Since free agency opened up, the Boston Bruins have kept busy both on the UFA front as well as the trade front. They have completed 8 trades since July 1st, and without going into each trade individually, here is a breakdown of assets moved and acquired.
Previously claimed off waivers: Torrey Mitchell, Brandan Pirri, Zac Dalpe, Gabriel Dumont, Peter Holland
Previous UFA signings: Chris Driedger, Tyler Gaudet, Macoy Erkamps
Other: Anton Stralman (acquired for a 5th round pick), Kole Sherwood (contract taken to complete previous trade), Brandon Halverson (drafted in the 4th round in 2014)
Of the 11 players traded, only 2 assets were used to acquire them in the first place. Outside of Stralman, none of these players were going to have a significant role on the Bruins in the years to come, and even at that Stralman would have fallen down the depth chart as some of the draftees start joining the big club.
To help facilitate these trades, the Bruins also signed a slew of free agents to ensure their roster remained full. Those included Michael Raffl, Tommy Wingels, Matt Cullen, Cody McLeod, Al Montoya and Philippe Desrosiers. GM Gallant acknowledged that these players were likely targets for some of the top teams in hopes of finding depth and filling out the bottom 6, but the Bruins were able to snag them while most teams fought (and continue to fight) over the bigger fish.
Players: Jake McCabe, Cedric Paquette, Thomas Greiss, Henrik Zetterberg, Frans Nielsen
Draft Picks: ANA 2019 3rd, LA 2019 4th, PIT 2019 5th, PHI 2019 5th, CBJ 2019 5th, LA 2019 6th, VGK 2019 7th, ANA 2020 3rd, ANA 2020 4th, BUF 2020 3rd,
Adding McCabe and Paquette helped fill out the roster with NHL players, while accepting Greiss, Zetterberg and Nielsen helped bring in 4 additional draft picks in exchange for taking on their existing contracts. GM Gallant has already made his intentions known that these players are available to be had in future trade considerations. The 11 players that were moved helped bring in another 6 draft picks.
GM Gallant has also made it clear that although some player’s feelings may be hurt, at the end of the day this is a business and needs to be treated as such, and that includes taking advantage of other team’s desperation at times. The reality is that everyone is considered an asset and the end game is to win. GM Gallant has acknowledged that he won’t be able to keep up the pace of trades that he’s pulled the trigger on but will continue to look for improvements where he can and where it makes sense.
After drafting 10 players in the 2018 NEFHL entry draft, the Bruins currently hold 17 picks for 2019 and another 10 picks in 2020.