The Boston Bruins continue to be linked to Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin on the NHL trade market but they’re also looking for depth forwards.
Could that forward be Washington Capitals center Nic Dowd?
As documented here at Boston Hockey Now on Wednesday, after his team manhandled a listless Boston Bruins team and beat them 4-1 on Tuesday night at TD Garden, Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri had a little fire when asked how his team in the midst of being dissembled beat best team in the Eastern Conference:
“Sometimes, a pack of hyenas can take down a lion,” Kadri replied.
With the season kicking into high gear and playoff-like hockey, the Bruins once again look like they won’t be able to handle the physical requirements needed to survive Stanley Cup Playoff hockey. Could a bottom-six forward like the 6-foot-1, 191-pound Dowd be part of the solution?
Since entering the NHL on a full-time with the Los Angeles Kings in the 2016-17 season, the now 33-year-old Dowd has become one of the most dependable bottom six forwards in the NHL
“I think he’s probably one of the more underappreciated players in the league,” former NHL analyst, coach and executive Pierre McGuire said of Dowd on a recent episode of The Eye Test Podcast.
As McGuire pointed out, Dowd has been a + player on some not-so-defensive Washington Capitals teams, specifically the current edition, for which Dowd is a +6 with seven goals and six assists in 39 games.
“If you go back the last five or six seasons, he’s always been a plus player as a depth player for a Washington Capitals team that’s been pretty consistently good. But he doesn’t get sugar time, he doesn’t get big offensive minutes, he doesn’t get powerplay minutes. He’s a guy that does the heavy lifting. Big defensive zone faceoffs? He’s on the ice. Big on the penalty kill? He’s on the ice. Big matchup situation? He’s on the ice. Change momentum from a negative to a positive? He’s on the ice.
So, Nic Dowd’s a valuable player. You do the deep dive on the player, and he’s got one year left. He’s 33-years-old, and he played at St. Cloud State. He’s got one year left on his deal, and it’s $1.3 million. I mean, c’mon! This is a guy that knows how to play; this is a guy that knows how to win, and this is a guy that’s been around some star players. So you look at it, and you say, ‘OK, he’s that one player that energizes my dressing room when he comes in because the guys around the league, they respect players like him’. If you’re a team that thinks you can win and you’re one checker away or one energy player away, Nic Diowd’s your guy.”
McGuire then went on to say that the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers could be good fits for Dowd, but other teams will try to acquire him on the NHL Trade market as well.
Dowd would actually make a ton of sense for the Bruins and could be had for a cheap price ahead of the March 8 NHL Trade Deadline. With rookie center Matthew Poitras out for the season after successful shoulder surgery on Wednesday and fellow rookie center John Beecher needing more seasoning in the AHL, don’t be surprised if Dowd becomes an NHL trade target for Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.