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Murphy: Why Has Don Sweeney Been Hesitant On NHL Trade Market?

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Should Boston Bruins fans be concerned that Bruins GM Don Sweeney admitted to not being active on the NHL trade market?

“I haven’t been dealing with the trade market, we haven’t reached free agency,” Sweeney replied when yours truly asked what he thought of the NHL trade market for defensemen so far.

What Sweeney wouldn’t admit or agree with though was that the David Krejci and Tuukka Rask situations have indeed hamstrung his ability to properly address some glaring needs via the NHL trade market. 

“No,” Sweeney answered firmly when asked if Krejci not indicating whether or not he is interested in returning to the Bruins and the NHL has put him in a bind? 

“We have guys that can step into roles,” Sweeney went on. “Obviously, we’ll address needs and throughout our lineup, certainly explore options to have. Address it as it comes. We certainly have to acknowledge that it would be a big hole if we had to fill it, but it’d be a real good opportunity for someone if we do go in that direction. We’re going to have to find a way to spread things around if David makes a decision otherwise, but that hasn’t been the indication. We’re hopeful that he’ll come back. We’ll see”. 

In the famous words of Mike Myers in Wayne’s World:

 

 

Sweeney cited the same guessing and waiting for games 30 other NHL teams had to deal with for the last month as a reason for his hesitancy to get ahead of the pack on the NHL trade and free agency markets.    

“The Seattle process was one that was probably creating some governance in terms of what the overall movement part of it was,” Sweeney said. “You saw a couple of deals right before, and then maybe there will be some coming out.”

Actually, there were 13 trades between June 9, the night the New York Islanders eliminated the Bruins from the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs and the NHL Expansion Draft on Wednesday. As of 7 PM ET on Thursday, there had been three since the Seattle Kraken NHL Expansion Draft show on Wednesday night. So – and I regret not asking why today – if Rask and Krejci aren’t holding Sweeney up from adding a veteran goalie for Rask’s rehab, rebuilding the left side of his blue line, and changing up the bottom-six forward group, then what is? 

Sorry, the Kraken excuse just doesn’t fly.

Speaking of revamping that depleted blue line, as my partner-in-crime, Joe Haggerty wrote Thursday: The Boston Bruins are in a dire situation on the back end.”

Sweeney did acknowledge that at least.

“But you’re right, we have to identify that we have a couple of holes and gaps that we have to fill,” Sweeney told Haggerty. Certainly, [we] addressed a long-term future with Brandon [Carlo],”  “We’re happy to have him back in the fold as an important part as our defense is put together. We have to address another need — if not one, if not two from a depth perspective — but also the handling of heavy minutes in all situations. We’re going to try to be aggressive on that front and see if we can address the need.”

For the last 24 hours, there have been numerous reports that the Bruins and forward Taylor Hall were closing in on a four-year, $24 million contract extension. That is a solid deal for both sides but if Sweeney isn’t able to address his bigger needs during the NHL Entry draft that will be held virtually tonight, and during NHL Free Agency, then my first question will be, why wasn’t he ‘aggressive’ for the last month?

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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Rick W Murray

If Sweeney doesn’t pull off a couple beauties this will be his and Lurches last year here.

Paul Bielawski

Totally agree, his hesitation is going to mean missing opportunities

Paul Bielawski

I am getting really concerned by the lack of creativity on the part of this management team

William Mahoney

B’s must get Jack Eichel for offense needs! For now forget everything else!

Ray

It takes two to agree to a deal before it gets signed. Bruins are sniffing around plenty of players but they BOTH have to sign. They can lose assets to talk to a pending UFA but why when the pool is light as it is. He’s talking to Krejci, Hall, Suter, Yandle, Arizona, Buffalo, Ritchie, Senyshyn, Kase, etc…. Probably calling every GM to shop DeBrusk. He can’t talk to other UFAs yet so I’m not sure why all the angst around doing something. Krejci wanted to see Hall signed and know he’d have him to play. He is probably more… Read more »

[…] A certain Boston Hockey Now puck scribe was quite critical of Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney this past Thursday after he acknowledged that he had yet to really explore the NHL trade market for the Top 4 left-shot defenseman the Bruins are targeting this offseason. […]

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