How does one grade a trade when the general manager had absolutely zero leverage? Or better yet, can you?
As it relates to Don Sweeney and the problems facing the Bruins after a failed all in year (and the granddaddy of them all when it comes to failed all in years, really), we’ve been here for months now. To the point where seeing people cosplaying as an NHL insider and vague-tweeting nonsensical garbage like an eyeball emoji with zero context or saying ‘today is the day the Bruins blow it up!’ on the timeline couldn’t even be met with the scorn and mockery it deserved because even people spending $8 a month for access to a free website knew it was only a matter of time.
That time was just before 3 p.m. on Monday, in fact, as the Bruins shipped Taylor Hall and the rights to pending unrestricted free agent Nick Foligno to the Blackhawks. You knew the return was going to be a mild one, but even this was rough. In exchange for Hall and Foligno, the Bruins received depth defensive prospects/NHL tweeners Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula, both of whom are restricted free agents this summer, and neither one of whom expects to be a needle mover for the franchise.
To put this return into its proper and painful context, the Bruins couldn’t even pry a draft pick out of the hands of the franchise set to make an absolutely ridiculous 29 draft selections over the next three years. They couldn’t even trick them into taking on Mike Reilly in what was already a sweetheart deal for the Blackhawks.
So we come back to the L word, and with a simple realization. Leverage? Buddy, that left the barn as soon as the Bruins’ bonus overages became another inevitability in a summer that’s looking full of ’em.
In the now, the grading of the trade is best answered as an incomplete.
The stripping of parts from the B’s ship that set the regular-season wins and points record has officially begun, and before it can be judged, you’ll need to know how it ends for Sweeney and capologist supreme Evan Gold, who are probably wincing every time they crunch the calculator for more answers.
Here are more thoughts and notes from a cap-clearing trade by the B’s to kick off a surely busy week…