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The Great Chowder Brain Trust fixes the Bruins defense.

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We have had plenty of arguments here on SCOC about how to properly address the Boston Defense. Tonight, we close the argument once and for all...or not. Tonight's brain trust is comprised by Paul Wheeler (fourthlinewing), johndavis33, Nolan Cardwell, Chris Abraham, and yours truly. Recorded from a real conversation in the SCOC staff chat.

THE GREATER GOOD (OF THE BOSTON BRUINS)
THE GREATER GOOD (OF THE BOSTON BRUINS)

All participants, clad in black robes with gold and white trims walk into the great meeting place of the SCOC brain trust and take their respective, ancient seats while ominous as hell music plays silently in the background. Paul stands and presents a bag of gravel and a ceremonial dagger. He stabs the bag repeatedly until the contents spill out onto the floor. The collective mumbles a "The Greater Good" until he puts the dagger away, and addresses the group.

PAUL:
Friends, it is a time of tumult, and woe for our dearly beloved team. We have gathered here today to embark on a difficult task, with many interconnected strings of thought and wisdoms. Using our collective might, we must begin our great theorizing of a way to remedy the poor play and decisions of the Boston Bruins regarding their blue line. To this, I leave this open for your debate:

"CHOWDER BRAIN TRUST. Your task tonight is: You have carte blanche to move players. Fix the Boston D with moves you think are realistic. Discuss.

First thing...Do you move McQuaid? And how?""

I personally, would start with the movement of Adam McQuaid either back down the roster, or off of it entirely. He has not proven himself worthy of the coveted "1/2" defenseman spot. I believe it should be fair to say that this would involve some short-term pain on the part of the team?

ALL:
Agreed.

PAUL:
Very good. Brother Chris, you have the floor.

CHRIS:
Thank you.

I think they need to play players to see what they have. They should have a pretty solid idea on what they have in McQuaid and Miller, Krugs bottom end as well. Everyone else? C Miller, Morrow etc.? All need minutes, but the only real spot for them is with Chara or on the third pairing as of right now. As much as i want to see a true partner with Chara, a real live second pairing would be great. Krug is still a 4/5 in my eyes, maybe a 3/4 guy. Good, but not someone who can carry a partner. Krug - Seidenberg has proven to be dreadful, SeidenQuaid is even worse.

PAUL:
Very good points. John, your thoughts?

JOHN:
You could probably trick CBJ or CAL to take one of SeidenQuaid off your hands.

I mean there's no way, or need, to get good partner for Chara. Let him shelter one of the kids. So far this season, Chara's looked like the 10 foot tall monster we all knew he was in his own end. Throw really anyone next to him and that's a good top pairing. I do believe also that if you manage to acquire a good defensive defenseman to play with Krug, the fortunes of the team would likely turn around quickly. However, I am emphatically for the dumping of Dennis Seidenberg. For a bag of pucks, if necessary.

I also think Tinordi of Montreal is a good target. Tinordi for Koko could be a perfect deal. Both are NHL ready prospects that aren't playing because their parent team has too much depth at that specific position. Only difference is one is a scoring forward and the other is a shutdown defenseman. The only argument against this trade I could think of is LOL MONTREAL TRADE HAHA YEAH RIGHT

SKY:
The main problem here with that is Seidenberg's NTC, which he can exercise at any time and send in a list of teams that he wouldn't want to be traded to. That could scratch a lot of the names you would want off of the list of acquisitions. And many of those teams would more than likely be looking for Defensemen.

PAUL:
Columbus' D is BAD, by the way. Who are you taking out of there? Fedor Tyutin? Ryan Murray? Dalton "Fishy" Prout?

JOHN:
I want nothing in return for Seidenberg or McQuaid. Honestly if we got a pick back from such a trade it'd be like Christmas.

Can you even waive players that have NTCs?

CHRIS:
Seidenberg has said that he would waive his NTC if he felt he wasnt wanted. And yes, you can waive players with NTC's. You can't with NMC's, at least not without their blessing.

JOHN:
If we could magically trade Seidenberg for the player everyone thinks Seidenberg is, we'd be so fine.

CHRIS:
But therein lies a big problem, they would need another move to GET a D man back. That just clears cap and a logjam back there. And we have plenty of 5/6th pairing tier defensemen. If we're going to move him, we might as well try and make him useful to us.

PAUL:
I suggest a direct trade for Nikita Zadorov from Colorado for Dennis Seidenberg, straight up as is. Zadorov is a guy who's low stock at the moment, and could basically be Son of Chara given the right encouragement. Also relatively cheap wage-wise. Would need a chunky offer but...y'know.

JOHN:
That's about as likely as Kelly for McDavid.

