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By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Boston Bruins recently “checked in” on impending free-agent winger Michael Grabner, according to Mark Divver of the Providence Journal on Twitter.

Despite never living up to the promise of his draft status (fourth overall in 2006), the 30-year-old Grabner remains one of the fastest skaters in the NHL. So he will continue to get work as long as he’s active in the modern league.

He’s also finally been scoring a more consistent amount of goals lately, potting 27 in each of his past two seasons. But after being traded to the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline, he scored just two goals in 21 games. So his in-season consistency and tendency for ice-cold streaks continue to limit his upside.

As a left shot, Grabner has mainly played left wing, but he can also play his off wing on the right side. That would almost be mandatory for him if he signed with the Bruins, who still appear to be in the market for a winger to add to David Krejci’s line. They have no obvious internal replacements at that spot.

Mar 17, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Michael Grabner (40) celebrates after a goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Grabner has decent size (6-foot-1) and can skate as well as just about anyone in the league. He’s certainly a proven 20-goal scorer. But as an unrestricted free agent, there’s a chance he proves too expensive for the Bruins for a player who’s struggled with his consistency and all-around game throughout his career. This is especially true if the B’s have a legitimate chance to sign John Tavares.

If anything, their reported interest in Grabner underscores their aggressiveness in the quest for a free-agent winger. They wouldn’t go three years for Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash may end up retiring, so Grabner may ultimately be one of their best options available in a relatively weak market.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.


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