Opinion: The Boston Bruins Nearly Won The Trade Deadline, Until They Didn’t

Two days before the NHL trade deadline, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney filled a void that has plagued the Bruins since Zdeno Chara left the team in December of 2020. Sweeney has been in search of a top-pair defenseman to play with Norris Trophy candidate Charlie McAvoy and, on Saturday, Sweeney got his man.

The Bruins acquired Anaheim defenseman and minutes-eater Hampus Lindholm for two players and three draft picks. Then on Sunday, Lindholm signed an 8-year extension to remain with the Bruins beyond this season. The move was widely regarded as a significant win for Boston. All Sweeney had to do was find a suitor for disgruntled restricted free-agent-to-be Jake DeBrusk and get either a scoring right-wing or a second-line center. All of the Bruins’ top prospects still remained. The stars were aligning.

Going into Monday, Don Sweeney had done “A” work. Now was the time to get the “A+” and win the deadline altogether. The Bruins were a day away from adding to an already solid roster and threatening to compete with the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference. The Bruins seemed to be linked to every available scoring forward out there. Disgruntled forward Jake DeBrusk was a trade chip but was also the first line right wing. Rumors persisted that DeBrusk was on the move, and a replacement was bound for Boston.

As the 3 pm Eastern Time deadline approached, Bruins fans clamored for another trade. They got their wish (sort of) when the Bruins added big, rugged defenseman Josh Brown, from Ottawa. Although it was a good deal that could add physicality to the defensive corps and potentially replace the inconsistent Connor Clifton, Brown wasn’t a top-line winger nor a top-six center.

And then the fans waited. And waited. Andrew Copp found a new home. Rickard Rakell became a Penguin. Phil Kessel stayed in Arizona. Max Domi went to Carolina. It was now 3 pm. Last-minute trades trickled in—no word from the Bruins. The deadline had come and passed, and Boston still had DeBrusk and didn’t add to the forward group.

The excitement from the Lindholm deal had turned to disappointment. The Bruins had addressed a couple of needs, but not one of the biggest ones. All of the momentum from Saturday seemed to disappear on Monday. Is it fair to give Sweeney a failing grade? Probably not. But an almost certain “A” turned to nothing more than a “B-“ and left the Bruins with a tough hill to climb this postseason.

Season 2. Episode 1. Bruins Season Preview Bruins Benders Podcast

Zdeno Chara’s legacy, the prospects show some promise, and BOLD predictions!
  1. Season 2. Episode 1. Bruins Season Preview
  2. Episode 48. The Matt Grzelcyk Episode
  3. Episode 47. The Torey Krug Episode
  4. Episode 45. Live From Lops Brewing!
  5. Episode 46. Guess Who’s Back, Back Again!

3 thoughts on “Opinion: The Boston Bruins Nearly Won The Trade Deadline, Until They Didn’t

  1. This is the correct opinion. Perfect sum up of Sweeney’s weekend. TB even rubbed salt in the wound when they tossed a late pick away for Riley Nash, an ex-bruin spare who is a professional forward who can come in for Tampa in case of multiple injuries. That is just simple planning by an apt GM. Sweeney had 5m and didn’t even bother to make one of those deals. It’s inexcusable, really, and the 4th or 5th strike for Don now in his tenure, let’s all pray he isn’t extended this summer.

  2. Get real! The B’s have been a Stanley Cup contender every year that Sweeney has been there. This year was looking a little scarry earlier but now they are neck and neck with the Laughs and Tampa Bay for 2nd in the division and Florida is not totally out of reach. If the B’s went 81-1 there would still be idiots out there saying he has to go because he wasn’t 82-0.

  3. Agree with the opinion but ponder on the ?? What was being offered for Debrusk++ to come an be Bostons key piece? I’m 1 that wanted him gone, (he’ll even thought grab Chara for some grit an a retirement send off) but in all honesty ya I would have liked something but not F——— Kessel!!

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