SKY:

I'm also not so sure about that trade, Colorado's woes on defense are largely a fault of the system Roy employs as well as individual puck possession problems, I think the Avs might be high on individual players like Zadorov who are still developing into the players they could be.

CHRIS:

At this point, I'd be willing to trade Seidenberg for Zach Redmond. With conditional picks based on Games Played and whatnot.

JOHN:

If we're going down that route, I'd rather the Bruins trade him for Tinordi. We get Tinordi, Habs get a paperweight on their salary cap. Win-Win scenario.

CHRIS:

Very true, but the point of moving Tinordi would be to free up a defensive spot, not make them objectively worse. But for a team like the Avalanche with Roy as the Head Coach and VP of Hockey Ops... you might be able to get someone back for him.

...how much do you think would you have to add to get Tyson Barrie?

PAUL: For Seidenberg and Tinordi? more. A lot more. The Avs wouldn't part with him willingly.

Of course, the Bruins said they weren't going to do anything rash, and look how that ended up.

Sky, your thoughts on this matter?

SKY: Thanks.

Moving McQuaid would be a priority for me from the get-go. We already have two barely mobile, tough shot blocker defenseman when realistically you'd only need a one. Having Kevan Miller be in a depth role is realistically the best we can ask for from him, and hopefully he isn't as much of a injury risk as McQuaid has proven himself to be. The Bruins in general seem to be in this weird spot where the only real way they can improve right now is to make addition by subtraction, and a lot of the big problems that face the team from the administrative end are, as previously discussed, a bunch of big contracts that require a lot of creative selling on the part of the team, which I just don't think is a feasible option if you're trying to move a big ugly contract like Seidenberg's or McQuaid's without gouging out some of the more promising aspects of your forward depth to sweeten the deal.

I also agree that playing more of the rookie defensemen would be a great idea, as many of them are showing real promise, such as Joe Morrow. However, I recognize that without a distinct "Number 2" or "Number 3" defenseman, the team is sort of lost at this point, and I would likely see if moving a forward to bring in real, honest-to-god defensive depth wouldn't be a bad idea.

JOHN: See, I disagree with you on Morrow. I don't think he's becoming the defensemen you think he is.

At this point, the best option that seems available is an idea of Loui Eriksson being traded to Anaheim for Sami Vatanen. Normally that sounds like a stupid idea on Anaheim's part, but they're in panic mode, and panic mode GMs make bad trades. We need D both long and short term, and they need scoring ASAP or people are losing their jobs.

CHRIS: As much as it sucks, I agree. Maybe convince you could also convince them to take a bad contract like McQuaid's or Seidenberg's. I'd rather have a bad short-term contract 'till the year ended instead of a long, drawn out painful one.

SKY: The thing is with Seidenberg is that I'm not sure he'd be so willing to be traded right off the bat. You'd have to retain some form of salary.

JOHN: Well, try your damnedest to waive him if you can.

SKY: Well obviously, but if you make it clear he isn't wanted and he waives his clause, there's no reason you shouldn't take advantage of it, even if it's future considerations and a pick, it's still something.

JOHN: Dangle that fruit in front of a Columbus or Calgary, and they may bite. Their GMs are in "I NEED TO GET A DEFENSEMAN OR I'M FIRED" mode, and they might still think Seidenberg is good.

I mean, would you rather get rid of him for nothing? Or get a couple of low round picks and retain salary?

CHRIS: If you wanted to do that, I'd imagine Columbus is the best option for something like that.

SKY: You've somewhat convinced me on this Vatanen trade, with maybe a pick or a prospect thrown in for good measure. So...See if you can waive Seidenberg, then shift everybody down a pairing or so to fit in Vatanen, promote a player from Providence to play wing on the third line?

JOHN:

Something like that. I guess my final roster with only relatively realistic trades is:

Marchand - Bergy - Connolly

Beleskey - Krejci - Pasta

Kelly - Spooner - Hayes

Remaldon't - 420Hemppainen - Randell

Chara- Tinordi/Trotman/AMiller

Krug - Vatanen

Morrow - Tinordi/Trotman/AMiller/BLEND IT UP

SKY: ....Anyway Remaldo gets moved?

JOHN: No point, if you could've signed Sean Bergenheim or Stempniak for little to nothing, then hell yeah. But it's too late for that now unless you have a lot of faith in Anton Blidh.

SKY: Meh. Worth a shot.

CHRIS: What if you could convince a team that Seidenberg ADDS value? Like in that ANA deal... maybe have Hayes instead of Eriksson, given that Hayes is theirs for 2 more years, is a big body who can play with Getz and Perry.

JOHN: Yeah, but that means we don't get him for two more years. Unless you think there's like a 60% chance we win the Cup THIS SEASON with Eriksson, he should be traded at some point this year.