Lets be honest, we need to deal Dennis Wideman. He is not contributing at the level that he should be, or that his supposed skill level would warrant. He is especially coming up short for how much he is getting paid. He is currently 10th on the team in scoring, 3rd amongst defenseman, but that isn't saying much, as he has only amassed totals of 3-11-14. When he was acquired from St. Louis, he was supposedly going to be a great puck moving defenseman, in the same mold of Brian Campbell. While he has shown some offensive potential, there is a huge problem... He can't play defense. Watching Wideman trying to cover the defensive end is just plain brutal.
However, there is hope. While his salary is rather high, and he is locked up for another 3 years, I'm willing to bet there is a team out there who is willing to take him on, as he is young and could still grow. One team that is in an intriguing spot is Carolina. They obviously aren't going anywhere this year, and they are probably going to lose Joe Corvo. Half a year rental on Corvo to dump Wideman's salary and assuring that we can lock up Johnny Boychuk long term?? A lot of people would think that we wouldn't want to deal a guy like Wideman within the conference, but why not?? I would love to see Carolina become an even worse team defensively than they already are. How about Los Angelas and Randy Jones?? I mean sure, he might be killed by his hometown fans, but if he survives long enough to be a half year rental, and Wideman is on the west coast, I could see this being a great deal. We could possibly bring in a draft pick along with Jones.
However, even with Wideman sitting, this team has enough blue line depth to manage. What we need is goal scoring. Thus enters the Kovalchuk factor. If we were to throw Wideman, Hamill and our first round pick at Atlanta, why wouldn't they take that deal?? Hamill hasn't torn it up in the AHL, but in his preseason bouts with the big team, he has shown some potential. Atlanta has some good youth along the blue line, adding Wideman, a veteran who is still young, could be a good piece to their puzzle. Throw in our first round pick to boot, I feel like Atlanta would take this deal (I would trade Boston's first round pick instead of Toronto, as we will probably wind up with either Cam Fowler or Tyler Seguin, both great prospects, especially Seguin).
One other guy that kind of intrigues me, and could fit into the Bruins system and needs is Alex Tanguay. He is a veteran guy who has been considered to be done for a few years now. He is currently with Tampa and will more than likely be available come deadline time. Sound familiar?? Seems like the same script from the Mark Recchi deal. We probably wouldn't have to give up Wideman for Tanguay, and worst case, he would be watching the rest of the season from the press box if he doesn't pan out. I feel like this could be a good deal for the Bruins to look at.
Either way you slice it, I feel like the way this season is panning out, it's not the year. If we were to stay healthy throughout the second half of the season and through the playoffs, we could make a little run at it, but I'm not convinced we have enough to battle with the Devils, Caps, Pens, etc. Looking foreward however, if we could deal some excess bagage (cough wideman cough), we are still in great shape for the long term.