Something’s gotta give when it comes to the Bruins.
Mired in a skid that has seen the club drop five out of their last six games, the B’s are in need of some desperate help up front — a fault in this roster that they have tried to correct since striking out on John Tavares in July.
Given Boston’s current framework up front, the B’s are at the point where they can only trust their top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak to generate offense on a consistent basis, while David Krejci is still on pace for a 60-point campaign despite not having a consistent set of linemates all season long.
This secondary scoring drought has started to bleed into other facets of Boston’s game, with the Bruins’ D corps starting to catch flak for a couple of miscues — blemishes that can’t happen for a team so starved for 5v5 production.
Don Sweeney and his Co. are going to have to make a move — and thankfully, there are plenty of potential top-six wingers and talented pivots to parse through on the open market.
But given the severity of Boston’s scoring woes — as well as the depth and talent of other Stanley Cup favorites such as Tampa Bay and Calgary — why not swing for the fences this month?
A number of young assets on this B’s roster have seen their stock plummet, but Boston still boasts a large number of potential trade chips — enough at least to pry the top trade-market piece out away from his club.
Artemi Panarin, the dynamic, scoring winger of the Columbus Blue Jackets, is set to get paid this summer. And the writing seems to be on the wall for the Russian sniper to join a new team for the stretch run of the 2018-19 season.
Set to become an unrestricted free agent, Panarin seems unlikely to re-up with the Blue Jackets — with his agent announcing on Monday the 27-year-old forward will not be discussing a potential contract extension for the remainder of the season.
It’s a tough spot for the Blue Jackets — who sit in the second Wild Card spot in the East with a 28-19-3 record — but it seems inevitable when it comes to Panarin. The winger has his eyes set for a bigger market and a nice new deal, and it’d be in Columbus’ best interest to get something back for the skilled scorer.
Are the Bruins a potential fit for Panarin? Let’s take a look.
What can Boston offer to Columbus?