A big name that could very well be available at the March 3 trade deadline Bo Harbhat Vancouver Canucks. Several teams would love to add him to their roster for a Stanley Cup run in the spring. The teams that are said to have him Boston BruinsCurrently the best team in the NHL with a record of 36-5-4.
The Bruins are on a record-setting pace this season and it’s possible that General Manager (GM) Don Swinney doesn’t want to break a good thing, but there’s no doubt that despite how good the Black and Gold are, they will. Need additions by playoffs. There’s no telling what the future holds when it comes to the health of coach Jim Montgomery’s team, but you can never have enough depth on your roster. Horvath is with the Bruins, according to Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman Recent 32 Thoughts PodcastHere are three reasons why they should go all out to acquire the forward.
The Bruins’ championship window is closing and closing fast
Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci each return on team-friendly deals for another run with the veteran core for the championship in the 2022-23 season. Missing key players to start the season recovering from offseason surgeries, Boston was hoping to hold water until Brad Marchand, Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McOy return. They did more with their blistering start than anyone saw coming.
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Bergeron is still playing at the Selke Trophy level, Krejci solidifies the second line with David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha, and the Bruins can be considered a three-line deep team, maybe four. Despite all that, another forward added just 46 games shy of tying his career high of 31 seasons. Beating a team with tremendous depth in a seven-game series with more firepower will make it even more difficult for them.
Where would Horvat fit on this Bruins roster? For starters, Horvat has to go out of the money as soon as the money comes in. Yes, the Bruins could get the Canucks to retain the money, which would be almost a must, but there are Craig Smith, Jacob Zabril, or possibly an alternative. A young player like Trent Frederick, who would be tough to let go, but would the Bruins prefer Horvat or Frederick for a long playoff run? That choice should be easy. It is very realistic that this is this core’s last chance at a championship and this core has earned the right to go all out for Sweeney to acquire Horvat.
Horvat solves a long-term need
Boston will also likely have to part with top prospect Fabian Liesel and their first-round draft pick, but with Swinney’s history in entry drafts and Liesel, those with the jury still out on his NHL ceiling are worth letting go. Risk for a championship. Giving it up would mean locking up Horvat long-term like they did with Hampus Lindholm last season.
Bergeron and Krejci could leave early next season. This should not surprise anyone. What then? you Gone with Zaka And Charlie Coyle is your top-six center. Not a great view. Who will slide between Marchand and Jake DeBrusk next season? That simple solution is Horvat. Even if Bergeron returns, the feeling here is that whatever happens this season is done crazy, and Horvat moves into the second spot or the top spot if necessary.
The Bruins are likely not blessed with center depth that will step up and be ready to play next season. John Beecher might be the closest, though Matthew Poitras And Brett Harrison is still a ways away from being in the NHL. Horvat is a solution for this season and beyond. Signing Horvat on the dotted line keeps the Black and Gold as contenders for years to come.
Other groups will be added
No doubt other competitors are going to add. Just inside the Atlantic Division, the Toronto Maple Leafs are guaranteed to add, as will the Tampa Bay Lightning. Just to get to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Bruins must go through one of these two teams to survive the first round. The Maple Leafs have the Bruins’ numbers, winning four of their last five games last season, and Toronto is a team that owns the third-best record in the NHL. If not for the Bruins’ historic first half of the season, they might have run away with the Atlantic Division.
Groups not only within the department, but outside the department will almost certainly add. The Carolina Hurricanes The Bruins, another team with numbers, upset them in a seven-game series in last season’s playoffs. The game against Carolina has been tough sledding for the Black and Gold over the past few seasons, and their system and style is one that could easily eliminate Boston. The New York Rangers will also add and should be considered a postseason threat for all teams. Acquiring Horvat puts him away from those teams, as well as Western Conference contenders.
Is the current state of the Bruins roster good enough to win the Stanley Cup? Time will tell, but one thing this team and veteran core have earned is the right to go all-in for a front office that they feel can push them over the top of the rest of the league. Horvat not only helps now, but sets up Boston for future success. Parting with Lysell and their first-round draft pick will be tough, but that won’t matter in the long run if the acquisition of Horvat leads to a Stanley Cup championship in the spring of 2023.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for the hockey writers. A frequent user of the Oxford comma. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for various sites and daily newspapers. Writing started as a hobby, but over the years it became a passion for Scott.