Matt Duchene

Hagg Bag mailbag: Still looking for ways to improve the Bruins roster

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File Photo

Hagg Bag mailbag: Still looking for ways to improve the Bruins roster

The Bruins are just past the midway point of the season, on a pace for 100 points and in a pretty solid playoff position while having nearly a full, healthy lineup for the first time all year. So things are looking pretty good for the B’s, right?

Well, as always the Hagg Bag is full of helpful suggestions from the fans and faithful readers. As always, these are the actual tweets to my account using the #HaggBag mailbag, messages to my NBCS Facebook fan page and emails to my joseph.haggerty@nbcuni.com email address. Now on to the bag!

Hi Joe!

Looks like Bruins prospects did fairly well in WJC.

Both Shen (RUS) and Lauko (CZĘ) showed good offensive skills with Bukac (CZĘ) on backend; and Vaakananien (FIN) appears to have fully recovered from concussion! He will be anchoring B’s backend with Lauzon, Carlo, Sherman, and hopefully, McAvoy! Now need to get Shen signed to an ELC and hope Studnicka (CAN) will continue his strong development! 

Must keep a watch on Lauko! He may just become ‘Pasta lite’ next season.....

Ron
Saitama, Japan

JH: I agree, Ron. There were all kinds of positive signs at the World Junior tournament. The continued star development of Jack Studnicka is obviously one, and the play of Urho Vaakanainen was another big, big one. He looked like a stud two-way defenseman in the tournament, and obviously looked fully recovered from the concussion.

It will be interesting to see how he’s deployed for the rest of the season by the Bruins, and whether his development will make a left shot D-man available via trade whether it’s Matt Grzelcyk or Torey Krug. It sure looks like they’re going to have some valuable assets to make a deal at the deadline, and just need to decide which direction they want to go in.

But the bottom line is that there’s another wave of young players for the Bruins that are about ready to be added to the mix.  

Joe, will you be attending the “Rask won 3 regular season games in January” banner raising ceremony in October?

--Bruins Cup Quest 2019 (@richg6567)

JH: I am not just attending, I am hosting it. It’s great to see Tuukka Rask playing well now and really excelling on the big stage in the Winter Classic. But we’ve seen this movie before. Let’s see it in Game 7 of a playoff series after he was an absolute mess in that game against the Toronto Maple Leafs last spring. That is one of the things we just haven’t seen enough of during his career with the Black and Gold.

Haggs:

It's gotta stop.  Weakling getting sand kicked into his face by NHL bullies of the beach.  Blake Coleman?!  Beating you up to teach-you a lesson?!  From last year?!  

With impunity.

B's might miss the playoffs if this keeps going down.  Great goaltending ain't gonna do it all. "Big, bad Bruins." Quaider, we need ya'!

Happy New Year.

Greg PDX

JH: You’re preaching to the choir, Greg. That’s why I like the whispers I’m hearing about the Bruins being interested in Brayden Schenn with the St. Louis Blues. He’s not a killer like Adam McQuaid by any means. But he is a tough player, a team-oriented guy and somebody that plays with honest-to-goodness physicality, and he can put the puck in the net too. The Bruins need another big, tough player up front and Schenn could be that guy.

I was pushing for a tough guy for the fourth line earlier in the season, but the way Noel Acciari, Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner are developing as a fourth line makes me very hesitant to do anything to mess that up. So it’s either Wayne Simmonds, or Schenn, or somebody like that who could lend some muscle and mean to a front group that’s pretty young, pretty small and pretty skill-oriented for the most part.

On a scale of ten to ten with ten being the worst how much ass did the last Jedi suck??

--Danny Leandres (@mastexarkun)

JH: I would give it a “37.” I liked some parts of it, but really did not like the middle part of the movie. The casino stuff was prequel-level bad and some of the humor was weird and un-Star Wars like. I also thought that Poe Dameron was kind of wasted in the movie too. And Princess Leia as Mary Poppins in space. It was supposed to be this big, emotional scene and the whole theatre I was in kind of laughed the absurdity of it. So yeah, I didn’t love it even though I wouldn’t say I hated it either. I thought the Luke Skywalker arc was pretty good, and most of the stuff with Kylo Ren and Rey was good too.  

Hey Joe

If the Stars owner thinks Jamie Benn is crap Sweeney should already be on the phone. The guy does everything scores fights hits and would be awesome with either Bergeron or Krejci. I would goes as far as including Carlo in the deal if necessary and provided Stars retain some cap space. Carlo Bjork plus whatever else it takes while still keeping McAvoy and DeBrusk. Even try to get them to throw in Brett Ritchie.

Happy Holidays

DJ London Ontario

JH: Sign me up. I’d take Jamie Benn in a heartbeat. I think he’s a good player and he could be a winner around the right group. I also think the Dallas Stars are having some serious buyer’s remorse after giving Tyler Seguin almost $10 million per season. As expected, he’s gone into major cruise control and doesn’t seem to show any of the urgency he did before signing the massive deal with Dallas. I like Seguin personally and he’s incredibly talented, but I just don’t think that winning hockey games is really that important to him at the end of the day. But Benn, he’d look great in Black and Gold. There’s just no way they could really afford him unless they were able to move David Krejci in the deal.

Gotta ask: Any interest from the Bruins in Duchene? He could be a nice center as Krejci/Bergy get older and he’s a great skill player but I have questions about his character and locker room presence.

--JCT MTG (@JCThacker21)

JH: I don’t think so. I think there’s an observation within the B’s management group/decision makers that the Colorado Avalanche became a much better team after dealing Matt Duchene, and that Nathan MacKinnon really took off as a player at that point as well.

Then there was the Uber video of him basically bragging about not paying attention during penalty kill meetings with the Ottawa Senators. That may be a two strikes and you’re out scenario as far as the Bruins are concerned. I would never say never because the Bruins clearly need either a top-6 winger that can score or a third line center, but I’d be very, very surprised if you ever see Duchene in Black and Gold. I think a lot would have to go wrong at the trade deadline before that would happen.  

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Morning Skate: B's should take note of now-dead Duchene-Turris trade

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Morning Skate: B's should take note of now-dead Duchene-Turris trade

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while things are starting to happen a month into the hockey season.

*Reports are circulating that a three-team trade that would have sent Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators has fallen apart. with the Bruins down three centers and besieged by injuries right now, it's interesting to hear the names of Duchene and Kyle Turris both out there, and available. It might be difficult for Don Sweeney and the Bruins to pull off a deal with the divisional rival Senators at this point, but Turris would be a nice addition to Boston’s lineup given how they’re aging down the middle.  

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri asks the million dollar question: What in the world is wrong with Carey Price up in Montreal right now?

*Best wishes to former NHL referee Kerry Fraser, who has been diagnosed with a rare, incurable form of cancer.

*Alex Tanguay and EJ Hradek spend some time on the NHL Network discussing their predictions for this weekend’s action in the NHL.

*Who says hockey players can’t misbehave? Alex Killorn and Kevin Hayes were among the players fined for dueling water bottle incidents in a recent Lightning/Rangers game that included a TV analyst getting caught in the crossfire between the benches.

*For something completely different: I have to take issue with anything but theChallenge of the Super Friends season with the Legion of Doom being the best season on Saturday morning.