Wednesday Mailbag: February 9, 2022

Eugene Mannarino via Twitter has two questions:

Question 1: Dom do you think the bruins will trade Lysell

Question 2: Dom as we get closer to the deadline do you think the bruins will trade their First.

Answer: If you don’t mind Eugene, I will answer this in one answer, but man you have a lot of trade questions! I have always been a believer that no one is untradeable. Everyone has a price. Now, whether they will or won’t trade Fabian Lysell or their first-round draft pick all depends on what is on the table right? And I don’t have the answer to that (unless we’re talking Claude Giroux and the answer is no, they wouldn’t).

There is a difference between “will they” and “would they”. I believe absolutely 100% they would if the right deal was on the table. It’s the General Managers job to listen to all offers and seek out availability and I believe if the right deal is there, Don Sweeney would not hesitate.

Patrick Renzi via Twitter asks:

Question: what are the rules for sending to the AHL on a “Conditioning Stint”?

Answer: Call it the “Lou Lamoriello Rule”. Uncle Lou use to send players to the AHL who had been healthy scratches for an extended period of time on a conditioning stint so, it became a rule. You can send a player down on a conditioning stint for 14 days. The problem is (and I am assuming you’re specifically asking about Tuukka Rask) that he would still count against the cap and the 23-man roster limit.

If you are asking specifically about Rask, that means Jeremy Swayman would also be on the roster and you now have 3 goaltenders counting against the 23-man roster, which means you are losing a roster spot in one of the other positions. Assuming everyone but Jakub Zboril is healthy, that means no Oskar Steen (no waivers required) so that they could keep Urho Vaakanainen with the big club and have 7 defensemen.

This is different from a LTIR conditioning stint as it is meant to determine if a player is back to health therefore, they do not count against the 23-man roster and it is limited to 3 games or 6 days.

Kevin via email asks:

Question: Thank you for answering questions from the fans!!!  Look forward to your posts each week.

My question is on Urho Vaakanainen.  He seems to have come out of nowhere to be an effective player at the NHL level.  Hard to say a former 1st round pick can come from nowhere, but given how he played in Providence the last year or so, I’m surprised that he’s playing as well at the NHL level.  It’s only been a handful of games, but from what you’ve seen, has he raised enough eyebrows across the league to be considered at least part of a trade to upgrade other needs on the Bruins?  Do you think the Bruins have seen enough to think they can potentially count on him the rest of this year and even beyond?  If the Bruins really wanted to make a major move (JT Miller or Hertl), would Urho’s play make them maybe a little less reluctant to include Lohrei in a major trade?  That would hurt for sure, but to get a center of that caliber, you are going to have to give up a top prospect.  Urho being part of the short-term future may make it a little easier to include Lohrei in a deal.

Answer: I think Vaakanainen has been nothing short of a splendid (and needed) surprise. However, I don’t believe his play has anything to do with their thoughts on trading Mason Lohrei. I think they are different players with different skill sets/levels and Vaakanainen’s play doesn’t make trading Lohrei any easier. One could make the argument that had Zboril not been injured and played the entire season the way he started out, that would make trading Lohrei easier and you’d probably be a little closer.

But I do believe that if Sweeney goes shopping, he has to listen to what other General Managers are asking for in return and then come to a decision on whether the deal is good for the Boston Bruins, both in the short term and the long term. Now, has is value gone up based on his play? NHL teams don’t just make a book on players based on a few games in the NHL. They have a book on these players from the minute they step onto the ice in the AHL.

I get made fun of because I quoted one exec as saying “do we still have 9 rounds in the draft” when I asked about Vaakanainen’s value. And they can make all the jokes they want. But the fact of the matter is that he could have zero value to some teams and be more valuable to others than he is to the Bruins. The one Exec I quoted has three NHL defencemen on the left side and two prospects ahead of Vaakanainen. So yeah, he has zero value to them. Some fans like to make trade propositions without giving any regard to the other teams needs or what they might want. It doesn’t work that way in the real world.

Finally, do I think the Bruins can make a run with Vaakanainen in the rotation? Absolutely. I don’t think Matt Grzelcyk is going anywhere so that would mean a big improvement on Derek Forbort or Mike Reilly would be needed to do so.

Albin via email asks:

Question:

I am a big fan following the team from Sweden and i wonder if you think that it Would be possible to make a big trade(s) this season and go all in and then see how it goes next season. The Atlantic is getting better by the day and we have a lot of “spare” pieces that are going to be UFA after next year. So, would it be wise to go all in for this year and then just see how it goes next year so that we don’t mortgage to much of the future if still only are going to be a middle of the pack team next year. Another thing to keep in mind is also the unknown future of Bergy and Tuukka.  

Another question i have is how do other teams value JDB? What would the best value we could get back for him be? Would it be another struggling player or would a pick be better (of so What kind of pick)? Or would he be better off as a part of a package?

The biggest need i can see is a top-4 LHD. Would it be possible to send any of Reilly or Forbort in a package?

Even though we signed them last summer?

Sorry for my bad English and if I wrote too many questions.


Keep up the good work 🙂

Reilly Answer: Thanks Albin and your English is just fine.

