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Northeast: B's solid; Leafs, Sens seek extra pieces

Friday, 02.10.2012 / 11:38 AM / 2012 Trade Deadline

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

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Northeast: B's solid; Leafs, Sens seek extra pieces
The Bruins are solid but could benefit from some fresh blood, while the Leafs and Sens are on the bubble and seem likely to seek an extra piece.
The trade deadline is fast approaching, and teams around the NHL are trying to decide whether to buy or sell, and what needs can be or should be addressed. Increased parity in recent seasons has limited the number of teams willing to sell until the final days before the trade deadline, but there have still been plenty of deals and big names on the move.

This is going to be a division-by-division look around the NHL and the different needs, both in the short- and long-term, each club might be looking to remedy between now and Feb. 27.

A quick note: the salary cap information comes from the web’s unquestioned authority on the subject, Acquisition space is different than a team’s salary cap space -- it is how much salary a team can add on that day and be in compliance from then until the end of the season. The number changes daily, but each team’s figure for this exercise will be what it was on Feb. 4 unless that team makes a major move.

We started Monday with the Central Division and continued with the Northwest, Pacific and Atlantic Divisions. Up next is the Northeast Division.


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Record: 33-17-2, 68 points (2nd in East)

Goals for: 3.36 (1st in NHL)
Goals against: 2.23 (4th)
Power play: 18.6 percent (T-10th)
Penalty kill: 85.4 percent (7th)

Key injuries: RW Nathan Horton (indefinitely)
Acquisition space: $8.547 million

Skinny: When the Bruins are at full strength and properly motivated, they are the best team in the League and Detroit might be the only team that could beat them in a seven-game series. Unfortunately for coach Claude Julien, his Bruins are not at full strength and they have been MIA some nights lately.

It might just be a defending champion biding time during the “dog days” but it might also be a good reason for GM Peter Chiarelli to make a move and shake up the dressing room a bit. The only regulars who didn’t win the Cup last year are Benoit Pouliot and Joe Corvo, so Chiarelli could add a fresh face or two just with the hope that some of their hunger rubs off on their new teammates.

As for actual on-ice needs, the Bruins are loaded but another defenseman wouldn’t hurt, and an upgrade over Pouliot might also be an option. They will also need to replace Horton if his latest concussion keeps him out for an extended period.

Chiarelli moved some assets to acquire Tomas Kaberle, Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly last season (especially in the Kaberle deal), but he’s got a surplus of forward prospects that could be helpful when trying to make a deal.


Record: 28-21-6, 62 points (7th)

Goals for: 3.06 (6th)
Goals against: 2.87 (T-22nd)
Power play: 19.9 percent (5th)
Penalty kill: 76.7 percent (29th)

Key injuries: NONE
Acquisition space: $4.437 million

Skinny: There are only two NHL teams that haven’t made the playoffs since the work stoppage in 2004-05, and the Maple Leafs are one of them. GM Brian Burke is not one to shy away from wheeling and dealing, and he’s finally in a position to be a legitimate buyer at the trade deadline.

Mikhail Grabovski
Center - TOR
GOALS: 18 | ASST: 21 | PTS: 39
SOG: 109 | +/-: 7
The Leafs as currently constituted can make the playoffs. Whether or not they can make a serious run after getting there is another question. Toronto’s top two lines have been productive, but they could use an injection of size. The question becomes who among the top six is pushed to the third line, or does one of those guys (Tyler Bozak, Mikhail Grabovski) become part of the package to land a big name?

Burke might try to make a big score, and guys like Nazem Kadri and Joe Colborne could be part of the package to grab a big-time forward. He might also try to keep his potential impact guys and make a lesser move for a bottom-six forward. He might be unpredictable, but expect Burke to be active.


Record: 27-22-7, 61 points (8th)

Goals for: 2.82 (8th)
Goals against: 3.07 (28th)
Power play: 17.5 percent (16th)
Penalty kill: 81.2 percent (20th)

Key injuries: C Peter Regin (out for season)
Acquisition space: $37.971 million

Skinny: Few could have predicted the rebuilding Senators would find themselves in fourth place in the Eastern Conference after 50 games, but a seven-game losing streak has Ottawa on the brink of a collapse. The dilemma for GM Bryan Murray is can he rescue a postseason appearance by making a move or two while also not giving away some of the young assets he has collected in the past couple of seasons?

Kyle Turris has proven to be a nice addition, and that was a gutsy move to part with defense prospect David Rundblad. It is possible Murray doesn’t do anything -- but if he does, one more forward could be what the Senators need to avoid a disappointing early end to what has been a surprising season.

Unless Murray surprises everyone with a move similar to the Turris deal, don’t expect any of the team’s top prospects to be on the move.


Record: 22-24-9, 53 points (11th)

Goals for: 2.58 (T-17th)
Goals against: 2.58 (T-11th)
Power play: 12.8 percent (30th)
Penalty kill: 89.5 percent (1st)

Key injuries: D Andrei Markov (indefinitely), RW Brian Gionta (indefinitely)
Acquisition space: $9.503

Skinny: The Canadiens are in an unfamiliar position as a team on the outside of the playoff picture. GM Pierre Gauthier is probably going to be fielding a lot of calls on some of his pending UFAs.

Hal Gill
Defense - MTL
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 8
SOG: 33 | +/-: -8
It feels like half the League is looking for a defenseman, but there aren’t a lot of enticing options available. Hal Gill might actually be one of the top guys on the move, and Chris Campoli could be a depth addition for somebody. Gauthier could also take offers on forwards Travis Moen and Andrei Kostitsyn.

Montreal has a nice collection of young defensemen right now and a couple of intriguing guys in the pipeline, so don’t be surprised if Gauthier is looking for help up front (or draft picks to select said help).


Record: 23-24-6, 52 points (13th)

Goals for: 2.42 (T-23th)
Goals against: 2.85 (T-20th)
Power play: 16.8 percent (19th)
Penalty kill: 81.8 percent (17th)

Key injuries: C Jochen Hecht (out for season)
Acquisition space: $2.963 million

Skinny: Well, this isn’t what anyone in Buffalo expected after new owner Terry Pegula ushered in a new era with high-profile additions this past offseason. The Sabres and GM Darcy Regier now have to figure out what went wrong and plan for next season.

Paul Gaustad
Center - BUF
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 15
SOG: 51 | +/-: 2
The pending UFAs are Hecht, Brad Boyes and Paul Gaustad, though only Gaustad is likely to bring much of a return. Regier could also look to move someone with time left on his contract, and there has been speculation about Derek Roy and even franchise goalie Ryan Miller.

Size and grit will probably be of high import for Regier in the offseason, but salary flexibility and maybe someone who can help up front are likely what he could be looking for in the coming weeks.

Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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