The Boston Bruins 2022-23 season has seen them rewrite the history books on several different occasions due to how good they have been all season long. Through 47 games, the Bruins have a 38-5-4 record, which is good for 80 points and is easily the most in the NHL. And to this point, the Bruins have shown no signs of slowing down.
Many folks had tempered expectations for Boston entering the season, but they have quickly turned themselves into one of the most dominant teams in the history of the league. They are scoring tons of goals, giving up very few, and as a result, they are the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup this season.
The B’s aren’t perfect, of course, because no team in professional sports is ever perfect. But the good news is that the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline is right around the corner, and Boston will have a perfect opportunity to shore up some of the weaker spots on their roster for the remainder of the season. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at three moves at the deadline Boston could make to further solidify their status as the team to beat this season.
3. Luke Schenn
The Bruins defense has been surprisingly good all season long, due in large part to Hampus Lindholm putting together a monster season to this point. They definitely could use another depth defender on the blue line, though, particularly on the right side of the ice. Enter veteran defenseman Luke Schenn, who could end up being one of the Bruins top trade targets for a few reasons.
Schenn isn’t the greatest defender to ever take the ice, but he’s an effective depth option who could help Boston out in the event that injuries or poor play flare up. Schenn is averaging just over 17 minutes of ice time per game with the Vancouver Canucks this season, and has racked up two goals and 14 assists in 48 games. He’s not flashy, but he’s consistent if nothing else.
As currently constructed, the Bruins don’t really have a need to break up their defensive pairings, but having Schenn as a seventh defender who could fill in on their third-line if needed would be a fantastic insurance policy to have. Injuries always pop up at one point or another, and when they do, Boston would be in a good spot to overcome them if they picked up Schenn at the deadline.
2. Ivan Barbashev
Adding some more depth at the forward position is also something that would benefit the Bruins, and Ivan Barbashev should be one of their top targets if that’s their goal. Barbashev is a versatile forward who can play at all three spots on the attack, and his physical style of play may give the Bruins some more grit on their third or fourth line.
Barbashev is averaging just over 16 minutes of time on the ice per game, and has racked up eight goals and 15 assists so far. That’s a far cry from the 26 goals and 34 assists he had last season with the St. Louis Blues, but this is more in line with his production throughout his career. Barbashev isn’t afraid to get into it with his opponent, and that’s exactly the type of player the Bruins would want on their side when going on a deep playoff run.
Barbashev also is only 27 years old, meaning that this is a deal that could benefit Boston past just this season. Barbashev likely won’t be able to recreate his production from last season on a consistent basis, but he’s a solid forward option who could immediately find a home on one of the Bruins lower lines and give them an element of grit and physicality that could benefit them greatly throughout the rest of the season.
1. Bo Horvat
The gem of the trade deadline for the Bruins would involve them going back to the Canucks and trying to pull off a trade for Bo Horvat. Horvat would be a perfect fit with the B’s, and if Boston somehow managed to land him, it would make defeating them, which is already a tough task, even more difficult throughout the remainder of the season.
Horvat has become one of the top scorers in the league, and has been one of the only bright spots in what has been a miserable season for the Canucks. He’s already matched his career-high in goals with 31, and when you combine that with his 19 assists, he’s likely going to set a career-high in points this season.
Horvat can also play all three positions up top, and his lefty shooting at the center position, which is currently manned by three righties in Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Charlie Coyle, would make Boston’s attack even more lethal. Acquiring Horvat would cost a pretty penny, but this is the perfect move that would make the Bruins nearly indestructible, and they should do whatever they can to make it happen.