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  • Breaking down the Bruins’ trade deadline implications

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    Breaking down the Bruins’ trade deadline implications

    Tim Rosenthal February 15, 2016

    We’re officially two weeks away from the trade deadline, and the implications surrounding GM Don Sweeney and the Boston Bruins are both short and long-term. From deciding what to do with Loui Eriksson, to future free agents and trying to upgrade the blue-line, Sweeney and company have questions that will need answers.

    How will the Bruins look when it’s all said and done after the 3 p.m. deadline on February 29th? Here’s a trade deadline primer on things to watch over the next two weeks.

    What to do with Loui

    NHL Trade Deadline

    Will Loui Eriksson still be a Bruin after the NHL Trade Deadline? (Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily)

    Finally showing similar production from his days in Dallas before the infamous Tyler Seguin trade, Eriksson will unquestionably be in for a big payday. This could very well be the last chance for the 30-year-old Swede to cash in on a big contract.

    Do the Bruins still see Eriksson as a core member of their squad for the next few seasons? Do they view him as a player worth more than $6 million a year?

    If the answer to those questions is no, then Eriksson’s days as a Bruin will be numbered — even if he stays for the rest of the 2015-16 season. Even if the answer is yes, fitting Eriksson under the salary cap will be a tough task. Which leads us to…

    The uncertainty of the salary cap

    According to sources close to our own James Murphy, the salary cap will take a significant hit heading into next season.

    This information could throw a curveball to every NHL GM looking to make a major acquisition at the deadline. Factor in the Steven Stamkos sweepstakes that could take place in the off-season and more potential buyers than sellers at the deadline and you have a recipe for speculation of teams being hesitant to make upgrades for their playoff push.

    Assuming the information is accurate, the cap will go down to roughly $66 million for the 2016-17 season.

    Putting more things in perspective for the B’s trade deadline implications leads us to…

    Future contracts for core players

    NHL trade deadline

    Pending RFA Torey Krug will look to cash in on a contract extension. (Photo by Joe Makarski/Bruins Daily)

    Factoring in future contracts is always a tricky proposition thanks to the salary cap. In the short-term, the B’s have one core member that should be locked up for a multi-year deal, and that is Torey Krug. An RFA at the end of the season, Krug, being on pace for the lowest offensive totals of his career (24 points through 55 games so far), should be in for a lengthier contract after signing one-year extensions the previous two seasons.

    After the 2016-17 season, David Pastrnak’s entry level contract expires. That, along with Ryan Spooner looking for a raise and Brad Marchand seeking to cash big as a pending UFA next summer is something worth considering for Sweeney and company.

    As of now, the Bruins have a little over $48 million committed to 12 players for next season. That would leave $18 million left in cap space to fill out the remaining eight spots. Desperately in need of a young, top-four defenseman for the short and long term, Sweeney has a little more than $6 million in projected cap space to work with at the trade deadline according to General Fanager.

    Speaking of defensive help…

    The blue-line talents rumored to be on the block

    Sami Vatanen (seen defending Matt Beleskey in this image) is an interesting name on the NHL Trade Deadline rumor mill. (Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily)

    Sami Vatanen (seen defending Matt Beleskey in this image) is an attractive name on the NHL Trade Deadline rumor mill. (Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily)

    The three defenseman locked up for next year — Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid — aren’t getting any younger. Young defenders like Colin Miller, Zach Trotman and Joe Morrow, while showing some progress, have gone through their share growing pains during this season of transition.

    Names like Kevin Shattenkirk, Jared Spurgeon, Jacob Trouba, Sami Vatanen, Matthew Dumba, Kris Russell and Keith Yandle — all under the age of 30 — are rumored to be on the block.

    Will the next two weeks be an indication of Sweeney attempting to make some bold moves? Will he make a minor trade or two? Or will The Hub have to wait for anything of significance from the B’s GM and company until the off-season. Keep it here on Bruins Daily for complete coverage through the deadline.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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