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Boston Bruins

Feb 26, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) before the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Boston is going to have a lot of eyes on it when the 2021 NHL trade deadline comes around – again. The Bruins may not be the Stanley Cup favorites, but they should be a legitimate destination for players who want to go to a contender.

As Ty Anderson and I discussed on the most recent episode of the SideLines podcast, it may be time for the Bruins to think big. Bold. One final push for the Cup with the current core. The question is, how do they go about accomplishing that?

The mostly-outrageous David Pastrnak trade talk has thankfully fizzled. Charlie McAvoy is playing like a Norris candidate, so he’s officially a must-hold. And we can safely assume the Bruins would part with at least one first-round pick in a major trade scenario. But they may have to trade a first as an overpay for more of a middling trade chip, considering the players or prospects they’d pair with it.

That leaves forwards Jake DeBrusk, Trent Frederic, Jack Studnicka, and Anders Bjork, and basically any defenseman not named McAvoy who would carry the most value among the Bruins’ tradable players. There’s no obvious top prospect in the pipeline, but perhaps another team likes a forward like John Beecher, who is currently playing for the University of Michigan, or Jakub Lauko, who is with the Providence Bruins.

When is the NHL trade deadline?

The 2021 NHL trade deadline is scheduled later than usual, falling on April 12 at 3 p.m. ET – when teams are usually gearing up for the playoffs. So the Bruins and every other team have plenty of time to make their deals. Based on the action in 2020, the majority of the trades will happen on deadline day and the week leading up to it.

Multiple teams have already been discussed as sellers, and they appear on this list for the Bruins. Among the clubs rumored to sell are the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, and Buffalo Sabres.

Speaking of Buffalo, would they really trade captain Jack Eichel within their division to his hometown Bruins? And risk him tormenting the franchise for years to come? This is why Eichel is the deepest and widest of pipe dreams in Boston. But as a Mass. native and B.U. alum, Eichel has long been the ideal star for the Bruins to build around for the next era.


LISTEN: SideLines Podcast, “Shake ‘Em Up”


The point of this exercise: there’s nothing wrong with wanting the Bruins to do something bigger than they’ve done over the past decade. It may be their best hope for their veteran core to hoist the Cup one more time. So think big! You’ll survive getting yelled at on Twitter, I promise.

All that being said, there are more sensible options out there for the Bruins, too. So the below list isn’t just a punishing parade of pipe dreams. But don’t be afraid to think big if you want the Bruins to make a trade to improve the team, because it’s how other teams have beaten them in the recent past. Don’t think about the odds, think about the possibilities.

10 Potential Trade Options For The Bruins

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.