Ryan Spooner, the 24-year-old Boston forward that scored a career-high 49 points last season, is reportedly on the trade block.
On Saturday Night, Sportsnet’s Hockey Night panel reported that Spooner has been made available, and mentioned Vancouver as a potential landing spot. The move would make sense — Vancouver GM Jim Benning was part of the Bruins front office that drafted Spooner 45th overall in 2010 — and Spooner would fill a need for the Canucks, a team that has been looking to add goalscoring.
Spooner found the back of the net 13 times last year, largely playing on Boston’s third line next to Jimmy Hayes and Matt Beleskey.
He’s struggled to find similar form this year, though, which could be why his name is being bandied about. There have also been questions about his ability to fit within Claude Julien’s system.
Spooner has been pushed into playing left wing for the bulk of the season rather than his natural, preferred center position, and he’s been dropped to the fourth line by Claude Julien over the last few weeks. At times he’s also been pulled from the Bruins power play where he racked up six goals and 17 points working off the half-wall last season.
Julien talked about the former second round pick in frank terms after this week’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes, which featured a Spooner snipe to the top corner during a successful shootout for the Black and Gold.
“I think at times that [David Krejci] line goes quiet, other times it’s better. We’ve tried different guys on the left side right now and one [Spooner] might give them speed but doesn’t win as many battles,” said Julien of his search for stability at left wing alongside Krejci and David Backes. “The other way [with Tim Schaller] guys are a little harder right now, and they spend more time in the O-zone. So we’re really trying hard to find the right balance there.”
Per sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, potential landing spots for Spooner include Carolina, San Jose and Brooklyn.
He’s in the last of a two-year, $1.9 million deal with a $950,000 cap hit, so he would be affordable — that said, Spooner is a pending RFA that will need a new deal for next season, something any potential acquiring team will have to take into consideration.