The Boston Bruins are rumored to be talking to the St. Louis Blues about a trade for Brayden Schenn.
Over the past few days, Jimmy Murphy of Bruins CLNS reported that Bruins general manager Don Sweeney have been engaged in conversations with Blues general manager Doug Armstrong about potentially making a trade for Schenn.
Adding a centre like Schenn does make a lot of sense. For a decent amount of the season, the Boston Bruins were without their top centre, Patrice Bergeron. If the Bruins could add another centre like Schenn, they’d be adding a solid two-way centre. While every centre is a two-way centre, Schenn truly is effective in the defensive zone. Both last season and this season, Schenn has posted a corsi-for percentage (CF%) higher than 50%. In addition, he’s shown that he can be all-around comparable to one of the best defensive centremen in the game, Bergeron. Just imagine if the Bruins were able to add a second “Patrice Bergeron“. No team would want to play against them.
In the tweet below from Murphy, he explains that while the Bruins are really interested in Schenn, the cost is a bit too high. The St. Louis Blues are expecting a first round draft pick back for Schenn.
Increased chatter on #STLBlues F Brayden Schenn tonight and the common belief is a first rd pick needs to be going to St. Louis in any trade for Schenn. I would imagine that will make #NHLBruins hesitant if Blues also want young roster players as I'm told they do.
— Jimmy Murphy (@MurphysLaw74) January 6, 2019
Unfortunately, a first round pick would be a tough blow for the Boston Bruins. Last season, they traded a first round pick along with Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Lindgren and a seventh round pick to the New York Rangers for Rick Nash. While the Bruins were able to dump Beleskey’s awful contract, they also coughed up a first rounder for a player who was rather ineffective during his stint in Boston. So, my assumption is that Sweeney is extra cautious about trading another first rounder.
Plus, if the Bruins were to move another first rounder, they likely would be going back to back seasons without a first round selection. Ultimately, that would impact the Bruins farm system. Even though the Bruins should be looking to add, they should be cautious not to hurt their prospect pool at the same time.
If adding Schenn would be too costly for Sweeney, there are some other players who would be a great fit and wouldn’t be as costly.
Charlie Coyle of the Minnesota Wild would be a good fit. Coyle grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts and went to one of the best schools in the Greater Boston Area for hockey. He ended up at the Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts. Thayer is the same school that Jeremy Roenick, Tony Amonte, Ryan Whitney, Mike Mottau and Brooks Orpik went to. Coyle also played at Boston University, one of the most prestigious collegiate hockey programs. Plus, he was a member of the United States World Junior team in 2011 and 2012.
Since coming to the NHL, he’s been effective for the Wild. He’s a typical third line centre. He’s not a flashy playmaker, but he’s solid in the defensive zone and does contribute in the offensive zone.
In 40 games this season, Coyle has registered 7 goals, 15 assists, 3 power-play points, 17:04 ATOI and a 50.6 CF%. While it doesn’t seem like he’s a great top-notch centre, the Bruins aren’t looking for a top line centre or even a second line centre. They are looking for a third line centre, so that the Bruins can have three strong lines and depth in case of injury. Plus, Sweeney might be able to land Coyle without giving up a first rounder.
stats from hockey-reference.com and NHL.com
featured photo image credit – Nikos Michals