With the confetti put away, the Christmas tree coming down and the long grind of the NHL season resuming for its second half, attention in Boston is once again turning towards the way the Bruins can fix their problems and gain themselves a chance of challenging down the stretch this season.
And there are rumours now that, contrary to focusing on the glaring problems with defense, Don Sweeney and Cam Neely may be preparing a move for a forward.
Kirk Luedeke, among others, has hinted (in a discussion on Reddit) that Gabriel Landeskog of the struggling Colorado Avalanche is arousing serious interest among the Boston front office as they look for a player to spark the Bruins offence back into life. The Avs captain is not having a good year, with only 12 points in 27 games so far this season in an Avs team currently having a tank for the ages and looking to make changes.
However, this seems a strange decision for Boston. It's a trade that on the surface seems to make sense, sure - Landeskog's full-throttle power-forward style of play is going to delight the section of the Bruins fanbase who think that Milan Lucic is proof that the hockey gods exist, and would see to be the perfect fit for a team who has one of the best ever of that type of player now running its front office in Cam Neely. The thought of him with...say, David Krejci is one to whet the appetite.
However, it would be an expensive dish indeed. The Avalanche are rumoured to want a number one defenseman and a prospect in return - a price they were struggling to demand when it looked like their actual number one defenseman Tyson Barrie would be heading out of the door at the last trade deadline. The Bruins would have to pay and pay big for their asset - which is especially curious given they invested a huge chunk of change in a very similar (if older) type of player to Landeskog in David Backes over the summer. The early price has names like Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy being thrown into the mix on the Boston side, and good as Landeskog is, he isn't worth either of them being traded away.
The price looks even steeper still when you look past Landeskog's style of play to what he's actually done over the past season or two. Puck Daddy's Ryan Lambert summarises this. Essentially, Landeskog's production has dropped like a stone the past two seasons and is trending downwards. On the one hand, this means that the Avalanche might actually be amenable to trading him now, on the other it means that the Bruins are sinking a whole lot into a potentially depreciating asset in the same way they have over the summer with David Backes (and while we don't want to get the knives out for him just yet, the start has not been convincing for Backes in Boston).
In Landeskog's favour is the fact that he's 24 and arguably not reaching his prime yet - however this is another giant red flag, potentially - the general trend of players' careers is to IMPROVE through their early 20s until their reach their prime. The Avalanche's marquee trio of Duchene, Landeskog and MacKinnon aren't doing that.
Consider the price, too. The Bruins are more than likely looking at giving up players like Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy in any potential deal...these are players it would be insane to give away on a player that fills a role the Bruins already have, while sacrificing what little cap-space the B's have available right now (the Av captain's $4.5 million salary would eat up the vast majority of it unless the B's could convince the Avs to take a player like Adam McQuaid, which frankly would need either truly superb persuasion skills or some sort of Jedi mind trick)
Trading for Landeskog smacks of a knee-jerk reaction from the Bruins front office - an attempt to convince a discontented fanbase calling for action that they are on the ball by solving a problem the Bruins don't really have. It makes no sense in the long term given the situation the B's are currently in. If we were talking about raiding the Avs for Tyson Barrie, then that's something that could be got behind, just as it was when it looked like a potential move at the trade deadline last season.
A move for Landeskog right now, though, would be a sticking plaster. It might heal some of the fan discontent and even benefit the Bruins going forward, but it would only cover up the bleeding on the blue-line, without doing a thing to heal it in the long term.
If the B's front office is genuinely looking to act, they have better things to spend their time on than this.