Keep Loui? Sell Loui? Resign Loui?
Lots of choices facing this years Bruins team. What should they do given their current position in the division and with a seemingly wide open Eastern Conference once you look past the Capitals?
They might be well served looking at the 2011-2012 New Jersey Devils as a cautionary tale of what might be gained and lost if this team chooses to try and go for it.
The Devils were a fringe playoff team with Zach Parise playing on a one year 6 million dollar contract extension. There were already dubious signs swirling about the prospects of resigning Parise. But Devils GM Lou Lamoriello chose to hold onto Parise despite not having a contract extension in place and roll the dice on the post season.
The Devils subsequently rolled off a miraculous playoff run. They entered it as the 4th seed in the Atlantic and proceeded to beat the Panthers, Flyers and Rangers to reach the Stanley Cup Finals, where they were beaten by the clearly superior LA Kings.
In the offseason Parise left New Jersey for Minnesota shortly after free agency opened (despite getting a significant offer from the Bruins, cue laugh track). The Devils were left with nothing for Parise except a gaping hole in their roster and a banner only the Indianapolis Colts would enjoy hanging.
Since losing Parise the Devils have struggled continuously and have yet to make the playoffs again.
This may be the best case senario playoff-wise for this year’s Boston Bruins. They may make it out of the conference even with their critically flawed defense, but against a Western Conference power like Chicago, Anaheim or LA they will get unceremoniously curb stomped by teams built to expose the Bruins shoddy flawed D.
And losing out on the assets you would garner from dealing Eriksson for a package similar to what Ladd garnered for Winnipeg might further set them on a path of mediocrity, with less ammunition to fix their holes on defense.
You want to let Loui walk for nothing but a runner up banner? Me neither.
Trade Eriksson now and get the best possible return. Use that return to fix the other holes on Bruins and put yourself in the best possible position to compete for a Stanley Cup in the future, because there is no chance for this team to compete for a cup right now.