Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Go get Meszaros

 As Wednesday's NHL trade deadline approaches, the Boston Bruins have a specific need, and at the right price, they can get exactly what they should be looking for

Last year around this time, before he was on anybody's radar, I predicted that the Boston Bruins would trade for Jaromir Jagr. You laughed. But it just made sense to me.

Turns out, it also made sense to the Bruins. So hear me out this time around.

Andrej Meszaros has been a healthy scratch for over 20 games this season. He's making $4 million. And while in and out of Flyers coach Craig Berube's doghouse for his on-ice inconsistencies, the 28-year-old defenseman should be viewed in only one light.

He's a bargain.

Reports have Meszaros available for only a third-round draft pick. That was before Philadelphia traded for Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald for two draft picks and a prospect on Tuesday, increasing the odds that the Flyers trade the impending unrestricted free agent Meszaros before Wednesday's deadline.

The Bruins are in need of one thing. That's defense. With the loss of Dennis Seidenberg for the season, and the potential shutdown of Adam McQuaid, Boston needs blue line help and blue line help only.

But at the right price.

Consider Meszaros an underrated physical presence. He's 6-foot-2 and is a big boy at 225 pounds. And he's shown that he can throw that weight around when he wants to. He also enjoys jumping into the play to help provide offense. And, as a lefty, he's got a big shot to go with it all.

His inconsistency is concerning, but it doesn't seem to imply a decline in skill.

Meszaros has been back in the Flyers' lineup regularly as of late. After an injury-plagued season in 2012-13, his place in the Philly organization was questioned from training camp.

With MacDonald now in the fold, it seems inevitable that the Flyers will move Meszaros, instead of losing him in free agency for nothing.

And he fits in Boston. Meszaros has played with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara both in Ottawa and, most recently, in Sochi for Team Slovakia.

There was even a report last week that had Chara making a push for the Bruins to trade for Meszaros. It would make sense if he was. The Bruins are in need of a defenseman. And Meszaros can provide the type of defensive traits that Boston is looking for.

In Claude Julien's defensive system, and on the same team as Chara -- one of the best shutdown guys in the league -- Meszaros won't be uninterested and won't lack motivation on a Bruins team that will be contending for a Stanley Cup.

All the reports coming from Philadelphia have Meszaros handling his healthy scratches as "a true pro." That, and it's a contract year for the defenseman who, not too long ago, was a team-high plus-30 on the Flyers.

Of all those available before Wednesday's trade deadline, Meszaros is the right player, who fulfills the right need, at the right price.

Bringing him to Boston just makes sense.

@DannyPicard


Subscribe to "I'm Just Sayin" on iTunes to hear me talk more about Meszaros and the NHL trade deadline. Listen LIVE every weekday Noon-2pm on DigRadio at DigBoston.com and the Tunein app. Every replay airs Midnight-2am.

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