Late November was over seven months ago, but it seems closer to an eternity for Jake DeBrusk and the Boston Bruins. Around Thanksgiving, DeBrusk requested a trade from the Bruins while expressing unhappiness with playing in Boston and rumors of a complicated relationship with former Bruins’ Head Coach Bruce Cassidy. DeBrusk would finish the regular season with 25 goals and play first-line minutes with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron after re-signing with Boston on a two-year deal just before the trade deadline. The Bruins attempted to move DeBrusk but did not like the return.
After the 26-year-old’s trade request, Bruins players continued to stick by him, and the relationship between DeBrusk and Cassidy seemed to get patched up in some form as DeBrusk continued to produce. Still, the Edmonton native did not back off his desire to play elsewhere. Now on an affordable, two-year deal with $4 million per season, the thought was that Boston would have an easier time trading the winger.
But then, in a somewhat surprising move, the Bruins fired Cassidy, and now DeBrusk’s agent Rick Valette has reported that DeBrusk is now good to stay and play under new Head Coach Jim Montgomery and that a deal involving DeBrusk might still be possible, but unlikely. From the Bruins perspective having a 25-goal scorer at such an affordable salary is a win-win and extending his contract last season before becoming a restricted free-agent was a savvy move by Bruins’ General Manager Do. Sweeney.
Sweeney has a lot of work to restructure the Bruins’ roster going forward, but having a happier DeBrusk in the mix will undoubtedly help the team in 2022-23.