Should Boston Bruins Have a Fire Sale?

Jan 3, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the third period against the Ottawa Senators at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins are struggling this season, to the point where Tuukka Rask felt it necessary to comment publicly how frustrated he is. They currently are not in the playoffs and are falling further behind, so is it time to blow up the team and start over?

The Bruins were expected to be a Top Five team at the beginning of the season and to contend for a Stanley Cup. Nearly half-way through the season it seems that neither one of those expectations will come to fruition. At the time of this writing they have 43 points and are fighting to keep pace with the teams that are ahead of them in the playoff race. They are not even leading the pack that is on the outside of the two Wild Card spots. Translation: they are not very good. 

It’s become so bad, in fact, that it may be a good idea for the Bruins to trade captain Zdeno Chara, before he retires and they get nothing in return. A contending team would probably give up some prospects for him and that would help the Boston Bruins in the future.

The future. At this point the Bruins need to forget about this season and focus on next season. Sure, they could sneak in as an 8th seed assuming another team collapses, but what would be the point? They are an Original Six team and have way more pride than that. It would be better for them to trade a few pieces now and miss the playoffs rather than to suffer the humiliation of a 1st round loss.

The question, then, is who should they trade? Well, I think Tuuka Rask is out of the question. He is the only one who had the guts to call out the team. Despite his inability to beat the Montreal Canadiens, he is still pretty good. Patrice Bergeron is probably safe and so is David Krejci. Both of them are leaders of the team and if Chara goes, the team needs leadership consistency. So, who would be the most likely to go? 

In my opinion, the Boston Bruins need to trade away both Loui Eriksson and Milan Lucic. Eriksson was acquired from the Dallas Stars in the Tyler Seguin deal and has been just this side of a dead weight. Lucic, on the other hand, has been racking up the stat. That is not a typo, I meant that “stat” singularly. He has 69 PIM this season, good for 7th in all of the NHL, but only has 6 goals and 12 assists. He is an instigator and not good for a struggling team. A contender could use him, but the Boston Bruins are only hurt by his antics.

If you think about it, though, it might be best for them to have a fire sale where everyone must go. Make their AHL affiliate the belle of the ball and, in a few years, return to the championship caliber team they have been in the past. There is just no one on the team right now that screams “keep this guy!” to me, outside of Rask of course. Their offense is 21st in goals for and 18th in goals against. Change is needed.

It’s time for the Bruins to let go of past glories and focus on improving for next year when they might have a real shot at the Stanley Cup. Sitting 10th in points in the Eastern Conference and 19th overall in the NHL is not good enough for this franchise. They deserve better.