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Blockbuster in Beantown

The Boston Bruins made a flurry of moves before Monday’s trade deadline. The headliner was acquiring 28-year-old defenseman Hampus Lindholm from the Anaheim Ducks. The deal also sent minor leaguer Kodie Curran from the Ducks to the Bruins. This was in exchange for two defensemen, Urho Vaakanainen and John Moore, a 2022 first-round pick and a second-round pick in both ‘23 and ‘24. The Ducks also agreed to retain half of Lindholm’s salary for the remainder of his contract, which expires at the end of the season. After the trade was finalized, Boston gave Hampus an eight-year, $52 million contract extension that will keep him in a black and gold jersey through 2030. 

“They find ways to get in the mix and compete,” Lindholm said, a 2012 first-round draft pick who played his entire career in Anaheim. “I’ve missed [the playoffs] the last three years. There’s nothing more fun. I can only imagine playing in Boston. I’m ready to go to battle.” 

Hampus and his 22 points will join Charlie McAvoy on the Bruins’ top defensive pair. 

This was not the only move that the club made. They traded right-wing Zach Senyshyn and a fifth-round pick for defenseman Josh Brown and a seventh-round pick from the Ottawa Senators. The direction of the deadline was clear: improve on defense and get more size. With Lindholm being 6’4” 220 lbs and Brown listed at 6’5” 217 lbs, they did just that.

The Bruins also re-signed left winger Jake Debrusk to a two-year $8 million extension. This move was unexpected, in February Debrusk had requested for a trade to leave Boston. Seemingly immediately after, he scored seven goals in a seven-game stretch but has since been on a seven-game scoreless drought. This is a perfect encapsulation of his career, with his production declining every year since his 27 goals in the 2018-19 season, where the team made it to the Stanley Cup Final. 

Debrusk is one of the three consecutive 2015 first-round picks, including Senyshyn and Jakob Zboril, all of who have failed to live up to expectations. What stings is that five of the next nine players selected following those three in the draft have been named to at least one all-star team. This draft was the biggest blunder of general manager Don Sweeney’s tenure.

Boston has been on a roll since the start of the new year going 27-9-3. Future Hall of Fame captain Patrice Bergeron’s contract expires after this season and with no definite reading on the 36-yearold’s future, the team owes it to their star to give it one last go at it if he decides to hang up the skates. With their new editions, a solid goalie tandem and a strong roster, the B’s can absolutely have a long run and a spring full of playoff hockey for fans to enjoy.

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