Haggerty: Bruins would be wise to avoid sign-and-trade scenario with Shattenkirk

Haggerty: Bruins would be wise to avoid sign-and-trade scenario with Shattenkirk

BRIGHTON, Mass – It’s been going on for the better part of a year plus, so there’s no surprise with the Bruins getting linked in the latest round of rumors with 28-year-old defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. The latest word comes from a TSN Insider Trading segment where it appears Blues GM Doug Armstrong is willing to do a sign-and-trade with the puck-moving All-Star defenseman in order to maximize his trade value.

The struggling Blues fired head coach Ken Hitchcock amid some mediocre play earlier this week, and it sounds as if they’ve stepped up their efforts to move the offensive defenseman-in-demand currently headed into free agency this summer.

“Several teams have made calls to the St. Louis Blues for Kevin Shattenkirk, among them the Bruins and New York Rangers,” said TSN Insider Pierre Lebrun of Shattenkirk, who has 11 goals and 35 points along with a rough minus-12 rating in 51 games for the Blues this season. “But my understanding is that every single call has been for a rental situation only because a flat [salary] cap [for next season] might be scaring some teams off.”

The Bruins talked Shattenkirk trade with the Blues last summer, and the price was way too high with St. Louis looking for some lofty, unrealistic combination of David Pastrnak and first round draft picks. So it would stand to reason that Armstrong and the Blues would once again be looking for a king’s ransom for Shattenkirk if it was a sign-and-trade. That doesn’t even mention the potential 7-8 year contract extension at $7 million per season that the defenseman would be looking for in a market value contract with whatever team trades for him.

A source with knowledge of the situation told CSN New England around the NHL Draft that the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers were the three preferred destination spots for the Connecticut-born Shattenkirk if it was up to him.

So at the very least the former BU standout has some interest in playing for the Bruins, and clearly there is interest from a B’s hockey club that attempted to trade for Shattenkirk around the time he was dealt from Colorado to St. Louis.

Shattenkirk’s elite puck-moving abilities and his smooth skills as a power play quarterback would be an immediate upgrade for the Bruins, and would give the Bruins the type of mobile, offensively dangerous D-man they haven’t had on their top-4 in some time. But Shattenkirk is also a second pairing defenseman at best in St. Louis, and sacrificing that level of assets and dollars for him would be a tough for any team, even a club like the Bruins that clearly needs another quality defenseman.  

Add in the factor that the Bruins be shelling out major dollars for an All-Star defenseman approaching his thirties, and this sign-and-trade scenario is one the B’s should avoid. The better bet for a rebuilding team like the Bruins is to gamble that no other NHL club is willing to go the sign-and-trade route for Shattenkirk prior to the March 1 trade deadline, and instead make their best bid for him on July 1 when a team like Boston might be one of the favorites to land him.  

Because unloading future assets and big dollars for a player ahead of the deadline hoping maybe he can help turn the Bruins into a playoff team down the stretch is the kind of short term decision-making that’s putting this team into so much turmoil. 

Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

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Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

GOLD STAR: Jaden Schwartz stepped up and won the game for the Blues with a couple of really good plays in the third period and overtime. He took advantage of a line change and a lax Bruins defense to snap a shot past Anton Khudobin from the face-off circle in the third period that tied up the game, and then went on a one-man rush in overtime before blasting a puck past Khudobin for the game-winner on a beautiful individual play. Schwartz finished with the two goals that represented all of the St. Louis offense, four shots on net, a hit and a takeaway in 20:02 of ice time while logging a plus-2 rating as well. The Blues clearly needed somebody to step up to the plate with Vladimir Tarasenko and the Schwartz was with St. Louis on Wednesday night.

BLACK EYE: The Bruins were quite literally black and blue after a physical, punishing game with the St. Louis Blues. A number of players took heavy hits against a St. Louis team that felt free to throw hits and take runs with Zdeno Chara and David Backes out of Boston’s lineup among other players, and that culminated with Brayden Schenn drilling David Krejci in the second period. It was a hit that earned Schenn a two minute penalty for charging midway through the period, but shouldn’t result in anything more for the Blues forward. The hit wasn’t late, his skates were on the ice when he made contact, and Krejci was crouched down when Schenn made impact on a heavy check with his elbows tucked in, so it looked like a relatively clean hit that isn’t going to be on the radar of the NHL’s Player Safety Department. That physicality for the Blues really seemed to slow down the Bruins a little bit as things went on over the 60 plus minutes of the overtime game.


TURNING POINT: The Bruins actually only got outshot by a 15-13 margin in the second period, third period and overtime, but it was clear that they slowed down in terms of attacking and creating chances as things moved on in the game. By the latter half of the game the Bruins were simply trying to hang on to their one-goal lead, and then after that simply trying to hang in there for the point earned by getting to overtime. They managed to do it, but it was a different wave of momentum in the game once the Blues tied things up in the third period on Schwartz’s first goal. After that the Bruins were scrambling and hanging on, and did just enough to hang in there for a single overtime point for the second game in a row.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ryan Donato made it two goals in two games when he stepped into a loose puck created by an Alex Pietrangelo turnover that bounced off referee Brad Watson after he attempted to throw a puck up the middle of the ice. Donato pounced on the fortuitous bounce and rocked a puck on edge past Jake Allen for the game’s first goal and another affirmation that the 21-year-old can both shoot and score. Donato was pretty quiet after that goal, of course, with a couple of shots on net, but it seemed like a big, heavy hit on him by Dmitri Jaskin in the second period kind of quieted the youngster down a little bit. Still, you’ve got to love the production from a player just getting his feet wet at the NHL level.

BY THE NUMBERS: 100 – The number of points for the Bruins after falling in overtime by a 2-1 score to the Blues, and in getting to the century mark the B’s clinched a playoff spot for the second season in a row.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s step one. Going into the season we wanted to make the playoffs and be a Stanley Cup contender. Right now we got in and we’re going to be a contender, right? Now it’s about being in the best position possible going forward.” –Bruce Cassidy, to reporters in St. Louis about clinching the playoff spot on Wednesday night.


Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

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Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

With a playoff berth in-hand, the Boston Bruins celebrated on Instagram with a playful video about their fans.

The short video put their fans into categories: the hugger, the faithful, the screamer, the loose cannon, the comfortable commentator and the emotional trainwreck.

No matter how the devotees enjoy Bruins games, they can all unit over their hockey team. Here's the vide for your enjoyment.

It's playoff time. Diehards unite. #InOurBlood

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