I would like to chime in on why I don't think the Boston Bruins are going to consider trading Brad Marchand. The first thing that comes to mind is that he is a Pest!. He's our Pest! One of the highlight topics about why our Bruins didn't fair well in the playoffs and a concern moving forward towards next season is speed. With the exception of Daniel Paille, the fastest player currently on the team is Brad. Being a top six forward on our team that's already short a right winger, it's hard for me to imagine giving him up in trade for all his intangibles. He's signed to a favorable contract through 2016-17 at 4.5 million. It's going to be hard enough replacing Jerome Iginla's 30 goals without having to add the 25 Brad scored. Brad doesn't play on the power play, though he scored 1 goal on it in limited duty. He is however, 50% of the best shutdown forward pairing on the penalty kill while adding 5 goals and 4 assists shorthanded and I don't know how many scoring attempts down a man.
What also gets missed is his possession stats where he starts almost 50% of his shifts in the defensive end but finished in the top 20% of the league in possession of the puck while on the ice. He and his center man Patrice Bergeron get the unenviable task of shutting down Bruin's opponents top line game in and game out. He's a well know chirper at opponents and while gets some undue attention from the referees, he also gets his share of calls drawn by him. While it was never spoken at the beginning of the season, I suspect he had a right leg injury for a time that hobbled him from mid October through Thanksgiving. I also don't think it wasn't too surprising that Reilly Smith started to put up surprising points once he was established on Brad and Patrice's right wing. Smith didn't do it alone and had plenty of ice because of space made by his line mates. Bergeron was perhaps the best scoring forward the last three weeks of the season and had points in 13 straight games. If you remember, Smith was slumping at the time. Brad himself was the most productive point scorer of December and January for the team heading into the Olympic break.
Frankly, the Bruins already have a big hole to fill on the right side in the top six. Getting true value back for Marchand seems unlikely. There is a hole on the left side of the team in the bottom six, moving Paille up into Brad's spot creates two holes in the bottom six and no guarantee that Paille becomes a 25 goal scorer overnight. I think and would being willing to bet that the Bruins will explore having Matt Fraser on left wing with Soderberg and Eriksson. The fourth line needs retooling and I'm concerned about Paille's ability to stay healthy after 2-3 concussions this past year as these injuries linger and his work on the fourth line left something to be desired once he was back in the lineup. The fourth line was the problem against Montreal, not the second line. Depth defeated the Bruins, not core players. If I were to retool another line after the fourth it would be the first line as it already has a hole and speed was missing from this line. If the first line in the playoffs had been able to score a goal a game and the fourth line was available for 9-11 minutes a night of high quality and energy, perhaps the Bruins could have gotten to the conference final. The second line performed as well as it did the previous season in the playoffs and the third line was new and much better.
I think if we're going to bring new blood into the roster, the chips are going to come from Providence with players moving up or trades with Providence players getting a shot on other teams bringing in new talent. At this point, I'd consider trying to make a left or right wing out of Torey Krug with his speed and defensive abilities. He'd be fine for dropping back as a sixth defenseman for injury and perhaps could be a fine penalty killer as a forward. Moving Chris Kelly is by far a better option as his cap hit is 3 million, but cap savings is 3.5 million if moved. Moving Adam McQuaid with his 1.8 cap hit frees up money to re-sign Boychuk long term.
I believe in Peter Chiarelli and his staff to take the hard reasonable view. One must measure what one could maybe gain, by what will definitely be lost and trading Brad Marchand would upset the apple cart more than keeping him and allowing him to show what kind of player he'll be in his prime starting at 27 years old.
Until Next Time !