02/21/2024

BUF:

3

MTL:

2

Final

PHI:

3

CHI:

1

Final

CBJ:

7

ANA:

4

Final

TOR:

6

ARI:

3

Final

BOS:

6

EDM:

5

Final

02/22/2024

FLA:

0

CAR:

1

Final

COL:

1

DET:

2

Final

NYR:

5

NJD:

1

Final

DAL:

1

OTT:

4

Final

MTL:

1

PIT:

4

Final

WSH:

5

TBL:

3

Final

NYI:

0

STL:

4

Final

BOS:

2

CGY:

3

Final

VAN:

2

SEA:

5

Final

TOR:

7

VGK:

3

Final

NSH:

4

LAK:

1

Final

02/23/2024

BUF:

2

CBJ:

1

Final

WPG:

3

CHI:

2

Final

MIN:

4

EDM:

2

Final

02/24/2024

STL:

1

DET:

6

Final

MTL:

3

NJD:

4

Final

TBL:

4

NYI:

2

Final

NYR:

2

PHI:

1

3

08:18

WSH:

0

FLA:

0

06:00 ET

TOR:

0

COL:

0

07:00 ET

VGK:

0

OTT:

0

07:00 ET

BOS:

0

VAN:

0

07:00 ET

DAL:

0

CAR:

0

08:00 ET

CGY:

0

EDM:

0

10:00 ET

MIN:

0

SEA:

0

10:00 ET

NSH:

0

SJS:

0

10:00 ET

ANA:

0

LAK:

0

10:30 ET

02/25/2024

TBL:

0

NJD:

0

01:00 ET

PHI:

0

PIT:

0

03:30 ET

CAR:

0

BUF:

0

06:00 ET

NYR:

0

CBJ:

0

06:00 ET

DET:

0

CHI:

0

06:00 ET

ARI:

0

WPG:

0

06:00 ET

NSH:

0

ANA:

0

08:00 ET

02/26/2024

OTT:

0

WSH:

0

07:00 ET

NYI:

0

DAL:

0

08:00 ET

LAK:

0

EDM:

0

09:30 ET

BOS:

0

SEA:

0

10:00 ET

02/27/2024

WSH:

0

DET:

0

07:00 ET

BUF:

0

FLA:

0

07:00 ET

ARI:

0

MTL:

0

07:00 ET

TBL:

0

PHI:

0

07:00 ET

VGK:

0

TOR:

0

07:00 ET

CAR:

0

MIN:

0

08:00 ET

OTT:

0

NSH:

0

08:00 ET

STL:

0

WPG:

0

08:00 ET

LAK:

0

CGY:

0

09:00 ET

DAL:

0

COL:

0

09:30 ET

PIT:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

NJD:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

Should the Boston Bruins Trade With An Atlantic Division Rival?

Casey Mittelstadt skating for the Buffalo Sabres against the Boston Bruins
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

While the Trade Deadline has started early, seeing Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan on the move over a month ahead of the deadline. Other teams eyeing center help have started to widen their search. One name that has hit the rumors recently and also mentioned in a recent 32 Thoughts Podcast is Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt.

While Adam Henrique and Nic Dowd have also been mentioned recently, Mittelstadt could create an interesting blockbuster at the deadline.

Who is Casey Mittelstadt, & Why Would Buffalo Trade Him?

Casey Mittelstadt – 25 years old, RFA(with arbitration rights) at season’s end; $2.5m AAV contract this season. Mittelstadt currently has 42 points in 51 games(12 goals and 30 assists). At the time this article was written.

You look at the stats and the contract and immediately think, “You’d be insane to trade that player.” Then you peel back the book on the Buffalo Sabres and look at the center depth alone. Tage Thompson, Dylan Cozens, and Peyton Krebs are on the current roster, while Matthew Savoie is waiting in Rochester for his chance in the NHL.

Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens are both signed long-term in Buffalo. Peyton Krebs is about to be a restricted free agent, just like Mittelstadt. Krebs is coming off his entry-level contract and was a primary return of the Jack Eichel trade. Matthew Savoie was the Sabres’ first-round pick in 2022.

With the depth at the position and the Sabres need for additions on the blueline and between the pipes, Mittelstadt looks like the odd man out in Buffalo.

How does Mittelstadt fit in Boston?

While it’s evident that Boston needs help down the middle, that need increased with the Poitras injury. I had previously written my belief that Don Sweeney needs to shake things up and make a splash; this could be the best opportunity and fit for Sweeney to make it happen.

Mittelstadt’s age makes him a perfect fit for the Boston Bruins’ “next” core. After being a slow player to develop, things may have finally clicked over Mittelstadt’s last couple of seasons. He scored 59 points in 82 games last season and is having a great start to the 2023-24 season.

The No. 8 pick in the 2018 draft was an offensive force in high school, the USHL and college hockey, but has struggled to put up points in the NHL. Is a creative playmaker with good hands who can play center or wing. Needs to get stronger, pick up a half-step or so in his skating and refine his 200-foot game to become the player his performance at lower levels suggest he can be.

