Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney confirmed widespread reports that Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk has asked for a trade and a ‘fresh start’ and also confirmed that DeBrusk will get a chance to increase his trade value returning to the lineup Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings.
“I’m not overly surprised that this eventually came out,” Sweeney said Tuesday morning at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton. “I’ve been in the know about this for quite some time, and we’ve been trying to look at a hockey trade situation that would help the Boston Bruins. And as I do my job, and accommodate with what Jake thinks is best, there’s a balance there. That’s the profession.”
DeBrusk will be in the lineup not just because it can increase his trade value but also due to the COVID outbreak with the Providence Bruins and the Boston Bruins not being able to call anyone up from the AHL for at least the rest of this week.
Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron wasn’t worried that DeBrusk’s presence after his trade request would become a distraction for the team.
“Things don’t change. We’re going to help Jake and expect him to be accountable like the rest of the guys,” Bergeron told the media Tuesday morning.
Early Monday evening, TSN Insider and Edmonton Oilers reporter Ryan Rishaug, who, like Jake DeBrusk, is from the Edmonton area, reported that DeBrusk’s agent Rick Vallette requested a trade from the Boston Bruins over the weekend and would like a ‘fresh start’
Spoke with Rick Valette today, agent for Jake DeBrusk, he confirmed he asked for a trade over the weekend. It's felt a change of scenery moving forward would be beneficial. Debrusk will remain with the team while the Bruins try and facilitate the request.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) November 29, 2021
Prior to Sweeney addressing the media Tuesday morning, Rishaug tweeted that as many as eight teams have expressed interest in Jake DeBrusk and more are expected to jump into the fray today and as the week goes on.
Early returns on DeBrusk being available have been substantial. As many as 8 teams have already reached out and inquired about the player, and more are expected today.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) November 30, 2021
As Sweeney was speaking to the media, Sportsnet Insider Elliotte Friedman, on The Jeff Marek Show, said that he believes Bruce Cassidy making Jake DeBrusk a healthy scratch Sunday was the proverbial nail in the coffin.
However, while Sweeney is being bombarded with calls from fellow NHL GMs, he stressed Tuesday that he will not rush any trade involving DeBrusk just to get it over with.
“My job is to make the best possible deal for the Boston Bruins,” Sweeney said.
Based on numerous conversations with NHL Execs and pro scouts on Tuesday, Sweeney is focused on making a hockey trade and not willing to take on a cap hit higher than the one Jake DeBrusk carries at $3.6 million. DeBrusk, 25 is scheduled to become a restricted free agent again after this season.
DeBrusk was back taking regular rushes at the game-day skate Tuesday and skating on the fourth line with Curtis Lazar and Erik Haula, who like Jake DeBrusk, was a healthy scratch in the Bruins 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators.
DeBrusk enters the tilt with the Red Wings with three goals and three assists in 17 games this season.