Another trade deadline has come and gone and it was one for the ages. While some teams sold off assets to retool for next year, the Boston Bruins bulked up their blue line for a playoff run. General manager Don Sweeney is no stranger to making a splash on deadline day. Just last season, Sweeney went out and traded for the likes of Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar, and Mike Reilly in the days before the deadline.
Boston Bruins 2022 Trade Deadline Report Card
This year, the Bruins made two trades leading up to the deadline. Both had the same goal in mind: bolster defensive depth ahead of the playoffs. While one trade certainly made more of a splash than the other, both will make an immediate impact on the Bruins’ blueline.
Trade #1: Boston Bruins Acquire Hampus Lindholm From the Anaheim Ducks
Bruins acquire: Hampus Lindholm, Kodie Kurran
WOW. What a trade. Remember, Sweeney is not one to keep quiet at deadline time, and this trade made a big splash. Lindholm, one of the most coveted defencemen rumoured to be on the move this deadline, was acquired to sure up the left-side of the Bruins blueline. More than likely, Lindholm will play on the second defensive pair with either Reilly or Brandon Carlo. He is a big body defenceman who can eat up minutes for the Bruins.
All that said, there’s one aspect to this trade that should make Lindholm very happy. During his stint in Anaheim, Lindholm was the #1 defenceman. He was the focal point of everything they did on defence, and eventually, that gets taxing on a player. In Boston, however, Lindholm is being brought in to simply support an existing ecosystem led by Charlie McAvoy. This takes a lot of pressure off Lindholm and will allow him time to get settled into his new role.
The only bad news on this deal is that Boston gave up a king’s ransom to make it work. Despite having an already-weak prospect pool, the Bruins sacrificed 3 early-round draft picks as well as a promising prospect in Vaakanainen. While this is a tough pill to swallow, this does indicate that Bruins leadership is going all-in on winning with its aging core.
Bolstering the blue line.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 20, 2022
The reason for optimism on this trade is because Lindholm signed an 8-year extension with Boston within days after the trade. Had an extension not been signed, this trade’s grade would be much lower than it currently sits. Good job on this one, Don Sweeney, you nailed it.
Trade #2: Boston Bruins Acquire Josh Brown From the Ottawa Senators
Boston acquires: Josh Brown, conditional 2022 seventh-round pick
Ottawa acquires: Zach Senyshyn, 2022 fifth-round pick
If Boston’s first trade was a splash, then this trade is more of a ripple. The acquisition of Brown sures up the right side of the defensive core. After parting ways with John Moore and Urho Vaakanainen, Boston is looking to add defensive depth before making another run at the Stanley Cup.
Brown is in his fourth NHL season and plays a defence-focused game. His large stature (6’5″, 221 pounds) and physical playstyle will fit in well with Boston’s preferred style of play. As long as he isn’t asked to play up the lineup, Brown can provide a bit of stability on the blueline. Boston is in a tough division and will need all the depth help they can find.
Honourable Mention: Boston Bruins Sign RFA Jake DeBrusk to a 2-year Extension
Despite this not being a trade, it warrants discussion. Jake DeBrusk, who requested a trade from Boston earlier this season, signed a 2-year extension with the Bruins this afternoon, with an AAV of $4M. There is more mystery shrouded in this contract extension than meets the eye, however.
It is unclear whether or not this extension means DeBrusk has rescinded his request for a trade. If DeBrusk decides to stay in Boston, it is understandable. Due to injuries and suspensions, DeBrusk has enjoyed time on the first line this season with success. DeBrusk currently has scored 15 goals and has 26 points, which puts him on a pace that the Bruins have not seen from him for several years.
If DeBrusk decides that he still wants to leave Boston, however, then this has the feeling of a classic “sign-and-trade” situation. It is entirely reasonable to suspect that the Bruins signed DeBrusk to buy them more time to potentially trade him this summer. This would allow Boston to benefit from his stellar play this season (and playoffs) while still getting a return on him when, and if, they trade him. Either way, this is another savvy move by GM Sweeney. Regardless of whether DeBrusk stays in Boston after this season, the Bruins will get some sort of return for him.
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