BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins stuck to low-risk signings on the first two days of NHL free agency, but they could be trying to acquire a bigger name via trade.
The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline tweeted on Sunday that the Blue Jackets were talking about a potential trade with the Avalanche involving forward Matt Duchene, but he also heard that the Bruins were talking to the Avs with the “assumption” that defenseman Brandon Carlo would be the “key piece” of the deal departing from Boston.
Carlo had previously been brought up as a potential player to be dealt to the Avs for left winger Gabriel Landeskog. The Bruins have sporadically been mentioned in trade rumors with the Avs since the calendar turned to 2017.
Duchene is coming off a down year with the last-place Avalanche, posting just 18 goals and 41 points in 77 games with a staggering minus-34 rating. He averaged 25.8 goals per 82 games in the first seven seasons of his career. The 26-year-old has scored 418 points in 572 career games.
One of the fastest skaters in the NHL, Duchene would have the potential to be a strong asset in Bruce Cassidy’s system. He also plays with the kind of intensity and energy that Bruins fans would love.
One potential roadblock in the Bruins acquiring Duchene would be his contract. He will cost $6 million against the cap for the next two seasons. The Bruins’ depth at center is another consideration, as they already have Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and David Backes, while 20-year-old Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson will presumably push for a bigger role in 2017-18.
Duchene could play left wing, which is another area of need for the Bruins. But paying $6 million per season and moving on from Carlo, a promising young defenseman with shutdown potential, would be a steep price to pay for what could only be two seasons of Duchene.