Bruins should target one of these free agents after Taylor Hall chooses Sabres
Bruins should target one of these freelance agents after Taylor Hall picks Sabers, who originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Bruins were reportedly among the teams in the mix for free agent winger Taylor Hall, but that's no longer an option for the Original Six club after signing with the Buffalo Sabers on Sunday night.
Hall confirmed to TSN's Pierre LeBrun that it was a $ 8 million one-year deal with the Sabers. It was a surprising move given Hall's recent comments that he wants to win and that the Sabers are one of the worst teams in the NHL in eight years.
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So where are the Bruins going to get their scoring depth with Hall from the Market?
There are still a few high profile wingers in the free agency, with Boston having a salary cap of around $ 12 million.
The wing available at the top left is Mike Hoffman. The 30-year-old forward is a consistent goalscorer who has scored more than 20 goals in six consecutive seasons. He has averaged 28.2 goals per season during that time and scored 59 points (29 goals, 30 assists) in 69 games for the Florida Panthers in the 2019-20 season.
It should be noted that a good chunk of Hoffman's offensive production is on the power play. The Bruins had the second best power play last season and struggled to score 5 against 5 goals during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Still, Hoffman would be an upgrade over Jake DeBrusk in the second row left wing next to the David Krejci veterans center.
Updated view of Bruins' blue line with Torey Krug gone
The other top wingers on the market are mostly right wings. The Bruins have a greater need on the left wing as they already have David Pastrnak, Ondrej Kase and the newly signed Craig Smith on the right.
Tyler Toffoli is one of the best unsigned right wings. Since making his debut in the 2012/13 season, he has had four seasons with 20 goals. He has also played in 54 playoff games with a 2014 Stanley Cup title as a member of the Los Angeles Kings. Toffoli scored 24 goals between the Kings and Vancouver Canucks last season. He's also one of the younger top 6 wingers available at age 28.
Evgenii Dadonov is the other senior right-winger in the market. He has scored 25 or more goals for the Panthers in three consecutive seasons. The 31-year-old veteran also scored 11 career-high power play goals last year.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney reacts to Torey Krug's departure
Mikael Granlund might be a cheaper option for the B. He would bring valuable versatility with his ability to produce on the left wing and in the middle. He is a good playmaker and could add to the second power play session. Granlund has had a disappointing 2019-20 season, with only 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) in 63 games, making him a possible rebound candidate too.
The Bruins were also able to re-sign restricted winger Jake DeBrusk. He has averaged 20 goals over the past three seasons but is frustratingly inconsistent. Boston also has to decide whether to re-sign two of its defenders, Zdeno Chara (UFA) and Matt Grzelcyk (RFA).
There is no question that the Bruins need to improve their top six forwards before next season. The secondary goal was a huge weakness for the B in the playoffs, and while signing Smith was a very good move, it won't address this problem for Boston alone.
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