The Boston Bruins sure had the worst season opener last Wednesday when they got badly beaten down by the defending Stanley Cup champions Washington Capitals, by the final mark of 7-0. If you dare to watch the massacre, you can see it in the video above.
While they managed to bounce back against the Buffalo Sabres the following night, the Bruins revealed to all other rival teams in the National Hockey League that they are facing a major team issue that they will need to rectify if they want to remain a contender this spring. Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald mentions how it has become clear that the Bruins are dealing with a hole at centre and how they will need to make a move to fix the situation.
Conroy reports that Boston will move David Backes into its third-line center position as the Bruins attempt to address the offseason departure of Riley Nash. However, they seem to be running out of solutions as young players like Jack Studnicka, Trent Frederic and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson do not appear to be ready to take on that role in the lineup. They also attempted to slide in Sean Kuraly in that spot but he seems better suited on the fourth line...
“We took a look at it today and it was something we discussed as a Plan C-type of thing going into the year,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy after practice. “The three younger guys we were going to look at first and then Sean. I think, with the fact that (Kuraly) missed some time (in training camp), we might have to wait on that. We could toggle him and Backes back and forth."
While no precise trade rumors have emerged yet on the case, Conroy believes that the Bruins might have to look at the trade market for a quick solution, especially since there are very little options on the free agent market...
"If it doesn’t work, at least as a stopgap measure, the next plan might be going outside the organization to fill the hole — even if it very well could defeat the purpose of letting Nash walk in the first place," concludes Conroy.
If Backes ends up being a short-term solution, GM Don Sweeney might not have another choice than to make a trade.