NHL Notebook: As teams start to stagnate, trade targets beginning to emerge

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After relying on a dominant top line, a stout power-play unit and a scorching start from Jaroslav Halak to stay afloat in the early going of what should be a cutthroat Atlantic Division, the Bruins took it upon themselves to try to alleviate the scoring woes that have plagued lines 2-4 through the first five weeks of the regular swason. 

Ahead of Saturday’s home tilt with the Maple Leafs, Bruce Cassidy dipped into the organization’s prospect pool to add a spark to a dormant third line — slotting Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson in at the pivot alongside Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen, while David Backes joined a heavier, checking line with Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly.

And while the past two games have been a bit more encouraging in terms of secondary scoring (although the Bergeron line once again dropped nine points on Toronto), it seems like a given that Don Sweeney and the B’s front office will be keeping a close watch on the evolving trade market in an effort to address two vacancies that the B’s failed to address this offseason — a top-six winger and a third-line center.

Now, JFK very well could pan out in his latest stint up in the NHL, and Joakim Nordstrom has filled in admirably up on David Krejci’s line. But if the B’s aspire to get past the big dogs in the East such as Tampa Bay, they’re going to need some more proven firepower up front.

The NHL Trade Deadline is still months away, but a number of teams are already charting their course for seller status — setting the stage for plenty of intriguing players to hit the block.

Let’s take a look at a few potential names to keep tabs on over the next couple of months.