By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins may not be in the market for a significant move before Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline – nor should they. But if there’s any area of need that they could fill relatively cheaply, it’s backup goaltender.
A new report suggests that the Bruins are in the market for such a piece. Former NHL goalie, now analyst Kevin Weekes tweeted on Tuesday that he’s hearing rumblings of the Bruins, Oilers, and Flames being “in on” Islanders netminder Jaroslav Halak in potential trade talks.
The 31-year-old Halak has struggled when on the ice this season, going 6-8-5 with a 3.23 goals against average and .904 save percentage – and yet, incredibly, he could still represent an upgrade over the Bruins’ revolving door of goalies behind Tuukka Rask. Anton Khudobin, Zane McIntyre, and Malcolm Subban have combined for a collective 3-10-2 record with a 3.34 GAA and .879 save percentage.
Halak’s $4.5 million salary could have been problematic for the Bruins in acquiring him, especially with the NHL salary cap likely to remain flat next season. But Weekes acknowledged that the Islanders would have to retain Halak’s salary for a deal to work, while insisting that the Bruins are interested – as he explained when he admonished this foul-mouthed Bruins fan.
Weekes’ report comes less than a week after Bruins GM Don Sweeney told the Boston Globe’s Kevin-Paul Dupont that the Bruins could be looking into adding a new backup goalie.
“It’s tough to find at this time [of the season], but they exist,” Sweeney said on backup goalies. “But it’s just a matter of teams are like, ‘Well, what are you giving up for it?’ That’s a big part of it.”
The concern now, of course, is that Sweeney might overpay for a player like Halak, who may only be a marginal upgrade at the spot and likely wouldn’t play at all in the playoffs if the Bruins got there. But the B’s have been simply abysmal when anyone but Rask has been in net. Considering that they ostensibly believe they can still be a playoff team, a more representative presence on Rask’s nights off could help them get there – and keep Rask more fresh for a potential playoff run.
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.