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Bruins Free Agency Wishlist

When it comes to free agency, fans get all whipped out of shape demanding that their favorite teams sign the top names on the market. This year, that name is John Tavares. Bruins fans are begging and pleading Don Sweeney to throw every dollar he can find in the couch cushions around the TD Garden at the 27 year old center. While landing Tavares would obviously be a huge move for Sweeney and Co., it would probably mean moving on from some of the young players that Sweeney has stated are the future of the franchise. So here's a few free agents not named Tavares that would fill the holes that the Bruins are looking to fill.

Calvin de Haan-D

The 27 year old left handed defenseman has spent his whole career alongside Tavares with the Islanders. He only played 33 games in 2017-2018, but has proven to be a pretty solid top four blue liner. While he doesn't pack too much of a punch offensively, he blocks a good amount of shots, throws his weight around, and has had a positive +/- rating for a team with a horrible goaltending situation every year except for his first partial season in the league. Pairing de Haan with Brandon Carlo or Kevan Miller on the second pair would allow Torey Krug to play less minutes on the third pair and focus on the power plays where he excels.

James Neal-W

A lot of Bruins fans have disliked Neal for a while now, dating back to his days with Crosby in Pittsburgh. The 30 winger was selected by Vegas from Nashville in last years expansion draft and turned in a pretty productive season in the desert. The left shot winger scored 25 goals to go with 19 assists during the Golden Knights surprising run to a Stanley Cup Final birth. Neal has a reputation of getting under opposing players skin while always hovering in the 25-30 goal territory. If he is willing to move to the right side, he could prove to be an upgrade over what turned out to be a disappointing stint in Boston for Rick Nash.

James Van Riemsdyk-W

Bruins fans should know the 29 year old veteran by now, after seeing him in big games with both Philadelphia and more recently the Toronto Maple Leafs. The big winger has been pretty streaky throughout his career, but always ended up right around the 30 goal mark in every full season he played with Toronto. Last season he tallied 36 goals, 11 of them coming on the man advantage. Signing JVR would not only fill the gap alongside David Krejci, but it would also hurt Toronto a bit, by taking away one of their top forwards.

There are other options that fit what the Bruins are looking for, like Michael Grabner or even bringing back Rick Nash, or acquiring replacements via trade. But signing de Haan along with either Neal or Van Riemsdyk would go a long way to filling the Bruins needs while keeping all the assets the team has stockpiled to this point. Those assets could be used for upgrades later in the season at the trade deadline if the team improves on the great season they had last year.

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