BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins continue to look to add at least one more forward to their current group that begins the second half of the regular season with a big divisional tilt tonight against the Buffalo Sabres.
Don Sweeney has been very active on the phone with other GMs around the league trying to engineer a trade at a time of year when players don’t normally get moved. It’s clearly a byproduct of watching the Bruins continue to rotate through Joakim Nordstrom, Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen, Anders Bjork and now David Backes while looking for a match with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk.
“[David Krejci’s] numbers are up and obviously, some of that is playing on the top line,” said Bruce Cassidy, who has done his best to juggle forwards in the first half, but clearly could use at least one more quality veteran NHL forward to add to the group. “But he’s got to find the missing piece over there [on the right wing] to help them out and really be a two-headed monster [with the top two lines].”
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And there’s also the perpetual search for a third-line center as well with Colby Cave a healthy scratch for Saturday and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson showing improvement in dribs and drabs while getting a golden chance to lock down the job.
It’s why the Bruins have been linked to Weymouth, Mass., product and Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle in trade chatter in the first half of the season and it’s now why St. Louis center Brayden Schenn is being linked to the Black and Gold in rumors as well. James Murphy from CLNS Media tweeted Friday night that a couple of sources indicated to him that the Bruins and Blues were talking deal, and that the Schenn, 27, was involved.
Several sources had mentioned to NBCSportsBoston.com over Winter Classic weekend that Schenn might be on the radar for the Bruins and could be a trade deadline possibility, along with Coyle, Wayne Simmonds or even New Jersey Devils forward Miles Wood.
There’s some level of trepidation from this humble hockey writer that Coyle wouldn’t really make that much of an impact in coming to Boston, but Schenn would be an interesting pick-up for the B’s on a number of levels. His numbers are down a little bit this season with just seven goals and 22 points in 34 games for a mediocre Blues team, but Schenn is a player who's averaged 23 goals and 54 points the past five seasons. Even better the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder plays with a little bit of an edge to his game and would bring some veteran physicality, size and toughness to a forward group that could definitely use it.
His 19 career fights in the NHL show that he's also another player that will stand up for his teammates and the Bruins could always use a little more of that to add to a smaller, faster skill-oriented group.
The cost is another factor for the Bruins, of course. It wouldn’t be cheap given that Schenn still has one more season at $5.125 million before he becomes a free agent. So, the Bruins would get a strong forward to add to the group, but the cost would be beyond a mere rental and could get into a first-round pick and a good prospect along with a contract to make the deal work. Could the Blues be interested in getting former captain David Backes back for a similar cap number to Schenn, or be looking to bring home Bruins center prospect and St. Louis native Trent Frederic?
There are some interesting fits between the Blues and the Bruins that could make something like this work and Schenn would obviously be a big upgrade to what the B’s have. It doesn’t magically make the Bruins a shoo-in to get Schenn, of course, but this is one rumor to keep an eye on the next weeks and months while the B’s are clearly going to pull the trigger on bringing in at least one forward.
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