The Boston Bruins signed Jake DeBrusk — who was going to be a restricted free agent — to a two-year extension today on NHL trade deadline day, instead of trading the winger. DeBrusk requested a trade a few months ago but he stays with the team following a successful move to the top line.
Bruins added no forward depth at the deadline
The Bruins are sticking with the forward group they have into the playoffs. This group, led by Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak, has been painfully average. The top three forwards, when healthy, have been phenomenal and the bottom nine have been mediocre at best.
Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak have combined for 75 goals this year while the rest of the forwards that have played this year (12) have combined for 85, an average of only 7.1 goals per forward. That’s the reason a lot of fans expected the Bruins to make another splash and go for a forward like Andrew Copp or Max Domi. Now the team will continue to do what they’ve done all year, rely on the defense and goaltending to make up for a lack in productive forwards.
Bruins hold onto their fourth-leading scorer
Though the 25-year-old winger requested a trade earlier this season, the Bruins decided not to part ways with him yet.
This could turn out to be a smart decision in the long run because he’s been one of the top scorers despite not playing on the top line for most of the season. Retaining a top-six forward who has experience in the playoffs may end up being the right move, even at the disparagement of some Bruins fans.
DeBrusk’s future is a question
General manager Don Sweeney said that he talked with other teams up to the 3 p.m. deadline, but no deal for DeBrusk came to fruition.
“We could have moved him prior to the deadline. We could revisit this in the summertime,” Sweeney said. “He could also go forward — most importantly — with just playing hockey and realizing he’s a big part of our team.”
This saga with DeBrusk makes things interesting because the contract extension could be showing that Boston values him on the team. It could also mean that they’re willing to trade him before the draft or after this upcoming free agency period.
Boston keeps DeBrusk happy (for the moment)
With the contract extension, it seems that the front office is determined to keep DeBrusk content with the team. Although, it’ll be up to him to make the decision in the offseason to leave or stay.
“The impact he can have on a hockey club, I think we believe in,” Sweeney said. “I sent a clear message to Jake, and he sent one to us, that he just wants to play hockey. The bottom line is, he knows he’s an important part and if he plays to his capability, he’s going to help us out.”
Only time will tell if the relationship between the Bruins and DeBrusk gets better or worsens.