For most Stanley Cup contenders, the Trade Deadline is the time to go all in for a playoff push. Every year, the top teams in the league load up in an arms race to boost their roster and make a Cup run. Last year, the Boston Bruins were one of those teams, flipping valuable assets with a single goal in mind. This year, despite being right back atop the NHL standings, Don Sweeney didn’t have the luxury of making those same splash moves. Due to a combination of factors, the Bruins were limited to making deals on the fringes, and time will tell if they pay off.

Heading into the Trade Deadline, the Bruins only had $57k in salary cap space to work with.

If any moves were going to be made, they would have to involve players going out or onto LTIR. Right off the bat, Derek Forbort was ruled out for the season, opening up $3m in cap space. Forbort had only dressed in 35 of 66 possible games, so it made sense to take the Vegas route.

With just $3m in cap and picks and prospects being scarce, Sweeney had to make moves by trading on the fringes.

The first move was to acquire defenseman Andrew Peeke from Columbus for Jakub Zboril and a 3rd round pick.

Peeke is a former 2nd round pick out of Notre Dame who has skated in 218 games since his debut in 2019-20. The 6’3″ blueliner has 42 career points and was bumped out of the depth chart after a few summer acquisitions. Per HockeyStatCards.com, Peeke is graded as a ghastly net negative for a team with very few positives at any position. The Bruins have to be hoping that playing in a more structured system can bring out the best of him.

Going the other way, Zboril hardly ever got a shot in Boston. The first of the infamous 1st round picks in 2015, Zboril only debuted in 2018. Due to organizational depth and injuries, he rarely had a chance to build momentum, skating in just 76 games.

This trade is essentially a lateral buy-low sell-high move on both bluelines.

The second and more surprising move was acquiring Patrick Maroon from Minnesota for a future 6th.

The 35-year-old Maroon recorded 16 points in 49 games for the Wild and is currently on IR. Maroon was acquired more so as a veteran presence more than his offensive prowess. Maroon famously played in four consecutive Cup Finals with St Louis and Tampa, winning three straight. His experience will be invaluable in a locker room in need of an injection of veteranosity following the departures of Bergeron, Krejci, and Nick Foligno.

The surprise in his acquisition comes from his acrimonious relationship with the Bruins. Maroon defeated Boston in two of his four Cup runs, with his first coming in Game Seven of the Cup Final. He had repeatedly been a thorn in their side with Tampa and infamously drew the ire of Jack Edwards.

Maroon was moved right to the Bruins LTIR list and did not have an immediate timetable for a return.

There was also a near-deal with LA involving Linus Ullmark.

It was reported that Ullmark nixed the deal with his No-Move Clause. No details of the alleged deal had been made public. It was also apparent that at least one Bruin was grateful that Ullmark was sticking around.

 

Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images

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