An assessment of where the Boston Bruins stand post-NHL Trade Deadline.
The Boston Bruins were linked to many of the top names in the deadline rumor mill, but with what transpired have fans in either a disappointed or content mood.
This concludes that the Bruins did not have their best Deadline. The subject that was addressed was not mortgaging a future, as they acquired two players under contract through the end of next season, while freeing up north of $4 million in cap space.
Here’s a look at the recent moves, and how the Bruins stack up as they gear for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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Acquiring Ondrej Kase
Their first move came just a few days ago, as they acquired winger Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks. Going to Anahiem was David Backes, prospect Axel Andersson, and the Bruins 2020 1st round draft pick.
Not only do the Bruins address forward depth in this deal, but they got away from Backes’ bad contract, hence giving up the first round pick. If Backes isn’t included in the trade, you are probably looking at a third rounder instead of the first.
Kase, a Czech forward, looks as if he will be playing on the second line with DeBrusk and Krejci. He should bode well here considering Krejci’s playmaking abilities and that he is a Czech native as well. This seems to be a fresh start for Kase, who has had an inability to stay in the lineup, and perform at a high level with Anaheim.
Acquiring Nick Ritchie
The Boston Bruins second move came a few hours before Monday’s 3 pm deadline. The Bruins and Ducks got back on the phones and produced another trade. Danton Heinen was traded to ANA for big bruising winger Nick Ritchie.
Brett, Nick’s older brother spent time here earlier in the season but was waived after failing to meet expectations. At 6’2″, 234 pounds Ritchie will surely add the toughness and size most fans were looking to add.
Ritchie, 24 years old, is also under term until after next season. He projects to slot in with the Coyle-Bjork line but could be bounced around until finding the best fit.
Reports swirled that the Boston Bruins created more cap space to file in a third, and bigger trade in the final minutes of the deadline. Perhaps for a forward such as Kyle Palmieri, who was not traded by New Jersey. As 3 pm passed, the Bruins capped off their day and finalized their roster for the rest of the season.
So where do the B’s stack in comparison to other contenders?
Despite owning the best current record in the league, this is hockey, and point totals don’t mean anything in the playoffs.
The Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Pittsburgh Penguins all made flurries of moves to upgrade their teams.
Even the Carolina Hurricanes, who seem to be a tick behind the four teams just mentioned had what looked to be the biggest day out of the bunch.
So as the rich got richer, the Bruins job just got tougher. In all reality, besides the Bruins having the clear-cut best line in the league, you can make cases that other teams, such as Tampa Bay, have better overall offenses. Defense remains a strong-suit for the Bruins, you can’t really pick another team who has a better six than what Boston carries. And in-goal, Halak and Rask remain as the best duo in the league.
We shall see what Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie bring to the lineup.
Love or hate the moves, the Boston Bruins addressed needs while not parting blue-chip prospects, and freed up space to potentially resign key players such as Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk, and Zdeno Chara.