The Boston Bruins addressed a need on Wednesday by picking up forward Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Ryan Donato and a conditional draft pick.
The 26-year-old had spent the entirely of his career with Minnesota up until Wednesday, despite being drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Coyle arrived in Minnesota by way of a trade made by the Sharks in June of 2011. That was the trade that sent Brent Burns to San Jose (along with some picks and Devon Setoguchi). We all know how that worked out.
But Coyle seemed to find his own legs in Minnesota and became a decent scorer. He amassed 56 points in the 2016-2017 season, including 18 goals, and he has some playoff experience under his belt – including an energetic run in the 2013-2014 season that saw him post seven points in 13 games.
This season, however, the East Weymouth-born natural centre has struggled in the State of Hockey. He has just 28 points in 60 games.
Moving to Boston could invigorate him and at just the right time for the Bruins to profit. They’re in need of someone to take the pressure off the usual suspects. They like his adaptability – he can play centre or wing – and he’ll give them some more punch.
For the Wild, however, this furthers the deep lament that is this season.
General manager Paul Fenton has gone on record as “crying like a baby” at night, which he says is what babies are doing which means he’s calling himself a baby. I guess.
It’s hard to imagine Fenton doing anything but crying after that abysmal Nino Niederreiter swap, but such is life. With this trade the Wild get Donato, who isn’t a complete player like Coyle, and they watch a long-term player walk out to a possible Cup winner.
And the funny thing is, the Wild aren’t out of a playoff spot by any means. They can still make the dance and still shore up something approximating an effort in the post-season. Of course, they’re without Mikko Koivu for the rest of the year and have lost a pile of games lately. This Coyle trade doesn’t help build the case for playoff ambitions, either.
So, it is pretty easy to say the Bruins won this transaction. And with the likelihood that general manager Don Sweeney isn’t done, there could be even more fun to report for Boston before Monday’s deadline.