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 3. Episode 24. Maroon and Gold Day Bruins Benders Podcast

Lyndon Byers called us out! Where is Brad Marchand on the all-time Bruins list? Is this David Pastrnak’s best season? Can the Bruins close games now? Rotating goalies? Danton Heinen for 7th player. Plus, much more!DraftKings Sportsbook – Boston’s hometown Sportsbook is LIVE right here in Massachusetts! Bet local on all your favorite sports from the comfort of your own home with DraftKings. To celebrate, ALL new customers will receive up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets when you sign up for DraftKings Sportsbook using code ITR! You can now bet local on money lines, spreads, props, and more with one of America’s top-rated Sportsbooks – DraftKings Sportsbook!  Download the DraftKings Sportsbook app and sign up with code ITR to get up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets to use now that mobile sports betting is live in Massachusetts. That’s code ITR only at DraftKings Sportsbook. If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 800 327-5050 or visit helplineMA.org to speak with a trained specialist, free and confidentially, twenty four seven. 21+. Physically present in MA. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Eligibility and deposit restrictions apply. Opt in required. Bonus issued aree bets. Terms at draftkings.com/MA.
  1. Season 3. Episode 24. Maroon and Gold Day
  2. Season 3. Episode 23. Whoa Nelly!
  3. Season 3. Episode 22. Montgomery Burns
  4. Season 3. Episode 21. Brazen Brazeau
  5. Season 3. Episode 20. Mail it in March

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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