Are the Boston Bruins set to go after forward Barclay Goodrow again?
Prior to the 2020 NHL Trade deadline, the Boston Bruins were quietly one of a handful of teams that were considered front-runners for then-San Jose Sharks forward Barclay Goodrow. Goodrow and a 2020 third round draft pick (previously acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers), ended up being dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Lightning’s 2020 first round pick and forward Anthony Greco. The six-foot-two, 203-pound Goodrow went on to become an integral piece to the Lightning’s 2020 Stanley Cup run in the bubble and even more important to second straight run that saw them raise Lord Stanley again last Wednesday in Tampa Bay.
Now, just under 17 months later, it appears the Boston Bruins once again have Goodrow on their list of players to acquire except this time it will be in unrestricted free agency, should the rugged forward reach the UFA market on July 28.
“I would expect them to go hard after Goodrow again,” an NHL source, that has direct knowledge of the Goodrow trade discussions leading into the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline, told Boston Hockey Now over the weekend. “They knew then that Goodrow is the type of player you need in your middle six to make a real Cup run and he’s obviously proven that since he got to Tampa.”
Goodrow had one goal and five assists in 25 games during the Lightning’s run to the 2020 Stanley Cup and two goals and four assists in 18 games in their most recent Cup run. Goodrow had six goals and 14 assists in 55 games during the regular season.
“You’re not bringing him in for offense, you’re bringing him in to bang and bring the noise,” the source said. “He could play with [David] Krejci or [Charlie] Coyle – I’d play him with Coyle – and instantly he brings security to them.”
As for what the Bruins may have to pay Goodrow?
“You’re probably looking at $4-$4.5 million per,” the source said.
As Joe Haggerty – when he was with NBC Sports Boston – reported leading into the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline, the Boston Bruins were also interested in then-New Jersey Devils forward Blake Coleman. Ironically, Coleman was also dealt to the Lightning, for forward Nolan Foote and Vancouver’s first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft (previously acquired by Tampa Bay. Coleman, center Yanni Gourde and Goodrow became arguably the best third line in the NHL and were instrumental in both Cup runs for the Bolts. This same source expects the Bruins to revisit their interest in Coleman as well but believes that Goodrow would be prioritized over Coleman.
The interest in Goodrow and players like him should come as no surprise after the Bruins bottom-six forward group wore down for a second straight playoff season and it was once again crystal clear that they need more bulk there.
“We have some areas of depth that we’d like to continue to address. It showed up through the Islanders series, where we got dinged up and ran into some injuries,” Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney said in his end of the season Zoom session with the media. “I think the depth of the Islanders roster and their scoring ability showed up, and we just didn’t get it done to the level we needed to. Otherwise, we’d still be playing.
So, we have to acknowledge the shortcomings, both at a player level and at a management level in terms of the roster composition, as you pointed out. We have to target some areas and expect some improvement in some players that they would admit, and did admit, they fell short in. We’ve been a very competitive team and we put ourselves in a position to compete at the Stanley Cup level. And we’ve just fallen short. That’s where we want to do better.”
The expectation is that the cap-strapped Lightning will have to let Goodrow and Coleman walk. According to PuckPedia, the Boston Bruins have $28.2 million in salary cap space. It’s conceivable that they could do what the Lightning did at the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline and bring in both Goodrow and Coleman but as of now, the former appears to be the focus.