Bruins Potential Trade Targets: B’s Likely To Look For Defensive Depth

Chris PhillipsBoston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli is in his busy season now.

The GM will likely be looking to add to his team before the upcoming March 5 trade deadline. He’s gone on record saying that he’d like to add defensive depth, but adding that or any other piece won’t be an easy task. The trade market is seemingly more limited than it is in most years, which means pulling off a deal will be even more difficult than it usually is.

One of the biggest reasons the market is so slim is that the salary cap dropped prior to the season. The NHL cap right now is a shade over $64 million, which makes it difficult to take on salary. It’s even more difficult take on salary if you’re not willing to part with players on your NHL roster, which is something Chiarelli says he’s not willing to do.

“I think it’s going to be a tough market,” Chiarelli said before the team’s final pre-Olympics game. “It’s going to be tough to get players. It is even more close this year and the lowering of the cap has done that. The lowering of the cap also — so it’s close, way more teams are at the cap so they’re not willing to give up roster players. I’m in that position. I don’t want to give up any roster players, so I don’t see it changing. Therefore, what is going to be the result is high, high prices.”

The Bruins would likely have just a little more than $4 million to play with leading up to the deadline, according to CapGeek.com. So, yeah. It won’t be easy.

Here’s a list of potential trade targets Chiarelli and the B’s could look at, if they’re willing to make a move before the deadline.

Dan Giardi (Defenseman, New York Rangers)
Age: 29
Contract status: $3.325 million cap hit, will be UFA after this season
Shoots: Right
Outlook: Has been top-pairing, shutdown defenseman before … Shot-blocker extraordinaire … Rangers might be still interested in extending him, which would obviously take him off the market … Averaging at least 23 minutes per night over the last four seasons

Tom Gilbert (Defenseman, Florida Panthers)
Age: 31
Contract status: $900,000 cap hit, will be UFA after this season
Shoots: Right
Outlook: Offensive-minded defenseman … Not exactly a shut-down defenseman … Averaging more than 21 minutes of ice time per game with Panthers … Good power play D-man (averages more than two minutes of PP time per game)

Andrew MacDonald (Defenseman, New York Islanders)
Age: 27
Contract status: $550,000 cap hit, will be UFA after this season
Shoots: Left
Outlook: Among league leaders in ice time (averaging more than 25 minutes per game) … Also leads NYI in PP time, second in PK time … Having one of his best offensive season, which has been helped by increased PP workload … He’s had a pretty rough season defensively, but he’s far from alone on the Island in that facet

Nick Schultz (Defenseman, Edmonton Oilers)
Age: 31
Contract status: $3.5 million cap hit, will be UFA after this season
Shoots: Left
Outlook: Defensive-minded defenseman, has reputation for being a solid, stay-at-home defenseman … Ice time down almost two minutes per game from last season, down a minute and a half from career average

Chris Phillips (Defenseman, Ottawa Senators)
Age: 35
Contract status: $3,083,333 cap hit, will be UFA after this season
Shoots: Left
Outlook: Big body (6-foot-3, 221 pounds) … defensive-minded defenseman … Still plays almost 21 minutes per night … Strong veteran presence on the blue line … Like many others on this list, availability will be dependent on whether the Senators believe they’re still in the race

Salary cap figures via CapGeek.com.

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