NHL free agency is merely two months away as we take a long look at some of the players on the market that might be best suited to don the black and gold.
First, lets talk about the big fish that’s available this year in Kevin Shattenkirk. Shattenkirk is one of the best offensive defenseman in the NHL and since coming into the league in 2010, has been averaging 0.5 points per game. It’s not every year that an elite puck moving defenseman that can quarterback a power play hits the market.
The only downfall with the Bruins pursuing Shattenkirk is what it would cost. A defenseman of his talent would demand a similar price as Victor Hedman. Hedman signed a eight-year, $63 million contract which is very high in terms of NHL contracts. As the Bruins try to develop their young defensive core, it would be a deadly mistake to kill our cap space of $12 million.
Looking at the forwards on the market, a lot of fans are talking about signing Drew Stafford. This writer would rather see a player like T.J. Oshie playing alongside one of his old teammates David Backes.
If Backes can coax his old linemate to join the Bruins at around the same contract number of $4.5 million, the Bruins should jump on the opportunity. The only way this could work is if somehow the team can sweeten the deal with The Golden Knights to take either Jimmy Hayes or Matt Beleskey.
Now taking a look at some wingers, the next two on the list are Thomas Vanek and Kris Versteeg. Both wingers had a great season last year and proved they could still dance with the big boys. Both were also playing on a team friendly contract last season and would be expected to have an asking price in the range of two or three million next year.
If the Bruins want to make a run at the Stanley Cup this year, the team may have to bite the bullet and spend a decent amount of money to improve their team.