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Could Hertl Become A Trade Option For Boston Bruins?

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There may be a new white whale when it comes to the Boston Bruins search for a David Krejci replacement as the No. 2 center.

Sure, the Bruins have said that Charlie Coyle enters training camp with the inside track as the No. 2 center, and top prospect Jack Studnicka is going to get opportunities to show he’s ready for the big time at 22 years old. But neither of these options is going to give the B’s the kind of production, two-way play or dynamic offensive ability as Krejci, not to mention is big game ability where “Playoff Krejci” routinely leveled up his game during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Certainly a “No. 2 center by committee” doesn’t sound like an ideal scenario for a Boston Bruins team that still harbors hopes for another Stanley Cup.

“David is the one, played a big role for us – sometimes quietly,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy during Boston Bruins Development Camp over the summer. “Now all of a sudden, when he’s not here, we’ll probably realize how good of a player he was. I think we all knew it. But now we’re gonna live it firsthand without that one-two punch.”

“I think the obvious choice [for No. 2 center] is Charlie Coyle. He’s the most familiar with our guys. I’m the most familiar with him. Allow the other guys to fall into place. I know that [Erik] Haula and [Tomas] Nosek prefer to play in the middle. Nick Foligno is more of a guy that will move around so that’s probably how it will play out for him. Charlie and Taylor Hall – and [Craig] Smith was on that line last year – if Coyle can bring some of what Krech did, it will be a real good line. That’s the way we’re leaning, and we’ll see how the other pieces shake out.”

It’s clearly a stretch to believe that Coyle, who has reached the 20 goals and 50 points mark just once in his nine-year NHL career, is going to bring what Krejci routinely did in terms of offense and playmaking.

One player that could “bring some of what Krejci did” is likely looking at a change of address sooner rather than later: San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl.

Doesn’t it make some kind of poetic hockey sense to replace one playmaking Czech center with another dynamic Czech pivot that’s looking to get out of San Jose after posting 151 goals and 323 points in 503 games for the Sharks over the last eight seasons following his NHL debut as a 19-year-old?

According to the Athletic’s Kevin Kurz, this is what the Sharks are looking at for Hertl coming off 19 goals and 43 points in 50 games last season: “Along with a first-round pick, they would have to get at least one potential high-end prospect in return, too, and preferably someone who could play NHL games ahead of or along the same timeline as guys like William Eklund, Thomas Bordeleau and some of the other prospects who are around 19 or 20 years old (in other words, probably two years away). In a perfect world that player is probably a center, but considering Ryan Merkley’s declining stock and Brent Burns’ advancing age, a defenseman might be just as welcomed.”

While it’s well-documented that the Boston Bruins don’t have the trade assets to get a player like Jack Eichel when the Sabres are looking for at least four pieces in return for the Buffalo center, the B’s could pony up a first round pick and Jack Studnicka as the centerpieces for a hockey trade to get then an heir apparent at the center position for the next handful of years. It’s clear at this point that Hertl hasn’t been made available as San Jose exhausts all attempts to retain him their talented 27-year-old center, but there’s zero doubt the Boston Bruins will have interest if he becomes a trade market option.

Hertl is a little different player than Krejci, of course, and is bigger (6-foot-2, 215 pounds), more dangerous scoring the puck and a little less of a passer and natural playmaker than No. 46, but he’d be the perfect addition to a hockey club that’s got a wide gap between their aging top centers and a pivot prospect pool that isn’t exactly top notch.

The real complication is a $5.625 million cap hit for Hertl, who will undoubtedly be looking for a big raise as he approached unrestricted free agency following the season. The Bruins would need to move Coyle ($5.25 million) to the Sharks in order to make the money work given that they currently have just $1.635 million in cap space after their NHL free agent spending frenzy. Presumably, the Bruins could try to move the contracts for Jake DeBrusk and/or John Moore instead to make the deal, but that could add to Don Sweeney’s degree of difficulty for pulling the deal off this season.

