In what was an eventful trade deadline, newly hired Bruins GM Jason Gallant was clearly a seller. He made that apparent as far back as February 3rd when he pulled the trigger on his first of many transactions that would transpire over the next 17 days leading up to the February 20th trade deadline.
In what can be described as a salary dump, Nik Grossman was traded to the Vancouver Canucks, along with Nick Ebert and Boston’s third round pick in 2019. In return, The Bruins acquired Jamie McBain, prospect Anthony Louis and Mike Eyssimont. “Jamie’s been around for a long time,” GM Gallant said. “At the end of the day, his salary hit aligns closer to the role that we envision, whether it’s short-term or longer.”
Move ahead 5 days when The Bruins made their next move. Days prior, they played the Florida Panthers in a game dominated by the Bruins but were on the wrong end of a 5-1 decision. The Panthers lost Justin Abdelkader along with starting goalie Ben Bishop. The two teams came together to send Curtis McElhinney to Sunrise in exchange for Sergey Tolchinsky, Martin Lundberg and Matt O’Connor. The swap essentially traded back up goaltenders, while Boston picked up some youth with potential.
February 15th signaled Boston’s official status as sellers when they sent grinder Ben Smith to the St Louis Blues in exchange for a seventh round pick in next year’s draft. The very next day, Boston traded veteran Jay McClement to the Washington Capitals. Coming back to Beantown were Brian O’Neill, acquired to fill potential holes in the lineup, along with another seventh round pick, this time Washington’s in 2017. “Both Smitty and McClement performed as anticipated with the organization,” Gallant said. “Both are standup guys and good role players. We would’ve preferred having them help us in a playoff grind, but obviously that’s not in the books. We wish them both the best in their quests.”
Forty-eight hours later, Boston accepted an offer from the playoff-bound Sabres, sending Devante Smith-Pelley to Buffalo in exchange for Buffalo’s fifth round pick next year and twenty-four year old Jordan Oesterle. “DSP maybe was a bit expensive for his role here in Boston but I think he’ll slide in nicely in Buffalo’s lineup.” On Oesterle, Gallant said “we like what we’ve seen from him. He’ll fight for a spot on this team. Nothing wrong with a little healthy competition.”
Earlier today, the Bruins found a trading partner in the Detroit Red Wings, collaborating on a pair of deals. The second exchange saw the intense Andreas Martinsen head to the Motor City in exchange for Nathan Gerbe as Philadelphia’s fifth round pick in this year’s draft. The highlight for Boston however came earlier in the day when they landed heavily-sought prospect Kasperi Kapanen, along with Arizona’s first round pick in 2017 and Drew Stafford in exchange for power-forward Milan Lucic. “This was a deal weeks in the making,” Gallant said. “We’ve been pursuing Kapanen for some time and we’re thrilled that we were able to come to an agreement. Milan has been a shining light for the Bruins during this tough year. Our goal was to look towards the future and unfortunately that meant that his time with us was coming to an end. We’ll miss him here for sure.”
Overall we saw nineteen trades today and as if that wasn’t enough, there are several rumours circulating that there were more offers on the table that almost came to fruition. Gallant was questioned on some news that Brayden Schenn was almost dealt and his answer seems to indicate that it is indeed true. “We were fielding offers on most of our players over the past week. That’s all I’ll say.”
Gained: Kasperi Kapanen, Anthony Louis, Mike Eyssimont, Jordan Oesterle, Brian O’Neill, Sergey Tolchinsky, Martin Lundberg, Matt O’Connor, Drew Stafford, Nathan Gerbe, Jamie McBain, ARI 1st (2017), PHI 5th (2017), BUF 5th (2018), STL 7th (2018), WSH 7th (2017)
Traded: Andreas Martinsen, Devante Smith-Pelley, Ben Smith, Jay McClement, Curtis McElhinney, Nik Grossman, Nick Ebert, BOS 3rd (2019)