Bruins Mailbag: Trade Targets, Pastrnak, Lysel and More

as Boston Bruins Beginning the second half of the season, they sported the league’s best record at 34-5-4, good for 72 points. However, as well as they’ve played, there may be some room for improvement on the roster before the March 3 trade deadline.

Boston Bruins mailbags Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak
Charlie McAvoy, David Pastrnak (The Hockey Writers)

With the latter turning into the second half and the Stanley Cup playoffs headed for the finish line, it’s time for hockey writers to pull out another Bruins mailbag. Let’s keep going.

What does David Pastrnak’s next AAV look like?

Michael H.

Things are reportedly moving forward with David Pastrnak with the Bruins for an extension, and I believe a deal will eventually be done, but if I were Pastrnak, I wouldn’t rush to make a team-friendly deal. He wants his value that no one blames him.

David Pastrnak
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

In the end, I think he gets an eight-year, $92 million deal with an average annual value (AAV) of $11.5 million. If General Manager (GM) Don Swinney can get an AAV of $11 million, that would be great, but that’s a time when you pay the player what he’s worth and don’t risk losing him, like the Calgary Flames lost Johnny Gaudreau last summer.

Did the Bruins overpay on the Zachary extension?

Carrie P.

It took Sweeney a while, but he finally landed the player he had been trying to get for the last few trade deadlines in Pavel Zacha. When he was acquired as a restricted free agent (RFA), he agreed to a $3.5 million one-year contract. He was as good as the Bruins hoped he would be in the first half of the season.

He agreed to one Four-year, $19 million extension $4.75 million AAV after a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 14. To me, that seems like a bit of extra money for the player. Don’t get me wrong, he’s been a nice addition and very valuable to play at all three forward positions, but $4 million in AAV would have been good enough for me.

When did Fabian Liesel make his NHL debut in Boston?

Brendan G.

If I’m the Bruins, I’m in no rush to bring Fabian Liesel Up to the NHL. He had a great first season with the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League (AHL) and is adjusting well to the pro game. If the opportunity comes to come to Boston, do it, but not necessarily now.

Fabian Liesel Boston Bruins
Fabian Liesel, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvine / hockey writer)

If the season continues and the Bruins can maintain their lead in the standings, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come in March or April when Jim Montgomery decides to give his veteran players some time before the playoffs. That is, of course, if Swinney doesn’t use Lysell as the centerpiece around a blockbuster deal at the trade deadline.

Do the Bruins trade for someone they might need next season?

Brandon R.

I think everything is and should be on the table for the Bruins at the deadline. Additions are more likely and I think a deal needs to be done with an eye to the future. Bo Horvat is a player I would target if I were a Bruin and signing him to an extension like Hampus Lindholm did last season would be a successful deadline.

Bo Horvat Vancouver Canucks
Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvine / hockey writer)

Horvat is the top-six answer this season that could push the Bruins over the top, and he’s the answer in the middle of the top-six if Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are gone. To me, Horvat is a player I’m focusing on and if he has to overpay the Vancouver Canucks to do it, he might.

Can the Bruins get Toews or Cain from the Blackhawks?

Teddy came.

I’m sure Swinney will end up going all the way when making the phone call, but Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are fallbacks for Horvat. Both would be nice additions, but neither solves a medium-to-long-term need like Horvath.

Acquiring a player from Chicago is a win-now move and one that could potentially result in another additional salary. Again, if I’m going to overpay, I’m targeting Horvat because that move would be much more positive now and for the future. When Bergeron and Krejci are gone, the Bruins will still be a playoff team with Horvat.

Without a center, what do the Bruins need at the deadline?

Lucas D.

The Bruins need a bottom-six right wing and a right-shot defenseman for playoff depth. Landing the bottom-six right wing opens up more options for Montgomery with his lineup, and let’s face it, Craig Smith isn’t the answer, even though he plays a top-six shift with Jake DeBrusk injured.

Last season, Swinney acquired Josh Brown at the deadline for defensive depth, but it never worked out. There are teams that will want to unload players who are heading to free agents, and both spots can easily be rented. If Swinney wants to make a big swing and get Jakob Cheikbrunn from the Arizona Coyotes if they land Horvat, this would be a move worth watching.

What is Zboril’s future in Boston?

Alex R.

It’s safe to say Jacob Jabril Caught between a rock and a hard place. He didn’t play well when he got the chance, but that’s no reason to take six other defensemen out of the lineup. The Bruins had bigger plans entering the postseason Signed an extension last springBut it just didn’t work.

Jacob Jabril Boston Bruins
Jacob Jabril, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvine / hockey writer)

What the future holds for him remains to be seen. Sending him to Providence is a risky move because he has to clear waivers and has a very good chance of claiming it. There’s also the possibility that he’s part of a trade as he has a very team-friendly $1.137 million AAV and is under control for next season. Sooner or later, Sweeney will have to chart a direction with Zboril’s future.

That wraps up this edition of the Bruins Mailbag for hockey writers. As always, my DM is open on Twitter (@sroche35) and it’s going to be very interesting to see how Swinney sets up his team for a postseason run in the six weeks after the deadline.

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