While everybody around Massachusetts will focus on Chelmsford’s Eichel as the wayward hockey son brought him to be the No. 2 center for the Black and Gold, maybe, just maybe, it’s Tomas Hertl that makes a lot more sense as a fit for the Boston Bruins?

 

 

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Fred

Hertl would be a better option than Eichel. Less drama and lower cap hit. The Bruins are not going to give up a first round pick though.

Orrfan

Sweeney has proven himself incompetent. I doubt he’ll make any such trade. The Bruins will be hobbled all season without a legitimate 2nd line center, and the powers that be seem fine with a 1 line team, yet again. I’ve been a Bruins fan for over 45 years. I’ve never seen a GM so unwilling to do what needs to be done. This season looks to be pretty frustrating.

Rick W Murray

Why would Sweeney go for Hertl when we’ve got such reliable established centre stars like Studnicka, Coyle, & dressing room stud muffin Foligno?!?! Man this team right now is going to be a struggle from start to finish, Horrible, ridiculous free agent signings, Almost as bad as Sweeney’s 2015 draft, Foligno couldn’t score even if Bobby Orr laid a perfect pass on him with three feet of empty net to shoot on, Studnicka’s not going to make difference he’ll be luck to even make the club, Coyle and Huala are strictly 3rd line centres. The team won’t make the playoffs.… Read more »

Shawn

I think you all need to relax more. Alot of the time the unknowns and unexpected turn out to be better then thought of on paper.

miket

Let’s give Coyle and company a shot first.

Teej22

Nick Ritchie is a heart and soul type of player and since the Bruins have neither he will fit in better elsewhere. I wish him nothing but thebest

Rick W Murray

Ritchie is a bum

JustJim

Define bum!

Rick W Murray

Bum B-U-M useless.

[…] on for Learn“Might Hertl Grow to be A Commerce Possibility For Boston Bruins?” full […]

[…] The Boston Bruins continue their search for a David Krejci replacement and San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl could be on that list. [Boston Hockey Now] […]

Train

This is laughable. What do they have to offer either San Jose or Buffalo? If they had any decent assets these deals would have happened already. The bottom line is that the B’s are two to three years away from being a non-playoff team, and that could last for a few seasons. There is nothing in the pipeline, Sweeney has not retooled this franchise for the future

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: Charlie Coyle heads into the Boston Bruins training camp penciled in as the team’s No. 2 center after David Krejci decided to not return to the NHL for this season. Prospect Jack Studnicka could also get a look. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: Charlie Coyle heads into the Boston Bruins coaching camp penciled in because the staff’s No. 2 middle after David Krejci determined to not return to the NHL for this season. Prospect Jack Studnicka might additionally get a glance. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: Charlie Coyle heads into the Boston Bruins coaching camp penciled in because the staff’s No. 2 heart after David Krejci determined to not return to the NHL for this season. Prospect Jack Studnicka might additionally get a glance. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now says that the Bruins have one of Charlie Coyle or Jack Studnika penciled in as the No. 2 center without David Krejci around, but if that turns out to be a mistake early in the season, the Bruins might look outside the organization for help. Haggerty believes the Bruins could look at Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now says that the Bruins have one of Charlie Coyle or Jack Studnika penciled in as the No. 2 center without David Krejci around, but if that turns out to be a mistake early in the season, the Bruins might look outside the organization for help. Haggerty believes the Bruins could look at Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now says that the Bruins have one of Charlie Coyle or Jack Studnika penciled in as the No. 2 center without David Krejci around, but if that turns out to be a mistake early in the season, the Bruins might look outside the organization for help. Haggerty believes the Bruins could look at Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now says that the Bruins have one of Charlie Coyle or Jack Studnika penciled in as the No. 2 center without David Krejci around, but if that turns out to be a mistake early in the season, the Bruins might look outside the organization for help. Haggerty believes the Bruins could look at Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: Charlie Coyle heads into the Boston Bruins training camp penciled in as the team’s No. 2 center after David Krejci decided to not return to the NHL for this season. Prospect Jack Studnicka could also get a look. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: Charlie Coyle heads into the Boston Bruins coaching camp penciled in because the group’s No. 2 heart after David Krejci determined to not return to the NHL for this season. Prospect Jack Studnicka might additionally get a glance. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: Charlie Coyle heads into the Boston Bruins coaching camp penciled in because the staff’s No. 2 middle after David Krejci determined to not return to the NHL for this season. Prospect Jack Studnicka may additionally get a glance. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now says that Hertl could be the Bruins backup plan if Coyle doesn’t pan out or if Jack Studnika can’t elevate his game and take the No. 2 role. Haggerty named Hertl as a target. Meanwhile, Kevin Kurz of The Athletic writes what the Sharks might be looking for in return: […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now says that Hertl could be the Bruins backup plan if Coyle doesn’t pan out or if Jack Studnika can’t elevate his game and take the No. 2 role. Haggerty named Hertl as a target. Meanwhile, Kevin Kurz of The Athletic writes what the Sharks might be looking for in return: […]

