Sweeney Deserves Some Deadline Credit

Matt Lemear Avatar

The Boston Bruins certainly did not have a blockbuster trade deadline where they acquired a bunch of shiny new toys. However, the Boston Bruins, and specifically Don Sweeney, did not have as bad of a deadline as many think. Yes, there were only two moves made, but I think the moves that were not made are what is going to benefit this team more in the long run.

Admit it, we all thought Linus Ullmark was going to be gone when the clock struck 3pm ET on Friday afternoon. I know I did; I also thought for sure Jake Debrusk would be gone too. But, in the words of the wise Rafiki, “nope, wrong again.” At first glance, frustration set in with such a mediocre deadline day, especially when the needs of this team are so obvious and glaring. After having some time to think about it and look ahead to the pending free agent class, I realize that Don Sweeney actually had a good trade deadline.

Looking ahead to the upcoming offseason, some pending free agent names stand out. Names such as, Stamkos, Guentzel, Marchessault, Hanifin and Tarasenko. What stands out more is the list of the other names, the 2nd tier we’ll call it. Names like Skjei, Martinez, Myers, Silfverberg, Duclair, and Henrique just to name a few. What am I getting at? The likelihood of the Bruins signing anyone in that first group of names, with the exception of maybe Marchessault, is little to none. That leaves the options in the 2nd group of names; good players, but not players that are going to fix all the needs of this team. Starting to see what I am getting at?

By keeping Linus Ullmark, not only do you have one of the best goalies in the league (reigning Vezina winner) still on your team, you also have one of the most valuable trade pieces going into the offseason; An offseason where the team has the cap room to actually do something. In addition to that, maybe Debrusk finds a renewed consistency now that he knows he is not going anywhere and best case scenario he has a great last five weeks of the season and re-signs. However, perhaps if he does not want to sign here you can sign and trade him this summer. The ultimate point here is the Bruins are going to have to address some of their weaknesses via trade this offseason, the 100% right pieces are not all available on the free agent market, and having an asset like Linus Ullmark is going to help draw interest. For those of you saying what about that no movement clause? Experience shows that players are often more willing to waive NMCs during the offseason than in season.

As for wrapping up this deadline, the Bruins needed more grit and toughness, cue Pat Maroon, and they needed to get bigger on defense, cue Andrew Peeke. Are these two players the best options? Absolutely not, but they are not the worst either. Maroon brings that toughness and experience as he has been on three recent Stanley Cup Winning teams. Peeke brings size to the D corps, and is also a younger guy that still has a lot to prove, and also boasts a good shot blocking ability (I know those 6 on 5 goals haunt all of you too).

Could the deadline have been flashier and more exciting for the Bruins? Yea, of course it could have. Given the cap restraints, though, the lack of valuable draft picks and the high asking prices, Sweeney did a damn good job working with what he has. The Bruins are still a top of the league team, they have lost in OT fifteen times which means they are not far off from where they need to be. Who knows, perhaps these two depth pieces actually help. Sit back and enjoy what is going to be a wild final 5 weeks of the season!

Matt Lemear Avatar

2 responses to “Sweeney Deserves Some Deadline Credit”

  1. Reed Haley Avatar
    Reed Haley

    You nailed it! Don did the best he could with the present situation.Are we the Stanley cup favourites? Of course not. But we are in the mix and I’ll take that under the circumstances.

    1. David Laliberte Avatar
      David Laliberte

      Except when Debrusk walks at the end of the year which he said he will, and we get Squat for him….

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