NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the change in play since the Olympic break as well as the trade market. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
In the week following the break, the Bruins, as well as other teams that had multiple players participate in the Olympics, have appeared tired.
“The Bruins aren’t the only team that are experiencing this after the Olympics,” McGuire said. “If you watched Chicago play last night, the first 40 minutes they looked very un-Chicago. If you watched Montreal play against Detroit two nights ago they looked very unlike the Montreal Canadiens. … A lot of teams that had a lot of players that were at the Olympics had a little bit of a hangover, but I think that will all be gone by tonight or tomorrow.”
“I was over there for three weeks, over in Russia for three weeks, and it takes two to three days to be acclimated to the time zones when you’re back here in North America.”
Earlier this month, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he wanted to add a defenseman to the team’s lineup. Chiarelli admitted, though, that it was a tough market.
“I don’t think he’s going to throw a player overboard to say he did something,” McGuire said of Chiarelli’s plan as the trade deadline approaches. “I can’t see Peter doing that — the Bruins haven’t acted that way since he and Cam Neely took over.
“One of the things that helps make the Bruins a better team is the play of Reilly Smith, and I think what you’ll see is Loui Eriksson really step it up here. They’ve become a much more deep team at the forward position, and [Patrice Bergeron] had a phenomenal Olympics so you’ve to got to be excited about where your team is at the forward position.
“That’s one of the things that I think allows Peter to have a little leeway when it comes to making a deal to get a defenseman — their strength at the forward position.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
On trading Ryan Spooner: “He’s a good player, but he’s not somebody that would be considered — he’s not going to get a ton in return for him. You’re probably going to get a veteran forward, or potentially he’s part of a package for a defenseman, but he’s not going to be that star caliber in any trade. He’s not going to be that guy where you say, ‘Wow, we got Ryan Spooner, so we’re going to trade three first-0round picks.’ ”
On trading for Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros: “Will he help the Bruins? Absolutely. He’s very mobile. He had a very good Olympics. He can handle the puck. He can really shoot it. He’s had a history of shoulder problems.
“Peter Chiarelli knows him really well because he was with the Ottawa Senators when Peter was an assistant manager … and actually if you go look at the NHL guide and record book, his first season in the NHL he was a partner of Zdeno Chara. He was 18 years of age. His plus minus was better than Chara’s his rookie year.”
On trading for Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald: “Andrew MacDonald is a very mobile, skilled defenseman who moves the puck very well. He would help a lot. … His contract is up at the end of the year and so you’ve got to know what you’re buying. He’s had some injury situations this year, but Andrew MacDonald is a very good puck mover, very smart player, very underrated.”