It's hard to imagine that moving Ryan Donato was an easy decision for Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.
But right now, it's the right decision.
Donato is young, it's a good story and there is a lot of potential. However, the reality remains that Donato's game should simply be developed and that the Bruins were well placed to hit the best players (or sometimes twilights) of the career of some of their best players, the time had come to move to Action.
On Wednesday night, the Bruins would have acquired Charlie Coyle of Minnesota Wild in exchange for Donato and a fifth-round pick.
So, how does Coyle – a native of Weymouth, Massachusetts – have an impact on the Bruins both now and on the road?
First, let's talk money. To give up Donato and a late pick is decent given that Coyle actually has a fixed term on his contract. He signed for next season and has a cap of $ 3.2 million. This is not the worst deal for a 26 year old player who will be one of the last six players. In comparison, Riley Nash, who has not been productive with the Blue Jackets since signing in Columbus after a career year in Boston last season, has a cap of $ 2.75 million.
In terms of adjustment, it should be thought that Coyle will enter the third line, probably between Joakim Nordstrom and David Backes, Peter Cehlarik or Karson Kulhman, depending on the changes made in response to the transaction, as well as any other transaction . B's could do between now and Monday's deadline. Coyle served as the second-line center for the Wild, so playing in the third unit could be a sort of "demotion", but in reality it just shows the depth that the Bruins now have in the center.
This season, Coyle has scored 10 goals and 18 assists in 60 games. He has never been a prolific scorer, but he is efficient enough in attack to create and execute opportunities for himself and his teammates. His career in goals is 21 (2015-16) and 38 years of attendance (2016-17). His highest total points in a season is 56, when he reduced the score from 18 to 38-56 over the 2016-17 campaign.
But while making the acquisition of Coyle was a cautious decision, some not insignificant risks exist.
It was Donato's first full season with the Bruins. Although he clearly fell out of favor with head coach Bruce Cassidy before being sent to the miners, the promise shown by the Harvard product last season is far too tempting to ignore.
Think of it this way, the Bruins' biggest challenge this season is probably their lack of secondary scoring. Browse their potential players in the AHL and there really are no real scorers. Donato's game is now unidimensional, but he loves to shoot and he showed at different levels that he was more than able to score. Indeed, he is a handicap on the defensive side, and because of this, when he does not score, he does not bring much to the table.
But this is the current situation and he still has a lot to do for him to grow up. So, in Donato's exchange, the Bruins do not really have any more scorers in the AHL, which would put them in a stalemate if they did not deal well or did not do the right thing.
Nevertheless, these are big cases and this is certainly not a reason for neglecting to take action at the trading deadline. The Bruins improved their NHL roster on Wednesday and the acquisition of a center among the last six on the list is one less thing they will have to do this weekend.
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