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NHL Trade Talk: Should Bruins Acquire P.K. Subban Before Trade Deadline?

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Boston Bruins

Make no mistake, the Boston Bruins are zeroed in on acquiring a left-shot defenseman before the March 21 NHL trade deadline. More specifically, they’re targeting defensemen that can play in their top 4 defensive pairings.

So why in the name of Greg Hawgood would Don Sweeney and his staff ever be interested in New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban. What can Subban, a 32-year-old, right-shot defenseman who has been in a steady decline and battled injuries for years now, possibly do to help the Bruins take one more run at the Stanley Cup for captain Patrice Bergeron and alternate captain Brad Marchand?

“Well for starters a better alternative than Connor Clifton or a guy playing on his off-side in the third pairing,” one longtime NHL pro scout opined to Boston Hockey Now Tuesday morning. “He’s also a good fallback plan on the second powerplay for when Matt Grzelcyk gets hurt again. …sorry, but you know he will. So do I want Mike Reilly or another guy that keeps getting injured like Urho Vaakanainen, who I’m trying to trade now, by the way, manning that second unit, or someone like Subban, who until recently, always excelled on the powerplay?

In the right situation and in the playoffs, this guy can help. He just needs layers around him and obviously, the Bruins can give him that with the leaders and skill they have.”

While it may have been one of the NHL’s worst-kept secrets, New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald has now confirmed that he has no intentions of bringing Subban, who can become an unrestricted free agent in July, back next season. The hope for Fitzgerald and Subban is that the Devils can move him before the NHL trade deadline to get the Devils some kind of asset and give Subban a fresh start and maybe even a chance to play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2019.

“I sat down with P.K. yesterday and we talked about uncertainty and the deadline and that we’re not at a spot where we’re looking to extend him at this point,’’ Fitzgerald told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic on Sunday. “He’s done a lot for community here and the organization. But I told him, ‘On the last day, somebody may lose a right-shot D and may call me and if the move makes sense for the New Jersey Devils and makes sense for you to potentially have a chance to win, I have to do what’s best for the organization.’’

Subban has been in NHL trade rumors for the better part of the last two seasons and while he’s been linked to the Boston Bruins, who reportedly expressed interest in him prior to the 2020 season, a well-placed source told Boston Hockey Now recently that he hasn’t been on their NHL trade target radar. Still, is it at least worth it for the Bruins to circle back and see what Fitzgerald would want in return and how much of the remaining $2.4 million left on Subban’s $9 million cap hit, he’s willing to eat for Subban who has three goals and 15 assists in 53 games this season?

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The scout above made some valid points when it comes to Grzelcyk’s health and we’ve seen the highly skilled defenseman get beaten down by the escalation in physicality during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s no secret that Subban, for better or worse (maybe worse lately), thrives on and wants to be the in the spotlight. Based on what I know of the 2013 Norris Trophy winner though from covering him as a reporter and then through mutual friends, he has always wondered what it would be like to play on the other side of the Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins rivalry and for what he considers to be one of the best sports cities in the United States. This, despite the racism a despicable and small portion of the Bruins fanbase threw at him on social media during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Let’s not also forget how much Subban did for the Dorchester hockey community in the aftermath of former Boston Bruins forward and son of The Dot, Jimmy Hayes passing away last summer.

 

Subban is fighting for his career right now and if there’s one thing – as that sad experience showed – he’s done throughout his life, it’s overcome adversity. If the price is right, this could be a win-win for all involved and even if Subban can’t find his game again playing for the Stanley Cup, the worst that happens is the Bruins lose a late-round draft picks and/or a marginal prospect.

 

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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William Mahoney

Subban – The definition of insanity is to get him in a Bruin uniform! Get a center who can score like Jack Eichel!

Rick W Murray

Nope he’s poison in the dressing room, but still has a reasonable amount of talent as long as it doesn’t include. No 1 draft pick and NJ picks up half his salary

Dean

YUP HE IS

no icing

pk is a cheap shot chicken. they don’t need a claude lemieux on this team, at any price. eddie shore will rise from his grave and beat the crap out of don sweeney if they trade a can of bacon fat for this loser.

Dean

yup he is

Joseph M McCafferty

Please don’t. Flopper,slew footer. Hate those parts of his game/ personality. And he’s old.

Fred

Every day you have a different player that the Bruins should target. What do you do, just pull names out of a hat? Why would the Bruins want and under achieving, over paid player who is declining? It makes no sense. They need to upgrade their defense and forwards but as usual, Sweeney will either do nothing, or add a so-called “depth player”.

