Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins have the NHL’s best record and their deepest roster in years, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still make improvements.

Even if it’s just to shore up their depth, as injuries and preservation become bigger concerns in the second half of the season, it’s likely Bruins GM Don Sweeney does something ahead of the 2023 NHL trade deadline. Fun fact: Sweeney has made a mid-season trade every season he’s been running the B’s front office. Be it huge (Hampus Lindholm, Rick Nash), mid-but-valuable (Taylor Hall, Marcus Johansson, Charlie Coyle), or minor (Mike Reilly), Sweeney has never been shy about adding to the team at the deadline.

So there’s no reason to believe Sweeney won’t do it now, in a true go-for-it year for the league-best Bruins. But the question is, how big does he go?

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  • Bruins fans can rest assured that Sweeney will at least add depth at the trade deadline, and if we’re being honest, his overall track record on trades is good-to-very-good. And if you’re clamoring for him to add to the defense, this new nugget from Elliotte Friedman is what you’re looking for.

    Friedman said in his newest “32 Thoughts” at Sportsnet that the Bruins are “believed to be in the left-defence market” (please pardon the U.K. spelling). He added that he “would not be surprised” if they’ve at least made calls on the Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun or the Blue Jackets’ Vladislav Gavrikov.

  • Chychrun

    GLENDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 22: Jakob Chychrun #6 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck against the Colorado Avalanche during the NHL game at Gila River Arena on March 22, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Avalanche defeated the Coyotes 5-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Chychrun would represent a legitimate upgrade over Matt Grzelcyk, and the “1A” left-shot defenseman on the Bruins’ roster with Hampus Lindholm. He’s big and fast and can move the puck, and he can put it in the net by himself with his massive shot from the blue line. Over the past four seasons, Chychrun has posted an 82-game average of 17 goals.

    The thing about Chychrun, though, is that it may take a Bo Horvat-like package to get him. The Islanders traded a talented young NHL forward with upside (Anthony Beauvillier), their top forward prospect, and a first-round draft pick in 2023 to get Horvat from the Canucks. The Bruins comp for that is, approximately, Grzelcyk, 2020 second-round pick Mason Lohrei, and a first.

    We at are a little hesitant to trade Lohrei, but if it means they do the Lindholm deal all over again – meaning, they quickly sign Chychrun to a long-term extension – then it’s much more worthwhile. Trading Grzelcyk may necessitate another depth move, but the B’s do still have Jakub Zboril and Mike Reilly bringing up the rear on the left side of the defense. The biggest risk would be messing with the chemistry that Grzelcyk has with McAvoy, and we believe the Bruins do feel good about them as a pairing if they don’t make a major move.

  • COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 04: Vladislav Gavrikov #44 of the Columbus Blue Jackets warms up prior to the start of the game against the Boston Bruins at Nationwide Arena on April 4, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

    COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 04: Vladislav Gavrikov #44 of the Columbus Blue Jackets warms up prior to the start of the game against the Boston Bruins at Nationwide Arena on April 4, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

  • As for Gavrikov, a phone call may not be so necessary. Bruins Assistant GM Jamie Langenbrunner was in attendance for a recent Blue Jackets game against the Calgary Flames, in which Gavrikov logged more than 21 minutes of ice time. The Flames also have potentially attractive left-shot defensemen in Noah Hanifin and Nikita Zadorov. Chris Tanev would be a good fit and value added, but he’s a right shot.

    Gavrikov wouldn’t be the surefire top-pair-caliber defenseman that Chychrun is, but he’s big and knows his way around the defensive zone and can play in multiple situations. In other words, they could use a guy like Gavrikov for the playoffs.

  • We still have a looong way to go until the NHL trade deadline, which is still over a month away (March 3). Our own Ty Anderson will release his annual “Big Board” ahead of the deadline, and you can expect it to include some of the aforementioned players. And you can always get fresh weekly thoughts on the Bruins and the hockey world with Anderson and myself on the Sports Hub Underground podcast.

    Click here for complete Boston Bruins coverage at

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.