WEEI and NBC have both reported within an hour of each other last night that the Boston Bruins are having extended trade talks with the Minnesota Wild, with one name being floated by most parties as a candidate to don the Black and Gold: Jonas Brodin.
Brodin is being paid an average of about 4.1 million dollars until 2021, had a career-high 25 points for Minnesota this year, and is usually considered one of their better defensive defensemen on hand for the Wild, capable of playing top-4 minutes, but due to the embarrassment of wealth in their system has taken up the third and second pairing slots off and on. Fancystats has him set as the Wild’s 2nd best defender in CF%, and led the team in CF% during the playoffs. USAToday suggested that the reason for giving him up is that Minnesota would prefer to get at least something back for him rather than expose him at the expansion draft and give Vegas a boost for nothing.
There’s plenty of reason to think the B’s can pull this off. Minnesota has a number of players on their stacked defense that they can’t protect, they have to give big pay days to a number of players, and they happen to want a first round pick that they gave up for Martin Hanzal, who they appear to have some buyers remorse on.
To say this would be a huge pickup for Boston is a tremendous understatement. They get a young defensive defender who can eat 20ish minutes a night, help on the penalty kill, make players around him better, and help players like Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy find their footing in a full NHL season. And when Chara leaves, Brodin can help be the one-two punch of himself-McAvoy and then the Krug-[NAME HERE] pairings. In many ways, this is a move done for the here and now and the not-too-distant future. Sounds like a win-win, right?
Of course...there are some caveats. The 4.1 million dollar price tag is awfully steep, and losing either Kevan Miller, Colin Miller, or Adam McQuaid in the expansion draft won’t be enough to make his and a new contract for players who’ve no doubt earned them at this point, such as Acciari and Pasta, a tight squeeze on the cap. Oh yeah, and a first round pick isn’t going to be nearly enough to cover losing such a valuable player. It’s likely that Boston would have to part with a young forward (such as Spooner or somesuch) or a prospect.
And there’s one more teensy thing that would be a problem for Boston should they decide to go through with this before the roster freeze: He wouldn’t be protected from the expansion draft in either scenario. All Don’s work could be for nothing if Vegas decides they want Brodin, or really any player the Bruins decide is the right choice for them.
But that’s the gamble of a trade in such a year. If Don can get a deal that he thinks works for Boston then he’s said up front that he’s willing to hand out his first overall pick to do it. The draft isn’t especially deep this year so it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to try and take a gamble.
What do you think? Should they chance a shot at one of the players in the Wild's system?