Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Bruins GM Don Sweeney continues to work the phones ahead of the 2023 NHL trade deadline, which is now just over three weeks away. And his team continues to come up in rumors for defensemen.

One of the latest rumblings involves a name that has already been linked to Boston. It’s from writer & podcaster Nick Alberga, formerly of Sportsnet, who says the Bruins and Calgary Flames are emerging as the “leading contenders” to trade for Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luke Schenn.

Bruins fans might take one look at this picture and say “yes, please” to Schenn:

  • MONTREAL, CANADA - NOVEMBER 09: Luke Schenn #2 of the Vancouver Canucks checks Kirby Dach #77 of the Montreal Canadiens into the boards during the second period at Centre Bell on November 9, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

    MONTREAL, CANADA – NOVEMBER 09: Luke Schenn #2 of the Vancouver Canucks checks Kirby Dach #77 of the Montreal Canadiens into the boards during the second period at Centre Bell on November 9, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

  • Last time we covered the Bruins-Schenn rumors, we noted that Schenn leads the NHL in hits. He still does. By a lot. With 244 hits in 51 games, Schenn is 74 hits ahead of the next-closest defenseman, Radko Gudas. So, the Bruins know what they’re getting here, which is a big, physical right-handed defenseman to police the Bruins’ end of the ice.

    Schenn isn’t necessarily the best fit for the Bruins’ usual style of play on defense, which emphasizes puck retrievals, quick breakouts, and smooth transitions to offense. But in the playoffs, you can always use bigger, stronger defensemen who can keep opponents away from the net and/or block shots. The Bruins have relatively lacked those guys in recent playoff runs, which has hurt them in the end.

  • Jun 9, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Islanders right wing Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins in front of Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (48) during the second period of game six of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Jun 9, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Islanders right wing Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins in front of Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (48) during the second period of game six of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

  • Sweeney has recently tried to fix those size issues by trading for Hampus Lindholm and signing Derek Forbort. Schenn would represent a move toward that on the right side. Realistically, Schenn would mainly be the “3A” right-shot defenseman along with Connor Clifton, and head coach Jim Montgomery would be able to deploy certain guys based on the matchup.

    If the B’s aren’t going to take a BIG swing on a defenseman at the trade deadline, like Jakob Chychrun from the Coyotes, then the goal should be size insurance on the blue line, on either side. Montgomery and Sweeney don’t want to be stuck with too many smaller defensemen taking a beating against tighter, stronger forechecking in the playoffs. Schenn would have a chance to accomplish that.

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  • There’s still plenty of time for Sweeney to make a move, and he’s swung a deal mid-season every year he’s been GM, so you can expect something to happen. The 2023 NHL trade deadline falls at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, March 3.

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    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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.

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