Earlier this week, The Hockey News picked up a report that the Boston Bruins are looking for help on the blue line, and dangling C David Krecji as a piece to help get the deal done.
While they don't specifically mention Columbus as a possible trade partner, the team does stand out as a club who could potentially have a player to offer in the form of Jack Johnson or Dalton Prout, helping to open spots on the roster for younger players like Zach Werenski and Dean Kukan. But when you look at the numbers, the deal doesn't really make much sense for the Blue Jackets.
What We'd Get:
Though Krecji has a well earned reputation as a strong playmaker, having put up 50+ points in 7 of the last 9 seasons (one of which was the lockout shortened 2012-2013 campaign), he's going to be turning 31 next season, and will be owed the better part of $44 million over the next five years. That's a lot to pay for a player who is likely to be trending downwards over that time, particularly when Columbus has guys like Oliver Bjorkstrand, Sonny Milano, and Pierre-Luc Dubois in the pipe. The team already has a fairly several financial albatross around their neck from David Clarkson, and will still have more than $20 million in cap space committed to Brandon Saad, Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, and Seth Jones over the course of Krejci's deal. That's a lot to swallow.
There's an argument that Krecji's experience as a cup winner and his possession skills and "intangibles" make him a good addition to a team. The cup rings and his experience are valuable, but it's hard for me to say they're that valuable, especially since his HERO stats show that he's not actually a big improvement over someone we already have...
Why should the Jackets pay a $1.2 million+ premium over Dubi, and potentially cost a younger, cheaper player a roster spot? It's not a deal that makes a lot of sense this way, either, though there's always the other half of the equation.
What We (Might) Give Up:
If the Bruins really want D, it seems likely they're looking for puck moving, not big hitters or "intimidation" guys - after all, they've still got Chara, McQuaid, and Krug on their blueline. The addition of John-Michael Liles helps that, but there's still a clear need. Which means they aren't likely to ask for JMFJ or Prout...they're going to ask for David Savard.
Savard's contract is heavy, and in all likelihood an overpayment, but it's still easier to eat than Krejci,and he's young enough that the Bruins management could reasonably expect him to improve as he comes into his prime years. If you're Boston, those are all pretty decent reasons to at least kick the tires.
One Other Thing...
The other elephant in the room is the upcoming expansion draft. Because Krejci has a full NMC, unless he's willing to waive it, that's one more roster spot the Jackets have to protect, while Savard's contract has no such restriction, giving the Bruins more flexibility next summer to protect their assets.
It's always possible that the Jackets might use one move to set up others, if this really came together, but it's not easy to see much beyond a one or two year "bump" benefit, and far too many negatives over time in a simple one for one trade.
All in all, if the Bruins did call, it's not a bad idea for Jarmo to see what exactly they'd want in return. After all, that's part of his job. But it's hard to imagine a package that would blow his socks off. If Boston really wants to move him, I don't think we'll be seeing David Krejci in union blue any time soon.