Honestly, I am still on the fence on what the Bruins should do. I am at the point where I wait until trade deadline and see where the team and everyone else is. Do they owe it to Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to make another run at it? Probably, yes. But hockey is still a business and that does come into play as much as fans don’t want to hear that. It’s probably not the answer you wanted to hear either, but there is no black and white here. Sweeney, Cam Neely and Evan Gold have some serious decisions to make about where they are now and going forward. I don’t envy them at all.

As for Jake DeBrusk I don’t know what his value is around the league and honestly, if Sweeney felt he was getting full value back, he probably would have been traded by now. Can I see a situation where the keep DeBrusk until the end of the season as “their own rental” and trade him at the draft? Yes, I can, as unlikely as it seems. I wouldn’t be surprised by it. Part of the issue in dealing him though is there are so many teams with so little cap space. This could go down to the wire on trade deadline day or it could happen tomorrow by taking salary back in as you say, another struggling player.

As for Reilly or Forbort being moved, I’ve learned you never say never. You just don’t know when an injury bug could hit another team and they are forced to deal for a blueliner. But I’m not sure the Bruins are willing to part with depth.

I do believe we could see a buyout this offseason though. It won’t be one of the two you’re asking about. But there could be one on the horizon for the Bruins.

777Mats via Twitter asks:

Question: Who’s our next rookie that’ll have a 50pt rookie season? (Prediction)

Answer: LOL talk about putting me on the spot!! I’m sure I will hear about it for not saying Fabian Lysell. But Lysell will be in the NHL soon and I don’t know that he can do it that soon, but he will get there by year two. If I had to choose one player that is in the system now, I will go with Oskar Jellvik because he’s got four years of college after this season and conceivably be a 23-year-old rookie when he turns pro.

Mike O’Connor via Twitter asks:

Question: Would the bruins consider trading Marchand if Bergeron decides to retire after this season. I would think he will return a good 3-4 pieces for the bruins retool for a couple years.

Answer: Well, his no movement clause expires at the end of this season and it becomes a modified no trade, so they’d have to consider it. However, I think they would leave it up to Marchand to decide what he wants to do. I believe he’s the next captain of this team.

Johnny O’Harkonnen via Twitter asks:

Question: Assuming there are no big free agent moves, what’s the Stanley Cup window with this group? Already closed? Also, how close are the Bruins to a rebuild?

Answer: Assuming no trades and free agent moves? When Bergeron retires. Which is the perfect segue to your next question. We can’t assume no trades or free agent signings. So, to answer how close to a rebuild they are, we would need to know who those acquisitions are. I believe they will be active at trade deadline and in free agency.

Opinions are mine via Twitter asks:

Question: Guys in the farm system, what do you think the value/return we can expect for Studnicka, Vaakanainen, Senyshyn, Ahcan, Koppanen? What can each of these guys bring in return realistically? Any market for Clifton, Reilly?

Answer: As I said in a previous answer, different teams have different values on players that are dependent on need and who they already have on their team. Guys like Jack Studnicka and Vaakanainen would have more value to Arizona then they would for say Tampa. Connor Clifton should be a seventh defenceman on the Bruins. That’s probably his value around the league. Jack Ahcan is an interesting one. He was coveted by teams as a free agent signing, but if you’re asking what his value is in a trade, he won’t bring you much alone but as a part of a package he has some value. I don’t believe Joona Koppanen has much value in a trade. Zach Senyshyn asked for a trade and is still with the Bruins. I believe that says something. Reilly? I think in free agency, some teams would show interest. Is he a $3 million player? That determines his value.

Nicholas Alexander via Twitter asks:

Question: Who are some college free agents we should keep an eye for the Bruins to potentially sign when the free agent period begins for college Players?

Answer:

I will at some point in early to mid March do an “NCAA Shopping List” as well as an “OHL Free Agent Shopping List”. With the OHL, we already know who the undrafted free agents not re-entering the draft are. We’ve already seen Mack Guzda sign with the Florida Panthers on Monday and it is already a definitive list.  

With NCAA players, we have yet to see who commits to returning to college next season and who opts out and is wanting to turn pro. There are also some seniors who could opt not to sign with the team that drafted them and decide to become free agents. By late March, there should be more clarification, so I’d rather wait until then when the list is more solidified then just throwing out a bunch of names. For now, keep both eyes on Parker Ford.

Mike O’Connor via Twitter asks:

Question: Two-part question would the bruins ever consider taking Chara back as a 3rd pair guy for the playoffs? and do you see front office future for Chara with bruins or another team.

Answer: To answer your first part, no I don’t think so but as I always say “never say never”. Zdeno Chara in a front office position? Depends on what you consider a front office position. However, I could see him in a development role similar to Adam McQuaid. Having Big-Z and Quaider working with future blueliners in Providence and at lower levels would be a bonus for the Bruins. There is a lot of travelling for one person to get out and see all of them throughout the year. I’m not sure how interested Chara would be in a position like that with a family at home and already spending a lot of his time on the road and away from his family.

Follow me on Twitter @dominictiano

Published by Dominic Tiano

Following the Ontario Hockey League players eligible for the NHL Draft. I provide season-long stats, updates and player profiles as well as draft rankings.

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