The Boston Bruins find themselves right in the thick of the East Division playoff picture with the April 12 NHL trade deadline right around the corner.
Rumors have linked a number of players in potential trades to Boston. We’ll examine a few possible Bruins trade targets and offer a verdict on whether the team should make the move. Next up: Nashville Predators center Mikael Granlund.
The Nashville Predators seemed destined for a fire sale two or three weeks ago, and Mikael Granlund looked like an obvious trade chip.
Now? Maybe not so much.
The Preds have uesd a 9-1 stretch to jump back into the Central division playoff picture, making them one of the most fascinating teams at Monday’s deadline. Do they believe this hot stretch is what they actually are? Or is an aberration, and they’re better off cashing in chips?
If it’s the latter, Granlund makes all the sense in the world to trade. He’s a veteran on an expiring contract, which doesn’t do the Predators a whole lot of good if they aren’t looking at a deep run.
And if Granlund is made available, is he a fit for a Boston Bruins team looking to make an upgrade at the deadline? Let’s dive in and try to answer that.
2020 stats: 10 goals, 7 assists, 17 points in 37 games
Contract status: $3.75 million cap hit, unrestricted free agent after season
Has he already been linked to the B’s?: Nope.
You can never have too much center depth, right? At their best, the Bruins are pretty set down the middle with Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Charlie Coyle and Sean Kuraly. However, Bergeron’s injury history plus the chance a lineup can be thrown into flux by a single positive COVID-19 test are two factors to possibly consider. Granlund also has experience playing the wings, so it’s not like he’s stuck in the middle.
He does a little bit of everything. He’s averaging about 19 minutes per game, playing on both the power play and the penalty kill for Nashville. He’s been lauded for his leadership, too. The price might also be fairly palatable; The Athletic spoke to a scout who believed Granlund could cost a third-round pick. For a team like the Bruins without a horde of top prospects, that seems doable in order to reinforce the roster for a stretch run.
The Bruins don’t necessarily need a “center” and might be better off using assets to acquire a true winger, especially one with a little more scoring touch than Granlund possesses.
He certainly feels like a Bruins-type of player: responsible veteran, who provides versatility and leadership. If the price is right, it makes sense, but the market — not to mention the Predators’ play — will dictate the price. In the end, there are probably too many contenders motivated to make upgrades that Granlund ultimately lands elsewhere, if Nashville decides to move him.