The Boston Bruins, one of the NHL’s model franchises over the past decade, has experienced something this season that is very foreign to them, failure.
While failure for the Bruins is relative, there is still concern up north. Though they hold a record north of .500, the Bruins (19-15-6) are 9th in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of 8th and a playoff spot.
For the Carolina Hurricanes, a 19-15-6 record would be glamourous after 5 seasons of missing the playoffs, but for the Bruins, a team that won the President’s Trophy last year and has made the playoffs every year since 2007, this is troubling.
It is inevitable that, in these situations, big market teams like Boston Bruins will be involved in trade rumors, and GM Peter Chiarelli.
"“I see what everyone else sees: We’re squeezing our sticks. We’re competing, but I feel we have to be more competitive. We’ve lost seven-of-nine, and we’ve got to be better.” Chiarelli said after a shootout lost to the Sens in mid-December . “So to specifically answer that question (about urgency in finding help via trades): I’m looking.”"
So, the Boston Bruins were looking to make deals then, and that has not changed. Nearly a month later, the Bruins are even more desperate to bring in help both up front and on the blue line. Enter, the Carolina Hurricanes.
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The Hurricanes enter January 6’s NHL action with an Eastern Conference-worst 12-23-4 record. Being a small market, budget team, Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos reportedly has asked Ron Francis to shed salary, which has led to the names of several players being thrown around, specifically, Jiri Tlusty and Andrej Sekera.
The Bruins lost out on the David Perron sweepstakes, but Tlusty could be a great fallback option for them. Players with similar trade value and NHL success, Tlusty and Perron would likely bring back similar returns for both teams.
Perron got a 1st round pick out of Pittsburgh, so is it reasonable to expect a first rounder for Tlusty? Short answer, yes. Especially considering that the Bruins prefer an expiring contract over a contract with more years left on it. That is where Tlusty has Perron beat. The 26-year-old Czech will be an unrestricted free agent in July.
Also looking to bolster their blue line, the Bruins could also use a guy like Andrej Sekera. Like Tlusty, Sekera has an expiring contract this offseason.
Coming off of a breakout season, Andrej Sekera has continued to be a consistent bright spot for the Carolina Hurricanes on the blue line.
It seems more and more like a lock that Sekera will be on the move. And while it was reported earlier in the year that several Western Conference teams were in on the Slovak defenseman, this seems like something that reads Boston all over it.
It is also worth noting that Bruins captain and defenseman Zdeno Chara is a Slovakia native, just like Sekera. Chemistry from past national tournaments and Olympics can help fuel a potential elite top defensive pairing in Bean Town.
So, the boston Bruins get what they want, but what can the Carolina Hurricanes get?
If the Canes traded both Sekera and Tlusty to Boston, a 1st round pick in 2015 would be a lock for the return, but that won’t be good enough.
On top of the 1st round pick, a prospect and maybe roster player (for cap reasons) would likely come back to Carolina.
The word around the league that the expected return for Sekera would be a 1st rounder and a prospect, and then the Perron trade set the market for Tlusty.
The Canes will need to look into Boston’s farm system to see what they can get.
Let’s start with David Pastrnak. Boston’s 2014 first round draft pick would fit the high prospect need that the Hurricanes have.
The Czech born forward has had a wild amount of success in his rookie season in pro hockey. As an 18-year-old, he has tallied 27 points in 23 games in the AHL. That is very impressive.
He has tons of potential and would be a great pickup for Carolina in a trade.
In the case that the Bruins refuse to trade Pasternk, which is likely , Joe Morrow (D) is 22-years-old and can certainly turn into a low-end top-4 defenseman at the NHL level, if not a stable top-4 guy.
Alex Khokhlachev, a 2013 2nd round pick, is another good prospect in Boston. At the age of 21, the Russian forward already has one very good full year in the AHL under his belt. He tallied 57 points in 63 games last year with the Providence Bruins.
The Carolina Hurricanes have what the Boston Bruins need, and the Boston Bruins have what the Carolina Hurricanes need. A trade between these two teams seems to be one that could work out very well.