Last night, Loui Eriksson dropped two more goals in the sign-me-to-a-nice-deal jar. The Bruins lost, sure, but it wasn't his fault. Today, Elliotte Friedman dropped his must-read 30 Thoughts column, and had this to say about Eriksson:
15. Honestly don’t know what to make of Boston and Eriksson.
I could see the Bruins wanting a Kreider type of trade, because it protects their roster for a playoff run. Knowing Boston’s history and the way they think, trading Eriksson for futures doesn’t provide happiness because it doesn’t help them this year. That kind of move is not in their DNA when they’re already in playoff position.
It doesn’t seem like there’s much in the way of contract talks happening now. That’s why I believe there’s a possibility they do with Eriksson what it looks like the Rangers will do with Yandle, keep him and see where everything lands. But I freely admit I’m much more secure in the Rangers prediction than the Boston one.
Trading Eriksson for something that helps them now — or making a secondary move if they do deal him for futures — is probably the preferred option.
We've certainly discussed trading Loui a number of times here. He's on an expiring contract and the Bruins shouldn't want to lose him for nothing. But Friedman's points fit into what we know about Bruins management: They're very focused on success now.
It could end up being the reverse of the Martin Jones trade from last summer - trade a handful of prospects and picks for a defenseman if they can't make a Loui-for-D trade work. As for replacing Loui Eriksson, there's a kid in Providence who is banging on the door of the NHL named Frank Vatrano. He's got more goals per game in the AHL than anyone on Providence has points per game, except Seth Griffith. He pours shots on net. He'll be a fine replacement. A strong forward group can't, on its own, drag a team to glory like a goalie can. So, we'll need help there. Just like half the teams out there, and the teams with defensemen to spare know it's a seller's market.
The trade deadline is Monday. We'll keep you updated.