These mailbags are always so much fun. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I enjoy sharing my opinion.
@bruinscoverage via Twitter asks:
Despite this Bruins team looking really good, would you say that there needs to be a trade or two to help strengthen it? Especially since we need to be at 100% come playoff time.
I think before we start discussing trades “down the road”, the focus needs to be on what do they do now or in a week or two to get cap compliant to activate Derek Forbort. I know that 99% of fans are into trades, want to discuss trades and some even come up with trade suggestions. I like to deal in the now and I take great interest in the business side of the game, and the fact is, there is just no maneuverability to make any deals right now other than to get under the cap to activate Forbort.
That is, unless you are dealing something of value on the team, but I just do not see that happening at this point. Why disrupt what is working? My suggestion is to let things play out, let the team fix their cap issue and then in late January, early February visit where there “may be issues” with the team as they head down the stretch and towards the playoffs.
@MarkMicalizzi via Twitter asks:
If the Bruins don’t dump salary, how long would they have to keep Forbort on IR before they can bring him back?
Firstly, I’m sure it’s just a typo, but I will clarify just in case. Forbort is on Long Term Injury Reserve (LTIR) and not Injured Reserve (IR). There is a difference, and the difference has salary cap implications.
Now, to answer your question: They would have zero time. The day Forbort is medically cleared to play by the medical staff, the Bruins must be cap compliant either by sending players down to Providence or via trade by 5:00 pm New York time the same day.
Forbort has a broken finger and it’s pretty much well known the time frame it would take for him to come back so there is no “stashing him”. This isn’t like Brad Marchand or Charlie McAvoy who came back a month early, where another month on LTIR would not raise eyebrows.
@DawgsDon via Twitter asks:
Top arenas to go watch an OHL game?
Personally, my favorite is the Harry Lumley Bayshore Arena in Owen Sound. It seats about 4000 fans, it’s cozy and it’s been around for about 40 years. I like those cozy older barns.
@denis04224773 via Twitter asks:
If it costs too much to trade Riley what would be your out of the box solution. Is there a hockey trade that could work?
I don’t think there is any deal to be made right now other than to move salary to get compliant. Trade deadline? Different story. Right now, it’s all about the cap.
@ThornsFan73 via Twitter has two questions:
While you can never expect 2nd and 3rd round prospects to become Bergeron, Marchand, and Krejci; are there any non-first round prospects in the system that have an unexpected upside to become star caliber players?
Can you rank the goaltenders in the system? To me, it appears like we have a lot of talent throughout.
I think Mason Lohrei tops the list. He was unexpected when drafted. Oskar Jellvik is another, although I have been pretty high on him. The key word for here was unexpected.
As far as goalie rankings, I would rank them as follows: Linus Ullmark, Jeremy Swayman, Keith Kincaid, Kyle Keyser, Brandon Bussi, Philip Svedeback and Reid Dyck.
@mike77ca via Twitter asks:
Hey Dom, your thoughts what John Gruden has brought to this team, the defense is outstanding, the depth on the back end, system and the overall togetherness they have, so much fun to watch.
I loved the Gruden hire from the moment it was announced. He has helped these defencemen immensely. I was on a podcast prior to the season beginning and spoke how I believe he would be of huge benefit to the back end. I also spoke about how he would put his stamp on the power play. He has them, for the most part, attacking east-west instead of north-south. This breaks down the box and confuses the opposition and it creates lanes all over the o-zone for the PP. I’m not surprised, it is something he used with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL and something he’s brought to the Bruins.
You right, watching the togetherness of this team is fun to watch. As for the depth on the blueline, it’s been a bonus for this team right now. Let’s see where it is at once Forbort returns and what the team has to do to make him fit under the cap.
@ccmkenzie via Twitter asks:
who would win in a matchup of five Bergeron’s vs. five Marchand’s?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I think Marchand is better offensively, but Bergeron is better defensively. So, 5 vs 5 I would say Bergeron would be able to do enough to keep Marchand’s offence to a minimum. If you had said 3 vs 3, I would have said Marchand because I think he could wear 3 Bergeron’s down with his skating.
Follow me on Twitter @dominictiano