Deadline week saw the Bruins add without subtracting, which is a win for any general manager.
But there’s also something to be said for not parting with a first-round pick, according to B’s general manager Don Sweeney, who did not want to potentially mortgage his team’s future with another first-round pick lost on a deadline deal.
“Really important,” Sweeney said of the Bruins keeping their first-round selection. “I just think that we had different conversations on different levels with different teams as to what players represent going forward, but I do believe that we would put ourselves and this organization in a tough position.”
The Bruins, of course, parted with a first-round pick as part of the four-piece package sent to New York to acquire Rick Nash from the Rangers last season.
The move blew up in Sweeney’s face when the veteran Nash suffered a concussion on Mar. 17, and was a shell of himself upon his return in the postseason, finishing his Boston run with six goals and 11 points in 23 games between the regular season and postseason.
And while a first-round pick could have been on the table this season — the Bruins were in on several players that could have commanded a first, such as Rangers-turned-Jets center Kevin Hayes and new Vegas Golden Knight Mark Stone — Sweeney was happy to have the backing of those above him when it came to his decision to keep such a coveted asset.
“I’m fortunate to have the support of the ownership group to make the decisions that we need to make and try and win,” Sweeney noted. “That’s the balancing act that we all face in this time of the year. You feel like, at times, you’re on the cusp of making a mistake but also making a really good decision.
“It’s a balancing act.”
Sweeney will see how that balancing act pans out on Tuesday night, with both Coyle and Johansson expected to skate in the Boston lineup as the Black and Gold play host to the San Jose Sharks.