|Antoine Vermette will be a popular target this year for contending teams. Photo: Jamie Sabau NHLI via Getty Images|
Now that Evander Kane is done for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, the narrative of him in the black and gold is over...for now. The current Bruins' roster has been getting it done lately, but a championship contender can always be better. Bruins' general manager Peter Chiarelli has shown he isn't shy about pulling the trigger on making a trade, but most of his bigger trades have taken place in the offseason. Chiarelli's past few trade deadlines have mostly been about depth and he stated publicly that he's fine with not making blockbuster deals. This year's deadline is less than a month away and the rumors are beginning to fly. Let's take a look at three options for the Bruins and who they may be targeting on March 2nd.
Antoine Vermette (Traded to Chicago Blackhawks):
The Arizona Coyotes have struggled this season and are most likely going to be sellers this trade deadline. Vermette will be a popular name this year as many good teams will be inquiring about his services. TSN's Bob Mckenzie, who is a must follow on twitter (@TSNBobMcKenzie), has reported that many teams who are tight up against the salary cap are shying away from players with big, long-term contracts. Vermette is an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) this summer and would be a true rental. Vermette is a versatile center who can also play the wings and has offensive skill along with being a 200 foot player. Vermette would be a solid addition to the Bruins bottom lines to sure up their depth and add a veteran to an already playoff-savvy roster. Arizona seems to be turning towards a re-build and Vermette is 32 years old. According to Nicholas Goss (@NickGossNESN), Coyotes' GM Don Maloney is listed on the seating chart for tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens. Vermette has thirty-three points in fifty-one games played this season for Arizona.
Chris Stewart (Still Available):
The Buffalo Sabres are an absolute dumpster fire this year and I would imagine almost everyone is available for them. One name that has been part of Bruins' trade rumors seemingly all season has been Chris Stewart. Stewart is a streaky player who could use a change of scenery. He isn't going to set the world on fire, but Stewart brings good size and skill along the right wing and would be a good fit for the Bruins. He is a risky target, but the rewards could be significant if Stewart finds himself on a contending team. Stewart is also a UFA this summer so he would also be a rental.
Mike Santorelli (Traded to Nashville Predators):
The Toronto Maple Leafs decided to start getting ready for golf season early this year and one of the players that has become popular recently is Mike Santorelli. Don Maloney is not the only general manager on the TD Garden seating chart tonight. According to Nicholas Goss, Dave Nonis, GM of the Maple Leafs, is also on that seating chart. TSN's Darren Dreger(@DarrenDreger), another must follow, reported that Mike Snatorelli is a player that has been discussed a lot recently on the most recent episode of TSN's "Insider Trading". Santorelli has eleven goals and twenty-nine points this year through fifty-four games and would be another player to help with the depth of the Bruins' roster. Santorelli also has a small cap hit of $1.5 million and is not signed by the Leafs past this season. It is hard to believe the Leafs would assist their division rivals, but if the offer is good enough, Dave Nonis may send the twenty-nine year old south of the border to Boston.
Peter Chiarelli mentioned he isn't as focused on trading when he announced he was keeping David Pastrnak on the roster for the rest of the season, but it never hurts to make you team better. The price tags for at the deadline are usually high and the cost of the above mentioned players, especially Vermette, would be an NHL-caliber player along with a high round draft pick. Chiarelli has some salary cap room and draft picks thanks to the Johnny Boychuk deal, but it is unlikely he will take on a non-rental player. The Bruins seem to be locked into one of the wild-card spots and could be a dangerous team this spring. There won't be any blockbuster trades, but expectations will be high so it will be interesting to see how Chiarelli handles the deadline in 2015.