Bruins Likely to Make Deal Before Deadline, But Reading Peter Chiarelli Always Difficult

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February 15, 2011

Bruins Likely to Make Deal Before Deadline, But Reading Peter Chiarelli Always Difficult The Bruins sit atop the Northeast Division. The have the second-best goal differential in the Eastern Conference, and if the season ended today, they'd be the No. 3 seed.

Yet, ask anyone in Boston, and it just seems like the team is missing something.

What that something exactly is can't be known for sure, it just might rhyme with "buck-grooving intense ham."

Yes, the term "puck-moving defenseman" has been a bit overused these days, but not without reason. The team has been utilizing rookie Steve Kampfer as its primary puck handler along the blue line, and they may have been depending too heavily on that resource. Kampfer was a surprise healthy scratch in front of his friends and family in Detroit on Sunday, indicating the obvious: The 22-year-old is not a veteran, and he can't be relied upon so heavily in his first full pro season.

Yet, as it's been stated roughly three million times before, there's not a contending team in the league that wouldn't like a skilled blueliner. With about 22 of 30 teams in position to make a legitimate playoff run, the Bruins will surely have some competition on the trade market. And, as noted in great detail by NESN.com's Douglas Flynn, it's unlikely that Brian Burke will want to answer the phone if Peter Chiarelli is on the other line, which probably rules out any deal for Tomas Kaberle.

If they opt to focus their needs up front, the market is quickly shrinking. Kris Versteeg was sent from Toronto to Philly on Monday and Mike Fisher went from Ottawa to Nashville last week, taking two big names off the market.

Still, there's been no shortage of rumors, from believable targets like defenseman Chris Phillips and forward Stephen Weiss, to the near-hogwash rumors of stars like Jarome Iginla. Somewhere in between lies the likes of Devils forward Zach Parise to a whole slew of players on the free-falling Avalanche's roster.

Chiarelli has gone on record to say that not only does he expect to make a deal, but the first-round pick from Toronto, which would be the fifth pick in the draft if the season ended today, is very much in play. Yet, the market this year, with so many teams still in contention with just two weeks remaining before the deadline, is tricky. If Chiarelli does make that deal, he'll have to give up more than he's accustomed to giving up.

The safest bet is to expect a minor move, one more along the lines of Byron Bitz for Dennis Seidenberg or Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums for Mark Recchi. Those moves — ones that help the team without sacrificing tremendous talent or too many draft picks — have become Chiarelli's specialty. He doesn't make panic moves, and his team is sitting comfortably atop the division standings. In this year's market, there's no reason to expect him to change.

Then again, it is trade rumor season, so it's not the worst time to let your imagination run wild.

What will the Bruins do before the trade deadline? Share your thoughts below.

Sunday, Feb. 13: The Flyers are the best team in the NHL.

What will Bruins do before Feb. 28 trade deadline?Market Research

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