Thanks to a hat trick from Loui Eriksson, the Bruins beat the Wild 4-2 at the Garden last night. So now the big topic of discussion is whether or not to re-sign the soon-to-be UFA at the end of the season. Opinions range, as always. It seems like the Bruins media would prefer to keep him:
DJ Bean, WEEI.com:
“With Thursday’s performance, it’s probably worth noting again that Eriksson is in the final year of a contract that carries a $4.25 million cap hit. Teams don’t get better by losing their best players, so the Bruins would be wise to do their best to try and retain the player.”
Stephen Harris, Boston Herald:
“It would be a pity for the Bruins if, now that Eriksson is proving to be one of their most important players, he also proved too expensive to keep.”
In the Globe, Fluto Shinzawa plays it down the middle:
“But Eriksson is 30 years old with a concussion history. His trade value is high enough to net the Bruins a major score before the deadline. It’s hard to project how many productive seasons Eriksson can play before his skates start to slow. The Bruins cannot risk holding on to Eriksson and seeing him walk on July 1. If the Bruins put Eriksson in play, they can expect a haul in return. Last year, the Coyotes landed a first-round pick and prospect Klas Dahlbeck from Chicago for Antoine Vermette. The Maple Leafs acquired Zach Sill, a second-round pick, and a fourth-rounder from Toronto for Daniel Winnik. Calgary obtained second- and third-rounders from Washington for Curtis Glencross. Eriksson is better than all three rentals. The Bruins could demand a first-rounder and a high-level prospect.”
So let’s pump the breaks for a minute on this, shall we? Eriksson is having a good year so far, no doubt. But, as Fluto points out, he’s 30 with a concussion history. And do you put $6M a year into a guy on the downside of his career? The Bruins have gotten themselves into this situation by handing out deals to guys in their early 30’s, and have watched as they’ve gotten old right in front of them.
Exhibit A is Chris Kelly. Exhibit B is Dennis Seidenberg. Exhibit C is Zdeno Chara.
And judging by Twitter last night, the TRADE LOUI noise is getting louder and louder:
The thought here is to trade Eriksson if you’re out of it come the trade deadline. If the Bruins are still in it, then it’s a really tough call. You can’t trade him then if you want any shot of doing damage in the playoffs, but then you run the risk of losing him for nothing. But I’d rather lose him for nothing than overpay and have another player get old on your dime.