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How Much Of A Role Will Montgomery Play In DeBrusk Dilemma?



Boston Bruins

With the March 8 NHL Trade Deadline just ten days away, the Jake DeBrusk dilemma remains a key factor in the deadline approach for the Boston Bruins.

The 6-foot-1, 198-pound winger is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and there’s been no indication recently on that not becoming a reality. As reported here on Monday, many around the NHL have gone from wondering what a contract extension with Jake DeBrusk and the Bruins to whose playoff rental he becomes.

“Does he wind up back west as a playoff rental for a contender out there – we’ve all heard the Oilers rumors – or does he become a playoff rental for the Bruins,” one NHL source asked Boston Hockey Now recently. “It sure doesn’t seem like he’s signing an extension – if he signs one – before the season’s over.”

Much like he had to with former Bruins winger Loui Eriksson heading into the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline, if, as it seems to be now, an extension isn’t happening before the deadline, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney needs to decide if still keeping DeBrusk for a playoff run makes the most sense. Or can he fill another immediate need for the playoffs and/or the future by trading the 27-year-old winger who has 13 goals and 14 assists in 58 games and just one goal in his last 13 games?

As longtime NHL analyst and former NHL executive Pierre McGuire pointed out on the latest Eye Test Podcast, the answer could come from Bruins bench boss Jim Montgomery.

“I think the No.1 question has to be from Don Sweeney to Jimmy Montgomery: ‘In your eyes as a coach, how critically important is he for us to compete for the Cup?’ and if the answer is ‘We need him’ then I don’t think he goes, and then you play the dangerous game of losing him for nothing,” McGuire opined.



“Even though you own him until July 1, and you can still negotiate with him at any time unless you trade away his negotiating rights, which some teams have done, by the way. Or if Jimmy Montgomery says, ‘If you can get something different that we need. …’ – I mean, you gotta look at the defense now; how long is Hampus Lindholm out? So, do you think that that puts a hole in the Bruins? I do. So you see what we’re talking about now. So, maybe you have to use [DeBrusk] to get somebody that can fill that hole. So, I think it comes down to a very serious conversation between the GM and the coach on that one.”

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