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Boston Bruins trade rumors: Defense needed before the deadline?

Dramatic moves might not be in the picture for this Eastern stalwart, but GM Peter Chiarelli could look to bolster the defense corps at the deadline.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins were 120 seconds away from their second Cup Final Game 7 in three years. Then the bottom fell out, and the Eastern Conference champs had to watch the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate a championship at TD Garden.

This year, the Bruins hope to mirror Chicago's success by becoming the second team in the salary cap era to win multiple championships.

The Bruins are heavy favorites to push for their third Eastern Conference crown in four seasons, both on their own merit and given the weakness of the rest of the East. With a talented roster from the goal line out, weak points in Boston's construction are few and far between, so any deadline moves will likely be relatively minor.

The Seidenberg situation

GM Peter Chiarelli could look to improve his club on defense. Dennis Seidenberg sustained a season-ending injury in December when he tore his ACL and MCL in a game against the Ottawa Senators, and his 21:50 in ice time, second only to captain Zdeno Chara, plus lots of special teams play leaves a hole on the Boston blueline.

Boston likely isn't looking for a blockbuster addition, but more of a depth defender who can help eat the tough minutes during an extended playoff run. This might make it easier to find a suitable candidate, but the Bruins aren't the only team looking for defensive depth.

How much will it cost?

Assuming Chiarelli is only looking for depth, probably not much.

Key roster players likely won't be in play. That being said, draft picks and developing players probably will be. The Bruins have six of their seven original selections available the 2014 NHL Draft, as the club traded their sixth-round pick to the St. Louis Blues for Wade Redden at the 2013 deadline. It wouldn't be a shock if more draft picks left Boston this time around.

Dan Girardi in play?

The landscape around Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi remains unclear.

The Rangers are reportedly in negotiations with him, but much of the media focus has centered on captain Ryan Callahan. If Girardi is available then Chiarelli might make a push for him, but the price tag might be too steep considering he is an unrestricted free agent who would demand a package of assets.

Chiarelli has been active in the pursuit of rental players in the past, which includes attempts at Daniel Alfredsson and Jarome Iginla, as well as the successful acquisition of Jaromir Jagr.

With the salary cap rising next year, Girardi's rental stay could potentially extend into future years, which might make a deadline deal more appealing.

The full scope

While the Bruins will near the deadline as a buyer, the club is in a pretty good spot as-is. Chiarelli might look to tidy things up in terms of depth, but Boston is a talented team that expects to go deep in the postseason.

The potential addition of Girardi is speculative, but it could also put the team over the top in terms of chances at winning the East.