Now that the Bruins have re-signed Matt Bartkowski, could they trade him or another defenseman? Do the Avalanche have interest in Michael Del Zotto?
BOSTON GLOBE: Amalie Benjamin reports the Bruins are stacked with nine NHL-caliber defensemen after re-signing Matt Bartkowski to a one-year, $1.25 million contract. While Johnny Boychuk has been the topic of trade rumors, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has been adamant he wants to keep the club’s core intact. Benjamin speculates Bartkowski, who was almost traded for Jarome Iginla in 2013, could be a subject of trade speculation.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports Bartkowski isn’t troubled by trade rumors. Haggerty also speculates the 26-year-old blueliner could be a trade candidate.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarelli has stated he won’t go into 2014-15 carrying nine defensemen. At least one of them is expected to be dealt. While Boychuk is eligible for UFA status next summer, could cost over $5 million to re-sign and could fetch a solid return, it appears the Bruins will stick with him for the upcoming season.
Along with Bartkowski and Boychuk, the Bruins also have Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, Dougie Hamilton, Kevan Miller, Torey Krug and David Warsofsky. Krug also has to be re-signed before the season begins. It’s believed they could trade one of their defensemen for a winger, but given their limited cap space they’ll likely move out one for a draft pick or prospect so as not to take back salary in return.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater responds to a reader asking if the Colorado Avalanche could have interest in defenseman Michael Del Zotto, saying “he’s seen as a bad defender, just too weak in his own zone to warrant a big trade/contract anymore.” Another reader noted the Avs have eight defensemen under contract and wondered if one of them could be dealt. Dater didn’t rule it out but notes Avs coach Patrick Roy prefers to have a surplus of blueliners.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Del Zotto might face a training camp tryout in order to land with another NHL club. While his defensive game needs work, Del Zotto is only two years removed from a 41-point season. He could attract interest from teams seeking offense from their blueline.