Will the Boston Bruins’ reset-on-the-fly morph into a full-blown rebuild?
Well, after the former Eastern power’s most dismal start in a decade, the club is reportedly dangling some of its established veterans in trade talks.
According to Joe Haggerty of CSSNE.com, who cites “separate hockey sources,” the Bruins have engaged in recent trade discussions with other NHL teams regarding defenceman Zdeno Chara and forward Brad Marchand among other players.
“The talks haven’t been substantial but more exploratory in nature,” writes Haggerty, “as the team quietly gauges the market value of higher-priced veterans who may not fit in the long-term picture if the decision is made to tear down the current roster.”
Stumbling out of the gate with losses to the Jets, Canadiens and Lightning, the Bruins (0-3-0) have plummeted to the very bottom of the NHL standings with a minus-9 goal differential.
Summer trades and recent injuries to Chara (upper body), Marchand (concussion) and Dennis Seidenberg (back) have hampered a core that was once a regular Stanley Cup threat.
The ailing Chara, 38, made his debut in Monday’s 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay and was a minus-2 for the afternoon. Through two games, the 27-year-old Marchand has yet to register a point.
The highest-paid Bruins defenceman, Chara, has three more seasons on a contract that pays him an average of $6.9 million annually. Marchand, who carries a $4.5-million salary cap hit, has two more seasons on his deal.
Chara’s contract has a no-movement clause and Marchand’s has a modified no-trade clause, according to General Fanager.
Head coach Claude Julien’s future with the team remained uncertain for weeks during the off-season, but team president Cam Neely said it was unfair to speculate that Julien was on the hot seat entering 2015-16.