Felger & Mazz

Felger & Mazz

Felger & Mazz

Oct 24, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (55) skates against the New York Rangers during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

I have some moves that I’d like to see the Bruins make before the March 8th NHL Trade deadline. The Bruins currently sit a top the Eastern Conference in the NHL and yet, it doesn’t feel like they’re the best team in the East. It’s a me problem, I know. I have championship goals and this team doesn’t vibe with me as a Stanley Cup champion. Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has an excellent history of making the moves at the NHL trade deadline. When the moves were made, I know I felt like, wow, this should help the Bruins on the ice. Now Sweeney hasn’t won a Stanley Cup with any of these deadline moves but again, in real time, these moves felt right for what was happening and where the Bruins were.

Let’s look at Don Sweeney’s history since taking over as the Bruins main decision maker since 2015 at or around the NHL Trade deadline:

2023
Garnet Hathaway, Dmitri Orlov and Tyler Bertuzzi for 2023 1st round pick, 2023 5th round pick, 2024 1st round pick, 2024 3rd round pick, 2025 2nd round pick, 2025 4th round pick and Craig Smith

2022
Hampus Lindholm for John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, 2022 1st round pick, 2023 2nd round pick and a 2024 2nd round pick

2021
Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar for Anders Bjork and a 2021 2nd round pick

Mike Reilly for a 2022 3rd round pick

2019
Marcus Johansson for a 2019 2nd round pick and a 2020 4th round pick

Charlie Coyle for Ryan Donato and a 2019 5th round pick

2018
Rick Nash for Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Lindgren, a 2018 1st round pick and a 2019 7th round pick

2017
John-Michael Liles for Anthony Camara, a 2016 3rd round pick and a 2017 5th round pick

Lee Stempniak for a 2017 2nd round pick and a 2016 4th round pick

Now who do I want to acquire? Who do I want to move? What am I looking for the Bruins to do before the upcoming NHL trade deadline?

  • Noah Hanifin

    Noah Hanifin

    May 15, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (55) controls the puck against the Dallas Stars during the first period in game seven of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

     

    I love him and I want him. Reportedly, the Bruins loved him and wanted him in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and might have had a deal to move up to the number five pick in the draft to take him but ultimately that deal either wasn’t real or fell apart. The former Boston College Eagle, Hanifin has developed into a top pairing defenseman, spending his first three years in the NHL in Carolina and has spent the last six years in Calgary. As a left shot blueliner, he would seem to fit perfectly next to right shot d-man Charlie McAvoy for not only the rest of this season but in future seasons should Hanifin sign an extension with the Bruins either at the deadline or in the upcoming off-season.

    What’s the cost? My guess, Jake DeBrusk and prospects (anyone but Mason Lohrei).

  • Move Jake DeBrusk

    Nov 30, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) skates after the puck during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 30, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) skates after the puck during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    I’m not looking to dump DeBrusk for nothing, I feel like there has to be a deal to move him out of Boston. What kind of deal, I’d like to think it could be a similar trade that Don Sweeney made in 2022 of Pavel Zacha for Erik Haula. Haula had a good season with the Boston Bruins in 2021-22 but was dealt for Zacha, who we think Sweeney also liked in the 2015 NHL draft and was considered a distressed asset in New Jersey.

    Maybe that’s DeBrusk for Hanifin.

    I’m just over Jake DeBrusk and I don’t want to pay him for multiple years and more than five million per season. In his last 13 games, DeBrusk has one goal, one assist and is a minus three and is just frustrating to watch for the current cost and future cost. Meanwhile, JVR, in his last 13 games, four goals, four assists and is a plus 4. JVR for the season, has 10 more points and zero team meetings missed. DeBrusk shouldn’t be 8th in points on the Bruins, he should be third or fourth. The idea of a Jake DeBrusk extension beyond this season needs to end at the NHL Deadline.

    What’s the return? My hope, a 1st round pick or a player like Adam Henrique, Andrew Copp. A forward like Mason Appleton + a pick.

  • Add Adam Henrique

    Mar 6, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; San Jose Sharks goaltender Zach Sawchenko (36) and defenseman Jacob Middleton (21) defend against Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique (14) in the first period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 6, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; San Jose Sharks goaltender Zach Sawchenko (36) and defenseman Jacob Middleton (21) defend against Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique (14) in the first period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

    Adam Henrique profiles as a forward who can play even strength, power play, and kill penalties. He checks all the boxes of being a perfect Bruin. Again, maybe that’s the hockey trade for Jake DeBrusk and Derek Forbort. Just throwing a crap sandwich against the wall to make a deal like this work. The Bruins cap problem and lack of draft picks is a problem but I agreed at the time that Don Sweeney should have thrown everything at the wall in making the pro roster the best it can be. Henrique has 38 points this season with the Ducks and would move into 5th place in points with the current Bruins roster.

     

  • Trade a Goaltender

    Dec 3, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) and goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) celebrate after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 3, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) and goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) celebrate after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

     

    The Bruins have two excellent goaltenders but I don’t want to see what a goaltender rotation looks like in the postseason. Let NHL All Star Jeremy Swayman have the net the rest of the way and into the postseason. I would move Ullmark for a young player and draft picks and then move those pieces to another team for a top four defenseman or a top six forward. I have to think that if a playoff team comes calling for Ullmark, he’d accept a trade to a Stanley Cup contender. Who needs a goaltender? A number of teams in the NHL do like Toronto, Edmonton and Colorado to name a few.

  • Get a Tough Guy

    Shawn Thornton

    BOSTON, MA – JUNE 13: Shawn Thornton #22 of the Boston Bruins fights with Kevin Bieksa #3 of the Vancouver Canucks during Game Six of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 13, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    I put a photo of Shawn Thornton in here because it put me in a good place. Thornton might be my second favorite tough guy ever behind PJ Stock. Shawn did a book with Dale Arnold called Shawn Thornton: Fighting My Way To the Top which is outstanding. I don’t have a specific name in this case as a current tough guy for the Bruins to go get in a trade but the team needs a Milan Lucic replacement someone like Arber Xhekaj, Patrick Maroon, Tanner Jeannot or Nicolas Deslauriers. I’m sure Frank the Tank or Mike in Woborn or Heather from Top Shelf Cookies could name me a current tough guy but I just can’t but I want one.

     

    In closing, I feel like the Bruins need to make a few moves because even if they have the top point total in the NHL something just feels like a miss with this team and I don’t love their chance at winning a Stanley Cup.

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

*
*
By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.