Dean

look this is simple, use what you have to improve. debrusk wants out, grez is a replacement for chychrun, throw in couple 2nd and 3rd rounders for chychrun and crouse. and it will improve this team greatly with size and bite for playoff hockey. and your getting assets for a few more years to compete. if it cost a a first rounder or lysell and haula for Hertl, just do it,,.and for gods sake give shenshyn and or fogarty an opportunity to play on bergys line, like you did for debrusk and froden, they are a lot bigger and 2… Read more »

Dean

absolutely no to suban, will ruin that dressing room!!!!!

Dean

forgot to mention, when u sign a 5’6″ defenseman to providence and put him on the best line, sure his stats will look good. but it doesn’t make him an nhl player as cassidy, alluded to after loss to the kings Then they took a promising young d man like brady lyle and moved him down in lineup, so how’s that working for his confidence or the success of the p bruins, come on scouts, no wonder shenyshyn wants out, piss poor scouting and development. look at studnicka, poor guy, somethings got to change, i worry about other player development… Read more »

TomM

Not a fan of PK but if he was still good sure. He is not. I hope this is just some writer filling space….

BruinsFan4Life

I don’t understand why Cassidy has turned into Claude Julien, not playing the young guys that are as good if given a real chance in the NHL. Studnicka has played really well when he was needed this season especially with Hall and Pastrnak. You have to see what they’ve got. Defensively haven’t the Bruins seen enough of Grzelcyk get out done on the boards in the Bruins defensive end. Ahcan at least he hits people and hard too. Any trades need to include Grzelcyk he is to small for advancing in the playoffs and especially if the team is trading… Read more »

Andrew Wells

Why is this question asked every year? The answer was, is, and always will be no.

rick

NO NO NO

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There is a debate on whether the Boston Bruins need a top-four or depth defenseman. It depends on who you ask. Some believe they are looking more for a four or five. Either way, some speculation falls on options and one may be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There is a debate on whether the Boston Bruins need a top-four or depth defenseman. It depends on who you ask. Some believe they are looking more for a four or five. Either way, some speculation falls on options and one may be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There is a debate on whether the Boston Bruins need a top-four or depth defenseman. It depends on who you ask. Some believe they are looking more for a four or five. Either way, some speculation falls on options and one may be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There is a debate on whether or not the Boston Bruins want a top-four or depth defenseman. It will depend on who you ask. Some consider they’re trying extra for a 4 or 5. Either approach, some hypothesis falls on choices and one could also be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There is a debate on whether the Boston Bruins need a top-four or depth defenseman. It depends on who you ask. Some believe they are looking more for a four or five. Either way, some speculation falls on options and one may be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There is a debate on whether or not the Boston Bruins want a top-four or depth defenseman. It is dependent upon who you ask. Some imagine they’re wanting extra for a 4 or 5. Either method, some hypothesis falls on choices and one could also be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There’s a debate on whether or not the Boston Bruins want a top-four or depth defenseman. It is dependent upon who you ask. Some consider they’re trying extra for a 4 or 5. Both method, some hypothesis falls on choices and one could also be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There is a debate on whether or not the Boston Bruins want a top-four or depth defenseman. It relies on who you ask. Some consider they’re trying extra for a 4 or 5. Either approach, some hypothesis falls on choices and one could also be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There is a debate on whether the Boston Bruins need a top-four or depth defenseman. It depends on who you ask. Some believe they are looking more for a four or five. Either way, some speculation falls on options and one may be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There’s a debate on whether or not the Boston Bruins want a top-four or depth defenseman. It will depend on who you ask. Some consider they’re wanting extra for a 4 or 5. Both approach, some hypothesis falls on choices and one could also be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There is a debate on whether the Boston Bruins need a top-four or depth defenseman. It depends on who you ask. Some believe they are looking more for a four or five. Either way, some speculation falls on options and one may be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. […]

[…] Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW: There is a debate on whether the Boston Bruins need a top-four or depth defenseman. It depends on who you ask. Some believe they are looking more for a four or five. Either way, some speculation falls on options and one may be right-handed defenseman P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils.NHL Rumors: Edmonton Oilers Goaltending Options, Evander Kane, And Top 30 Trade Candidates […]

[…] the words of Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now, the Boston Bruins “are zeroed in on acquiring a left-shot defenseman […]

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