Just a small mailbag this week! As always, if you want to get questions in early for next week’s mailbag, you can always email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil via email asks:
Question – On Friday, you tweeted a video from Oshawa’s game. You said “No goals. Just this. Trying to keep it real.” I’m not sure what you meant by that.
Answer – I’m not going to post it here. People can find it on Twitter if they’d like. People can post videos of goals and assists and keep doing that and gain their tens of thousands of followers. Others can post them on message boards and consider themselves as the go-to-person for all things prospects. For me, it’s not a popularity contest, but I am a strong believer that you have to show the bad along with the good. If you are not watching games, all your going to remember is the goals and assists and you might be disappointed in the end.
In that video, an Oshawa player drove to the net, got knocked down and had three Sudbury players on top of him. Another Oshawa player comes in to defend him but he is immediately engaged by another Sudbury player. A third Oshawa player, your Boston Bruins prospect, is just standing there and is more concerned with gathering the puck for the faceoff. That just is not going to cut it with the Bruins brass.
I understand not everyone can pay to watch these games. But it is a message to you to not just pay attention to those that only post videos of goals. You’re not getting even part of the picture. There is much more to a player (or lack of) that you are not getting.
Trevor via email asks:
Question – Are there any legitimate Bruins trade rumors?
Answer – It seems as though any time a player is rumored to be available, someone attaches the Bruins to that player. You as a fan have to decide how realistic those rumors are. It’s like the Jake DeBrusk plus a pick to Edmonton for Kailer Yamamoto rumor. Not only did in not make sense from a value standpoint, but there is no way the Oilers could have made that work cap wise. So, reader beware.
One name to watch is Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers. Giroux would be strictly a rental and could likely be had for a second-round pick plus a B-prospect. He would likely take over the second line spot from Eric Haula, thus moving the latter to the third line with Charlie Coyle and Oskar Steen. That would open up an opportunity to move DeBrusk in a deal for a left shot defenceman.
Giroux has an AAV of $8,275,000. We are just over the half-way point of the season (for cap purposes) so prorated he would come with a cap hit just $4.135 million today ($1,655,000 on trade deadline) and the Bruins can make that work.
Giroux has a full no movement clause, so controls his destiny. It will be his decision alone if he wants to pursue a cup and all indications are that he does. There are very few contenders that could afford to take on his deal without moving salary out.
Jeff Boutilier via Twitter asks 2 questions:
Question – As the bruins are linked to Jacob Chychrun any rumblings that they would bring Kessel back in a deal as well?
Answer – As I said earlier, whenever someone’s name pops up, someone is always linking the Bruins to them. While I am sure they are doing their due diligence on Jakob Chychrun, I’m not so sure they have a lot of interest in Phil Kessel. It’s going to cost a lot just for Chychrun and you’d have to get Arizona to retain on Kessel to eat at least half of his cap hit. That’s too much for me and probably the Bruins.
Question – Do you think there is any chance Ullmark would wave his NMC to go to a contender in a trade this year?
Answer – No. And fans need to stop thinking about it.
Chowda via Twitter asks:
Question – Going forward what are the main things Brett Harrison and Ryan Mast can improve upon to become better players?
Answer – For Brett Harrison it’s his physicality and willingness to engage physically at the top of my list. I’m fine for where the rest of his game is at this point in his development. For Ryan Mast, it’s not that he’s a bad skater, he’s not, but I would like to see him improve on his mechanics and style and see if he can get more power in his stride. I’m also satisfied at where his development is at this point as well.
Eddy Rae via Twitter asks:
Question – Looking ahead to the off-season, is Rasmus Ristolainen a realistic option for the Bruins? With Philly slumping so bad, I could see him wanting to test free agency to land with a competitive team.
Answer – When it comes to Rasmus Ristolainen, I see a lot of Bruins fans that want to add him at trade deadline. Personal feeling aside, when it comes to the offseason, I don’t know where the team is cap wise and if they could even afford to bring him in. Patrice Bergeron needs to be looked after first and foremost and they have a few RFA’s that are going to need deals. Not to mention, we have to see if someone with term is brought in at trade deadline. So, it’s to early to have this discussion.
TW8810 via Twitter asks:
Question – Hi Dom. Thanks for answering my question in the last week edition. My question this week. Can you name three players that nobody thinks of that the Bruins could add at the tradeline that would be sneaky good acquisitions? Thank you
Answer – Honestly, I could name dozens of names. Trade deadline is still seven weeks away and there are plenty of teams in the West that are still in playoff contention. A lot can change in seven weeks. Let’s revisit this March 1 and see what has changed. Until then, I don’t want to just throw names around.
Bruins Mafia via Twitter asks:
Question – Do you think the Bruins trade for Claude Giroux? Thanks.
Answer – I think they will have extensive conversations (maybe they’ve even started). But Claude Giroux holds all the cards with his no movement clause. It will all come down to the cost to acquire him versus someone else on the market and whether Management is looking for a rental or someone with term and then comparing the costs. Giroux can control where he goes with his NMC. If he picks one team a la Taylor Hall, he’s going to come cheap. But if he picks two or more, there will be a bidding war.
Scott Wood via Twitter asks:
Question – Just looking for your opinion, Dom. What “type” of move would you like to see the Bruins make on the blueline? I’m of the opinion that a top-four RH defenseman would do more to round out the corps than a more expensive top-pair lefty. But what do you think?
Answer – My feelings about the blueline are pretty well known. If you can upgrade on Connor Clifton, then you do it. I fell Brandon Carlo is fine as a second pair defenceman who can kill penalties. My reasoning for upgrading Clifton is to get a right shot who can kill penalties, because I don’t have faith in Clifton there and I don’t think the coaching staff does either. Then you wouldn’t need Charlie McAvoy to kill penalties and can use him more on 5 on 5 and the powerplay.
But that’s a secondary move. My top choice on the blueline is a top four left shot who can eat minutes and kill penalties.