BOSTON (CBS) — And so it begins.

Every media member has traded every Boston Bruin for every member of every team in the National Hockey League over the last few days. It’s that time of the season, and because your team has been struggling more than most observers thought they would be right now, get ready to say goodbye to just about anyone.

Who would YOU trade?  Milan Lucic? The Captain, Zdeno Chara? Doug (on professional principle, I refuse to call him “Dougie”) Hamilton? David Krejci? Tuukka Rask?

These are the names of the players being bandied about by sports radio tongues, puck bloggers and other hockey scribes. And it’s all just pure speculation.

Granted, the Bruins will most likely make a trade, because when you are in tenth place in your conference and things are not on the upswing, something has got to give. Unlike in Edmonton, B’s head coach Claude Julien was just renewed for several more years and is going nowhere. That means it’s the roster that will be modified.

And who will be the additions? Again, the names being thrown around that would be coming to Boston are the likes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and T.J. Oshie.

Those names would look really good on the back of the Spoked-B jersey, but tell me, how they are supposed to arrive here and be placed on the active roster? The big obstacle in any trade involving the Bruins is the salary cap. Boston has just about $1 million to play with, and unless they are going to give up one of their $5-6 million players for another, it is the only way a trade is going to be made.

There are lots of suggestions as to who should go, should the Bruins want Oshie or Hall. However, the likes of Reilly Smith, Chris Kelly, Matt Fraser and others are not what other teams are looking for. No one wants your Filene’s Basement bargains for a snazzy outfit from Nordstroms. It will take some pretty shrewd maneuvering by Peter Chiarelli and company to pull off anything that will make the current squad into a real playoff contender, nevermind a Stanley Cup contender.

DieHard wouldn’t mind seeing any of those three players mention come to Boston, and as far as who to send away, I’m sure the Bruins have their “untouchables” in mind. Mine are Rask, Hamilton and Bergeron.

Some fans, crazy as they are, want to get rid of their Vezina-winning goalie just because he hasn’t carried them to the promised land. They have been spoiled by 2011, and seem to forget that if you don’t score goals, you cannot win games. Right now, the Black and Gold are having some major problems burying their scoring chances.

Chara is as close to an untouchable for me as you can get, but if push came to shove, I would send him packing for the right deal. Still effective when in the lineup, Chara is beginning to show wear and tear. While Hamilton is not yet an elite defenseman, he is the heir apparent and should not be traded under any circumstances.

Bergeron? Enough said.

But anyone else on the current roster should be concerned about whether they will be a Bruin, as the team tries to keep its head above water.

Enjoy the holidays Bruins fans, and let’s just wait and see what 2015 brings us!

Ric Duarte has covered hockey and the Bruins for various media outlets since 1986. You can follow Ric at and on Twitter @bruins_diehard.



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