Father Chains

Does anyone really believe Sweeney could pull off a trade of that magnitude? His first “big” trade: he wanted to trade the 3 first round draft picks in 2015..they wanted to bundle them up and trade to move up…they completely botched it up so they ended up having use those three first round draft picks. We all know how that worked out. They are still paying for it. How long did it take Sweeney to trade for a forward to replace Horton?? 5, 6 years? And the only reason why Sweeney eventually got the guy he wanted was because Buffalo… Read more »

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now says that Hertl could be the Bruins backup plan if Coyle doesn’t pan out or if Jack Studnika can’t elevate his game and take the No. 2 role. Haggerty named Hertl as a target. Meanwhile, Kevin Kurz of The Athletic writes what the Sharks might be looking for in return: […]

[…] Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty took note of the Bruins’ intention to use Charlie Coyle to replace the departed David Krejci as their second-line center. Haggerty believes Hertl would be better suited for that role. […]

[…] Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty took note of the Bruins’ intention to use Charlie Coyle to replace the departed David Krejci as their second-line center. Haggerty believes Hertl would be better suited for that role. […]

[…] Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty took note of the Bruins’ intention to use Charlie Coyle to replace the departed David Krejci as their second-line center. Haggerty believes Hertl would be better suited for that role. […]

[…] BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty suggested Hertl as a trade option for the Bruins if Charlie Coyle struggles to replace David Krejci as their second-line center. He proposed offering up a first-rounder and Jack Studnicka if the Sharks center becomes available. […]

Michael Parahus

How about a second round pick, DeBrusk and someone like Beecher?

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now reports there’s zero doubt the Boston Bruins will have interest in (Tomas) Hertl if he becomes a trade market option. […]

[…] rumor linking him to the Ottawa Senators was debunked by the Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch. Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty suggested Hertl would be a better fit than Charlie Coyle as the Bruins’ second-line […]

[…] rumor linking him to the Ottawa Senators was debunked by the Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch. Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty suggested Hertl would be a better fit than Charlie Coyle as the Bruins’ second-line […]

[…] rumor linking him to the Ottawa Senators was debunked by the Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch. Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty suggested Hertl would be a better fit than Charlie Coyle as the Bruins’ second-line […]

[…] rumor linking him to the Ottawa Senators was debunked by the Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch. Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty suggested Hertl would be a better fit than Charlie Coyle as the Bruins’ second-line […]

[…] rumor linking him to the Ottawa Senators was debunked by the Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch. Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty suggested Hertl would be a better fit than Charlie Coyle as the Bruins’ second-line […]

[…] rumor linking him to the Ottawa Senators was debunked by the Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch. Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty suggested Hertl would be a better fit than Charlie Coyle as the Bruins’ second-line […]

[…] rumor linking him to the Ottawa Senators was debunked by the Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch. Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty suggested Hertl would be a better fit than Charlie Coyle as the Bruins’ second-line […]

[…] rumor linking him to the Ottawa Senators was debunked by the Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch. Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty suggested Hertl would be a better fit than Charlie Coyle as the Bruins’ second-line […]

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