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Sweeney, Neely Looking For Snarl Before Trade Deadline



NHL Trade

Boston Bruins fans who long for the most recent Big, Bad, Bruins days (2008-14) will be happy to know that Bruins general manager Don Sweeney and team President Cam Neely are looking for some snarl on the NHL trade market.

“We’ve always put forth that we want to be a highly competitive team,” Don Sweeney told NESN before his team held on for a 5-4 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night. “There’s the physical part of the game that we’re lacking at times…maybe we’d like to try and address that. We’ve tried to use our depth throughout the organization. A lot of guys have done a tremendous job in that regard, but we may have to look to the outside to find some.”



Three days earlier, in an interview with The Athletic, Neely expressed the same desire to add some more grit before the March 8 NHL Trade Deadline. The Bruins did that internally by calling up 6-foot-5, 220-pound winger Justin Brazeau on Feb. 18, but Neely, like Sweeney, thinks they need to look externally for more players like that on the NHL Trade market.

“Another stiff defender would be good,” Neely Athletic Bruins reporter Fluto Shinzawa on Monday. “And you could always use help on offense. Obviously, I like the size of Brazeau. That adds an element to the bottom part of our lineup we haven’t had for a while,” Neely said. “Richard, I love his speed and his tenacity. He’s more physical than I anticipated him being, which is a good thing. That’s an element where we can probably play a little more physical than we have. I’m not talking about putting someone in the third row. But just creating a little bit more anxiety.”

The problem for Neely, Sweeney, and the Bruins, with the NHL Trade Deadline now a week away, is that – per Puckpedia – they only have $832,500 in salary cap space.

“What do we need? How do we get it? And what does it cost us?” Neely said of internal deadline conversations. “Then you have to weigh that all out. You have your wish list. You rank certain areas you’d like to improve upon. But sometimes it’s not possible to do it. Then you try to find another area to improve upon.”

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