Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Jack Eichel Could Be A Fit In Boston

05/15/2021 at 2:51pm EDT

from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,

Turning talk into trade, when it comes to a potential Eichel-to-Boston deal, is another matter.

Can the Bruins afford the cost of one of the game’s premier centers? From a cap-space perspective, sure. The 24-year-old Eichel has been hurt much of this season, but is paid like a player who put up 36 goals and 78 points in 68 games last season on a struggling team. He carries a $10 million hit for the next six years.

One way to afford him: let unrestricted free agents David Krejci ($7.25 million), Jaroslav Halak ($2.25 million), and Sean Kuraly ($1.275 million) walk, which would free up $10.775 million in cap space. That’s without considering a Hall extension, and other UFAs (Mike Reilly, due a raise on his $1.5 million AAV). The Bruins will also shed David Backes’s $1.5 million retained cap hit this summer. Money doesn’t have to be the holdup.

Do they have a need for Eichel? Certainly not at this moment. The Capitals entered Saturday’s Game 1 against the Bruins trying to find ways to stop Patrice Bergeron’s line and the Hall-Krejci-Craig Smith connection, both firing with equal fury. Imagine if that continues this postseason, Krejci takes a haircut ($5 million on a short-term deal) and Hall falls a bit behind Brad Marchand ($6.125 million) on the salary scale. That’s one formidable top six entering 2021-22.

Given the ages of Bergeron (36 in July) and Krejci (35) and their mileage, it wouldn’t last forever. Bergeron’s contract expires after next season. Krejci, if he returns, could be year to year. Bringing in a 24-year-old, all-world talent from North Chelmsford, and showing him how Bergeron and Marchand operate (see: Hall, Taylor), could be ideal.

Whether they want to ante up for Eichel, the Bruins do need centers.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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