While the Stanley Cup Final is still going on between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings, the NHL rumors are beginning to swirl. According to James Murphy, currently of XNSports.com, and formerly of ESPNBoston.com, the most recent rumors could see the Boston Bruins trade Brad Marchand to the San Jose Sharks for Patrick Marleau.
The Bruins and Sharks were trade partners nearly nine years ago, when Boston sent Joe Thornton to San Jose in exchange for Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau. This deal involving Marchand and Marleau may not gain enough steam to go down, but the Sharks are going to explore all options after another disappointing early exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, especially since they failed to close out the first round series against the Kings after winning the first three games. Ironically, Thornton could also be on the trading block.
In terms of Marchand and Marleau, the Bruins’ left winger just turned 26-years-old and is coming off of one of his best seasons in Boston, accounting for 25 goals and 28 assists. He signed a four-year contract extension prior to the 2012 season that pays him an average of $4.5 million per year through the 2016-2017 NHL season.
Marleau will turn 35-years-old before the NHL drops the puck on the 2014-2015 season, and carries a $6.67 million cap hit for the next three seasons. He has played his entire 16 year career with the Sharks, scoring 33 goals and 37 assists last season.
We know that the Bruins are not afraid to trade away a young star, as Boston GM Peter Chiarelli dealt Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars last season for Loui Eriksson. Could he really trade Marchand the very next offseason? If it does happen, you can count Bob Neumeier and Michael Felger as Boston media members who would give the thumbs up on the deal, at least after what they said on Sports Tonight.
“When you think about what San Jose has done recently,” said Neumeier. “Very good regular seasons, zip in the playoffs. They need a spark. Marchand may need a new address.”
“Marleau is much older,” said Felger. “I think the Bruins are in a championship window, so go out and get championships.”
While I admit that I would be hesitant to deal away a young talent such as Marchand for a player who is nearly a decade his elder, I have to look back to what the Rangers did at this past NHL Trade Deadline, sending captain Ryan Callahan to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the much more experienced Martin St. Louis. It goes without saying that the Rangers would likely not have reached the Stanley Cup Final if it had not been for the stellar play and leadership of St. Louis. Perhaps, this could work out just as well for the Bruins.
Or, the Sharks. You just never know.