Over the course of Bruce Cassidy's brief tenure as Bruins interim head coach, the Bruins have played themselves from a bubble team in the Eastern Conference, back into the conversation to win the Atlantic Division. Their 6-1-0 record over the course of the past seven games has now given Bruins fans something to be excited about as we head into NHL Trade Deadline Day on March 1st. The name most heavily linked to the Bruins, in terms of the overall fit, was Kevin Shattenkirk, but he was dealt to the Washington Capitals on Monday night. Other names lurking around the rumor mill are Colorado forwards, Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, and now Islanders backup goalie, Jaroslav Halak.
General Manager, Don Sweeney, has already said that no big moves will be made most likely, as it appears as though this core has finally hit their stride. But saying the Bruins will make absolutely no moves is highly unlikely. But as Sweeney said, I doubt anything significant will be made in terms of additions... but what about subtractions? Who are the Bruins most likely to be wearing a different jersey come March 1st?
1. Matt Beleskey - LW
I'm sorry guys, but I think Matt Beleskey is as good as gone. Exhibit A being the course of the past 7 games: Beleskey has only played in 4 of the past 7 games, and playing limited minutes in each of those games, including a team low 7:37 TOI in a 4-0 Bruins victory over the Canadiens. Beleskey has struggled this season, to say the least, scoring only 2 goals and 5 assists over the course of 35 games this season. To be fair, Beleskey missed time with a knee injury, and is still trying to get his legs under him. However, tell me I am reading too much into this when I say Beleskey wasn't at the morning skate today. Sure, he's not playing tonight, I'll give you that. But neither is John-Michael Liles, who was present today. Beleskey makes $4 million this season, and that would be a nice contract to have off the books for draft picks, or even a depth player at defense.
Likely destinations: Anaheim, Minnesota, Arizona
2. John-Michael Liles - D
JML was dealt to the Bruins last season for a 4th round pick, a 7th round pick, and prospect winger Anthony Camara, and he played pretty well. Very gifted passer, absolutely no shooting talent however. And we have come to see that this year, as he only has 5 points on 5 assists in 31 games this season. As far as what you'd get in return for him? I don't really care. This dude is just not good at the game of hockey. I'd rather call up Rob O'Gara or Matt Grzelyck than see John-Michael Liles on the ice for the Bruins. The young core of the Bruins have been absolutely balling lately, and has really anchored this little stretch lately.
Likely destinations: Colorado, Release