Scouting Report via Sports Forecaster

One of the most significant failures in Sweeney’s tenure is not being able to replace a bonafide top-tier center for the future. Currently, the Bruins have three NHL-ready centers: Coyle, Zacha, and Geekie. You can argue for Poitras, but he’s a rookie; let’s hold off on expectations. None of those names mentioned are going to be hot in a scoring race. Mittelstadt would be 4th in scoring on the Bruins behind Pastrnak, Marchand, and Coyle.

Sweeney’s addition of Mittelstadt would instantly add a skilled top-six center to your lineup and slot Coyle back to the third line, ultimately leading the Bruins to past success.

What could it cost?

Any team acquiring Mittelstadt must think of two different costs. The cost to acquire and the cost to sign him long-term. With his contract expiring at the end of the season and two years of high offensive production, he will surely get a significant raise from his $2.5m AAV. I could see a market value for Mittelstadt in the $6-7m AAV category, especially with the salary cap on the rise.

During the recent Elias Lindholm sweepstakes, Elliotte Friedman reported a secondary team on Lindholm that was dependent on the player signing an extension with the team. He leaned toward Boston as being a likely team in that scenario. After spending heavily at last year’s deadline for pure rentals, Sweeney should be hesitant to spend first-round picks or high-end assets for a rental player. That’s where Mittelstadt’s team control, though arbitration-eligible, is more desirable for the Boston Bruins.

The trade cost is pure speculation at this point, as Buffalo is still in the “actively listening” standpoint. But, for argument’s sake, I see this trade as a two to three-piece deal.

My Proposal

To Buffalo Sabres:

D Matt Grzelcyk
2025 First Round Pick
(Insert Prospect Here)

To Boston Bruins:

F Casey Mittelstadt

Boston is currently nowhere near being a top-ten protected pick. The 2024 first-round pick is all but destined for Detroit. This leaves Boston with a 2025 or 2026 first-round pick at their disposal. With Buffalo coming out of the rebuild, they’re likely not concerned about a 2026 pick. The Boston Bruins 2025 first-round pick makes the MOST sense in a package. Buffalo would likely be looking to package that pick to address their goaltending.

As for Grzelcyk being involved, the Sabres are very thin on the blueline outside of Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power. In addition to the two I mentioned, Connor Clifton is the only other Sabres defenseman signed “long-term.” Kevyn Adams has been looking for a veteran presence to fit on his blue line. Would Grzelcyk be a young enough “veteran” to help guide the young Buffalo defensive core into the future?

Ultimately, this deal could hinge on one thing. Can each team have some certainty they can sign the incoming player long-term? Mittelstadt and Grzelcyk are on expiring deals, but if the teams knew the player coming back would be around long-term, this trade would work nicely for both team’s needs.

Season 3. Episode 17. 9 Round TKO Bruins Benders Podcast

The Boston Bruins sputter at home to a 2-3-2 record. Poitras is done for the season. Do the Bruins respond on the road trip? What to do with Jake DeBrusk's future? What do the Bruins need most at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline? Bruins drinking games and more!DraftKings Sportsbook – Boston’s hometown Sportsbook is LIVE right here in Massachusetts! Bet local on all your favorite sports from the comfort of your own home with DraftKings. To celebrate, ALL new customers will receive up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets when you sign up for DraftKings Sportsbook using code ITR! You can now bet local on money lines, spreads, props, and more with one of America’s top-rated Sportsbooks – DraftKings Sportsbook!  Download the DraftKings Sportsbook app and sign up with code ITR to get up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets to use now that mobile sports betting is live in Massachusetts. That’s code ITR only at DraftKings Sportsbook. If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 800 327-5050 or visit helplineMA.org to speak with a trained specialist, free and confidentially, twenty four seven. 21+. Physically present in MA. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Eligibility and deposit restrictions apply. Opt in required. Bonus issued aree bets. Terms at draftkings.com/MA.
  1. Season 3. Episode 17. 9 Round TKO
  2. Season 3. Episode 16. Carolina Blues
  3. Season 3. Episode 15. Streaking!
  4. Season 3. Episode 14. We Were on a Break!
  5. Season 3. Episode 13. Matty and Tay Tay Birthday Spectacular

Connor Green

Managing Editor | Inside the Rink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NHL Game Recap: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Winnipeg Jets | 02/23/2024

The Chicago Blackhawks took another loss, their third loss straight, against the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center on Friday, February 23rd. The Blackhawks played hard throughout the whole game, tying it at 2-2 with 43 seconds remaining in the third period to head into overtime. However, Kyle Connor scored just 25 seconds into overtime […]

Read More

NHL Game Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames | 02/24/2024

They went from having awful second periods and great third periods to having a great second period and awful third periods. Talk about pulling a complete 180. Actually, it’s not even that the third period was bad. Edmonton outshot Minnesota 24-7 in the final frame, but Filip Gustavsson did what Calvin Pickard could not. Coming […]

Read More
Héctor Urcia for Inside The Rink

PHOTOS: Buffalo Sabres vs. Columbus Blue Jackets – 02/24/2024

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Friday night, the visiting Buffalo Sabres beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 at Nationwide Arena. Connor Clifton scored the winning goal early in the third period and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 25 saves for the Buffalo Sabres. Check out this photo gallery from Inside The Rink’s Héctor Urcia, for highlights from the game.

Read More