With the recent addition of prospect Tyler Seguin, the Boston Bruins have too much talent at centre. For some strange reason, they want to solve that problem by trading 33-year-old Ottawa native Marc Savard, who just finished signing a cap-friendly lifetime contract last season. Oddly enough, Sportsnet is reporting that the two teams that Savard has given the Bruins permission to trade him to before July 1st are two division rivals, the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs.
This rather unexpected situation means there are two questions that Bryan Murray has to ask himself:
- Do the Senators want Marc Savard?
- Do the Senators have the assets needed to make a pitch for him?
At first glance, the answer to the first question seems as though it'd undoubtedly be yes -- the Senators would have an incredible 1-2 punch of Spezza-Savard down the middle, going from a team that has never had a true-blue second line centre to a team with two first line centres. Pretty good, right? Unfortunately, add in Mike Fisher and Chris Kelly's contracts and the team would also have over $17M locked up in 4 centres. Considering the Bruins are unlikely to want either Kelly or Fisher due to their wealth of talented pivots, it might make for a bad salary structure for the Senators going forward.
The other concern with Savard is his health. He'll be 33 at the start of this season and on a long-term contract. He's also coming off a season where he played only 41 games and suffered several serious injuries. These are a few red flags that Murray would no doubt have to seriously consider before making any trade. Regardless, Savard is still a fantastic player, and one that the Senators are no doubt extremely interested in -- until they realize what it would take to get him.
This ties in to the answer to the second question. Obviously, Boston would not be interested in Jason Spezza or Mike Fisher. Potential trade bait would likely include a top pick in next year's draft and players like Milan Michalek, Peter Regin, Nick Foligno, Filip Kuba, Jared Cowen, or David Rundblad. While the Senators likely could make up an appetizing package to trade to Boston, any trade including a combination of these players and a draft pick or two would have a detrimental effect on Ottawa going forward. The Senators don't lack centres -- they lack young wingers and veteran defensemen. Despite Savard's incredible talent, he is an assist-man, not a goal scorer. He can't win without quality wingers to put the puck in, and any trade involving Ottawa would likely have to involve one of the few young, skilled wingers the Senators have. Furthermore, as much as Sens fans complain about Kuba in his own end, he's still the team's only veteran puck-moving defencemen, and their blueline would be even weaker without him.
Looking at all of the drawbacks to making a trade for Savard -- not to mention that the Bruins can wait until after July 1st for more teams to get into the bidding action -- it just seems extremely unlikely. Sure, it'd be great to see Savard playing for his hometown team, but I'd say the odds of it are extremely slim.
Wait, what about trading Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo, and a second round pick for him? The Bruins would be stupid not to take it!