some future picks, I think the depleting Devils would be very interested in making a deal work.
Blake Coleman is such a dynamic player and withholds the presence that the Boston Bruins are so desperately looking for. Coleman has an unbelievably strong front-net presence and has some of the silkiest hands in the league. If you look at the 22 goals he notched in the previous season, you can tell it is a dense mix of tip-ins, breakaways, and point-snapshots. Considering his production, it’s honestly very surprising that his name still hasn’t broken the threshold to some of the more elite names in the league.
With 19 goals through 48 games, he is only three-shy of breaking his personal record for an entire season and is most certainly a sell-high piece for the Devils. His 19 goals would place him FOURTH on the Bruins roster, only trailing the “Perfection Line”. But for some reason, I see fans still hung up on Kreider and Toffoli, and I really don’t understand why. I think if more people just take the extra time to look into Coleman, they would be pleasantly surprised with what he can do. An enforcer, scorer, and an amazing locker room presence all-in-one? For $1.8M, it sounds like quite the bargain.
I also think people need to stray their focus away from the blue-line and over to the clear #1 problem on Krejci’s right side. Connor Clifton and Kevan Miller are both expected to be back from the IR soon, and the team still has names like Kampfer and Moore to provide depth if another deep playoff run is made. If it comes to that point, it would not be too surprising to see Sweeney try and offload some of his defensive depth for the likes of a winger like Coleman.
With all being said, fans also need to remember to trust in Sweeney, as the trade deadline is where he shines. Even if it isn’t a big name he acquires, don’t knock the move until you let the new player skate with the team first. A lot of fans were not happy to see Sweeney decided to stray away from finding a 2RW, but the pieces he acquired were arguably two of the most important players to their playoff run. Hopefully Sweeney does his research and doesn’t completely strain the Bruins financial situation for a player when you can get Coleman at the same production for a much cheaper cap hit – that being said, his age, cap hit, and productivity could mean for an expensive asking price.