4 Bruins Trade Targets If They Want To Win the Stanley Cup

Dec 9, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA;  The Boston Bruins celebrate after defeating the Arizona
Dec 9, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; The Boston Bruins celebrate after defeating the Arizona / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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After 29 games played, the Boston Bruins find themselves in familiar territory. Following last year's historic regular season, Boston has once again shot out of the gate to record 43 points, a mark tied for best in the Eastern Conference.

Akin to 2022-23, the Bruins' strong start has them positioned for another postseason appearance, and it is never too early to start keeping tabs on players that could brought in as reinforcements for a playoff push. Trade block candidates are emerging across the league, and there are quite a few that general manager Don Sweeney and president Cam Neely should be in on.

The Bruins farm system has been depleted for years, often forcing the team to give up top-round picks to acquire NHL-caliber players. Boston has traded away three of their last four first-round picks, and didn't pick until 92nd overall in the 2023 Entry Draft. In a quest for a Cup run during last year's historic regular season, they traded away both their 2023 and 2024 first-rounders just prior to the deadline.

With a 32nd-ranked farm system, Sweeney and Neely will probably have to rely on draft picks again. To add insult to injury, the Bruins don't own a pick until the fourth round of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. Trade assets are thin in Boston, so the Bruins are going to have to get creative if they want to upgrade the talent on their NHL roster.

The Bruins have approximately $2.8 million in cap space to work with, and almost every player on this list carries a cap hit that exceeds that amount. Subsequently, Sweeney will have to perform some salary cap gymnastics, but that should be second nature to a GM in a league with a hard cap.

4. Pat Maroon, Minnesota Wild

Maroon isn't the flashiest name on this list, but he has a historically impressive playoff pedigree, winning three straight Stanley Cups (including one with the Blues over the Bruins in 2019) from 2019 to 2021, so he knows what it takes to raise the Cup in this league. Moves around the margins like this can make or break a Stanley Cup playoff run.

Maroon is 35 years old, on an extremely affordable contract at only $800K, and his contract expires at the end of the season, so the Bruins should be able to acquire him on the cheap for a later round pick. Minnesota acquired Maroon for only a 7th rounder this offseason, and the Wild are on the outside looking in at the playoff picture for the time being. That means Minnesota general manager Bill Guerin may find him expendable.

Maroon has recorded three goals and nine assists in Minnesota this season, and would slot in as a bottom six winger with the Bruins. Milan Lucic is unlikely to return this season, and Boston would likely prefer to have the seasoned Maroon in a bottom six role over young wingers such as Jakub Lauko and Oskar Steen come playoff time.

If the Bruins do make a move for Maroon, it seems more feasible that the transaction would take place closer to the March 8 trade deadline. There isn't an urgent need for his services at this time, but he would make for a valuable deadline addition.