(CSNNE.com) – This probably won’t come as a complete shock to those watching the way things have played out with him this season, but the Bruins have engaged in discussions with multiple teams about a Ryan Spooner trade, per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. The 23-year-old Spooner was mentioned casually a few months ago as possible fodder in a Jacob Trouba deal with the Winnipeg Jets, but that deal never really materialized prior to the Jets signing their young, frontline D-man to a two-year deal. The Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks have all expressed interest in Spooner, per one hockey source, as it appears that things simply aren’t going to work out for him in Boston.
So Boston’s second round pick taken in the 2010 Tyler Seguin draft is rumored to be sitting on the chopping block? Interesting. He’s not playing anywhere near his natural positional fit by being buried in fourth line Siberia at left wing alongside Jimmy Hayes, who is a statistical burden to any line mate on the planet. To make matters worse for Spoons, who was publicly concerned about his future in Boston when the B’s acquired David Backes last summer, he hasn’t really been given an extended shot playing at his natural third line center spot since his outstanding performance there last season.
But regardless, one of the biggest factors that’s put Spooner on the trade radar is he’s about the only decent trade chip the Bruins have at forward. The brand name guys in Pastrnak, Bergeron, Krejci, Backes, Beleskey and beyond aren’t going anywhere. And the other filler pieces won’t give the Bruins a return they want. Spooner is cheap, young, fast, and although he’s struggled on the wing at times, he is versatile. Sounds like a guy you don’t want to trade, right? But again, if you need serious scoring help like the Bruins do he’s about all teams want from you in return.
My biggest concern here (outside of where Claude’s playing him) is that the Bruin’s get Reilly Smith-ed in a trade. I’m worried they’ll trade a fast, skilled, cap friendly young player that fits today’s NHL for what management sees as a “prototypical Big Bad Bruin” that the neanderthal’s in the stands who spend all game screaming “hit him!” and “skate!” want. I’m worried the B’s will get back some one who is slower, heavy, and as equally soft in battles as the guy they dumped. If anyone can screw up a trade it’s the Bruins.
Also, keep in mind Ryan Spooner alone isn’t enough to get the top-6 forward the Bruins want in return. They’d need package him with another prospect or legit draft pick. I’d be shocked to see a team give the Bruins a top-6 for Spoons alone. And Sweeney, for all the praise he deserves in the development, scouting, and drafting area of GMing has struggled mightily in the trading department. In fact, he usually gets fleeced.
I’m not against the Bruins trading Ryan Spooner if they can get a superior top-6 wing who can score in return. I’d do it yesterday if I could. But if they’re trading a pony for a pony some other team doesn’t want either then count me out. It’s gotta be an immediate great return if you’re trading your most obvious offensive trade piece. Otherwise, keep him and actually play him as your third line center where he belongs and has routinely been successful.