By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins could certainly use more help on the blue line for now and the immediate future, but the emergence of rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo and a solid bounceback season for Zdeno Chara have mitigated their problems in that department. Another department where the Bruins have a sneaky lack of depth of talent is on the wings.
That’s where the newest Bruins trade rumor come into play. Adrian Dater, a national NHL writer for Bleacher Report who has previously covered the Colorado Avalanche, tweeted on Thursday that the Bruins are engaged in trade talks with the Avs for left winger Gabriel Landeskog. Dater said that Avs GM Joe Sakic asked the Bruins for Carlo in a trade package, but the Bruins declined.
Dater added that the Bruins could include 2015 first-round defenseman Jakub Zboril, fellow first-rounder Jake DeBrusk, Joe Morrow, and a first-round pick in a “potential package” for Landeskog. Regardless of which players are being discussed on the Bruins’ side, Dater says the Avs are “definitely listening to offers” for Landeskog.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Landeskog has scored 106 goals and 258 points in 384 career NHL games. At 6-foot-2, he also has great size for a left wing and plays a physical style that would be a perfect fit for the Bruins – particularly if he flanked David Krejci’s left side. Landeskog has amassed 30 penalty minutes and dished out 65 hits in 30 games this season.
Kirk Luedeke, who runs the hockey blog Scouting Post, started a Reddit thread back on Tuesday saying that Bruins GM Don Sweeney is “in active discussions around the league” for trades. He also brought up Landeskog as a name he heard was being bounced around in trade talks. He described Landeskog as a player who “would benefit from a change of scenery and develop synergy with the Bruins forwards on hand.”
Landeskog’s contract is also worth considering. He costs about $5.5 million against the cap for the next four seasons and the Bruins still need to work out an extension for David Pastrnak, which could cost them upwards of $6-7 million per season. But Chara will likely come off the books after the 2017-18 season, not to mention the players that they would potentially peel off the NHL roster in a trade, which would certainly make Landeskog’s contract manageable.
UPDATE: As far as the salary cap is concerned, the real issue with bringing Landeskog to Boston is to fit under the cap for the current season. The Bruins currently have about $4.2 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. So the Bruins would be forced to move players off the NHL roster in order to make room for Landeskog.
Landeskog is still just 24 and possesses huge upside with strong leadership qualities. The biggest question will be the price that it takes to bring him to Boston. Moving Carlo in a package for Landeskog would feel more like treading water than actually improving the team, so ideally, the Bruins can land him without giving Carlo up.
But, no matter what ends up happening, the mere idea of Sweeney talking about a deal like this is an indication that he’s preparing to make major moves on the Bruins roster.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.