There seems to be an underlying question as to why the Bruins are playing Ryan Spooner on the wing with David Krejci and Loui Eriksson lately. Some are speculating that this could be preparing for life without Loui, which depending on the return for him, could very well be dumb. However, Darren Dreger was quoted as saying that the Bruins weren't currently looking to move the Swedish winger
Dreger: "Not at that stage yet" where #Bruins would come to Eriksson about his no-trade list, if a team was keenly interested.— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) January 28, 2016
So with a trade ruled out for now, where does that leave the Spooner on the wing argument? Is it a ploy to get him more ice time? To see if Joonas Kemppainen can step up into a third line center role? Or something else?
If the plan was to see what Joonas Kemppainen could do as a third line center, they had that chance when Krejci was out. The third line could barely score, while Ryan Spooner lit it up playing with Beleskey and Eriksson. Kemppainen is a fourth line center for now, and at his age, that is likely his ceiling. That's fine, you need players like that in your lineup to kill penalties, amongst other things.
Moving Spooner to the wing opened up a gaping hole in the Bruins lines. They have two skilled wingers playing with a fourth line center, who is stifling them offensively. If the Bruins are currently looking to shop Eriksson and move Spooner into the top 6, then a corresponding roster move to look at who would replace Spooners spot would make sense, unless they planned on getting a third line center back in a trade. If the replacement would be internal, why not get a better gauge on what Austin Czarnik (32 points in 36 AHL games) or Alexander Khokhlachev (35 in 32, and an AHL all star berth) can do in the perfect situation: Third line, sheltered usage, and with offensive linemates. A similar situation that Ryan Spooner had last year.
If this move was to get Spooner more ice time, why not just roll three lines, and just use the fourth line for depth penalty killing? The Bruins have serious top 9 forward depth, why roll 4 lines if you don't have to? Let the good players play more. They've earned it.